FreedomPop brings free voice, data, and texting to tablets

Bring your own device or buy an iPad or Galaxy Tab and enjoy a generous helping of monthly service.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read

FreedomPop has some good deals on tablets, but you can also BYO Sprint-ready model. Either way: free service! FreedomPop

FreedomPop, the company best known for offering free mobile phone service, is getting into the tablet game.

As of this morning, FreedomPop will sell the Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 with free, no-contract service, or let you bring your own Sprint-compatible, data-capable tablet to enjoy the same privileges.

Either way, you get the following every month: 500MB of data, 500 text messages, and 200 voice minutes. Free. No strings attached. If you want more of anything, obviously you'll have to pay for it. But given that the average smartphone user consumes only around 750MB of data per month, it's a safe bet many folks will get by just fine on 500MB.

And what's this about texting and calling from a tablet? Assuming you're keen to do that, "users will be able to associate a unique phone number with any FreedomPop tablet and make free calls and texts," according to the company.

FreedomPop's tablet offerings include the refurbished Apple iPad Mini (16GB) in black or white for $319.99 and the refurbished Galaxy Tab 3 (16GB) in black or white for $199.99. Bear in mind these are the Wi-Fi + 4G versions of these models.

But, aha! Apple is currently selling the same refurbished Mini for the same price. Why aha? When you buy it from Apple, you get a like-new tablet with a full one-year warranty. I don't know what condition FreedomPop's Minis are in, nor what the warranty is (the only thing mentioned is a 30-day money-back guarantee).

Plus, FreedomPop offers only the 16GB model; Apple has 32GB and 64GB options as well. Just make absolutely sure you get the Sprint version, otherwise you won't be able to bring it to FreedomPop for that sweet, sweet free service.

The Galaxy Tab, on the other hand, is a very solid deal at $199.99, especially given that I routinely see the 8GB Wi-Fi-only version for around the same price.

Because this announcement just went out today, obviously I haven't had the chance to test FreedomPop's tablet service. But I do use one of the company's Sprint-powered mobile hotspots on a regular basis, and it works beautifully.

Whether you buy a tablet from FreedomPop or bring your own, this is a seriously awesome deal. Unprecedented, unrivaled, maybe even unbeatable?


Bonus deal: If your kitchen counter is anything like mine, it's littered with devices that need charging. That's why I'm a big fan of this product, which is on sale today: Amazon has the Anker 5-port desktop USB charger for $19.99 when you apply coupon code 20DF7105 at checkout. Shipping is free for Prime subscribers, otherwise consider padding your cart to at least $35. This is the new PowerIQ version of the charger, which automatically detects what kind of device is connected and supplies amps accordingly.