Smartphones and Plans...

Discussion in 'Smartphones and GPS Navigation' started by xcel, Sep 4, 2014.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    A little T-Mobile MNVO update…

    T-Mobile MNVO - Net On The Run

    9-days out and 18 GBs used.​

    Giving the new Samsung Galaxy S5 a workout... 21 days and 85 GBs to go.

    Actually hitting the road in less than 5 - days so the unlimited experiment will end long before.

    So far I am happy with T-Mobile's local service. The stretch between Albuquerque and Flagstaff and again between Sedona and El Centro will surely tell a vastly different tale...

    Rob Neff: I also have T-Mobile. You can travel all over the world with it, but get into rural Wisconsin and forget it.

    Wayne Gerdes: Rob, thanks for your input. Picked up a 7-day trial iPhone 5s last month for a little test of time he network locally. It was a big success from Milwaukee to downtown Chicago. I am really concerned with the off-highway areas out west. Looking at the coverage map, it looks like you do not want to travel through Montana and Wyoming in particular as there is not even voice coverage up there.

    David Laur: Wayne; you travel a lot. What is your opinion of T-Mobile connectivity? i have verizon and they have continuously removed customer perks to the point that after 10 years, I am ready to jump ship. I do a LOT of travel thru out the Pacific NW and rely on my phone a lot for work, GPS, etc.

    Wayne Gerdes: David, one area where Verizon still rules is remote area connectivity.

    I have not had my T-Mobile based S5 anywhere but in the Metro corridor between Milwaukee and Chicago so far but have read that 50-miles out, Voice only. Boondocks, not even that. ...See More

    David Laur: I have Verizon with 6 to 8 GB (depending on how much data we use) and its running my $260 with 4 lines so the Family 10 GB for $100 is VERY attractive. In fact, I recently had 3 abandon my plan (i used to work for Verizon so had a HUGE discount) to go to T -Mobile and my nephew (who is getting married TODAY) will be leaving soon. So, I am thinking next summer jumping ship.

    Wayne Gerdes: David, T-Mobile offers a 7-day test drive with an iPhone 5s. They ship it to you and you take it back to a T-Mobile store on day 7.

    You will know if the T-Mobile network will work for you during your travels or not after that....
  2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

    And I've now completed my switch to Republic on the $10/mo unlimited calls+text. I have the Moto E. Sprint network is limited here, but they roam on Verizon for free. If I wanted data the network would probably be a little too limited (limited roaming data) and the extra $15/mo wouldn't be very good given the Moto-only restriction. Thanks Sean for bringing Republic to my attention. I now have device simplification (flip+Galaxy player to Moto E) and I'll recover the cost of the phone ($99+$10 shipping) at $5+taxes/mo-electricity (smartphone needs charging every day or two, instead of once per week), so as long as it lasts 2 years I'm golden. And the "cheap E" is faster than my Galaxy was. Plus I didn't have texting included before. So, all round a better deal, and I'm glad that I found a company that understand that a smartphone is about more than cellular Internet.
  3. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    I've been happy with my Republic plan and Moto X. I would be happy the the Moto G, or possibly the E, but when I joined the X was it. My sister has the G and I really can't tell much difference. I wish the X had expandable memory.
  4. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Regarding plans, I am on NetOnTheRun, a T-Mobile Reseller for $25/month with unlimited everything but only 1 GB LTE/month and 2G afterwards. Having a hard time reducing my bandwidth to just 1 GB/month. 11 days in and I have consumed 525 MB while Wi-Fi'ing whenever I can. 3 GBs worth. The rest of the families Verizon phones come off contract in late December and I will be switching everyone over to T-Mobile direct for $120 + tax (6-lines unlimited and 2.5GBs of 4G LTE/2G after the allotment for each line).

  5. CmaxVsPrius

    CmaxVsPrius Moderator

    I see on the Tmobile site- you probably see too. For the data hound you are...

    You can pay $30/m more on any line and that line gets unlimited data. That does not expire in 2016, for whatever that is worth.
  6. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Roger:

    Thanks and I have been watching it. :)

    When we are ready move 6-lines over to T-Mobile direct, we will see what is offered. They pulled the 2.5GB deal and are back to 1 GB for the base of $30.

    They have a really cool referral deal in which a new T-Mobile customer sign up receives Unlimited 4G LTE until Jan. of 2016 and so does the referrer.

    T-Mobile - New to Refer-a-Friend?

    Will try and get all 6 of my family setup with this for $120 + tax when the time comes.

    From our Calif. home, phone calls with Verizon and T-Mobile drop all the time. About two blocks in any direction and both are good. I use T-Mobile Wi-Fi calling on the S5 and everyone uses my phone when they absolutely cannot have a dropped call.

    In any case, T-Mobile had a rush to new subscribers with great per line and family plan deals. Over the past week they have backed off those same deals. Big Red and AT&T upped their data allotments in response but for huge $s per line. :(

    Harbor Mobile plans changed with the T-Mobile announcements and are not such a deal anymore.

  7. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    I'm on at&t, and just upgraded my phone, I retired my old HTC Vivid, and got an HTC One M8. It was $199.99 through at&t, but on Amazon I got the upgrade for $49.99. I even used a leftover Amazon giftcard from Christmas, so it was essentially free. I am also on a grandfathered unlimited LTE data plan... $25/mo. :)
  8. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Jay:

    Is that all-in? No smartphone data fee, connection fee, text add-on, or minutes limited? As in a $25 bill shows up at your home every month? I paid last month but the 1 GB of data is tough as I am always looking for Wi-Fi. Still 220 MB left and 10days to go. I was careful at the LA Auto Show yesterday. Unlimited music streaming via Pandora made the 3.5 hour drive in and 2-hour drive back nice however.

    Small carriers outrank the big ones in Consumer Reports' latest cell phone service survey

    The Uncarrier scored big in this year’s cell phone/smartphone Consumer Reports ratings.

    When's the last time you heard anyone describe herself as “completely satisfied” with her cellular service? That’s the kind of feedback we got from customers of several upstart carriers in Consumer Reports National Research Center’s annual cell phone service satisfaction survey. (The survey was fielded in September to 63,352 subscribers.) Among the smaller carriers in our Ratings of traditional (aka postpaid) cell service are Consumer Cellular, which stands out for value, data service, and customer support, and Ting, which scored high for value and data service.

    Review see our cell phone service Ratings to see the overall scores for all the companies.

    The picture was not so rosy for the major carriers. While Verizon gets very good scores for voice and texting service, it has a very poor rating on value. T-Mobile’s parity with Verizon is a result of a jump in T-Mobile’s overall satisfaction from last year, and a drop in Verizon’s overall score. T-Mobile’s rise in 2014 is largely attributable to a bump in perceived value by customers.

    This might be a result of T-Mobile's aggressive "Uncarrier" strategy, which effectively decouples the purchase of your phone with the payment of your plan. Ironically, T-Mobile’s good score for value makes it a standout among the big four carriers; the other three rate very poor. The biggest black eye of our survey is reserved for Sprint, which ranks dead last with a very poor score for value, a poor score on data service, and middling results for voice and text.

  9. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    My data plan is $25 for unlimited data. The total bill is $140/mo for 3 lines.
  10. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Jay:

    Thought there was a catch in an AT&T $25 plan. The add-ons are killers with AT&T and Verizon!

    On the T-Mobile network with NetOnTheRun it was exactly $25 Unlimited for everything else including data Music Streaming but for only 1 GB of 4G LTE and 2G after I hit the data limit. :(

    Still planning to move to T-Mobile directly with 6-lines for $120 and one or two unlimited 4G LTE with referrals.

  11. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    The catch is that I've been on unlimited data with AT&T since about 2004.The $25 covers unlimited data on my line. Line 2 has no data plan, and when I purchased line 3, unlimited plans were no longer available, but dad doesn't use much data, so he's on a $20 limited data plan. $30 for unlimited family plan texting. $9.99 each for line 2 and line 3. The voice plan is $50, the rest is taxes.
  12. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Jay:

    I predict you might be moving from AT&T at those rates soon. ;)

  13. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    AT&T has the coverage I need. Sprint or T-Mobile are cheaper, but don't have coverage in the rural areas I frequent. My business pays for the cell phones, and then writes them off on the corporate taxes.
  14. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    AT&T has worked for us. My wife essentially runs her small business from from her smartphone on the road and needs coverage/data 100% of the time. I wouldn't call it cheap at $130+tax for 2 lines sharing 10gb and unlimited everything else, but I don't find myself wondering if the service is going to work and/or I'm going to get hit with some nasty overage charge.
  15. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Been running the T-Mobile Reseller NetOnTheRun for two months now and am pretty happy. Added a second line last week so now have two at $50 all in with Unlimited Talk/Text/1 GB 4G LTE and Unlimited Edge (2G) after that.

    My mom is on the second line with a Galaxy S4 I purchased off of Swappa for $240 including a Spigen Case and a Samsung OEM Qi charger back plate and charging pad. She loves it!

    Just saw this too…

    T-Mobile’s Network Gets Even Faster in San Diego

    The Un-carrier’s mobile speeds get up to a 50% increase in speed with Wideband LTE upgrade

    On the heels of recent LTE upgrades across the U.S., T-Mobile (NYSE: TMUS) today announced that San Diego, CA is the latest area to get up to a 50% increase in LTE mobile speeds from a Wideband LTE upgrade. In addition to the greater San Diego area, LTE customers in the Carlsbad area are also experiencing super-fast download speeds, making access to their favorite mobile content seem almost instantaneous. In November, T-Mobile customers in the San Diego area observed download speeds as high as 76 Mbps.

    Wideband LTE doubles the bandwidth and increases the capacity of T-Mobile’s LTE network to help deliver faster peak speeds. It is like adding more lanes to a freeway for all LTE customers to speed along in. With T-Mobile’s Wideband LTE, customers can download a full 90 minute HD movie to their phone or tablet in three and half minutes or a whole album in just nine seconds with theoretical peak download speeds of 110 Mbps.

    With the average download speed in the San Diego area clocking in at 17.9 Mbps, San Diego customers are using on average 2.6 GB of data per month.

    David Gallacher, Regional VP – West, Engineering at T-Mobile:
    San Diego is just the latest area to get a speed boost, as the Un-carrier™ continues to expand coverage and enhance performance of its 4G LTE network. Wideband LTE has already been rolled out in the following areas:
    • Atlanta, GA
    • Greater Bay Area, CA
    • Birmingham, AL
    • Boise, ID
    • Boston, MA
    • Columbus, OH
    • Connecticut
    • Dallas, TX
    • Detroit, MI
    • Honolulu, HI
    • Houston, TX
    • Jacksonville, FL
    • Las Vegas, NV
    • Los Angeles, CA
    • Minneapolis, MN
    • Mobile, AL
    • Orlando, FL
    • Greater Philadelphia Area, PA
    • Portland, OR
    • Seattle, WA
    • Spokane, WA
    • Tampa, FL
    • Upstate New York Area
    T-Mobile’s Data-Strong network, the fastest nationwide 4G LTE network, now reaches over 250 million people and was the first to launch:
    • Next-gen Wi-Fi Calling in September 2014 <-- This works great!
    • Nationwide Voice over LTE (VoLTE) in July 2014
    • Nationwide HD Voice in January 2013
    Getting set to move to T-Mobile directly when Marian’s and the kids Verizon contracts expire. 5 lines for $110 + Tax and will move mine to unlimited through the referral deal for no extra charge. Need that for the Shell V-Power vs. Competitor fuel 20k mile drive starting just over a month from now.

  16. bestmapman

    bestmapman Fighting untruth and misinformation

    Is that $50 per month total including taxes for two lines
  17. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Jud:

    Yup. It is $50 total for both lines. No taxes or any other fees added.

  18. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    NetOnTheRun was great as their price for an individual or two lines was the best in the country but I was setting the whole family up. In this case, neither NOTR nor Harbor Mobile could match T-Mobiles family pricing as I moved to 4+ lines with larger data plans.

    Here is how those prices played out.

    NOTR had no taxes or line fees for their unlimited talk, text, 1GB 4G LTE, unlimited 2G afterwards and unlimited free music streaming.

    Harbor Mobile includes a $3/line fee for their unlimited talk, text, 1GB 4G LTE, unlimited 2G afterwards and unlimited free music streaming.

    T-Mobile includes $1.61/line fee + 14.95 percent California state tax for their unlimited talk, text, 1GB 4G LTE, unlimited 2G afterwards and unlimited free music streaming.


    T-Mobile and T-Mobile Business Resellers Plan Costs

    T-Mobile Provider2-lines3-lines4-lines5-lines6-lines
    NetOnTheRun (1GB)$50$75$100$125$150
    Harbor Mobile (2.5GB)$66$99$112$137$165
    T-Mobile (2.5GB)NANA$121.4$134.5$147.6

    All but one of the family phones on the T-Mobile plan and we are paying $26.90 per line all in.

    I added 2GB of data/month (4.5 GB of 4G LTE and 2G afterwards) + 10 GB of data stash that all rolls over month after month to my phone lines 4G LTE data allotment for an additional $10.00.

    On the coverage front, at this years North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), James had his AT&T phone and was picking up weak 3G. Sprint users were toast. Verizon was offering 3G and sporadic 4G. T-Mobile was a rock solid 4G LTE no matter where I was in both the Cobo Center and Joe Louis Arena. Was expecting poor single reception and limited 3G/2G data if that. Call me impressed.

    Out in the middle of Michigan on I-94? A few times where cell service was dropping out in valleys. Mostly a 2G/3G signal between major towns and cities.

    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015
  19. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    For my mom I picked up a mint condition Samsung Galaxy S4 off of Swappa for $240 shipped. She has never used a smartphone before. Besides the phone, OEM charger and cord, it included a Qi wireless charger wiring back cover, full cover Spigen case, a Samsung OEM Qi wireless charger plate and another Chinese Qi wireless charger plate. Damn hot deal if I ever saw one.

    The Chinese Qi wireless charging plate works sporadically but the Samsung plate works like a charm. So much so I purchased an OEM Samsung Qi wireless rear cover for my S5 through AT&T over Christmas for $25 shipped. The Spigen case I purchased in October did not fit properly since the Samsung Qi wireless back cover is about 5 mm deeper. I ordered a Diztronic Flexible TPU Case made for the S5 with the Wireless Charging Cover for $10 shipped. I also purchased a .5 mm tempered glass screen protector with a hardness of 8H to 9H for $6 shipped.

    My sons wife's first edition VZW iPhone 5 took the T-Mobile Sim and it worked perfectly.

    My sons VZW S3 was problematic. Instead of rooting and opening up the T-Mobile bands, he sold it on Swappa for $130 and picked up a new T-Mobile branded S4 for $290. The upgrade cost him $140.

    My youngest son's VZW LG G2 was going to be problematic so I purchased a new T-Mobile LG G3 for $438 after a $100 LG rebate for his Christmas present. We sold his VZW LG G2 on Swappa for $200. His upgrade cost from the LG G2 to the LG G3 was $238.

    I am pretty much set for a while now.

  20. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    As far as the S5 is concerned, I have only had two unplanned reboots since picking it up 5-months ago. With a barrage of app updates that came in about 2-months ago, I have not had a reboot since.

    Day light pics are in some cases better than the Canon 16 MP and 30X zoom Point and Shoot. Any zoom is junk but straight up shots are not bad at all!


    Night shots push the S5 beyond its capability. This pushes the Canon Point and shoot beyond in some cases as well. Looking for a solution including a DSLR with a long shutter exposure on a tripod but that is a huge hassle for as many car shots I take and upload on a weekly basis. Not sure what to do about that just yet. :(


    [fimg=left][/fimg]Samsung Galaxy S5

    The Moving jpgs from the camera to FB, twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ has been almost seamless and with a solid 4G LTE connection, damn is it good! Once in a while with a poor 2G/3G connection, twitter uploads will fail.

    GPS picks up the location from deep within buildings. The S5 really has an excellent GPS chip in it.

    Apps? Everything works. Speed Graph is a little wonky but I need it for the steady state runs. If it hangs, I quit the app, restart the app and it is good to go.

    Battery life? This is where the S5 falls short for a power user. I can work the S5 hard for about 4-hours inside with brightness at about 35 percent (comfortable easy to read setting) but by then she's toast and needs a charge. From 3% or lower, you cannot take a pic. It really needs at a minimum of 3,500 mAh battery for power users.

    My previous Motorola RAZR MAXX HD would run a solid 8-hours + when pushed despite its camera being totally garbage and a lower resolution, less bright 4.7" screen.

    After using my sons LG G3 with the 5.5" screen for a little while, I might like it a bit better due to five items.
    • Larger and higher resolution 5.5" vs. S5s 5.2" display
    • Home, right and left buttons in the center on the back for better single hand operation
    • Standard built in Qi charging back vs the $35 add-on for the S5s OEM Qi back cover
    • Laser ranging camera focus feature
    The LG G3 has a larger rated battery capacity but its higher resolution display probably leads to a shorter actual battery life. Not sure about the actual picture quality either?

    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015

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