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(ZDNet)   Do you want to pay $580 for your phone, or get stuck with a 2 year contract? Why not both?   (zdnet.com) divider line 62
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6761 clicks; posted to Business » on 19 Apr 2013 at 12:30 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-19 12:31:36 PM
assets.diylol.com
 
2013-04-19 12:34:19 PM
FTFA: UPDATE: To be clear, the 2-year contract is a purchase contract for the phone. T-Mobile does not require a contract for phone service. You can take the phone to another carrier (if that carrier will let you) at any time. You do have to make phone payments to T-Mobile for the two years of the purchase contract.

So no. You're just paying $580 for the phone, it's not locked to T-Mobile in this scenario.
 
2013-04-19 12:41:53 PM
News flash: smartphones aren't cheap, especially when they're the latest and greatest. At least T-mobile is honest enough to separate the cost of the phone from the cost of the service.
 
2013-04-19 12:43:34 PM

miscreant: FTFA: UPDATE: To be clear, the 2-year contract is a purchase contract for the phone. T-Mobile does not require a contract for phone service. You can take the phone to another carrier (if that carrier will let you) at any time. You do have to make phone payments to T-Mobile for the two years of the purchase contract.

So no. You're just paying $580 for the phone, it's not locked to T-Mobile in this scenario.


...which is what it costs unlocked anyway.

 The unlocked HTC One is a SIM-unlocked version of HTC's flagship that's priced at $574.99

WTG, Tmo.  I like your style.
 
2013-04-19 12:54:02 PM
Seems like all they are really doing is simply not obfuscating the true price of the phone and what you are paying per month. If you do that math, how much cheaper does the installment price + monthly service come out compared to getting a subsidy and paying a higher monthly rate at another carrier?
 
2013-04-19 12:55:03 PM
Financing plans... how do they work?
 
2013-04-19 12:59:49 PM
Did they lower their rates by $20/month since they've gone to the 'pay full price for the phone' line of billing as opposed to the 'subsidized by the contract' billing line?  If not, then it pretty much translates into a $20/month rate hike for their customers.

I'm not begrudging them making their business model different, mind you.  I'm just curious about the way they've done it and I'm too damn lazy to Google it myself.
 
2013-04-19 01:07:25 PM
UPDATE: To be clear, the 2-year contract is a purchase contract for the phone. T-Mobile does not require a contract for phone service. You can take the phone to another carrier (if that carrier will let you) at any time. You do have to make phone payments to T-Mobile for the two years of the purchase contract.

No shiat. Jeeze.

Also, "if that carrier will let you"? Is there a carrier that won't let you sign up for service using your existing phone (assuming compatible networks)?
Did you think T-Mobile was just taking losses on their new phones?

My Verizon plan, with data, is around $80/mo. Got a new smartphone when I signed up.
Similar plan with T-Mobile would cost $60/mo. If I got a new smartphone and chose to finance it through T-Mobs, it'd be another $20. So, about the same.

Difference being, if I wanted to switch to another carrier, instead of an "early termination fee", I'd either pay the balance of payments for the phone or just make the remaining monthly payments.

Problem is, all the other carriers still include the phone subsidy with their plan pricing, so even bringing phone over, I'm still paying the $80/mo or whatever they charge. The other carriers make it so you're almost getting ripped off if you're not buying a new phone every time you're eligible for a "new phone discount". And maybe they like it this way.

The T-mobile pricing model would be better for consumers, but really only if the other carriers followed suit. That way I could switch from T-Mobile to ATT or whatever, pay a competitive rate on the new ATT plan, but just keep the phone I bought from T-mobs until its payed off - and then keep it until I'm tired of it.

Unfortunately, the smallest carrier was the first to act, and maybe the last to act.

//Verizon customer
//would have stuck with T-Mobile if the coverage was better
 
2013-04-19 01:09:01 PM

Mad_Radhu: Seems like all they are really doing is simply not obfuscating the true price of the phone and what you are paying per month. If you do that math, how much cheaper does the installment price + monthly service come out compared to getting a subsidy and paying a higher monthly rate at another carrier?


That's more-or-less a wash.

What their plan does do that is different is to give some value to a used phone.  In theory, anyway, you can go to them with an unlocked iPhone 3GS or 4 and get a pretty good rate.  Under the higher rate/hidden subsidy/cheap phone model at the other carriers... they might do it, but you might as well just get a new phone.

In reality, nobody should want to activate a substantially older Android phone for any number of reasons. People are a little more likely to want to activate older AT&T iPhones. But it's a biatch, Apple's trying to lock you out, and it's getting toward illegal these days.
 
2013-04-19 01:10:14 PM
Instead of just financing the phone at zero percent interest, they should charge an exorbitant monthly fee and continue doing so long after you've paid off the entire cost of the phone as God and AT&T intended!
 
2013-04-19 01:20:28 PM

Lawnchair: Mad_Radhu: Seems like all they are really doing is simply not obfuscating the true price of the phone and what you are paying per month. If you do that math, how much cheaper does the installment price + monthly service come out compared to getting a subsidy and paying a higher monthly rate at another carrier?

That's more-or-less a wash.


Geek.com did the math, and it's not a wash.

T-Mobile is substantially cheaper when you look at all applicable fees over a two year period.

Unlike it's competitors, once you've paid off the cost of your phone over those two years, you get to stop paying for it, which reduces costs even more.
 
2013-04-19 01:27:43 PM
The just in:  The writer is a moron.
 
2013-04-19 01:37:19 PM

Mad_Radhu: Seems like all they are really doing is simply not obfuscating the true price of the phone and what you are paying per month. If you do that math, how much cheaper does the installment price + monthly service come out compared to getting a subsidy and paying a higher monthly rate at another carrier?


Mind you I'm in Canada, where mobile companies are still stuck in the 90's pricing schemes.

BUT, I would bet my lunch that were I to buy a device outright from Bell or Rogers (the AT&T and Verizon of up here), that I would pay the exact same amount were I to go with a subsidized plan.
 
2013-04-19 01:40:52 PM
Unlike it's competitors, once you've paid off the cost of your phone over those two years, you get to stop paying for it, which reduces costs even more.

The people that don't mind having the same phone for 2 years probably don't give enough of a shiat to buy a $600 phone though.
 
2013-04-19 01:42:31 PM

BullBearMS: Lawnchair: Mad_Radhu: Seems like all they are really doing is simply not obfuscating the true price of the phone and what you are paying per month. If you do that math, how much cheaper does the installment price + monthly service come out compared to getting a subsidy and paying a higher monthly rate at another carrier?

That's more-or-less a wash.

Geek.com did the math, and it's not a wash.

T-Mobile is substantially cheaper when you look at all applicable fees over a two year period.

Unlike it's competitors, once you've paid off the cost of your phone over those two years, you get to stop paying for it, which reduces costs even more.


It is a wash if you upgrade smartphone at or near the time of contract end dates. If you upgrade earlier than the contract date (Verizon and AT&T allow upgrades 2-4 months earlier) you can save a bit with the old subsidized model. If you hold onto a phone for a long time - you can save a lot of money. So if you are the kind of customer that upgrades every 3-5 years this will save you a lot.

Unfortunately you are stuck on T-mobile - whose customer service went into the trash-can and has a sketchy network - great in some places - terrible or non-existent in others. I do like the idea though.
 
2013-04-19 01:43:31 PM
I just bought a Nexus 4 and signed up for T-Mobile's $30 unlimited text & data and 100 minutes of talk plan, so I am really getting a kick out of some of these replies.
 
2013-04-19 01:46:26 PM
Still no justification for price-gouging for data.
 
2013-04-19 01:47:11 PM
Sometimes I feel like Louis CK when I read threads like this one. I mean seriously, who the fark cares? I'm walking around with something that fits comfortably in my pocket that has hi-def video, a workable point-and-shoot camera, plus my entire vast music library, email access, plus a couple dozen interesting apps, plus a full-on internet browser... and oh yeah, it lets me make phone calls whenever and (almost) wherever I want.

How the fark is that NOT worth $500-something? And how is it we have this techno-bounty at our fingertips... and all people do is complain about it?
 
2013-04-19 01:52:55 PM

Mad_Radhu: Seems like all they are really doing is simply not obfuscating the true price of the phone and what you are paying per month. If you do that math, how much cheaper does the installment price + monthly service come out compared to getting a subsidy and paying a higher monthly rate at another carrier?


Boost has a $50 unlimited everything plan, and Virgin has a $30 one that's unlimited data and text, and 300 talk minutes. Here I am paying something like $110 per month for two years, minimum. After about 8 months, you would recoup the initial outlay for a decent phone, and start saving $50 or $60 every month.

I really can't justify contract phones anymore, just to get a $99 price on a $400 phone. I can't believe it took all these years to finally notice that dick in my ass.
 
2013-04-19 01:54:13 PM
Here is a comparison of one line with unlimited talk&text + 2GB of data

T-Mobile
$100 for premium smartphone + $60/mo for service + $20/mo for equipment

Verizon
$200 for premium smartphone + $60/mo for service

Total cost at two years:
Verizon $1640
T-Mobile $2020

Total cost at three years:
Verizon $2360
T-Mobile $2740

Hmmm, it looks like T-mobile is a total rip-off. They need to drop their monthly service from $60 to $40 in order to be competitive.
 
2013-04-19 01:59:07 PM

Mr_Fabulous: Sometimes I feel like Louis CK when I read threads like this one. I mean seriously, who the fark cares? I'm walking around with something that fits comfortably in my pocket that has hi-def video, a workable point-and-shoot camera, plus my entire vast music library, email access, plus a couple dozen interesting apps, plus a full-on internet browser... and oh yeah, it lets me make phone calls whenever and (almost) wherever I want.

How the fark is that NOT worth $500-something? And how is it we have this techno-bounty at our fingertips... and all people do is complain about it?


Not worth it to me. My phone doesn't even have a camera and i have a data block. And even a 160 gig Ipod holds less than 5% of my music.
 
2013-04-19 02:00:41 PM
The new iPhone is out already?
 
2013-04-19 02:00:47 PM
T-mobile won't unlock a phone until it's fully paid off.  If you want to switch carriers, cough up the balance due in lieu of an early-termination penalty.
 
2013-04-19 02:02:24 PM

drewogatory: Mr_Fabulous: Sometimes I feel like Louis CK when I read threads like this one. I mean seriously, who the fark cares? I'm walking around with something that fits comfortably in my pocket that has hi-def video, a workable point-and-shoot camera, plus my entire vast music library, email access, plus a couple dozen interesting apps, plus a full-on internet browser... and oh yeah, it lets me make phone calls whenever and (almost) wherever I want.

How the fark is that NOT worth $500-something? And how is it we have this techno-bounty at our fingertips... and all people do is complain about it?

Not worth it to me. My phone doesn't even have a camera and i have a data block. And even a 160 gig Ipod holds less than 5% of my music.


This just in: Luddites don't like technology.

/I jest...
 
2013-04-19 02:02:29 PM

madgonad: t is a wash if you upgrade smartphone at or near the time of contract end dates.


It's not a wash even if you get a new phone every two years.

T Mobile's unlimited everything plan is over a thousand dollars cheaper than AT&T's plan over two years. Despite the fact that AT&T only allows 5 Gigs of data a month.

Verizon limits customers to 10 Gigs of shared data across multiple lines and still charges 500 bucks more than T Mobile does for unlimited data.

Sprint, at least, still offers unlimited data, but charges about 1000 dollars more than T Mobile.
 
2013-04-19 02:04:01 PM

madgonad: Unfortunately you are stuck on T-mobile - whose customer service went into the trash-can and has a sketchy network - great in some places - terrible or non-existent in others. I do like the idea though.


I was always happy with the customer service at T-mobs.

madgonad: Verizon
$200 for premium smartphone + $60/mo for service


madgonad: Verizon
$200 for premium smartphone + $60/mo for service

Hmmm, it looks like T-mobile is a total rip-off. They need to drop their monthly service from $60 to $40 in order to be competitive.


Wrong.

That's on top of a $40 "line access" from Verizon.

So Verizon is $100/mo, T-Mobile is $80/mo.
 
2013-04-19 02:05:49 PM
So far, my experience with T-mobile (I went with a prepaid plan before they rolled out the new postpaid non-contract plans) is that the coverage in the Chicago area tends to be very good. In some areas where my AT&T-based TracFone couldn't get a signal, T-mobile works just fine. Once I get out into the sticks, though, I get barely-acceptable EDGE, crappy GPRS (come on, it's 2013!), or sometimes no coverage at all.

Prepaid plans don't provide data roaming, either, so if you end up roaming onto AT&T, only voice works. Once I use up my prepaid balance, I think I'll switch to a postpaid plan. Of course, data roaming is something best used sparingly.

I don't think they have rolled out any LTE in Chicagoland yet, but 21 Mbps HSPA+ is pretty snappy, and my phone wouldn't support LTE in any case.
 
2013-04-19 02:07:43 PM
This just in: Luddites don't like technology.


Nah, I can just wait until it's cheap unless it pretty much exactly fits my needs. 1TB Ipod? I'd be all over it. $600 phone with a bunch of feature I'll never use? Not so much.
 
2013-04-19 02:12:59 PM

Mr_Fabulous: Sometimes I feel like Louis CK when I read threads like this one. I mean seriously, who the fark cares? I'm walking around with something that fits comfortably in my pocket that has hi-def video, a workable point-and-shoot camera, plus my entire vast music library, email access, plus a couple dozen interesting apps, plus a full-on internet browser... and oh yeah, it lets me make phone calls whenever and (almost) wherever I want.

How the fark is that NOT worth $500-something? And how is it we have this techno-bounty at our fingertips... and all people do is complain about it?


That is a favourite joke of mine, and I try to keep that perspective in much of my life. However like all things in life, you have to draw the line somewhere. In the vast majority of earth's problems, this is minutia for sure. However these companies are ripping people off, and that's wrong.
And since we have all our needs satiated, like every single one of them, then these are the issues we focus on.
 
2013-04-19 02:22:56 PM

madgonad: Hmmm, it looks like T-mobile is a total rip-off. They need to drop their monthly service from $60 to $40 in order to be competitive.


Let's do an analysis with the actual cost of the plans from Verizon.

I found a GS3 for $100 on VZW if signing up for a new contract, so let's use $100 for both carriers for the initial phone "cost".

T-Mobile
$100 for premium smartphone + $60/mo for service + $20/mo for equipment
Verizon
$100 for premium smartphone + $100/mo for service

Total cost at two years:
Verizon $2500
T-Mobile $2020

Total cost at three years (keeping phone for 3 years):
Verizon $3700
T-Mobile $2740

Total cost at three years (buying new phone after 2 years):
Verizon $3800
T-Mobile $3080

Looks like T-Mobile is already competitive, on price at least, especially if you keep your phone longer than 2 years.
Now if they could just provide reception in my office.
 
2013-04-19 02:37:00 PM
I spent $500 on my phone, and took the 2 year T-mo contract.  That was 3 years ago.

Take whatever you are paying per line per month.  Subtract $28.  That is the amount you are paying and I am not.

// 1500 minutes, unlimited text, 1GB 3G data, unlimited 2G data
 
2013-04-19 02:37:55 PM
<$30 including taxes/fees here for unlimited talk/text/data +callerid and some other features. The provider is BYOD, no subsidy. I paid $200 for a used Galaxy S2X.
 
2013-04-19 02:47:01 PM
Or you can not purchase the latest iCrap, live a simpler life without the excessive expenses and generally be a happier person.
 
2013-04-19 02:56:25 PM
I went to the T-Mobile last weekend to redo my contract.  Since it had been 2 years since my last contract change, I was able to get out under my current contract and switch to the month by month plan.  That actually saved me $120/month.
 
2013-04-19 03:25:04 PM

Lars The Canadian Viking: <$30 including taxes/fees here for unlimited talk/text/data +callerid and some other features. The provider is BYOD, no subsidy. I paid $200 for a used Galaxy S2X.


Now I would consider something like this, since my girl has a drawer full of old farking iphones. But I'm down with $30. $50? Not worth it to me.
 
2013-04-19 04:08:26 PM
Bought a galaxy Nexus direct from Google, $350. on T-mobile month to month $50. no contract, unlocked from the get go, world phone, no problems,

T-mobile has excellent service in my area, AT&T does not

Of course your mileage may vary, I live where I live not where you live.
 
2013-04-19 04:22:59 PM

Nonrepeating Rotating Binary: The just in:  The writer is a moron.


Is it the writer, or Subby?
 
2013-04-19 04:55:08 PM

SmellsLikePoo: Nonrepeating Rotating Binary: The just in:  The writer is a moron.

Is it the writer, or Subby?


To go full circle, why can't it be both?

/ Currently on T-Mobile plan for $30/month unlimited data(5GB@4G) & texts, 100 talk minutes per month.
 
2013-04-19 04:58:36 PM

Mr_Fabulous: Sometimes I feel like Louis CK when I read threads like this one. I mean seriously, who the fark cares? I'm walking around with something that fits comfortably in my pocket that has hi-def video, a workable point-and-shoot camera, plus my entire vast music library, email access, plus a couple dozen interesting apps, plus a full-on internet browser... and oh yeah, it lets me make phone calls whenever and (almost) wherever I want.

How the fark is that NOT worth $500-something? And how is it we have this techno-bounty at our fingertips... and all people do is complain about it?


Louis CK really hit on something when he thought up that line of comedy.  It's funny because it's true.  I have a freakin modern miracle of productivity in my hand that extends my office to anywhere in the world and all I have to pay is an amount less than most people's cable bill per month.

Nonetheless the only choices where I live are Verizon and ATT.   Neither of which are good choices on pricing.  We used to have Alltel until they sold out.  Their pricing was more aggressive.
 
2013-04-19 05:10:58 PM
brandent:
Nonetheless the only choices where I live are Verizon and ATT.   Neither of which are good choices on pricing.  We used to have Alltel until they sold out.  Their pricing was more aggressive.

StraightTalk pre-paid for $45/mo - unlimited everything (I think data is throttled after around 1GB). I actually buy the airtime cards for $42-ish.

Uses AT&T network, so coverage is great, data speeds are pretty good, can use AT&T locked iPhone. It's not pure AT&T experience, but it's hell of a lot better than paying $90/mo for similar service.

I'll never do a cell contract again. T-Mobile is looking better and better every month (except for coverage).
 
2013-04-19 05:50:39 PM

drewogatory: Mr_Fabulous: Sometimes I feel like Louis CK when I read threads like this one. I mean seriously, who the fark cares? I'm walking around with something that fits comfortably in my pocket that has hi-def video, a workable point-and-shoot camera, plus my entire vast music library, email access, plus a couple dozen interesting apps, plus a full-on internet browser... and oh yeah, it lets me make phone calls whenever and (almost) wherever I want.

How the fark is that NOT worth $500-something? And how is it we have this techno-bounty at our fingertips... and all people do is complain about it?

Not worth it to me. My phone doesn't even have a camera and i have a data block. And even a 160 gig Ipod holds less than 5% of my music.


How long would it take you to listen to 200,000 songs? At 3 minutes a song you're looking at over a year of non-stop music never repeating the same track.

Not only that you can carry it all around on your smart phone you just need to pay $20 a year.
 
2013-04-19 06:17:17 PM

dickfreckle: Mad_Radhu: Seems like all they are really doing is simply not obfuscating the true price of the phone and what you are paying per month. If you do that math, how much cheaper does the installment price + monthly service come out compared to getting a subsidy and paying a higher monthly rate at another carrier?

Boost has a $50 unlimited everything plan, and Virgin has a $30 one that's unlimited data and text, and 300 talk minutes. Here I am paying something like $110 per month for two years, minimum. After about 8 months, you would recoup the initial outlay for a decent phone, and start saving $50 or $60 every month.

I really can't justify contract phones anymore, just to get a $99 price on a $400 phone. I can't believe it took all these years to finally notice that dick in my ass.


Virgin data throughput sucks balls.  Bit giant brass monkey balls.  They also won't let you bring your own device, at least not when I last checked.  They are a good deal if you are a more or less light user.  My wife is on the old $25/month plan with unlimited data, but limited talk.  Works okay for her as she rarely uses her cell,  but it would not for me as I need mine for work.
 
2013-04-19 06:32:48 PM

BullBearMS: Lawnchair: Mad_Radhu: Seems like all they are really doing is simply not obfuscating the true price of the phone and what you are paying per month. If you do that math, how much cheaper does the installment price + monthly service come out compared to getting a subsidy and paying a higher monthly rate at another carrier?

That's more-or-less a wash.

Geek.com did the math, and it's not a wash.

T-Mobile is substantially cheaper when you look at all applicable fees over a two year period.

Unlike it's competitors, once you've paid off the cost of your phone over those two years, you get to stop paying for it, which reduces costs even more.


This guy did the math wrong for verizon. Cheapest plan is 1 bill a month. Gotta pay $40 for a "line access" fee. I understand verizon has great coverage but $100 a month is a lot of dough.

If you pay more than $70 a month for your cell phone plan you are doing something wrong. Hell, i feel guilty paying $56 a month (after taxes) for unlimited text, web, and 500 min on my old tmobile plan.

Seriously people need to start looking more into pre-paid carriers
 
2013-04-19 07:02:28 PM

tallguywithglasseson: UPDATE: To be clear, the 2-year contract is a purchase contract for the phone. T-Mobile does not require a contract for phone service. You can take the phone to another carrier (if that carrier will let you) at any time. You do have to make phone payments to T-Mobile for the two years of the purchase contract.

No shiat. Jeeze.

Also, "if that carrier will let you"? Is there a carrier that won't let you sign up for service using your existing phone (assuming compatible networks)?
Did you think T-Mobile was just taking losses on their new phones?

My Verizon plan, with data, is around $80/mo. Got a new smartphone when I signed up.
Similar plan with T-Mobile would cost $60/mo. If I got a new smartphone and chose to finance it through T-Mobs, it'd be another $20. So, about the same.

Difference being, if I wanted to switch to another carrier, instead of an "early termination fee", I'd either pay the balance of payments for the phone or just make the remaining monthly payments.

Problem is, all the other carriers still include the phone subsidy with their plan pricing, so even bringing phone over, I'm still paying the $80/mo or whatever they charge. The other carriers make it so you're almost getting ripped off if you're not buying a new phone every time you're eligible for a "new phone discount". And maybe they like it this way.

The T-mobile pricing model would be better for consumers, but really only if the other carriers followed suit. That way I could switch from T-Mobile to ATT or whatever, pay a competitive rate on the new ATT plan, but just keep the phone I bought from T-mobs until its payed off - and then keep it until I'm tired of it.

Unfortunately, the smallest carrier was the first to act, and maybe the last to act.

//Verizon customer
//would have stuck with T-Mobile if the coverage was better


It has the desired effect.  Do you know what I'm going to do when the contract on my Lumia 920 expires?  Get it unlocked and take it to T-Mobile.

That's exactly what they want to happen.
 
2013-04-19 07:30:59 PM

wingnut396: dickfreckle: Mad_Radhu: Seems like all they are really doing is simply not obfuscating the true price of the phone and what you are paying per month. If you do that math, how much cheaper does the installment price + monthly service come out compared to getting a subsidy and paying a higher monthly rate at another carrier?

Boost has a $50 unlimited everything plan, and Virgin has a $30 one that's unlimited data and text, and 300 talk minutes. Here I am paying something like $110 per month for two years, minimum. After about 8 months, you would recoup the initial outlay for a decent phone, and start saving $50 or $60 every month.

I really can't justify contract phones anymore, just to get a $99 price on a $400 phone. I can't believe it took all these years to finally notice that dick in my ass.

Virgin data throughput sucks balls.  Bit giant brass monkey balls.  They also won't let you bring your own device, at least not when I last checked.  They are a good deal if you are a more or less light user.  My wife is on the old $25/month plan with unlimited data, but limited talk.  Works okay for her as she rarely uses her cell,  but it would not for me as I need mine for work.


I don't know about Virgin, but a friend of mine runs Boost, and when I played with his phone it appeared as snappy (data-wise, not hardware) as my Galaxy S2 on Verizon. The phone itself was mid-range but did have a larger screen, rubberized metal backing, and Ice Cream Sandwich (can't recall the model) Plus, the Boost plan includes unlimited minutes for people like you who would use it for work.

One thing they don't tell you upfront, however, is that 'unlimited' means that while you can technically use data all you want, after 2 or so GBs it gets throttled. I believe Sprint's 'unlimited' contract does the same thing, but I could be wrong. At any rate, it beats the overages I get from Verizon every month.

/counting the months until I'm free
 
2013-04-19 10:01:10 PM
I've been shopping around for best rates since I moved back from Europe, where I paid a max of $30 a month for a decent data, phone, and text plan.  Prepaid my phone but it was a decent midrange Samsung that had good specs. It was something like $250.

Back in the US, I considered Virgin and Boost, but I believe that for both you had to buy phones locked to their network, and those phones were not cheap and 2nd gen at best, $425 or so for a galaxy 2.

Wound up buying a Google nexus 4 for $350 and using T-mobile's unlimited plan for $60, am very happy under the circumstances.
 
2013-04-19 10:27:42 PM

wingnut396: Virgin data throughput sucks balls. Bit giant brass monkey balls. They also won't let you bring your own device, at least not when I last checked.


I took a stab at VM about a year and a half ago, with one of the few Android handsets they offered at the time. I got zero bars when I tried to activate the phone, and wound up returning it for a refund. I'm guessing it was a tower outage, but I was unimpressed enough to stick with CheapFone TracFone until last month.

Then again, with any Verizon or Sprint device (or any Verizon- or Sprint-based MVNO, or other traditionally CDMA-based carriers such as US Cellular), you simply don't have the option of sliding in a new SIM card to switch providers. SIM cards are traditionally a GSM thing, which means AT&T, Tmo, or some MVNOs and regional carriers.

Also, there is the whole issue of which provider uses what frequency band. T-Mobile has been busy juggling their frequencies so that AT&T handsets (especially iPhones) will work well on their network - especially as they start rolling out LTE.

/rocking a (recently-discontinued) Galaxy S Relay "4G"
//love having a real keyboard, in spite of the smaller screen and 720p camera
///Tmo's branding of HSPA+ as "4G" is a bit disingenuous, but HSPA+ really isn't a bad thing - LTE is a battery hog
 
2013-04-19 11:09:46 PM
Nope. You and the idiot author are mistaken. The EIP is not a contract.
 
2013-04-19 11:30:40 PM

madgonad: Here is a comparison of one line with unlimited talk&text + 2GB of data

T-Mobile
$100 for premium smartphone + $60/mo for service + $20/mo for equipment

Verizon
$200 for premium smartphone + $60/mo for service

Total cost at two years:
Verizon $1640
T-Mobile $2020

Total cost at three years:
Verizon $2360
T-Mobile $2740

Hmmm, it looks like T-mobile is a total rip-off. They need to drop their monthly service from $60 to $40 in order to be competitive.


My wife and I pay, combined, $100/month for Tmobile, unlimited talk/text, 2gb, and then $30 for our phones.
 
2013-04-19 11:58:32 PM

Fubegra: News flash: smartphones aren't cheap, especially when they're the latest and greatest. At least T-mobile is honest enough to separate the cost of the phone from the cost of the service.


For me, I'm looking at $100 plus a two year contract at $70 for a smrt phone (why would I get a dmb one?).  That's $1780 plus taxes for two years.  Versus $23/mo for a land line, including taxes.
/hard to justify that expense.
 
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