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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default [Q] Best value carrier service for Nexus 4 / Off Contract Phones?

    I am thinking about buying a off-contract phone like the Nexus 4 or the recently announced off-contract GS4/HTC One. I was wondering what is the best value in terms of carrier service. Currently I have AT&T with unlimited data (grandfathered in) and I pay around $115/ month. Since I wont have to sign a contract is there a better value carrier plan I should look into?

    Note: I'm not looking for the cheapest carrier plan just the one with the most value. Though the goal is to reduce my monthly payments without sacrificing too much.

    I have a feeling that if I want to keep my unlimited data plan that I will have to stick with my current plan, but none the less please let me know of any options I may have for a more valuable carrier plan.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. #2  

    Default Re: [Q] Best value carrier service for Nexus 4 / Off Contract Phones?

    you dont say how much you use on average. if its 500 megs then you are over paying.

    to find value in any cell phone plan you are going to need to use your imagination.

    a new carrier aio wireless is spreading.
    Pdelponte likes this.
  3. #3  

    Default Re: [Q] Best value carrier service for Nexus 4 / Off Contract Phones?

    One big consideration is where you'll use the phone. When I got the N4, I switched from Sprint to TMO prepaid. TMO's HSPA (not + in my market) is plenty fast for my needs: email, browsing and apps. But there are a lot more coverage holes than with Sprint, especially indoors, such as stores. TMO also quickly drops to EDGE, GPRS and even zilch outside of my town, unlike Sprint, which has 3G even in the boondocks. So for me, TMO is a good fit because the vast majority of the time, I've got access to their HSPA network.
    Only1Z and Pdelponte like this.
  4. #4  
    JeffDenver's Avatar
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    Default Re: [Q] Best value carrier service for Nexus 4 / Off Contract Phones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pdelponte View Post
    I am thinking about buying a off-contract phone like the Nexus 4 or the recently announced off-contract GS4/HTC One. I was wondering what is the best value in terms of carrier service. Currently I have AT&T with unlimited data (grandfathered in) and I pay around $115/ month. Since I wont have to sign a contract is there a better value carrier plan I should look into?

    Note: I'm not looking for the cheapest carrier plan just the one with the most value. Though the goal is to reduce my monthly payments without sacrificing too much.

    I have a feeling that if I want to keep my unlimited data plan that I will have to stick with my current plan, but none the less please let me know of any options I may have for a more valuable carrier plan.

    Thanks in advance.
    I am on T-Mobile now. No contract. Unlimited-everything without throttling. $70/month.

    Edit - Only limitation is 500mb/month for tethering. But the data for the phone itself is unlimited. And, of course, there are ways around tethering limits...
    Pdelponte likes this.
  5. #5  
    Citizen Coyote's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Q] Best value carrier service for Nexus 4 / Off Contract Phones?

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffDenver View Post
    I am on T-Mobile now. No contract. Unlimited-everything without throttling. $70/month.

    Edit - Only limitation is 500mb/month for tethering. But the data for the phone itself is unlimited. And, of course, there are ways around tethering limits...
    I second looking into T-Mobile. Their coverage is not as good as AT&T's but if you're in an urban area and don't spend a lot of time deep in buildings you likely won't notice a difference. That, and T-Mo's HSPA+ is generally faster than AT&T's. Depending on how much you talk on the phone, you can get a good plan for a little over $30/mo after tax. If you talk a lot you'll need to bump up like JeffDenver but even then you'll be saving significant cash over what you're paying now.
    Pdelponte likes this.
  6. #6  

    Default Re: [Q] Best value carrier service for Nexus 4 / Off Contract Phones?

    I ETF'd my way out of Verizon last month and I couldn't be happier. Not that their coverage wasn't great. I was just tired of the BS and of overpaying. Went to T-Mobile on their $70 unlimited plan and was thrilled.

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 4 Beta
    Pdelponte likes this.
  7. #7  

    Default Re: [Q] Best value carrier service for Nexus 4 / Off Contract Phones?

    I would also recommend T-Mobile if you have adequate coverage. However, I would also like to share some information if you are more interested in AT&T.

    AT&T is offering LTE on its prepaid service, GoPhone. Since the Nexus 4 can't use LTE on AT&T, this would be pertinent to people who wanted to use the HTC One or Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Editions. The official rollout of LTE for GoPhone won't start until June 20th, but you can dial 611 and ask customer service to provision your SIM card manually for LTE right now.

    One of the GoPhone plans offers unlimited talk, unlimited messaging, and 1 GB of data for $65. (There are rumors that say you can add 1 GB of data for $10/GB up to a maximum of 3 GB starting on June 20th. The current price is $25/GB.)

    AT&T can support the Nexus 4 on its HSPA+ network, but it might be better to use an MVNO. Airvoice Wireless offers unlimited voice, unlimited messaging, and 1 GB of data for $55/month. Red Pocket offers the same but bumps up the data to 2 GB for $59.99/month. Both MVNO's run off of the AT&T network, but at a cheaper price. (There's no word yet if they'll get access to LTE, though.)

    So there seems to be cheaper options with 1, 2, or 3 GB of data using AT&T's network, but if you want unlimited data, you'll need to stick with a grandfathered unlimited plan or switch to T-Mobile. It's best to first find out how much data you use in a month on average, then select a plan that best fits your needs.

    In terms of value, the difference between an unlimited plan on AT&T and their 1 GB GoPhone plan is $50 ($115 - $65) per month. Over one year, that is $600, or the price of one brand new HTC One Google Edition. In other words, you could upgrade your phone every year with the savings.

    Over two years (which is the typical length of a phone contract), that ends up to be $1200, or the price of one Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition, one Nexus 4 (16 GB), and one Nexus 7 (16 GB) combined. Going this route, you could upgrade every 2 years with 2 new phones and 1 new tablet. Of course, you will have to decide for yourself what is best in terms of value.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pdelponte View Post
    I am thinking about buying a off-contract phone like the Nexus 4 or the recently announced off-contract GS4/HTC One. I was wondering what is the best value in terms of carrier service. Currently I have AT&T with unlimited data (grandfathered in) and I pay around $115/ month. Since I wont have to sign a contract is there a better value carrier plan I should look into?

    Note: I'm not looking for the cheapest carrier plan just the one with the most value. Though the goal is to reduce my monthly payments without sacrificing too much.

    I have a feeling that if I want to keep my unlimited data plan that I will have to stick with my current plan, but none the less please let me know of any options I may have for a more valuable carrier plan.

    Thanks in advance.
    Pdelponte and jdbii like this.
  8. #8  

    Default Re: [Q] Best value carrier service for Nexus 4 / Off Contract Phones?

    I have a cheap plan with T Mobile, 500 minutes talk, for $35 a month and 2GBs data for another $10. I never use even half the data since I am on Wifi at home.
    Pdelponte likes this.
  9. #9  
    rhea's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Q] Best value carrier service for Nexus 4 / Off Contract Phones?

    Assuming you have unlimited texting, that plan competes very well with Straight Talk T-Mobile and you might have better CS. Is this a pre or post pay deal (thinking about all the taxes/fees dumped on post pay)?

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 2
    Pdelponte likes this.
  10. #10  
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    Default Re: [Q] Best value carrier service for Nexus 4 / Off Contract Phones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen Coyote View Post
    I second looking into T-Mobile. Their coverage is not as good as AT&T's but if you're in an urban area and don't spend a lot of time deep in buildings you likely won't notice a difference.
    In Denver I cannot say I am impressed with AT&T...I have seen friends not getting coverage in the middle of downtown...that is pretty bad. I know in some states AT&T is very good though.
  11. #11  
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    Default Re: [Q] Best value carrier service for Nexus 4 / Off Contract Phones?

    If you're satisfied with you AT&T coverage and don't use beyond 1.5GB to ~2GB of Data. I would explore the MVNO's for AT&T. I just switched two lines over to NET10 for Unlimited Voice, Text and Unlimited Data* for $85 a month for both lines (using AT&T Sim) with signing up for AutoPay. You can get the SIM Kit at Target for $9.99 which includes 3 sims for (1 STD & 1 Micro-AT&T and 1 Micro-TMO). You can always test drive the phone on Net10-TMO and see if works for you. If it doesn't, then pop in the Net10-AT&T Sim and call customer service to set it up. TMO on Net10 is truly unlimited for what I have read where as AT&T on Net10 has a hard cap of 1.5GB. Net10, Trackphone & Straight Talk are all owned by the same parent company - so pricing/features are similar. Straight Talk is just the Walmart branded service which is normally $5 less a month; however they stopped selling AT&T for Straight Talk.

    I get the same network, with two lines for less than we were paying for just the voice portion of our bill.

    Setup was easy and was up and running quickly with my Nexus 4. My daughter's iPhone what a PITA!
  12. #12  

    Default Re: [Q] Best value carrier service for Nexus 4 / Off Contract Phones?

    Quote Originally Posted by jiovine View Post
    Setup was easy and was up and running quickly with my Nexus 4. My daughter's iPhone what a PITA!
    Yup. That's because AT&T and many (most?) other operators provision iPhones (and BlackBerries) completely differently than other types of smartphones. Yet another reason to stick or stay with Android.
  13. #13  
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    Default Re: [Q] Best value carrier service for Nexus 4 / Off Contract Phones?

    Hey OP, did you finally settle? I am in the same boat, have a thread up too on this and heavily leaning on the unlocked N4 to save money. Going with something related to T-Mobile in the DC Metropolitan area.

    Sent from my VM E4GT using Tapatalk 4
  14. #14  
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    Default Re: [Q] Best value carrier service for Nexus 4 / Off Contract Phones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Captainbob767 View Post
    I have a cheap plan with T Mobile, 500 minutes talk, for $35 a month and 2GBs data for another $10. I never use even half the data since I am on Wifi at home.
    Is this the prepaid plan, cause I know it has changed now? I'm either leaning towards this $30 or the $50 (both no contract). Why go through Straight Talk?

    Sent from my VM E4GT using Tapatalk 4
  15. #15  

    Default Re: [Q] Best value carrier service for Nexus 4 / Off Contract Phones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garymeister View Post
    Hey OP, did you finally settle? I am in the same boat, have a thread up too on this and heavily leaning on the unlocked N4 to save money. Going with something related to T-Mobile in the DC Metropolitan area.

    Sent from my VM E4GT using Tapatalk 4
    Have you seem TMO's newest plans? If I'm not mistaken, it's $70 for unlimited everything. Extremely tough to beat.

    I believe TMO's cheapest plan is almost only $50. Their new "un-carrier" plans are outstanding.
  16. #16  
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    Default Re: [Q] Best value carrier service for Nexus 4 / Off Contract Phones?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLibertarian View Post
    Have you seem TMO's newest plans? If I'm not mistaken, it's $70 for unlimited everything. Extremely tough to beat.

    I believe TMO's cheapest plan is almost only $50. Their new "un-carrier" plans are outstanding.
    I have. I know they have many choices as far "contract" and prepaid plans. I'm looking at the $30 prepaid or either the normal plan starting at $50 but I have to take into account data amount, minutes, seems like unlimited messaging all across. Then I will compare this to Straight Talk to see if there really is a difference.

    Coming from prepaid virgin mobile I don't know a lot of the lingo like: roaming, call forwarding, overage, etc. :/

    VM isn't bad, had it since high school years ago. $35/mo was not bad as a college student and now I'm craving better service and maybe a slightly more reliable selection of devices (GSM because of flexibility with SIM cards) but still wanting to maintain fairly low costs even if it means the risk of being throttled or running out of minutes elsewhere.

    Sent from my VM E4GT using Tapatalk 4
  17. #17  
    Patrick Schroedl's Avatar
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    Default Re: [Q] Best value carrier service for Nexus 4 / Off Contract Phones?

    Andrew Martonik put up an analysis of AT&T Next and T-Mobile JUMP!, which is here: T-Mobile and AT&T: JUMP to your Next phone purchase. The Verge also has a great breakdown of the timing, pricing, and pros/cons of each plan, which is here: Jump, Edge, or Next: which mobile carrier's early upgrade plan screws you the least? | The Verge.

    My T-Mobile lines are on the $70 unlimited-everything (as TheLibertarian said, they're great), I can't recall offhand what my AT&T line is. I still have an unlimited data Verizon line with unrestricted tethering, but it's significantly more expensive and I'll be dropping it in the coming weeks. If you have a phone that can use T-Mobile's refarmed 1900MHz HSPA+ or you are in a market that has (or will likely soon have) T-Mobile's LTE, I would say go with that. Again, as TheLibertarian said, their new "un-carrier" approach is fantastic and things are fairly straightforward.

    Edit: to be clear, that $70 unlimited-everything is prepaid. I didn't pay it last month for two lines as I didn't need the service, and I'll pick it up again this coming week. That flexibility coupled with fantastic coverage at least here in Seattle (not to mention over in Bellevue around the T-Mo headquarters) makes it very appealing.
  18. #18  
    Garymeister's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Q] Best value carrier service for Nexus 4 / Off Contract Phones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Schroedl View Post
    Andrew Martonik put up an analysis of AT&T Next and T-Mobile JUMP!, which is here: T-Mobile and AT&T: JUMP to your Next phone purchase. The Verge also has a great breakdown of the timing, pricing, and pros/cons of each plan, which is here: Jump, Edge, or Next: which mobile carrier's early upgrade plan screws you the least? | The Verge.

    My T-Mobile lines are on the $70 unlimited-everything (as TheLibertarian said, they're great), I can't recall offhand what my AT&T line is. I still have an unlimited data Verizon line with unrestricted tethering, but it's significantly more expensive and I'll be dropping it in the coming weeks. If you have a phone that can use T-Mobile's refarmed 1900MHz HSPA+ or you are in a market that has (or will likely soon have) T-Mobile's LTE, I would say go with that. Again, as TheLibertarian said, their new "un-carrier" approach is fantastic and things are fairly straightforward.

    Edit: to be clear, that $70 unlimited-everything is prepaid. I didn't pay it last month for two lines as I didn't need the service, and I'll pick it up again this coming week. That flexibility coupled with fantastic coverage at least here in Seattle (not to mention over in Bellevue around the T-Mo headquarters) makes it very appealing.
    That's great to know thanks! And yeah I just ordered the Google Nexus 4 today. I'll wait till it comes before buying the sim card and plan.

    On the topic of flexibility of a GSM phone, how easy would the transfer be within carrier, say going from the normal plan to prepaid and vice versa? Would I have separate SIM cards for that and keep my number? From what you said it seems like T-Mobile technically IS prepaid somewhat across the board now.

    Sent from my VM E4GT using Tapatalk 4
  19. Thread Author  Thread Author    #19  

    Default Re: [Q] Best value carrier service for Nexus 4 / Off Contract Phones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garymeister View Post
    Hey OP, did you finally settle? I am in the same boat, have a thread up too on this and heavily leaning on the unlocked N4 to save money. Going with something related to T-Mobile in the DC Metropolitan area.
    I decided to stick with my current plan from AT&T with unlimited data (grandfathered in). It may be relatively expensive compared to other plans, but unlimited data is invaluable.

    Thanks to everyone for your help.
    Garymeister likes this.

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