Straight Talk - $45 Unlimited Talk, Text, Data, Roaming and 3rd Party Apps On AT&T

Samsung SGH-t401

Mexico based América Móvil, the fourth largest mobile network in the world, doesn't have a network of it's own in the US but operates the country's largest MVNO under the TracFone banner with subsidiary brands Net10, Safelink and StraightTalk.  The latter has been offering unlimited talk, text in and data for $45/month since late last year.

Straight Talk phones are only available online and at Wal-Mart stores.  While Straight Talk is attractive to  heavy talkers and texters, the data part of the deal is less than inspiring due to the locked down nature of the service and handsets. You have to use one of Straight Talk's selection of feature phones which are BREW based and do not allow the installation of any apps, paid or free.  The only use for that unlimited data was browsing the mobile web with the rather feeble WAP browsers that are pre-installed on the phones.  Because the phones don't support Java ME there's   no way to use the Opera Mini or Bolt browsers or IM, Gmail or Google Maps apps.

LG 620G

All that changed early this month when  users on Howard Forums reported seeing a new line of Straight Talk GSM phones  in a few Walmart stores.  Monday, on their blog, Straight Talk confirmed the launch of the GSM service and the GSM phones are now available on Straight Talk's website.

The new phones are:

  • The Samsung T401G (top), a rather plump $99.99 candybar with a three row QWERTY keyboard that slides out from the side.
  • The LG 620G (above, right), a $69.99 12 key slider.

Both phones have an MP3 player, 1.3 MB video capable  camera, Bluetooth and a 176x220 px screen. The T401G's screen is 2.1 inches, the 620G's screen size is unspecified but looks to be about the same size. Neither supports 3G either, just GPRS and Edge. They are available at Walmart stores across the country and online at Straighttalk.com.  The onlines prices are $45 higher because they include the first month's service.

In addition to the unlimited plan, the GSM phones can also be used on Straight Talk's $30/month "All You need" plan which includes 1000 minutes, 1000 texts and 30MB of data.

Several Howard Forums users have bought these phones and reported that the phone's home network is AT&T with free roaming, probably on T-Mobile, in some areas.  This is a good deal as the Straight Talk CDMA phones do not roam off of Verizon.  TracFone and Net10 phones come with either a T-Mobile or AT&T SIM depending on the market. So far no one has reported finding a Straight Talk phone with a T-Mobile SIM.

The phones and SIMs are both locked. An AT&T SIM will not work in a Straight Talk phone. More significantly, a Straight Talk SIM will not work in an unlocked GSM phone,  so forget about using one in an iPhone or Nexus One.

Perhaps the nicest thing about Straight Talk GSM is that, unlike all of Straight Talk's previous offerings. the LG phone lets you install and run Java apps from third party sites. The Bolt browser, Opera Mini 3, 4.2 and 5.1, Google Maps and Gmail apps are all reported to work. Plus the phone can download and use free ringtones and video clips from 3rd party sites.

It looks like the Samsung may not share the LG's openness as there are no reports on the Howard Forums  thread of downloaded apps working with it. In fact two posts users have reported that neither Opera Mini or Bolt worked on the Samsung.

All in all I think Straight Talk's GSM offering is a good one, mainly because of the free off network roaming and degree of software freedom offered by the LG model. The lack of 3G or higher spec handsets is disappointing but it is unlimited prepaid  data with support for third party apps.  The only other unlimited everything prepaid offer is Sprint's Boost Mobile which costs $5 a month more and does not roam off of Sprint's native network which offers a much smaller coverage footprint than Straight Talk's AT&T plus roaming.

22 thoughts on “Straight Talk - $45 Unlimited Talk, Text, Data, Roaming and 3rd Party Apps On AT&T

  1. I have this phone with Straighttalk and it's great for simple texting and talking but if you are wanting it for the web, DON'T. The web sucks on this phone and yes I also downloaded the Opera Mini and nothing improved.
  2. the straight talk unlimited deal really seems to be absolutely seamless. unlimited minutes, texts and data for $45 a month and all without a contract?
  3. i think is funny that such a big network does not have a major carrier in the united states. However i do love the fact that they do it through straighttalk because otherwise i am pretty sure they would make the prices really high in order to compete. I have a question though, since the company is international do they provide international calling?
    • The last I heard Stright Talk doesn't offer international calling or international texting. You could of course use a calling card to make international calls.
  4. Straight Talk would probably be ok for a backup phone or someone who has a home phone and almost never leaves... BUT if you are on the go a lot and want to actually use the Internet Straight Talk just doesn't cut it. For about twice the price you can get a Sprint Evo HTC Android phone with unlimited use (except calling land lines is capped at 450 mins per month) and have 10 ...no make that 100 times the power and features. Straight Talk data is so limited that most sites you actually want to visit are blocked.

    If you ever own an Android phone for a few days you'll never be satisfied with anything else.
  5. Glad they changed this awhile back. ST has been a solid service for me and they actually use the Verizon towers around my service area which makes me feel like I'm almost stealing and making money at the same time since I'm paying he ST cost for a Verizon benefit. It's good to know that they're going to continue to change things and make things better. I just hope they keep adding phones.
  6. i am such a fan of the "rise of pre paid". with the straight talk unlimited plan you really can save up to 50% of what you usually pay each month. the reception is good and the phone choices are just getting better all the time!
  7. At the beginning when this service came out i looked at it but i will admit it suckeddd. However i have kept a close eye on it because it is one of the cheapest non contract unlimited service providers out there. I am currently with AT&T paying my life away and i recently saw an article from straighttalk which was similar to this but it dealt more with the LG900G phone and it made me happy to see that straighttalk is leaning more and more towards the competitive phone market. After all i don't want just some cheap phone to call and text from.
  8. i just recently got six months worth of straight talk and im very disappointed. When i purchased my phone i was not informed that i would be so limited even though i asked the salesperson in walmart a ton of questions. If i could at least download whatever i wanted on my phone i would completely endorse this to everyone. But i can barely get signal where i live and the phone is already having glitches with letters and messages
  9. Good review (and some good comments too.)

    Want to recommend their support on their Facebook fan page. The wall is cluttered with random comments but there's a support tab on the page and they're very good about following up.
  10. Interesting new phone here. I am current straight talk user can i switch to this phone and keep all of my numbers? Anyways I like the idea of att&t roaming capabilites. Straight talk is probably making walmart a pile of money as it seems to me like one of their famous great value deals.
  11. After being disappointed time and again by altel, verizon and At&t my husband and i decided to try out straight talk and are pleased beyond belief by the great service, low rates and the peace of mind that comes with knowing we'll never see another 300 dollar cell phone bill again. Straight talk rocks no doubt about it.
  12. hey. i used to text my friend who has a straight talk phone using the SMS feature in yahoo. last month the text messages just stopped being delivered to her phone and hasnt worked since. anyone know why? or how to fix it
  13. I've had a really good experience with Straight Talk too. And now that they're offering some really awesome phones (previously the phones offered were pretty basic), I'm not sure that anyone will stay on contracts. I mean, why would you?
  14. Straight Talk does work with the iphone 3gs but the data service is not working yet. It looks like some settings needs to be change in the carrier bundle files. Just make sure the iPhone is unlock for all carriers before putting the Straight Talk SIM Card.
  15. I'm a new comer to Straight Talk but am astonished how great it is. Have had it since June and am amazed at the quality of service and the low cost. Really a terrific deal!
  16. I was concerned that my employees wouldn't like straight talk because the phones weren't the best... but I havent had an issues and they are finding fun things to do with them phones. I had to save money on all my employees phones. .. so I got them all straight talk phones. No more blackberries but their phones are great and people aren’t complaining. I am saving more than 50 dollars a month and the service is on the same verizon network that it was on before. It really is great.
    • First, let me say you're a very nice boss! Personally, I think that Straight Talk has some the biggest variety of phones including some smart phone models. Do your employees have the unlimited plan? It certainly would make sense since you don't have to worry about overage charges. I guess not having to deal with contracts is also a good thing. Imagine having to pay all those cancellation fees if something should happen and you need out of the contracts.
  17. One word of caution: when roaming off of GSM with Straight Talk, you lose Internet and Data-- from the latest Straight Talk terms and conditions:

    "Service on the GSM Network. If your Straight Talk service is on the GSM network, your Straight Talk Wireless phone may roam when you are outside of the Straight Talk GSM network coverage area. When your Straight Talk GSM phone is roaming, Voice and SMS messaging will continue to be available to you at no additional charge. Internet access and Data Services, however, will not be available while you are roaming outside of the Straight Talk GSM Network coverage area."

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