People who use one of the big four carriers typically look for great deals when selecting their phone and family plan, but if you are more focused on saving on monthly bills than owning the latest iPhone then TextNow might be an option worth exploring.
With this service, any Wi-Fi-enabled device can become a phone and you can purchase or earn call credits to make calls and send texts.
Free calls and texting
TextNow is a cell phone service offering free calls and texts, plus add-on features like unlimited photo and video text history. With its impressive 4.4 star rating on Google Play store and availability for both Android and iOS devices, TextNow’s app boasts no data plan or contract requirement and works across any Android or iOS device imaginable. International calling services at competitive rates can also be made use of via TextNow; its only downside may be limited coverage in foreign locations – something some may find acceptable however.
Since 2009, they’ve expanded from their original vision of providing VoIP app functionality that enabled you to choose and call any U.S. phone number through your computer into a true mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), piggybacking on Sprint and T-Mobile networks for coverage cellular coverage if desired. Their free service offers unlimited talk and text over Wi-Fi while an additional SIM card for use without Wi-Fi coverage may cost $0.99; additionally you may pay an additional monthly subscription fee to avoid ads and enhance voicemail transcription services.
Although T-Mobile has made substantial strides since our last review, some key features remain missing from its plans. While its plans are competitively priced, they don’t include high-speed data or any bells and whistles; plus the company has struggled with call quality and dropped calls, which poses serious concerns for anyone using a cell provider for everyday communication needs.
TextNow not only offers competitively priced phone plans, but they also offer an assortment of devices for purchase on their website ranging from the budget ($9.99 Alcatel Dawn) to expensive (429 32GB iPhone 7). Furthermore, customers can bring their own device as TextNow provides an IMEI compatibility checker so they can see if their own is compatible with TextNow’s services.
While they don’t provide the latest phones, Straight Talk Mobile can still provide an effective option for those on tight budgets who wish to reduce their cell phone bill. Furthermore, their service works well as an alternative to other MVNOs with higher data plan prices; however they should be considered when seeking faster data speed or international usage of your device.
Free incoming calls
TextNow may offer an economical alternative to traditional cellular phone plans, with free calls, texts, and an intuitive user interface all accessible from a mobile app. Ad-supported service also features an app-based dashboard to give an overview of account activity – particularly useful if multiple phones are in use at once.
Sprint Mobile Virtual Network Operator, commonly referred to as an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator), utilizes Sprint’s network as its backbone in providing its services. Although this may reduce coverage slightly, this approach offers cost-effective alternative for major carriers like Verizon. Plus, their Bring Your Own Device program lets users use any compatible smartphone or tablet with its service.
When using the service, your incoming phone calls are routed over Wi-Fi whenever possible; otherwise they will use Sprint’s network instead. However, using Sprint may result in poor call quality – according to PC Magazine reviewer who noted frequent drops and muffled audio transmission.
Even with these issues, user ratings for the app remain positive: its Google Play Store version boasts over 1.4 million votes and has earned an average rating of 4.4 stars while iOS’ version boasts 478,000 reviews and also maintains this same 4 star average.
TextNow is an ideal option for people who primarily rely on Wi-Fi connectivity but require less cellular data, including children supervised at all times. Parents also find TextNow helpful in keeping an eye on their children’s communications.
Though the app is free, some users find its advertisements intrusive and have even reported instances where ads were inserted during conversations that made it difficult to read. To make things less intrusive and save money on data usage costs, upgrading to premium version would remove these advertisements or consider services like Ting or US Mobile that offer separate plans for talk, text and data – or consider Ting/US Mobile’s separate talk/text/data plans as alternatives.
Free outgoing calls
Textnow Review offers many features designed to keep people connected, including unlimited voice calls, free texts and call forwarding. Plus it comes equipped with helpful features like emojis and stickers; available both for Android and iOS devices via any browser or app access point – though keep in mind it requires internet connectivity in order to use.
TextNow goes beyond traditional calling and texting; its user interface is straightforward and intuitive, featuring floating chat feature for seeing incoming calls and texts on home screen; you can use it to share photos and videos with friends and family as well as create group chats for up to 30 people at the same time!
TextNow’s pricing plans cover most budgets, with its cheapest plan providing unlimited calls, texts and 1GB of data. If more data is necessary there are plans that offer 2GB or 4GB at slightly increased costs; furthermore the app enables users to earn credits toward their phone bill by watching ads or taking surveys.
One drawback of using this service, however, is that it requires a smartphone with an active cellular signal – otherwise you could encounter issues with voice quality and call drops due to weak or inconsistent signal strength. Furthermore, this service doesn’t support roaming so will need to be used solely within its country of residence.
If you are keen on giving TextNow a try, download its app from either Google Play or Apple App Store and run the compatibility checker to determine if your device supports its use. Otherwise, consider purchasing an Android or iOS device compatible with TextNow before installing it yourself.
TextNow is most famously associated with free calling and texting services, including unlimited Wi-Fi calls and texts; there is also an ad-supported plan available if you wish to expand to include cellular coverage – however the free plan doesn’t come equipped with either SIM cards or data plans so in order to make and receive calls via cell, as well as send/receive pictures/video, upgrades must be purchased to take full advantage of TextNow’s capabilities.
TextNow was established in 2009 as a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) company offering an app that allowed users to call or text using Wi-Fi network access at home. Later, TextNow expanded into offering full MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator), meaning it offers mobile phone service using an established national carrier network in order to save on operating costs by not having to build its own networks – thus passing savings along to customers.
Customers have given TextNow mobile service and its application high marks, earning it high average ratings on both Apple App Store and Google Play stores. Reviews often highlight its low pricing plans, unlimited calling and texting capability and user-friendly interface. While some customers have reported dropped calls as reported through TrustPilot (a data collection website), the company typically responds within 24 hours to any concerns.
TextNow not only offers free calling and texting services, but they also offer international calling at competitive rates, voicemail transcription, account sign-in from any computer, tablet use and even iPod use! For those concerned about privacy they can set a pin code to protect their number from public view.
TextNow stands out from other discount carriers by not offering phones on contract; rather, customers can bring in their own device or purchase new phones from them directly. They even provide financing options so you can pay off your phone over three, six, or 12 monthly installments if desired. Unfortunately they do not carry all the latest models such as Moto E4, but there are some affordable choices such as Moto X4.