Is cricket wireless a good cell phone network? Can I use my cricket SIM card on another Cricket phone? And also what phones are compatible with cricket wireless now that the provider is shutting down 3G technology.
Well, just the other day, Cricket wireless support has announced their intention to retire the 3G network by February 2022. So, what does this mean to those using phone models like True Flip? Do they have to upgrade to later phone series or is there an exemption for existing customers?
Anyway, these are some of the things we’ll be looking at in our article today. We’ll also touch on the Cricket Wireless perks, in particular, how you can enjoy unlimited everything cell phone plans at less.
Is The New Cricket Wireless Worth It?
In general, Cricket Wireless is a perfect service if your location has a strong AT&T network signal. Unlike free government cell phone companies like Q Link Wireless, though, Cricket has AT&T as the carrier and the parent. Hence, the reason it’s AT&T updating the list of supported and unsupported devices as the 3G network nears the end.
Therefore, the new cricket wireless network we are talking about here is which will follow after the end of 3G. The company has provided that any device that doesn’t have at least 4G won’t receive data or voice service after 2022.
Nonetheless, you’ll still receive the wireless plan services and the included perks if your phone is compatible with the new network policy. Some of these benefits include:
- High-speed browsing data
- Unlimited data with no caps
- Generous cell phone plans and rates
- Unlimited talk, text, and picture messaging
- Free automatic blocking of fraudulent calls
- Unlimited texts to up to 37 foreign countries
- Warning alerts for spam and other nuisance calls
- Bring your favorite cell phone as long it’s unlocked and compatible
What Are The Best Phones Compatible With Cricket Wireless?
In the part about bringing your device, Cricket wireless is pretty strict on compatibility compliance. And not just 4G and 5G supported but also fully unlocked cell phones that aren’t tied to any carrier.
Here are the seven best factory unlocked touch screen and flip phones that will still work after February 2022:
- Best of All: SAMSUNG Galaxy S20 FE 5G G781U Factory Unlocked Android
- Best of Stereo: Google Pixel 4a 5G Ultra-Wide Lens Unlocked Smartphone
- Best of Releases: Motorola Moto G Power Unlocked 2021 Smartphone
- Best of Value: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 5G Mystic Bronze Android Phone
Will I Pay to switch to Cricket Wireless Network?
Even though not the cheapest, Cricket Wireless has some of the most generous prepaid phone plans. It even becomes cheaper when you add more lines to your primary account, whereby you can save up to $70.
Furthermore, Cricket Wireless has some of the most pleasing deals when you switch to its network. This includes bill credits and discounts on the latest phones, which surprisingly, you can finance through Affirm, one of the best buy now pay later sites for bad credit.
Even better, you could switch to cricket service with your current number (from another carrier) that your people already know. You just need your current carrier account information, including the account number, password or PIN, and the billing zip code.
Note, Cricket doesn’t charge any fees when transferring/ porting your number from another carrier for the first time. However, the provider does charge about $15 if you decide to change your number to a new one later on.
Here’s a chart with the various charge and fees from Cricket Wireless, as well as the wireless phone plans.
|Features||2GB||10GB||Unlimited Only||Unlimited + Hotspot|
|1 line cost2 lines cost3 lines cost4 lines cost5 lines cost||30/ mo.$60/ mo. $90/ mo.$120/ mo.$150/ mo.||$40/ mo.$70/ mo.$90/ mo.$110/ mo.$130/ mo.||$55/ mo.$80/ mo.$90/ mo.$100/ mo.$125/ mo.||$60/ mo.$90/ mo.$110/ mo.$130/ mo.$160/ mo.|
|Nationwide 5G access||N/A||N/A||N/A||Free|
|15GB Mobile Hotspot||NO||NO||NO||YES|
|Unlimited high-speed data||NO(fixed 2GB)||NO(fixed 10GB)||YES||YES|
|Unlimited talk, text, and picture messaging||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|150GB cloud storage||NO||NO||NO||YES|
|Unlimited international texting||NO||NO||YES||YES|
|Cricket Call defense||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|HD Voice & Wi-Fi Calling||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|Cricket Mobile Number Change Fee||$15||$15||$15||$15|
|BridgePay Activation Fee||$5(Single-line)||$5(Single-line)||$5(Single-line)||$5(Single-line)|
The Unlimited+15GB Hotspot plan is the only one with free 5G access. If you need the cellular technology with the other plans, you’ll need to have any of the Simply Data Plans.
Can I Use A Carrier Unlocked Cellphone With Cricket Wireless?
Thankfully, Cricket wireless does allow you to bring your favorite cell phone to the network. However, the phone has to be compatible with the new cellular technology policy and unlocked for a GSM SIM card.
When looking at how you can put a Boost Mobile SIM card in another Boost Mobile phone, however, we saw a factory-unlocked handset is fully interoperable with other networks. So, it would be a better choice if you’re planning to upgrade your hardware and software.
Regardless, you could still use a carrier unlocked cell phone if that’s what you have at the moment. However, the previous carrier might fail to unlock all the functionalities, which could block you from some Cricket features. That will mean getting back to your old provider, who might not be will to assist you and keep you on the wait for weeks.
The Best Phones Compatible With Cricket Wireless Reviews
SAMSUNG Galaxy S20 Factory Unlocked Android
The Galaxy model is our first recommendation if you need a reliable phone that will be compatible with Cricket Wireless even after 3G expires. It features 5G cellular technology and also the sophisticated Snapdragon 865 processor. So, you can enjoy smooth operations and faster download speeds on the frequency bands.
The cell phone also features an internal storage of 128GB and 6GB RAM. Thus, you can game, stream, and multitask without the device lagging.
- It can work with about all GSM networks
- Captures crisp and bright images
- Includes plenty of storage capacity
- Supports cabled and wireless charging
- Features a smooth and crystal 120Hz display
- It has multiple color designs to choose for your taste
- It doesn’t support the standard headphone jack
- The fingerprint reader isn’t always responsive
Google Pixel 4a Ultra-Wide Lens Unlocked Smartphone
The phone is also a great piece to use with your Cricket Wireless and even other GSM networks. It comes fully unlocked and supports up to 5G technology, which means you can use it with 4G networks as well.
Different from many latest devices, though, Google Pixel 4a 5G has an integrated headphone jack to connect to the external stereo. It also has the advanced Bluetooth v5.0, plus both the A2DP and aptX technology for high-quality wireless audio signals.
- It Easy to set up and start using
- has up to 128GB internal storage
- Can work with most GSM networks
- Delivers vivid photos day and night
- Offers smooth streaming and gaming
- It works well with the standard 3.5mm audio jack
- The battery life is relatively poor
- You can’t expand storage with a MicroSD card
- The fingerprint reader’s unresponsive on dry hands
Motorola Moto Power Unlocked 2021 Smartphone
Although less than seven months old, this phone is already one of the bestsellers in the market. It’s not very expensive but does have brilliant features, including a 6.6-inch display for ultra-wide streaming and gaming. The phone also has an internal storage of 64GB and you can add up to a 512GB MicroSD card if you need it.
- It has a fantastic battery life
- Comes unlocked for major carriers
- Delivers awesome sound quality
- Has a water-repellent coating
- It has a very reasonable pricing
- You can’t charge wirelessly
- Not the best for photography
- It doesn’t support contactless payment
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 5G Mystic Bronze Android Phone
If the price tag isn’t an issue, the Galaxy Note 20 5G has everything to smile about. It starts with the advanced Snapdragon 865 chipset, which allows you to operate on 5G with not only remarkable coverage. But also superfast speeds, especially when downloading, playing games, and video chatting.
Furthermore, the smartphone has intelligent stylus programming that you can use to create Microsoft Word or PowerPoint presentations. Then, you can link to your Windows PC and share the files in a flash.
- It has a sleek and elegant design
- Loads and run the apps superfast
- Features IP68dust/ water protection
- Supports fast and wireless charging
- Has a high refresh rate for smoother videos
- So easy to access with fingerprint/ face ID unlock
- It lacks the standard 3.5mm jack
- Doesn’t have a dedicated SD card slot
- The battery life isn’t the greatest
Kyocera DuraXE 4G Unlocked Android Flip Phone
While the phone isn’t the most famous, it still rocks when we speak of flip phones. It’s already open for GSM networks, which is to say you can just insert your Cricket Wireless SIM card and start using it.
The device is 4G ready, plus you could enjoy cellular calling with HD voice and real-time text (RTT) function. Moreover, it has an 8GB built-in storage and also you could add an external MicroSD card if you need more space.
- It’s compact and easy to carry
- Retains the charge for long
- Includes a clear, colored display
- Has WiFi and Hotspot capability
- It has a rugged and drop-proof body
- It has no quick access to contacts
- Features an annoying AT&T contact “bloatware”
LG K51 4G Platinum Unlocked Smartphone
Although the cheapest on the list, the phone still has amazing features for communications and entertainment. It has a relatively large display, which would be great for watching movies and playing games. There’s a fingerprint reader to help you unlock your phone with ease, then a triple-leans rear camera system for decent photo shoots. And since it comes unlocked for all carriers, you can use it with your Cricket SIM card as long the signal is stable.
More on that, the touchscreen phone utilizes 4G cellular technology. So, you can still use it even after ATT&T discontinues 3G services.
- It’s very affordable
- Has a decent battery life
- Supports contactless payments
- Supports WiFi calling and texting
- It has a friendly and responsive interface
- The internal storage is very low
- It can be tricky to set call/ message notifications
Apple Watch Series 6 GPS + Cellular RED Band
Though the last, the Apple Watch is one of the best sellers in the market, with more than 35,000 recommendations on Amazon. Thanks to the built-in cellular support, you can use it to perform basic phone functions, including calling and texting.
The watch has a 32GB internal memory and various applications, including a fitness tracker, sleep monitor, heart rate monitor, and others. You could also listen to your favorite music right from the wrist, courtesy of the integrated Bluetooth.
- It has a lovely and durable build
- Can work with AT&T networks
- Effortless to link with the phone
- You can ask for GPS directions
- Has integrated ECG monitoring
- It has numerous faces for your clock
- It’s very pricey
- Doesn’t accept iPhone 6 or below
- Battery life is quite poor
You truly need a good and compatible phone if you want to make the most of Cricket Wireless. If it’s the unlimited everything plan, the provider will give you unlimited minutes to talk, messages to text, and high-speed data to browse. So, it can come in handy to have a decent smartphone that you can use for all that.
Since the company does allow you to bring the device of your choice, this shouldn’t be an issue at all. You only need to make sure the model you have is compatible with the GSM network, and most importantly, a 4G or 5G technology support. As we’ve just mentioned, 3G will be soon phased out, just like with the 2G that retired around 2016.
So, you have to take advantage of the ongoing transition if you’re to continue using calls, texting, data services. In some cases, the migration has already begun in that some customers with 3G phones have been whitelisted.
But again, you can contact Cricket (for now) if your unsupported device is locked out before you can get a 3G or 4G device.