FreedomPop Phone Samsung Galaxy SIII

Hi Woot! So great to be back here with a new deal for our Free Phone Service with a wide selection of Android phones. For those of you unfamiliar with FreedomPop service, I’ve included our top FAQs below (along with a link to a more expanded set). I’m happy to answer any questions in this thread or through PM!

** 1. Is FreedomPop really free?**
Yes, by activating on the 100% free, you’ll be able to get 200 minutes, 500 texts, and 500MB of data for free each and every month. Just buy the phone and you’ll never have to pay another phone bill again. Upgrading to unlimited talk & text is only $10.99/month.

** 2. What network does FreedomPop use? **
FreedomPop uses Sprint’s 4G LTE and 3G networks. Calls and texts are made through FreedomPop’s VoIP messaging app, so you must have a data connection in order to send/receive calls and texts. Go to www.freedompop.com/coverage3g4g to view the full coverage. As a way to save your free data allotment, you can also connect to any local WiFi network, such as the one in your home or work.

** 3. What do I do after receiving my phone? **
After you get your FreedomPop phone, please go to Activate | FreedomPop. Enter in the MEID of your phone, along with your desired email address to be associated with your FreedomPop account. Follow the steps to get fully activated. You will select your FreedomPop phone number during the activation process.

To see an even more expanded FAQs, please check out this page of the FreedomPop Community Forum! Hope everyone has a great day!

Time to learn all about the phone

The write-up says that $19.99 a month gets you unlimited talk, text, and data, but the FAQ you posted says it gets you unlimited talk, text, and 1 GB of data. So which is it?

Is this phone (S3) unlocked? Can I pop in either a AT&T or T-Mobile SIM card?

The $19.99 plan provides Unlimited Talk, Text, & 1GB of data. I’ve requested this info to be changed.

[MOD: Fixed]

This is a Sprint/CDMA phone. It’s not compatible with AT&T or T-Mobile.

I might go for this. If I’m not happy with coverage I’d like a backup plan to go back to my VirginMobile account. Will this phone work with VM?

Since Virgin Mobile is a Sprint MVNO, the SIII should be compatible. Please note that you’ll need to contact FreedomPop Support and cancel your FreedomPop account before bringing over to VM.

Great, thanks!

FYI, I have an LG Tribute from Virgin Mobile, I went to Freedom Pop’s website to see if I could activate it on Freedom pop. After giving my ESN it came back saying that phone could not be used on Freedom pop.

I read through the FAQ and it addresses how the phones were refurbished. Do they get new batteries as well?

I bought an S3 with FreedomPop on woot a few months ago. The product has never performed. I can’t text the service errors with “This feature not supported”. Phone calls are such low quality I would only use it for very short conversations. I can’t install any of the apps I bought from Amazon, only Google app store apps will install. When I contacted tech support I was sent instructions that are way beyond my abilities. I am looking for an affordable mobile solution so $20 a month would be fine it it worked and this does not work.

I bought these in the past (these in particular, the Galaxy SIII), so I’m going to lay out some of my experiences with both the phones and FreedomPop’s services.

As a note, I’m not a heavy phone user in any way. The basic plan of minutes, texts, and data is pretty much all I need, and I was careful during setup/activation to decline the offers for additional features and trials. Because I use a cell phone so little, this plan is a good fit for me so that I’m not paying $100/month for something that just sits there.

Anyway, some points:

The phone:
My wife, myself, and my in-laws have this model, refurbished by Freedompop. The phones were in decent shape, but the batteries don’t seem to hold a charge for more than about 2 days. Not sure if that’s typical or not, but I have the option of replacing on this model if I wanted so it’s not a big problem. The included chargers are not that great, and on my wife’s phone the battery was so stone dead that the included charger would not even get the phone going (I had to use a different, higher amperage USB charger). The phones appear to run a custom ROM by Freedompop and all communications are done through the messaging app which has some quirks. The volume controls do not work quite as expected, since incoming calls are not really “calls” but notifications from the app. System alerts for things such as inclement weather will not use the Freedompop messaging app but instead try to use the Messenger built into the phone, requiring the default to be changed in order to clear the alert. I’ve not tried it personally, but I’ve heard that this model from Freedompop has some incompatibilities with Bluetooth devices that can be fixed by rooting the phone and putting a different OS on it. The Messaging and phone apps work well enough most of the time, and they do receive updates, but sometimes its necessary to reboot the phone if things are acting properly.

The service:
While it works, the reception and call quality are not always the best, but I knew that going in. If you are on wifi, the phone will use that for calling/messaging, which greatly helps. A family member upgraded to the premium voice plan and says it made a good bit of difference. You are limited by Sprint’s coverage, so if you’re used to AT&T or Verizon you might be a bit underwhelmed.

My biggest complaint is the voicemail - while there is an option to purchase it for a small monthly fee, I opted not to do so. When I first got the phone this was fine - callers for whom I did not answer would just get a message that I was not available and then the line would disconnect. Freedompop changed this, and so now callers can leave a message that I can’t retrieve. Let me reiterate that: When I don’t answer, the caller can leave a voicemail that they expect I will get. I get a message in the Messeging app that a voicemail was left, and that if I activate the voicemail service I can retrieve it. I could easily pay the monthly fee and have voicemail service, but I didn’t want to and the principle of this is what really bothers me.

So, in summary, the phones and service work, but you do get what you pay for (which could be just the cost of the phone). Overall I’ve been content with the performance of it, but I’m not a heavy phone user. The new voicemail policy really irritates me, but since most people will probably opt to get voicemail anyway it might not be a big concern.

So, I bought a Freedompop Samsung Victory just under a year ago. It had some hardware issues which took a good while to fix with freedompop (had to get it replaced) but now we are at a pretty good place. The phone is for my son in middle school so it’s mostly just for emergency calls and some texting so it works fine for that.

My question is this, does the galaxy S3 from freedompop take a long time to boot up? For my son’s samsung victory it takes a couple minutes each time to boot up as it loads the freedompop system and for some reason it system updates all the apps everytime he turns on the phone (like it’s doing a system update every time you turn it on). I’m thinking of getting him the S3 now instead if that will be faster and better from a phone experience. I’ve had the verizon s3 in the past so I’m familiar with the phone, but just not sure if the freedompop version would have the same boot up delays that the samsung victory has.

You have to install the Amazon app store app in order to install amazon apps. To do this, you have to enable installation of apps from unknown sources, which is in the phone’s security settings. Did you take those steps and were still unable to install? I did not experience this issue on my note 2 from FP.

For an extra $20 it seems like the LG G2 is such a better phone than the S3. Also, I don’t understand why people ever power down their phones, they are designed to be always on, only an occasional reboot is really necessary. The power up on the G2 should be better as it is a faster phone overall.

Yep, I agree it is not a big concern because it is a good reason to not use their service as it seems to me that everything they do is in that fashion to hinder any real form of use for a “free” service that they advertise. They are very much a study in how to (since they don’t charge you for the basic service) legally sell you service you did not intend to purchase. What a great example for marketing students to do a paper on. I have a Freedompop account with one of their S3’s which I bought from WooT! for which I waited months (with much distress) before they made delivery. Just to rub in some salt, I even got an apology from woot with a $10 credit to a future purchase (which expired if I remember correctly in 30 days) :o( Still not happy about it and I haven’t ordered anything from them since. Judging by the amount of comments on this thread, Freedom pop has lost a lot of Woot! regulars to have any kind of faith in their products. There were many pages of interested folks in this “legal” bait and switch situation, which has dwindled down to just the unsuspecting and curious such as me. I thought I could use it as an emergency phone to keep in the car permanently, but much to my chagrin that when you don’t use it for a while Freedom pop suspends your account and you cannot use it to make calls. How nice. You have to contact their customer “service?” before they open it back up. So if intending to use it for that purpose, don’t bother. There are much better services out there for that purpose. I guess the only saving grace is, since they salvage old Sprint phones, that you can, with a little trouble, shift the phone over to a different service provider that can provide a decent reliable service. I was sold after reading an old article from the Wall Street Journal, and being an adventurous experimental purchaser of interesting services and products, I dove in. They are not ready for prime time, both service wise and software wise on the dependable hardware they buy from someone else. However they are good to find out what the expression “live and learn” really means.

I have a freedompop account. And while I can relate from personal experience how horrible their support is, I still like and enjoy the service.

I have 5 devices (3 phones + 2 hotspots).

1 Iphone 4s (for my son – totally free). He rarely uses the phone for calls but the data (~900MB per month with their “friends” plan), he skypes and texts just fine. Plus he’s got email

1 cheapy android phone (daughter uses for texting friends) Again, totally free. Again ~900 MB/mo data

1 SIII (byop device). I opted for premium plus (~$6/mo). When data is poor, my outgoing calls are routed through sprint’s voice service rather than VOIP. And I can use the phone as a hotspot. And I get roll over data. Don’t really care about the voice mail add on as I use google voice. This is not my primary phone but I use it as a spare and have written a few apps for android specifically which take advantage of the camera/barcode API. Something I can’t do with my iphone.

The hotspots are with my nephew and wife. They work and are decent.

Don’t expect decent service while moving in a car. Don’t expect ANY service while away from cities. That said, I was surprised that while ATT and T-Mobile had no/very poor service in Big Bear, my FP phone was fantastic – trust me in that this is the exception and not the rule.

I have Freedom Pop with the Galaxy 3 - 6 months and no bills - excellent deal

After looking at some of the other comments, I thought I could clarify some things.

I have the Galaxy SIII - six months so far, and no bills. This is an excellent deal.

I bought the phone through FreedomPop, and their price is $179. You save $100 buying it through Woot! The phone is excellent (I love my Galaxy).

The basic plan is all I need - I don’t use a mobile phone much, so why pay for time I don’t use?? Some extras do cost something, though.

For (I think it is) $4 - $5 you can get voice mail; for $2 - $3 you can get some extras like roll-over of unused data balance and call forwarding.

The data roll-over might be nice, but I have yet to use the basic 500 MB monthly allotment.

If you don’t need a mobile phone all that much, this is a great way to save lots of money. If you’re in areas with lots of Wi-Fi available, you also save lots of money.