FreedomPop launches first branded smartphone in U.K. and Spain

The FreedomPop V7 launched in the U.K. and Spain and is expected to be available in the U.S. later this year.

The MVNO FreedomPop continued to expand its offerings with the launch of its first branded smartphone.

The dual-SIM FreedomPop V7, which sells for $72, comes with the company’s SIM card and supports the provider’s free voice, text and data offerings. Users looking for more can upgrade to a paid plan or use a different SIM card.

The phone launched in the U.K. and Spain, and the company said it expects to release it in the U.S. later this year. FreedomPop didn’t disclose the manufacturer.

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“We want the entire FreedomPop experience to be simple, convenient and affordable for consumers, and that includes the device you use with your free plan,” FreedomPop International President Nicholas Constantinopoulos said in a statement. “In order to ensure everyone can get access to wireless service, it was important that we offer a high-quality, full-featured Android phone at a price anyone can afford.”

The V7 features a 5-inch screen, 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, 16 GB of internal memory and the 1.1 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 210 processor. The phone runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow and automatically connects via Wi-Fi when a signal is available, seamlessly switching to cellular when necessary.

Interestingly, the company said the phone will be available on a “first-come, first-served basis” while supplies last.

FreedomPop uses Sprint’s network in the United States and offers a free plan that includes 500 MB of data, 200 minutes of voice and 500 texts per month. The Los Angeles-based company, which has raised more than $109 million in financing, plans to launch in additional eight markets by the end of the year in Asia, Europe and Latin America.

FreedomPop uses a freemium model to entice users, then upsells them into bigger packages or other value-added services such as additional local numbers for users in foreign lands or a “safety mode” that prevents overage charges. It sells handsets as well as SIM cards enabling customers to activate their own phones.

The MVNO also recently announced a partnership with AT&T, and last month it began licensing its “monetization platform” to service providers around the world. The company has long sold refurbished handsets, and late last year it launched an online global marketplace for used smartphones.

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