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Why such crappy phones?
February 17, 2017
1:15 pm
ander
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January 19, 2010
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Why does Speakout offer only slow, feature-poor, and/or outdated phones, by manufacturers no one has (otherwise) ever heard of?

My family and I have bought a few featured phones as part of Speakout's top-up promotions, but always found them seriously lacking. We've learned to buy unlocked phones elsewhere and use Speakout SIM cards in them instead.

Let's see what Speakout's currently offering:

ALCATEL 871A – A tiny display with a virtually unusable mechanical keyboard. (I know; I've tried.)

ALCATEL 392A – A flip phone? Really? In 2017?

FIGO VIRTUE III – The Virtue 4 is the current model, so obviously 7-Eleven got a special deal on these to sell them off. I can't find any reviews of the III, but the 4 is getting 3 stars out of five, with some people complaining of random freezing.

With 7-Eleven's buying power, they could certainly include a quality, basic brandname smartphone for $50–75. But it seems they'd rather make a quick buck selling off these cheap, outdated phones. Why?

February 17, 2017
3:40 pm
MyMan
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The attraction for me has always been the december free phone with $100 top up and $25 bonus. Been with speakout for 10 years and have a collection of free phones. Looks like this year free phone ended, I still forked out $10 each for 2 alcatels out of habbit, cant complain for 10 bucks even just for the nice charger and long micro usb cable.
Actually gave the alcatels away to folks looking for a simple cheap emergency phone. And Grandma is still using the older alcatel i gave her long ago, she only knows to answer calls and hang up the 2 big buttons. Kids using 2 blu4 as cheap ipods. My wife and i use z220 to call and text each other when needed. Free phones worked out well so far for me. But now no more and pay more than 10 bucks for crappy phones, nah.

February 18, 2017
12:49 pm
dennismiller
BC
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I imagine the stores are not in the business of carrying expensive inventory that goes obsolete quickly or is at the whim of the public. Same with the online operation actually.
As was mentioned there are all sorts of unlocked phones available.

Also most Speakout users probably are content with what they provide as I know of a few that still want the basic flip phone when given a choice at the same price.
I will say the previous BLU were a disaster for my wife and her sister. Both have sent theirs in for replacement and one of ours was "just" out of warranty, so three problems with 2 phone purchases and never had that before with any other brand.

February 18, 2017
1:54 pm
bridonca
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The ALCATEL 392A is a pretty good phone, well suited for the type of service Speakout currently provides. Actually a better phone than most smart phones when comes to calls, and not a bad feature phone as feature phones go. Don't believe me? Try answering a call in the winter with gloves on with a smart phone.

I think the big reason Speakout does not offer better phones, is because they really do not need to. You want a better phone, you get a better phone. The Speakout SIM will likely work on it. There is a good margin on these junky phones. That $80 Figo probably costs Speakout $10, because no on else wants it. It is a good enough phone for the glove compartment.

It comes down to this, if you want a better phone, you have to pay the money, and if you are going to pay the money, you might as well stump for a better plan, which Speakout does not offer.

February 19, 2017
5:51 pm
iamdrumming
Niagara Falls
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If you don't like the selection, just buy an unlocked phone to use with SpeakOut. You don't have to buy a SpeakOut branded phone to use SpeakOut.

February 21, 2017
7:06 am
jsebean
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February 21, 2017
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iamdrumming said

If you don't like the selection, just buy an unlocked phone to use with SpeakOut. You don't have to buy a SpeakOut branded phone to use SpeakOut.

This. I bought an unlocked Moto G a few years ago to use with my koodo prepaid plan when they had double minutes/data. Now, I just popped the SO sim in my phone, works instantly. I live in the middle of nowhere too and Rogers has good 2G GSM coverage here and it actually works in my house, unlike Koodo. Love only having to pay $25/yr for voice/text I never use anyway, I can spend that $15 on the 3GB deal from Fido with my tablet :)