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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.