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Best prepaid phone for Safelink??

507 222 December 9, 2016 at 07:17 AM
Looking to upgrade our safelink phone. Don't need anything real fancy, just for texting and occasion calls. I can choose from Verizon compatible, T-mobile compatible, and At&T or GSM unlocked phone. Looking for something 50.00 or under.

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#2
So a "feature phone" not a smart phone?
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#3
Quote from LiquidRetro
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So a "feature phone" not a smart phone?
It can be a smart phone, as long as it is one of the carriers I mentioned.
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Quote from bceltic
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It can be a smart phone, as long as it is one of the carriers I mentioned.
Is this the california program? They mention they use TracFone, not the carriers you provide. The requirements you listed are basically any phone, No single carrier supports all technologies ever.

Know that these low end smart phones have had security issues over the years but I have heard decent things about Blu https://www.amazon.com/BLU-Studio...4674872011

If your just wanting to make calls and send texts a simple feature phone might be easier.
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Quote from LiquidRetro
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Is this the california program? They mention they use TracFone, not the carriers you provide. The requirements you listed are basically any phone, No single carrier supports all technologies ever.

Know that these low end smart phones have had security issues over the years but I have heard decent things about Blu https://www.amazon.com/BLU-Studio...4674872011

If your just wanting to make calls and send texts a simple feature phone might be easier.
Safelink is owned by TracFone. They provide subsidized phone service as part of the federal lifeline program.

Tracfone operates on AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and even Sprint's networks depending on location. Any unlocked GSM phone will work for the OP. Verizon phones will work if they're eligible to be used on mvnos (eg. not new vzw prepaid phones).

Tracfone's selection of phones is pretty limited and outdated. They're still selling some with Android 4.0.4 iirc EEK! I think the newest phones they've got are running android 5 which is still seriously outdated.

Some Blu phones come pre-loaded with software that sends your texts and call logs to china every 3 days: https://krebsonsecurity.com/2016/...l-records/

$50 is a tough price point. The cheapest options worth using are generally going to be AT&T / Verizon prepaid phones, success can be hit and miss. For Verizon, officially they say longer but if the phone is activated on vzw prepaid for 1 month and then inactive for a month you may be able to activate on carriers like tracfone / pageplus. For AT&T there are some steps you can attempt to follow that get posted in most deals here on gophone's to request the phone be unlocked, it's often successful without att service. It's never guaranteed that this type of thing will work.

For smartphones I wouldn't use a phone that runs less than Android 5 and I wouldn't buy a smartphone that comes with less than Android 6. Devices running Android 6 or better that can be had for <$100 are few.

I can't say for sure, but I think any phone branded as tracfone (not other names they own like net10 or simple mobile) would work on safelink. Basic flip phones on tracfone can be pretty cheap, sales for <$15 are common sometimes as low as $1-5.
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#6
Quote from bceltic
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It can be a smart phone, as long as it is one of the carriers I mentioned.
Now for some specific smart phones starting with options that are over $50, both of these run marshmallow:
On sale for $69 BLU Advance 5.0 HD https://www.amazon.com/BLU-Advanc...B01E9BNCQ4
$100 on sale - $150 Moto G4 Play unlocked, currently $130 @ best buy, $99 @ B&H buy backordered
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/pr...t1607.html

$50 or less and worth owning generally requires abusing a subsidized pre-paid phone:
On sale for $49 AT&T GoPhone - LG Phoenix 2 4G LTE with 8GB Memory at Best Buy
No guarantees if you'd be able to unlock it or not. But the procedure is in the wiki here: https://slickdeals.net/f/9438199-at-t-huawei-ascend-xt-prepaid-smartphone-back-in-stock-in-walmart-49-99-plus-tax
If you don't get an unlock code just return the phone unopened within 14 days iirc.

$34 Moto G (3rd gen, 2015 model) and 1 month of "short" service on text now. To use on another carrier requires some effort. You may need to get an unlock code from them and flash the phone to something like cyanogenmod. Again, no guarantees and this one is harder to return. textnow.com/wireless/device/11 search xda and howard forums for info on things that may be required.
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Last edited by jkee December 12, 2016 at 01:33 PM.
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#7
Quote from jkee
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Now for some specific smart phones starting with options that are over $50, both of these run marshmallow:
On sale for $69 BLU Advance 5.0 HD https://www.amazon.com/BLU-Advanc...B01E9BNCQ4
$100 on sale - $150 Moto G4 Play unlocked, currently $130 @ best buy, $99 @ B&H buy backordered
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/pr...t1607.html

$50 or less and worth owning generally requires abusing a subsidized pre-paid phone:
On sale for $49 AT&T GoPhone - LG Phoenix 2 4G LTE with 8GB Memory at Best Buy
No guarantees if you'd be able to unlock it or not. But the procedure is in the wiki here: https://slickdeals.net/f/9438199-at-t-huawei-ascend-xt-prepaid-smartphone-back-in-stock-in-walmart-49-99-plus-tax
If you don't get an unlock code just return the phone unopened within 14 days iirc.

$34 Moto G (3rd gen, 2015 model) and 1 month of "short" service on text now. To use on another carrier requires some effort. You may need to get an unlock code from them and flash the phone to something like cyanogenmod. Again, no guarantees and this one is harder to return. textnow.com/wireless/device/11 search xda and howard forums for info on things that may be required.

Thank you for all this information!!! I did jump on the Verizon LG deal today from Best Buy. "LG Optimus Zone 3 4G LTE Prepaid Phone for Verizon" for 10.00. I will check the Mein on the safelink site when it comes in. For 10.00, if it doesnt work then no biggie.
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Quote from bceltic
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Thank you for all this information!!! I did jump on the Verizon LG deal today from Best Buy. "LG Optimus Zone 3 4G LTE Prepaid Phone for Verizon" for 10.00. I will check the Mein on the safelink site when it comes in. For 10.00, if it doesnt work then no biggie.
I can practically guarantee it won't work. I honestly wouldn't buy a phone with less than Android 6, that said at least the Zone 3 has 1.5gb of ram above average for it's price range.

Verizon prepaid phones won't work on Verizon MVNOs unless they've been used on verizon for a month ($35 min), officially it's 6 months I believe. With some effort you may be able to use a verizon prepaid phone on GSM networks, but this is also getting more difficult.

It sounds like AT&T is clamping down on unlocking prepaid phones too, but at least they're fast enough you can return it.

Used phones on swappa are another option.
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Last edited by jkee December 12, 2016 at 07:18 PM.

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#9
Quote from bceltic
:
Thank you for all this information!!! I did jump on the Verizon LG deal today from Best Buy. "LG Optimus Zone 3 4G LTE Prepaid Phone for Verizon" for 10.00. I will check the Mein on the safelink site when it comes in. For 10.00, if it doesnt work then no biggie.
I have the sane LG prepaid phone. The unlock code is 27528118 but I haven't unlocked it yet because I wanted to see how you fared pairing it with safelink

Quote from bceltic
:
Thank you for all this information!!! I did jump on the Verizon LG deal today from Best Buy. "LG Optimus Zone 3 4G LTE Prepaid Phone for Verizon" for 10.00. I will check the Mein on the safelink site when it comes in. For 10.00, if it doesnt work then no biggie.

I have the sane LG prepaid phone. The unlock code is 27528118 but I haven't unlocked it yet because I wanted to see how you fared pairing it with safelink
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Last edited by 1wildflwr April 25, 2017 at 12:17 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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