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FreedomPop review thread - find out how MNers children are getting on!

(26 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 03-May-17 12:16:22

FreedomPop have sent 25 MNers (from our panel) either a mobile handset and SIM or a SIM on their FreedomPop service for their child to try.

Here’s what FreedomPop have to say: "We'd love to hear what MNers (and their children) think about our service!
Here are the top benefits of FreedomPop
-100% Free Plan -- 200 minutes, 200 texts, & 200MB data every month for no cost. Users can get a SIM or Phone and then never pay another bill
-Unlimited calling & texting between FreedomPop phones, even when on the 100% free plan. Great for families who all subscribe to FreedomPop
-Highly discounted premium plans for those who require more usage each month (the unlimited minutes, texts, & 2.25GB plan is only £6.99/month)
-Parents can easily view who their child is calling and texting
-WiFi callling & texting when you're in an area without a cellular signal
-International Calling for only 99p"

Testers: please share the below

Who is trying the FreedomPop service? Did you try the handset or the SIM only? Why did they/ you want to try it? Was it their first mobile?
Do you see FreedomPop as a mobile service alternative for both parents and children?
How did your child get on with the phone (if applicable)?
What did you like about the service? And what features would you like to have in the future?

All those selected who give the required feedback will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £100 Amazon voucher.

Tweet your feedback to @FreedomPopUK

Good luck
MNHQ

Insight T & Cs apply

Jodunne Wed 03-May-17 14:03:30

My 15 year old daughter is testing the handset with Freedom pop already installed. They wanted to try it as their current mobile was over 5 years old and they were unsure as to what phone they would like next.
I was curious to know more about freedom pop as I had googled this in the past to see what it was all about. I think it is a great idea and I like the idea of it although when my daughter tried to call a number she had called previously it would not connect despite her trying 5 times. I then tried this number on my own phone and it connected straightaway (it was a landline number). I have heard that this can be an issue with freedompop. The only change I would suggest is to make sure that all calls connect but I understand that calls are connected in a different way to normal mobiles hence the free plan.

StuntNun Wed 03-May-17 15:17:32

My 14-year-old son is trying the FreedomPop SIM in an old iPhone 5S of mine. It was easy to activate the SIM and the packages look cost effective. Unfortunately in our area Three don't have great coverage so I'm not sure whether DS1 will want to switch contracts to FreedomPop. I will update later once he's had a chance to try the SIM for a little longer.

MimsyBorogroves Wed 03-May-17 19:08:15

Who is trying the FreedomPop service? Did you try the handset or the SIM only? Why did they/ you want to try it? Was it their first mobile?
Do you see FreedomPop as a mobile service alternative for both parents and children?
How did your child get on with the phone (if applicable)?
What did you like about the service? And what features would you like to have in the future?

My 8 year old is trying out FreedomPop as his first proper phone - we bought a very basic PAYG phone for him a while ago to take to the park, and then were appalled by the fact that it required topping up every month to keep it going even if the credit hadn't been used, so this was brilliant for us. He is also using the supplied Samsung galaxy s4.

He is loving having the phone, and using it mainly to text his dad/me when he is with his dad. He's taken it to the park with him a few times too so that if he meets friends and wants to go elsewhere he can call/text to keep in touch. We were confused at first by the fact that texts don't send through the regular text message function, but instead through the freedompop app on the phone. He has liked being able to play Pokémon Go, too!

I've managed to lock down a lot of the applications/internet etc as parental controls, which is great, but I would like to know if freedompop automatically block unsuitable content/webpages like some ISPs are now doing.

It's a brilliant service for older children in my opinion with the free monthly minutes/texts and we will definitely be keeping him using it as it is perfect for his needs. It will be something we look at upgrading too in the future as his usage increases with age, particularly if I get an iPhone upgrade, so he can also use iMessage. For teens/adults with more usage, I'm still unsure. I personally find texting through the app less easy - but that's habit really. I also think that the paid monthly services are similar cost-wise to giffgaff and other PAYG (but could be wrong - I haven't researched a lot).

Both DS and I found the Samsung a lot less user friendly than iPhones (which I'm used to). I was very taken by the fact Samsung offers a "kid" version of the UI, but it's a bit TOO young for DS. Something in the middle would be great. It was easy to block content/apps etc for his age. As I said earlier, we will definitely keep him on freedompop but look at giving him an iPhone upgrade.

We haven't had issues with dropped calls etc either, but we've only really used it in the locality so far rather than further afield.

MimsyBorogroves Wed 03-May-17 19:10:52

Oh yes - I'd also like to know if usage is capped - so if they're on the 100% free plan, will it definitely remain free, or does it charge if the user goes over their allowance?

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 04-May-17 10:46:50

Hi - in response to the PAYG queries, the team at FreedomPop say "If you reach your 200MB limit for data, then there is a PAYG rate of 2p per MB. Once you reach your limit of 200 minutes or 200 texts, then you'd need to upgrade to a higher plan if you wish to continue to have the ability to make calls & texts (there is no PAYG rate for minutes & texts). You will receive notifications (both Email and SMS) when you approach your data, minutes, & texts limit.

If you wish to have your data access cut off as soon as you reach your 200MB so you don't go over, then you can disable the Automatic Top-Up feature in your FreedomPop Account."

Chicinwellies Thu 04-May-17 11:31:30

The handset (Samsung Galaxy S4) and Sim were trialled by my 9 year old daughter, this was her first phone. Once the over excitement had settled, and the fighting with her younger sister had settled, she spent a lot of time getting to use the handset, and setting up family contacts (and three of her friends).

She was keen to have this as she can contact her father (deployed in the RN) and email him or text.

We had no signal in our home, road, stables, or village.
We are in deepest darkest Cornwall, but still, I will definitely not consider this network as a longterm option, on this basis. There were numerous times when texts and calls were not received through Freedompop, and we also could not call Ministry of Defence numbers (UK Landline).

Also from a pricing point of view the premium packages (which she would need in terms of Whatsapp conversations etc with Dad and sending sports videos) are comparable to deals we can get through O2 having been longterm customers.

Both my daughter and I and found the Samsung a lot less user friendly than iPhones (which I'm used to). We wouldn't consider giving her an android handset in the future, its apple all the way for us. This Samsung handset had dire battery life. She took it to a Triathlon last sunday fully charged and by 4pm when she went to phone her results in to awaiting Grandparents, the handset was at 4%, and died mid call.

We liked the concept that Samsung offers a "child" version of the UI, but as mentioned by another MN reviewer it was really too young, probably for a child who you wouldnt want to have access to a mobile phone anyway!. It was however easy to block content/apps etc for her age however.

Overall, FreedomPop would not be considered by our family nor would we consider an android handset. My daughter enjoyed the opportunity of the trial, but on reflection we hope that the next opportunity is a more positive one.

123julie321 Sat 06-May-17 02:13:41

Who is trying the FreedomPop service? Did you try the handset or the SIM only? Why did they/ you want to try it? Was it their first mobile? My teenage daughter. We're trying the SIM only, on her iPhone 6, which is indeed her first mobile.

Do you see FreedomPop as a mobile service alternative for both parents and children? Definitely, that's exactly how I see it.

What did you like about the service? And what features would you like to have in the future? My daughter has praised how fast and reliable the internet speed is. Really can't argue with free service! Really impressed.

minisoksmakehardwork Sat 06-May-17 21:41:23

Place marking for later.

TheMasterBaker Sun 07-May-17 16:22:50

Unfortunately we are unable to complete the test. I have emailed to advise that we are unable to use the sim card.

minisoksmakehardwork Mon 08-May-17 20:16:31

Who is trying the FreedomPop service?
Dd1, who is 8.

Did you try the handset or the SIM only? Why did they/ you want to try it?
Handset and mobile. We didn't have a working spare phone and had already been discussing getting dd1 a mobile to give her a little more independence with going out and being able to contact us/her friends.

Was it their first mobile?
Yes.

Do you see FreedomPop as a mobile service alternative for both parents and children?
The theory behind the service is a great alternative to payg sims and fixed term contracts. It is ideal for children as you don't worry about running out of credit, and paying a small charge when you do go over means your u can still use the mobile in a non 999 emergency.

How did your child get on with the phone (if applicable)?
We were delighted when the phone arrived at the start of the Easter holiday, what better time to give both the phone and dd1 a good trial with it. Unfortunately we had problems with the first phone. Day one of use, at the end of the day the phone went on charge, just as it was about at full charge it completely shut down and wouldn't start up again. We googled the problem and found it is a know. Problem with the galaxy s4, but all the suggestions for soft and hard restart didn't work so we contacted freedom pop and explained the problem. They very kindly sent out a complete replacement, but this arrived on the last day of the school holiday so we didn't get to do what we wanted in order to give it a proper test.

The kids app option on the phone is inspired, if a little babyish in theme - maybe the option to change it according to the individual like your u can wallpapers and colours on other phones would be an idea. However, given it is dd1's first phone, We really appreciated being able to give her access only to the things and people we wanted her to be able to access. Dd1 was particularly happy that each new thing came displayed as a present for her to 'unwrap'.

For us as parents, we are very used to apple products so becoming familiar with android was a little daunting. However we did find all the settings etc that we wanted quite easily.

What did you like about the service? And what features would you like to have in the future?

I really like the option for a completely free, within reason and limits, service. However I did feel that freedom pop are quite competitive in their pricing of other tariffs. What dh did find though was when he tried to set dd1 up after the he trial had ended, was that he was being asked to pay a lot more than he expected. Now it could be that he just didn't know what he was supposed to do, and I have since struggled to get the phone set back up. We keep being asked for a phone number etc or asked to choose another one so it will be a call to customer services I think to sort this out properly. Whilst dd1 can message her friends when she's connected to wireless internet, as soon as she goes out of range the phone is completely useless. And even within wireless connectivity, we can't connect a call to or from the phone. Perhaps a little more information on how to set the service up would be useful. The website itself has very little information about it, or about how it works. Initially I thought it relied more on a wireless connection that 3G, possibly due to how it had been set up. But we are also in an area where many mobile services do not work overly well. Even though we should have been ok according to the map image, the ability to zoom in on our postcode would be very useful in determining whether this would be a service we would choose to use outside of the product test.

Overall we had successes with the product test. But so far there have been more fails with the mobile service itself and until I have more information about how it works, I would be reluctant to recommend it to anyone.

MonsieurBing Thu 11-May-17 11:14:43

My 8 year old is testing this in my old iPhone 5. I had a couple of problems setting it up but they were definitely down to my technical incompetence. Once the phone was unlocked it was very easy to set up.

It's his first phone and he is very excited. I wanted it for him to be able to call me when he is at his dad's as he often stops me talking to the kids. From that point of view, it's perfect. I only have a couple of contacts in it so he can't build up huge bills by accidentally calling my parents in the states or anything.

Coverage is good where I am. I've been struggling with text messages but a previous poster says it goes through the app which I hadn't tried so again, technical incompetence on my part.

I will be seriously considering keeping this as it will be easy for him to keep below the limits. Not so sure about when he's a teenager. But overall it's a thumbs up from me.

TheInterruptingSheep Thu 11-May-17 15:36:48

Unfortunately I cannot offer my feedback on this item as the sim card did not work in my son's phone.

Notthecarwashagain Thu 11-May-17 18:22:41

Who is trying the FreedomPop service?
My DS (10)
Did you try the handset or the SIM only?
We have the handset and SIM to try, the handset is a samsung S4
Why did they/ you want to try it?
DS has been asking for a phone for a few months, but I was reluctant to let him, as I wasn't sure if I could trust him to not make excessive calls and run up a huge bill. I wanted to try the FreedomPop service, as the no contract package sounded like a really good idea. Also the ability for me to view who he had been calling was a huge bonus
Was it their first mobile?
Yes
Do you see FreedomPop as a mobile service alternative for both parents and children?
Yes, it's very good value for anyone.
How did your child get on with the phone (if applicable)?
DS is unfamiliar with Samsung, but was very happy with the phone once he'd got the hang of it. He was pleased that he could download his favourite apps onto it.
What did you like about the service? And what features would you like to have in the future?
The 'no running up a huge bill' is a great idea. I would not have let my DS have a phone if this package had not been available. There are no added features I can think of that I'd like to have (but will add them on if I think of any!)

Goodnamesalltaken Thu 11-May-17 22:20:20

We were testing the sim only, in my 10 year old daughters Xperia. She has found it very easy to use and it was pretty simple to set up. We haven't however master how to use data outside of WiFi in the house. This isn't a problem to me as she doesn't use social media now so hasn't really asked about it. I could imagine she wouldn't be happy if she was a teenager.
The coverage hasn't really been an issue, but thats probably because she hasn't really used it much outside of calling me or her dad but I do know the network it uses has issue local to me and I did switch providers because of this.

I would say this would be a great sim deal for those with slightly older children who are perhaps have a further distance to travel for school or who go out with the friends on their own. My DD is yr 6 so does walk to and from school on her own but is only 15 minutes away.

I think the package is quite good value for money especially for teens. I will be considering signing up for this as DD's previous PAYG sim ate up all her credit with her hardly using the phone. And I would probably recommend this package to my friends whose children are about to start secondary school too.

Mummyszone Sat 13-May-17 21:13:42

Who is trying the FreedomPop service?

Oscar is 7 years old and is trying out the service as he likes to play games on my phone and uses my phone to message and call his best friend after school.

Did you try the handset or the SIM only?

We were kindly sent the SIM and the Samsung Galaxy phone.

Why did they/ you want to try it?

I wanted to try it out as a network that offered 100% calls and texts seemed to good to be true and after reading stories of kids racking up huge phone bills Freedom Pop sounded like the perfect answer to stopping that. Oscar likes to message his friend on my phone and he feels very grown up having his own phone.

Was it their first mobile?

Yes it is Oscar's first mobile. Obviously at 7 he doesn't carry it round with him everywhere but after school he likes to message and ring his friends. He also pesters Daddy by ringing him as well and has been sending us very sweet messages.

Do you see FreedomPop as a mobile service alternative for both parents and children?

Totally! Their data packages are so well priced and I do use my phone a lot for my blog but a lot of the time that is on my Wi-Fi. I then pay a huge amount for data each month that I don't use. Using Freedom Pop would bring my bills down massively. For kids/teenagers its just fantastic. Knowing you will never get a huge bill at the end if the month is a god send for parents that are worried about the cost of their children having a mobile phone.

How did your child get on with the phone?

Oscar found the phone really easy to use and the home screen is easy to navigate. The camera is great too and he keeps taking lots of photos. Writing a message is easy too with predictive test it has helped him to write the messages he wants to write without any help.

What did you like about the service? And what features would you like to have in the future?

I think the service is great. Like I said above having a service that does exactly what you need out of a phone network at an amazing price. It has made me realise just how much the network I am currently with are obviously ripping me right off! I can't think of anything that I would add at the moment. Also being able to see who Oscar is going to call or text I am sure in the future when he is in his teens will come in very useful!

ParadiseCity Sun 14-May-17 15:50:14

Hi, here is my feedback:

Who is trying the FreedomPop service?
My 10 year old DD

Did you try the handset or the SIM only?
Handset

Why did they/ you want to try it? Was it their first mobile?
DD had a terrible handmedown that could not run any of the apps she wanted to play on. So she never charged it or took it anywhere. So although this was her 2nd phone it was the first one she actually engaged with iyswim.

Do you see FreedomPop as a mobile service alternative for both parents and children?
Yes, in fact I am thinking about getting one for myself as I currently have a work mobile phone, so I can't justify a private phone too but then again the work one isn't ideal for job hunting...

How did your child get on with the phone (if applicable)?
Loves it! Thank you. DH and I both have Samsung's and we have a Samsung tv. So it integrates with everything in the family. It took me a while to settle with Samsung having always had I phones but I think Samsung are great now. DD has been able to download all the apps she wanted (Pokemon, dragon rider, WhatsApp, anki) without any hiccups.

What did you like about the service?
DD uses her phone mostly indoors where there is Wi-Fi, so it is great for her. She has our Wi-Fi and grandparents Wi-Fi programmed in so it's really easy.

And what features would you like to have in the future
Ooh tough one - just to keep up to date, safe, and virus free I think.

Thanks very much for the trial. DD feels very lucky.

originalbiglymavis Mon 15-May-17 08:33:15

I didn't get picked but got put on their bloody mailing list!

BookShop Mon 15-May-17 10:51:30

Who is trying the FreedomPop service?
My DD aged 9.
Did you try the handset or the SIM only?
SIM only

Why did they/ you want to try it? Was it their first mobile?

They've had a device for a while but it was never connected away from home. She's requested the ability to text her grandparents and we thought this would be good for her to start learning to be responsible when out and about.

Do you see FreedomPop as a mobile service alternative for both parents and children?

No. I see it as a starter path to learning to be responsible for a device and mobile plan when she is old enough.

What did you like about the service?

I liked that she was able to message freely. The system didn't feel reliable though. It took a while before we were confident her messages were being sent.

It wasn't very user friendly the UI felt basic.

I'm not sure how this would differ from WhatsApp and at least that way I know her data is confidential. I wasn't sure about how private her conversations would be and where they would be stored.

And what features would you like to have in the future?

Parental timers are always good.
An ability to 'poke' a message to ensure they've seen and read it. A nudge.

TripleMinion Tue 16-May-17 00:27:36

Who is trying the FreedomPop service?
DS Age 11

Did you try the handset or the SIM only?
We tried the handset and the SIM

Why did they/ you want to try it?
We'd promised he could have a mobile phone when he started high school in September. This trial popped up and it was a great opportunity for him to try out having a mobile.

Was it their first mobile?
Yes

Do you see FreedomPop as a mobile service alternative for both parents and children?
Not really. I saw it as a good way to introduce using a mobile phone and being responsible for looking after it.

How did your child get on with the phone (if applicable)?
He found it easy to use. He has an android tablet so was used to downloading and using apps etc. He really enjoyed having a phone and being able to message his friends. It seems most of his friends have had phones for a while so being chosen to trial this phone and app made his year!

What did you like about the service? And what features would you like to have in the future?
It was good to have unlimited messaging and calls. He mostly used the wi-fi at home and family and friends houses. He wasn't allowed to take it to school so didn't really use a lot of the data allowance which might change when he goes to high school. The package appeals to me as he can't run up a massive bill and go over a set limit.

Climbontoyourseahorse Tue 16-May-17 09:14:17

Who is trying the FreedomPop service? Did you try the handset or the SIM only? Why did they/ you want to try it? Was it their first mobile?
DS age 12 is trying the service with the handset provided by Freedompop. He was using an old phone of mine before and wanted to try this because the old phone was very slow and did not support a lot of the apps he wanted to use.
Do you see FreedomPop as a mobile service alternative for both parents and children?
Yes I will definitely be looking into joining myself when my current contract is up for renewal.
How did your child get on with the phone (if applicable)?
He thought it was great, he could get the apps he wanted and found it very easy to use. He did find that when he was out and tried to call it sometimes took a few attempts to connect but texts went through fine and the internet worked fine also.
What did you like about the service? And what features would you like to have in the future?
I liked the pricing of the service. I would have liked it to have been easier to find out how much allowance was left, DS discovered this by accident but other than that we were very happy with the phone and service.

Mrsgordonfreeman2 Tue 16-May-17 20:51:29

Please note, this is a new account but I am a tester.
Who is trying the FreedomPop service?
My daughter (7)
Did you try the handset or the SIM only?
SIM only
Why did they/ you want to try it? Was it their first mobile?
Yes, it's her first mobile. She loves playing Pokémon Go and I was tired of letting her use my phone to play it. She takes the phone on sleepovers and likes being able to send me messages.

Do you see FreedomPop as a mobile service alternative for both parents and children?
Yes
How did your child get on with the phone (if applicable)?
N/A
What did you like about the service?
Easy to use. Setting up was a doddle.
And what features would you like to have in the future?
Maybe some additional child friendly features?

thesoupdragon44 Wed 17-May-17 15:10:55

Who is trying the FreedomPop service?
Son (age 11)
Did you try the handset or the SIM only?
Sim only
Why did they/ you want to try it? Was it their first mobile?
second provider, and we are looking for a cheaper way for son to keep connected and have for when he goes to senior school in September
Do you see FreedomPop as a mobile service alternative for both parents and children?
it could be for anyone, and would be a great option fo my mum who I think should have an emergency phone.
How did your child get on with the phone (if applicable)? n/a
What did you like about the service? And what features would you like to have in the future
It was a good service, that I would defiantly use again, and might even change over permanently when we end current contract. I would like to see data only bolt-ons as this is what we as a family use most and then it would be a very cost efficient mobile provider.

Fanjango Wed 17-May-17 23:41:25

Not been able to do much testing. There's absolutely no reception here. We've used it though the wifi and it allows daughter to text for free but sadly so far we can't access the phone away from home. Will try to take her phone to local town and try there. Will hopefully have a better report then. Reception here is poor for all networks but sadly this one has none at all.

Who is trying the FreedomPop service? DD age 16

Did you try the handset or the SIM only? Sim only

Why did they/ you want to try it? I currently pay contract for her and looking for better value

Was it their first mobile? No

Do you see FreedomPop as a mobile service alternative for both parents and children? Possibly - depends what you are looking for in terms of usage etc

How did your child get on with the phone (if applicable)? N/A has existing phone and is never without it...,
What did you like about the service? Low cost options - still exploring/using so may update further

And what features would you like to have in the future? For me, keep ability to manage costs and if I had younger DC, ability to manage account/see what they are doing...

For DD, more free data and fast speeds...,

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