Moto E2 & free Sprint LTE cellular data
get a Moto E2 smartphone for $29.99 and up
of FREE Sprint LTE cellular data every month
note: FreedomPop has THREE different services. It's important to understand
the difference between the three services so you don't order
the wrong phone, hotspot, or sim card. (#1) FreedomPop has been selling
smartphones and hotspots with
free Sprint LTE data since 2013. (#2) FreedomPop started selling a GLOBAL GSM sim
(and hotspots) in 2016. And (#3) FreedomPop just started selling a new LTE GSM sim
(and hotspots). All three services have a free monthly plan which includes
200 voice minutes and 500 texts, but the amount of free data is different.
The (#1) Sprint-based services have a free plan with 500mb of domestic
Sprint LTE data. The (#2) Global sim service has a free plan with 200mb of
"global" 3G+ data. The new (#3) LTE sim service has a free plan with 200mb
of domestic AT&T LTE data. All three services allow you to get up to 500mb
more free data every month by adding FreedomPop friends. I have used, tested, and reviewed all three services, and they each
have their pros and cons. The key is to understand the differences
between the three services so you can make sure you are ordering what you
think you are ordering!
My FreedomPop Reviews:
#1. FreedomPop Sprint LTE
(CDMA) smartphones (and hotspots) Moto E2 Review 2016 (this review, below)
#2. FreedomPop GLOBAL GSM sim Review
#3. FreedomPop AT&T
Nationwide 4G LTE sim Review 2017 < I recommend this!
July 27, 2017 REVIEW UPDATE
I'm updating my FreedomPop Sprint-based Moto E2 review to change my
rating from 5-out-of-5 stars to 4-out-of-5 stars. My Moto E2 still works
just fine, and I still get 1 GB of free data every month. I think the
FreedomPop Sprint-based phones can still be good deal in some cases, but the
sim is a better deal.
So why am I lowering my rating? Well, for one thing, FreedomPop recently
put a speed cap on their Sprint-based free data plan. To avoid getting throttled
data speeds, you now need to pay $4.99 per month for their "Speed Boost"
service. Otherwise, on the free plan, the data speeds are capped at around 1
Mbps. I just ran a new speed test on July 27, 2017, and got a 1.06Mbps
download, 1.10Mbps upload, and 75 Ping. While one can still do a lot on 1
Mbps, it is now throttled so I'm lowering my rating on the free service
since is isn't as good as it used to be.
FreedomPop free Sprint data is now throttled to 1 Mbps.
FreedomPop also has had a "service downgrade bug" since March that they
still haven't fixed. When you downgrade the $7.99 Premium Service Trial to
remove it, you have to do it twice from the account overview page. People
who aren't aware of this will get a "surprise" $7.99 charge on their next
cycle. While one can get the charge refunded, the "bug" should have been
fixed by now and it's hard to to conclude that it is intentional.
On the plus side, one still gets 500mb of data on the Sprint-based plans,
and one can get an additional 500mb of data from FreedomPop friends, for 1GB
of free data total every month. In addition, the "refurbished" Moto E2 phone
that I received was essentially like new, and is a great deal for $29.99.
One needs to know how to downgrade both the plan and service to get free
service, which can be a hassle, and one has to put up with FreedomPop trying
to upsell you and/or get you to sign up for some level of paid service, but
it you don't mind the hassle, and if you have good Sprint coverage in your
area, it's still worth reading my review and considering this service.
Order the FreedomPop Moto E2 LTE smartphone for $29.99
2. The Moto E (2nd Gen LTE), aka "Moto E2" smartphone:
3. The FREEDOMPOP DIAGNOSTICS App:
4. The free Sprint LTE cellular data:
5. The FreedomPop free talk and text app (200 free minutes, 500 free texts):
6. How To Downgrade Your PLAN and SERVICE (to insure your phone service is
7. How to get an extra 500mb of free data every month (1GB total)
8. Why and How is FreedomPop giving away free service? What's the catch?
I first heard about FreedomPop a few years ago when I was looking for a new
cellular service provider, but I didn't consider them because I didn't trust
that a "free" service could really be free, and figured there must be a
catch or the service must be bad. Instead I ended up at
Republic Wireless, where for
over two years we've had great, cheap, reliable cell service. We still have
three phones with Republic Wireless (my wife, my daughter, and my son), and
I highly recommend Republic. That said, this fall I needed to get a new
phone (and number) for myself, and I decided to try the FreedomPop GLOBAL GSM sim,
and see how (and if) their free phone service worked. As I cover in my
FreedomPop GLOBAL GSM sim review, the service actually worked, and was actually
free! After a few months, I decided to try getting a FreedomPop Sprint
smartphone. I didn't really need it, but their Moto E2 was on sale for
$29.99, and I knew I could get 1GB of free Sprint LTE data per month on it.
I use Google Voice/Hangouts for my phone number, and I figured (correctly) I
could have my Google Voice number ring on both my ZTE ZMax2 (with a FreedomPop GSM sim
providing AT&T/TMobile data) and this new FreedomPop Moto E2 with Sprint LTE
data. Well, I've had the Moto E2 for over a month now, and just like the FreedomPop GSM sim service, it really does work, and it really is free
(after you pay for the phone). With FreedomPop, if you are able to pay attention and
know what you're doing, you really can get free smartphone service, either
with their GSM global sim or with their Sprint (CDMA) smartphones, which I
will cover in this review.
My monthly FreedomPop bill... $0. It really is free service.
The Moto E (2nd Gen LTE), aka "Moto E2" smartphone:
The first thing I've got to say is that although the FreedomPop Moto E2 is
"certified Pre-owned" (aka refurbished, aka used), as far as I could tell,
the Moto E2 I received seemed brand new. The phone was clean with absolutely
no marks on it at all. Two thumbs up to FreedomPop. Everything works and the
battery seems great.
Specs: The Moto E2 is a good budget 4.5" smartphone. It isn't fancy, and it
isn't very big (by today's standards). It has a decent 4.5" screen, with
good image quality. It has 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, but you
can add a MicroSD card (up to 32GB). It has a 5MB camera. It reminds me a
lot of our three Moto G smartphones (same size, very similar specs) that we
still use today. Now that I also have a larger 5.5" ZTE ZMax2, I prefer the
larger screen size for around the house, but would grab the Moto E2 if I
want a smaller phone when I'm out and about and mainly need to just text and
|The FreedomPop Diagnostics app on the FreedomPop Moto
E2 allows you to test various phone systems and components to make
sure they work properly, and also provides troubleshooting help and
access to the phones settings and information.
||The FreedomPop Moto E2 has a 2390mAh lithium-ion
battery. I fully charged the phone and then left it on wifi overnight.
The next morning the estimated remaining battery charge was 10 days
The FREEDOMPOP DIAGNOSTICS App:
One very cool thing about the phone is that FreedomPop includes their FreedomPop Diagnostics app on it. The app show you
the phone information and has troubleshooting help, and also has a TEST
section, an ACTION section, and a FACTS section. The FACTS section gives you
all the phone specs and details, the ACTION section is basically the same as
Android Settings and allows you to change your various phone setttings, and the TEST
section allows you to test the various phone functions, including the
speaker, microphone, display touch sensor, and battery. I tested everything
and everything worked. The display touch sensor test is cool because it
creates a grid on the entire display and you touch each little square to
confirm all of the display screen senses and responds to your touch. I also
tested the battery and it showed it was good, but then I did my own test to
confirm. I fully charged the phone and then left it sitting overnight. In
the morning I checked and the battery was at 95% and showed 10 days of use
left. I was satisfied, as my major concern with buying a "used" phone is
that the battery doesn't have much life left. In this case, the phone was
essentially never used, or the battery was replaced. I'm guessing the phone
was really never used, but if you buy a "Certified Pre-owned" FreedomPop
smartphone, it's nice knowing that as soon as you get it, you can use their
diagnostics app to check all of the phone systems and functions, including
The free Sprint LTE cellular data:
The Sprint LTE cellular data is blazing fast. I tested it with SpeedNet, and
got 26.58Mbps download and 4.56Mbps upload. It's about five times as fast as
my home wifi data speeds. We're perfectly happy with our home wifi connection,
so the LTE speed is a bit of overkill for us. At least for us, it's
super fast. It also
can burn through a lot of cellular data if you're not careful. I forgot to
take a screenshot the first time I ran the SpeedTest test, so I ran it again. When I checked my cellular data use, I believe the two tests ate through
62mb of data! So be careful. Having access to super fast LTE data means you
can burn through it much faster, depending on what you are doing. As for the
Sprint signal strength around town, at home, I consistently get an LTE Sprint signal,
while around town, some places I get LTE, and other places are 3G.
FreedomPop Sprint LTE data speed
26.58Mbps down, 4.56Mbps up
my home wife data speed
5.64Mbps down, 1.57Mbps up
The FreedomPop free talk and text app:
I tested the app a few times to make calls and send a few texts, and it
worked. But I'm using Google Voice and Hangouts, which I prefer.
How To Downgrade Your PLAN and SERVICE (to insure your phone service is
When you buy the FreedomPop phone, you agree to a free one month trial of
their service. After the one month trial is over, you will be billed for the
service (typically about $27 per month) unless you downgrade to the free
service. But if you downgrade, then your ongoing service is free. The key is
to realize that you are signed up for a paid PLAN and a paid SERVICE, and
you need to downgrade BOTH (your plan and your service). The way you
downgrade is the same as with the FreedomPop GSM sim kit. The "30 day free
trial" starts when your phone ships (not when you get it). You can downgrade
anytime, and I recommend doing it sooner rather than later.
FIRST - DOWNGRADE YOUR PLAN:
> Go to "My Account > Plans". You should see that you have the
"Global 1GB Unlimited" plan for $19.99/mo
> Find and click on the link "Details and Plan Management"
> Then click on "To downgrade your plan, click here"
> You will get the following warning screen: "Warning: you are
about to downgrade your plan. By downgrading your plan, if you are on a
trial, you will lose all additional minutes/messages/data. Any usage
incurred above your new plan limits will incur additional charges."
> Click "Downgrade anyway". You will need to
click on a couple more screens and enter your password to confirm your
> Please understand how FreedomPop works: Before you downgrade, if you
have already used more than the free amount of data (500mb or 1GB if
you've added 10 FreedomPop friends), stop using data and wait a day or two
to downgrade your plan. It can take up to two days for data to get reported,
and any data usage that gets reported after you downgrade from the free
trial that is over your free plan limit will result in charges. To be safe,
just downgrade your plan right away and/or before you use very much data.
SECOND - DOWNGRADE YOUR SERVICES:
> Go to "My Account > Service". You should see that you have the "FreedomPop
Premium Plus" service for $7.99/mo
> Click on the "View Details" button.
> At the bottom of the next page, you will see "To deactivate the
FreedomPop Premium Plus service, click here"
> click the link to deactivate the service. You will need to click on a
couple more screens to confirm your decision and decline any other service.
You will eventually get the message, "YOU HAVE SUCCESSFULLY DOWNGRADED".
update - Please read my
FreedomPop LTE sim review for information about the "service downgrade
bug". You may need to downgrade your Premium Service again from the account
overview page to make sure it is actually removed and you won't be charged.
THIRD - DISABLE AUTOMATIC TOP-UP (optional, costs $5)
After you have downgraded your plan to the free plan, and
deactivated the Premium Plus service, your account is now FREE. However,
there is one more thing to understand. You are subscribed to "Automatic Data
Top Off", and if you get within 100mb of your monthly data limit, FreedomPop
will automatically sell you $15 worth of data. If you don't want to be
automatically sold more data, you need to disable the "Automatic Top Up"
feature as follows:
> Go to "Billing > Billing Settings". You will see that Automatic Top-up
> Click on EDIT. When you uncheck the box, you will get the following
message: "Because actual data usage may be delayed by up to 3 hours, to
protect ourselves from fraud and leakage, you must have at least $5.00 in
credits to turn off Auto-top up."
> If you click "OK" to disable the Automatic Top-Up, you will be charged
$5 and you will get a $5 credit on your account. After you've disabled
Automatic Top-up, anytime you get within 100mb of your monthly
free data limit (after your $5 credit is used), the data for your account will then get turned off
and your account will be suspended until
the start of your next billing period. I recommend spending the $5 and
turning off the automatic top-up feature. You can also set a monthly
cellular data limit on your android (match the cycle to your FreedomPop
billing cycle). When you set the monthly limit on your phone, you can set up
a warning level and then a hard stop level for data.
How to get an extra 500mb of free data every month (1GB total)
Once you've downgraded to the free plan, you'll get 500mb of free Sprint
cellular data every month.
You can get another 500mb of data by adding 10 "FreedomPop Friends"
to your account.
You will get an extra 50mb of data for every "FreedomPop Friend" that you
add to your account, up to 10 friends or 500mb max. Any FreedomPop account
(with it's own email) can be a "friend", so a person with three accounts can
be three friends. Once you add a friend, you get the 50mb bonus data every
month. So after you get to 10 friends, you don't really need to keep adding
friends, though you may want to add a few more in case any of the "friends"
close their accounts. As long as your "friends" have active accounts, you'll
get the bonus data every month. You can also friend yourself if you have multiple
accounts (i.e. a phone and two GSM sim kits). Each of your accounts can friend each
other. Just remember if you're setting up multiple accounts, each account requires its own email address. If you leave a comment
below, I'll send you a FreedomPop Friend request. In addition, if you go
to the end of
this thread at SlickDeals, you'll find people who have just joined
FreedomPop and have posted their email addresses which you can use to send
them a friend request.
If you're really motivated and want even more free data, you can also
buy up to five FreedomPop GSM sim
kits (often only 99 cents each) and set up a separate account for each
sim (I have four GSM sims and thus four accounts). Each of these accounts
can share 100mb of data to another account (up to 500mb max of shared data).
Thus, if you had five additional accounts, you could share 500mb to your
phone account. Thus you could have 500mb (free) + 500mb (via friends) +
500mb (shared) = 1.5GB total. 9/11/17 update: FreedomPop now limits
the total bonus data per month to 500mb, whether it is from Friends or
sharing or both, so if you already have 10 Friends and get 500mb because of
your friends, you can't receive more data from sharing.
Why and How is FreedomPop giving away free service? What's the catch?
I didn't bother trying FreedomPop for a long time because I figured there
was no way they could provide free phone service. I was pretty sure there
must be a catch. I now realize I was looking at it wrong. FreedomPop isn't
giving away free phone service... they are giving away free trials.
Like any other business, they must (eventually) make money to stay in
business, and they won't make money if they just give away free service. So
they are giving away free trials (which you can downgrade to free service if
you know how to follow instructions) to get more customers and build their
market share. They are anticipating that some of these new customers will
decide to continue with or change to one of the FreedomPop PAID plans or
services (ie. for higher data limits, data roll over, premium voice service,
or a variety of other paid services). They've determined that the best way
for them to get lots of new customers (and hopefully some paying customers)
is by offering free trials. They may also expect that some people won't pay
attention, and will forget to downgrade their plan, or will only downgrade
their PLAN and not their SERVICE. I have to admit that FreedomPop doesn't
make it super easy to downgrade to the free service, but at the same time,
it also isn't all that hard. I think
a lot most of the
negative reviews of FreedomPop that I've seen are by people who sign up but
then don't pay attention and/or who don't correctly downgrade both their
PLAN and their SERVICE, and then are "surprised" and angry when they get an
"unexpected" charge on their credit card. I've had five different
FreedomPop accounts for several months, and have never received any
unexpected charges. But I can see how some people who don't pay
attention could end up with "unexpected" charges. So the only real catch
with FreedomPop is that you have to pay attention and downgrade both
your PLAN and your SERVICE before your free trial is over, and you have to
either set a cellular data limit on your phone so you don't go over your
free data limit, or pay the nominal $5 credit and turn off auto-top off.
The FreedomPop Moto E (2nd Gen LTE) smartphone with free Sprint LTE data is
a great little budget smartphone. It works, and the Sprint cellular data
works. For $29.99, I think it is a fantastic budget smartphone data. There
is almost no risk to try it, as FreedomPop has a 30 day money back
guarantee. If you downgrade your PLAN and your service, the monthly service
really is free. The phone works great on wifi, and you get 500mb of Sprint
LTE cellular data (or 1GB if you add some FreedomPop Friends).
I recommend that you get one and try it out. It seems like a perfect
backup and/or emergency phone. It's also a great "first phone" for a kid or
teenager where you're concerned with they breaking or loosing the phone.
Because I have a Google Voice number that I can have ring on multiple
phones, I have it ring on my larger 5.5" ZTE Zmax2 (with a FreedomPop GSM
sim) and also on my FreedomPop (Sprint) Moto E2. This way both phones ring
(increasing the odds of me hearing at least one of them when I'm home) and I
can decide which one I want to take with me when I go out.
Again, the FreedomPop Moto E2 smartphone works and the service really is
free. If you're looking for a backup phone or a phone for your kids, this is
a great option to consider. Even if you're not, why not get one and have it
available if you ever need it? Having an extra working smartphone around
that doesn't cost anything seems like a good idea to me. If you do buy one,
leave me a comment below with your email address and I'll send you a
FreedomPop Friend request to get you some more free monthly data.
Comments / Questions / Feedback:
Comment by Channel 2012 on Wednesday, December 28, 2016
I recently picked one of these up as a Christmas gift for a family
member and am very impressed so far. For the price, it's a very competent
little smartphone (way better than those cheap Tracfones from ZTE and Huwei,
which are often even more expensive).
The only issue I've noticed so far is that there is a setting in the dialer
("assisted dialing", or something along those lines) which is enabled by
default that will prevent "premium voice" calls from working, as it appends
extra numbers before the telephone number that was dialed. When this
happens, the call will connect, but one will just hear an error message from
Sprint (something like "the number or code you have dialed is incorrect"). I
tried doing the Profile reset and stuff, but this actually created new
problems, with data being slow to register, or not even working at all.
After doing it a couple more times, I was finally able to get things back to
how they were before. Then, I sifted through the settings and disabled that
assisted dialing feature, (in the stock dialer) which caused outbound calls
to start working immediately.
Now, everything works perfectly whether using VoIP or premium voice, both
inbound and outbound. I'll check back in if anything changes, but I suspect
that this is going to be a real winner.
TL;DR Disable the "assisted dialing" feature inside of the stock dialer to
get outbound calls to work without the "number or code you have dialed is
Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Thanks for your comment. I appreciate you sharing your experience and
suggestions! When I first got my FreedomPop Moto E2, I just confirmed the
FreedomPop app worked for making calls and sending texts, but since then have
been using hangouts with a Google Voice number. I'll have to open up and check
the dialer to see if I have the same setting and can duplicate your findings.
Comment by Sue on Sunday, March 19, 2017
Your reviews are fantastic, so complete and clear! I just want to
mention that I ordered the $29.99 Kyocera Hydro, and after the order
processed and I chose a phone number, they offered me an add-on Huawei Union
for $19.99. Not that I need another phone, but if nothing else, I can use it
for streaming music sometimes. With friends, each of the phones should end
up with about 900 Meg usable data each month.
Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Sue, Thanks for your comment. When I ordered my Moto E2 for $29.99, I was
offered a second Moto E2 for $19.99. I didn't know much about FreedomPop then,
so I skipped the second offer. I now wish I'd gotten the second phone. I don't
need it, but it was only 20 bucks! Oh well. You are correct that after you add
friends, each phone will have about 900mb of usable data each month. Please make
sure you downgrade the plan and the service on both phones, and I recommend
checking the "account overview" page after you downgrade to double check and
make sure you are fully downgraded. Good luck and enjoy your new phones! And
thanks again for commenting!
Comment by Tim on Thursday, April 06, 2017
Hi, I've had several freedom pop phones for several years and with close
and watchful management, they can indeed be free. I did find some drawbacks
and just want to see if anyone else had the same issues. One big drawback is
it seems that the phone must be connected over WiFi when it first powers up
in order to work, then it can switch to 4g when you leave the WiFi area.
I've been out with my kids and had to reboot the phone or a battery die, and
upon starting the phone back up if I am not near WiFi I cannot get the phone
to register/authenticate and therefore it is a brick until I can get back to
WiFi. Does anyone else have this issue?
Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Tim, I've never had the issue you describe. I just tested my Moto E2. I
powered it off, then turned off my home wifi, and then powered my phone up
again. It only had access to the Sprint LTE data, but powered up and registered
and authenticated. I got the standard message saying "FreedomPop SetUp Complete"
and it told me what my number was. I then opened the FreedomPop Messaging app
and successfully sent a text. So I'm not having the problem you appear to have,
and I'm not sure why it might be happening. Let me know if you figure it out.
Thanks for commenting.
Comment by Jeff on Monday, September 11, 2017
I am on my second month with a freedompop Moto E. Like you I was
pleasantly surprised with the like new condition of my $29.99 used phone (or
free phone with $29.99 activation, officially). I had that glitch with the
services downgrade where it still showed on the overview page, but did not
see this review with instructions to go ahead and downgrade again until a
few days into my free month. However, they did not charge me for the premium
service. So perhaps they have fixed it to that extent, where at least they
are not billing? Even though they were not charging me, I did just now redo
the downgrade from the overview page, to avoid having any issues.
Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Jeff, Thanks for your comment. The Moto E2 is a great little phone, and
like you said, apparently many or most of the "refurbished" Moto E2 phones that
FreedomPop sells are really in "like new" condition. It's hard to believe that
FreedomPop still hasn't fixed the service downgrade bug. It's good to hear you
didn't get charged, but it's also best to take the extra step (using the
account_overview page) to remove the service completely like you just did.
Comment by Jeff on Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Do you have any idea of what the "Incoming Premium Voice Preference"
does when one is on the free plan. I read conflicting information in the FP
forums, one indicating it should be disabled or you might be charged for
something and the other that it did not matter if you left it enabled but it
would not actually have any effect if you are not paying for premium voice.
I disabled it, figuring best case was it's not doing anything if I am not
Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Jeff, I don't think it matters either way. But I checked my FreedomPop
Moto E2 account under settings, and I have it disabled. I think I remember
looking into this when I first got my phone, and deciding to disable it, even
though it probably doesn't matter. I don't think it does anything if you are on
the free plan with no services. Thanks for commenting!
Comment by Tom on Sunday, August 19, 2018
Very very helpful. Made the switch to freedompop easy. Thanks for taking
the time to do this. Tom M
Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Tom, Thanks for your comment. Please keep in mind that several things
have changed with FreedomPop since I wrote this review of their Sprint-based
phones. I cover the latest changes and updates in my "FreedomPop
of Dummies" guide, so please check that out if you haven't. The basic free
service is still the same, but now you have to pay for a credit before you can
downgrade to the free plan, and the procedure for disabling auto-top-up is a
little different, and how much free data you get from "friends" has changed as
well. In any event, please see my Dummies Guide for the latest updates. Thanks
again for commenting!
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