Qlink Compatible Phones At Dollar General Store

Qlink Wireless is a cellular carrier that gives low-income individuals a free monthly phone plan and sometimes a bonus smartphone. However, does the smartphone I get have 5G access? If not, can I get 5G-enabled Qlink compatible phones at Dollar General?

Overall, Qlink is a pretty decent provider of the free phone program. You’ll come across mixed reactions about the carrier online, yes. But at the end of the day, it has still managed to help thousands of consumers connect with loved ones and job opportunities when they shouldn’t.

4 Crucial Facts about Qlink Compatible Phones

In this post, the idea was to answer your question on whether you can get phones compatible with Qlink on Dollar General. Before that, four crucial facts you should know about Qlink-compatible phones are:

  1. A Qlink compatible phone MUST have at least primary band 4, 12, or 71. The more the better.
  2. The Qlink compatible phone should also have 4G LTE bands 2, 5, and 66 for a better experience
  3. Qlink compatible phones should have bands N41, N258, N260, or N261 to access high-speed 5G.
  4. A Qlink compatible phone from other carriers should be unlocked to work with your SIM card

Does Qlink Have a Free Touch Screen Phone With Lifeline Or ACP Program?

First, Qlink Wireless isn’t just a cellular phone provider. It’s an eligible telecommunication carrier (ETC). So, it has the FCC permission to offer Lifeline and ACP program that give eligible consumers free phone service. Then, the government, through the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), pays them back for every subscription.

While ETCs do give free touch screen government phones when you apply for the first time, the government doesn’t cover it. The $9.25/ month the government pays Lifeline providers is usually to cover the monthly phone plan.

In the ACP program, the government offers a subsidy of $30, which is also only for the monthly service. Yes, your ACP discount may have a one-time subsidy of up to $100 to purchase a device. However, the device discount only covers the purchase of a tablet, laptop, or desktop PC.

As such, neither of the two free phone programs from the government includes a subsidy to purchase a touchscreen phone. But even with that, the Lifeline/ ACP providers still give away a free smartphone to attract you to their service.

Is the Free Touch Screen Phone Qlink Give You Any Good?

When you apply for the Qlink free phone program and get approved, you may get a free smartphone to use with your service. It’s a “may” as Qlink is no longer generous on bonus smartphones as they were a year ago.

The company has even written in bold they “don’t typically provide free phones”. Instead, they have frequent offers that include a complimentary phone.

When Qlink had the free complimentary phone, they would give you a branded Hot Pepper (HP) Serrano 3. The smartphone is an entry-level model with MediaTek MT6739 (28nm) processor, 16GB internal storage, and 2GB RAM.

So, the free Qlink phone isn’t powerful enough for running heavy apps, multiple functions in the background, and non-stop use. It’s one of the reasons you hear enrolled customers complaining about their devices freezing or overheating a lot.

Qlink Compatible Phones At Dollar General
Qlink Compatible Phones At Dollar General

Of course, you get a replacement phone from Qlink if these issues become excessive and make the device unusable. But like with most Lifeline companies, Qlink offers the free smartphone with a rather short warranty window.

If planning to use your Qlink phone for just basic functions, though, the specs are good enough. The basic functions include making calls, text messages, engaging on social media, reading emails, or just normal browsing.

In other words, seniors will be okay with the Qlink free touch screen phone. Nonetheless, students and prime adults will need another device with latest features to make the most of their free service plan.

Important Note:

Upgrade to the latest specs isn’t the only time you may need to get another Qlink compatible phone. The other times you may need to get another phone to use with your Qlink service include when your previous phone:

  • Got lost after misplacing or someone stole
  • Develops physical or technical problems

Are there Qlink Compatible Phones at Dollar General Stores?

Which retail chain is available in your area? Dollar General is one of the variety stores with outlets at every corner of the country.

Right now, there are a total of 19,000+ outlets, where Texas leads as the State with the most joints of over 1800+. Sixteen states have less than a hundred Dollar Stores each, albeit accumulatively they get 700+ outlets.

Long statistics short, this means Dollar General Stores are quite common, both in the urban and rural areas. They’re also a favorite of many people, as they stock a variety of household  items, including cell phones and phone plans.

But now, can one get free Qlink phones and service phone plans at a Dollar General store? Sadly, NO.

Dollar General is an exclusive retail company, not a marketplace like eBay or Amazon. It only sells products, in this case, cell phones and phone plans, of its carrier partners.

 If you visit a Dollar Store, you’ll notice the cell phones and phone plans on the racks are prepaid. Like when I checked in my area, it only had prepaid AT&T, Verizon, Boost Mobile, Simple Mobile, and TracFone.

The Dollar Store in your area may have other phones in stock, as it depends on availability and the partnership deal. Dollar General doesn’t always make public its cellular partnerships.

Dollar General Partnership with T-Mobile

A few months ago, T-Mobile was one of the carriers with phones and phone service cards at Dollar Stores. However, this may no longer be the case as the few Dollar stores I’ve checked didn’t stock the GSM products.

The reason I’ve mentioned T-Mobile here is because it’s the carrier network of Qlink Wireless. All this means Qlink is an MVNO of T-Mobile, and Carrier Networks usually have phones compatible with their MVNOs.

So, with a T-Mobile partnership, we’d have natural Qlink compatible phones at Dollar General stores. The T-Mobile phones could work even before unlocking.

But as I’ve just said, the stores in my location didn’t have anything from T-Mobile. (You can try the Dollar General stores in your area and see if I’m right).

Will the Other Phones at Dollar General be Compatible with Qlink Wireless?

A quick answer is a MAYBE. Why so?

Dollar General does not sell fully unlocked phones as we see with Walmart, BestBuy, or marketplaces like Amazon. The retail chain only sells branded phones, locked to the network of the carriers partnered with.

As Qlink is an MVNO, the phones sold at Dollar General won’t be naturally compatible. When you try to use the phone, you’ll always get an “invalid SIM” error, meaning the SIM card is incompatible.

To use a Qlink SIM card with phones from other carriers, you usually have to unlock them first. The requirements to unlock a phone locked to another network vary with the carrier in question. But in all cases, it always comes down to using the phone service for a certain period.

A crucial point you should know is that a carrier-locked phone is still not guaranteed to work on Qlink after unlocking. Each phone provider usually operates on different frequencies, which can vary with others.

For instance, the network frequencies that the three major carriers here in the US use are:

NetworkPrimary FrequenciesSecondary FrequenciesLow-Band 5G FrequenciesHigh-Band 5G Frequencies
 T-Mobile4*, 12*, & 71*2, 5, & 66N71N41, N258, N260, & N261
Verizon13*2, 4, 5, & 66N2, N5, & N66N77 (C-Band), N260, & N261
AT&T12* & 17*2, 4, 5, 29, 30, & 66N2, N5, & N66N77 (C-Band), N258, & N260

A phone should have at least one primary frequency band and a secondary frequency to work on 4G LTE. The 5G frequencies, specifically the high-band spectrum, are crucial when you want to get the best of your service.

Fast forward, you’ll notice T-Mobile and AT&T share all secondary network frequencies, plus the primary band 12. Thus, AT&T phones at Dollar General are compatible with Qlink Wireless after unlocking. The same is true for phones locked on MVNOs of AT&T, such as Boost Mobile.

Meanwhile, Verizon utilizes primary frequency band 13 which none of the other carriers use. For that, some of its phones may not work with Qlink SIM cards after unlocking.

Get Qlink Compatible Phones at Retail Stores Similar to Dollar General

At this point, we can agree Dollar General isn’t the best place to shop for phones that work with Qlink SIM cards. The most limiting factor is the fact they don’t sell unlocked phones.

The good thing is that you can get a phone from other stores similar to Dollar General and use it with Qlink Wireless. Stores like Amazon, Walmart, BestBuy, eBay, etc sell fully unlocked phones you can use with any compatible carrier instantly.

Furthermore, these retailers have a vast number of phone brands and models to choose from for your needs. They have high-end names for your status and entry-level phones if you have a small budget at hand. You can also get unlocked feature phones for seniors and others who prefer traditional tech over smartphones.

Some examples of LTE and 5G phones you can get to use with your Qlink SIM card are:

 Type of NetworkROM & RAM
Fully Unlocked Apple iPhone 13 128GB Smartphone5G & 4 LTE128GB, 4GB
Factory-Unlocked Samsung Galaxy A14 5G Phone5G & 4G LTE 64GB, 4GB
Qlink (branded) Apple iPhone 8 Plus LTE iOS Phone4G LTE64GB, 3GB
Qlink (branded) Apple iPhone SE (3nd Generation) Bionic5G & 4G LTE 64GB, 4GB
Unlocked Google Pixel 4a 5G-Capable Phone5G & 4G LTE128GB, 6GB
Qlink (branded) BLU Tank LTE Flip Phone4G LTE4GB, 0.5GB
Unlocked Nokia 2780 VoLTE-Enabled Feature Mobile Flip4G LTE4GB, 0.5GB
Qlink (branded) Nokia 225 4G LTE Feature Phone4G LTE128MB, 64MB
Unlocked Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G-Enabled Phone5G & 4G LTE128GB, 6GB
Unlocked LG V60 ThinQ 5G Water-Resistant Android5G & 4G LTE128GB, 8GB
Qlink (branded) OnePlus Nord N10 5G-Enabled Android5G & 4G LTE128GB, 6GB
Fully-Unlocked Samsung Galaxy A11 LTE Android Phone4G LTE64GB, 4GB
Fully Unlocked Sony Xperia 5 Ultra-HD Camera Phone4G LTE128GB, 6GB
Factory-Unlocked Samsung Galaxy S21 5G Smartphone5G & 4G LTE128GB, 8GB
Unlocked Google Pixel 3a XL LTE Smartphone4G LTE64GB, 4GB
Fully Unlocked Apple iPhone SE (2020 Edition) Phone 4G LTE64GB, 3GB
GSM-Unlocked Samsung Galaxy S10 4G LTE QHD+ Smartphone4G LTE512GB, 8GB
Fully Unlocked Samsung Galaxy S9+ 128/ 6GB Phone4G LTE256GB, 6GB
AT&T Unlocked LG Stylo 5+ 4G LTE Android4G LTE32GB, 3GB

Commonly Asked Questions:

How much is a Qlink compatible phone at Dollar General?

First, you’ll not find Qlink phones at Dollar General, as the retail giant only sells phones from its prepaid carrier partner. Some of these prepaid carrier partners have phones compatible with Qlink SIM cards for as low as under $50.

Can I get a phone compatible with Qlink 5G under $100/

Yes, you can get a phone compatible with Qlink 5G for under $100 at retailers like Amazon, Walmart, or eBay. However, all the 5G phones under $100 I’ve seen are locked to certain carriers. Thus, you’ll have to first unlock them to use with Qlink.

How can I get a Qlink free touchscreen phone?

When they had the deal, you’d get a Qlink free touch screen phone by enrolling on the Lifeline and ACP combo plan. However, this deal is currently unavailable, and so is the free smartphone offer.

Why did my phone fail to work with a Qlink SIM card?

In a nutshell, the four main reasons your phone may fail to work with a Qlink SIM card are:

  • Your phone doesn’t have the necessary Qlink/ T-Mobile network bands
  • The phone is still locked to the previous carrier network
  • Your SIM card isn’t placed well on the reader plate
  • The phone you’re using has a damaged SIM card plate or issues with firmware/ IMEI

Finance Your Latest Phone at Qlink

In conclusion, that’s everything relevant you should know about Qlink compatible phones at Dollar General. The vital point to remember is that Dollar stores only sell prepaid phones of the carriers it has partnered with.

While these prepaid phones may be compatible with Qlink SIM cards, they come locked to their original carriers. So, it may be tricky to use them instantly since you have to first unlock them.

In any case, we’ve concluded you can use other retail stores to get a phone to use with your Qlink free cellular service. Qlink is one of these retail stores, with an online department you can purchase your desired device.

The Qlink phones catalog comprises a wide range of brands, including high-end iPhones, Google, Pixel, Sony, and Samsung phones. Then, there’s a buy now pay later program to help finance the expensive phones you may struggle to pay upfront.

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