Straight Talk Says I Need a New Phone

Did Straight Talk tell you that you need to buy a new phone? Many people are asking me questions about this so I though I’d write this article to explain what is going on and answers some of the questions your questions.

Q. Why Do I Need a New Phone?

Straight Talk is updating their network. If Straight Talk told you to replace your phone, your current phone will no longer work once the network upgrade is completed.

In fact, it’s really Verizon that is updating their network. And many Straight Talk phones use the Verizon network. Verizon is shutting down their old CDMA network and moving to all 4G LTE and 5G technologies. I’d say every ten years or so, the big carriers shut down their old cell networks. Its good in that we all get better cell service but its unfortunate customers have to replace phones.

Q. Is this a trick just to get me to buy a new phone?

No, it’s not a trick. They are not just trying to sell you a new phone. And it reality, wireless companies make their money selling you service, not phones. I suspect in some cases Straight Talk breaks even or loses money selling some phones, and when they do make a profit it isn’t a lot of money for them.

Which iPhones are Compatible with Straight Talk?

In short, the iPhone 6 and iPhone SE and newer iPhones that are compatible with Verizon will work with Straight Talk’s Verizon towers and support the Voice Over LTE technology required to use their Verizon towers. The iPhone 5s and older iPhones are no longer compatible. You may be able to use iPhone 5s and iPhone 5 models with Straight Talk’s AT&T or T-Mobile towers.

Which Samsung Galaxy Phones are Compatible with Straight Talk?

In short Galaxy S5 and newer phones are that are compatible with Verizon will work with Straight Talk’s Verizon towers will support the Voice Over LTE technology required to use their Verizon towers.

While I Lose My Minutes When I Upgrade To a New Phone?

No. You can transfer both your phone number and remaining service balance of minutes, texts, and data from your current phone to your new phone.

However, if your current phone is eligible for Triple Minutes (3X) for life, your new phone might not be. If you are currently able add the $50 for 365 service days add-on your new phone may not qualify. Straight Talk’s smartphone’s and BYOP phones no longer qualify for the 3x plans. Consider adding minutes or the $50 1 year add on before transferring your service to your new phone,

Where Can I Buy a New Phone

Straight Talk sells a variety of both smartphones & basic phones. Any phone currently sold on Straight is compatible. Straight Talk may have sent you an email or text message offering you a deal or discount on a new phone.

You can also check out my Straight Talk. I post the monthly Straight Talk deals here on see Straight Talk Latest Deals and Promo Codes

You can Bring Your Own Phone to Straight Talk if you want. You can buy a new unlocked iPhone from Apple or Samsung phones from Best Buy if you want. When you switch to Bring Your Own Phone with Straight Talk, you’ll have the option to use their Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile towers. Assuming you want to continue to use the Verizon towers, make sure you get a phone compatible with the Verizon networks.


  1. Debra | |

    Samsung 8+ will no longer work right ?

    • Bob Thompson | |

      I don’t see why it wouldn’t

  2. Jim | |

    So this is just their Verizon phones? I have an unlocked Moto E4 with an AT&T sim from ST. They are telling me my phone is not compatible. I have the option to have VoLTE enabled (Open dialer *#*#4636#*#* ) but every time I switch it on it just switches back off when I close it.
    I was thinking about getting an Iphone SE 2020 through AT&T prepaid soon and using my ST sim in it (ST offers more data for the same price) but I don’t know if that will work.
    Do Iphones get updates through the carrier like android phones (my Moto E4 hasn’t received any updates through ST since 2019) or straight from Apple? That will determine whether I stay with ST or just switch to AT&Ts prepaid service.

    • Bob Thompson | |

      The article is about service on their Verizon towers, not ATT. It’s possible that they may be trying to get all customers to migrate to VoLTE enabled phones regardless of network.
      Your ST SIM may work in a att prepaid iPhone se 2020. I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for certain. All iPhone updates come from Apple. If it were me, I’d go with AT&T prepaid. I don’t need a lot of data through. I find AT&T prepaid’s support for wi-fi calling, mobile hotspot, and visual voicemail much better. They are a little harder to deal with then you want to switch out though requiring a phone call to do it but it’s managable.

  3. Russ proctor | |

    My phone has no service been like that for a while and my wife calls to get help with my phone and she cannot understand them because they don’t speak good English. Everything is slow I got a new phone and same thing trash. If y’all can’t fix it I want my money back. I don’t want to sound mean but I need my phone. Thank you

    • Bob Thompson | |

      I don’t work for Straight talk so it’s not my responsibility to fix your phone nor issue a refund.

      From time to time I’m able to help people with specific problems, share info, or explain some details.

      Most prepaid customer service representatives are located outside the US and speak English as a second or third language. I’d suggest trying support by online chat so you be able to discuss your issues in writing.

  4. Ashley | |

    Straight Talk never sent me a message saying my phone would need to be upgraded, so, you could imagine my surprise when I tried to pay for the next month and it wouldn’t allow me to. I talked with a customer service rep who was of absolutely no help and just kept repeating that Verizon updated their system, which made my phone obsolete and not able to be used any longer. I have an unlocked Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. This phone should work on the network still. I went to Verizon, bought their $45 prepaid plan, and their SIM card, and miraculously, that same Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, now works just fine…………don’t believe everything Straight Talk tells you.

    • Bob Thompson | |

      the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge supports VoLTE and is compatible with the changes on the Verizon network.
      You should always question what ST customer service tells you.
      I’m curious, did you activate the SIM in that phone when you bougt your S7 or more it from another phone.

      I think you’ll like Verizon prepaid better anyway so good for you.

  5. Richard B Barnes | |

    I replaced mine with one straight talk said was what I needed, from straight talk, still get messages from them telling me to upgrade to 4g LTE, which is what I’m using!????

    • Bob Thompson | |

      While I can’t say for certain why this is, if it were me I’d ignore the messages. Any phone that Straight Talk is currently selling right now should work with their Verizon towers. As long as you properly transferred your service from your previous phone and SIM to the current phone and SIM you should be OK. I’m assuming you didn’t just move the SIM from the previous phone into the current one.

      Verizon has been trying to shut down their CDMA network for years, and have missed multiple deadlines. I suspect you are getting the messages because Straight Talk’s system for tracking all this isn’t too good.

  6. Bob Newman | |

    I have the straight talk home phone base,updated base last year,with at&t wireless phones. Sometimes when a call comes in and I answer, I have a dial tone sound over the conversation or sometimes I hear the sound of a busy signal over the callers voice. What is that about ?

    • Bob Thompson | |

      Hi Bob
      I don’t know.
      The manual for their ZTE Wireless Home Phone Base Station says it makes an intermittent dial tone when you have voice mail. Not sure about the busy signal. If you have your Straight Talk base plugged into the phone wiring in your home, try just plugging one phone into the base and see if you still have the problem.

  7. Christina Devor | |

    Iv been with straight talk for 13 years now and I was needing to upgrade my phone and need 2 other ones is there a possibility that I could get a really really good deal and cheap please or something

  8. Shane | |

    When I sign into my Straight Talk account it says I need a new phone but according to this article I don’t. I am using a unlocked Samsung Galaxy S9+ which I’m pretty sure uses 4GLTE so it should work right?

    • Bob Thompson | |

      A Samsung Galaxy S9 should work fine with Verizon’s 4G LTE with VoLTE on a Samsung S9.
      So the question is why are they telling you need to upgrade?
      Did you activate that phone with Straight Talk using a new SIM when you bought the phone or did you move an existing SIM into the phone?

      • Shane | |

        I brought a never used unlocked version with me to Straight Talk. I had to buy the SIM kit from Straight Talk. I’m hoping I get to keep the Verizon service without having to get another SIM card for another carrier.

        • Bob Thompson | |

          If it were me, I’d just wait it out. I don’t know why they are telling you that you need a new phone. Older phones that do not support Voice over LTE will not work after Verizon shuts down their CDMA, 3G, network later this year. Personally I think, their systems are confused. It’s possible, you may just need a new SIM. In which case you can order a new one for $1 online. But I wouldn’t do that right now, unless you you really want to stay ahead of this. You also could use this an an opportunity to look into Visible or Verizon prepaid which also use the Verizon towers. With Visible to get unlimited data for as low as $25 per month. Verizon prepaid is more expensive, but very reliable.

          Are you abler to share the exact message you see when you log into Straight Talk. Can you copy and paste it into a comment if you get a chance?

  9. Myra Ashbrook | |

    I just bought the newest device that works with my phone. I am hearing impaired and the only reason I have the phone is for 911. Everything seems to be about money and upgrading. Not every one can afford these things. I suppose I too will be without a phone.

    • Bob Thompson | |

      This update is because of changes to Verizon’s cellular network. It’s the type of change than comes once every 8 to 10 years. Unfortunate that it requires an update.
      I noticed that you left this comment on a page about Straight Talk? Are you really paying for Straight Talk just for 911 service?

  10. Brant Hancock | |

    I have straight talk. I too must upgrade. I have always had issues with service where i live, except for Verizon towers. My main prerequisite is that i have Verizon towers. Does that mean i need cdma Or is that what you’re talking about is irrelevant now?
    I wish i could search all the phones in the world… works with straight talk, Verizon towers, Android, camera 10 mp or better, screen 5.6 or smaller, rating 3 plus stars, new or open box item.
    How do i search to make sure i get what i need? Where foo i search? I found an LG fiesta2 that seems to for the bill except for cdma. I think it is gsm.
    Any help is appreciated, going crazy.

  11. Dorothy Handle | |

    So I suppose I will be without a phone???? I cannot afford another phone! I am a senior and this is my only way of communication. I am soooooo glad the company did their work very well on how to screw us consumers again

    • Bob Thompson | |

      If you are using Straight Talk switch to a less expensive prepaid wireless service and you can afford a new phone with the savings. You can look into safelink service and you may qualify for government subsidized services which may include a free phone

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