updated 11:53 am EDT, Tue August 6, 2013
Refurbished Android phones to connect primarily over Wi-Fi, cellular as backup
TextNow, a free phone and messaging service that operates over Wi-Fi and existing phone connections, has now opened up its own virtual carrier on top of Sprint's 3G and 4G networks. The IP-based SMS and voice service is offering Android smartphones compatible with the service, with the devices primarily working over Wi-Fi before switching to Sprint's cellular network if Wi-Fi is out of reach.
The base Tall plan from TextNow costs $19 per month, and provides unlimited texting and inbound calls, 750 roll-over minutes, and 500MB of cellular data, with the coffee-inspired Grande plan offering 1GB of data and 1,250 minutes for $27, and the Venti at $40 nets 2GB of data and 2,000 rollover minutes.
The phones currently offered by the service include refurbished versions of the Nexus S for $90 and the Samsung Galaxy S II for $120 without a contract, though there does not appear to be the option of bringing an existing Android phone over to the service. TextNow also offers a $40 MiFi device with Internet-only monthly plans.