Walmart and Boost Are Offering a Free Phone and a Year of Service for $129 — But There’s a Catch




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Walmart and Boost Mobile are teaming up on a bundle that includes a free phone and a full year of service for $129 — which is a great deal as long as you don’t need a smartphone.

The free handset that comes with this deal is the Summit Flip phone, a basic handset that lets you make calls, send text messages, and take photos, but really doesn’t do much else. The phone and this one-year deal will be available starting on Saturday at select Walmart stores.

The Summit Flip

This could be a good deal for anyone who wants a simple phone or even a back-up line dedicated to making just phone calls. Some younger consumers have been gravitating towards flip phones for their retro vibe and to simplify their lives.

“Flip phones are trending amongst customers of all ages who appreciate their nostalgic design, versatility and the capacity to delineate work and social media activities from personal connections,” said Michael Kelly, group president of retail wireless, DISH Wireless, which operates Boost.

But for anyone who needs a smartphone and the ability to run apps like WhatsApp, YouTube, or anything else, this deal is a non-starter.

The phone comes with a preinstalled SIM card for 12 months of service and offers unlimited talk, text, and 3 GB of data, although it’s unlikely you’ll even need the data side given it’s a basic flip phone.

The Summit Flip does offer a dual 2.8-inch display, none of which are touchscreens. It runs on a basic variant of Android, but there’s no way to access Google Play or the web. As with the typical flip phone it comes with physical number keys. It also has a 5 megapixel camera, which you can shoot selfies with using the external display. Expect a long battery life, since there’s no touchscreen or extensive processor.

For Boost, this marks a further expansion of its distribution as it tries to grow its presence in the mobile business — despite continued subscriber losses. Boost and its parent, DISH, have been trying to establish themselves as a legitimate No. 4 wireless competitor after Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, and AT&T, but it has largely struggled to reach consumers.

Last year, Boost partnered with Amazon for a $25 a month plan for its Boost Infinite plan — which worked with a smartphone.

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