006-motorola-one-5g-ace

This $400 phone for $20? Without a contract? Yep!


Sarah Tew/CNET

This feels like a mistake. I checked; it’s not. If you have an old phone you’re looking to retire in favor of a shiny new 5G-capable model, here’s an insanely affordable option: For a limited time, you can get the Motorola One 5G Ace for $20 when you port an existing number to Metro by T-Mobile. List price: $400. Regular price at Metro: $280.

There’s a catch, but probably not what you think: You don’t have to sign any kind of contract, nor are you roped into Metro’s most expensive service plans. (Over at Cricket, for example, you can get an iPhone SE for $50, but you have to pay for two months of service on a plan costing at least $60 a month.) You do, however, have to visit a brick-and-mortar Metro store; you can’t order the phone online. 

Also, the number you’re porting in can’t be from T-Mobile. And if you’ve been a Metro customer anytime in the last six months, you’re not eligible for this deal.  

Metro’s plans start at $40 a month for a single line, with discounts available as you add lines. The phone itself will cost you just $20 (plus tax) out the door — effectively a $260 instant rebate — and you’re also on the hook for a $20 activation fee.

If you’ve never heard of the Motorola One 5G Ace, that’s because it’s brand-new; it was one of four new sub-$400 phones Motorola introduced last month. CNET’s Patrick Holland shared this first impression: “The Ace has an enjoyable chonky design and the one I got to try has a sweet business-casual silver speckled finish called frosty silver. Some of the Ace’s stoutness comes from the fact it houses a 5,000-mAh battery, which Motorola claims will survive two days on a single charge.”

Beyond that, there’s some pretty decent horsepower here for a $400 phone, let alone a $20 one: 6.7-inch HDR10 display, Snapdragon 750G 5G processor, 6GB of RAM, three rear cameras. Our full review is forthcoming, so stay tuned for that.

Similarly, I’m waiting to hear back from T-Mobile on the only real unknown here: whether the phone is unlocked, or can be at a certain point. I’ll update this post when I find out.

Your thoughts?

Read more: Best phones under $500: iPhone SE, Pixel 4A 5G, Galaxy A51 and more


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