Frequently Asked Questions

F1 Phone
  • How many contacts can the F1 hold?

    There is no specific limit on the number of contacts.

    The memory space for Contacts is dynamically allocated. So if the user
    memory (about 3.5GB) was completely filled up with no space left, it
    might start to inhibit the contact capacity. We can confirm it works with over 5,000 contacts.

  • Does the F1 support group messages?

    The F1 supports group messages via MMS, and groups all messages by conversation.

    The F1 does not support advanced messaging protocols such as WhatsApp, iMessages, Telegram, Signal, RCS and Verizon’s Message+. If you are part of a group that uses advanced messaging protocols, consider having them use GroupMe in order to include basic phones in the group.

  • What is the F1’s SAR?

    The SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) ratings of the F1 are as follows:
    Head: 0.872 W/kg
    Body: 1.366 W/kg

  • Why doesn’t the F1 support video?

    While there can be good reasons to share video, too many times the commonly-shared videos end up distracting us from the important things in life that really matter. This is the reason why the Sunbeam F1 doesn’t record video or send/receive video messages.

  • Can I turn off the bright external LED indicator lights?

    Many customers like the bright LED indicators for “New Message” and “Missed Call”. But some find them annoying. If you wish, you can disabled them here: Settings > Phone Settings > Notification Light Status. If you turn off the LED indicators, you will still be able to see the “New Message” and “Missed Call” indicators via the external display.

  • How long does the battery last?

    The answer depends on the carrier, the signal strength, and the usage. Quite frankly, our 1,400mAh battery is none too large for a VoLTE phone. (The VoLTE signal requires more processing than the older 2G/3G phones did, even for sitting idle on the network).

    Most users can easily make it through one day without a problem. However, we have some users that spend many hours per day on the phone, and the battery simply is not sufficient in that case. (We’ve also seen some cases where the network itself would cause the F1 to continually re-register, which quickly depletes the battery too). So if you spend 4 to 6 hours per day talking on your phone, you will need to recharge it mid-day.

  • The battery in my old CDMA phone lasted almost a week, and it only had a 980mAh battery. Why can’t a new phone with a larger battery last even longer?

    In many ways CDMA was a better for voice phones, especially so in regards to power consumption. There are two reasons why the battery of a Sunbeam phone running on VoLTE will not last as long as a CDMA phone running an older operating system.

    The first reason is that the BasicOS operating system is based on AOSP, which is a much larger and more complex operating system. This is like a V12 engine compared to a four cylinder engine in the older phones. Even when idling, it still consumes more power.

    The other reason is because the VoLTE signal is a packet switched connection and requires far more processing than the older circuit switched CDMA signal. Both of these things mean that the good old days of batteries lasting all week are gone forever, unless you have a massive battery.

  • Is the Sunbeam F1 VoLTE capable?

    Yes, it is fully VoLTE capable.

    On Verizon, it is on VoLTE all the time. On T-Mobile or AT&T, it’s up to the carrier. Sometimes the carrier will choose to route the call over 3G, and other times they will choose to use VoLTE.

  • Is the Sunbeam F1 a “rugged” phone?

    No, this is not a military spec phone and it’s not ruggedized. The body is smooth plastic and slides relatively easily in and out of the pocket.

  • Is the Sunbeam F1 waterproof?

    No it is not.

    Water damage is not covered by warranty.

  • The hinge seems to flex a little. Is this normal?

    Yes, this is normal. There is a rubber bumper that compresses, giving the feeling of flexing/bending, but this is a design feature.

  • Does the F1 support hotspot or tethering?

    No. Neither hotspot or tethering is available on the Sunbeam F1.

  • What is the warranty on the Sunbeam F1?

    All Sunbeam phones are covered by a one year warranty. The warranty covers any failure other than physical damage or water damage.

  • What are the advantages of a flip phone?

    Good question. One of them is that you can quickly dial a number by flipping the phone open and matching a number stored in Contacts. For example, if I want to call my friend David, I can flip open my phone, press “3”, “2”, “8” (corresponding with “DAV” in David) and this will match present a listing of all the David’s in my Contacts. I scroll down to the correct one and press the green CALL button. (Or press the “Message” button if I want to send a text message). The whole process can be completed in only a few seconds and quickly becomes the preferred method of contacting people, after trying it for a time or two. 

    Oh. And there’s something very satisfying about ending a call by flipping the phone closed… 

  • Does the Sunbeam F1 track me or have spyware on it?

    No. We are very conscientious about data privacy. We do not collect, share, or sell customer data. Our business model is to pay for the services we use and not use any free services. (Which tend to be the ones that track users). The service provider is outside of our control, however, and would have the tools to track a customer if they wished. But that should not be a problem if you’re using a reputable carrier. Here are the parties that could potentially track you.

    1. Sunbeam. We are opposed this and have intentionally set up our business model to avoid free services. We control the software running on the phone and we do not have any “bloatware” or other unnecessary software installed. We do have an “Update” tool that pings our server to check for an update on a time schedule. (And if an update is available, it will notify you of this). We also have a “Bug Report” tool that can be used, if desired, to report a bug to us. But neither of these functions are used to spy on or track users.
    2. The carrier. The carrier would in theory be able to use tower triangulation to locate a user. However, this should not be a problem if reputable carriers are used. No customer information from our software is given to the carrier.
    3. Our Navigation feature. (On the Orchid model). We’ve built the Navigation function ourselves using the HERE Technologies software development kit. But the connections to HERE are limited and no customer details are available to them. You can also download the map data in advance (from within Navigation, preferably over WiFi to reduce cellular data), or purchase the SD card from us that has the map data preinstalled on it to further reduce your data usage and activity. There is a “Search” function to find nearby businesses or other POI that does need a network connection to be used. This data connection is also with HERE Technologies.
    4. Our Weather feature. (On the Orchid model). The data source for our Weather function is The Weather Company, by IBM. Again, this is a paid service and IBM is not provided any customer-specific information.
    5. Our Voice-to-Text Input feature. (On the Orchid and Daisy models). This function is powered by Microsoft. The audio is recorded and Microsoft analyzes it and converts it to text. (They are very good at this, by the way). They could in theory keep record of those audio clips, but they’re a very reputable company and they are not provided with any customer-specific information.
  • The updated keyboard is reading my contacts. Is this totally offline?

    The newly updated keyboard has an improved T9 predictive text input method. One of the improvements requested was to read contacts and suggest stored names when typing. For example, let’s say that you have a contact stored and he has a weird nickname. (eg “Shmutz”). The normal T9 predictive text will never be able to suggest weird nicknames on it’s own. But with the help of reading contacts, it works beautifully!

    However, this does bring up a very legitimate privacy concern: What exactly is the keyboard doing with the contacts? The answer is that the T9 predictive text function is 100% offline and there is no sharing of that information with any other devices or computers. The only purpose for it is to populate the dictionary and make spelling all those cool names using T9 predictive text fast and easy! There is no sharing or copying of any contact information. It’s only used locally and completely offline.

  • Is it possible to add words to the T9 dictionary?

    Yes. To do this, type a new word. After the new word is created, tap and hold the touchscreen to highlight the word. After the correct word is highlighted, press and hold the star key, then choose “Add to dictionary”.

  • Do Sunbeam phones support emoji?

    Yes! The Daisy and Orchid send and receive emoji. To insert emoji into any text input field, press and hold the star key. This opens a menu. Choose “5” (Emoji) from the list, which opens the emoji palette.

    Helpful tip: Some of our customers discovered that you can add emoji to Contacts. If you append emoji to a person’s name when editing a contact, it quickly makes the contact listing look, well, “interesting”. 😉

Navigation feature
  • Does the Navigation feature use a web browser?

    No. There is no web browser on any Sunbeam phones. The Navigation feature was custom built by Sunbeam using the HERE Technologies software development kit. There are no back-door web browsers or other methods available to access inappropriate content on Sunbeam phones.

  • Does the Navigation feature have “Live Traffic” available?

    No. Currently we do not have live traffic information available.

  • Do I need map data?

    Yes. The Navigation feature needs map data in order to function. This is downloaded automatically via cellular data as needed, or can be pre-installed using our preloaded SD card or downloaded yourself on a region by region basis.

  • Do I need to purchase the map data?

    No, the map data is free, regardless of the method used to acquire it.

  • How do I acquire the map data?

    There are three choices available, each with pros and cons:

    1. Simply use the Navigation feature and let it acquire the map data on an as-needed basis.

    The benefit of this is that you don’t need to take any action in advance. The downside is that it uses cellular data (which can cost, depending on your cellular service plan). Another downside is that if you lose cellular service your Navigation will not be able to acquire the map data it needs to function.

    2. Download the map data from within Settings of the Navigation feature.

    The benefit of this is that you can download and install the map data yourself for free. The data must be installed from within the Navigation feature on the phone. (You cannot download via PC and move it unto the phone). The downside is that it’s a state-by-state and province-by-province process and can take a while to accomplish. Another downside is that if you install the map data for all of North America it takes about 11GB of space. (Only about 3.5GB of free space is available on the phone). If you only need to install several states worth of data, there is enough space available to do that. But if you want to install more than that, you will need to add an SD card to increase the amount of local memory.

    3. Purchase an SD card from us with the map data pre-installed.

    The benefit of this is that we have collected the map data for you in advance and have installed it on an SD card. This is a quick and easy way to get the map data. Please note that we do not sell map data. What you’re purchasing is the SD card and the service of having us download and install the map data unto the card. You can do the very same thing with your own SD card if you wish, it just takes a bit of time to accomplish.

  • How often is the map data updated?

    HERE updates their map data continually but only release the updated map data every 3 months, or so. When new map data is available, it is automatically updated as needed.

Premium Services
  • What is the Sunbeam Premium Services plan?

    Sunbeam Wireless offers a Premium Service, which extends functionality on select phone models. This service is subscription-based and is purchased directly from Sunbeam Wireless, regardless of the cellular carrier you choose for providing voice and data services to the phone. The subscription is based on device phone number, so if you replace your phone, the service will automatically keep working on the new phone if the number remains the same as it was on the old phone.

    Premium Service Features

    The extended functionality provided by the Premium Service varies by phone model, and is as follows:

    Dandelion
    The Dandelion model has no premium features. No Premium Service is needed on the Dandelion model.

    Daisy
    The Daisy model offers speech-to-text input as a premium feature. This allows you to simply speak your message and have it typed out.

    Orchid
    The Orchid model offers speech-to-text input as a premium feature, as well as extended weather forecast, weather radar, and points of interest searching in Navigation that allows you to enter, for example, “gas” or “pizza” to find the nearest gas station or restaurant.

    Trial Period

    The Premium Service is active on all phones for a trial period of at least 30 days to allow you to try the advanced services it provides and determine if it’s worth subscribing to continue using them.

    This trial period was extended considerably during the initial release stage, which means that it was possible to use the premium features without subscribing for some months already.

    As the trial period nears the end, you will be notified by a message on the phone that you must subscribe to continue using premium features. When the trial period ends, you are notified again, and the premium functionality stops working. All other non-premium functions continue as before, and the phone can be used entirely without the premium features if you wish.

    How to subscribe

    To subscribe to the Sunbeam Premium Service, you may use one of the following methods:

    • Online at sunbeamwireless.com – Click the red Shop Now button and purchase the Premium Subscription item by entering required info and proceeding through the checkout process.
    • By phone at 660-474-0070 – Call and select the option to “Sign up for Premium Services”. You will be prompted for any required info to activate the subscription.

    You can cancel your subscription at any time by logging into the online account use to sign up, or by calling us.

  • Am I required to subscribe to the Sunbeam Premium Services plan?

    No. The Orchid has very functional Weather and Navigation features without the purchase of a Premium Services plan.

    You will need to subscribe to the Premium Services plan to continue using the hourly weather and radar map functions in Weather and points-of-interest searching in Navigation beyond the 30-day free trial.

  • How much cellular data do I need each month to use the Premium features?

    It depends on your usage. I use an Orchid for my personal phone and do a lot of texting with it, almost exclusively using Voice-to-Text input, because it’s fast and accurate. Over the last several months my total data used for the month ranged from 116MB at the lowest to 220MB at the highest.  (The phone is not on WiFi either). The Voice-to-Text function is very frugal and only consumes a few kilobytes ever time it’s used, so that doesn’t add up very quickly at all.

    The Weather service is also quite frugal with the data consumed if only getting the weather forecast. If the weather radar function is used (which I do a fair bit of) and there is a lot of panning and zooming of the map, as well as running the animated radar function, it can add up to a few MB per session.

    The Navigation service has the option to download the map data in advance. If this is done, it cuts the Navigation data consumption down to almost zero. If this is not done, the Navigation function will download the map data on an as-needed basis and could add up, depending on how much it’s used.

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