The debate has been ongoing at our house as to what age would be ‘appropriate’ for Princess Nagger to get a cell phone. Especially since she tends to be a social butterfly, so her texting and chatting might throw our budget into a major tizzy. Emphasis on the word ‘major’.
I have perused so many different cell phone providers and options until I’ve gone cross-eyed. So many ‘fine print’ deals that turn out to be not such a deal. Enter Scratch Wireless, a new wireless company that offers free text, data, and voice services when connected to WiFi. Texting is free – always.
Seriously – a cell service that’s quite literally completely free? Color me intrigued!
I’m here to tell you the answer to that question is yes – completely free. We’ve been using Scratch Wireless for a few weeks now, and Princess Nagger is completely enamored with her phone – I’m enamored with the whole free part.
She’s been using her phone exclusively on the WiFi – I’ve never gotten so many text messages in all my years of having a cell phone! She even called a few of her friends, and was amazed at the clarity of the phone conversations while connected to our WiFi.
Even when away from WiFi, Scratch Wireless still offers totally free texting, and they do have monthly (no contract) options so you can access calls or data for a monthly fee of $14.99 or pay-as-you-go access to calls or data for $1.99 per day using the Sprint Network.
With any non-contract or pay-as-you-go service, the issues I’ve run into in the past is the phone. Most services have – for lack of a better word, crap phones. No lie. But Scratch Wireless? Has this oh-so-cool Motorola Photon Q Android:
The Motorola Photon Q is amazing – and definitely not a cheap throw-away phone. It’s a well-designed smart phone that offers just as many features and options comparable to my favorite Android SmartPhone or even an iPhone.
This phone is impressive with its excellent touch screen, the awesome dual high-resolution camera, and fast networking capabilities. Not to mention easy access to the entire Google Play Store, which was very important to Princess Nagger. It even has a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard for easy texting – and the keys are back-lit during low lighting, making it so much easier to see and use!
The Motorola Photon Q comes set up and ready to go with the Scratch Wireless network, and since activation is super easy, it didn’t take long for Princess Nagger to download her favorite apps and games from the Google Play Store. She’s been carrying her phone with her all the time, so it’s proof positive she loves it. I have to keep reminding her to plug it in so she’ll always have a sufficient charge she uses it so much.
The provider the hubby and I have been using since arriving here in Washington leaves a lot to be desired – they not only require a minimum monthly fee if you want to use their crap SmartPhone, but they charge you 10-cents a minute off that monthly fee just to check your voicemail messages. Doing so quickly diminishes your available monthly balance, which then forces you to add money to your account to make sure you have enough ‘voice time’ to last the month. Not cool.
I really love that Scratch Wireless has the option of either using their phone via WiFi all the time (Hello? Free!), or you can either add a monthly ‘pass’ for $14.99, or opt for the $1.99 for a day that allows you to use the phone when there is no WiFi present. They don’t charge you a ‘per minute’ fee for every little thing. That’s a big win in my book.
Of course the all-free-all-the-time unlimited texting is absolutely a huge plus. Princess Nagger takes after me in being a non-phone person, and prefers to text – so utilizing her new phone for texting and playing her favorite games is most likely what she’ll be doing the most of.
I still like that she has options for voice, be it WiFi only or an added ‘pass’ – which won’t kill our budget (or my peace of mind).
I have been so impressed with both the phone and the service that Scratch Wireless provides, I’ve been talking to my hubby about us switching over to Scratch Wireless ourselves, since it would make more sense than what we’ve got now for how little we actually use them. Like he always likes to say, “It’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it”, so this make so much more sense than any other options we’ve looked into and/or utilized for ourselves.
There is no contract to get started with Scratch Wireless, but you do have to purchase the phone in order to use the service, which is par for the course with any pay-as-you-go service. The Motorola Photon Q is $269, which is a little pricey, but it seriously pays for itself compared to the hundreds of dollars we were spending when we had contract service just last year.
Besides, I spent about that much on a decent Android phone for my former pay-as-you-go service, and it’s definitely not as nice as the Motorola Photon Q. Not to mention I spent yet another $100 for the current no-contract phone I’m currently using that I’ve referred to as a crap phone – because it is. Both the phone and the service are crap. In this case, you get what you pay for.
Now I’m working on getting the hubby to agree that I need a new phone. Ahem. I think that Scratch Wireless is the perfect match for the needs of our family and our budget – and it answers that “Should I or Shouldn’t I” question of getting our Tween a cell phone. Really, it’s a no-brainer!
Do you have a contract phone or a no-contract phone? How do they compare?
Note: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Scratch Wireless. I received a product sample to facilitate my review. As usual, all opinions are my own and not influenced by outside sources. See my disclosure policy here.