Surgephone could be good as an emergency phone

I am thinking of activating an older phone on surgephone for emergency purposes.

My plan is to wipe the phone, remove bloat, and sign in with a separate google account to install the app.

For emergency purposes, this will keep things simple, keep the phone as zippy as possible and the plan should be free.

Does this sound like a good idea? Will it work?

Does anyone know which network surgephone runs on? It isn't Sprint which is good for me. I like to have phones on as many networks as possible.

Appears to be T-Mobile, according to this:

The Moolah Mobile app requires Android 4.4 or later, so as long as your older phone meets that it should work, although the earlier OS may not handle the app particularly well.....

I like your plan of walling off the phone from your usual google account.
It should work. As time progresses, I suspect SurgePhone may become picky about on-time of the phone/app. (They probably can't generate income from a phone, turned off, in a glovebox.) There doesn't seem to be any clear requirements for use, other than the company can determine on their own whether or not you're meeting the requirement for the app being 'active'. Might be a good idea to turn in on & let it run for a few hours sometimes.

If you sign up, please keep us updated on your experience!

Why bother with that? Best option for glove box phone, if you have a at&t or unlocked gsm phone is freeup mobile free 1000 TorT. The other option is Tello 10.00 plus T&F minimum goes practically forever as long as 1 call or text or data happens every 30 to 60 days to keep the service active. you can also download the Tello app place a 1 minute call and it does count as required minimum usage

Personally I want my emergency phone to be reliable and with as few requirements as possible. So that rules out freeup as I may forget to renew and they have had a few reliability issues. It also rules out surgephone asit is unproven and requires a really bad app. I prefer Truphone over Tello because it runs on ATT and they basically don't bother with the calling requirement. It is also 180 days vs 90 for tello. It is more expensive to set up ($25 vs $10). Tello is a decent option though.

T-mobile's $3 a month plan is probably the least hassle and most reliable option.

Welcome to Nth Circle, CharlieB. I notice that you just registered, yesterday.

Thank you for your reply. I have a few questions:

I am not sure I understand what you mean. Can you explain further please about the app and OS?

So I am a little confused now. I think all they said was to install the app, but you're saying I should turn it on and run it a few hours sometimes. What do you mean by a few hours and sometimes and how do I know that this will be enough?

Thank you for your reply.

Do Truphone / Tello / T-mobile include data?

Thank you for your reply.

Do freeup / tello include data?

Thank you for the welcome Chelle!

CharlieB writes:
" KentE wrote: the earlier OS may not handle the app particularly well.....

I am not sure I understand what you mean. Can you explain further please about the app and OS?"

From the descriptions I've seen, it sounds like the Moolah Mobile app replaces your home screen, and serves ads to your phone from there. Some reviews on the PlayStore mention sluggish behavior from the homescreen app. I'm guessing that an older phone OS, or potentially a phone with less RAM, might have more difficulty with the app than a newer phone. It's just a guess. If the app designers have done a good job, it might run just as well on Android 4.4 with lower RAM. (We have seen similar issues with the CellNuvo app: while technically functional on Android 4.3, it does not run well on anything below Android 6 or 7. ) It wouldn't stop me from trying it with an earlier Android version, if that's what I had available for use.

Re: my comment about turning the phone on sometimes...... It seems that SurgePhone is subsidizing phone bills by the income it gets from displaying ads on your phone, and possibly by tracking your browsing behavior, etc. (and selling that data). If your phone stays turned off in your glovebox for 60 days, it will generate no income for SurgePhone. At some point, any reasonable analysis from their side would say that the app is 'not active' under those circumstances, and might as well not be installed on your phone at all.
I don't know if they'll keep track and analyze the individual performance of the app installation. But their terms seem to leave open the right to judge that you're not complying with the requirements for the subsidy.

The free plan at FreeUP does not include data.

Tello PayGo (mentioned above) includes data if you want to use it. You pay by the units used, minutes, texts, data. There is no monthly carrying charge-- which is what makes it popular here for emergency phones.

Thank you for your reply.

Some more questions if you don't mind. Thank you.

Some of this is going over my head but what it seems you are saying is that it might be slower on an older phone or it might not be slow on an older phone. Is that correct?

Thinking about it a little more, it would seem that for an emergency phone, it might not matter if it were a little slow or not. What do you think about that? Would an emergency phone be ok if it was a little slower?

I'm still a little confused. Before you said I should turn on the phone for a few hours sometimes now are you saying to turn it on every 60 days? And if so, for how many hours should I turn it on?

Also, if I keep the car in the glovebox and turn it on in the car, will I need a wi-fi connection to make sure they know I've turned it on?

I don't know how much 'on' time SurgePhone is likely to view as active use of the app. If it were me, I'd try turning it on at least a couple of times a month, for several hours each time. Browse the internet for a bit, and put a fresh charge on it before you put it away.

The app is almost certain to use data (either cellular or WiFi) to deliver ads. If you have WiFi available at home, try to use that-- the app shouldn't care whether you're using WiFI or cellular data . The plan does include cellular data that seems more than sufficient for use as a true emergency phone, so I'd rely on that if needed. (But keep an eye on data usage to see how much it uses.)

Yes, I guess I'm saying it may or may not be more sluggish on an earlier phone-- but I'm betting it will be. And yes, I'd put up with that to have an emergency phone available. You're not likely to be opening lots of apps, so maybe not too objectionable.

No one has used it so no one knows what surge's requirements are. You have to keep it installed and active whatever that means. The app is a homescreen launcher and I assume if you don't use your phone and get ads delivered you will be flagged as inactive and charged $10/month. When I installed the app no ads were displayed so it may not even work anyway.

Thank you.

It does not seem that just using the phone a couple of times a month meets the definition of active if you look at how phones are used these days. I also don't have several hours available for browsing the internet. I'm just too busy.

What if I just left the phone on all the time?

Thank you.

How long did you have it on your phone to verify if the ads were working or not?

Then it would likely be dead when you needed it for an emergency. :frowning:

I have an always on outlet in my car.

Hm... perhaps another spinoff of CN?

Hi Pew. I don't understand your comment. If it is not too much trouble, can you please explain? Thank you.