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Straight Talk iPhone 5s : 5 Facts to Know Before Buying

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The iPhone 5s is available on Straight Talk with 4G LTE connectivity and a lower monthly bill than you will find on the major carriers, with the same network coverage which makes it a very attractive option for many users looking to save money on a iPhone.

While Straight Talk is a good value for many users, with lower prices come trade offs that maybe deal breakers for some users. We’ve rounded up the facts about using an iPhone 5s on Straight Talk that you need to know before you buy an iPhone 5s from Straight Talk or get a SIM to use with an iPhone 5s from another carrier.

Read: iPhone 5s Review – 100 Days with the New iPhone

Straight Talk iPhone plans start at $45 a month and include unlimited data with some limits as well as unlimited calls and texts. While it is a pre-paid plan you can set up an auto pay option to avoid remembering to refill the phone without signing any contract.

What you need to know about the iPhone 5s on Straight Talk.

What you need to know about the iPhone 5s on Straight Talk.

By choosing a iPhone 5s  Straight Talk plan users can save big over going with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon, even with the price of the iPhone 5s factored in. While there are deals on the iPhone 5s from many carriers, Straight Talk sells the iPhone 5s for full retail price at $649, like T-Mobile. You’ll need to compare the new Next, Jump, Edge and One Up plans as well as the standard plans on each carrier for the official prices based on the data you will use, but the Straight Talk iPhone 5s remains a top choice.

4G LTE Data is Available

The iPhone 5s on Straight Talk works on 4G LTE networks now, which means you can enjoy the same speeds as your friends on big name carriers.

With a 4G LTE connection the iPhone 5s can download from 5-12 Mbps  and upload at least 3-5Mbps, but as the speed test video above shows the actual performance will vary and may be higher or lower.

All this speed is a good thing for users who want to watch streaming video or download files, but it’s not all peaches for Straight Talk iPhone 5s owners.

Unlimited Data is Still Not Unlimited

Straight Talk is finally talking straight about the data limits for 4G and 4G LTE speeds, but the company isn’t stepping up with completely unlimited data — at least not for users that stray outside of the company’s standard usage limits.

The regular $45 a month Straight Talk iPhone 5s plan includes 2.5GB of high-speed data on 4G or 4G LTE, after that users are throttled down to slow 2G or Edge speeds until the next month. The 2G or Edge speeds are supposedly unlimited, but in a posting shared on Fierce Wireless the company reiterates, “The company said it reserves the right to terminate service for “unauthorized or abnormal usage,” as other carriers also do.

If you need a lot of data, Straight Talk is not the plan for you and your iPhone 5s as there are no ways to add more data to the plan.

Customer Service and Support is Mediocre

With a cheaper plan comes cheaper support and customer service. Our personal experience is that the phone support for Straight Talk is very poor with a customer service rep not being able to even comprehend our problem or offer any assistance.

In speaking with several other users this year who lost their data connection, Straight Talk offered absolutely no assistance in getting the data part of their plan working. One user left for T-Mobile while the other was able to get help online.

If you want help from trained professionals, stick with a big name carrier. On Straight Talk you will need to bring a DIY attitude for customer support.

Same Network as Big Names

The best part of using a Straight Talk iPhone 5s is that it connects to the same towers that the big names use. While Straight Talk doesn’t name, names the phone purchased through them likely runs on the AT&T network.

he iPhone 5s on Straight Talk uses the same towers as big carriers.

he iPhone 5s on Straight Talk uses the same towers as big carriers.

This offers a large nationwide coverage map of 4G and a growing area of 4G LTE coverage, for less than the monthly price at an official AT&T store.

No Tethering

The Straight Talk iPhone 5s does not support tethering, so you won’t be able to use it to connect a portable game console, tablet or notebook to the internet. This is available on the regular carriers and is very handy for many users, but not an option with Straight Talk.

There is no tethering or personal hotspot on Straight Talk.

There is no tethering or personal hotspot on Straight Talk.

Some users could use a iOS 7 jailbreak to install an app that lets them tether without carrier permission, but this runs a risk of hitting the magical cap that Straight Talk will cut user off for abnormal usage.

Josh Smith is Editor of GottaBeMobile and Notebooks.com. He's always looking for ways to help you get the most of your gear and loves to talk about tech on radio and TV. Josh uses an iOS and Android devices as well as Mac and Windows Computers. Josh Smith on Google+ Email: [email protected]

5 Comments

  1. Pamela

    01/03/2014 at 12:27 pm

    like Rebecca responded I’m blown away that you able to profit $4670 in one month on the internet. Look At This………. http://clockurl.com/Bf5

  2. Steven

    01/29/2014 at 12:14 pm

    I joined Straight Talk with their “Bring Your Own Device” program. I actually bought an Android phone at http://www.flumongu7s.com

  3. Dave

    01/29/2014 at 3:56 pm

    I have an I 5 on straight talk, customer service is frustrating, there is no CS after midnight. You do have a few steps to go thru to get CS, and you have to be transferred to a different department for I phone service. I has Verzion before, I don’t use many minutes and I use wifi for at least 95 percent of surfing so I am saving big money over Verizon

  4. Kevin

    02/05/2014 at 12:43 pm

    When I switched from a Straight Talk Iphone 4 which used Verizon towers and network and had 5 bars of network signal to a Straight Talk iphone 5s which uses the AT&T Network I could not get service in may area. Things you should know before you spend $650 on a new phone.

  5. Angel

    02/17/2014 at 1:07 am

    if your phone messes up don’t count on the one year manufacturer warranty. Mine messed up come to find out it’s actually covered by straight talk not the manufacturer. They said they didn’t have my phone anymore so they replaced it with one That didn’t do half the stuff mine did and cost half the price of mine. So I had bought a $200 phone and they replaced it with a crappy $100 phone. Thank god it wasn’t a $600 phone!

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