Just as we get to the middle of the hot summer months, Cricket Wireless swoops in to cool us off with two lines with unlimited data for $80 per month. For what you get, the price certainly seems welcome, until you squint your eyes and read what it entails.
For starters, even though Cricket falls under AT&T’s prepaid umbrella, data traffic is already throttled down to 8 Mbps across all of Cricket’s data plans. With this promotion, Cricket further throttles speeds down to an almost laughable 3 Mbps, with video streaming capped at 1.5 Mbps. Speeds go even slower once you eclipse 22 GB of data usage during one bill cycle, though the decision is up to Cricket.
Best Cricket phones (June 2017)
To be fair, Cricket is not the only service that slows your speeds if you use a certain amount of data each month – most of the major US carriers follow the same model. Plus, for someone looking to save some scratch and does not care too much about speeds, this is a good deal for them.
Still, I can’t help but feel that the promotion is a bit disingenuous when it uses the term “unlimited data,” mainly due to how the term is defined in this context.
The unlimited data promotion was not the only thing Cricket announced, as the prepaid carrier also unveiled two new smartphones for its network, the first being the $80 Alcatel Pulse Mix. The phone features a 5.2-inch 720p display, 8 MP camera, a quad-core 1.5 GHz MediaTek MT6738 processor, 2 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot for good measure.
The phone does include a stand-out feature, and it is the back cover. The plate can be removed to allow for “Snapbaks,” which are removable back covers that feature an external battery, two 2.5 watt speakers, and multicolor, customizable LED lights.
The second phone is the $130 LG X Charge, otherwise known as the X Power 2. The phone features a 5.5-inch 720p display, a 1.5 GHz octa-core processor, 2 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of expandable storage. True to its name, the X Charge’s highlight feature is its huge 4,500 mAh battery that should allow for two full days of use.
The Pulse Mix and X Charge are available now, though they go for $30 and $100, respectively, should you choose to switch your number to Cricket.