Straight Talk ZTE Lever LTE Preview

Specs – Straight Talk ZTE Lever LTE

zte_lever
Dimensions Height 6.50″ x Width 3.27″ x Thickness .31″
Weight 5.99 Ounces
Form Factor Medium Candybar Touchscreen
Network & Technology CDMA LTE with WiFi/TBA
Calling Plan Straight Talk $45 Unlimited
Downloadable Apps Yes, all apps available through Google Play store. Comes with Youtube, Google Maps, GPS Navigation.
Processor TBA
SD Card/Internal Storage SD card not included/Capable of up to 32gb micro SD card
Android OS TBA
Digital Camera 8 mega pixels
Screen Size 6.0″ Diagonal
Battery Life 15 days stand by & up to 11 hrs talk
Button Types Capacitive touch buttons
USB microUSB v4.0
Audio Jack & Charging Standard 3.5mm iPod type / micro usb charge/data
Price TBA

About the ZTE Lever LTE

The ZTE Lever is a premium level device at a more entry level price. The lever will be available with the large 6″ screen size so this will be a great multi media device. Another impressive feature on this phone is the 8 mp resolution digital camera. Of course it will be LTE so it will provide fast data. I believe this phone will be a CDMA device as this new round of upcoming Straight Talk LTE phones will introduce the CDMA (Verizon) market to LTE devices. Previous LTE were all GSM (AT&T models).

The one thing that I like about ZTE devices is that basically you get a fairly high end phone for quite affordable prices. This model should be no different. Specs look great on this device particularly if you like the large screen form factor. This will be an interesting phone to review once the phone becomes available.

Straight Talk Alcatel Pop Nova LTE Preview

Specs – Straight Talk Alcatel Pop Nova LTE

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Dimensions Height 4.78″ x Width 2.54″ x Thickness .49″
Weight 4.9 Ounces
Form Factor Medium Candybar Touchscreen
Network & Technology CDMA LTE with WiFi/TBA
Calling Plan Straight Talk $45 Unlimited
Downloadable Apps Yes, all apps available through Google Play store. Comes with Youtube, Google Maps, GPS Navigation.
Processor TBA
SD Card/Internal Storage SD card not included/Capable of up to 32gb micro SD card
Android OS TBA
Digital Camera 5 mega pixels/1mp front facing camera/LED flash
Screen Size 4.0″ Diagonal
Battery Life 15 days stand by & up to 11 hrs talk
Button Types Capacitive touch buttons
USB microUSB v4.0
Audio Jack & Charging Standard 3.5mm iPod type / micro usb charge/data
Price TBA

About the Pop Nova LTE

The Pop Nova LTE is an interesting model in that it essentially the same as the Pop Star, and Pop Star 2. Just about all specs are identical to the Pop Star 2 including dimensions, weight, camera resolution and processor speeds. So other than a different name, there is really nothing new on this particular model. What this leads me to believe is that this will more than likely be a CDMA LTE model. This is a relative new thing for Straight Talk as I believe all previous LTE models were for GSM, basically AT&T. These new models will now be CDMA which will give you the ability to select the correct phone for your coverage.

Conclusion here is that this phone will likely be identical to the Pop Star 2 other than perhaps the coverage area being CDMA on the Pop Nova LTE. The price will more than likely be in the $150 range.

Straight Talk Alcatel Pop Star 2 LTE Preview

Specs – Straight Talk Alcatel Pop Star 2 LTE

pop_star_2
Dimensions Height 4.78″ x Width 2.54″ x Thickness .49″
Weight 4.76 Ounces
Form Factor Medium Candybar Touchscreen
Network & Technology GSM LTE with WiFi/TBA
Calling Plan Straight Talk $45 Unlimited
Downloadable Apps Yes, all apps available through Google Play store. Comes with Youtube, Google Maps, GPS Navigation.
Processor TBA
SD Card/Internal Storage SD card not included/Capable of up to 32gb micro SD card
Android OS TBA
Digital Camera 5 mega pixels/1mp front facing camera/LED flash
Screen Size 4.0″ Diagonal
Battery Life 15 days stand by & up to 11 hrs talk
Button Types Capacitive touch buttons
USB microUSB v4.0
Audio Jack & Charging Standard 3.5mm iPod type / micro usb charge/data
Price TBA

About the Pop Star 2 LTE

In this post, we preview another Straight Talk/Tracfone Alcatel sequel in the form of the Pop Star 2 LTE. The original Pop Star model came with the very popular 4″ screen size and was priced quite affordably for an LTE model. So despite slightly different buttons and a slight increase in size, I am having a hard time detecting significant upgrades over the orginal Pop Star as both phones are LTE models. About the only thing I can speculate on is that perhaps the 2 model is of the CDMA variety instead of the GSM.

One thing I can note is that the Pop Star 2 LTE will have a newer version of Android. Whether it be Android 5.0 or 4.4 is still a mystery.  The remaining specs such as camera resolution remain the same as the original model. It will be interesting to see the actual differences from the original up close.

Straight Talk Alcatel Pop Icon 2 LTE Preview

Specs – Tracfone Alcatel Pop Icon 2

pop_icon_2
Dimensions Height 5.55″ x Width 2.84″ x Thickness .38″
Weight 5.30 Ounces
Form Factor Large Candybar Touchscreen
Network & Technology CDMA LTE with WiFi/Activated with either Verizon or Sprint
Calling Plan Straight Talk $45 plan
Downloadable Apps Yes, all apps available through Google Play store. Comes with Youtube, Google Maps, GPS Navigation.
Processor TBA
SD Card/Internal Storage Up to 32gb micro SD card
Android OS Android 4.4
Digital Camera 5 mega pixels/front facing camera/LED flash
Screen Size 5.0″ Diagonal
Battery Life 15 days stand by & up to 11 hrs talk
Button Types Capacitive touch buttons
USB microUSB v4.0
Audio Jack & Charging Standard 3.5mm iPod type / micro usb charge/data
Price

TBA

About the Alcatel Pop Icon 2 LTE

Today we take a sneak peak at the Alcatel Pop Icon 2 LTE. This is a sequel if you will to the popular Pop Icon which was introduced about 6 months ago. What made that phone popular remains in this new model in the form of the large 5″ diagonal screen at a very reasonable price. There is one significant upgrade on this one and that is the upgrade from regular 3g to the much faster LTE.

About every other spec remains about the same except for perhaps the operating system. Currently, the phone is slated to be introduced with Android 4.4, but I would not be surprised if it were intruded with the much newer Android 5.0 Lolipop.  Dimensions and weight remain the same over the original model. Expect this new model to be slightly more expensive than the original but not by much.

Straight Talk Vs Total Wireless Comparison

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VSstraighttalk_logoToday we take a look at a new Wireless service from Tracfone called Total Wireless. You may be surprised to find out that Tracfone is basically the parent company for Total Wireless as well as Straight Talk. With that in mind, we take a look a both of these plans to see which is best for you.

Calling Plans

The main difference between these plans basically boils down to the plan costs. Straight Talk offers “unlimited data” which is basically 3GB full speed then throttled back for the remainder.  Total Wireless on the other hand offers 2.5 gb with no mention of “unlimited” anywhere.

One item worth mentioning is that Total Wireless does not offer LTE phones which means you do not get LTE speeds. Additionally, all of the Total Wireless offerings are CDMA. This means that the calling area is limited to Verizon. There are no GSM or AT&T phones currently available from Total Wireless.

One nice thing about Total Wireless which is not available for Straight Talk, are the shared plans.  Total Wireless offers 2, 3 and 4 line shared plans for $60, $85 and $110 respectively. This is great for families who need multiple lines as it offers some nice savings over single line plans. Be aware that the data is shared so the 2 line deal gets you 2.5 gbs per phone, the 3 and 4 line deals get you 3gbs per phone.

Phone Selection

Phone selection is somewhat lacking on Total Wireless. For example, as previously mentioned, there are no LTE speed phones. One major drawback is there is no iPhone available for this plan as of this writing. I would say that Total Wireless is for those of us who are budget conscious.

Conclusion

I think the Total Wireless plan has some obvious appeal for those of us who have good Verizon coverage. That is not the case for me as Verizon is seriously lacking my area but if you have it then I think it might be obvious choice.  On the downside, is the limited phone selection without the fast LTE offerings. That said, Total Wireless is a new service so these things may change in the future.  I wouldn’t hold my breath though because as I said at the offset, both Straight Talk and Total Wireless are essentially the same company so unless Tracfone is killing off Straight Talk, there is no real reason for them to make them the same.

Straight Talk ZTE Zephyr

Specs – Straight Talk ZTE Zephyr

zte-zephyrZTE Zephyr Check Availability
Dimensions Height 4.91″ x Width 2.51″ x Thickness .44″
Weight 5.16 Ounces
Form Factor Medium Candybar Touchscreen
Network & Technology CDMA 3G, WiFi/Activated with Verizon
Calling Plan Straight Talk $45 Unlimited
Downloadable Apps Yes, all apps available through Google Play store. Comes with Youtube, Google Maps, GPS Navigation.
Processor 1.2 ghz Quad core
SD Card/Internal Storage SD card not included/Capable of up to 32gb micro SD card
Android OS Android 4.4
Digital Camera 5 mega pixels/1mp front facing camera/LED flash
Screen 4.0″ Diagonal
Battery Life 10 days stand by & up to 7 hrs talk
Button Types Capacitive touch buttons
USB microUSB v4.0
Audio Jack & Charging Standard 3.5mm iPod type / micro usb charge/data
Price TBA

About the Samsung ZTE Zephyr

The ZTE Zephyr is another entry level introduction from Straight Talk. This latest batch of entry level devices is meant to replace the last generation intro phones. The Zephyr falls under this category. I can’t really say that I see anything new here. The specs are fairly typical of phones in this category. What does stand out, is the 5 mega pixel camera that improves over the 3 mp weaklings that typically find a home in these devices. For example, the LG Lucky and Sunrise both have a 3 mp unit and are also in the entry level category. For this, I always like the ZTE phones because you typically get just a bit more for your money and the Zephyr is not exception there.  This is a solid device for those who are looking for a medium entry level device. Expect the Zephyr to be priced in the $100 ballpark, if not just a bit above.

Straight Talk LG L15G (LG Sunrise) And L16C (LG Lucky)

Specs – Straight Talk LG Sunrise & LG Lucky

lg-sunrise

Straight Talk LG Sunrise & Lucky Check Availability

Dimensions Height 4.43″ x Width 2.50″ x Thickness .49″
Weight 4.2 Ounces
Form Factor Compact Candybar Touchscreen
Network & Technology LG Sunrise-GSM 3G, WiFi/Activated with AT&TLG Lucky – CDMA 3G, WiFi/Activated with Verizon
Calling Plan Straight Talk $45 Unlimited
Downloadable Apps Yes, all apps available through Google Play store. Comes with Youtube, Google Maps, GPS Navigation.
Processor 1.2 ghz Quad core
SD Card/Internal Storage SD card not included/Capable of up to 32gb micro SD card
Android OS Android 4.4
Digital Camera 3 mega pixels/1mp front facing camera/LED flash
Screen 4.0″ Diagonal
Battery Life 10 days stand by & up to 7 hrs talk
Button Types Capacitive touch buttons
USB microUSB v4.0
Audio Jack & Charging Standard 3.5mm iPod type / micro usb charge/data
Price TBA

About the Samsung LG Sunrise

The LG Sunrise and LG Lucky are not a particularly exciting phones. Both are of the entry level variety that fall solidly under the “Been there, Done that” category. It takes a lot nowadays to bring something we have not seen before. That said, both of these are far superior to entry level devices of yesteryear. . Both of these phones are of the  compact sized types so the screen is around 3.5″ to 4″ measured diagonally. So if your upgrade cycle is due and don’t want to break the bank on something, one of these may be solid options. The only difference between these phones is the Activation technology. The LG Sunrise is a GSM 3g phone so will be activated with AT&T while the LG Lucky is a CDMA 3g phone that will be activated with Verizon.

These phones are not out yet so we will see where they are  priced. My guess is that these will be in the $100 category if no just a bit above. Either would be a good choice at this price level you just need to decide whether you need AT&T or Verizon coverage then choose accordingly. That is really the only difference between these two phones.

In addition to these two phones, we are also awaiting the LG Power, the LG Destiny, the Huawei Raven LTE, ZTE Paragon and ZTE Zephyr but we have no information as of yet on these.

Straight Talk Samsung Galaxy Core Prime Preview

Specs – Straight Talk Galaxy Core Prime

zte-rapidoSamsung Galaxy Core Prime Check Availability
Dimensions Height 5.15″ x Width 2.68″ x Thickness .35″
Weight 4.55 Ounces
Form Factor Medium Candybar Touchscreen
Network & Technology CDMA 4G LTE, WiFi/Activated with Verizon
Calling Plan Straight Talk $45 Unlimited
Downloadable Apps Yes, all apps available through Google Play store. Comes with Youtube, Google Maps, GPS Navigation.
Processor 1.2 ghz Quad core
SD Card/Internal Storage SD card not included/Capable of up to 32gb micro SD card
Android OS Android 4.3
Digital Camera 5 mega pixels/1mp front facing camera/LED flash
Screen 4.5″ Diagonal
Battery Life 15 days stand by & up to 11 hrs talk
Button Types Capacitive touch buttons
USB microUSB v4.0
Audio Jack & Charging Standard 3.5mm iPod type / micro usb charge/data
Price TBA

About the Samsung Galaxy Core Prime

No, the Galaxy Core Prime is not a Transformer, it is an up coming Galaxy class phone from Straight Talk.  This is a mid entry device with what appears to be a 4.3″ to 4.5″ screen. Now it is clear that this is aimed at the mid end market as the phone only comes with a 5 mp digital camera.  That said, this is a great looking device with the well known Samsung Galaxy pedigree. What’s notable on this phone is that it appears to be yet another LTE device for use on Verizon coverage.  If turns out to be an LTE phone, this one will join the ZTE Rapido as one of 2 LTE devices for said Verizon coverage.

Expect this phone to be available on he Straight Talk online store and in Walmarts  sometime between February and March. Pricing is not yet available but based on specs expect it to be priced some where in the $200 ball park.

Straight Talk ZTE Rapido Review

Specs – Straight Talk ZTE Rapido

zte-rapidoZTE Rapido Check Availability
Dimensions Height 5.30″ x Width 2.60″ x Thickness .42″
Weight 4.94 Ounces
Form Factor Medium Candybar Touchscreen
Network & Technology CDMA LTE, WiFi/Activated with Verizon
Calling Plan Straight Talk $45 Unlimited
Downloadable Apps Yes, all apps available through Google Play store. Comes with Youtube, Google Maps, GPS Navigation.
Processor 1.2 ghz Quad core
SD Card/Internal Storage SD card not included/Capable of up to 32gb micro SD card
Android OS Android 4.0
Digital Camera 8 mega pixels/1mp front facing camera/LED flash
Screen 4.5″ Diagonal , Gorilla Glass
Battery Life 15 days stand by & up to 11 hrs talk
Button Types Capacitive touch buttons
USB microUSB v4.0
Audio Jack & Charging Standard 3.5mm iPod type / micro usb charge/data
Price $179.99

About the ZTE Rapido

The ZTE Rapido is an all new CDMA LTE phone from Straight Talk. This particular phone is noteworthy because it is the first Straight Talk LTE device for the Verizon calling area. This is a quality device that has some unusually higher end features for a phone in the sub $200 category. This is probably one of the better LTE devices currently available.

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Specs

The noteworthy specs on the Rapido are the 4 1/2″ Gorilla Glass screen, the awesome 8 mega pixel camera and the 1.2 ghz quadcore processor. In my mind, these are probably the best dollar to spec ratio in the Straight Talk LTE device family. That is to say, you are not going to find another Straight Talk LTE phone with these specs for anything less than $200.

I was quite surprised to learn that this phone came with a Gorilla Glass screen because that is usually reserved for devices costing $200 or more, particularly when they are of the LTE variety. Not only will this screen give you durability, it’s also quite slick to the touch. Unlike some of the plastic screened devices, the screen offers little resistance when you swipe your finger on it. This makes the phone feel extremely responsive, more so than its plastic screened counter parts. Now I don’t know if it’s the glass, but I found this phone to be especially bright and crisp so videos and the like look great!

zte-rapido-5 zte-rapido-3

The next spec worth talking about is the 8mp camera. This is another rather high end spec not typically found on a phone at this price range. The camera has an LED flash and a 1 mp front facing unit as well for the selfie loving crowd. One neat camera feature were the available filters such as sketch, neon, emboss, sepia and a few others. I think there are around 10 such filters available for selection prior to taking an image.

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I was really impressed with the specs of this phone. These higher end specs are unusually for the ZTE brand at this price range so this phone is an excellent choice.

Design & Look Feel

I found the design of this phone to be quite attractive. The phone features a black chrome look bezel that surrounds the screen. So this is not a boring simple black rectangle by any means. The remaining design is pretty typical. Below the screen, you find the typical 3 button Android layout that are backlit. The power button is located on the top right, the volume on top left, charge port on lower left and headphone jack is on top.

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One item that makes this phone feel like a quality unit is the Gorilla Glass screen as it does not have the cheap plastic feel to it. Not only that but your fingers glide smoothly when swiping the screen. I think this makes a huge difference over the plastic screened units. This isn’t really noticed until you try a plastic screen unit side by side. In short, this is a device that looks and feels much more expensive than it really is.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I would rate this phone as one of the best LTE devices available from Straight Talk at this price range. You will simply not find a better LTE phone under $200 at the moment. The one caviat is that you will need to have Verizon LTE coverage in order to activate this phone in your area.

Compare the ZTE Rapido LTE and Alcatel OneTouch Pop Star LTE

Today we are comparing two all new LTE phones from Straight Talk. Namely in the form of the ZTE Rapido and the Alcatel OneTouch Pop Star. These two phones are worthy of comparison because both are of course LTE phones and both are in the same sub $200 price range. Both of these phones are unique in that the ZTE Rapido is the first Verizon LTE device while the Pop Star is the lowest priced LTE Straight Talk phone to date.

Check Straight Talk Availability

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ZTE Rapido

Rapido Availability

 

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Alcatel Pop Star

Pop Star Availability

 

Phone Dimensions 5.30″ x2.60″ x 0.42″ 4.80″ x 2.51″ x 0.36″
Screen Size Diagonal:4.5″ Diagonal: 4.00″
Gorilla Glass Screen Yes No
Processor Speed 1.2ghz Quadcore
1.2ghz Quadcore
Weight 4.94 oz 4.66 oz
Android Version 4.0 4.3
Technology & Calling Area CDMA LTE/WiFi (Verizon, Check your local LTE coverage) GSM LTE Activated via AT&T(Check your local LTE Coverage)
Speaker Yes Yes (Excellent audio quality!)
Headphone Jack 3.5mm (iPod type) 3.5mm (iPod type)
SD card slot Not Included, supports up to 32gb Not Included, supports up to 32gb
Camera 8 mega pixel/LED flash/Front facing 1.0mp
5 mega pixel / LED Flash/front facing 1mp
Price $179.99 $149.99

Technology and Calling Area

If there is one key item to take note of, it is the calling area. The ZTE Rapido requires Verizon LTE coverage while the Pop Star will require AT&T LTE. Please check your local calling area before you purchase either phone. One noteworthy item here is the fact that the ZTE Rapido is the first Verizon LTE phone available from Straight Talk. All other Straight Talk LTE devices to date have been for AT&T.

Specs

There are three key differences between these phones other than the above mentioned calling area. The first is the fact that the Rapido comes to us with the durable Gorilla Glass screen, while the Alcatel device does not. Next, is the camera. The ZTE Rapido comes with an 8 mega pixel digital camera while the Pop Star has a 5 mega pixel unit. Both of the phones have 1 mp front facing cameras and LED flash. Yet another difference on the cameras is the fact that the Rapido has various preset image filters which you can use to take some cool pictures. For example, it has an Emboss, Neon and Sketch filters which you set prior to taking a picture and result in some really cool images. The Pop Star does not have these filters. Last, is the screen size as the Rapido has the slightly larger 4.5″ screen versus the 4″ screen on the Pop Star.

Other than the above mentioned differences, the main specs are pretty much the same. Both phones have 1.2 quadcore GHz processors so both perform quite good.

Design & Build Quality

I think it’s pretty obvious that the ZTE unit has a much better build quality than the Alcatel as it comes with the Gorilla Glass screen. The Alcatel on the other hand is all plastic including the screen. Not only that but when you look at these two phones, the ZTE Rapido stands out because it has cool black chrome looking trim that goes around the perimeter of the phone. The Pop Star does not have any such trim. Instead, the battery cover not only covers the battery but extends to the sides of the phone so the Volume and Power buttons are part of the battery cover. The entire phone is all black and the battery cover is of the rubberized finished type.

Additionally, the Rapido has an excellent speaker that yields a much better sound quality. The Alcatel was a bit tin can sounding for me. While on the multimedia topic, the ZTE also had a brighter and sharper screen which makes for an excellent multimedia experience.

I found the ZTE Rapido to be a much more attractive phone with excellent overall build quality.

Conclusion

I would say that the ZTE Rapido is probably the best Straight Talk LTE device. I really liked the design and build quality. The Gorilla Glass really sets the Rapido head and shoulders above the Pop Star.