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Five inexpensive smartphones that are anything but cheap

Kyocera-Hydro-VibeThere’s a movement afoot: Smartphones that cost much less than you’d think but that can do much more than you might expect.

Whether browsing the web, using your favorite apps, sharing snaps or video chatting with friends, you don’t need to shell out hundreds of dollars to get your hands on a quality smartphone that does exactly what you need it to.

Following are five inexpensive smartphones across both our CDMA and GSM network offerings that offer a great smartphone experience and, that you can actually afford to buy without signing onto an onerous mobile contract.

1. Hydro Vibe [On sale for $159] – CDMA

If durability is your primary concern, the Hydro Vibe where it’s at. No need to shell out $500+ for a waterproof Galaxy S5 – the Hydro Vibe is IP57 certified, meaning you’re fully protected in up to 3.28 feet of water for 30 minutes.

Equipped with impact-resistant glass, it’s built to take a few tumbles. If you’re a clumsy character, look no further than Kyocera’s Hydro Vibe.

Activate an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus on Ting today

iPhone6If the one thing holding you back from Ting has been access to the latest iPhones, we’ve got some good news for you. For both of us.

Effective today, an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus purchased unlocked from Apple can be activated on Ting. All that’s needed to get up and running on our CDMA network is the right Ting SIM card: The Ting Nano SIM, model C3.

If you’re looking to bring one to our GSM network, you can do that too. Just pick up a Ting GSM SIM card, pop it in your unlocked iPhone 6 or 6 Plus and you’re good to go.

If you want to be among the first to get an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus purchased unlocked from Apple up and running on Ting, this is your chance. Grab the correct SIM and get started!

Nexus 6 is coming. Grab a SIM card and get ready!

For anyone that’s been following the Ting story, this will be a familiar refrain.

We’ll be getting the Nexus 6. You shouldn’t buy it from us.

Instead, get a better deal on the cross-carrier Nexus 6 by buying direct from the Google Play store.

Ting Nano SIM C3 for the Nexus 6You will need a Ting-compatible SIM card to activate. That you certainly should buy from us.

So, in summation: Order a Ting Nexus 6 SIM card from Ting. Grab your Nexus 6. Load up your two package tracking numbers in separate browser windows. Obsessively refresh the pages to create a sort of cross-country package race.

Such fun!

Quick update: We’ve just heard that Nexus 6 devices from the Motorola Store should be able to make the jump to Ting starting later today!

Final warehouse sale: This is the big one

UPDATE: We’re completely SOLD OUT. That was much quicker than we expected. Thanks to everyone that bought a device in our warehouse sale and a sincere sorry to anyone that waited too long and missed out.

The upside of this faster than expected sell-through is this: Everyone that bought a device in the final warehouse sale will be receiving their $20 in Ting credit for each purchase sooner. Expect to see the credit hit your Ting account today.

Five reasons never to accept a “free” or cheap phone

PrintMaybe we should warn adults about the dangers of taking free phones from corporate entities like we warn kids about taking candy from strangers.

First, the painful truth: “free” smartphones are anything but. Deeply discounted smartphones purchased from a cell phone carrier may look good at first blush. Ultimately though, over the course of a two-year term, it’s a more expensive way to get a phone.

You’re much better buying your phone outright, either from a carrier that doesn’t “lock” phones (i.e., not one of the “big four” carriers in the US) or from a retail store. Ask specifically for unlocked devices and you’ll then have your choice of which carrier you choose to accept service from.

Let’s just reiterate that: Which carrier you choose to accept service from. With an unlocked phone, you’re in the power position, not the carrier.

The Nexus 6 on Ting… or should that be Ting on the Nexus 6?

Google has quietly made the next Nexus official. Nexus 6 will be available to preorder from Google Play closer to the end of the month, shipping in early November. Initial reports suggest the base Nexus 6 will cost $650.

We expect to see the first Nexus 6 devices online with Ting before the end of November.