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printed May 4, 2016
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Cricket to Sell LG Stylo 2 Starting May 13

Today, 9:03 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Cricket Wireless today said it will kick off sales of the LG Stylo 2 on May 13. The phone will cost $169.99. Cricket does not require contracts. The Stylo 2 has a 5.7-inch screen with stylus, a 13-megapixel main camera, 5-megapixel selfie camera, memory card slot, and 3,000mAh battery. The phone is powered by a quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor and has 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage. It runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Cricket said consumers who switch to Cricket from other carriers will receive a $50 gift card, and consumers who switch from T-Mobile will receive a $100 gift card. The Stylo 2 is also being sold by Boost Mobile.


Microsoft Rolls Out Lumia 950 BOGO Offer

Apr 25, 2016, 12:15 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Microsoft is looking to clear inventory of the Lumia 950 XL and Lumia 950 smartphones, which means consumers can buy one at full price and get the second one for free. The deal is available via Microsoft's U.S. web store. Specifically, people who purchase the 950 XL at $649 will receive a Lumia 950, valued at $549, for free. Both devices are being sold unlocked with support for GSM carriers, such as AT&T and T-Mobile. The promotion is available while supplies last through May 2. Microsoft reported shipments of about 2.3 million Lumia phones in its most recent financial documents, which represents a steep drop from the 8.6 million it shipped in the year-ago period. The company admitted it is sitting on a lot of excess inventory of its flagship Windows 10 Mobile devices. Moreover, the company expects "year over year revenue declines to deepen as we work through our Lumia channel position." Cricket Wireless is expected to launch Microsoft's mid-range model, the Lumia 650, early next month. Microsoft has recently pushed a significant update to its Windows 10 Mobile platform and updated core apps such as email, Groove Music, and the Edge browser.


Cricket to Sell Microsoft Lumia 650 Starting May 6

Apr 20, 2016, 9:06 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Apr 20, 2016, 4:12 PM

Cricket Wireless today announced plans to sell the Microsoft Lumia 650. The prepaid carrier will offer the phone beginning May 6 for $130. The phone runs Windows 10 Mobile and features a metal-frame design with a 5-inch HD OLED display, 8-megapixel camera, memory card slot, and removable battery. Cricket says people who switch from another carrier will be eligible for a $50 bill credit. T-Mobile customers who switch to Cricket will be eligible for a $100 bill credit. Cricket's prepaid plans start at $40 per month.


Cricket Debuts Unlimited Plan for $70

Apr 15, 2016, 9:10 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Cricket Wireless today announced a new service plan that includes unlimited talk, text, and LTE data for $70 per month. That price includes all taxes and fees. Cricket customers who enroll in auto-pay can reduce their monthly cost to $65. Along with the new plan, Cricket Wireless said it will reward T-Mobile subscribers who switch to Cricket with a $100 bill credit. Cricket operates on AT&T's network, but LTE speeds are capped at 8 Mbps. The new plan will be available beginning April 17.


Cricket Partners with Aaron's to Attract Lease-to-Own Shoppers

Apr 4, 2016, 8:28 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Cricket Wireless today announced a new retail partnership with Aaron's that will make Cricket's SIM card starter kit available at about 2,000 Aaron's locations around the country. Aaron's offers goods on a lease-to-own basis. Consumers who lease a smartphone from Aaron's can now activate that phone on Cricket's network right at the Aaron's retail store. Aaron's online lineup of devices includes the Samsung Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3, LG G3, and Motorola Moto G. Lease prices are expensive. For example, Aaron's lists the Galaxy S5 retail price at $840. (The Galaxy S5 is available new from retailers such as Amazon.com for $360, unlocked.) Monthly lease costs from Aaron's run $90 per month for 18 months, which totals about $1,620. Finance charges are about $780 in this example. These prices don't include Cricket's service fees, which start at $40 per month.


Cricket Expands Retail Footprint to 1,000 Best Buy Stores

Apr 3, 2016, 9:00 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Cricket Wireless today said Best Buy has agreed to sell the prepaid carrier's phones and services at some 1,000 stores around the country. The ZTE Fanfare and HTC Desire 625 are available from Best Buy's web site starting today, and will reach Best Buy's retail stores over the next few weeks. Best Buy will also sell a Cricket Wireless SIM card starter pack for those who want to activate their own phones. Cricket will expand the selection of smartphones sold at Best Buy stores over the next few months. With the addition of Best Buy's retail stores, Cricket said its phones and services are available at some 10,000 retail locations across the U.S. Cricket's plans start at $40 per month.


Cricket Launches Two Galaxy Amp Handsets from Samsung

Mar 30, 2016, 11:16 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Apr 4, 2016, 6:38 PM

Cricket Wireless today announced the Galaxy Amp Prime and Galaxy Amp 2 (pictured), two low-cost Android smartphones from Samsung. Both devices ship with Android 6.0 Marshmallow and Samsung's software customizations, such as Quick Launch for the camera. The Amp Prime and Amp 2 both support micro SD memory cards up to 128 GB.

  • Amp Prime: This phone features a 5-inch screen screen and a 5-megapixel camera. The phone has Samsung's Easy Mode home screen experience, as well as Ultra Power Savings Mode to extend battery life. The Galaxy Amp Prime will available online and in stores on April 8th, for $149.99.
  • Amp 2:This smaller phone has a 4.5-inch 800 x 480 screen, 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, 5-megapixel main camera, and 2-megapixel front camera. The phone has a 2,050mAh battery. It will be available starting April 15 for $99.99.


Cricket to Snag Galaxy S7 March 18

Mar 9, 2016, 11:02 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Cricket Wireless said it will begin selling the Samsung Galaxy S7 starting March 18. It is charging $649.99 for the phone and will provide a free Gear VR headset to those who buy before April 1. Cricket's service plans start at $35 per month.


LG Spree Hits Cricket March 11 for $90

Mar 9, 2016, 10:33 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Cricket Wireless today announced the LG Spree, a low-cost Android smartphone that goes on sale March 11 for $89.99. The Spree includes a 4.5-inch screen, 5-megapixel rear camera, 2-megapixel front camera, and 1.1 GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor. The phone has 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of storage, and supports memory cards up to 32 GB. LG's Quick Memo tool is on board, as are some of its camera modes, including Gesture Shot, Burst Shot, and Selfie Light. The Spree also has Knock On and Knock Code, as well as LG's customizable keyboard. The phone includes a 1,940mAh battery. The LG Spree reaches Cricket stores on Friday.


Samsung Giving Gear VR Headset to Early GS7 Adopters

Feb 21, 2016, 2:50 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Samsung today said consumers in select countries, including the U.S., who preorder the Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge will receive a free Gear VR headset. Samsung didn't say how long the promotion will be available. Many U.S. carriers have also announced pricing for the pair of phones. The Galaxy S7 costs approximately $670 to $700, depending on carrier, while the larger S7 Edge has a much higher price point between $780 and $800, depending on carrier. Monthly payments for the phones range from about $30 to more than $40, depending on the terms. So far, AT&T, Cricket Wireless, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Wireless have all said they'll sell the new handsets from Samsung. The device goes on sale March 11, but preorders start February 23.

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Microsoft Reveals Lumia 650 Headed to Cricket Wireless

Feb 15, 2016, 11:59 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Feb 15, 2016, 12:14 PM

Microsoft's web site suggests the Lumia 650 will be sold by Cricket Wireless, though Cricket has not confirmed that. The U.S. support page for the Lumia 650 mentions a Cricket variant, and includes a user manual for the 650 that names Cricket throughout. Additionally, documents spotted on the FCC web site confirm at least one version of the Lumia 650 supports U.S. LTE bands, including 2, 4, 5, 7, 12, and 17, which means it can operate on the networks run by AT&T / Cricket and T-Mobile / MetroPCS. Neither Cricket nor Microsoft have officially said if or when the phone might be sold to U.S. consumers.


ZTE's Grand X 3 Hits Cricket Stores Today

Jan 29, 2016, 9:55 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Cricket Wireless says the ZTE Grand X 3 is now available online and in Cricket stores for $130. The Grand X 3 includes a 5.5-inch HD screen, Cat. 4 LTE, and a USB Type-C connector, which is reversible. It has 2 GB of RAM and its 16 GB of storage is expandable via a memory card up to 64 GB. The Grand X 3's 8-megapixel camera shoots 720p HD video, and a 2-megapixel selfie camera is located on front. It's powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor and runs Android 5.1 Lollipop. Cricket will knock $50 off the price for customers who switch from another carrier. Further, people who port their number to Cricket will receive a $50 gift card.


Sprint Planning Virgin Mobile Revamp

Jan 26, 2016, 11:00 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Sprint says it has a new strategy in mind for its prepaid brand Virgin Mobile. During a call with analysts today, Sprint execs said the company is de-emphasizing Virgin at the moment in favor of Boost Mobile, and has gone so far as to pull Virgin advertising ahead of a the new strategy's debut. Sprint did not say what it plans to do with Virgin, though it did admit it is not pursuing the pre-paid space as aggressively as rivals Cricket and MetroPCS. "You've got to figure out where do you want to fight and where do you want to grow," said CEO Marcelo Claure. "We are keeping the customers that matter." Claure also took the opportunity to reassure investors and customers that its network improvement plan will not be disruptive. "This is not a rip-and-replace strategy," said Claure, calling the implementation a "progressive build" that will make changes for the better. The company is expected to relocate some cell towers and make greater use of small/macro cells to densify its network. It may also shift some backhaul operations to microwave in order to cut down the fiber carriage fees it pays to AT&T and Verizon. Claure still believes Sprint can become the No. 1 or No. 2 network in terms of absolute performance in 80% of the country's markets within two years.


Cricket Offers Discounted Phones to Switchers

Jan 21, 2016, 8:58 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Cricket Wireless is looking to entice people to switch to its network by offering discounts on a number of smartphones. Beginning January 22, consumers who port their number to Cricket can buy the Samsung Galaxy S6 for $399.99, a savings of $100 over the normal retail price. Cricket is making similar discounts, ranging from $20 to $50, available to a dozen other devices, including the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 ($109.99), ZTE Grand X Max ($99.99), HTC Desire 626s ($89.99), and Microsoft Lumia 640 ($79.99). The promotion runs for a limited time. Cricket's service plans start at $40 per month. Wireless carriers are competing for customers fiercely. With most Americans already carrying a smartphone, the only way for carriers to score new customers is to steal them from rivals.


Cricket Wireless Picks A New Leader

Jan 15, 2016, 10:39 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Cricket Wireless today appointed John Dwyer as president and head of operations. Dwyer replaces Jennifer Van Buskirk, who has moved to another position within Cricket's parent company, AT&T. Dwyer will be responsible for Cricket's day-to-day operations, long-term planning, and strategy. Dwyer previously worked in various sales and marketing positions within AT&T.


Hands On wth the ZTE Grand X 3 for Cricket

Jan 5, 2016, 8:04 PM   by Rich Brome

The Grand X 3 is part of a growing trend to find new ways to bring premium features and design to mid-range and entry-level phones. The Grand X 3 is an extremely affordable phablet with a plastic body and low-end processor. Yet at the same time, it has the same curved-edge glass front normally found on much higher-end phones, plus an HD display and USB Type-C connector. We spent some time with one.

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ZTE Grand X 3 Is Just $130

Jan 5, 2016, 6:18 PM   by Rich Brome   updated Jan 8, 2016, 11:05 AM

ZTE today announced the Grand X 3 for Cricket Wireless. It offers a 5.5-inch HD screen and Cat. 4 LTE for just $130. It's also the most affordable phone to date to sport a USB Type-C connector, which is reversible. That connector supports fast charging for the 3,000 mAh removable battery. It has 2 GB of RAM and its 16 GB of storage is expandable via a memory card up to 64 GB. Its 8-megapixel camera shoots 720p HD video, and a 2-megapixel selfie camera graces the front. It's powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor. The Grand X 3 will be available from Cricket later this month.

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Cricket Scores the Waterproof Kyocera Hydro View

Jan 4, 2016, 11:30 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Jan 4, 2016, 11:49 AM

Kyocera and Cricket Wireless today announced the Hydro View, a waterproof Android smartphone that is similar to the Hydro Air. The View is rated IP57 against water and dust and can sit in 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. It features a 5-inch qHD screen with wet finger tracking. The View is powered by a 1.1 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 210 processor with 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of storage, and support for memory cards up to 64 GB. The rear camera can capture 5-megapixel images or 1080p HD video. The front camera rates 2 megapixels. Radios include LTE, Bluetooth 4.1, and WiFi with support for mobile hotspot. The Hydro View runs Android 5.1 Lollipop and comes with several of Kyocera's apps and services, such as EcoMode and MaxiMZR to keep the 2160mAh battery up and running. The Kyocera Hydro View will hit Cricket stores January 8 for $79.99.


Cricket Debuts New $100 Porting Promo

Dec 7, 2015, 1:30 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Dec 7, 2015, 1:41 PM

Cricket Wireless is offering people who port their number to Cricket today through Jan. 7 a $100 bill credit. A similar promotion, which gave switchers a $100 shopping card, was first unveiled during the Black Holiday shopping week. That promo expired Dec. 6. The new promotion is a bill credit, not a shopping card. Cricket says the promo can be combined with several of its other seasonal offers, such as discounts on the LG G Stylo and Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime.


Cricket Offering Discounts On Older iPhones

Dec 4, 2015, 9:21 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Cricket today announced more holiday promotions that see significant price cuts to its lineup of smartphones. Beginning Dec. 4, new and existing customers can but the iPhone 5c for $179.99 or $229.99 for the 16GB and 32GB models, respectively. Similarly, the iPhone 5s will cost $199.99 and $249.99 for the 16GB and 32GB models. These prices are in effect through Jan 7. Cricket is also offering incentives to people who switch from other carriers. Cricket will sell the Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime to switchers for $29.99, the LG G Stylo for $49.99, and the ZTE Sonata 2 for $9.99. Customers who switch by Dec. 6 will receive a $100 shopping card.


T-Mobile Offers Discounted iPhone to AT&T Customers

Dec 3, 2015, 9:27 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

T-Mobile is targeting AT&T customers once again with a new promotion that cuts $200 from the price of the iPhone 6s 128GB. AT&T, Cricket, and GoPhone customers who port their number to T-Mobile can buy the 128GB iPhone for the same price as the 16GB iPhone. T-Mobile is also offering to cut the price of select accessories by up to 50%. For example, smartwatches, Bluetooth speakers, and fitness trackers are eligible for discounts when purchased in-store. The discounted iPhone will be available to AT&T customers between Dec. 4. and Dec. 13. T-Mobile says the promotion can be combined with Carrier Freedom, which offers to pay ETFs and other fees up to $650 per line to those who switch from AT&T to T-Mobile. T-Mobile offered a similar promotion to Sprint customers last week, and says Verizon customers will have their own promo in the weeks ahead.


Cricket Names New President

Dec 2, 2015, 9:32 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Cricket Wireless today announced that John Dwyer will replace Jennifer Van Buskirk as president. Dwyer will be responsible for the brand's day-to-day operations and long-term strategy. Before joining Cricket, Dwyer worked at AT&T Mobile, Cingular, and Pacific Bell. Van Buskirk has been named president of AT&T's northeast region. Cricket is owned and operated by AT&T.


Cricket Halves the Prices of Samsung Galaxy S Phones

Nov 30, 2015, 8:16 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Cricket Wireless today cut the price of the Samsung Galaxy S4, S5, and S6 handsets by 50%. Through Dec. 3, the Galaxy S4 costs $99.99, the Galaxy S5 costs $199.99, and the Galaxy S6 costs $249.99. Customers need to activate the handset with a line of service in order to receive the discount. Cricket said the deal can be combined with its offer of a $100 gift card to those who port their number to Cricket through Dec. 6.


ZTE Selling the ZMax 2 Unlocked

Nov 23, 2015, 11:41 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

ZTE today said it is making the ZMax 2 smartphone available to consumers unlocked. The phone was originally sold via TracFone earlier this year, but is now online directly from ZTE. The full price of the phone is $179.99, but ZTE is running a limited sale price of $129.99. The ZMax 2 has a 5.5-inch 720p HD screen; quad-core 1.2GHz processor with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage; 8-megapixel main camera with full HD vide capture and a 2-megapixel user-facing camera. It includes Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, WiFi, and LTE radios. The phone packs a 3,000 mAh battery. The ZMax 2 runs Android 5.1 Lollipop and is compatible with the networks operated by AT&T, T-Mobile, and their prepaid businesses, Cricket Wireless and MetroPCS, respectively.


Cricket Tempts Switchers with $100 Reward

Nov 20, 2015, 9:00 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Cricket Wireless today kicked off a promotions to entice consumers to port their number to Cricket. People who switch to Cricket between today and Dec. 6 will earn a $100 Cricket Shopping Card. The card can be used for monthly service, handsets, and accessories at Cricket stores. Cricket said it will let new customers combine this deal with existing mail-in rebate promos on select phones to save even more money. For example, Cricket is offering the LG Risio, Motorola Moto E, Nokia Lumia 635, and the ZTE Overture 2 for free after rebates. The rebates are available to all customers through Jan. 7. The $100 gift card is only available to new customers.


Cricket Kicks Off Rewards Program

Nov 19, 2015, 11:12 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Cricket Wireless today announced Cricket Rewards, a loyalty program that lets customers earn points that can be used for various rewards. The program is accessible via the Cricket Rewards and MyCricket applications, which are free to download. Cricket will award points for opening/registering accounts, setting up auto pay, making on-time payments, checking the weather, and other everyday activities. Customers can redeem points for gift cards at select retailers, including AMC Theaters, Amazon, GameStop, Old Navy, Sears, and others. Points can also be used to enter sweepstakes or make charitable donations. To help initiate interest in the program, Cricket is launching a $25,000 "selfie sweepstakes." There is no limit to the number of points customers can earn, and the points don't expire as long as customers remain active in the program.


Cricket Adds Data Roaming In Canada and Mexico

Oct 28, 2015, 8:36 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Cricket today expanded its international options to include data roaming in Canada and Mexico at no extra charge. Customers who subscribe to Cricket's Smart and Pro plans, $50 and $60 per month, respectively, can use their rate plan data when traveling throughout North America. The Smart plan includes 5GB of data and the Pro plan includes 10GB of data. Cricket already provides unlimited calling, texting, and messaging in between Mexico, Canada, and the U.S., and unlimited international texting from the U.S. to 38 different countries.


Cricket Wireless to Sell Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3

Oct 28, 2015, 8:29 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Cricket Wireless today announced that it will offer the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 beginning Nov. 6. The handset will cost $149.99 with a new activation. The Idol 3 has been for sale in the U.S. since April, but this marks the first time it will be sold by a carrier. The Idol 3 has a 5.5-inch full HD screen and octa-core Snapdragon 615 processor with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. The phone boasts stereo JBL speakers with Clarify processing and 1.2W amplifiers. The main camera uses a 13-megapixel Sony sensor that includes a variety of modes and video-capture tools. The phone has an 8-megapixel user-facing camera with wide-angle lens. Connectivity options include LTE, Bluetooth 4.1, FM radio, GPS, and WiFi. The Idol 3 has a 2,910mAh battery and supports microSD cards up to 128 GB. The Cricket Wireless variant of the phone integrates the Deezer music streaming service with Alcatel's Mix deejay application. Idol 3 owners can listen to their Deezer playlists directly from Mix and add effects, transition songs, sync, mix, scratch, or insert samples. The Idol 3 runs Android.


Cricket Jumps Into 1,600 Target Stores

Oct 1, 2015, 9:52 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Oct 1, 2015, 12:51 PM

Cricket Wireless today announced a significant expansion of its retail footprint thanks to Target. Beginning Oct. 25, Cricket handsets and services will be available in some 1,600 Target stores around the country. Consumers will be able to purchase smartphones from HTC, LG, Samsung, and ZTE for prices ranging between $50 and $130, as well as SIM cards for BYOD customers. Cricket says the expansion means it now has a presence in 9,000 retail locations around the U.S.


Cricket's CDMA Network Goes Dark September 15

Sep 14, 2015, 11:34 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Sep 14, 2015, 11:38 AM

Cricket Wireless says the vast majority of customers have transitioned away from its legacy CDMA network ahead of tomorrow's planned shutdown. AT&T has been moving Cricket customers from the older CDMA network to its own GSM-based network since it acquired the carrier several years ago. Earlier this summer, Cricket said 97% of its customers have made the jump to GSM handsets with lower-than-expected churn rates. Some CDMA customers remain active in California and a few other locations, according to Cricket, though the prepaid carrier declined to say exactly how many. Once the shutdown commences, those customers will lose network access. Cricket has been notifying customers for nearly 18 months of the impending shutdown via text messages, mailers, and emails. Cricket customers using older CDMA-based phones should upgrade their phone as soon as possible in order to maintain service. Cricket's CDMA shutdown follows that of MetroPCS, which T-Mobile shuttered earlier this year.


Cricket Kicks Off Fall Promotions, Adds HTC Desire 520

Sep 10, 2015, 11:30 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Cricket Wireless today announced availability and pricing details for the HTC Desire 520 in addition to a slew of other discounts and deals. The Desire 520 reaches Cricket stores Sept. 11 for $99.99. The 520 is an entry-level Android handset. Cricket is also offering significant discounts to new customers who port their number from another carrier. For example, it will drop the price of the LG Risio from $49.99 to $19.99 and the price of the LG Stylo from $149.99 to $99.99. Customers can grab the Samsung Galaxy S4 for $299, the S5 for $399, or the S6 for $499. Last, Cricket is holding open enrollment for its device protection program, called Cricket Protect. The service covers damage and other issues for $7 to $10 per month, depending on the handset.


Cricket Expands Calling Plans to Central, South America

Aug 24, 2015, 11:27 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Aug 24, 2015, 3:53 PM

Cricket Wireless today made more calling and messaging add-on plans available to a greater number of countries throughout Central and South America. For $10 per month, Cricket customers can add Columbia, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic to their plan. The plan provides 150, 100, and 100 voice minutes, respectively, as well as unlimited messaging (text, picture, video). For $15 per month, Cricket customers gain various amounts of voice minutes and unlimited messaging to El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Jamaica, Haiti, and Nicaragua. These options must be added to Cricket's $50 or $60 monthly plans. Cricket also improved its Canada plan. Subscribers to the $50 or $60 plans will receive unlimited talk and text to and from Canada (when roaming) for free. Cricket already offers similar unlimited calling and messaging to/from Mexico. The new international add-ons are available starting today.


Cricket Launches the LG G Stylo and HTC Desire 626s

Aug 17, 2015, 7:42 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Cricket Wireless today said the LG G Stylo and HTC Desire 626s are available at its stores and on its web site. The G Stylo costs $199.99 and the Desire 626s costs $149.99. Service plans for these Android handsets are as low as $35.


Cricket Adds Calling and Messaging From Canada and Mexico

Jul 31, 2015, 8:39 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Cricket Wireless today improved its international offering by adding the ability to make calls and send text messages from Canada and Mexico to the U.S. The change means Cricket customers who travel to Canada and Mexico will be able to stay in touch with family and friends in the U.S. while they are away. Cricket customers are already able to make unlimited calls and send unlimited messages from the U.S. to Canada and Mexico. Cricket said the "roundtrip" feature will be available to its Smart and Pro plans ($50 and $60 per month, respectively) for at no extra cost. The unlimited calling/SMS feature goes into effect for Mexico on August 2 and will go into effect for Canada later in August. Cricket's move follows similar calling plan changes made by parent company AT&T, as well as competitors T-Mobile and MetroPCS.


HTC Debuts New Desire 626 and 526/520 Range

Jul 15, 2015, 2:00 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

HTC today revealed a new family of Desire handsets. The 626 series (pictured) and 526/520 series share many features, though the former is a bit more mid-range and the latter is decidedly entry-level. Traits common to the 626, 626S, 526, and 520 include Qualcomm's 1.1 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 210 processor; 2,000mAh batteries; single-band WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, and GPS/GLONASS; support for 2 TB memory cards; and Android 5.1 Lollipop with HTC Sense.

  • 626/626S: In keeping with prior Desire designs, the 626/626S are formed of polycarbonate and have variable color combinations. These larger Desire handsets have 5-inch 720p HD screens and 8-megapixel main cameras with 720p video capture. The 626 has 16 GB of storage, 1.5GB of RAM, and a 5-megapixel user-facing camera. The 626S has 8 GB of storage, 1 GB of RAM, and a 2-megapixel user-facing camera.
  • 526/520:The 526 and 520 share most design features, but differ in some key specs. They have a simple appearance and cheaper materials. The 526, intended for Verizon, has a 4.7-inch qHD screen, 8-megapixel rear camera, 2-megapixel front camera, 8 GB of storage, and 1.5 GB of RAM. The 520, intended for Cricket Wireless, has a 4.5-inch FWVGA screen, 8-megapixel rear camera, 2-megapixel front camera, 8 GB of storage, and 1 GB of RAM.
HTC said these phones will become broadly available from many U.S. carriers, including T-Mobile and MetroPCS, AT&T GoPhone and Cricket Wireless, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint, Boost Mobile, and Virgin Mobile. Pricing, colors, and availability will vary by carrier.

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Cricket Scores Distribution Deal with Meijer Stores

Jun 26, 2015, 10:56 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Cricket Wireless today said its goods and services will be available at 213 Meijer stores across the midwest beginning June 27. Consumers in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky will be able buy prepackaged phone kits from phone makers such as HTC, Samsung, and ZTE. The stores will also sell Cricket's universal SIM card kits for those who already have a compatible device. Cricket Wireless is owned and operated by AT&T.


AT&T's GoPhone Now Selling the ZTE Maven

Jun 26, 2015, 8:34 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

AT&T's prepaid unit today added the ZTE Maven to its roster of inexpensive handsets. The Maven is a rebadged Overture 2, which is sold by AT&T's Cricket Wireless business. The Maven is an entry-level Android smartphone that it is selling for $59.99. The Maven features a 4.5-inch FWVGA display, 5-megapixel main camera, VGA user-facing camera, 8 GB of storage, and support for memory cards up to 32 GB. This handset also has a quad-core 1.2 GHz processor and a 2,100mAh battery. The Maven from ZTE runs Android 5.0 Lollipop and is compatible with AT&T's LTE 4G network.


Cricket Adds ZTE Sonata 2 to Low-Cost Lineup

Jun 26, 2015, 7:11 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Cricket Wireless has made the ZTE Sonata 2 available on its web site for $29.99. This inexpensive Android smartphone has a 4-inch WVGA screen protected by Dragontrail Glass and it is powered by a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor. The ZTE Sonata 2 includes a 5-megapixel rear camera and 2-megapixel front camera with a dedicated selfie app. The phone has 1 GB of memory and 4 GB of storage, and supports memory cards up to 32 GB. Connectivity options include 4G, Bluetooth, and WiFi. The phone has a 1,650mAh battery providing it with power and supports Qualcomm QuickCharge 1.0 for quicker charging. The Sonata 2 runs Android 4.4 KitKat.


Boost Offering to Slice MetroPCS, Cricket Bills In Half

Jun 19, 2015, 9:28 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Jun 19, 2015, 12:23 PM

Boost Mobile today introduced a limited promotion aimed at enticing MetroPCS and Cricket Wireless customers to switch. Boost will cut the monthly service fees in half for Metro and Cricket customers that sign up for Boost service between now and July 20. Boost says the halved bills can save Metro and Cricket customers between $20 and $30 per month for up to one full year. For example, MetroPCS is charging $40 a month for unlimited talk/text and 2.5GB of LTE data. Customers who port their number to Boost can get that same service plan for $20 per month. Similarly, Cricket charges customers who have unlimited talk/text and 10GB of data $60 per month. Boost will charge only $30 for that same plan. After the year-long promotion expires, customers will automatically be migrated to the Boost plan with a comparable amount of monthly data. Boost operates on Sprint's network. Sprint is offering a similar promotion to customers who switch from AT&T or Verizon Wireless.


Cricket Adds More Countries to International Calling Plans

Jun 18, 2015, 10:56 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Cricket Wireless today gave its customers more reason to call friends and family living overseas. First, Cricket added Brazil, Singapore, and Nigeria to the list of countries in its Cricket International add-on. Customers now have access to unlimited landline calls and text messages to 38 countries for $5 per month. Customers looking to send picture/video messages and call wireless numbers in those same countries can upgrade to the Cricket International Extra add-on, which costs $15 per month. Cricket today also debuted a new calling add-on specifically for Cuba. The Cricket International Cuba add-on costs $15 and provides 15 voice minutes. It can be added as a recurring feature, or used only when needed. Last, Cricket said it is offering customers who switch from another carrier a smartphone for 99 cents. The new international calling plans will be available starting June 25.


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