AirTalk Wireless is one of the dozens of lifeline & ACP providers you can get free cell phone service without paying. The service will also come with a free phone when you join for the first time. But then, are the phones you get good? And in case of defects, is there a way how to Get an AirTalk Wireless replacement phone without paying?
First things first, AirTalk Wireless is a decent free cell phone program if you can qualify. The lifeline and ACP combo service plan bring you unlimited everything (talk, text, and data), with up to 15GB of high-speed browsing. Then you also get a free one-time smartphone to use with your service.
The kind of phone AirTalk Wireless gives you when you join can be any of the options from their vast catalog. Samsung Galaxy A22 5G, Samsung Galaxy A13 5G, Apple iPhone 8, Google Pixel 4, LG G7 ThinQ, and Motorola Moto G Stylus, are just some of the top brands available currently. And the best part, the operator gives the option to choose the device you’d like to get when applying.
Acronyms used in the article:
- ACP stands for Affordable Connectivity Program: the broadband program that the government created to replace EBB (emergency broadband benefit)
- ETC stands for Eligible Telecommunication Carrier (or Carriers): service providers that have registered with USAC to offer free lifeline phone service from the government
- USAC stands for Universal Service Administrative Company: the institution FCC has assigned to distribute monies for Lifeline & ACP.
- FCC stands for Federal Communications Commission: the government body that implements and enforces communications laws and regulations here in the US. It also acts as the oversight of the ACP and Lifeline programs, making sure the monies are used appropriately.
- MVNO stands for Mobile Virtual Network Operator (or Operators): a small phone carrier that resells a network of Major Carriers.
What’s an AirTalk Wireless Replacement Phone?
An AirTalk Wireless replacement phone is what you’ll get when you “replace” the device you’ve been using. However, many times we tend to use “replace” and “upgrade” interchangeably. And this will lead to about four different situations you will be looking to get a replacement phone:
Replace an AirTalk Wireless Phone with malfunction/ Damage
As the name advertises, this is where you apply to get an AirTalk Wireless replacement phone after the previous one malfunctions. The malfunction can be from physical damage like a cracked screen, battery/ charging problems, and a broken earpiece/ mouthpiece. Or else technical malfunctions, which often relate to issues with the firmware.
Replace an AirTalk Wireless Phone with Incompatibility Issues
“Incompatibility” is where the phone you are/ have been using with AirTalk Wireless doesn’t work on the network. The issue can happen from either network incompatibility or carrier incompatibility.
In network compatibility, AirTalk Wireless seems to have dropped AT&T as the carrier network for T-Mobile. The existing customers on the AT&T-compatible SIM cards continue to use their service. But soon they will have to switch to the AirTalk T-Mobile-compatible SIM card and phones to get service.
As for carrier compatibility, it simply means the phone software must be compatible with the AirTalk Wireless service. And the best way to make sure of this will be to have a branded AirTalk phone or a fully-unlocked phone.
Replace an AirTalk Wireless Phone Lost/ Stolen
In case of a lost AirTalk Wireless phone, you’ll also have to get a replacement to continue getting service. “Lost” in this case applies to either losing by misplacement or in case stolen from you.
Tip: Unfortunately, the AirTalk Wireless replacement policy for lost/ stolen phones isn’t as gentle as for the case of malfunctioning/ incompatibility.
Replace an AirTalk Wireless Phone for a Better Service Experience
The final reason you might want to replace your current AirTalk Wireless phone is to enjoy a better mobile experience.
Of course, the kind of phone AirTalk Wireless gives you for free can be even a brand like Apple or Samsung. But like other ETCs, these phones are often models a few years older than the current market.
So, you might as well want to replace your current device to get the latest features like 5G, a faster processor, more memory, eSIM, et cetera.
It’s worth mentioning AirTalk doesn’t always send the phone you wanted when applying. I mean, when the device you select is out of stock, the carrier will send an equivalent option from the same or different brand.
Tip: When replacing your phone for a better experience, this is more of upgrading. Thus, you must be ready to spend a couple of bucks as no carrier will be willing to do it for you free of charge.
BYOP for your AirTalk Wireless Replacement Phone
While it may seem obvious, not all lifeline providers with free government phones allow you to bring your own phone (BYOP). Assurance Wireless is a perfect example, where they are yet to introduce the (BYOP) program even under the new T-Mobile ownership.
On its end, AirTalk Wireless supports BYOP if you’d like to join the service with your favorite device. The lifeline-only service plan from the operator actually doesn’t include a free phone at the moment. It offers a FREE SIM only, then you can bring your own device to activate with the service.
But before activation, it’s noble to check your phone ID (IMEI) to see if it will be compatible with AirTalk Wireless. It’s a straightforward process, where you just need to input the device IMEI in the input box, then hit “Check Compatibility”.
Even so, you should know your BYOP device may still fail to work with AirTalk Wireless even after passing the compatibility check. I mean, the compatibility check only determines the network technology (4G LTE/ 5G frequency bands) and any red flags available. It doesn’t check if the device is unlocked or locked to another carrier.
So, phones locked to another carrier besides AirTalk Wireless will not work here even after passing the compatibility check.
Of course, phones locked to a Major Carrier can naturally work on MVNOs using its network. But this rule is most applicable to prepaid MVNOs. ETCs have always been perky on the device they can work with, and AirTalk may not be so different.
You can still try to insert your new Airtalk Wireless SIM card into a T-Mobile (locked) phone and see if it will work. After all, I’ve just noticed both AirTalk and AirVoice Wireless are now stocking the T-Mobile REVVL phone series.
A Quick Guide on How to Get AirTalk Wireless Replacement Phone
In a nutshell, the process to replace a phone with any ETC varies. The reason for this starts from where we’ve just seen four different situations you may need to replace your old device. And in these four situations, we can draw up two main ways how to get an AirTalk Wireless replacement phone:
Method 1: Get AirTalk Wireless Replacement Phone for Free
Indeed, you do qualify for a free replacement AirTalk Wireless phone. The first applicable situation is where the original device from the provider has malfunctioned. And the malfunction, in this case, is anything to do with the manufacturer, rather not from your misuse/ tampering.
In the latest AirTalk Wireless terms & conditions, unauthorized usage and tampering including things like unlocking, re-flashing, or alterations of the physical components or software. If you perform either on your device, it will just void the warranty and disqualify you from the free replacement.
The AirTalk Wireless warranty policy currently has a 15-day return window, not a year like some people are claiming. A 15-day warranty is surely not the best when you consider the likes of SafeLink Wireless offer one-year support on both new and refurbished devices. But it’s still enough time to test the performance of your device and any prevalent defects.
Tip: it’s still unclear if AirTalk Wireless will be giving free replacement phones compatible with the T-Mobile network to the existing customers still on AT&T. The only thing I’ve been able to confirm at the moment is that the Lifeline Provider is offering T-Mobile-compatible SIM and phones to all those joining now.
Steps on How to Get Free AirTalk Wireless Replacement Phone
If you notice any defects on your AirTalk Wireless free phone(or upgrade phone), and it’s still under warranty, you can get a replacement as follows:
- Contact AirTalk Wireless customer support at +1 (855) 924-7825 or email [email protected]. Keep in mind the customer support team is available 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. CST on Monday through Friday and 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. CST during the Weekend.
- Once connected, the AirTalk agent will ask for your account details to prove the ownership.
- After verifying your details, the customer rep will try to help you troubleshoot the issue on your device. If this doesn’t solve the problem, he will provide an RMA (return merchandise authorization) number to mail back the defective phone.
- Print (a hard copy) of the RMA that the AirTalk agent has just provided (usually sent via Return Authorization email)
- Prepare the defective AirTalk Wireless phone for return. This means factory reset if you’ve already begun using the device, and also turn off the “Find My Phone” feature.
- Next, place the defective phone and all accessories in the original packaging it arrived with.
- Now, enclose the copy of the return request (RMA shipping label in Step 4 and order number) to your return packing.
- Finally, mail your defective phone package to the AirTalk Wireless return address (provided in the email that came with the RMA label or the instructions from the customer rep).
In Step 6, you must box up your defective phone with everything it came with (except the SIM card). You should also keep a copy of the RMA for easy follow-up on the processing of your product return. And once AirTalk approves your return, they will send a replacement, which can be similar to what you had earlier or a different model.
Method 2: Get AirTalk Wireless Replacement Phone for a Fee
In case of self-inflicted damages, it will be impossible to get an AirTalk Wireless replacement phone for free. The same applies if your old phone was lost or stolen. You will have to pay a minimum fee of $25 to get the Standard warranty replacement phone. And just like with the free replacement, the carrier here can send a phone like you had earlier or an equivalent model from the same or different brand.
Alternatively, you can just go to the AirTalk Wireless upgrade page and buy another phone that interests you. The upgrade catalog has better device selections, including the latest brands like iPhone 13, iPhone 11, Samsung Galaxy Note 20, Google Pixel 5, et cetera. Then the pricing is still great as the majority are the certified-refurbished models that resellers like Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart sell to us at a double price.
Speaking of resellers, you can shop for your AirTalk Wireless replacement phone from third-party sellers and activate it under BYOP. You just have to make sure the device you buy is fully unlocked and has the right network technology.
Tip: the AirTalk Wireless website is still in shambles right now. You will notice the carrier has contradicting information on the network they use to operate. Some old pages are still saying they use AT&T, the notes under the new coverage map say it’s only T-Mobile, then an old statement from terms & conditions claims it’s both networks.
I’ve noticed many customers on social media, particularly Facebook, claim AirTalk sent them a T-Mobile SIM, yet the device it came with wasn’t compatible. And what we can make out of this is that some of the sold phones are the old stock locked to AirTalk Wireless GSMA (on AT&T).
The 12+ Best AirTalk Wireless Replacement Phones With 5G Under 200
Below is a list of 5G phones you can get under 200 on the AirTalk Wireless Upgrade catalog.
|ROM vs RAM
|Apple iPhone SE (2022 Release)
|Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G
|6.5-inch, Full HD+
|Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
|6.6-inch, Full HD+
|Samsung Galaxy A71 5G
|6.7-inch, Full HD+
|Samsung Galaxy A51 5G
|6.5-inch, Full HD+
|Samsung Galaxy A13 5G
|Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G
|6.8-inch, Full HD+
|Motorola Moto One 5G
|6.7-inch, Full HD+
|Airtalk Revvl 6 5G
|Google Pixel 5 5G
|6.0-inch, Full HD
|Google Pixel 4A 5G
|6.2-inch, Full HD
|LG V60 ThinQ 5G
|6.8-inch, Full HD+
|T-Mobile REVVL V Plus 5G
|6.8-inch, HD+ LTE
Commonly Asked Questions
Can I upgrade my AirTalk Wireless phone?
YES, you can upgrade your AirTalk Wireless phone at affordable rates. You just need to log into your account at https://airtalkwireless.com/account. Next, select the Shop menu, then scroll down and click on the “Upgrade Phone” button. You’ll notice a wide selection of phones available for purchase, including smartphone and basic flip design, Android and Apple iOS, plus 5G and 4G LTE.
How do I report my lost AirTalk phone?
If your AirTalk phone got lost/ stolen, you should report it to the customer support team. The carrier will suspend your service temporarily to prevent whoever got hold of it from using your service. However, your account will remain on temporary suspension for only 15 days. After 15 days, AirTalk claims they will deactivate your account and give away your number.
Oh, yes, you can report a lost/ stolen AirTalk phone by contacting customer support at +1 (855) 924-7825 or emailing [email protected].
How much is a replacement phone from AirTalk Wireless?
In case of manufacturer defects, a replacement phone from AirTalk Wireless is free to get. However, damages from a user’s carelessness or tampering require a standard warranty replacement phone charge of $25.
Who is the carrier for AirTalk Wireless phones?
AT&T has been the carrier network for AirTalk Wireless phones since 2013 when the brand went by the name FeelSafe Wireless. As mentioned earlier, though, T-Mobile is the new carrier network of AirTalk Wireless. Thus, you will now need a phone with at least band 4, 12, or 71 to get service.
Get a 5G Replacement Phone if Possible:
Whatever the situation may be, those are the two ways how to get an AirTalk Wireless replacement phone. The mobile operator has hidden the full terms of the policy under its lengthy terms and conditions. But the most relevant section to keep track of is the 15-day warranty/ return window. Then, the fact only the devices with manufacturing malfunction are eligible for a free replacement.
If you’re replacing a phone from your own pocket, I’d recommend getting a 5G-capable phone over LTE. The reason for this is that AirTalk Wireless usually offers deprioritized data (where data speed drops during congestion) on all its service plans. But when deprioritization kicks in when connected to 5G, you will still have high data speeds for your browsing.
AirTalk Wireless has over two dozen 5G phones on its replacement/ upgrade catalog that you can use with your service. The phones are available from as low as $40 up to $700+.