Prepaid or “burner” phones are affordable, throwaway cellphones often used on a temporary basis. Not all wireless users require a high-performance mobile device, a permanent phone number, or a device fit for long-term use. But there are advantages to these prepaid phones.
Many wireless users own a smartphone and have a contract with a carrier. Prepaid phones appeal to people who want a temporary phone without advanced capabilities or contract commitments. They typically resemble older mobile models, and are usually limited to text and talk. They won’t have touchscreen interfaces and they use a standard keypad for input.
The term “burner phone” often carries a negative connotation because its association with crime in movies and television. But prepaid phones have practical benefits for all consumers.
1 - Prepaid phones are less expensive
Because of their limited functionality, prepaid phones are far less expensive than advanced smartphones. Plus, there are no monthly fees associated with them, since you usually pay as you need it.
A prepaid phone may be the right fit for you if you’re not looking to spend extra money on devices and monthly fees. Of course, you may end up spending more if you underestimate how many minutes or texts you need.
You can see some prepaid phone options here.
2 - Prepaid phones are private
If you’re online, even on your phone, it’s hard to stay anonymous. Prepaid phones don’t “track” activities and can be used as a secondary contact number, which can be desirable for many reasons. Personal phone numbers are just that: personal. If you need to provide contact information and would rather not give out your own number, a prepaid phone could be useful in these situations.
Something to consider: phone numbers associated with prepaid phones may be heavily recycled, so you might receive texts and calls related to previous users of the phone number.
3 - Prepaid phones come without contracts
With prepaid phones, you pay for your desired talk time and test messages. If you need more, you buy more. This means you don’t have to sign a contract to get your phone, and that means there are no weekly, monthly, or yearly fees for your mobile service.
Of course, if you use a lot of mobile data, you might pay more than you would if you signed a long-term contract. Carriers can afford to give you special rates if they know you’re going to be a subscriber for a specified amount of time.
Some carriers offer deals for prepaid phones. If you’re chatty, or you text a lot, Viaero’s Share More 1000 might be a great middle ground between prepaid phones and high-data use.
4 - Prepaid phones have longer battery life (for now)
The more powerful your phone, the more battery it uses. Without the bells and whistles of a smartphone, a prepaid phone can last several days with one charge. Of course, this means giving up features like mobile apps and GPS, but if you just need to call and text, it’s a great option if you’re going to be away from your charger for a while.
Prepaid phones also make good backup phones for urgent calls when you don’t have any other option. Your daily phone may run out of battery life or get lost. Having a backup option for communication can keep your mind at ease, especially if you’re on the road a lot.
Smartphone manufactures are working on increasing battery life, even while running apps or getting online. This issue continues to be less of a concern with each new smartphone release, but they’ve still got a long way to go to reach the battery life of a prepaid phone.
5 - Prepaid phones are great in an emergency
Even if you have a smartphone, a prepaid phone can come in handy in emergency situations. The FCC requires that every mobile phone can dial 911, regardless of data or cost. If your main phone dies, prepaid phones can be as a good way to place emergency calls. With the extended battery life, it can also be a useful item to keep on-hand in an emergency kit.
Moble consumers enjoy options, and prepaid phones provide added variety to contracted smartphone plans. Contact us to learn more about prepaid phones and our options at Viaero.