I’m Switching to Straight Talk

I’m Switching to Straight Talk

UPDATE: Great news for all you Straight Talk users! Since I’ve posted a few articles here on WireValley in regards to my experience with Straight Talk, APN settings, tutorials, screenshots, helping others, etc. I thought it would be a great idea to start a support website for all of us Straight Talk users!

I’ll be the first to admit that I switch cell phones and cell phone carriers as fast as I change my socks. This can be a somewhat expensive habit. People always ask how I’m able to do this, and really it’s a simple method. Buy the latest and greatest cell phone on the market (currently Samsung Galaxy S3 at the time of this article) and then turn around and sell it in a few months when the next best thing comes out. When you sell your cell phone on eBay or Craigslist you can easily get $350+ for the device, if you keep the phone in good condition. Then, turn around and buy the next cell phone outright at full price (typically $500 – $550).

However, as I am beginning to learn, it’s not really worth it anymore. I’m getting older and wiser where I need to start saving money. Therefore, I am buckling down and leaving my old ways. I’ve done everything else to save money, cut cable TV for the past year and half, take the bus to work, etc. So now it’s time to cut the cell phone bill.

At this time, my current cell phone provider is AT&T. When I cancel my contract next week I will end up owing about $270 in early terminal fees. Why am I cancelling? Well to switch to Straight Talk of course! For $45 a month you can get unlimited talk, text, and data*. Notice I put an asterisk next to the word data. Straight Talk doesn’t really offer unlimited data, but I’ll get to that shortly.

Straight Talk allows you to pick your sim card to work with either AT&T or T-Mobile. Living in the Twin Cities, I decided to go with AT&T because I know they have better network coverage, faster speeds, and my current phone being the Samsung Galaxy S3 is built for the AT&T network.

My current bill with AT&T is right around $80 a month. That gets me pretty much unlimited talk (we hardly talk anyway so our rollover balance has thousands of minutes), unlimited text, and 3GB of data. With Straight Talk I’ll be stepping down on the data a little bit. From what I can gather doing research this past week, most people easily get 2GB of data from Straight Talk. Once you hit the 2.5GB mark, it seems people get phone calls to cut back on their data or be cut off. However, I have been seeing some people get 3GB all the way up to 8GB of data without any calls or notices! I can’t validate these peoples stories, but I imagine it depends on what area of the country they live in and if AT&T receives network congestion on their towers. Still, Straight Talk should have an automates system to detect any user going over 2.5GB so they can receive the call. Why? They’re ruining for the rest of the Straight Talk users. If they keep their data hogging up, AT&T will eventually step up and tell Straight Talk to cough up more money, which means the $45 price will eventually jump to $50 or even $55, which is still savings for most users. I’ve checked my data usage with AT&T since February of 2012 and the most I’ve ever used is 1.8GB. Therefore, I should be fine. I always connect to WiFi when I’m at home and work. If I didn’t do this then I would easily eat up 5GB of data and be booted from Straight Talk, which I’m not willing to risk because I’ve had my phone number for years.

If you buy 3 months of Straight Talk you can get your bill down to $41 a month! I don’t plan on doing this right away, as I want to test Straight Talk for at least 60 days  before giving them 3 months worth of money. However, if I do end up going down this route I will end up saving nearly $40 a month off my cell phone bill. In 3 months that will be $120 in savings. Therefore, with my cancellation fee being $270, I will turn around and start saving that money in a little over 7 months. I’d rather do that, then at month 7 start reaping the benefits of Straight Talk.

Once I have used Straight Talk I will write my review and update this article with the link to that post. Are you using Straight Talk or have family and friends that use them? Let me know your experience in the comments!

  • paul

    i cant get anything but edge on my brand new rooted unlocked GSM intn’l, HISPA phone from on the go solutions… i think i have a setting wrong…probably the APN settings because it wil not work for tmobile either

    • WireValley

      Are you sure your phone has the right frequency bands built in to connect to AT&T or T-Mobiles towers? I believe AT&T uses 850Mhz and 1900Mhz.

  • Dogzma

    Richard, have you tried straight talk yet. I am thinking of buying a Gallaxys3 and going to straight talk. we have lots of att towers here. do i buy the sim card separately from straight talk or att? great article thanks

    • WireValley

      I have been with Straight Talk for about 3-4 months now. I couldn’t be happier! I use the Galaxy S3 as well. Once in a while I do have to toggle the airplane mode on and then off, etc. However, I would say this is maybe once every 1-2 weeks. So it’s not bad.

      You buy the Straight Talk SIM card from their website. Make sure you choose that you want to use AT&T’s network. They also offer SIM cards for T-Mobile’s network.

      If you need support at all after you switch, hop on over to StraightTalkSupport.com which is a forum I’ve started for users to chit chat on.

  • Dogzma

    Thanks so much for the help. Think I will take the leap and get the phone and go for it. Been all over trying to decide and your personal experience has been the most help. Appreciate the help. Will let you know how it goes. Happy Turkey day.

  • Elle

    Hi, Richard…i was curious does the multimedia messaging work on your phone, and do you currently have the ICS software?

    • WireValley

      Hello! Yes, I do have MMS working. It can be a bit tricky to get setup. I feel like MMS is the hardest thing for Straight Talk users to get. However, these are the settings you should be using if you’re using the Galaxy S III, with AT&T stock ROM: http://www.wirevalley.com/ultimate-apn-settings-for-straight-talk-with-android/

      However, I am NOT using ICS anymore. Now that Cyanogenmod 10 stable version has come out, I’m now running Jelly Bean! I LOVE it. So much smoother.

      Now that I’ve switched ROMs, I am using the same settings in that link I just posted above, except 1 thing, I had to remove “MMSC proxy: 66.209.11.33″ and MMS is working again :-)

      Hope this helps!

      • Elle

        So no problem eh? I have the Xperia Ion by sony before i had the gingerbread, and evyerhting worked fine, but i thought ICS sounds so much better lol, unfortunately upgrading to this software i realized weeks later that i couldnt recieve or send any picture messages, everything else works fine, just no picture messages… anyways, i guess imma sell my phone (if anyone is interested lol) and buy me the galaxy 3s, seeing as you have no problem with it…

        • Elle

          I forgot to ask, do they have like “otter boxes” for the galaxy 3s??

          • WireValley

            I’m sure they do have those cases. The S3 is the most popular Android phone right now. I personally don’t use them because they turn the phone into a brick :-/ I just use a Zagg invisible shield, and then a bumper around the phone.

            Once you get the settings into the S3 and everything works, WRITE them down! Or bookmark that link I gave you. From there, you may have to alter a setting or two as you upgrade ROMs, etc. (if you even do that type of thing).

            The only issue I have is once or twice a week when I open a browser or start Pandora I get “Unauthorized access” message. I just have to toggle Airplane mode on and then off, and I’m back in business. Not sure why this happens, but I can tap a button once a week for a $45/month cell phone bill :-)

          • Elle

            Yeah, but im a clutz and i need protection for my very expensive phones LOL, so therefore i need something that will protect my ‘investment’ i really want to keep the phone for a longer time you know. Either way thanks, i will keep this page on bookmark so i can do all the neat stuff :) cant wait to use jelly bean :)

          • WireValley

            LoL! I suppose so.

            Let me know if you run into issues, or can’t get something to work. Going on 4 months with Straight Talk and the Samsung Galaxy S III.

          • Elle

            Yes, thanks :) i have been on and off with straight talk lol, and once i found out they were doing this with phones from att or tmobile i was in a bubble so excited about getting the phone i really wanted :) lol cant wait for the galaxy :)

  • don

    I also switched to straight talk for the same reasons. i am using an unlocked galaxy s3….but I cannot upgrade to jelly bean. the firmware (thru Kies) downloads but then that screen as well as the Kies screen completely disappear, I kept my at&t phone active while I tried straight talk for thrity days – i now have a 6 month subscription and the service is spot on. btw – any ideas on how to upgrade my device ? Officially at&s have released 4.1.1 few days ago

    • Laurie

      Hi. U can use a Samsung Galaxy SIII on Straight Talk? How? Its not a GSM phone. I want to switch my SIII to Straight Talk but I didnt think that was possible. ???
      But mine is thru Verizon.

      • WireValley

        Yes, Galaxy S III is a GSM phone. You have to buy either the unlocked version, an AT&T Galaxy S III, or T-Mobile S III.

        I’m currently using the S III with Straight Talk’s AT&T service. Love it!

    • John

      I believe the S3 US version will be available in October from everything I can find. International S3′s have them now.

    • disqus_AOq06hbGcA

      Are you able to receive pictures?

  • John

    I have an S3 with an AT&T plan and have 4g 3 gig data per month for 80.00. From what I know… switching to ST I would lose 4g speed and get hspa or 3g speeds. I have tested both options on speedtest. Using the same server, S2 galaxy with ST using ATT towers with HSPA I get an average 1-3 Meg per second download speed. Using an S3 with my contracted ATT plan utilizing 4g my download speeds average 3-6 megs per second. So, if I do the math, then yes switching to ST with my S3 (paying ET fee) will eventually give me savings after a few months AND I can tether my laptop all at 45 per month. So, is it worth paying half per month, getting 2gig data versus 3 gig and slower download speeds? I am still on the fence with this.

    • WireValley

      I don’t think you’ll be able to tether. Straight Talk will catch you and probably boot you off.

      For me, yes it was totally worth it to switch to Straight Talk. I was paying about $80 – $90 a month for my cell phone service.

      I have gone over Straight Talks 2GB limit once before and nothing happened. I would say you can probably use 2.5GB safely.

      Also, my download speeds are not throttled or strained whatsoever on Straight Talk. Whatever speed you’re currently getting with AT&T (except LTE) you will get with your Straight Talk AT&T sim card.

      And finally, when I was on AT&T I had about 1.5 years left of my contract. I switched to Straight Talk and did NOT have to pay the early termination fee. Reason being, you phone is still registered on AT&T’s network and so it looks like the service is still activated which won’t trigger AT&T to tack on an early termination fee onto your account. I posted my story over on StraightTalkSupport.com under the Tips and Tricks section.

  • sargehulk

    yes your right i had stright talk for 3 years no problems.i got the idea to go to at&t because i was going to Mexico thought i would have better service.ennded up with over 600 fhone bill.

  • Amber

    Hello I was wondering if you would be able to help me set up my husband’s phone to work on straight talk. We switched from AT&T and his phone is a Samsung Rugby and I can’t get picture messaging to work or the browser. The APN settings that straight talk tells me to enter is not the same set up as what his phone requires. If tried and tried searching for an answer but can’t seem to find a solution. I stumbled upon this post and saw where you said you have helped with APN settings before. If its easier my email is amberta1201@yahoo.com and I can be more specific to the settings. If you can help at all that would be great. Thank you.

    • WireValley

      Do you still need help with this? Enter in two separate APNs. 1 for Internet. 2 for MMS.

  • disqus_AOq06hbGcA

    I have an unlock galaxy s3 phone with straight talk using an att sim card. How can I send and receive pictures on my phone. You can email me at thunderfire29@aol.com and in the subject help with phone, Thank you

  • nicole

    i am having trouble setting up the apn i put in everything it told me to and my internet and mms is still not working idk what im doing wrong im using a att samsung galaxy s3 too. can u please email me @ cute4u922005@yahoo.com