Scratch Wireless – The Achilles Heel of Major Carriers

Scratch Wireless is a fresh new wireless provider and I believe will revolutionize the wireless industry. Scratch Wireless offers….wait for it….FREE data, calling and texting with no contracts or bills. How is this possible? The network is run off of WiFi. If by chance you need to use data or calls between WiFi points you can purchase a day pass for $1.99 for data and voice each. If you plan to use more you can grab 30 days for $14.99 for data and voice each. Not a bad deal! The cellular signals run from Sprint’s network for those non-WiFi moments.
125x125 Wireless Block Series

Currently there is only one device supported, which is the Motorola Photon Q. For all the specs click here. In a nutshell the phone has Sprint 4G LTE connectivity, slide-out physical keyboard, 8mp camera and running on Android Jelly Bean. I am a huge stock Android fan and this phone has the flavor of AOSP (stock Android). The phone has a touch of Motorola Blur and is catered to Scratch Wireless usability. Check out the unboxing video below for a look at the device and my initial thoughts.

Over the course of acquiring Scratch Wireless and the Motorola Photon Q I was trying to think of how I could give honest feedback from a consumer perspective. What better way than to put myself through a challenge and report back to you about my experiences. ¬†Birthed from that idea I performed a ‘Scratch Wireless Weekend Challenge.’

I think a challenge setting was quite fitting because if you are like me, I am a Verizon Wireless subscriber still rockn the unlimited data plan. I really heavily on my Note 3 with that setup. I hardly use WiFi and pretty much use my phone at full force. Needless, to say I was going to have to dial it down a notch or two using Scratch Wireless.

During the challenge there were a few things I learned about the service. On Saturday of the challenge I was at home all day and never left the house. I used Scratch Wireless the entire day. The only time I used the Note 3 was if I received a text or phone call, other than those situations Scratch was it. A cool fun fact is that you can send a text even when not connected to WiFi. However, this requires Sprint’s signal and in my town, Sprint is lacking. In order to get a Sprint signal I have to head into the main town I live nearby. Besides my personal situation, the texting feature is awesome!

The service itself worked just fine. I made quite a few phone calls and texts from the Photon. Everyone I talked to I asked if there were any problems with hearing me. Both ends of the line were clear with no problems. When you sign up with Scratch Wireless you have to choice to port your number or create a new and in my case I chose to make a new number. Which leads me into my next point.
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Because I am still with Verizon, personally I am not ready to ditch Big Red for anyone else at the moment. There needs to be relative factors for that to happen. Therefore, this opens more options for who this service can attract. Just because it doesn’t fit my current mold, doesn’t mean it’s not for you.

1. Home Phone. Scratch Wireless is the perfect solution for a modern home phone line. Rather than using a line attached to the physical location, this setup allows you to take the phone elsewhere if needed. This also helps anyone who is still going to be subscribed to another service and does not want to eat up data usage. Not too mention while at home you can leave your weekly daily driver have weekends and nights off, which could improve battery life.

2. Business Line. Similar to the first scenario, this is a great option for a business line. If your company has a WiFi connection you can use this for so many uses. For example, use the phone for social media purposes. Most social media apps do not allow multiple users to use their services. Thus needing to log out of a personal account to re-login to the business profile. Other factors to consider is the phone does everything any Android smartphone can do, makes good for a manager phone and other business related tasks.

3. Got a teen? Is your teen begging for a new smartphone? I think this is the perfect way to introduce them to responsibility of taking care of a phone. Not only do they have to take care of the phone itself but they have learn the world of bills, payments and money management. Granted there are no bills with Scratch Wireless, but for the times of being between WiFi points, purchasing apps and more, this option gets their feet wet and prepared for bigger responsibilities.

Another neat discovery I make while using Scratch Wireless and the Photon Q was that now that I am using the phone for home/business use, it also makes for a nice a Spotify/Pandora player. The phone is always connected to WiFi and has Bluetooth technology, which makes for a perfect mate for my CoolStream Bluetooth Wireless Speaker. Now I can enjoy my music without using my main phone, tablet or laptop.

At this point there are a few areas of criticism I would like to bring to your attention:

  • The need for more phones. Coming from the Note 3, this was a chunk of humble pie for me swallow. Add the Nexus 5 and this network would BOOM!
  • Sprint is not the best carrier for my area. So for those time I would need a cellular signal I’ll need more coverage. But again, the point of using this service is to use WiFi and not rely on cellular.
  • Accessories. I cannot go without a case and screen protector. There are no options for accessories and eBay was a let down. Found a case, but the screen protector does not fit. I would like to see Scratch offer accessories so I know I can trust what I buy.

Overall, I have really enjoyed the experience of Scratch Wireless and I sincerely hope the new wireless provider succeeds! I think companies like this will cause the big carries to start rethinking some strategies. If this new revolution of wireless service takes off we will no doubtably see some changes coming across the board. WiFi is all around us and I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon. Scratch Wireless is ahead of the curve and I can’t wait to see what else is in store.

Check out the videos on my YouTube channel for more coverage on Scratch Wireless. Tell Scratch Wireless Josh from Bane Tech sent ya!

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