Sprint, Verizion & rooting


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  1. bkfist

    bkfist Member This Topic's Starter

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    I am an **EXTREMELY** unhappy U.S. Cellular customer with a 3 + year old blackberry 8703, *well* out of contract. I have been anxiously waiting, and waiting for an android-based phone to be made available on a CDMA carrier for almost 2 years now (Ever since Android was announced.) I was not about to renew my contract with U.S. Cellular and miss an opportunity to JUMP on an android phone as soon as one was available where i live. (One of my BIGGEST grips with U.S. Cellular is that, like Verizon, they hobble their devices (disable GPS to be more precise) *however* unlike Verizon, they do not even offer a map program at any price to re-enable internal GPS.)

    T-mobile is completely out of the question, they do not have ANY presence in my AREA CODE (641 - Central/rural Iowa) let alone local coverage, and without number portability, switching is out of the question.

    Now that VZW has merged with Alltell, who DOES have coverage in my area, reportedly the "switch" from alltell to VZW for this area is to occur mid-October, so VZW is a definite possibility. Also, Sprint has coverage in the town I work at most of the time, and has just put up a new cell tower near my home town, providing coverage. There are a couple of areas Sprint shows as roaming between home and work (35 mile drive) but I don't think it's any worse than my current US Cellular coverage (It is quite likely that they are using US Cellular as the roaming partner judging from their online coverage maps)

    This leaves me with a choice between Sprint and Verizion. Sprint's packages are definitely less expensive than VZW, but VZW looks to have wider coverage. 1 point each. Sprint has in the past been very good about not hobbling their smart phones, 1-point Sprint. Verizon, however, according to the rumors should be getting the Moto Sholes, which, at least according to the "rumored" technical specs would be my first choice with the T.I. Processor.

    I am hoping that VZW will announce their Android plans, along with actual specs of the Sholes by the time Sprint releases the Hero here. If they do not, then it's kind of a moot point for now, and I will be going Sprint with the Hero.

    However, assuming VZW *does* announce the Sholes, with a release date mid to late October I will probably hold off and go with them, even though service is going to cost about $50 a month more, but ONLY if the phone is not hobbled. (And I'm hoping with all my heart that Motorola is not so "proud" of their teenie-bopper "blur" that they feel they have to put it on a higher-class phone like the Sholes, as I am most definitely NOT interested in tweeting my whereabouts to my "social contacts")

    My question is, if Verizon DOES hobble the Sholes, short of actually removing the GPS hardware, what are the chances the phone can be rooted and FULL functionality restored? (I'm guessing that with the higher-end hardware there will be quite a few of these end up in developer/hacker hands....) Along those same lines, if this does ship with Eclair (Android 2.0) as speculated, and if Moto feel they have to "use blurr" on it "because they put so much time and effort into it", if the phone turns out to be able to be rooted, can I likely install a "stock" version of Android 2.0 on the phone and still have the associated hardware work?

    Waiting around for much longer is not an option, really, as I want to get away from US Cellular at the first possible instant. I've been promising them I'm going to do it for years now, and I intend to follow-through on it, however I *would* be willing to wait a month for a better phone if necessary, but I'll be damned if I'll put up with a hobbled phone again that I can't "fix".

    US Cellular may or may not "miss" my $4000 + per year I give them to hobble my phones, (4 lines, 3 of them blackberry) but I *do* have the satisfaction of knowing that I have influenced at least another 20+ phone lines away from them over the past few years to Sprint and Alltell, and another 3 friend of mine are waiting for me to see who I jump ship to for an Android phone. I know 1 will follow, the other 2 will also likely follow. I have no love for Verizon or Sprint, but my hope is they grab a LOT of US Cellular customers away with some decent phones.
     

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  2. Edaze55

    Edaze55 Well-Known Member

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    A couple of points.

    1. If you are looking to hop to a nice CDMA device ASAP, thats going to be Sprint and the Hero on Oct 11. Im sure you know this, but Im just putting it out there.

    2. Isnt Sprint allowed to roam on VZs network? I donno all the rules and regulations behind it. Maybe Chris knows a bit more?

    3. Sprint is going to be WAY cheaper, for what should amount to the same, or nearly the same, quality.

    4. VZs hobbling of devices. While they are known to do this, it pretty much goes against the whole reason for the phone, and even being part of the OHA (Open Handset Alliance). Im not saying they cant, or they wont try, but I think it would be in vain.

    5. Rooting. Not sure, at this time, that can be answered. Will it be possible? I suspect it will be, but I dont believe there are currently any CDMA phones in the wild to back this up. I wouldnt see why it would be much different on for a CDMA Hero than a GSM. As an example.
     
  3. bkfist

    bkfist Member This Topic's Starter

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    Yes, I'm aware of the Oct 11 release date on Sprint, as you suspected :)

    And yes, the Sprint package is a lot cheaper than the VZ package for unlimited. Right now I'm using about 3500-4000 minutes a month, of which approximately 70% is "free" incoming and "free" mobile-to-mobile with USCC, and as it doesn't seem that either Sprint or VZ is offering "free" incoming (Although Sprint now has ALL mobile-to-mobile "free" even to other cell providers, that would partially mitigate the minutes I need, but realistically I'm going to have to go with an "unlimited" plan for my own phone from either, and VZ is 40% more per month. I'm sure I could get by with a $70/mo package on my wife's and daughter's phone when the time comes, and my mom's is just "for emergencies" and is not a smart phone. I should actually be able to save about $75-$100/month with Sprint over what I'm paying for USCC right now. Since the wife and daughter "just HAD to have a blackberry" about 16 months ago, they can sit on their pearls for 8 months with a greatly reduced minute plan... By that time I can see what other options are out by July of next year and "hand down" the Hero if I want to one of them. (They got to laugh at my bulky 8703 with the messed-up track wheel, broken and taped-together case, no music etc. while they thought it was fun to play streaming music and rub it in... LOL! (Actually, no hard feelings, I *could* have easily switched to a newer BB, and paid the $150 termination fee if I had felt "bad" about it - After all, I'm dumping 4K a year on these damn devices, a $150 ETF isn't exactly going to be noticed, but unless it financially benefits me, I'm not going to give USCC the extra money to terminate their contracts early, they use PLENTY of data... It's not like a grandma who is only driving them to church on Sunday. I'm guessing those two send over a hundred text messages each per day (via BB Messenger, so USCC doesn't get a cent for the texts.)) I'm sure if there was an easy way for USCC to block all the free bbmessenger messages, yahoo, gtalk etc. they would, so they could force messages through sms and charge for it!

    Your point 4 is well taken, I would *think* the same thing, but then again with all the LBS applications for blackberry, it seems absolutely *insane* that a company would disable internal GPS on any BB device either... But USCC and VZ both do it.

    A couple years ago I almost switched to Sprint after having some "words" with some sales-droid at USCC over their "phone insurance" I actually told her to "get my f-ing bill total and ETF fees figured up to terminate all 4 lines and told her i'd be back in a little while and was walking next door (literally next door) to the Sprint store to sign up.

    She actually came running out of the USCC store, came INTO the Sprint store stopped me as I was walking to the counter at Sprint asked me to come back, as her "manager had a proposal I might like to consider" which I ended up negotiating to a free replacement blackberry, 2 months free service, and no new contract. :) (The problem was my old blackberry's charger/data port had gone-south, and the "insurance company" wanted my Federal Tax ID for "verification" when I was calling from the flipping USCC store, and they had seen picture ID. I don't exactly have my tax ID memorized, and it's not something I tend to carry around with me, if you know what I mean, and I had just driven 50 miles to get to the store, and the insurance company wasn't going to replace the phone until I provided the number. I pleasantly informed the sales-droid they were a representative of the "insurance company" and maybe she should talk to them. She said she couldn't help - at which point I told her to get my stuff ready to terminate. (Not nearly as pleasantly!) I think when I also went into how they were "hobbling" their blackberry devices on top of the lack of customer service with their insurance, a couple who had been looking at a blackberry phone left the store as we were going back in. LOL

    Yes, I really DO dislike them that much, but until a few months ago there was no competition, and I wasn't about to switch, knowing *someone* *had* to be getting an Android SOON. :)
     
  4. Edaze55

    Edaze55 Well-Known Member

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    Are you currently aware of that Sprint has a "Premier" customer deal?

    Sprint | News Release: Sprint Thanks Customers with Launch of Exclusive Program that Provides Unique Perks and Instant Rewards to Loyal Customers

    Not that Im trying to push you in that direction, but you'd be spending enough money to qualify for this.

    So far, the only really nice perk about being a "Premier Customer" is that you get to upgrade handsets once a year, instead of the usual two years. There has been a lot of back and forth brainstorming on thier premier forums about other perks that we'd like to see.

    As for crippling features that a phone ships with. Like GPS, or WiFi, I dont think ANY carrier should be allowed to do this. Ever, on any handset. The way I see it, some people buy the phone outright, others get it subsidized with a contract. Either way, once you clear your contract, the hardware is yours.

    It would be like a cable co telling you that you couldnt use your Picture in a Picture feature on your new flatscreen TV.

    Which ever way you go, it sure sounds like it will be better than what you have now.
     
  5. bkfist

    bkfist Member This Topic's Starter

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    The yearly update would be nice, however, the "must be a customer for 10 years" might take a little while to satisfy :) (I've been with USCC for 13, does that count LOL)

    I'm definitely leaning towards Sprint for the price, and their history of not crippling phones. On the other hand, the faster CPU and graphics acceleration on the Sholes (leaked specs, of course) keeps me interested in what Verizon is going to do. I don't really think I can go too wrong either way, as I'm not one to "fear" an ETF. I've worked with Sprint's tech dept with a customer who has 9 phones with them. (One I pushed away from USCC when they were looking at smart phones, although they DID go with palm (not pre) due to lower cost. At least they didn't go winmo.) I really don't understand the people who keep saying Sprint has really poor customer service. Either they are very vocal, or Sprint *was* bad a few years ago and is still trying to shake off the bad rep. I do know I was in some Sprint retail stores a few years ago, and 2 of the 4 I stopped in were horrible just trying to get someone's attention to ask some questions, but the other 2 were terrific, I dont' know... Sprint's innovation in plan pricing and perks, however, makes them a strong contender in my eyes.
     
  6. bkfist

    bkfist Member This Topic's Starter

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    Oops, I see that was $69.99/month OR 10 years.. Looks even better! Thanks for pointing out the premier package.
     
  7. tlbj6142

    tlbj6142 Well-Known Member

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    I'm trying to figure out who does not qualify for the plan? Anyone with a data phone would, as would any of their "unlimited" plans.

    New phone every year would nice...:D
     
  8. bkfist

    bkfist Member This Topic's Starter

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    Ofcourse, that is a new phone for $200 every year (Assuming the person is like me and is going to go for a "new" top model of a "smart phone", and assuming manufactuers & carriers continue to roll out the new "good" stuff at a $199 price point, however things look to be changing a bit, and I see that with some "promos" now, there are some decent phones to be had at the $99 price point... But considering what carriers are chargin for service in the U.S. compared to some places in Europe, I'm sure they can afford that.)
     
  9. mfowler70

    mfowler70 Member

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    I don't seem to qualify. I have 3 lines on SERO, so each line is $30. That's $90 a month, but the requirements don't allow for non-shared multi-line plans to be considered.

    As far as I can tell.
     
  10. bkfist

    bkfist Member This Topic's Starter

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    Yes, but the total has to be $99/month from what I read. Or it might be $99/month or more for 2 phones, maybe more for 3?
     
  11. mfowler70

    mfowler70 Member

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    The premium site says specifically "individual plan of $69.99" or "family plan of $99.99 in which minutes are shared". So when the Hero comes out and I have to upgrade to the Simply Everything version of SERO (EPRP) which is $59.99, I still won't qualify.

    That is unless I spend the extra 10 bucks a month for the regular simply everything plan. Not sure it's worth that.
     
  12. tlbj6142

    tlbj6142 Well-Known Member

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    Don't you have to get at least the "Everything Data - with Any Moblie, Anytime" plan when get the Hero? That plan is at least $69.99.

    Nerver mind, I didn't understand the SERO stuff until now. You can get the same thing as the Everything Data for $10 less, right?
     
  13. mfowler70

    mfowler70 Member

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    True. It's an employee referral plan. I'm not sure if it includes the unlimited mobile-to-mobile, but I sure hope so.
     
  14. Edaze55

    Edaze55 Well-Known Member

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    I dont think anyone is clear, including the reps, about the specifics around which plans can use a Hero.

    Last I heard on the Sprint forums, the reps had not yet been informed (or just werent able to say) as to being able to use a Hero on a SERO plan.

    And I think you are confusing SERO with EPRP.

    @ mfowler

    Look at it this way. EPRP vs SEP. EPRP saves you 10 bucks a month, or 120 a year. SEP will cost you more, but after you become "premier", you become eligilbe for the yearly upgrade at a new customer price. So thats what? roughly 150 a year? Not really much different over the course of a year, and you'd have to take advantage of the yearly upgrade to keep it this close.
     
  15. ChrisPlague

    ChrisPlague Well-Known Member

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    yes you can roam on VZ's network with a sprint device because sprint does have a roaming agreement with verizon does it work vice versa? i dont know

    There is a limit however i believe its 900 minutes? im not 100 percent sure though.

    You will also will not be able to call "any mobile anytime" while roaming
     
  16. ChrisPlague

    ChrisPlague Well-Known Member

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    As far as i know, (not written in stone YET) If you purchase the HERO you must be on a plan similar to the PRE or the instinct meaning you must be on an EVERYTHING data plan.. i know the rates for regular customers, i do not know the rates for SERO plans we are not really informed of their plans seeing as how there is a dedicated number for SERO plans.
     

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