Home - , , - ZTE Merit - Straight Talk's First Android Phone on AT&T Now Available for $129.99

ZTE Merit - Straight Talk's First Android Phone on AT&T Now Available for $129.99

A new Android phone, the ZTE 990G Merit, showed up on the Straight Talk website today for $99.99 with free shipping. The Merit is the first Straight Talk's branded Android phone to run on the AT&T network. It's the same basic phone as the AT&T Avail which has been available as a GoPhone for a couple of months. AT&T charges $129.99 for the Avail, $30 more than Straight Talk's price. Update 20-May-2012: Straight Talk has raised the price to $129.99.

The Merit has relatively good specs for an entry level Android phone. The 5 MP auto-focus camera and 3.5 inch HVGA (320 x 480) screen are both a cut above the typical $100 Android phone. The phone runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread, which the latest Android OS to ship on any entry level phone. The newest Android OS, 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is currently only available on phones selling for 400.00 or more, unsubsidized.

There are quite a few user reviews of AT&T's version of the Merit on Walmart, Mobiledia, CNET  and Amazon, with most of them favorable. There's also a 13 minute video review on PhoneArena. Users generally give the Avail high marks for the camera, screen and general performance. The biggest gripe Avail users seem to have is with battery life. But when it comes to specifics about the battery the main complaint is that you have to charge it every day and if you talk or surf the web continuously for five hours the battery is dead, both of which are true of almost any Android phone.

Up to now, in order to use Straight Talk's $45/month unlimited plan with an Android phone on the AT&T network, you had to buy an AT&T phone and a Straight Talk AT&T SIM and configure the phone's data and MMS settings manually Which could be a hassle as AT&T likes to lock those settings down. The Merit comes preconfigured for Straight Talk so it should work right out of box, which is a huge advantage for most people.

Here are the Merit's specifications:

Dimensions: (H × W × D) 4.57" (H) x 2.46" (W) x 0.5" (D)
Weight: 4.48 oz. (with battery)
Display: 3.5" 320 x 480 (HVGA)
Camera: 5 megapixel camera with auto focus
Memory ROM: 512MB, RAM: 512MB, Internal storage available to user: 130 MB
Removable memory card support: micro SD card, max. capacity 32GB
Battery: 1,500 mAh
Continuous idle time: Up to 9 days and 9 hours
Continuous talk time: About 5 hours
OS: Android 2.3 Gingerbread
Sensors: Gravity, tilt and shake
Google Android apps (YouTube, Google Maps with navigation and voice guidance, Google Talk, Google Play Store, Android Music Player, etc.)
Processor: 600 Mhz

Straight Talk has an interactive tutorial for the Merit online. The User manual is also available (download PDF, view online). To purchase the ZTE Merit visit www.shopstraightalk,com.

546 comments:

Comment Page :
  1. Can u do a sim swap with this phone?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suspect not. We won't know until someone tries it.

      Delete
    2. I have the Net 10 version and you can sim swap it.

      Delete
    3. Hmmm, is there a Net10 version? I checked on Net10 website and I did not see any version

      Delete
    4. Anonymous wrote "I have the Net 10 version and you can sim swap it."

      SIM swap can mean several different things.

      Do you mean
      1) Yyou can use the Merit's SIM in an AT&T or unlocked phone?
      or
      2) You can use an non-Straight Talk SIM in the Merit? If so which SIM (AT&T, H2), Red Pocket, T-Mobile, etc.)?

      Delete
    5. By SIM swap I mean:
      a) You can use the Merit's SIM in an AT&T or unlocked phone
      and
      b) You can use another Straight Talk (NOK E71) SIM in the Merit

      (Thanks for your answers)

      Delete
  2. since it's an android phone what are the data limits before they cut you off?

    ReplyDelete
  3. If you use more than 100 MB/day or 2 GB/month you risk having your account terminated

    ReplyDelete
  4. ZTE MERIT DO IT HAVE APPS TO DOWN LOAD

    ReplyDelete
  5. Please don't YELL. It's an Android phone and can run almost all of the 450,000 apps in the Android Play Store.

    ReplyDelete
  6. can you use instagram on it?
    the instagram app.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I read your blog and went to the Straight Talk website to purchase the ZTE Merit for $99.99. Guess what? The Straight Talk website is now selling the ZTE Merit for $129.99. What happened?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm seeing $129.99 too.I'm a bit disappointed that they raised the price. Hopefully when Walmart.com starts stocking they will discount it.

      Delete
    2. I work in electronics in walmart and the merit is set priced at 129.99 indrfinate until stock is diminished.

      Delete
    3. what walmart do u work at cuz i cant find the merit in central louisiana around lafayette all the way to hammond? plz help?!!

      Delete
  8. it was on sale at wal-mart on friday for 99. i go to buy it today and its 129.... lame.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. dropped it from about 2ft on concret and shatterd the outside screen works great still lol. if u buy it at walmart get the $30 replacement plan, i got a new one. for having it

      Delete
  9. is it a good phone? any complaints?

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    Replies
    1. my area has verizon for the best and att for backup had old phone on verizon purchase new phone found out it goes through att that sucks

      Delete
  10. I bought it from Straight Talk Saturday for $99.00. Just before they raised the price.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I called the Walmart Corp.Office today and they said they don't know when the Merit will be available on their internet site or in their stores. So how did anyone buy this phone at Walmart?

      Delete
    2. Have you used the phone yet? If so, what do you think of it? Are you glad you bought it? What do you like about it and what do you dislike about it? Thanks for any info to help me decide if I want to buy the ZTE Merit.

      Delete
    3. I got mine for 129.00 and i love it if you have version they have android for that in art and won't give it up

      Delete
  11. I work at a Wal-Mart in Minnesota. We got our first stock of Merit's in a little over a week ago. We had 10 of them and we sold out by the weekend. The price they're at is $129

    ReplyDelete
  12. Spectra, since you work at Wal-Mart maybe you can answer this question for me. Do new cell phones come out on the Wal-Mart website before they are sold in stores or vice versa. How do they decide which stores will get them first? Thanks for any info you can give me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We like to think of Wal-Mart.com as a seperate 'store' from actual Wal-Marts. It varies depending on the type of phone and carrier who's going to get what first.

      Delete
  13. Spectra, what kind of feed back have you gotten on the ZTE Merit? Is it a good phone? Are people happy with it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So far we've sold at least 20-30 of them and we've gotten a few returned. The two that I've heard of that got returned was, one customer just wasn't ready for a smart phone, they wanted something simpler, and the other return apparently had a bad speaker. Otherwise sales have been great and I haven't heard any complaints yet. I'm actually thinking about getting one myself on our next payday, I'll be sure to let everyone here know how it is if I do.

      Delete
  14. I emailed Straight Talk and asked them why they changed the price of the ZTE Merit from $99.99 to $129.99, a phone they just recently added to their website. They emailed me back and said the phone is $129.99 and was not changed. I told them to check out this website and other phone websites and see how they are reporting the phone was selling for $99.99 and then added an update informing everyone that the phone is now selling for $129.99. I can't believe they would have the nerve to say that. Straight Talk needs to remember they are not the only game in town. There are many prepaids to choose from. Atleast, tell the truth Straight Talk!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I purchased this off Straight Talk's site on 5/20 and got it for $99.99

    ReplyDelete
  16. can you get a hotspot on this droid phone

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't heard of anyone getting tethering or hotspot working on the Merit yet. I think it will eventually be figured out. You will need to watch your data usage very carefully when tethering to keep from hitting Straight Talk's 100 MB/day, 2 GB/month hidden cap and getting your account terminated

      Delete
    2. Yep, careful. I tethered my phone and got caught after a while. Funny thing is I thought it was ok... until I bought an new phone and couldn't figure out why I couldn't tether. I called, asked them to help me connect to internet, I got "ma'am you can't not do that" I got yelled at!!! It worked really well. Now I have HughsNet and hate it - slower than molasses.

      Delete
  17. Yeswap, you have been very helpfull with all this info. Thank You.

    ReplyDelete
  18. In regards to your account getting terminated if you hit the cap, this is what Straight Talk sent when I asked about it,
    Thank you for your interest in Straight Talk Wireless. We are responding
    to your recent inquiry.

    Please be informed that your account will not be terminated as long as
    the phone is not used as a modem to run the browser of your PC or
    laptop. Straight Talk phones cannot be used to access any applications
    that tether your device to a laptop or personal computer other than for
    the use of Wireless Sync. Any such usage is considered unauthorized
    usage by Straight Talk Wireless and your service is subject to immediate
    suspension. In the event of suspension for this or any other
    unauthorized usage, you will not be entitled to receive any refunds for
    your phone or any unused airtime.

    If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact one of our
    customer care representatives at 1-888-251-8164. For your convenience,
    our representatives are available Monday-Sunday from 8:00 AM to 11:45 PM
    EST.

    Thank you for being a Straight Talk Wireless customer. We appreciate
    your business.

    Sincerely,

    Straight Talk Wireless

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, that the exact same message they sent me when they blocked my sim on my E71 after i watched a lot of things one day on youtube. There really is a daily cap and they just dont want people to know about it.

      Delete
    2. Yeah i found this on the web site

      Straight Talk may discontinue providing Service to you, discontinue your account, discontinue providing connections to particular telephone numbers or types of Services used or called by you, terminate data connections and/or reduce data throughput speeds for customers whose usage, in the sole judgment of Straight Talk: (1) appear likely to generate abnormally high call volumes or Mobile Web Access and data usage and/or abnormally long average call lengths or Mobile Web Access and data usage as compared to the usage of other Straight Talk customers

      Delete
  19. Does anyone know if this phone will support Google Sky or Google Weather ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It should be able to run almost all Android apps including Google Sky Map.
      AFAIK there's no Google Weather app but if you search for weather in the Android browser you get a pretty slick HTML5 web app.

      Delete
    2. Weather Reality is the app
      Thanks, I'm thinking I may get one tomorrow.. My local WM has about 89 of them in stock at the moment.

      Delete
    3. Weather Reality should work asit only requires Android 1.5 or grater

      Delete
  20. No bigs.. I don't blow thru that much a day anyways.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Does the Merit have less bloatware than the Avail? AT&T's version of this phone only leaves you with like 130 MB out of the box for installing apps and you can't remove ANY of that AT&T bloatware.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know as I don't have either phone but Straight Talk's Android phones typically have less bloatware than AT&T's

      Delete
  22. Does this phone have auto correct spelling?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, all recent Android phones do.

      Delete
  23. can anyone tell me if you change phones within the straight talk community will your minutes transfer to the new phone? i have samsung and want to get the new zte merit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can change between Straight Talk phones on the website and by calling support.

      But can keep only your current plan if your new phone is allowed on it. The Merit requires the $45 Unlimited plan so there are no "minutes" to transfer. If you are currently on the $45 plan your expiration date would transfer to the new phone.

      If you are on the $30 All You Need Plan, you can keep your number but you will have to start over on the $45 plan and will lose your minutes.

      Delete
  24. will this phone work in the 37025 area?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. According to Straight Talk it will. The GoPhone coverage map shows good coverage there too.

      Delete
  25. i am going to be leaving u.s. cellular to get this phone. can i keep my same phone # ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you can port your US Cellular number to Straight Talk during activation.

      Delete
    2. awesome cause im going to switch from us cellular also!

      Delete
  26. They have the Zte Merit at Family Dollar stores for $99 fyi...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Must be AT&T's GoPhone version?

      Delete
    2. No..its the Net10 version...

      Delete
  27. I'm confused by the comments regarding Straight Talk's 100 MB/day, 2 GB/month hidden cap. How much would that be? I have an iPod I do most of my stuff on, but I'd like to be able to run apps while out and about (due to no wireless) on the phone. How much use is the 100MB/day? Is there a place you could kindly link me to to understand? Thanks in advance! I own a ST phone and am ready for an upgrade in phone:)

    ReplyDelete
  28. US Cellular has a nice Data Estimator. Data is data, so the numbers there would apply to Straight Talk too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! That was so very helpful:)

      Delete
  29. ZTE Merit both Straight Talk and Net 10 have this phone can you switch companies after you start with one say ST for 30 or 60 days and change to Net 10 without having to buy a new phone it I do not need the unlimited plan and decide to use a minute plan vrs unlimited. Q because Net 10 seems cheaper on the lower minute plane than the Straight Talk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can't use Straight Talk phones on Net 10 or vice/versa. The Merit can only be used on Straight Talk and Net10's Unlimited plans so there's no lower minute plan for it.

      Delete
  30. Is it possible that this phone can be updated to Android 4.0 ICS?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's unlikely given the 600 Mhz processor. It there ever was an ICS update or ROM it would probably be run very slowly on the Merit.

      Delete
  31. I think Unlimited should mean Unlimited. I use 600mb a week on my go phone. And I'm not tethering. Just facebook,youtube,google earth& google search. I just buy more data when i run out.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I am considering purchasing the ZTE Merit from straight talk. What worries me is that my husband had a AT&T phone in our zip code of 54115. He hated AT&T coverage, dropped called all the time,etc and he would borrow my straight talk phone to finish his business calls and other dropped calls. If this ZTE works off of AT&T's towers, then I fear I will have the same service on it as he did on his AT&T phones because of towers. Does this have to run off AT&T? help

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The ZTE Merit uses the AT&T network so I don't recommend it if you had problems with AT&T service in your area. Straight Talk has Android phones on Verizon (Samsung Galaxy Proclaim) and Sprint (Samsung Galaxy Precedent, LG Optimus Black and LG Optimus Q) so pick one on the carrier that works best in your location.

      Delete
  33. When I type a text, all of the spell check suggestions are from my contact list. It rarely suggests a word that might not be in my contacts list. How can I stop this? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I meant to ask does this phone even have spell check. If it does, is there a way to correct this problem? The phone has Android 2.3.5

      Delete
    2. If you are using the Swype keyboard it has word prediction (suggests words as you type) but not spell check. You can turn off word prediction in the Swype settings (tap and hold the Swype key in the lower left corner of the keyboard and choose Options).

      Swype starts with a dictionary of common words plus the names in your contact list, as you use it words you tap are added to the dictionary.

      In the Swype Options Menu, tap Swype Help to learn how to remove words from the dictionary as well as other ways to add words to it.

      Delete
    3. thank you mr Yeswap

      Delete
  34. Can the ZTE Merit do the same as Samsung Galaxy Precedent? I know that the Precedent runs off the sprint towers. What does ZTE Merit run off in 43570

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Merit wil run on AT&T towers in 43570 and just about everywhere. In a few areas with out AT&T coverage it may roam on a regional GSM carrier or T-mobile. It's totally incompatible with Sprint and Verizon's network technology.

      Delete
  35. Can you multi-task on a zte Merit? On my LG Optimus (which joined me in the pool and is subsequenly untenable), I could talk on the phone (bluetooth) and receive/send texts, or play a game at the same time. Can the Merit do this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it's an Android phone and supports multitasking

      Delete
  36. Can u skpye on them??

    ReplyDelete
  37. Does this phone allow the user to make telephone. Alls?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can please somebody let me know that like ZTE Merit 45 dollar plan include international texting as samsung galaxy preceddent, samsung galaxy Q.

      Thanks.

      Delete
    2. There is no international texting, free or otherwise, with Straight Talk phones on the AT&T network such as the ZTE Merit.

      Delete
  38. I have a samsung galaxy precedent with a 45 dollar monthly plan international texting is free. Is it same with ZTE merit or samsung Galxy proclaim.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, only Straight Talk Android phones on Sprint like the Precedent have free international texting. The Merit is on AT&T and international texting doesn't work.

      Delete
  39. I called ST customer service few times it sucks but after a while i got an answer that with 60 dollar plan i can get unlimited international calls and text for ZTE merit can somebody confirms that. I don't believe the customer service because different answers every time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lot of Wal-Marts are starting to get the unlimited international cards, and yes they are $60. If they're not in your local Wal-Mart yet, you should be able to get them off of the ST website. You still may have to call ST customer service to see if the area you want to call is available yet.

      Delete
  40. I called straight talk customer service and they mentioned that net 10 ZTE merit will not work for straight talk service can please somebody confirms that its correct because while reading this blog yeswap mentioned both work with each other

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't recall ever saying that. There's some speculation that a Straight Talk SIM might work in a Net10 Merit but a Net10 Merit comes with a Net10 SIM that will never activate on Straight Talk.

      Delete
    2. According to the current Straight Talk Terms of service:

      " Straight Talk Service does not allow international text messaging except on certain limited phones as described in the phone packaging (currently available with specially marked Samsung Galaxy Precedent™ (M828C), LG Optimus Q™ (L55C) and LG Optimus Black™ (L85C) sold by Straight Talk). Attempting to send international messages where not permitted or supported could result in Service deactivation. In the event of a deactivation, your minute, text and Mobile Web Access balance previous to deactivation will be cleared from the account."

      Based on that I don't think international texting is included in the $60 International Plan with the ZTE Merit

      Delete
  41. i bought this phone from walmart. would like to run some games on facebook on it. says i need to enable javascript to do that. For the life of me can't figure out how to get to the point to enable anything. Please help

    chatty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JavaScript should be enabled by default. Open the browser, tap menu > more > settings, scroll down and verify that Enable JavaScript is checked.

      If the game still doesn't work the game's not compatible with the device.

      Delete
  42. I talked with customer service regarding issue of the international text on ZTE merit. They transferred me to the technical support person and the lady told me that yes ZTE merit supports the international texts regardless of the fact that it is on AT&T. She mentioned it has nothing to do with the the fact of providing international text and network.

    ReplyDelete
  43. i dont have a ZTE yet so can somebody try rather than speculating all that

    ReplyDelete
  44. Yeswap,

    How do you find out what network these phones are running on? I have the Samsung Precedent, which runs on the garbage Sprint network. Absolutely no coverage at my home. I was considering the new Samsung Proclaim phone and see that it runs CDMA which is either SPrint or Verizon but how do find out for sure which network it runs on? Obviously if its on Sprint I have no use for it! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not easy as Straight Talk likes to hide that information. Checking if a phone is available in Verizon, AT&T or Sprint only zip codes is the main method I use. In the case of the Proclaim, the official Facebook account posted that it was a Verizon phone and users in Verizon only areas reported that the phone worked.

      Delete
  45. Does the ZTE Merit have camra for front & Bk where u can skYPi know it has to have a front camra to do it..

    ReplyDelete
  46. iv used the sd card but my phone says low memory on the phone help plz idk y all the apps is on the card its a 4 gb got 3 left

    ReplyDelete
  47. Needing to know if the ZTE Merit has a front Camra where u can skype on it? ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The ZTE Merit doesn't have a front facing camera so no Skype video calls. You can still use Skype for voice calls and IM.

      Delete
  48. Apps don't install to the memory card automatically. You have to move each one manually to the card using Settings->Applications->Manage Applications >Choose app>Move to memory card.

    Only part of most apps can be moved to the card, Some apps can't be moved at all.

    See this article for more details: How to move almost all Android apps to SD card (no root required)

    ReplyDelete
  49. I just purchased my phone and it already says there's insufficient storage when i download my apps. Do i need a bigger memory card??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, it's complaining about internal memory, not the memory card. Delete apps you don't use and move some of your other apps to the card (Settings->Applications->Manage Applications >Choose app>Move to memory card).

      Delete
    2. Thank you so much!

      Delete
  50. I'm trying to figure out if an ATT ZTE Avail case will fit the Straight Talk's ZTE Merit. They look the same, so I would assume so but I'd feel more comfortable with another person's input as well, haha. Any help?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Merit and the Avail are physically identical. An Avail case will fit a Merit.

      Delete
    2. Thank you! I just wanted to be sure before I purchased one.

      Delete
  51. Just purchased the Merit today. I cannot get a data connection. I will be using a 3g connection. Manual says to add apn...got lost due to not knowing what to enter??? Any help greatly appreciated...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm really surprised the APN is not pre-configured. I've never heard of anyone having to set it up on a Merit. The settings, which should already be on the phone, are:

      NAME: straight talk
      APN: att.mvno
      PROXY: proxy.mvno.tracfone.com
      PORT: 80
      MMSC: http://mmsc.cingular.com
      MMS PROXY: 66.209.11.33
      MMS PORT: 80
      MCC: 310
      MNC: 410


      Rather than a missing APN it's more likely that data is not configured properly on your account on the Straight Talk side.

      You will probably have to call Straight Talk to get that fixed. I recommend you wait until morning and call the Miami call center at 1-305-715-6500. The offshore support doesn't have the tools to deal with network issues and will probably want to send you a new SIM, which will take days and is unlikely to help.

      Delete
  52. Hi. I recently left Straight Talk and signed up with Virgin Mobile (bought LG phone and paid for first month service at Radio Shack) which I now regret. Much like when you break up with someone and later realize it was a mistake, VM is ok, but I'm realizing Straight Talk is a better fit.
    I would like like to try and go back to ST, but am wondering what the rules usually are pertaining to returning a pre paid phone. Is it even possible? I don't trust Radio Shack, so want to find out the truth here so I know for sure.
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  53. What app store does the ZTE Merit use? I was just wondering if it supports apps such as Netflix?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Google Play Store I don't know if the Netflix app will work on it or not. If it does, I'd only use it on WiFi. Streaming movies uses huge amounts of data and that will get you kicked off Straight Talk pretty quickly in you use it with mobile network data.

      Delete
  54. Can You get Skype on this phone?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Skype is available, video calling won't work as the phone doesn't have a front facing camera. IM and voice do work although you should only use Skype voice calling on a WiFi connection to avoid having your account terminated for excessive voice use.

      Delete
  55. I had Cingular for many years, it was the only tower in our small mtn town in VA. Then Sprint and Verizon came in, and the pay as you go. Up till then trac phone, net 10, none of those worked here. At our walmart, you can choose which network you want, so buy a $45.00 plan, then you pick a card, that is blue(ATT) or red(verizon). I took verizon because I know how bad Cingular that became ATT's service was. I get signals even going over the mtn. that my daughter loses her signal, and she is with sprint. My one question, why do ST and all the others say unlimited everything, talk, text and data, but can deactivate you if you use over 100mb/day or 2GB/month. Unlimited is unlimited, not a 100 a day, or 2 gb a month. I love ST, but didnt know they did this til I read these posts. I knew from a friend and reading that t-mobile unlimited pre paid, and even if you're paying big money for a monthly plan, once you use 100MB of 4G or 4LTE, they drop you to 2G for the rest of your unlimited period. Maybe I should look up the word unlimited in the dictionary, esp after reading what ST does if you use too much. I dont, I have 2 computers, one a laptop, and the Nook Tablet but they are wifi, if we travel I like to play online on the phone. Wish someone could explain unlimited to me, because I guess I dont understand the definition. lol Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The reason for the data cap is to keep people from tethering their phones for free internet on other devices. Unless you sit and watch youtube/netflix all day long every day you won't reach that cap though. Its just to keep people from 'borrowing' the internet for other mobile devices or computers.

      Delete
  56. Does it have a qwerty keyboard?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No only the virtual keyboard on the touch screen.

      Delete
  57. This is the first smartphone that I have owned so keep that in mind for this crazy question. I have only downloaded 2 apps to my Merit since I started using it and have already had a message come up in updates about having a virus. Is there a big problem with viruses on these phones and if I really do have one how will I know and better yet how do I get it off???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Android viruses do exist but are rare. I've been using Android for 3 years and downloaded hundreds of apps and have never seen a virus.

      I recommend only installing apps from the official Android Play Store and the Amazon and GetJar stores. Android viruses are almost always only found in downloads from other unofficial app stores.

      Lookout is a good free Android anti-virus program that should be able to remove your virus.

      Delete
  58. will this phone support the square.com credit card swipe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It should, it meets Square's minimum requirements and isn't on their list if unsupported devices.

      Delete
  59. Yeswap, is that how you get by the unlimited being discontinued by using the wifi on android? So thats why the phones have wifi, not for tethering. I need to tell daughter that cuz her BF's company did away with unlimited data, and its ATT, so he thought he used hers. but I will warn her if that is how it works. please let me know. But it is still not unlimited data for someone like me that hasnt changed to android:(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes using WiFi, especially for streaming video and audio, will help keep you under the cap. Unlimited wasn't discontinued but what Straight Talk calls unlimited data has always had a cap.

      Delete
  60. which one is better the zte or samsung galaxy precedent?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd say the ZTE unless Sprint works better than ST&T where you will be using the phone.

      Delete
  61. philly I just want to check facebook and go on youtube etc nothing fancy maybe watch hulu etc

    ReplyDelete
  62. Purchased my Merit today at a local Family Dollar for 79.99...man talking about a bargain...I currently have a Cricket ZTE Score, which i really do not like because it runs on Sprints network.

    ReplyDelete
  63. I just bought the zte straight talk and am ready to smash it. it took forever for a friend to text me until finally i got it. now i am on hr. 3 and still cant get no calls coming in only out what gives? 130 bucks it should do something besides look good

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It can take a day or two before everything is fully functional on a new account. If i'snot working by Monday call Straight Talk's Miami number at 1-305-715-6500. It's available Monday – Friday from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM EST

      Delete
  64. My battery is running down like crazy on my ZTE, threw straight talk is there anything to help that? And Also I put a Signature after my texts messeges, but dont like it, HOW do I Change it back to normal.. And do I need a Antivirus on my phone?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Smartphones use a lot of power. You will need to charge once a day, twice a day if you do a lot of web surfing, or watch alot of movives or take a lot of pictures.

      Some things that can reduce battery usage include:
      Turn off Bluetooth unless you are using it
      Turn off GPS unless you bare using navigation
      Turn off Wi-Fi in places where you don't use it
      Turn on automatic screen brightness
      Set a shorter screen timeout
      Don't use live wallpapers
      Disable Google Talk if you don't use it
      Remove uneeded widgets, especially ones that update automatically (news, weather, social media)
      Go to Settings > About Phone > Battery Use to see what apps are using a lot of battery and delete any that are that you don't really need.
      If you use the Email app (not the Gmail one) set it to check for mail less frequently
      Delete apps you don't use
      Avoid leaving the phone in very hot or very cold places

      To remove your messaging signature:
      Open Messaging
      Tap the menu key
      Tap Messaging settings
      Uncheck Add signature

      Delete
  65. Can any AT&T android phone be purchased and the Straightalk AT&T sims be placed into it? And Straighttalk will still be the main company that I am under?

    ReplyDelete
  66. WHat is the best ATT straightalk sims compatable phone that is available?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That really really depends on your OS preference, wallet and what form factor and features you prefer. If price is irrelevant I like:

      Samsung Galaxy Note, Samsung Galaxy Nexus (Android)
      iPhone 4S (iOS)
      Nokia Lumia 900 (Windows Phone)

      FYI setting up MMS picture messaging on iOS and Windows Phone is difficult, easy on Android.

      Delete
  67. so all of these would enable me to take my straighttalk sims out of my merit and place into any of these phones and I am ready to go? I probably be looking at the android phone since I have an android tablet and use google. Is the Samsung better than the Merit?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Voice and SMS would work immediately. You need to set up the data and MMS APNs and proxies manually before those services will work.

      Delete
  68. Can you tell me what network the straight talk LG Optimus Black will run on?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Optimus Black uses the Sprint network.

      Delete
  69. Where would I find the information to set up the data and MMS APNs and proxies manually before those services will work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Settings are here: Straight Talk Support. Also see a A Couple of Good iPhone on Straight Talk Tutorials

      Also, I just realized that you had mentioned that you will be using the SIM from a Straight Talk ZTE Merit rather than a Straight Talk BYOD SIM. I'm assuming that SIM is unlocked.

      I've seen one report from someone who tried using the Merit SIM in a non-Straight Talk phone and said that it worked. If you happen to have an AT&T or unlocked GSM phone you could try the Merit SIM in it to verify if it is unlocked.

      Even if the Merit turns out to be locked you can buy an unlocked SIM tor $15 from straighttalksim.com and call Straight Talk to transfer your number and expiration date to it.

      Delete
  70. I have a straighttalk sim in which I assume is unlock in my ZTE merit990G.

    ReplyDelete
  71. I downloaded music to my Play Music in Google on the computer but they dont show up on my phone? how do I get them to show up on the app on the phone? for the ZTE Merit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know as I don't use that feature. I just copy my music files to the SD card which always works.

      Delete
  72. Is the Samsung Galaxy Proclaim the only option for for straight talk that will run on Verizon network? I'd like something wiht a better camera, at least 5mp, but prefer Verizon network over AT&T? thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are a bunch of Straight Talk feature phones that use Verizon (all the model numbers ending in "C"), but none of them has a 5 MP camera. The Proclaim is the first and so far the only Straight Talk Verizon smartphone

      Delete
  73. just went and bought the zte merit and i am wanting to know is there anyway i can make my personal music my ring tones if so how do i do this thanks and i cant get my 3g to work if anyone has any answers to that i would so welcome them

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Copy your mp3 or ogg music files (.aac .wma may not work) to \media\audio\ringtones on the SD card.

      If the folder structure isn't already there just create it (first make a media folder and then an audio one inside of media and a ringtones folder inside of audio.

      You can create the folders with a free file manager program like ES File Manager from the Play Store or by attaching the phone to a PC with a USB cable and using Windows Explorer or the Mac Finder.

      You shouldn't have to change anything to get data working. Sometimes it takes a day or two before data works on a new account. If it's not working tomorrow, call Straight Talk's Miami "Executive Resolution" call center at 1-305-715-6500 between 8 AM and 7 PM Eastern Time and they should be able to fix it.

      Delete
  74. If were to go the straight talk SIM Card route on an unlocked GSN phone - will it operate on the AT&T network, or is it dependent on the phone iteself?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All SIMs are specific to a single network and will use that network and its roaming partners only.

      If you want AT&T, order the Straight Talk AT&T SIM it will work fine in an unlocked phone.

      I don't recommend choosing Straight Talk's SIM for unlocked phones as Straight Talk will send you whichever SIM (AT&T or T-Mobile) they want.

      Delete
  75. Does the Merit have SWYPE capabilities?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Merit doesn't come with Swype but it can downloaded from swype.com and installed.

      Delete
  76. I've noticed straight talk has a 2gb/month data cap, does net10 cap thier unlimited plan as well?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's the same with both Net10 and Straight Talk. Officially there's no cap, but based on user experience if you exceed 2 GB/month or 100 MB/day you risk getting your account canceled by Straight Talk/Net10.

      Delete
  77. How Do You Turn On The Signiture.????????

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i believe earlier yeswap said that u can turn signature on or off by going into messaging than hitting the menu button and check mark it on or off

      Delete
  78. The zte does not have a camera flash that I know of, only a camera lens. Will an app rectify this issue? If so, which one do you recommend?

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  79. does the zte have multitasking?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it's an Android phone. All Android phones mutitask.

      Delete
  80. On the ZTE Merit, when I move an app from internal storage to the SD card, it works fine until I unmount/remount the card or power off and power on the phone. After that, the app must be reinstalled (clicking the shortcut results in a message that the app is not installed). That isn't normal behavior, is it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds like a bug unless you are talking about apps where you use the apps widget on the home screen. Like a weather widget that shows the forecast, a free memory widget, or social network widgets that show when you have updtes. If you more an app to the card, its widget will stop working, but not the app itself.

      Delete
  81. My Keyboard has changed since I first got the phone about 1 month ago. There use to be a microphone key on the main keyboard and now it is gone; all the keys looks "bubble-like" now; and predictive texting is happening when it used to not be on. I don't like any of this. I saw your post above about a "Swype" keyboard but I have no "gear" in the bottom left of my keyboard. I do have in my text settings the option to toggle between "XT9" and "ABC". I have it marked on ABC... but the keyboard still looks the same (no mic, bubble keys) and predictive text is still occuring. Any ideas fo me?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh and additionally, I've gone into the Settings and marked for the Mic to be on the Main Keyboard... but it doesn't show up.

      Delete
    2. To switch keyboards, do a long press on any input field and choose input method from the menu that areas. You will see a list of the installed keyboards and pick the one you want. The choices should be Android keyboard and XT9. The Android keyboard is the one with the microphone key.

      If you want to try the Swype keyboard you need to download it from beta.swype.com

      Delete
  82. Yeswap, you are a saint.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Yeswap,
    I got on this page because I am looking at purchasing the Merit, I have recently switched from ATT to Straight Talk with my Samsung Solstice A887. Since switching I can no longer send/receive pics or get internet. I like my Samsung but want the aforementioned items. Do you know how to solve this issue? I have called both Straight Talk and Samsung and ultimately one sends me to the other for a solution?? I am beginning to get the impression that I will not be able to get these items on my Samsung. This is why I have been researching the Merit. :/ Thanks for any assistance you may be able to provide. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For MMS and data to work on a non-Straight Talk phone, the phone's settings have to be modified. To find the settings you need go Straight Talk's SIM support page at straighttalksim.com/support.php and click the "Update Your Data Settings link"

      You will have to figure out how to input those settings into the phone. This can be difficult on dumb phones like the Solstice as the setting may be locked down. AT&T has guides that show you where to find the settings for Data and MMS. For data you need to add a new browser profile or modify the MediaNet one with the the Straight Talk settings. For MMS you would need to add a new MMS profile or modify the AT&T one with the Straight Talk settings. I don't know if the phone will let you do that, however.

      The Merit comes preconfigured with the correct settings so data and MMS should work without configuration.

      Delete
    2. Thank you, yeah I've tried all that and you are right, it is all locked down. Thanks anyway! :)

      Delete
  84. Yeswap,
    I was wondering if this phone has a signature option in text messaging?

    ReplyDelete
  85. I purchased it yesterday. It works great for what it is. It's fast and responsive. The battery life is reliable. The reception is wonderful which is amazing because even Verizon phones can be iffy in my area at times. I don't mind that it has a slow processor and low memory because I only bought it to finally get rid of my landline. =D

    ReplyDelete
  86. Ok, I have a question. When you use your own mp3s for the ringtone, due you have to trim it down to size. Like under 300kb. or can you use the full song. Also can you use your own txt tones or is it locked to their presets. One more question Ringtone ID on this phone too? Thanks for your answers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can use the whole song as a ringtone, trimming isn't necessary

      You can use your own MP3s for SMS notifiactions. Create a folder named "notifications" in the root of your SD card and copy the MP3s you want to use into it.

      I've never heard of a Ringtone ID, what's asking for it?

      Delete
    2. Thanks Yeswap. What I was meaning on ringtone ID was setting contacts their own ringtone and to show their picture when they call. I'am still using a tracfone 376g. I think it is time for a huge upgrade

      Delete
    3. Yes, any Android phone lets you assign a picture and ringtone to a contact.

      Delete
  87. Someone indicated that they tethered this phone, but didn't explain how to do it. I like the idea as an emergency backup and realize that it can't be done on a regular basis. What app can be used in an emergency?

    ReplyDelete
  88. I can't download Adobe Flash Player on to the ZTE Merit, what version of the Adobe Flash Player can I download?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Flash Player doesn't support the Merit.

      Delete
  89. Can someone tell me how i can get better signal with my phone. i juust got this one about 2 weeks ago and my service is not good at all, with my old phone i had service everywhere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. both of them are straight talk

      Delete
    2. Straight Talk phones can be on AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon or Sprint depending on the model and in some cases the SIM. The Merit uses AT&T. Read the article I linked to to find which network your old phone used.

      Delete
  90. does anyone if their is a way u can send a message in english and when it is recieved it will be in spainish.

    ReplyDelete
  91. Can u select a song to play as a text tone when u get a text?
    Dose it have a full key board like the ipod an iphone?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can choose from about a dozen built in messaging alerts. To use your own MP3s for SMS notifiactions. Create a folder named "notifications" in the root of your SD card and copy the MP3s you want to use into it.

      Delete
    2. There is a full QWERTY touch keyboard similar to the one on the iPod.

      Delete
  92. The ZTE Merit is the absolute worse cell phone I have ever had! And that dates back to car phones. It constantly force crashes. I get some texts a day later--and that's if I get them. And it constantly disconnects my bluetooth. I am taking it back tomorrow! Too bad there aren't many options at Wal Mart. Initially, I had the Samsung Precedent. I liked it more than this ZTE mess, but it had too many bugs too. I'm trying to get out of my EVO and neither of the phones above are helping my cause.

    ReplyDelete
  93. Yeswap, you went above and beyond on this blog subject. Thanks,

    ReplyDelete
  94. I don't have a specific question, I just watch this page, and many of my questions about the ZTE Merit have been answered. Thank you for helping people out!

    ReplyDelete
  95. Does the ZTE have voice recording? thanks ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the Merit has a sound recorder app pre-installed. Many more recorder apps are available in the Play Store.

      Delete
  96. you said that you could set individual ringtones for contacts but I can not find how to do that. I can only set a default ringtone. Could you give me help with this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tap the contact to view it. Press the Menu key, tap Options, tap Ringtone and choose the one you want to use.

      Delete
  97. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I was trying to figure this out for two weeks and I am usually pretty good at figuring things out. You Rock!

    ReplyDelete
  98. Yeswap, thank you so much for your help with this phone. I am still deciding on whether to send it back. I'm really disappointed with the internal memory issue. I am hoping that at some point this phone is able to be rooted and eliminate this problem.

    But... The good news! TETHERING !

    For those that keep asking about tethering your ZTE Merit, there is a solution. I found the program FoxFi at the Google Play store. Be sure to download the FoxFi Add On as well. It works great and I have used it a few times. Good Luck and Thanks Again.
    P.S. If you find a way to root this phone please let me know!

    ReplyDelete
  99. Does the Merit have a virtual qwerty?
    Also...not sure I am understanding...if I am at home and use my wifi with the Merit, will it get me in trouble with Straighttalk? Can I do that as much as I like?
    I am already with Straighttalk, have a Nokia 6790, but use my Ipod 4 Touch when at home with my wifi. I would LOVE to be able to have Instagram, etc. when I am out and about!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Merit has a touchscreen QWERTY. Straight Talk doesn't know or care what you do on Wi-Fi

      Delete
  100. I cannot get the internet to work??? I was told that in order to make the phone work I had to purchase the $45 plan, which I did. I was under the impression that that plan included data. I can only get the internet to work on "some" wifi connections. It's very spotty. I also cannot get my email to set up (it's a yahoo account that I use for everything), nor will the messages in facebook delete. Any advice?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The internet should work without WiFi. It sounds like Straight Talk didn't configure your account properly. Call their Miami call center at 1-305-715-6500, Monday – Friday from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM EST.

      For Yahoo Mail I recommend the free Yahoo Mail app in the Play Store. Very easy to setup.

      For the Facebook problem, are you using an app or the Facebook web site? What does the error message say.

      Delete
    2. I can only get the Play Store to open when I have a good wifi signal. I am using the FB icon on the home screen. There are 2 messages that are displayed...again I don't have good wifi signal so FB won't open. I guess I should call Customer Service???

      Delete
    3. The Facebook problem is probably related to your connectivity issues.

      Call the number I listed tomorrow. The regular Straight Talk support doesn't have the tools and training to fix network issues and will likely just waste your time.

      Delete
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