My household is very much on the unlocked phone + cheap prepaid plan bandwagon. But here in Wisconsin, Verizon and U.S. Cellular have distinctly better network quality than the other carriers, which has led to getting a Moto G5 Plus for my wife.

I’ve messed with assorted prepaid plans over the past few years and none of them is absolutely perfect, for various reasons, one of those being AT&T has some decently large coverage gaps in different parts of Wisconsin, and they’re the best of the not-Verizon or U.S. Cellular carriers.

Tracfone has a new Verizon MVNO called Total Wireless with no speed or video quality throttling, and no tethering limits. Their plans are $57 for 8 GB, $80.75 for 12 GB, and $95 for 15 GB. These come with up to 2, 3 or 4 lines respectively for no additional cost. The downsides are no Voice-over-LTE support which means no simultaneous voice & data, and you need a third party visual voicemail provider like YouMail or Google Voice.

My Moto X Pure works fine on Verizon but my wife’s ZTE ZMAX 2 is only GSM/LTE. She’s also been irritated at the dialer being janky to use. I already did a factory reset on it once so at this point I’d need to do a trial-n-error process with other dialer apps to get it usable for her.

So, what’s a guy who needs a cheap but good Verizon-compatible unlocked phone that should last 2+ years before needing to be replaced to do? Moto G5 Plus, here we come. My wife likes the gold color, and that it’ll be a little smaller than her current phone, and that she can pair it with this translucent mint green case.


Extra points for cheap Amazon phone case broken English!


Mmmm, that sweet sweet DOTTED BUFER INTERNAL SURFACE will be here soon.