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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  
    brendu's Avatar

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    Default Considering Switching to GNex, need help.

    Hey everyone. I am using an iPhone 4 and love it. It is a great phone in it's own right. I was never really interested in Android until 4.0 and now with 4.1 I am real intrigued. But the real reason I am considering the switch is because I HATE AT&T. I hate spending the kind of money I am spending for my phone with a 2GB data cap.

    I am strongly considering an unlocked HSPA+ GNex to use on the T-Mobile $30 prepaid plan with 100 Minutes, unlimited text, unlimited data (4g speed up to 5GB). Then I want to port my current phone number to google voice so that I can make all my calls without using those minutes up.

    I have found several websites detailing how to set this up but there seems to be a good deal of conflicting/outdated information. Is there anyone here who has successfully done this and can help me with the step by step of what I need to do? I bought the T-Mobile SIM card activation kit from but I am not sure how to get the plan I want on it, and then will it just work when I put the SIM into the GNex? Thanks for the help everyone.
  2. #2  

    Default Re: Considering Switching to GNex, need help.

    To get the plan, go to the page you linked to and click Activate in the pink menu. It will guide you through the steps and you choose the plan. But you need to have the phone first that you are going to activate it on and put the sim in it. You can port your number at any time as long as you don't cancel your current service before porting, so you can try it out first of you like. You will get a new number when you activate.
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    Default Re: Considering Switching to GNex, need help.

    Quote Originally Posted by brendu View Post
    Hey everyone. I am using an iPhone 4 and love it. It is a great phone in it's own right. I was never really interested in Android until 4.0 and now with 4.1 I am real intrigued. But the real reason I am considering the switch is because I HATE AT&T. I hate spending the kind of money I am spending for my phone with a 2GB data cap.
    Sounds like you're satisfied with what you have and your only problem is with your carrier. Why not consider the option of keeping your iPhone and simply changing your service provider? Suppose you pay out ATT whatever they are asking to unlock your device and end the contract and simply move to another service provider, like for instance Straight Talk.

    Straight Talk is an MVNO operating on both the T-Mo and ATT networks (depending on the GSM chip you get) with a prepaid model. The entry cost is bound to be lower than getting a brand new phone.

    Of course, shiny new phones are sexy and exciting, so that's a perfectly valid reason to go for a switch. Just be sure that you're not lying to yourself *wink*

    PS I'm also considering a GNex, which is why I read the thread, from an aging unlocked GSM Palm Pre 2 on Straight Talk that does everything that I need, except for the fact that it is not the new hotness.
    Last edited by __mauro__; 07-28-2012 at 07:33 PM. Reason: adding PS
  4. Thread Author  Thread Author    #4  
    brendu's Avatar

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    Default Re: Considering Switching to GNex, need help.

    So after doing some digging I think I was wrong about my previous thoughts on google voice. I thought it would not use my cell minutes when making and receiving calls through GV but now I believe that was wrong. Unfortunately 100 minutes is not enough for me, I dont need a ton but 100 isnt enough.

    My big thing is that I really dislike AT&T as a corporation. I dont want to keep giving them money so I am looking into alternatives that are attractive and would save me money which is another thing I want to do.
  5. #5  

    Default Re: Considering Switching to GNex, need help.

    You can use Google voice to not use minutes. You just have to use a voip app like groove ip or several others. There are good threads on it on xda dev forum and other places.
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    Default Re: Considering Switching to GNex, need help.

    Quote Originally Posted by brendu View Post
    So after doing some digging I think I was wrong about my previous thoughts on google voice. I thought it would not use my cell minutes when making and receiving calls through GV but now I believe that was wrong. Unfortunately 100 minutes is not enough for me, I dont need a ton but 100 isnt enough.

    My big thing is that I really dislike AT&T as a corporation. I dont want to keep giving them money so I am looking into alternatives that are attractive and would save me money which is another thing I want to do.
    As far as the minutes are concerned I can understand your trepidation. My question is though how many minutes do you actually use? Even at .10 per minute after the 100 it's still cheaper. As in my case lets say I use 200 instead of 100 for a month. At .10 per that's an extra 10.00 for the month. That is still way cheaper then the plan I was on with sprint (90.00 postpaid vs 30+10 for the overage). Look at your usage and do the math. I still think you are going to come out ahead. One suggestion though, buy an extra money card for the prepaid and apply it to your account. This way you have the month covered and any overage is just taken out of the difference. I bought a 100.00 prepaid card for Tmo and applied it and I just watch my balance. As it is its still way cheaper then one month on Postpaid.

    Enjoy you'll like it.
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    Default Re: Considering Switching to GNex, need help.

    Quote Originally Posted by brendu View Post
    So after doing some digging I think I was wrong about my previous thoughts on google voice. I thought it would not use my cell minutes when making and receiving calls through GV but now I believe that was wrong. Unfortunately 100 minutes is not enough for me, I dont need a ton but 100 isnt enough.
    As recommended above, I'd look at one of the MVNO carriers, like Straight Talk, that offers service on the AT&T frequencies. If you like your iPhone, you can even keep using that with these carriers.

    There are TONS of AT&T compatible MVNOs other than Straight Talk, like Net10, H2O Wireless, Red Pocket Mobile, etc..

    There's quite the discussion going on in this forum right now about Prepaid carriers: http://forums.androidcentral.com/goo...ice-nexus.html
    LG Nexus 5 / LG Nexus 4 / HTC One / Sony Xperia ZL // T-Mobile / AT&T
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    mtmjr90's Avatar

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    Just my two cents...I also have the TMo $30 plan on my Nexus and a Google Voice number as my primary number.

    To get around the 100 min issue, I also pay for a Skype unlimited US&Canada subscription. I have my GV calls forwarded to my Skype number and if I don't pick up or Skype isn't working, they get forwarded to my TMo number where it eats into my 100 mins. Averaged out, the Skype stuff is less than $10/month so I'm still under $40/month.

    That said, if this is all too complicated, I'd suggest StraightTalk at $45/month. I'd you're adamant about not supporting AT&T in any way, just use ST on TMo's network...though if you're paying the same anyway, I'd probably go with the bigger network...

    Oh and I also suggest you check out HowardForums...basically a bunch of network nerds and there's plenty of prepaid/GVoice discussion there.

    Sent from my Nexus One using Tapatalk 2
  9. #9  

    Default Re: Considering Switching to GNex, need help.

    Quote Originally Posted by mtmjr90 View Post
    Just my two cents...I also have the TMo $30 plan on my Nexus and a Google Voice number as my primary number.

    To get around the 100 min issue, I also pay for a Skype unlimited US&Canada subscription. I have my GV calls forwarded to my Skype number and if I don't pick up or Skype isn't working, they get forwarded to my TMo number where it eats into my 100 mins. Averaged out, the Skype stuff is less than $10/month so I'm still under $40/month.

    That said, if this is all too complicated, I'd suggest StraightTalk at $45/month. I'd you're adamant about not supporting AT&T in any way, just use ST on TMo's network...though if you're paying the same anyway, I'd probably go with the bigger network...

    Oh and I also suggest you check out HowardForums...basically a bunch of network nerds and there's plenty of prepaid/GVoice discussion there.

    Sent from my Nexus One using Tapatalk 2
    Thanks for the info! How do you find Skype from an ease of use and call quality standpoint (WiFi / HSPA)? its a good model considering the flat monthly rate for unlimited calls on Skype.

    I'm currently on the $30 T-Mobile plan, been using it for 6 months now and its great but I just need more minutes. I personally supplement my minutes currently with GV calls via GTalk on the desktop, but I still cut it close every month, and rarely need over 2-3GB data, so I'm gonna go try Straight Talk or one of the other MVNO's.

    Looking forward to hear your experiences.
    LG Nexus 5 / LG Nexus 4 / HTC One / Sony Xperia ZL // T-Mobile / AT&T
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Martonik View Post
    Thanks for the info! How do you find Skype from an ease of use and call quality standpoint (WiFi / HSPA)? its a good model considering the flat monthly rate for unlimited calls on Skype.

    I'm currently on the $30 T-Mobile plan, been using it for 6 months now and its great but I just need more minutes. I personally supplement my minutes currently with GV calls via GTalk on the desktop, but I still cut it close every month, and rarely need over 2-3GB data, so I'm gonna go try Straight Talk or one of the other MVNO's.

    Looking forward to hear your experiences.
    I have no quality issues on wifi or hspa+...I've even been pleased with it on EDGE Bandwidth needed for VoIP is quite low... It's much better than any other GV VoIP app like GrooVeIP or Talkatone in terms of voice quality. Hell, I'd say it's better quality than standard cell calls.

    Ease of use isn't bad either, just make sure the app is always running and you're good to go (it's best to go into the app settings and enable a persistent notification in the status bar). Dialing out always needs a +1 in front of numbers, so you may need to update your address book. You can even use the stock phone app to dial and just select Skype as the all you want to use to place the call.

    Only downside is if the app is killed and you don't notice. That's why I have it setup via Skype's website to forward missed calls to my TMo number before going to voicemail.

    If you do try this, remember to disable your forwarding calls to your cell number from voice.google.com since your phone will prioritize a cell call over Skype call notifications.

    A neat little side effect of using this method plus the GV app for texting, I can keep my phone in Airplane mode (with Wi-Fi toggled on) whenever I'm somewhere that has a good Wi-Fi connection. It really saves battery since the cell radios aren't maintaining a constant connection.

    Sent from my Nexus One using Tapatalk 2
    Last edited by mtmjr90; 07-30-2012 at 11:19 PM.
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    Default Re: Considering Switching to GNex, need help.

    Quote Originally Posted by mtmjr90 View Post
    I have no quality issues on wifi or hspa+...I've even been pleased with it on EDGE Bandwidth needed for VoIP is quite low... It's much better than any other GV VoIP app like GrooVeIP or Talkatone in terms of voice quality. Hell, I'd say it's better quality than standard cell calls.

    (snip)
    Very nice. I'm sure Skype's codecs (considering they charge for use) are much better than free ones in GrooVe IP and Talkatone. How does it handle outgoing calls then? Do calls show up on their end as being from your Skype number?
    LG Nexus 5 / LG Nexus 4 / HTC One / Sony Xperia ZL // T-Mobile / AT&T
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Martonik View Post
    Very nice. I'm sure Skype's codecs (considering they charge for use) are much better than free ones in GrooVe IP and Talkatone. How does it handle outgoing calls then? Do calls show up on their end as being from your Skype number?
    They show up as coming from my Google Voice number. You can set up what number you want to show up when you place a call on Skype's website

    Also means my GV number shows up no matter what device I'm using Skype to call from, including my Nexus 7 and computer.

    Sent from my Nexus One using Tapatalk 2
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    Default Re: Considering Switching to GNex, need help.

    Just an update, I am actually not eligible to ditch ATT just yet. I love the sound of the T-Mobile plan and I will likely pursue that once I can switch (October 29th). I thought I could because I am eligible for an upgrade through ATT but I guess they just let you upgrade before your contract is actually up to try locking you into another 2 years. To be completely honest I am hoping the next iPhone will work on T-Mob's HSPA+ network because I really love iOS but if it won't, I will likely do either the galaxy nexus or the next nexus. Thanks for all the help everyone.
  14. #14  

    Default Re: Considering Switching to GNex, need help.

    Quote Originally Posted by mtmjr90 View Post
    They show up as coming from my Google Voice number. You can set up what number you want to show up when you place a call on Skype's website

    Also means my GV number shows up no matter what device I'm using Skype to call from, including my Nexus 7 and computer.
    That's a really nice feature. I wasn't aware of that at all.

    One more question, how does having the Skype app running hurt battery life? Noticeable?

    This sounds nice. I might try this out instead of switching to Straight Talk right away. Worth a quick shot, as I'm paid through August on T-Mobile so I won't be switching till the end of the month anyways. I'm just not at all interested in using the Skype interface. I just want it to integrate and be used in the stock dialer + Google Voice app like I use now.
    LG Nexus 5 / LG Nexus 4 / HTC One / Sony Xperia ZL // T-Mobile / AT&T
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Martonik View Post
    That's a really nice feature. I wasn't aware of that at all.

    One more question, how does having the Skype app running hurt battery life? Noticeable?
    Not significantly...at least not that I can tell. I'm running a pre-release custom ROM and custom kernel with tweaked clock settings so I might not be the best of standards by which to measure battery performance=/ Sometimes the app quits itself though, so look out for that...

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Martonik View Post
    This sounds nice. I might try this out instead of switching to Straight Talk right away. Worth a quick shot, as I'm paid through August on T-Mobile so I won't be switching till the end of the month anyways. I'm just not at all interested in using the Skype interface. I just want it to integrate and be used in the stock dialer + Google Voice app like I use now.
    You and me both...a la webOS synergy or even Meego's integration. It's not beautiful, but it works for me I just dial using the native dialer and select "Skype" to connect the call. You can set it as default or just "Use Once" each time.
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