FreedomPop Cell Phone Plans Review
If you’ve always dreamed of saying goodbye to your cell phone bill, then FreedomPop might just make that dream come true. Like its name suggests, FreedomPop offers plans that (depending on your type of phone) are literally free. As in no money. We know, we couldn’t believe it either.
But don’t get too excited yet. FreedomPop’s prices might be impressive, but its data limits are pretty low and it doesn’t offer an unlimited data plan.
|200 MB*||Free||View Plan|
|500 MB**||Free||View Plan|
|2 GB||$9.99/mo.||View Plan|
|5 GB||$14.99/mo.||View Plan|
|10 GB||$19.99/mo.||View Plan|
*For GSM phones only.
**For CDMA phones only.
How FreedomPop works
If you’re like us, you have one main question about FreedomPop: how the heck does it offer any plans for free?
The answer is VoIP. Any calls you make or texts you send on a FreedomPop phone use a technology called “Voice over Internet Protocol,” or VoIP. It’s the same thing Skype uses when you use it to call your great aunt in Colombia. It basically means the call (or text) uses a data signal instead of a traditional cell signal.
VoIP is also really cheap (much cheaper than traditional service) and it doesn’t use much data. Hence we have FreedomPop and its free plans.
In that case, you’ll have to rely on Wi-Fi to make clear calls, or subscribe to FreedomPop’s Premium Voice Service for $3.99 per month. The Premium Voice Service lets you make traditional cellular calls when your VoIP signal is weak.
FreedomPop prepaid plans and pricing
FreedomPop has unbeatable pricing, but its plans work best for customers who don’t need a lot of data
If you’re always on Wi-Fi and hardly ever use data in the wild, then good news! FreedomPop might just let you ditch your phone bill completely.
FreedomPop lets you do everything on Wi-Fi, including make calls. And if you already use a non-SMS texting app like iMessage or WhatsApp, then you won’t even need to worry about texting limits on the free plans.
|Data limit||Call limit||Text limit||Learn More|
|200 MB*||200 mins.||500 texts||View Plan|
|500 MB**||200 mins.||500 texts||View Plan|
*For GSM phones only.
**For CDMA phones only.
That said, FreedomPop’s free plans are not going to cut it for the streamers, gamers, or even casual Instagram scrollers of the world. 200 MB will buy you only five minutes of HD video streaming before your speeds will dip to ludicrously low levels and stop your YouTube binge in its tracks.
FreedomPop’s paid data plans give you way more leeway. You can get up to 10 GB-per-month at a super low price. That’s still not enough to stream 1080p video all day, but if you use Wi-Fi most of the time then 10 GB should be more than enough.
|Plan length||2 GB plan||5 GB plan||10 GB plan|
|12 months prepaid||$9.99/mo||$14.99/mo.||$19.99/mo.|
|6 months prepaid||$11.99/mo.||$17.99/mo.||$22.99/mo.|
|3 months prepaid||$13.99/mo.||$18.99/mo.||$24.99/mo.|
|1 month prepaid||$24.99/mo.||$34.99/mo.||$59.99/mo.|
|View Plan||View Plan||View Plan|
Note that you get the best value from FreedomPop if you agree to 12 months prepaid. If you really want a month-to-month plan you can stop at any time, then FreedomPop’s prices don’t look quite so good anymore—and in that case, we’d recommend going with a different prepaid plan.
What happens if you go over your data limit?
If you go over your data limit with FreedomPop, it will automatically charge you $15 to “top up” your data. That fifteen bucks is credited to your account, and the more data you use, the more FreedomPop will deduct.
If you sign up for a free FreedomPop plan and want to keep it truly free, then you really have to watch that low data limit. Otherwise your free plan just became a $15 plan.
You can also turn off Automatic Top-Ups, in which case your data will be cut off completely when you reach your limit.
FreedomPop cell phones and devices
FreedomPop specializes in refurbished devices. You won’t find the latest smartphone models here
Most prepaid providers don’t have all the latest smartphones, and FreedomPop is no exception. Plus, FreedomPop carries only used devices, so it’s safe to say the latest iPhone will never make the lineup.
|Make||Models available||Learn more|
|iPhone||iPhone 7/7 Plus | iPhone 6s/6s Plus | iPhone 6 | iPhone SE||View prices|
|Samsung||Galaxy S7/S7 Edge | Galaxy S6/S6 Edge/S6 Edge Plus | Galaxy S5 | Galaxy Note 5||View prices|
|LG||LG G3||View prices|
|HTC||HTC 10 | One A9 | One M9 | One M8||View prices|
|Kyocera||Kyocera Torque ST||View prices|
*Not a complete list
Keep in mind, because all of FreedomPop’s phones are used or refurbished, getting a phone there is like looking for clothes at a thrift shop: The selection is going to change a lot and there’s no guarantee you’ll find the phone you want.
On the bright side, you’ll spend way less money on a FreedomPop phone than you would on a fancy new model.
How good is FreedomPop’s performance?
FreedomPop uses a combination of Sprint and AT&T’s networks
FreedomPop uses either Sprint’s network or AT&T’s network depending on whether your phone uses a CDMA connection or a GSM connection.
If you don’t know what that means, don’t worry. FreedomPop can figure out what type of phone you have during the sign-up process. And if you’re buying a new one, FreedomPop lists each phone’s connection type on the listing. All you really need to know is which type connects you to which network.
- CDMA phones = Sprint network
- GSM phones = AT&T network
Keep in mind
AT&T has better coverage than Sprint, so if you want to make sure you’re hooked up to AT&T’s network, then choose a GSM phone. If you’d rather have Sprint, or you don’t have a preference, then a CDMA phone will work as well.
Customers report mixed experiences with FreedomPop’s service. It just depends on if there’s good coverage where you live. If you want to see what coverage looks like in your area, you can use FreedomPop’s estimate tool.
FreedomPop customer service
FreedomPop does not get stellar customer service grades
No wireless company comes out squeaky-clean on the customer service front. Even so, FreedomPop has some consistent customer complaints about lack of transparency and surprise charges.
For instance, many customers have reported the free plan charged them for the $15 Automatic Top-Up even before they’d reached the data limit on the free plan. You can turn off Automatic Top-Ups, but most customers won’t know to do that.
We’d like to see FreedomPop improve its transparency, make its website easier to use, and give full plan details up front before you (metaphorically) buy into the service.
Recap—is FreedomPop good?
FreedomPop is definitely unique. It really does offer a free plan, and it has really cheap plan options for customers who want more data and unlimited texts and calls.
That said, its service can be unpredictable, and you definitely won’t find the latest phone models. But if you’re just looking for a cheap wireless service and an inexpensive used phone, then FreedomPop might work well for you.
- Plans: FreedomPop offers two super low data plans for free. Its other plans range from 2 GB to 10 GB per month. There’s no unlimited data plan, so if you tend to use a lot of data, it’s not for you.
- Performance: FreedomPop uses Sprint’s and AT&T’s networks, depending on what kind of phone you have (CDMA or GSM). We’d recommend going with a GSM phone if you have a choice, since AT&T has better coverage than Sprint.
- Customer service: FreedomPop has a fair share of positive reviews, but there are also plenty of customers who complain about hidden charges and a lack of transparency.
- Overall: FreedomPop is a unique pick if you want super cheap wireless service. Just make sure your real-life usage will work with FreedomPop’s plans first.