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



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.



  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. WO

    04/20/2014 at 6:29 pm

    Can you determine which network the 5s will use? I’m just concerned about switching and then not having service in our area if it is ATT.

  5. Martin

    04/23/2014 at 6:38 pm

    Will an at&t locked phone (off ebay or amazon) work with straighttalk’s BYOP program?

    • deeplyrootedimages

      07/06/2014 at 12:45 am

      Iphone 5 is unlocked. Any phone that has LTE capability is unlocked they have to be legally that was the price for the big carriers to be able to have the LTE service. Now if you as one of the sales people they will more than likely be clueless…even at Straight talk. I’ve done a lot of research and I’ve brought two verizon LTE (supposedly locked) phones to different carriers one being a Galaxy 4 (verizon to straight talk) and the other being a Iphone 5s (verizon and currently with att). I’ve had to school several sales people on it..they will flat out argue with me..until I show them that I’m on a different network than were I bought it. ;)

      • Mike

        08/06/2016 at 12:24 pm

        I am trying to buy an iphone 5s straight talk device from walmart. One st talk rep in walmart tells me its a dual phone and works on AT&T or Verizon and the other said it was AT&T only. I can’t use AT&T here (no coverage). I thought verizon uses CDMA and at&T uses GSM. I am totally cojnfused and don’t know who to believe. could u enlighten me and send to email
        [email protected]
        thank u

        • Mr Gregory Herrera

          09/08/2016 at 9:26 am

          Mike, Apple is making their phones with CDMA and GSM compatibility these days. I have an iPhone 5C that I was using with Verizon, and then my company changed carriers to T-Mobile. I was able to seamlessly switch between the two carriers on the same phone without any issues.

  6. Chris

    05/03/2014 at 8:45 pm

    Can you use a apple iPhone 5s with Straight Talk Verizon and what kind of carrier for the phone verizon or unlocked w/ sims card?

    • deeplyrootedimages

      07/06/2014 at 12:46 am

      Yes and most likely at&t.

  7. Dave

    05/18/2014 at 8:37 am

    customer service says no I Phone 5S or 5C with the byop

    • deeplyrootedimages

      07/06/2014 at 12:49 am

      They’re idiots..seriously ST has the WORST customer service EVER. That’s why I left them. But you can. Don’t go through them. Set it up all online. Trust me they said I couldn’t use my galaxy 4..but I asked them this only after I had already set it up with them to see what they’d say. My galaxy 4 was with verizon. I have a iphone 5s (verizon) and it’s with att now. All LTE phones are unlocked.

      • Alla

        07/16/2014 at 4:34 pm

        I can’t to activate my Iphone 5 (Verizon) with ST, it not let me do it, why? Any help?

  8. Mike spicer

    06/05/2014 at 7:16 am

    You can use a Verizon iPhone 5s on straight talk or a AT&T 5s both work with lte speeds! I’ve tried both

    • Alla

      07/16/2014 at 4:39 pm

      Could you teach me how may I use iPhone 5 on straight talk? I got sim-card but cannot to activate it…

  9. Michael

    08/05/2014 at 11:21 am

    Is therer any way you couyld email me on how you brought over the iphone5s to ST? I am currently trying to do that and I am not having any luck with it what so ever.

  10. Candace

    09/01/2014 at 9:41 pm

    Will my unlocked I5S work on straight talk.?

  11. Chris barela

    12/18/2014 at 4:50 am

    I have a iPhone 5s for sprint that is paid off can I still connect it to straight talk?

  12. Jeremy Hubbard

    01/02/2015 at 12:20 pm

    it would be nice to sue straight talk for their misleading….what the hell…outright false advertising regarding unlimited….to at least force them to replace the unlimited to LIMITED as a warning to others!!

  13. maria

    07/02/2015 at 12:28 pm

    If I leave ST, will my iphone 5s that I bought with ST work with other carriers?

  14. joe bokar

    07/08/2015 at 7:58 am

    if your straight talk unlocked iplone shou;d happen to lockup on you for some reason, how do you unlock it again in order to use the phone on tmobile? please help thank you. – has this ever happened to anyone else?

  15. David

    12/26/2015 at 2:47 pm

    I just bought a Straight Talk 5s with IOS 9 from Walmart for far less money than from other sources. I want to use it on T-Mobile. From what I’m hearing, it can’t be switched unless I first revert the phone to IOS 8. Can anybody confirm this or offer a way to accomplish the switch? I can still get a refund.

  16. samantha

    01/02/2016 at 6:23 pm

    Thinkin of buyin a I5C from someone to switch from my galaxy to my current straight talk account anyone know things to look for to make the phone is legit? Like what info do I need to make the switch?

  17. samantha

    01/02/2016 at 6:25 pm

    5s* things to look for to make sure the phone is legit*

  18. Misty norfleet

    02/10/2016 at 3:08 pm

    My son currently has straight talk that runs on Verizon (which is the only signal we can pick up)he is wanting the iPhone 5s will it still run on Verizon?

  19. DesiFlow

    02/15/2016 at 9:31 am

    Can we purchase the iPhone 5s from straight talk and then use it on Tmobile/AT&T before activating with ST? or its locked?

  20. Kimberly

    03/14/2016 at 8:14 pm

    So, what I’m hearing is, don’t get an iPhone 5s through straight talk for at&t?

  21. Pansy Motgan

    04/03/2016 at 11:41 am

    Can I buy an iPhone 5 S from straight talk and use it with my AT&T service

  22. Teri

    04/16/2016 at 11:13 am

    Iphones Will work with Straighttalk and depending on the make/model of the phone is the tower which bounces the service. You will need to get a sims from ST or Walmart then call them to register it with them. I have been with ST for a few years now with different phones. I don’t know if you buy the phone from ST if it will work with other carriers.

  23. Angie

    05/26/2016 at 9:20 pm

    Have a iPhone 5 s that is a Verizon straight talk sim card can I switch it to a att straight talk sim

  24. Dayuna

    06/19/2016 at 10:26 pm

    I Bought A Iphone 5s From ST Can It Be Switched To Metropcs ? Or No?

  25. Tammy

    06/28/2016 at 4:46 am

    No one has answered if the iPhone 5s bought from Walmart for Straight talk how to unlock it for another carrier? I’m sure this has to be possible cause the iPhone 5s was made by Apple to be unlocked.

    • kayla

      07/12/2016 at 6:26 am

      You cant switch a straight talk iphone to another carrier it says right on the box when you buy it…. you can only switch a different carrier iphone to straight talk

  26. Lena

    07/30/2016 at 11:55 am

    Can I switch my straight talk iPhone 5s to cricket? Cricket has a better plan

  27. S. S.

    11/11/2016 at 11:12 am

    I just want to use it as an inexpensive iPod alternative on our wifi. Is this a valid option?

  28. Mark

    11/25/2016 at 7:31 pm

    Can I take the sim card out of my no contract Windows T-Mobile phone and use in Staight Talk IPhone? Or would I have to buy another T-mobile sim?

  29. Chad B

    01/15/2017 at 11:42 pm

    This article is spot on!!! I just purchased a Straight Talk iPhone 5s from a local Walmart Store. It is very hard getting help from any customer service reps. The in store guy referred me to Straight Talk’s facebook page for all my questions. (I don’t even use Facebook so I had to use my friend’s FB to contact to Straight Talk to have them help me set up my iphone.) Every problem that I am having with this phone that is only three days old, no one at straight talk seems to know what they are talking about. Every issue Straight talk’s fix is to “reset” my phone. It keeps freezing up which isn’t a good sign for a new phone. This is my first smart phone, so I am unsure if this is a sign of a software glitch or not. But the one comment is correct, the warranty is through straight talk not apple, and yes their replacement phones are old, most are flip phones. As stated above you do have to be a tech do-it-yourself kind of customer to be able to find straight talk useful. But as a single person, I am saving almost 50.00 per month for my service compared to what Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint could offer me. I was going to go with Boost mobile since they have more phones to choose from but I wouldn’t get full service at my house with Boost mobile. I am guessing Boost only uses T-Mobile towers, but that’s another discussion since this article is about Straight talk and their iphone 5s. Good article for would be customers.

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