I recently decided to drop my contract phone after the initial two years passed. I searched around for the best prepaid company (I didn't want a contract that would force me to buy a $250 smart phone and then cost me $120 a month for service) until I came across StraightTalk. It seemed to be just what I needed. I ordered this phone because of the value (phone is $5 witha regular priced month of service), and it arrived at my local store on time as expected.
It is indeed factory refurbished, with a NIB battery included, as well as charger (micro USB if anyone is interested) and the phone itself. My device looked brand new out of the box. I was curious if a waranty was offered, and was pleased to see a sticker on the device's box indicating that there was in fact a one-year limited waranty on manufacturer's defects. It was very easy to activate and very generic in design. If you had a flip-style cell phone at some point in the past ten years, this is pretty much on the same difficulty level to comprehend. If you would like an example, I'm struggling to remember whether or not I even got an owner's manual with my device, it was so simple to figure out.
As I said, this is a very "no-frills" device. No camera at all, though it seems you can download them offline or have them sent to you from someone else's phone, though I haven't tried either yet. It is possible to make voice recordings, but I don't know how well they transfer when you send them to someone else. I hate paying for features that I'm not going to use or don't need, so this is just the ticket for me. All I need to do is call and text, and that's just about all this device does. I'm unsure if you can switch to the $45/month unlimited card, but I don't know why you wouldn't be able to. All you would be doing is making the company more money. Another nice feature is that if you like using automatic bill payent systems, you can have StraightTalk auto-pay out of your bank account/charge your credit card every month, so no more worrying about missing your service end date and getting your phone shut off.
Although it may be simple in design, one thing it does not lack is structural integrity. The hinge is tight, none of the buttons are loose out of the box, and there is no plastic "flashing" along the mold seams. The buttons are large enough for my bear-sized hands to easily navigate them, except possibly the volume control on the side. That one's a bit tricky. One thing I was slightly disappointed about was that it does not display your airtime/service end date on the main screen. In order to check those, you must go to www.straighttalk.com and input your phone number along with the last four of the device's serial number. Not a huge deal if you aren't getting low, but if you like to check things like that frequently, it can be a pain.
Overall, I'm very satisfied with my purchase. It's a soundly-built flip phone that should live up to the tales of durability of yore. As a disclaimer, I cannot guarantee other units are exactly like mine because they are "factory refurbished". Though I have a good feeling they would not send out an obviously used unit and expect the customer to be satisfied with it. I'm sure they have very strict standards of what they can and cannot re-sell when taking returns.
If you've made it to the end of this review, contratulations! I hope some of this information has helped someone make an informed decision, because if you're like me, you hate wasting money. Questions? Feel free to ask and I'll get back to you ASAP.
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