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    Default Is S4 Google Edition a complete waste of $450?

    I posted this in the general S4 forum but wanted to post in the dedicated Google Edition forum to possibly get some more input from people. My question is simply this: Why would I spend $649 for the GE version of the phone when I can alternatively buy the AT&T version for $199 and either save $449 by having AT&T pay the rest of the phone price for me (their data plans without subsidization cost the same it seems), or if I don't like TouchWiz or AT&T I can pay a sub-$400 ETF, get the phone unlocked, and move on to any carrier I'd like?

    Is the only advantage of the GE version that one doesn't have to go through the "hassle" of rooting one's phone to convert it to cleaner version of Android? Is that process really that complicated to justify spending hundred of extra dollars?

    Or are there actually carriers that offer cheaper plans for unlocked phones, compared to subsidized phones, so that I can get some of the $449 back?
    Last edited by quietlybrilliant; 07-01-2013 at 05:16 PM.
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    return_0's Avatar

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    Default Re: Is there any point in spending $449 extra to get the Google Edition phone?

    Obviously, you're paying $0 extra instead of $449 extra, since you can't compare on-contract prices to unlocked prices. And carriers hide that extra fee in the actual phone plan.

    And which carriers offer cheaper plans for unlocked phones?

    T-Mobile. That is all.

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  3. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  

    Default Re: Is there any point in spending $449 extra to get the Google Edition phone?

    Quote Originally Posted by return_0 View Post
    Obviously, you're paying $0 extra instead of $449 extra, since you can't compare on-contract prices to unlocked prices. And carriers hide that extra fee in the actual phone plan.
    Can you say more about this? At least AT&T's monthly data plan costs seem completely independent of whether I purchased a new smartphone on contract with them, or am bringing a contract free phone (such as the GE phones) to them.

    Quote Originally Posted by return_0 View Post
    And which carriers offer cheaper plans for unlocked phones?
    T-Mobile. That is all.

    So you're saying that T-Mobile is my only way to get some of the extra $449 I paid *extra* for the Google Edition version back? I want to mention that I am paying $70/month on AT&T for unlimited data (grandfathered in) and enough talk minutes. Seems like unless I hated AT&T I would only lose lots of money when moving to T-Mobile with a GE phone. Am I misunderstanding you still?
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    Default Re: Is there any point in spending $449 extra to get the Google Edition phone?

    If you're paying $70/month on AT&T with unlimited data, stay where you are. T-Mobile's current prices are comparable to what you're paying; their network, however, is not up to par. Not yet, anyway.
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    Default Re: Is there any point in spending $449 extra to get the Google Edition phone?

    Quote Originally Posted by kgbkny View Post
    If you're paying $70/month on AT&T with unlimited data, stay where you are. T-Mobile's current prices are comparable to what you're paying; their network, however, is not up to par. Not yet, anyway.
    OK thanks. That's what I wanted to confirm. Sounds like unless one prefers T-Mobile over other carriers, Google Edition phones are an expensive hobby.
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    androidalais's Avatar

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    Default Re: Is S4 Google Edition a complete waste of $450?

    Quote Originally Posted by quietlybrilliant View Post
    Why would I spend $649 for the GE version of the phone when I can alternatively buy the AT&T version for $199 and either save $449 by having AT&T pay the rest of the phone price for me
    For one, it's cheaper to buy a phone outright. If you get a contract on AT&T for around $80 a month not including the down payment you pay $1920. The phone is actually worth less than $649 but retail is $649, so subtract that from $1920 and you pay $1271 extra, not including the down payment.
  7. Thread Author  Thread Author    #7  

    Default Re: Is S4 Google Edition a complete waste of $450?

    Are you serious? You need a data and voice plan if you want to use the device! Show me where you can get a data+voice package for $1,271/24 per month and you have made a case.

    Also, you didn't address the point I made that you can get the S4 on AT&T right now, then pay a $325 ETF, and have an unlocked phone you can take anywhere, having *saved* money compared to paying the whole phone price right away.

    Quote Originally Posted by androidalais View Post
    For one, it's cheaper to buy a phone outright. If you get a contract on AT&T for around $80 a month not including the down payment you pay $1920. The phone is actually worth less than $649 but retail is $649, so subtract that from $1920 and you pay $1271 extra, not including the down payment.
    Last edited by quietlybrilliant; 07-01-2013 at 06:37 PM.
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    Default Re: Is S4 Google Edition a complete waste of $450?

    Quote Originally Posted by quietlybrilliant View Post
    Are you serious? You need a data and voice plan if you want to use the device! Show me where you can get a data+voice package for $1,271/24 per month and you have made a case.
    I'm paying $30/month my voice, text, and data plan on T-Mobile. That's $720 over 2 years.

    Sent from my pure Google Nexus 4 using Android Central Forums
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  9. Thread Author  Thread Author    #9  

    Default Re: Is S4 Google Edition a complete waste of $450?

    Quote Originally Posted by return_0 View Post
    I'm paying $30/month my voice, text, and data plan on T-Mobile. That's $720 over 2 years.

    Sent from my pure Google Nexus 4 using Android Central Forums
    How did you get it so cheaply? The least expensive plan I see offered on the T-Mobile website is $50/month for a paltry 500 MB per month as well as unlimited talk and text.
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    Default Re: Is S4 Google Edition a complete waste of $450?

    Quote Originally Posted by quietlybrilliant View Post
    How did you get it so cheaply? The least expensive plan I see offered on the T-Mobile website is $50/month for a paltry 500 MB per month as well as unlimited talk and text.


    On the left below "pay by the day"

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    Default Re: Is S4 Google Edition a complete waste of $450?

    Quote Originally Posted by quietlybrilliant View Post
    Are you serious? You need a data and voice plan if you want to use the device! Show me where you can get a data+voice package for $1,271/24 per month and you have made a case.

    Also, you didn't address the point I made that you can get the S4 on AT&T right now, then pay a $325 ETF, and have an unlocked phone you can take anywhere, having *saved* money compared to paying the whole phone price right away.
    I ment if you pay over two years. Thats how much extra you pay and how much you pay in general.
  12. Thread Author  Thread Author    #12  

    Default Re: Is S4 Google Edition a complete waste of $450?

    Quote Originally Posted by androidalais View Post
    I ment if you pay over two years. Thats how much extra you pay and how much you pay in general.
    I still don't understand what you're trying to say. I.e., it still seems to me like you're comparing the price of a phone without any network connection to the price of a phone with two years of network connection, which would be a bad comparison obviously. What are you comparing?
  13. Thread Author  Thread Author    #13  

    Default Re: Is S4 Google Edition a complete waste of $450?

    Quote Originally Posted by return_0 View Post


    On the left below "pay by the day"
    Hmm, that's only 100 minutes for voice though...

    But it is definitely an interesting deal. They don't advertise it very well!
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    Default Re: Is there any point in spending $449 extra to get the Google Edition phone?

    Quote Originally Posted by return_0 View Post
    Obviously, you're paying $0 extra instead of $449 extra, since you can't compare on-contract prices to unlocked prices. And carriers hide that extra fee in the actual phone plan.

    And which carriers offer cheaper plans for unlocked phones?

    T-Mobile. That is all.

    This chart is wrong, I have 4 lines (Family Plan) with sprint and we pay around 250 with insurance on 3 phones. Our Sprint service sucks and I plan switching to T-Mobile soon in which we
    should be paying slightly less for 4 lines. I bought a nexus 4 hacked to work with LTE and have been testing out TMO in my area and it Slaps Sprint in the FACE. T-Mobile is 80$ first 2 lines, 10$ each additional line, Each line comes with 500mb data. Add 10$ for 2Gig Data, or 20$ for Unlimited to the lines you want.
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    Default Re: Is there any point in spending $449 extra to get the Google Edition phone?

    If you use a lot of data and/or LTE is important to you then you'll want to stick with your AT&T plan. Otherwise, you can save some bucks using a prepaid plan like the T-Mobile $30 one mentioned earlier, or NET10 if you have a phone that uses AT&T 3G bands. These plans don't give you access to LTE, just HSDPA+. AT&T has recently announced a GoPhone prepaid plan that includes LTE data but it's almost as expensive as what you're playing now. This is how I do it, I have a prepaid SIM and I buy my phones off-contract, but by the same token I won't pay more than $200-250 for a phone either.
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    Default Re: Is S4 Google Edition a complete waste of $450?

    Quote Originally Posted by quietlybrilliant View Post
    Hmm, that's only 100 minutes for voice though...

    But it is definitely an interesting deal. They don't advertise it very well!
    And if you're worried about minutes, VoIP is an option

    Sent from my pure Google Nexus 4 using Android Central Forums
  17. Thread Author  Thread Author    #17  

    Default Re: Is there any point in spending $449 extra to get the Google Edition phone?

    Quote Originally Posted by trwrt View Post
    If you use a lot of data and/or LTE is important to you then you'll want to stick with your AT&T plan. Otherwise, you can save some bucks using a prepaid plan like the T-Mobile $30 one mentioned earlier, or NET10 if you have a phone that uses AT&T 3G bands. These plans don't give you access to LTE, just HSDPA+. AT&T has recently announced a GoPhone prepaid plan that includes LTE data but it's almost as expensive as what you're playing now. This is how I do it, I have a prepaid SIM and I buy my phones off-contract, but by the same token I won't pay more than $200-250 for a phone either.
    Hmm, thanks for the clarification. Paying $720 for the plan + $650 for the phone still leads to savings of approx. $20/month compared to what I pay with AT&T, but LTE speed might be worth that.
  18. #18  

    Default Re: Is S4 Google Edition a complete waste of $450?

    Quote Originally Posted by androidalais View Post
    For one, it's cheaper to buy a phone outright. If you get a contract on AT&T for around $80 a month not including the down payment you pay $1920. The phone is actually worth less than $649 but retail is $649, so subtract that from $1920 and you pay $1271 extra, not including the down payment.
    You can't use this math to compare the cost of buying a phone outright and one on contract because no matter how you get your phone (retail or subsidized), you still need service to make it work. With that said, you actually lose $450 by not signing a contract. The trade off is that you're not locked in and can leave at any time, BUT how many people switch carriers a lot? I've been with AT&T since 2006 and even longer if you count the Cingular days, so if I were to sign a contract for 2 years, it means nothing to me other than a $450 discount on a phone.

    And don't let T-Mobile fool you with their no contracts because they are actually adding that subsidized cost ($450 in this example) to your monthly bill over the next 2 years. What this means is that after the phone is paid off, your bill will actually get lower! As compared to AT&T, your bill never changes. I've paid the same amount for quite some time now and after my contract was up 3 years ago, it never moved a penny. What this tells me is that all those times I re-upped my AT&T contract, I got a truly discounted phone whereas if you're on T-Mobile you're only getting the discount price in the beginning, but will still have to pay for the full retail of the phone over 2 years. So there actually isn't any discount with T-Mobile at all!

    Maybe that's why they're getting flack for it:
  19. #19  
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    Default Re: Is S4 Google Edition a complete waste of $450?

    Quote Originally Posted by quietlybrilliant View Post
    I still don't understand what you're trying to say. I.e., it still seems to me like you're comparing the price of a phone without any network connection to the price of a phone with two years of network connection, which would be a bad comparison obviously. What are you comparing?
    If you can survive with 2GB of data you could get the AT&T Go Phone Prepaid for $60 per month and get LTE speeds. That is unlimited talk and unlimited text and no taxes except maybe $1 or $2. None of the regular AT&T contract plans would come close to that. Isn't texting alone a $20 or $30 add-on? So you end up paying $450 extra up front, but over the course of the next 2 years you save the difference between $60 and what you would be paying on a regular AT&T contract. If the savings was $30 a month, then you'd save $720 over 2 years. So $720-$450 would be $270 in savings, but you'd be free to try out other carriers without worrying about ETF penalties.
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    Default Re: Is S4 Google Edition a complete waste of $450?

    Quote Originally Posted by ledfrog View Post
    With that said, you actually lose $450 by not signing a contract.
    Only if you stick with a postpaid plan.
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    Default Re: Is S4 Google Edition a complete waste of $450?

    The only reason to get the GPe directly would be if you want stock but not to root, etc. Which would be weird, but have at it Otherwise, you can, by flashing a ROM made from the system dump, turn any GSM device into the corresponding GPe and have the added advantage of being able to flash back to TouchWiz if you want.

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    Default Re: Is S4 Google Edition a complete waste of $450?

    Quote Originally Posted by NothingIsTrue View Post
    The only reason to get the GPe directly would be if you want stock but not to root, etc. Which would be weird, but have at it Otherwise, you can, by flashing a ROM made from the system dump, turn any GSM device into the corresponding GPe and have the added advantage of being able to flash back to TouchWiz if you want.
    Warranty.

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    Default Re: Is S4 Google Edition a complete waste of $450?

    Quote Originally Posted by return_0 View Post
    Warranty.

    Sent from my pure Google Nexus 4 using Android Central Forums
    It's implied

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    Default Re: Is S4 Google Edition a complete waste of $450?

    Quote Originally Posted by NothingIsTrue View Post
    The only reason to get the GPe directly would be if you want stock but not to root, etc. Which would be weird, but have at it Otherwise, you can, by flashing a ROM made from the system dump, turn any GSM device into the corresponding GPe and have the added advantage of being able to flash back to TouchWiz if you want.
    There are a couple other reasons too:

    • Want stock without having to unlock the boot loader and possibly void a warranty or ruin the device
    • To have a phone without a contract
    • To not have to mess around with rom updates and installations


    At least those are my reasons!
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    Default Re: Is S4 Google Edition a complete waste of $450?

    Quote Originally Posted by ledfrog View Post
    There are a couple other reasons too:

    • Want stock without having to unlock the boot loader and possibly void a warranty or ruin the device
    • To have a phone without a contract
    • To not have to mess around with rom updates and installations


    At least those are my reasons!
    1st and 3rd seem to be exactly what I said The middle one, you can buy any phone off contract. I think we're agreeing on the reasons

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