Want to save money on you cell phone bill? Try Straight Talk – Review

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Last month I posted about a wonderful fundraising campaign by Straight Talk to raise money for Make-A-Wish foundation.  Since then I have had the opportunity to try out Straight Talk phones and service.

Straight Talk month to month cell phone plans are a simple alternative to the yearly contracts offered by most cell phone companies.  You simply choose the phone you want (you can keep your old number or receive a new number).  Then you choose the monthly plan you want.

There are just 3 monthly plans.  The “All You Need” plan is just $30 per month and includes 1,000 nationwide talk minutes, 1,000 texts, and 30 MB mobile access.  The next tier the “Unlimited 1 month” plan is $45 per month and includes unlimited nationwide minutes, unlimited texts, and unlimited data.  Straight Talk also offers and Unlimited International plan for just $60 per month!

You can save even more by buying several months at a time, or purchase the already inexpensive month to month plans.  With any of the plans you have the option to “auto-refill” with a credit card on account or to “refill on demand” with a service refill card from Walmart.

With Straight Talk you have a wide range of phones to choose from.  Like you phone to be cutting edge? Straight Talk has several of the latest Android phones from LG, Samsung, and Motorola.  Just need a basic phone?  Straight Talk even has a few free or very low cost reconditioned phones

I was asked to review Straight Talk’s LG Optimus Zip smart phone. This particular phone requires the $45 a month plan.

The LG Optimus Zip is an Android 2.3 phone with a 3.2″ touch screen.  It comes with a built-in 3 MP camera/video recorder. It is GPS enabled, and has 3G/Wi-Fi Connectivity.

Here are some of the phone’s other specs:

  • 4GB microSD™ Card (Included)
  • 800 MHz Processor
  • 7 Home Screens
  • MP3 Player (cable not included)
  • Proximity Sensor
  • Access to over 450,000 Apps on Google Play™
  • Gravity Sensor / Tilt & Shake
  • Hands-Free Speaker
  • Voice/Sound recorder
  • Vibration Alert
  • Hearing Aid Compatible (HAC) Rating: M4/T4
  • Battery talk time up to 5 hours
  • Standby time up to 7 days
  • Includes Battery, Charger, 4GB microSD™ Memory Card, Activation Card, Service Guide and User Manual

My current phone is an iPhone and it was very easy to switch over to the LG Optimus Zip.  In fact, I liked a lot of the apps from Google Play better! LOL I thought they were more user friendly.  I’m not a big fan of the slide out keyboard, but that is simply a personal preference.

It was much easier to access and compose emails and post and interact on facebook from the LG Optimus Zip than it is from my iPhone.  Ease of email and Facebook use is very important to me as a blogger because I access both constantly throughout the day.

The phone ran smoothly, I never had a problem with applications crashing, and the pages loaded quickly.  The battery area of the phone tended to get a little hot if I was on apps or the web for over 15 minutes or so.  The battery life of the phone was also somewhat shorter than I’m used to.  I believe the battery time is similar to other android phones, though.  The camera is fairly mediocre at just 3 MP.  If your phone is also your primary camera you’d probably want to look for a Smart Talk phone with a better camera.

I live in a “rural” area.  We are on the outskirts of town and cell phone coverage isn’t always the greatest. I tend to cut out a little when I’m at home talking on my phone.  With Smart Talk’s coverage I had fewer problems with cutting out.  I still didn’t have perfect reception, but it was better than I have on Sprint.

I have to say that it is pretty incredible to have this type of smartphone, with the coverage it comes with, and only pay $45 per month for service!

Update: One thing I didn’t cover in my original post is the option of buying a SIM card from Straight Talk.  Here is what one commenter had to say about that option:

“You can also KEEP YOUR CURRENT PHONE if GSM (uses SIM card) and just buy the SIM card from Straight Talk. You have to do this online (www.straighttalk.com/SIM). I have the SIM card in my iPhone with the unlimited $45.00 a month plan. Now I have unlimited texting, data and calls for only $45.00 a month and still have my great, great, great iPhone.”

To learn more about Smart Talk or to purchase a phone and service plan visit the Smart Talk website.

Keep up with Straight Talk on Facebook and twitter!

Disclosure: I was provided with the above-mentioned product, at no cost to myself, for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are honest and are entirely my own.


About Amy @ Oh So Savvy Mom

Amy is mom to three, wife to one, and a sister and aunt to many. Her family is a former military family now settled in Lehi, Utah. Oh So Savvy Mom began as a way for Amy to share parenting and product advice with others. Just as she has evolved, Oh So Savvy Mom has evolved into a resource for Healthy Living for Families, Food, Parenting, and Family Travel.


  1. Wow, you can save a ton and still have total connectivity with Straight Talk!
  2. Wow, great phone and you can save so much money!
  3. Wow. This sounds like a really great monthly price for a phone. It looks like it has all the specs I would need too! Thanks for the review!
  4. I had no idea you could get an unlimited plan like that for such a low cost! Wow!
  5. Wow! Really you're very intelligent and i want to follow your thoughts for save the money.
  6. I've been seeing signs for this everywhere and thought about it for my youngest daughter. I might just have to try it out. Kas
  7. Great info! Thanks for sharing!
  8. This is really helpful! I'll keep this in mind next time we are in the market for a new phone or plan.
  9. Donna George says
    Hmm I wonder who they are affiliated with (Sprint, Verizon, etc)? I have Virgin Mobile and have been thinking about getting a smart phone.
    • Your service is actually on a network based on your location. I know they use the Sprint and Verizon networks (I was on Verizon). When you search for phones on the site they ask for your home zip so they can determine which network you'll be on and which phones will be compatible with your network.
  10. You can also KEEP YOUR CURRENT PHONE if GSM (uses SIM card) and just buy the SIM card from Straight Talk. You have to do this online (www.straighttalk.com/SIM). I have the SIM card in my iPhone with the unlimited $45.00 a month plan. Now I have unlimited texting, data and calls for only $45.00 a month and still have my great, great, great iPhone.
    • Thanks so much for pointing this out! I read about it on the website, but didn't fully understand how it all worked so I didn't want to trip myself up trying to explain it in the review. :)
  11. Your not serious are you? This is the worst service on the planet and they need to be shut down.
  12. Auto refill? A joke somewhere along the line they forget about it and deactivate your phone with no warning. I am in an emergency situation with hurricane Sandy and after days of no service..they deactivated my service and many others I understand for no reason...I dont know what it is, problems in there operations systems...no one speaks or understands english very well...maybe that's the core of the problem I dont know...but I tell u from all my experienc e NO DO IT.
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