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Zact touts lower phone bills

Wireless service Zact promises tailored plans for huge savings.

Use the Zact app to tweak account settings. Zact
Why shell out extra bucks each month for a cellular service you don't benefit from? That's the question wireless newcomer Zact poses to customers. In a fresh twist on the MVNO model, today the company unveiled a radical way for people to buy and customize their phone plans on the fly.

Your plan, your way
Essentially Zact will hand subscribers the power to fully adjust their mobile plan details, such as data, voice, and texts, right from their handset. The point, according to Zact, is that consumers can pay for only the cellular features they want and in the amount they actually use, resulting in big dollar savings. Here's how it works.

If you typically rely on your phone for its data connection to access e-mail, social-networking apps, and the odd Web search, but don't tend to make voice calls, just tweak your plan accordingly. The same goes for users who suck down lots of data but do so in the footprint of home and work Wi-Fi networks.

Serious chatterboxes who gab with friends and family all day long have the option to max out their voice minutes and dial down everything else. Texting fiends, of course, can beef up their monthly SMS messaging allotment, while e-mail addicts can select a similar arrangement.

Now playing: Watch this: Tailor fit your plan with Zact's phone service

Parental lockdown
Need even more control? No problem. The Zact system allows subscribers to build their service plan around access to specific apps such as Facebook, Twitter, email, what have you. Zact also highlights methods to quickly add or remove multiple devices (tablets, phones, etc) to individual or family accounts. Parents also will be able to limit when, what, and on which gadgets their kids use specific apps and mobile services.

You use the Zact mobile app to perform these custom tweaks and the impact of any adjustments is immediately reflected in dollar values. The application also gives the option to top off their subscription if things are getting low. Likewise, any unused services (data, voice, and so on) will credited back to users plans each month. Additionally, Zact service plans don't lock you into a yearly contract and are paid up front.

Add, remove, and control your devices through the app. Zact

Too good to be true?
It all sounds great, but there is a catch (there always is, in my experience). First, Zact has partnered with Sprint to power its cellular service, and the carrier isn't known for its cutting edge network and wireless performance. Judging from the phones that have passed through my hands, Sprint's 3G infrastructure delivers data speeds well below that of T-Mobile, Verizon, and even AT&T. The carrier's 4G LTE network coverage is also in short supply compared with the other Verizon and AT&T.

Another bummer is the rather unimpressive selection of handsets Zact offers: just two, to be exact. These are the LG Viper ($399) and LG Elite ($199), both underpowered Android handsets that can't hold a candle to Sprint's blazing new superphones, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One.

Too bad there's no way to install the Zact app on any Sprint phone you'd like, or heck, any carrier you want. Now that would be a truly tailor-made mobile plan I could sink my teeth into. Still, the Zact solution seems to be a massive step in the right direction, toward a wireless America where customers sit in the driver's seat and not one where the carriers take them for a ride.