At this point, having smart devices is as important as the DynaTAC from the 80s. The smart device in most cases is a smartphone from its portability and affordability. But when it comes to online activity, a device with a larger screen is usually more convenient. And if unable to afford one, we’ve got mobile operators that have been giving out a free Sky Devices government tablet.
Well, these tablets are pretty much like the free government cellphones the likes of Standup Wireless have been giving out for years.
StandUp is actually the main player that stocks this particular brand of tabs. But now the eligibility requirements are a little loose to cover even the students that were previously ineligible for lifeline!
Is the Free Sky Devices Government Tablet Worth it?
First up, Sky Devices is a mobile phone maker based here in the United States- Miami Beach, Florida to be exact. I’m sure many of us are knowing about it for the first time today. But it has been in the market for about a decade now.
The most possible reason you’ve not heard of Sky Devices must be because it primarily deals with entry-level tablets. It also does make smartphones and wearable gadgets (smart watches), which still target the lower class.
Speaking of the lower class, the free Sky Devices tablet from the government is only available to the underprivileged in society. I’m sure you already figured that out after I mentioned about lifeline program above.
As for the effectiveness, the government tablet is partly a decent gift if you don’t have your expectations too high. It’s WiFi-enabled and also has a slot to insert a SIM card for LTE data. Thus, you could stream videos, check emails, read the news, and chat with friends better than on a smartphone.
Furthermore, some of these tablets have:
- HD-call capability
- Built-in Bluetooth connectivity
- Up to 128GB of expandable memory
- HAC compliance for those with aids
- Video recording in up to Full HD quality
Drawbacks of the Free Sky Devices Government Tablets
Sadly, the free Sky Devices government tablets have their drawbacks as well. one of the issues is the fact that lifeline government cell phone companies are still the ones on the deal to distribute them.
And if you can remember our previous topic on the kind of phone That TruConnect Give You, we concludedthe freebies from lifeline providers are mostly entry-level brands.
Even when you peek at the specs of the tablets you’re likely to receive here, there’s nothing too pleasing for the Millenials. The built-in memory in many of the cases is 32GB ROM vs 2GB RAM (a recent update from 16B/ 1GB).
Also, don’t expect the level of sophistication we have on Apple iPads: a fast processor, 4K video capture, 2k display, or 5G connectivity.
The best processor I’ve seen on the free Sky Devices tabs is 1.6GHz, 1.3GH, or 1.2GHz, which is less than ideal. It should actually explain the reason you’ll find a lot of the younger users complaining of the gadgets freezing when gaming.
The Free Government Tablets Aren’t Absolutely Free!
Technically, the free government tablet deals aren’t the same as the lifeline smartphones, even though the same companies distribute them. The tabs are part of the new Affordable Connectivity Program that the senate passed to make sure all households can afford broadband.
If you’re wondering, the affordable connectivity program (or ACP) is a rebirth of the previously emergency broadband benefit (or EBB). It offers up to a $30 monthly discount on fixed or wireless internet (up to $75 on Tribal lands).
Once eligible, you also get up to $100 off on connected devices, like a laptop, desktop PC, or mobile tablet. But this one is a one-time thing available only through the participating providers. Then the FCC also requires the interested applicants to co-pay a minimal fee of $10.
At first, the operators offering the broadband discount were advertising the government tablets as “Free”. It was back in early 2021, and Q Link is a perfect example that I still remember, including the backlash that followed.
What happened is that after the users have received their “Free” tab, the likes of Q Link Wireless would then send an invoice of $10.01. Many users would get furious as the companies had advertised the devices as free, then demanded payment.
In any case, all that’s changed now as the participating providers adopt to “low-cost” or “discounted” tablets. Others like StandUp Wireless and Cintex have even updated the page of the offer with the “$10.01 charge as the FCC has requested”.
So, even though I’ve labeled my topic as “free Sky Devices government tablet, you’ll still have to co-pay the $10.01.
How Can I Get a Free Sky Devices Government Tablet?
Simply, you can only get a free Sky Devices government tablet if eligible for the affordable connectivity program. And the requirements to qualify include if:
- You’re on a National School Lunch Program or the School Breakfast Program
- You’re on the nutrition program for Women, Infants, and Children (or WIC in short)
- You have a total household income at or below 200% of the latest federal poverty guidelines
- You participate in federal assistance programs like SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, Tribal TANF, Head Start, Veterans Pension or Survivor Benefits, et cetera
Usually, the last two points (low income and participation in federal assistance program) are the same requirements to qualify for a lifeline phone. Thus, you automatically qualify for the low-cost tablet if you’re already on a free government phone service.
Nonetheless, this doesn’t apply the other way round: qualify for a lifeline phone service because you’re eligible for an ACP tablet. Why so?
- The WIC and school lunch program is usually not part of the nutrition assistance benefits that qualify for lifeline
- The low-income requirement for the lifeline program is usually set at or below 135% of federal poverty guidelines: NOT 200%.
Summary Features & Specs of Various Sky Devices Government Tablets
The following chart highlights the various low-cost Sky Devices tablets that have been in circulation through the government ACP benefit. I’ve also included the few models that were previously offered and those likely to be added to the list in the coming year.
|Free Skye Devices Tablet Model||Network Connectivity||Built-in Memory||Screen Size|
|Sky Devices Elite T8 Tablet||4G LTE & WiFi||32GB ROM, 2GB RAM||8” w/ 800x1280p|
|Sky Devices Elite T8Plus LTE Android||4G LTE & WiFi||32GB ROM, 3GB RAM||8” w/ 800x1280p|
|Sky Devices Elite OctaX||4G LTE & WiFi||32GB ROM, 1GB RAM||8” w/ 800x1280p|
|Sky Devices OctaMax1 LTE Android||4G LTE & WiFi||32GB ROM, 4GB RAM||8” w/ 800x1280p|
|Sky Devices Maxview 4GB Tab||4G LTE & WiFi||32GB ROM, 4GB RAM||8” w/ 800x1280p|
|Sky Devices Elite T10 2.0GHz Tab||4G LTE & WiFi||64GB ROM, 4GB RAM||10” w/ 800x1200p|
|Sky Devices SKY ELITE 7.0L||4G & WiFi||8GB ROM, 1GB RAM||7” w/ 600 x 1024p|
|Sky Devices Platinum A7||3G & WiFi||16GB ROM, 1GB RAM||7” w/ 600 x 1024p|
|Sky Devices Platinum View 2||3G & WiFi||16GB ROM, 1GB RAM||7” w/ 600 x 1024p|
Before the COVID came and we didn’t have the ACP or EBB program, lifeline providers still used to offer discounted tablets. But in this case, it was more of a limited-time thing like that Verizon or T-Mobile pulls to lure new customers.
At that time, Sprint was still an individual company and all carriers had their 3G network active. So, the discounted tablets you’d receive were the likes of Sky Devices Platinum A7 or View2 series and Elite 7.0L.
At the time the government released the EBB budget (for those affected by COVID-19), 3G was on the verge of getting retired. All the Big Three carriers- Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile had even released a statement about the plan.
So, the supposedly free government tablet would be a model with at least 4G LTE. StandUP Wireless, the only lifeline operator I was sure was giving Sky Devices tablets, was mailing out the Elite OctaX.
But a lot of users still complained of the device being too slow and unresponsive when running heavy functions. One of the causes of this issue is usually low memory and possibly the reason operators are now offering Sky Devices Elite T8-series.
Many users have been receiving the original Elite T8 tablet with a combination of 32GB+2GB. But the T8-Plus with 32GB+3GB is available in select states and to some users when the original is out of stock.
Since I started looking into lifeline services, I’ve noticed every participating provider usually gives devices from select brands. StandUP Wireless is a perfect example that has been revolving around Sky Devices (though has NUU and Vortex for backup inventory).
So, by the end of the year, we could see the lifeline company offering Sky Devices OctaMax1 and Maxview with 32GB+4GB memory. Then by next year, maybe they can upgrade again to the 64GB tablets such as the Sky Devices Elite T10.
Companies That Give Discounted Sky Devices Government Tablet
As was just mentioned, providers of free government phones and tablets usually have the list of manufacturers they’ve partnered with for devices.
Cintex Wireless is the only company I’ve seen open to a wide range of brands, including even high-end Apple, Samsung, and Lenovo. But its parent company, HTH Communications, primarily deals with repairing and refurbishing smart devices like phones and tablets.
Anyway, Standup Wireless is the only company I’m 100% positive give the supposedly free Sky Devices government tablet. And currently, you can expect to receive Sky Devices Elite T8 or T8Plus, depending on what’s available in your state.
As for the other lifeline operators, most have not been honest enough to give details of the tablets to expect on this offer. A few examples include En Touch Wireless, TerraCom Wireless, TruConnect, and American Assistance.
So, when you apply for the low-cost government tablet, you can receive either a Sky Devices or another make available.
Common Related Questions
How do I reset my sky tablet?
Similar to most Android smartphones, you can easily reset a Sky tablet by going to the Settings>> System>> Advanced>> Reset Options. Then, Tap “Erase all data” and follow the on-screen instructions that appear.
Alternatively, you can turn off your tablet (if it was previously on). Then:
- Hold down the power and volume up buttons for a couple of seconds (until the Boost Mode appears).
- Next, use the Volume up/ down keys to find the “Recovery Mode” option and use the power key to select it
- Now use the volume keys again to get to the option for “Wipe data/ factory reset and the power button to select.
What size is a sky tablet?
The size of the Sky tablet in the market right now is up 10-inches on the Elite 10 series. But the Sky Devices Elite T8 and T8Plus on the ongoing free government tablet deals are all 8 inches, with up to 32GB memory.
Can Sky Mobile be unlocked?
Unfortunately, the Sky mobile devices only come unlocked when you buy from the manufacturer or retail detailers. But for the Sky tablets and smartphones from a lifeline provider, they are usually locked to the particular network for a particular period.
For instance, StandUp Wireless can only unlock Sky mobile devices that have been active at least for six consecutive months.
Do Sky Devices Directly Offer Free Government Tablets?
No, Sky Devices doesn’t directly offer free government tablets. Instead, the manufacturer has partnered with mobile carriers participating in the ongoing affordable connectivity program, like StandUp Wireless. Thus, you’ll have to apply with these carriers to receive the free tablet.
Remember Only One per Household
Basically, that’s everything you need to know on the current free Sky Devices government tablet deals. Even though not the best, it sure beat the Q Link Scepter 8 or the TruConnect Cloud Mobile Sunshine Elite on performance.
For instance, the Sky Devices Elite T8-series that StandUp Wireless is now mailing out has up to 32GB of built-in storage. Then you also get the option to expand the storage with a MicroSD card of up to 128GB.
Speaking of options, the ACP program and its free government tablet offers are only available to one individual per household. But you have the option to apply alone if you don’t share income and expenses with the roommate/s.