Yes, you heard it right. You can get a free smartphone online using a few tried and tested techniques. Just when you thought you’re stuck with an old, rusty keyboard –type phone, you can upgrade to a smartphone without paying for anything. All you need is to stay smart and follow these techniques. Why are these phones offered for free? There are many reasons why but most of the time, these phones are not new models anymore.
These phones are hardly noticed when sold near a flagship phone or a modern phone model. But when offered as a promo, these sell like hotcakes! Another reason why these smartphones are offered for free is that these are mostly part of a cell phone plan that pays for the phone itself. You might think that you are getting a done deal but actually you are paying for your free phone over the course of your plan!
Table of Contents
How to get a free smartphone online
But why do people still take advantage of these free plans? With the economy nowadays, it is very unlikely that anyone can afford a stylish, new phone in cash. These free phone plans are very enticing plus has all the things you basically need: a free phone, free minutes, free texts and free data. Depending on the plan you chose, you can have everything free and pay for your phone, in just a few years or as long as you can.
A lot of people also take advantage of free phone plans, like government-backed free cell phone programs, because they really can’t afford to pay for a new phone with all the works on a monthly basis. Government-backed programs offer free phones under special providers from each state. You must qualify for this program though, if you wish to get a free phone and free cellular and data service. So without further ado, here are ways how to get a free smartphone online.
Finding free phones or $0 phones on contract online
Wherever you are located, in the US or abroad, you will have mobile cellular data carriers offering all sorts of promos. These companies have their own online official website which can help you find the ideal promo that suits your needs. And usually, a few of these promos lean towards getting a free phone for a contract.
Just use Google to search for such promos in your country. Type free phones and add your city and country or state and press enter. Google will give you a search list of the most popular mobile providers as well as their counterpart free mobile phone offer.
Yes, these smartphones are free BUT you must sign up for a contract before you get your unit. Seems fair when you think of it, but take a look at the pros and cons:
Pros and Cons
You can choose from the smartphone models that the mobile company has. Usually there are many phone models available but most of these are old models, hardly updated models that are worth checking out!
You can choose a corresponding talk and text plan for your free phone. Choose the plan that will really work for you like free call minutes if you make calls very often. Choose a plan with a bit of data if you usually use the web to check out mail or stay ahead with social media. However, take a look at the fine print. How much are you really paying for these services really? Are these worth paying for per month? Or is the price of the phone model you decided to take when you sum it up?
You can select from a number of add-ons courtesy of your mobile service provider. This may seem very generous of your provider but in the end, you might still be paying for it when you sum up your monthly dues. For instance, do you really need that free Spotify access? Are you really using more cloud space? Never take any additional perks before understanding the value of these free items.
You will be locked for 24 months (minimum) for your plan. This means you are tied with company for 2 years and your plan won’t be protected from any changes. You can only make changes when the lock –in period expires.
How to avail of free phones via local mobile cell service providers
If you are convinced that this is the free smartphone deal you need and you won’t mind paying for inflated rates per month, then all you need to do is to visit the website of your local provider. Click the subscribe or buy button and pay for any upfront fees. This might be a free phone service or an almost-free service but either way, you can apply online and get your phone unit with all the works ASAP.
But before anything else, you will be asked to sign a virtual contract online. Read this completely and ask questions if necessary; address your questions to a representative. If you are satisfied with the contract, pay for the plan or service. Usually you will get a payment confirmation sent to your email when you pay online for any upfront fee. You will be notified where to get your free phone.
$0 for phones for lease, $0 for down for phones in an installment plan
Two totally new ways to get a new smartphone is by getting an installment plan and through leasing. Check out providers in your area or country by going online and searching for free phones for lease plus your city and state or free phones via installment plus your city and state. You will surely get a few results offering such free cell phone promos.
Installment plans will give you $0 upfront fees if you have a stellar credit history. You can immediately take your new smartphone home after signing up to an installment plan which divide the actual retail price of your device to the number of months that you prefer to pay. Some carriers provide this good deal interest-free which means you can enjoy a new smartphone without actually paying for it in cash.
Basically, leasing a phone is paying nothing, or close to nothing. You will only be paying for the plan that you chose. However, this phone is not entirely yours. You need to hand it back once the lease period ends. You will have a chance to own this phone if you arrange for an upgrade of your plan.
Pros and Cons
You get a chance to choose from a variety of phones. Installment plans will let you get a chance to own the latest phone models as well as not too flashy phones from the lot. Visit the website of the carrier company and select the phone that suits your tastes. Signups for installment plans are usually done online as well.
You may not be able to lease the latest phone models. Usually, low end phones and older phone models are available for lease. Simply visit the local company that offers phone leases and sign up. Just like installment phones, signups are done online. You will be able to get your free phone from a local office.
You get plans that are tailored fit for your lifestyle. You will be able to choose from a variety of plans for calls, texts and even for data. But unlike a regular free phone plan, your bill will mostly include only due payments for your plan and another section of the bill shows payment for the device.
The buy one, get one offer
This is a free smartphone program that is rarely offered by most carriers. To find mobile phone companies that offer this service, Google buy one, take one smartphone plus your city and state. You will get results as to companies or providers that offer this amazing deal in your locale.
What happens with this buy one, get one free offer is that you will be asked to choose a smartphone from their list of phones. Whatever model you picked, you will be eligible to get a second one free. This is definitely something amazing to take advantage of but at the end, you might be paying too much for the additional phone service.
There are also rules to follow to able to qualify for this free phone program. The most common one is you must add a new line to your account. You will be forced to do this just to be able to get the new phone. Mostly you will be paying extra per month for a new plan and also for line access fee for the new line in your account.
Pros and Cons
You will be able to choose the smartphone that meets your needs and your lifestyle. But you cannot choose the model of the second phone.
You will be able to take home two phones. Share your phone with family or friends. This is definitely a wonderful thing especially if a family member needs a new smartphone as well. But usually this will cost you more and so the free phone won’t really feel like a free smartphone after all.
The free phone is indeed free but once you review your bill and check the taxes, surcharges and other hidden fees, it would feel that you are also paying for this phone on a monthly basis!
Take note of these hidden fees that usually come with any “free phone” offer
Free phones are free phones but carriers have a way of “hiding” a few fees that, when added, could basically pay off the value of the free phone. Usually, subscribers are asked to pay for a sales tax at purchase as well as an “activation” fee when activating a new device. These fees could range around $30 to $50 per device! Expect upgrade fees too which could be any kind of software upgrade or accessories upgrade made on the phone. Again, this could range from $30 to $50 per smartphone or device.
Another popular fee for returning your device within the initial exchange period is the “restocking fee.” This is usually a fee that is asked just to put your unused smartphone back on the shelf. This fee could range from $30 to $50 per device as well.
The free government cell phone program
This is a completely free cell phone program backed by the government under the program you can get free government Smartphones. However, this program is not for everyone. It is only for subscribers that are covered by the Lifeline Assistance program.
This free cell phone or smartphone program was established to help people who are not able to purchase a smartphone or a cell phone, let alone pay for cellular service fees monthly. Smartphones and cell phones that are covered by this program may not be that updated but at least are free depending on where you are located. You may also get up to unlimited calls, unlimited texts and unlimited data, again depending on where you are located.
All states in the United States participate in this program and because there are a variety of carriers from each state, you must check the coverage of the Lifeline Assistance program from where you live. You can search for the coverage of the program in your city or state online through the Lifeline Assistance official website.
Usually to qualify, applicants must have a total household income at or below 100 to 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. If you qualify, you can apply for this program and get your free phone and corresponding minutes from any participating Lifeline Assistance carriers in your area.
Pros and Cons
You get to choose phones that are included in the program. Take note that not all these phones are few, some are refurbished phones. Some states are luckier than others like California where subscribers can get free smartphones instead of a basic phone unit.
You get a plan that will give you some or all minutes, texts and data for free. Again, most states only get 250 minutes each month and unlimited texts plus 500MB data each month. Call minutes and remaining texts and data are not added to the succeeding months. You can get a phone for free but there are upfront fees, mostly minimal fees however. You can also subscribe to a bring your own phone program if you are not satisfied with the phone model offered in your area.
In case your free phone is lost or stolen, you can have it replaced the first time this happens. However, your new free stolen phone will be replaced with a refurbished phone. Any remaining minutes that are still in the lost phone will not be added to the refurbished replacement phone. You must exert all efforts to find your lost new free phone to avoid just getting a replacement refurbished phone model.
How to avail of a free government smartphone
Before anything else, you must qualify for this program. If you qualify, you must be in states that are provided with smartphones for free and not just basic phones. An example of a state that provides free smartphones is California.
Submit your application to a Lifeline Assistance site or office near you; complete the requirements and choose the phone, as well as the plan that you prefer. After paying for any upfront fee, you are all set. You will either be notified by mail or by phone call that your free smartphone is ready for pick up.
Free mobile plans
Aside from free smartphones and mobile phones online from carriers and from government – backed programs, you may also take advantage of other free items online like free mobile plans. These free plans are only for eligible consumers and have a set number of text messages, call minutes and data each month, all for free.
But just like almost-free phone programs you must expect a few flaws. One, these companies don’t expect customers to simply get the plan and walk out the door. Mostly, you will be required to bring an eligible phone just to take the free service. Once you have the phone, you will be paying for an activation fee, a one-time access fee and so on. This is why, never take any free plan without understanding the risks involved. Not everything is free and not everyone is as generous as they may seem!
Just a few examples of the most interesting free mobile service that you will find are the following:
TexNow from Sprint and T-Mobile
This is a plan that offers free cell phone plans with a basic plan that includes unlimited talk and texts in the US and Canada. You get unlimited Wi-Fi data with this plan however you need to watch a few ads to get the service for free.
FreedomPop “freemium” service
This is a contract-free plan with 200 free minutes, 500 free texts and 500MB data each month. You get free worldwide texting and 100 free minutes of international calls but you must purchase a phone from FreedomPop to get this free service plan.