The Best Qlink Compatible Phones at Dollar General For 2024

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Qlink Wireless is one of the carriers that give free cell phones from the government. But what kind of phone do you get? Is the free device worth it? If not, can I get Qlink compatible phones at Dollar General?

When applying to join Qlink Wireless, these and more questions may pop into your head. While the carrier does give free touch screen government phones, the homepage of the company website does not state what they send. It’s only when you dig deep into the site you’ll find a clue of these details.

In this article, I’ve compiled everything you should know about the types of Qlink compatible phones at Dollar General. I have also noted details of the kind of phone Qlink gives you to see whether you should wait for the freebie or get your own.

What are the Best Qlink Compatible Phones in 2024

The stores, both online and in-store, are flooded with numerous different brands of phones compatible with Qlink free free cellular service. Out of the dozens of Phone brands I’ve gone through, my favorite recommendation to use with Qlink service are:

Qlink Compatible Phones at Dollar General
Qlink Compatible Dollar General

Best Overall: Fully Unlocked Apple iPhone 12 A14 Bionic iOS

 Key Features:

  • A high-performance Apple A14 chip
  • Vibrant 6.1-inch, 2K Full HD display
  • Supports 4G LTE & 5G connectivity
  • Compatible with up to WiFi 6 (802.11ax)
  • Built-in NFC sensor for contactless payments
  • Compatible with Qi & MagSafe wireless chargers

Best of Budget: Factory-Unlocked Samsung Galaxy A13 5G-Enabled

 Key Features:

  • A wider 6.5-inch, 90Hz display
  • Decent Mediatek Dimensity 700 processor
  • Supports 4G LTE & 5G (C-band) connectivity
  • Compatible with up to WiFi 5 (802.11ac) WLAN
  • Built-in NFC chip for quick, contactless payments
  • An integrated microSD card slot to expand storage

Best Under 150: Qlink (branded) Samsung Galaxy S10E LTE Android

 Key Features:

  • A wide, 5.8-inch Full HD+ display
  • Powerful Snapdragon 855 processor
  • Supports up to 4G LTE connectivity
  • Compatible with up to WiFi 6 (802.11ax)
  • Built-in NFC sensor for contactless payments
  • Supports Qi/ PMA/ Reverse wireless chargers

Best of under 200: Qlink (branded) Apple iPhone SE (2nd Generation) Bionic

 Key Features:

  • A clear, 5.7-inch HD+ display
  • Powerful Apple A13 Bionic chipset
  • Supports up to 4G LTE connectivity
  • Compatible with up to WiFi 6 (802.11ax)
  • Captures crisp videos in 4K & slo-mo mode
  •  Built-in NFC for digital payments & content sharing

Best of Design: Fully-Unlocked Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G (2021 Release)

Key Features:

  • An extra-wide, 6.8-inch Full HD+ display
  • Decent Snapdragon 480 5G (8nm) processor
  • Supports 4G LTE & 5G (C-Band) connectivity
  • Compatible with up to WiFi 5 (802.11ac) WLAN
  • Built-in microSD card slot to expand local storage

Joining isn’t the only time to Look for Qlink Compatible Phones

When joining Qlink Wireless, you can either wait for the free phone they send or bring your own. If you decide to wait, the device order may take a while to arrive- seven (7) to fourteen (14) days.

The kind of phone Qlink gives you when joining is their branded Hot Pepper (HP) Serrano 3. It’s a basic smartphone for those looking for something simple to make calls, text, chat on social media, or “basic” browsing.

Sadly, the Qlink Serrano smartphone is quite lacking performance-wise. It has a MediaTek MT6739 (28nm) processor and built-in 16/ 2GB memory, which isn’t ideal for running heavy graphics apps or games.

As an avid gamer on the free Qlink phone service, you may need to bring your own more decent device. The same goes if planning to use your phone on heavy tasks or running apps continuously.

In case your first device comes with issues, you usually can get a Qlink Wireless phone replacement for free. However, the replacement device you get will still be the entry-level freebie they send unless the faulty one is from the upgrade catalog. Hence, the reason I still recommend bringing your device for replacement- or right from the start when joining.

Besides the new customers joining, existing customers can also bring their own Qlink compatible phones if the previous phone:

  • Got lost or stolen
  • Develops physical or technical issues
  • Is too slow for your needs and need something powerful

Can I Get Qlink Compatible Phones at Dollar General Stores

Dollar General is one of the largest variety stores here in the US, with over 19,000 outlets to visit. The line of stores operates both in the urban and rural areas. Then, they stock a variety of items, including cell phones and phone service plans.

That said, can I get Qlink compatible phones at Dollar General stores? If YES, do the Qlink phones come with service?

Well, unfortunately, Dollar General outlets don’t sell cell phones from Qlink. Similar to the likes of Kroger, the retail company only sells cell phone service and devices of the carriers it has partnered with. Most of the phone carrier partners are from the prepaid category, including Verizon, AT&T, Boost Mobile, TracFone, and Simple Mobile.

A while back, Dollar General had also partnered with T-Mobile to resell their prepaid products, including service cards and phones. However, the GSM carrier seems to have ended their deal with the merchant, as many of the outlets I’ve seen no longer stock it. Why does this matter, you ask?

In the list of Lifeline phone providers with free service, we see the Carrier Network of Qlink Wireless is T-Mobile. What this means is that Qlink is an MVNO of T-Mobile. And as per the basic compatibility rule, MVNOs are naturally compatible with phones of their Carrier Network.

So, you could use a Qlink SIM card on a T-Mobile (Locked) phone. But since T-Mobile phones are no longer on the racks of Dollar General, you’ll have to shop them elsewhere.

Are Other Phones at Dollar General Compatible with Qlink Wireless?

Many of the phones at Dollar General stores are not directly compatible with Qlink Wireless SIM cards. The issue here is that Dollar General does not offer unlocked cell phones. They only sell branded phones from their carrier partners.

Some of these carriers are compatible with T-Mobile and its MVNOs, such as our Qlink free service. However, you’ll have to unlock the featured smartphones or flip phones before you can be able to use them. If you insert the (Qlink) SIM card into the branded phones while still locked, you’ll get an “invalid” error.

Also, you should know different carriers offer their 4G LTE and 5G on different network frequencies. True, Qlink/ T-Mobile uses widely used network frequencies, including bands 2, 4, 5, 12*, 66, & 71* on LTE. Then, network bands N71, N41 (C-Band), N258, N260, & N261 for 5G.

However, the prepaid phones at Dollar General come without all these network frequency bands. And that means they will be partly compatible with Qlink (or not compatible at all) when unlocked.

Qlink Compatible Phones at Other Stores Like Dollar General

Instead of Dollar General, you can get Qlink compatible phones at similar stores that have stock. Some of these other stores include Walmart, Target, Amazon, Best Buy, eBay, et cetera.

Many of these stores are now available online (some are even online-only) to bring you a more convenient shopping experience. Others like Walmart and Target are available both online and in-store if you prefer to do your shopping in person.

Furthermore, these consumer stores currently have a variety of phones to choose from, including carrier-locked, carrier-unlocked, and factory-unlocked options. So, it’s easy to find a phone that works with Qlink SIM cards.

Speaking of Qlink, the Lifeline provider has a retail department where you can purchase its branded phones. The catalog includes their cheap entry-level devices, plus high-end brands like iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, and Google Pixel.

Nonetheless, almost all the phones in the Qlink retail store are certified refurbished models. If you need a brand-new device, I’d recommend going to the consumer stores like Walmart or Amazon.

The rise of online stores has also enabled manufacturers to bring their products directly to consumers. Thus, you could also visit the website of your favorite brand and pick your preferred device from the available selections.

Other Best Qlink Compatible Phones You Can Use

Besides the five options I listed in the beginning, other branded or fully Qlink compatible phones you can check out are:

 Type of NetworkType of SIMROM & RAM
Fully Unlocked Apple iPhone 12 A14 Bionic iOS5G & 4 LTESIM card/ eSIM64GB, 4GB
Factory-Unlocked Samsung Galaxy A13 5G-Enabled Android5G & 4G LTE SIM card 64GB, 4GB
Qlink (branded) Apple iPhone 11 IP68-Rated Smartphone4G LTE SIM card/ eSIM128GB, 4GB
Qlink (branded) Apple iPhone SE (2nd Generation) Bionic 4G LTE SIM card/ eSIM64GB, 3GB
Fully Unlocked Google Pixel 3a 4G LTE Android Phone 4G LTE SIM card/ eSIM64GB, 4GB
Qlinked (branded) BLU Tank 4G LTE Flip Phone4G LTESIM card4GB, 0.5GB
Fully-Unlocked Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G (2021 Release)5G & 4G LTESIM card128GB, 4GB
T-Mobile (Carrier-Locked) LG G8 ThinQ LTE Phone4G LTESIM card128GB, 6GB
T-Mobile (Locked) Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G-Enabled Android5G & 4G LTESIM card128GB, 8GB
Factory-Unlocked Google Pixel 4a 5G & 4G LTESIM card & eSIM128GB, 6GB
Fully Unlocked Apple iPhone SE 3 (2022) 5G-Enabled iOS5G & 4G LTESIM card & eSIM64GB, 4GB
T-Mobile (Locked) Samsung Galaxy S10e 4G LTESIM card128GB, 6GB
Fully Unlocked Samsung Galaxy S9+ 4G LTESIM card64GB, 6GB
AT&T Unlocked LG Stylo 5+ 4G LTE Android4G LTESIM card32GB, 3GB

Get Fully Unlocked Phone if Possible

In my opinion, it’s not the best idea to look for Qlink compatible phones at Dollar General outlets. The stores only stock prepaid phones from its partnering carriers, such as Verizon, AT&T, Boost Mobile, TracFone, Simple Mobile, and Total Wireless.

All the phones from these carriers come locked to their service, thereby won’t work with Qlink immediately. You must first have them unlocked, which means using the service of the carrier they’re locked to for a certain period.

T-Mobile (locked) phones are the only option you can buy and use on Qlink service even before unlocking. However, the GSM carrier seems no longer in a deal with Dollar General as its products have been unavailable for a while.

The only option available when looking for Qlink compatible phones will be to shop elsewhere. Even Qlink has a retail section you can purchase one of their refurbished phones. But many of the devices on the catalog come locked to its network, which may be tricky to unlock.

So, you might want to consider buying a fully unlocked phone from the start if you’d like to change carriers later on.