FreedomPop's free data and voice are now available on tablets

FreedomPop messaging on a Galaxy Tab 3 and an iPad mini

Many people can't really justify buying a cellular-equipped tablet -- why pay for more data when your phone probably does the trick? FreedomPop is undoubtedly aware of that thriftiness, as it just started offering its namesake free service on tablets. Whether you buy one of the carrier's pre-supplied tablets or bring your own, you'll get the same gratis 500MB of LTE data, 500 messages and 200 voice minutes as a phone customer. That may not make sense at first, but FreedomPop reckons that it's important for apps that ask for a phone number. It's much easier to hail an Uber car when you can supply some digits, for example. It could also serve as a backup if your phone's battery dies, or if you're nearing your limits on a capped phone plan.

The catch, besides the relatively low 500MB data ceiling, is the device selection. FreedomPop is selling only the aging Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 ($199) and original iPad mini ($319 refurbished), and any tablet of your own will have to play nicely with the Sprint network that FreedomPop uses for LTE. You're getting more free data than T-Mobile offers, though, and the phone functionality should be icing on the cake.