Straight Talk Vs Total Wireless Comparison

total-logo

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.

zte-rapido-2

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.

zte-rapido-1

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

zte-rapido

ZTE Rapido

Rapido Availability

 

alcatel_pop_star

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.

Straight Talk Alcatel One Touch Pop Star LTE

Specs – Straight Talk Alcatel One Touch Pop Star LTE

straight-talk-alcatel-pop-star
Dimensions Height 4.80″ x Width 2.51″ x Thickness .36″
Weight 4.66 Ounces
Form Factor Medium Candybar Touchscreen
Network & Technology GSM LTE with WiFi/Activated with AT&T
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 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 $149.99

About the One Touch Pop Star LTE

Here is another long named Alcatel device from Straight Talk. This phone can be considered the baby brother to the Alcatel Sonic  and even smaller brother to the Alcatel Pop Mega. This is because the One Touch Pop Star has a much smaller 4″ screen. Essentially, all other specs are quite similar to the a fore mentioned Sonic. One notable feature is the fact that the Pop Star comes with the newer Android 4.3.

pop-star-2

The main feature here is that the One Touch Pop Star comes with the fast LTE data which would be activated with either AT&T or TMobile.  I would recommend this phone if you want the fast LTE data in a smaller form factor than the other Alcatel One Touch devices.

Specs

I think that this little phone has some nice specs for the $149.99 price tag. In fact, this is the lowest priced LTE Straight Talk device to date.  To begin with, the Pop Star comes with fast LTE data. The next item worth talking about is the 1.2ghz quad core processor. This fast processor coupled with Android 4.3 makes the Pop Star a super fast performer. I think this phone is a bargain for the specs.

One of the items I really like on this phone is the same 5mp digital camera that comes with the One Touch Sonic. The camera on this little phone takes excellent images. In addition, the camera has built in LED flash so you can take decent low light images and a front facing 1mp unit. Granted, it’s not the 8mp unit found on the similarly priced ZTE Rapido.

pop-star-1pop-star-5

One disappointing item on this phone, is the rather poor sound quality. This one has the dreaded tin can sound to it. So this is not the best multi media phone out there. The screen is good but not as bright and and clear as some of the other LTE phones.

Overall, specs are great on this phone and you really can’t go wrong considering the relatively low cost.

Design & Look Feel

Perhaps the one and only slight disappointment on the Pop Star is the rather pedestrian looks of the phone. As with the other One Touch models, the Pop Star has the usual 3 button Android layout below the screen. All other items are in typical locations with the power/lock on the top, the headphone jack is also found on the top, the volume buttons are on the top right and finally the charge port is on the bottom.

One design element that I am not crazy about is the wrap around battery cover. This means the volume and power buttons are both incorporated into the battery cover. The phone is void of any design elements or trim so it’s a totally flat black phone. As expected on a low priced device, the screen and entire body is all plastic construction.

pop-star-3

So despite the Pop Star name, the phone isn’t exactly a Pop Star in looks. I think this is ok because this phone is all about great specs at an excellent price.

Final Thoughts

Like all the other Straight Talk One Touch series phones, the Pop Star LTE has some impressive specs for the price. Despite the sub $200 price tag, this phone is an excellent performer. I also like the compact form factor while still retaining the LTE data speeds. I would not hesitate to recommend this phone to anyone that has GSM LTE coverage in their area. That said, this isn’t the best looking phone in the world.

Compare The ZTE Quartz and Alcatel OneTouch Pop Mega

In today’s comparison, we have the battle of the “Heavy Weights” by way of the ZTE Quartz and Alcatel OneTouch Pop mega. Both of these phones are of the large form factor variety so if you like this type of form factor then this comparison may be of interest to you.

Note that the Pop Mega includes a Bluetooth “Buddy” device that allows you to make and receive phone calls and texts. (Device not pictured)

Check Straight Talk Availability

 quartz

ZTE Quartz

Unico Availability

 

straight-talk-alcatel-mega-popAlcatel Pop Mega

Sonic Availability

 

Phone Dimensions 6.05″ x3.10″ x 0.37″ 6.39″ x 3.30″ x 0.35″
Included Bluetooth Device None Includes Bluetooth “Buddy” device
Screen Size Diagonal:5.5″ Diagonal: 6.00″
Processor Speed 1.2ghz Quadcore
1.2ghz Quadcore
Weight 7.00 oz 6.55 oz
Android Version 4.3 Kit Kat 4.3 Kit Kat
Technology & Calling Area CDMA 3g/WiFi (Verizon or Sprint) GSM LTE Activated via AT&T or TMobile (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 1.3mp
8 mega pixel / LED Flash/front facing 2mp
Price $199.99 $249.99

Technology and Calling Area

This I would say is main difference between the two devices. On the one hand, we have the ZTE Quartz which is a CDMA device, as such it would be activated with Verizon. Additionally, the phone is standard 3g so you do not get the fast LTE data. The Alcatel Pop Mega on the other hand, is a GSM phone with fast 4g LTE data. This means it would be activated with AT&T. Be sure to have LTE coverage in your area before purchasing this phone.

Conclusion, the Pop Mega will facilitate much faster data downloads so it’s worth the extra 50 bucks.

Specs

Specs are pretty much a wash. Both phones have excellent 8mp cameras with LED flash. They both have 1.2ghz Quadcore processors so both phones will perform basically the same. Then there is the large screens, the Mega has the larger 6″ screen compared to the 5 1/2″ unit on the Quartz. Truth be told, both screens look pretty much the same and both phones have measure pretty much the same as well.

The one item I will mention is the fact that the Pop Mega has much better sound quality when on speaker as it has a much larger speaker opening. It’s probably 4 times larger than the Quartz. There is definitely a noticeable difference between the two.

Lastly is the so called “Buddy” device that comes with the Pop Mega. This little device looks like an old school feature phone device. It woks by connecting to the phone via Bluetooth thus allowing you to make phone calls and text without using the main phone. The buddy device is quite small so you may find it more convenient to use when making phone calls.  It’s not very text friendly though because it’s alpha numeric.

Design & Build Quality

Build quality is again a wash on both phones. they are both plastic construction and neither has Gorilla Glass screen. I do find the Quartz to be a better looking phone because it has an aluminum look trim between the battery cover and phone bezel. The Pop Mega is all black with no such trim.

Android buttons are basically the same on both of these. Both phones have back lit buttons. Lastly is the battery cover with both phones having a slight rubberized feel to them. While I am writing about batteries, I will mention that both phones have permanent batteries. That is to say, they cannot be replaced when they go bad. Keep that in mind if you are the type to use your phone for a long time. Both batteries will probably give you over 2 years of service before you have to worry about it.

Conclusion

My conclusion is that the Alcatel OneTouch Pop Mega is the superior device here mainly because you get the fast LTE data speeds, larger screen without it being much bigger. You also get the “buddy” device which you can use to make a quick phone call. Before you buy the Pop Mega be sure to check your coverage area for LTE coverage from AT&T.

Straight Talk LG Access LTE Review

Specs – Straight Talk LG Access

lg_access
Dimensions Height 5.00″ x Width 2.60″ x Thickness .40″
Weight 4.5 Ounces
Form Factor Compact Candybar Touchscreen
Network & Technology GSM 4G LTE (Activates with AT&T or TMobile)
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 Quadcore
SD Card/Internal Memory SD Card not included, supports up to 32gb
Android OS Kit Kat version- 4.4
Digital Camera 5 mega pixels with LED flash & .3 mp front facing
Screen Size 4.5″ Diagonal
Battery Life 10 days stand by & up to 7 hrs talk
Button Types Capacitive Touch with center push button
USB microUSB v2.0
Audio Jack & Charging Standard 3.5mm iPod type / micro usb charge/data
Price $229.99

About the LG Access

lg_access_4The LG Access is an all new 4G LTE phone for Straight Talk. Highlights on the Access are 4g LTE data, Gorilla Glass screen, 1.2 ghz quad core processor, handsome design and extra apps such as Infra Red TV/Cable/Satellite remote app. The LG Access is an excellent phone with features typically found on higher end devices.

Specs

The base specs on the Access are excellent beginning with the 4G LTE fast data. Additionally, you get a Gorilla Glass screen and a fast 1.2ghz quadcore processor. This device comes with Android 4.4 (Kit Kat) so you get one of the latest Android Operating Systems out there.

While the price tag on this phone seems a bit high, you do get some extras not found on any other Straight Talk Android device at this price range. One of the coolest, is the built in Infra Red TV/Cable Box/Satellite remote which gives you the ability to control said devices directly from your phone. Programming the remote is quite easy as it guides you through the entire process. I was able to program it for my Sony LED TV and it worked great!

lg_access_2 lg_access_3

I also found some surprising little features in the settings as this phone comes with the face recognition capabilities so that it knows when to pause videos when you are not looking at it.  Finally, the last cool feature I found is the so called knock code. This allows you to program a sequence of touches to 1 of 4 quadrants on the screen. When this is programmed, you can bring the phone right out of sleep/lock by simply entering the touch sequence on the screen.

A bit of a let down was the 5mp camera as the resolution is a bit low for a phone at this price tag. I think this phone should have come with an 8mp unit. You do get an LED flash and a front facing .3 mp camera as well.

While there are other Straight Talk LTE devices for less money and similar specs, this is the only Straight Talk device I have found with the TV remote app.

Design & Look Feel

The Access design can be summed up as handsome. While this isn’t a super flashy design, it is what I would call attractive. What I really like about the Access is the size as this phone falls in the just right department. In other words, this phone is not too small that you can’t watch videos but it isn’t super large that you can carry it in you pocket.

lg_access_4 lg_access_5

Design elements include an aluminum look trim in between the screen bezel and battery cover. The phone bezel is a dark gray color that’s almost black.  The layout is as follows: volume button is on the upper left hand side, power/lock on the upper right hand side, head phone jack is on the top left and the charge port is on the bottom center. The android buttons are both capacitive touch and physical push. The touch buttons are to either side of the physical push one. Unlike similarly designed Straight Talk LGs, this one does not have the multi colored LED light surrounding the physical push button. Additionally, the capacitive touch buttons are not back lit. Lastly, is the gloss dark blue almost black patterned battery cover.

Overall, the design is minimal yet sophisticated. I liked the fact that it’s not solid black as it has just the right amount of design trims to break it up a bit. I was a bit disappointed with the lack of back light on the Android buttons but this was by no means a deal breaker for me.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I found the Access to be quite a nice little phone. I really liked the little remote control app simply because I have never found this capability on other phones, at least not without having to pay extra for an app. The Gorilla Glass and LTE speeds really set this phone apart from other similarly designed LG phones. That said, I did find a bit overpriced but I think it’s mostly because I have come to expect most Straight Talk LGs to be priced in the sub $200 price range.

Straight Talk Alcatel One Touch Pop Mega LTE

Specs – Straight Talk Alcatel OneTouch Pop Mega LTE

straight-talk-alcatel-mega-pop
Dimensions Height 6.39″ x 3.32″ x 0.34″
Weight 6.42 Ounces
Form Factor Xtra Large Candybar Touchscreen
Network & Technology GSM LTE 3g with WiFi/Activated with either Verizon or Sprint
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 Dual Core
SD Card/Internal Storage SD card not included/Capable of up to 32gb micro SD card
Android OS Android 4.3
Digital Camera 8 mega pixels/2mp front facing camera/LED flash
Screen Size 6.0″ Diagonal
Battery Life 22 days stand by & up to 14 hrs talk
Button Types Capacitive touch buttons
USB microUSB v4.0
Audio Jack & Charging Standard 3.5mm iPod type / micro usb charge/data
Price $249.99

About the One Touch Pop Mega

The Pop Mega is the grandaddy of them all when it comes to the Alcatel One Touch series. As the name implies, this phone is over the top HUGE. Make no mistake, this phone is bordering on phablet territory, it’s still a phone but almost a tablet.  This is by far the largest screened budget device Straight Talk has released to date. Of course the large screen implies that the phone body is large and it is indeed. This thing measures close to 6.5 inches in height! It’s also rather wide at over 3.25″ wide, most phones are around 2.5″. The good news is though that it is quite slim measuring in at just .35 inches in thickness.

Aside from the obvious large size, the other notable aspect of the Pop Mega is the fast LTE data speeds.  Be aware that this phone is GSM so will require either AT&T or TMobile LTE coverage. In short, I think this is about as close to the S4 in terms of size you are going to find at this price range.

Specs

I think the star here is obviously the ENORMOUS screen size. This one comes in at around 6.0″” measured diagonally. This one is not for the faint of heart when it comes to size and don’t even think about it if you are a pocket carrier because this thing will NOT fit in any pant pocket.

Yet another star on this phone is the excellent 8mp camera. It’s one of the only budget Straight Talk devices with that many megapixels at its disposal. Most other phones in the Straight Talk line come in at the usual 5 mp resolution.

Lastly, is the 1.2ghz Dualcore processor that’s coupled with the 4.3 Android version. This one has plenty of horsepower to drive the massive screen.

Design & Look Feel

The most obvious design feature here is the impressive size. Other than that, everything else is pretty standard on the phone. It comes with all black plastic construction which is typical for a budget line phone and everything is located where one would typically find things on a phone of this nature. The Android buttons below the screen are capacitive touch and per usual, you only get the 3 button layout. The phone is void of any decorative type elements such as chrome trims and such.

The one cool feature is the fact that there is very little wasted space on the face as the massive screen takes up just about 100% of it. It’s quite efficient on real estate usage to say the least.

Final Thoughts

You really need to be a HUGE fan of large form factor phones, no pun intended. This phone can be summed up with it’s name sake MEGA. If that’s your ticket, then I highly recommend this phone as it has Samsung S like features and size at a very sub $300 affordable price tag.