Disposable phone: What is it and how does it work?

Disposable telephone What it is and how it works
Disposable telephone What it is and how it works

Dernière mise à jour: 16 mai 2024

Today, cell phones have invaded our daily lives and we can say it, they are clearly no longer just for making calls. It's simple, they are now real little computers.

You can use them for absolutely anything you want and they've never been more valuable. However, in life, there are times when you just need to make a phone call.

We don't want to bother with packages that require us to pay every month and we look for solutions. One of these is the disposable phones which still exist, even if we talk about them less recently.

In this article, we tell you everything there is to know about it!

Is the disposable phone really disposable?

Well, let's start by pushing an open door, but of course, the term disposable phone is more of a picture than a real thing. Indeed, unlike what we have had in the past with cameras, this is not a question of a truly disposable device.

It remains usable, even after the sim card initial inside is reloaded. What earned it the name of disposable telephone is quite simply the use it was made of, particularly in crime.

Because yes, one of the big strengths of these phones is that it is possible to buy them very quickly, and often for cash, without having to give any personal information about yourself. Obviously, this also attracted a certain clientele.

This clientele then used these phones, then once their business was over, they just had to throw it away and move on to a new one so that it couldn't be easily traced back to them.

But behind this designation of disposable phone is in fact hiding in general a cheap phone with a SIM card already loaded with a certain amount of phone credit inside. Once this amount has been consumed, the card does not work and therefore the telephone also by extension. However, it is important to note that this card, you can of course change it by buying a recharge. There, the phone will start working again until this card is emptied again.

Pay attention to the validity period of the SIM card

Be careful though, because these disposable cell phones have specificity or at least the cards we just talked about. Indeed, they do not have an unlimited lifespan and eventually wear out on their own.

To be completely transparent, when you buy a card, check its validity period. We cannot give you a precise period, because it depends on the top-up amount and the operator.

However, be aware that it is between a few weeks and 6 months most of the time and that from the moment you activate the card the countdown begins. If you haven't used up all the credit inside that card by the time it expires, it's lost!

Disposable phone number: how does it work?

When you buy your disposable phone, you can use it directly. By turning on your phone, you benefit from a disposable phone number which you can use at your leisure to call your loved ones and send them text messages.

They can for example be very practical if you ever need a package in a foreign country without wanting to bother with long-term commitments generally offered by mobile plan providers.

It is also very practical for people who use their cell phones very little. They therefore do not have to pay full price with a mobile plan whose bill comes back every month.

Is it possible to change operator on a disposable phone?

Be careful though when you buy one of these disposable cell phones, because they are what we call SIM lock. Understand by this that they have been blocked so as to only be able to receive SIM cards from a certain operator.

This therefore means that even if you find more advantageous recharge offers from the competition, you will not be able to use them. You are stuck with the operator from whom you took this phone.

In addition to the prices that will be offered to you for the purchase of this disposable phone itself. It is sometimes important to check whether there is a big difference in price between recharges depending on the operator.

Where to find a disposable phone and at what price?

That's it, you are convinced and you want to start buying a disposable phone. Let's see together where to go and especially the price you will have to pay to get your hands on it.

As for where you will go, the easiest thing is togo to telephone stores, whether they are linked to operators or not. Disposable phones are rather rare. But generally, there are still one or two models.

You can also find them on Amazon or, go to a tobacconist where you will be able to find the refills that we told you about before. However, these disposable phones were somewhat forgotten, not sure if everyone still has them.


Finally, as for the price of this device, you will see that there are quite a few differences. Generally, this difference comes from the SIM card that you will be able to find inside.

The greater the refill, the higher the price will necessarily be. Finally, the phone itself can have a slight influence. But these being entry-level, it is played at a difference of ten euros.

In summary, if you are looking for a disposable laptop, you have to count between 20€ for a basic phone with a recharge of half an hour in general. If you want a better quality laptop with a better plan, that can quickly add up to 60 / 70 €.


There you go, now you have everything there is to know about disposable cell phones. These are now a little forgotten with the advent of smartphones. But they are still useful.

Therefore, if you tick the boxes for its use, you now know where to look and what price to spend in general to be able to take advantage of this telephony offer which is a bit special.