FreedomPop asks just $50 for a year’s worth of mobile service. Really

FreedomPop’s CEO Stephen Stokols
Instead of paying $50 or more each month for your mobile service, how does paying $50 per year sound? That’s how much FreedomPop is charging for its brand-new annual service plan in the U.S., potentially saving you hundreds of dollars over a yearly, monthly-paid plan. We know what you’re thinking. For such a low cost — it works out to about $4 each month — there surely can’t be any data, calls, or messages included, right? Wrong.

The FreedomPop $50 plan includes 1,000 minutes, 1,000 SMS, and 1GB of 4G LTE data provided by AT&T or Sprint. Hardcore mobile users will blow through the 1GB data cap quickly, but a third of smartphone owners in the U.S. don’t come close to using that much data according to FreedomPop, and are therefore overpaying with traditional service agreements.

It’s very difficult to argue against a year’s worth of smartphone use for less than the price of a single month’s use on many other networks. However, if you don’t have a smartphone, or need a new one, you’ll likely be concerned about the firm’s price for a new one. Wrong again, because FreedomPop sells two smartphones with a year’s worth of service included. The LG Tribute is just $80, and the Samsung Galaxy S5 is $150. Those prices are all-in, meaning you pay once for the phone and a year of service. That’s it. Our recommendation? Spend the extra for the Galaxy S5.

Digital Trends asked FreedomPop how it was able to offer such a deal. To put your mind at rest, there’s no restriction on data speed, and the annual service will perform in the same way as any other plan. FreedomPop says an annual plan, “eliminates credit risk,” and that it’s counting on you spending out on additional services with the network to break the zero profits it takes from the annual plan. These extras include a second number, international calling, or a virtual private network (VPN) service. Also, if you go over the allotted minutes and data, expect further charges to apply, just like with any other mobile plan.

If you know 1GB of data won’t be enough, FreedomPop has two other new, reasonably priced options, which it calls semi-annual plans. The first gives 5GB of data with unlimited calls and texts for $114 per year, or $19 per month, while the second is $78 per year or $13 per month for 2GB of data and unlimited calls and texts.

FreedomPop has a history of good value plans and services, including a no-cost Wi-Fi calling phone and a SIM card where all WhatsApp data is free. Visit FreedomPop’s website to sign up for the new annual plan.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Computing

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.
Mobile

Following AT&T, Sprint confirms it will carry Samsung’s 5G smartphone in 2019

It's been a long time coming but 5G smartphones are arriving sooner than you may think. One day after Samsung announced it will be launching a 5G smartphone on Verizon's network early next year, AT&T and Sprint reveal they will also do so.
Mobile

Google to end support for Android devices running Ice Cream Sandwich

Anyone with an old phone that is still running Android 4.0 may want to look into upgrading their phone, as Google has announced that it will be ending support for this older version of Android.
Mobile

Amazon knocks $30 off its Paperwhite ebook reader in limited-time deal

Amazon is running a couple of limited-time deals for its Paperwhite ebook reader. One offers a $30 discount, while the other throws in a pair of headphones and a free, extended Audible trial.
Mobile

New Galaxy S10 leaks showcase display sizes, confirm headphone jack return

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.
Product Review

The iPad Pro is the best tablet ever. But don't sell your laptop just yet

Apple has unveiled a big redesign for the iPad Pro, slimming down the bezels, adding Face ID, and the ability to attach and charge the Apple Pencil. All of this comes at a high cost however, as the iPad Pro starts at $799.
Mobile

Android 9.0 updates to stretch into 2019 -- will your phone get a slice of Pie?

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.
Mobile

LG G7 owners experiencing dreaded bootloop will have to wait a few days for fix

If you’ve picked up LG’s flagship and it’s not behaving itself, then you might find a solution here. We’ve rounded up the most common LG G7 ThinQ problems and tracked down workarounds and possible fixes.
Mobile

A render video gives us a 360-degree look at the midrange Pixels

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 Lite XL.
Mobile

Honor to out-megapixel the competition with 48MP camera on upcoming View 20

After its phenomenal success with the View 10 in 2018, it looks like Honor is getting ready up the ante with its forthcoming Honor View 20. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Mobile

Xiaomi is preparing to set records with 48-megapixel phone camera

Bigger doesn't always mean better, but it certainly makes headlines. Chinese mobile giant Xiaomi is set to release a phone camera with a staggeringly large 48 megapixels on a single sensor.
Apple

Patent highlights Apple's sky-high ambitions for AirPower wireless charger

At its September event last year, Apple unveiled the AirPower -- its new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yet been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.
Deals

Check out the best Green Monday deals for those last-minute gifts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but that doesn't mean you've missed your chance of finding a great deal. We're talking about Green Monday, of course, and it falls on December 10.