TextNow Review

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TextNow uses a combination of WiFi + cellular to deliver affordable texting and calling plans, but that doesn't stop it from competing with dozens upon dozens of other MVNOs. In fact, because there are so many cellular services out there, consumers like you or me may find it hard to choose TextNow.

However, we've done the work for you by compiling the details on the cellular network and creating a guide that we deem is much easier to absorb. We won't make you click through different website pages for the information you seek.

COMPARE NOW: TextNow Cell Phone Plans

Instead, the important tidbits are all in one place: here. Inside this guide, you'll find the details on the TextNow cell phone plans, as well as the coverage area, the mobile phone selection, customer service, deals and promotions, and more.

Finally, you'll be directed to our cell phone plan comparison tool, in hopes that you'll be able to use our information to decide whether or not TextNow is right for you.

Compare TextNow Plans

To take advantage of TextNow basic and smartphone services, you'll want to download the free mobile TextNow app. After you've downloaded the TextNow app, you'll want to connect your device to WiFi. After this, you can make unlimited calls using the dial-pad icon, located on the top right corner. If you want to send a text, you can do so by pressing on the red icon with a pencil at the bottom right of the screen.

TextNow offers no-contract plans. Each of these cellular plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, which differentiates it from other prepaid providers who don't offer this the money-back guarantee (though Republic Wireless is one such exception). Furthermore, these plans come with the following, free of charge:

  • Visual voicemail (visual voicemail is a nifty addition here)
  • Call forwarding
  • 4G and 3G data
  • Ability to use your phone number on any computer and tablet

In addition, you can find the cellular plan most suitable for use based on usage. TextNow does offer unlimited talk, and text messages, and data plans available to accommodate most needs. However, the data in the unlimited talk and text plans range between 100MB of data and 6GB of data. Unfortunately, you won't find unlimited data plans with TextNow, but you will at least have unlimited voice and unlimited texting. And unlimited texting and unlimited voice is a good thing, especially when you have a decent amount of data to use.

If you exceed your data usage limits in your plan you don't have to worry about receiving other fees. Before going over your limit, you'll receive a notification from TextNow, giving you the option to renew your plan early. Should you decline to renew it early, your data connection speeds will go from 3G/4G to 2G speed until your next billing cycle.

TextNow also offers international calling as part of its features--be sure to visit the TextNow website to see the international rates. To use it, your device must have a WiFi connection. Furthermore, while you can make calls internationally, your data access won't work when you travel out of the country.

In the event you need to make changes to your no-contract plan, you can do so whenever you want. You also have the option to cancel your smartphone service (or basic) without worrying about receiving an early termination charge.

Renewing your plan is simple. When you sign up for cell phone service, TextNow requests a credit or debit card for your account. This is the card it bills automatically when service renews. At any time you can add gift cards in varying denominations to your account. You can use these cards to pay for future plans or buy a phone.

Read: TextNow Customer Reviews

Service Coverage

TextNow's coverage map indicates that the MVNO relies on the Sprint network. This means if you have an unlocked Sprint phone, then you might be able to use it when you switch to TextNow.

Take a look at our coverage maps to see if Sprint covers where you live. It's also important to note that, while here, that the Sprint cellular network functions similar to the T-Mobile network. This means that, like the T-Mobile network, the Sprint network will run excellently in urban areas but could be a little iffy in the more rural areas.

Compare Cell Phone Plans

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What Phones Can I Use On TextNow?

TextNow doesn't have the greatest selection of Android phones. However, there are many affordable options available such as the Motorola Moto G and the Samsung Galaxy S7 (though the Samsung Galaxy S7 is now a little dated compared to the offerings of other mobile phone services). It also carries refurbished Android phones.

These TextNow phones come with a limited one-year warranty which is the same coverage for a new device. The one-year warranty is great for refurbished phones, as at a lower price, you can enjoy a good quality phone with a fantastic guarantee.

You also have the option to bring your phone with you, like the latest iPhone. Since TextNow operates on both the CDMA and GSM networks, it increases the devices compatible with its services. Again, you can bring the latest iPhone to the TextNow service.

You can visit its website or contact its customer service to see if your phone is eligible. There is no customer support phone number, however. Of course, there are other options, but if you're looking for a phone number, you will be disappointed.

Related: Use our smartphone comparison tool to look at all the popular phones on the market today.

Phone Insurance

TextNow doesn't offer phone insurance. This doesn't come as a surprise given its limited inventory.

How to Activate Your Device

To activate cell phone service on an eligible Sprint or TextNow phone you can visit its website. You also have the option of contacting customer service. If you want to transfer your number to TextNow, you are free to do so.

How this works is once you sign up for service TextNow assigns you a temporary number. To see if your old number is eligible, email support to see if it's eligible.

SIM Card

If you choose to bring your own phone you can just buy a TextNow SIM card for service. To do this, visit its website and click on the phones and plans tab. You'll be directed to the page where you can buy the SIM card.

Compare: Find a cheap TextNow SIM Card

Deals, Promotions & Discounts

TextNow offers a good diversity of promotions. Currently, if you bring your device (a Sprint phone, to be exact) and purchase a SIM card with TextNow, you receive one month of cellular service for free.

Additionally, TextNow discounts some of its refurbished phones, so a smart way to learn more about all of its promotions is to visit its website.

TextNow Customer Service

Customers' main complaints were the poor call quality. Even PC Magazine noted the carrier delivered poor quality on VoIP calls. Therefore, if you plan to do much in the way of calling, it's ideal to avoid this carrier.

However, if your main aim is to text and access data occasionally, many customers think the plans are well worth the price. If you need to contact customer service you can do so via live chat, phone or email options.

Read More: Tello is great option to consider if you need cheap service with fully customizable plans. Check out our guide for more information.

How to Change Your APN Settings

If you're bringing a used phone to TextNow, you'll most likely need to change your APN settings. View the APN Settings for TextNow here.


TextNow is on to an interesting idea by pairing cell service with a WiFi connection. By using the WiFi, it reduces the amount of texting and minutes used on your plan.

At the same time, since the call quality is so poor, the tradeoff is uneven, making the Sprint MVNO a good prepaid option only if you plan to rely on text messages.

Remember, when choosing a cheap cell phone plan, it's always best to compare deals from multiple low-cost carriers.

Compare Cell Phone Plans

Time for a cheaper cell phone plan?

TextNow Review FAQs

QHow does WiFi service work with cell phones?


You use the WiFi connection to make calls and texts. It's akin to instant messaging online using Google Hangouts. The benefits of this are you don't use up your calling minutes or texting allotment.

QHow much data usage does TextNow give me?


TextNow's plans allow you to choose data access from 1GB to 4GB. You can use your account management tool to change your plan, increase or decrease data and more whenever you need to.

QCan I use a mobile hotspot to make calls?


You can but be careful. One of the main complaints leveled against TextNow is when you're in a call and the service switches from WiFi to cellular the call drops. Therefore, if the hotspot in unstable or you are in an area where the connection isn't the best, the call quality might suffer.

QDoes TextNow offer shared plans?


At this time it does not.

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