What kind of phone is needed for FreeUp?

What kind of phone do I need to sign-up for and use FreeUp? Phones that were used on Sprint's network are a no, but unlocked gsm phones are OK, right? What about phones that say 'Network: AT&T' or 'Network Status: Locked (AT&T)'? Aren't those OK since FreeUp uses AT&T's network?

I'm looking for cheap used flip phones at eBay. I'll be using the cell phone very very very lightly (~5 minutes a month). Any models you recommend? I see a lot of Samsung SGH XXXX models. XXXX is A237/A117/A437/A107/A167/A157/A707/A997/A197/X497/C417. Also, a lot of LG models. I'd like a tough/sturdy and not a delicate phone.

You might want to consider just buying an inexpensive new phone, and it looks like @mmfacemm has found a great deal at Best Buy:

AT&T Prepaid phones do work on FreeUP (just need a FreeUP SIM). Good luck!

Thanks. However, there is a small problem: I'm a huge kludge! So, I was looking for rugged phones that work on ATT's network on eBay and I found a lot of cheap 'Sonim XP5' phones. Will the XP5 work on FreeUp after ATT shuts down its 3G network on 02/2022? I read a phone must support VoLTE in order to work on ATT after 02/2022. Spec pages (URLs below) say the XP5 supports LTE but I'm not sure, is VoLTE and LTE the same thing?


Thank you.

02/2022 is more than two years away, so if you can get a Sonim XP5 phone for $30 and have it working on FreeUp for two years, then to my thinking things could be a lot worse. I think most FreeUp users would be more worried about FreeUp still being in existence two years from now rather than AT&T shutting down 3G and one needing a VoLTE capable phone to continue using AT&T. From the links you have provided, it looks as if only the Verizon locked Sonim XP 5 phone has the VoLTE feature, while the AT&T Sonim does not. But I would agree the SonimXP5 looks like a beastly phone and will fare well for many a year.

LTE is necessary for VoLTE (voice over LTE), but not all LTE phones can support VoLTE.

Isamorph found better clues/info than I did. It's a pain, but I don't think AT&T currently has a way for a consumer to check VoLTE capability. (T-Mobile, as an example, does have a user-accessible tester.)

But I like Isamorph's suggested plan. In 2 years, maybe one of the newer ruggedized models will be available at an affordable price.

I see the Sonim XP5s (current model) has Ebay listings at $31-$50 for Buy-It-Now.

The AT&T listing for the XP5-s Sonim XP5s Black on Grey 16 GB from AT&T
does indicate it's HD Voice capable, but doesn't specifically state VoLTE. (My crude understanding is that present HD Voice is generally considered to indicate VoLTE, but VoLTE isn't technically required for the HD Voice codec.).

(The absence of a mention of a direct & specific mention of VoLTE on AT&T's listing for the XP5-s doesn't really mean anything either-- it frustrates me that AT&T doesn't seem to give that answer for any phone, and just prefers to state whether phones are HD Voice enabled.)

The below info is from the phonearena specs and the main variant is the GSM version(AT&T?) of this phone, so by implication, I assume the GSM version doesn't have VoLTE.

We list only the specs that are different than the main variant

Sonim XP5
for Verizon
Differences from the main variant:

Bands 2(1900), 4(AWS-1), 13(700 c)
800, 1900 MHz
HD Voice:
Hearing aid compatible:
M3, T4

but the phonearena page for the current XP5-s does not list that difference for the Verizon variant..... I'm less than comfortable that it's providing definitive info on the XP5-s, although I'm perfectly willing to believe that the older XPS does not support AT&T VoLTE.

The AT&T page on the XP5-s has 69 user questions, answered by staff-- none of which are about VoLTE. At least 3 customers asked about WiFI calling (not supported on any of the current Sonim models on AT&T.). Although I don't know how quickly they are answered, it does seem that AT&T responds to questions posted via the phone shopping pages. (Link in earlier post for the XP5-s page.)

Yes, you're absolutely right. I'll get a cheap phone for now and in two years I'll reassess the situation.

True. RingPlus (I was not there from the start) and Tello (with no 90 day order) didn't last much.

Beastly sounds good for me!

I don't think ATT agrees! :slight_smile:

dst11, if you end up getting one, would you drop back by and give us a report on the Sonim?
No reports here, and few elsewhere, from Sonim users. There have been some pretty big fans of the Dura series of ruggedized phones here, but most of those were sprint-only, and will no longer activate on Sprint. Some of those fans must be looking for a new(er) similar device.

I see VoLTE is a subset of LTE.

Yes, buy the XP5 now and in two years maybe the XP5s will be cheaper! :slight_smile:

Yes, of course.

A couple Dura phones I saw that will work on ATT is the DuraForce and the DuraXE. They seem more expensive than the XP5.

There are some used inexpensive KyoceraDura 4G AT&T phones on Ebay that are military grade rugged. $35+


The battery in the DuraForce and the DuraForce Pro (and the Pro 2) are not user replaceable. Only the battery in the DuraForce XD is user replaceable.

The DuraForce XD supports VoLTE:


Looking at the Duraforce XD it appears you have zeroed in on possibly the creme de la creme of beastly phones for kludgy folks, a phone that would serve anyone well during the coming Apocolypse: :slight_smile: But, alas, it's not a flip-phone.


Explanation of what "white spot" is about:

Zombie Apocalypse or boring regular kind?

Who knows? But I would suggest an Apocalypse that does away with all species of Zombies, imaginary and boring included.

Yes, the XD looks good. I got a $28 XP5 and a $8 FreeUp SIM (I haven't gotten my hands on them yet!). And in 2 years we'll see (XP5s?, XD?, something else?). The XD's big un-flipable screen scares me... The XP5 seems more of a brick!

In two years, maybe the Tesla MMXXII Bulletproof Eternity phone, which never needs to be charged.