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Old May 18th, 2012, 11:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Kiss T-Mobile, Monthly 4G

Hello all. I'm looking into purchasing a new phone at some point from T-Mobile, online, as they have a 100min/unlimited text/unlimited web. But people say you can only tether a certain amount based on plan. Obviously, there isn't a true unlimited data plan out there...

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Tethering with Monthly 4G is possible, but it matters what plan you're using. You can get anywhere from 30 MB to 5 GB, with 200 MB being right around the middle.

With the $30 a month unlimited text and web (5GB up to 4G) you can use 200 MB of that 5 GB bucket for tethering. However with the $70 a month unlimited talk, text and web (5GB up to 4G) you can use all 5 GB of your bucket for tethering
So, initially, I was pretty excited about that unlimited text and web for $30, but if you can only tether 200 mb? Kinda crappy.

$70 doesn't sound too outlandish, plus I'd be getting free minutes, and they wouldn't throttle my stuff after 200 MB? LOL. I don't always break 5 GB, but 200 MB? Laughable. When it comes to throttling, how much slower does browsing go? Like 2 G speeds?



Does anyone have any experience with T-Mobile Monthly plans?

Thanks in advance, all! Any insight greatly appreciated!


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Old May 18th, 2012, 11:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't mean to multi-post, but I don't want the first post to be a novel.

These are the phones available on the Prepaid plans:
Prepaid Phones | Pay as You Go Android Cell Phones | T-Mobile

I'm pretty poor, atm, but am re-locating to a cheaper more afforable place. So, I have two options. I could just save another month or two (I've been without a cell for like a month, and it's actually freeing). But I did like using the Data plan I had, watching videos, playing games, etc.

So, if I were to go and just get a cheaper phone right now, it'd be between the:
Samsung Dart Phone | Reviews, Accessories, Specs, Details | T-Mobile

Samsung Dart, $99. However, when you scroll down to additional features, it doesn't say anywhere it supports usb tethering...

Second (cheaper) phone: T-Mobile Comet.
Refurbished Comet in Black | No Annual Contract | Prepaid | T-Mobile

Initially, I thought that the Dart would be a much better choice. But I did a few head/head reviews, and they basically seemed the same. The Dart had a little more of something, but IIRC it was nothing worth worrying over. Also, this phone does clearly state in the additional features section that USB Tethering is supported.



The lady I spoke with told me if I were to go with the Dart, I would need to get that stupid Mobile Hotspot Ready for $15 extra. However, if I have a wireless router, could I just be like "LOL NO U"? Or, if I were to just go with the Comet, would my phone allow for Wi-Fi Sharing and hotspots?
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Old May 19th, 2012, 12:00 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Lastly, if I do decide to just save up a couple of months, which of the phones offered would YOU pick? The answer may be as simple as "I wouldn't pick any, they all suck", which I agree. Likes/dislikes, opinions, thoughts, are all subject to great variation.

So anyone who has any knowledge of those listed, I'd appreciate it. I'm also going to check the Board Specifics of the phones in question.

http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/prepaid-phones
(Filter by clicking the Category tab, checking the Android and Smartphone boxes)

The Samsung Exhibit II, looks good. Seems to have the USB tethering and that other option (Mobile Hotspot), but I am very wary of Mail-in Rebates.

What about the LG Optimus? How was that?

If I save up, that Sidekick 4G looks tight. I was always a fan of the Sidekick. Was recently thinking of getting a cheap old one (LX2009)


Again, thank you for taking the time to read this. Any and all responses, are greatly appreciated!

Yours,
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Old May 19th, 2012, 01:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hello and welcome to AF.

What would you say is your budget on a phone? $150? $200 maybe? They have a nice selection, so I'll help you look for a good phone.

EDIT: What about this? http://phandroid.com/t-mobile-sidekick-4g/
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Old May 19th, 2012, 02:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Metroid prime View Post
Hello and welcome to AF.

What would you say is your budget on a phone? $150? $200 maybe? They have a nice selection, so I'll help you look for a good phone.

EDIT: What about this? T-Mobile Sidekick 4G
Well, I guess $200, though I'll need to save my money then. I need to pay a security deposit and then first month's rent on Jun 1st, then pay all my bills, see what I have left over. Might just end up saving up anyway. If that's the case, I think I'll go with the Sidekick.

Thanks for the welcome.
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Old May 19th, 2012, 02:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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No problem, I like to welcome new people.
$200 is a good budget to get you a good phone. Is there anything else you want besides the tethering?
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Old May 19th, 2012, 03:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
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No problem, I like to welcome new people.
$200 is a good budget to get you a good phone. Is there anything else you want besides the tethering?
Well, yeah. My previous phone was rooted, so access to any and all of the Apps for free was good. I still have that phone, use it in Wifi hotspots.

I guess, if I were able to root it (or not), just typical web browsing when AFK, I really liked the App Tune In Radio.

Any other killer apps for rooted androids?

In checking reviews for the sidekick 4G most people aren't very pleased.

Have you used one? Or know of someone who has?
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Old May 19th, 2012, 09:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
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There are several things to consider.

First, you can sign up for whatever plan you want and get a SIM card without a phone. Then you can buy a used phone on Craigslist for a lot less than T-Mobile charges. I'd use only a local Craigslist to be able to see the phone before forking over the cash. Be sure it's a T-Mobile phone; AT&T phones will generally work with T-Mobile, but at lower data speeds due to RF incompatibility, and it has to be unlocked as well. Phones from Verizon and Sprint won't work at all.

Second, consider the data speed. I'm in a city with HSPA+42 and I regularly see download speeds faster than friends on Verizon with LTE. But at the moment the only phones that will support HSPA+42 are the Amaze and the Galaxy S2. All the other "4G" phones will do only HSPA+21. I bring this up because you're going to use a lot of data, so speed is probably important to you. Speed is very location-dependent, so research what T-Mobile offers in your area. See if you can find someone locally who has T-Mobile and run Speedtest on their phone for you.

As for tethering, I have read that if you root the phone you can do it without paying T-Mobile, although it is a violation of your service plan agreement. I don't know how true that is, but if you're going to tether it's worth researching.

I have the 5GB prepaid plan for $70 a month and I ought to cut it back because I never use more than 2GB. And I stream internet radio for several hours a day. 5GB is a lot of data on a phone. If you have wifi available you can get away with amazingly little. At home I can connect to my home wifi, and at the university I can connect to their network. In fact, at the university I almost have to connect to the wifi because most of the buildings are steel. And in the library the shelving is all steel too. Steel makes a great RF sink.

Good luck with T-Mobile. You'll love the company and the service.
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Old May 19th, 2012, 11:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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As already said you can pretty much use any GSM phone as long as it supports their bands.

I am using my old Nexus One that I got many years ago.
The reason I stopped using it and T-Mo was data coverage in my area was horrible in those days.

I thought this little phone was going to be a PITA since I have been spoiled by the likes of the Galaxy Nexus and LTE but I am finding out that this Nexus is not dead yet by a longshot.

This phone does not support their H+ but I see 3-5 down and 1-3 up on it regularly which is not really too shabby considering I only get around 5-7 on Verizon LTE in my area.

I am using a T-Mo monthly plan and it has been stellar in the voice department and "OK" in the data department so far but I am thinking that it is the phone.

Another thing to consider: T-Mobile is refarming their spectrum.
They are supposedly going to have most of it done by this fall.
Right now that does not mean a whole lot but it will open up a lot more possibilities in the near future depending on how long you take to save up and buy a phone.
You might find out that they have done the refarming in your area and can use an AT&T device as well.
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Old May 19th, 2012, 04:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Nah, I just have the Inspire 4G which I love. I'll find you another phone that's both good and good priced.

EDIT: This is a good phone priced at $200. http://phandroid.com/htc-sensation-4g/
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Old May 19th, 2012, 05:01 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Old May 20th, 2012, 05:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I bought a Galaxy SII off craigslist and an activation kit (with sim card) from T-Mobile. The kit was just a couple bucks. Then I signed up for the $30 plan you described. So you don't have to buy their plan phones. You could save up and buy a new Galaxy S III that's coming out soon or save some money and get a Galaxy SII. They should be a lot cheaper and they are still a great phone.
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