Is straight talk worth it?

Straight talk is worth it for those looking for a cheap prepaid mobile carrier. The company has being able to keep its prices low by using existing cell towers from other companies instead of running the heavy capital investment of setting up their own.

Straight talk is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) meaning it does not own its own towers but uses those of third party partners like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. The cheapest option on Straight talk gives you 100MB of data, 1,500 minutes of talk and unlimited texts.

What makes Straight talk worth it?

Plans and pricing

Plan
Inclusions
Price
Unlimited Plan with 5GB
5GB High speed data

No contract

$34/month plus $0.99 upfront
Unlimited Plan with 25GB
Unlimited data

No contract

$44/month plus $0.99 upfront
Ultimate Unlimited data plan
Unlimited data

No contract

$55/month plus $0.99 upfront

If you are a heavy data users then the $44 per month package makes a lot of sense. With 25GB of data you can do most of your internet surfing and stream videos. For an extra $10 per month you can go for the unlimited data plan. All the data packages from straight talk do not come with a contract which is quite nice as you can opt out of a package without suffering termination fees. The company also has discounted rates for 3-month, 6-month and 12-month data plans.

Network Partners

One of the key reasons for the low Straight talk rates is the fact that the company is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). This means the company does not own towers but rides on networks of others for coverage. Some of straight talk network partners include AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. The company will connect you to one of these networks based on various factors like location and devices used.

How straight talk prices compare with others

Company
Plan
Inclusions
Price
Ultra Mobile
Unlimited data single monthly plan
Unlimited data

No contract

$39/month
Simple Mobile
$50 unlimited plan
Unlimited data

No contract

$45/month

Plus $0.99 upfront

AT&T
Prepaid $65 Monthly Plan
Unlimited data

No contract

$50/month

Plus $4.99 upfront

Mobile T
Simply Prepaid unlimited
Unlimited data

Per month recharge

$50
Verizon
Unlimited Prepaid

Unlimited smartphone plan

Unlimited data

Per one month recharge

$65
Straight Talk
Unlimited plan with 25GB
Unlimited data

No contract

$44/Month

Plus $0.99 upfront

Accessing a package

You can access straight talk directly from their website or through more 3,000 Walmart stores distributed through the country. Once you order you will receive a SIM card. In the SIM card packaging you will find all your instructions to activate the SIM card. The company has a wide range of mobile phones so you may want to check them out in case of an update. Some come with 24 month financing.

When it comes to coverage this will differ as Straight talk uses others towers. However, if you live in a metropolitan area then this will not be an issue as you will have major networks covering that area.

Data Speeds

While this is not exhaustive you should expect LTE data speeds of up to 31.1Mbps for downloading and 15.6Mbps for uploading. For streaming quality here there is a bit of a compromise as the Straight talk phones have what we call data optimizers. This may limit you to streaming resolutions of 480 pixels. The company policy also denies mobile hotspots so you will have to do without this.

When you put the Straight talk calls quality to test you will find that it is quite decent. No dropped calls or missing messages. The audio quality is crisp, loud and clear.

For the data test, Verizon MVNOs and Total wireless performed better than Straight talk by offering faster download speeds. While this may not be a challenge for light internet browsing it will cause some of your YouTube videos to buffer.

Like most service providers many people are often haunted by hidden charges. You purchase a package then you have all this fees cropping up. Straight Talk is very straight forward with their services and their no hidden charges. In fact, you do not need any activation fee. There phones are covered by a one-year warranty. You will need to first check out your phone compatibility with the straight talk website before getting a package otherwise it may not work on your phone. The company services are quite suitable for people looking to make calls and access the internet on budget therefore they do not offer any special discounts for students or military. Some of the phones they sell include the iPhone X 64GB at $699.99.

Customer Service

Unlike other MVNOs SIM cards that come through the US postal service for straight talk delivery is through FedEx. This means you need a signature to collect your SIM card. Customer care is responsive and responds to most requests made through the phone, chart and Text. The company performs better in customer service when compared with other budget operators but does not perform that well when compared with cell phone companies like Verizon or T-Mobile.

Conclusion

Straight talk wins in the fact that it keeps things simple when you are in search of a prepaid line. You can purchase one through the multitude of Walmart stores found across the country or order for one online. The audio quality is crisp and clear while the network coverage is decent and well covered across the country. The $45 for 25GB is a top seller and is quite similar to what competitors offer. The only downside to the service provider is their customer care services which are just average.

FAQ

Do I have to pay an activation fee to use Straight Talk services?

No, all you need to have is their SIM card and a phone. Once activated you can start using their services depending on the package you have paid for.

Do I need insurance for a straight talk phone?

The phones come with a one-year limited warranty. If you need insurance for your phone then you need to consult third-party providers.

 

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