FreedomPop, a low cost MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) announced that it will begin selling its own brand of cheap smartphone and tablet devices. The company has been known for offering various types of mobile phone and Internet plans through its unique freemium model and now appears to be lowering costs even further with its own generic communication devices.
While FreedomPop has a number of different popular brands of phones already available such as several refurbished Samsung and HTC phones, the two new devices will be branded with the FreedomPop logo and were contracted to build with a sub $100 retail price in mind.
The Liberty & Frenzy Phablets
The first device being offered will be called the Liberty “phablet.” The Liberty, as you might have guessed is a tablet device which will run on the Android operating system. It will have a 7 inch screen and come in two different versions. One version will be a Wifi only device that will cost $89.
The other version tablet with the same specifications, will be called “Frenzy” and will work on both LTE cell phone networks as well as have WiFi capability. The Frenzy is due to be released within the next month at a cost of only $99.
To be honest, I don’t see why they offer a WiFi only version at all considering it is only $10 more for the LTE enabled version. It’s not like there is substantial savings for such a big trade-off of accessing the LTE network. In addition, since FreedomPop is a mobile wireless provider it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for them to offer a device that wouldn’t work with their free phone plans. Regardless, less than $100 is pretty affordable for a tablet device and rivals that of a Kindle Fire or Google Nexus.
In addition to the two tablet devices, FreedomPop will also be releasing its own branded Android LTE smartphone sometime before the holiday season. This new low cost phone would come in at a cost of $89 which rivals that of other low end smartphones such as the Motorola Moto E for instance, which is around the $100 price point.
It is still unclear at this moment on what exactly the detailed technical specifications of these new devices will be and if they’ll be any good at all. However, it is clear that FreedomPop is certainly sticking to chasing the very very low end of the mobile provider market which now includes even cheaper mobile devices.
While I have not covered FreedomPop before on the blog, I will quickly note that this mobile service provider actually has FREE mobile phone plans, although there are limits. Basically, their plan includes 200 free talk minutes per month, 500 free text messages per month, and up to 500MB of free data per month.
You might be wondering what the catch is, and from what I’ve heard, is that while they do offer a freemium model, the charges can be significant if you go over your allotted allowance for the month. Perhaps a more thorough investigation and review of the FreedomPop phone plans are in order.
If anyone has any insights, currently use, or have used the FreedomPop service please let us know what your experience has been like in the comments below.