Which carrier has the best Galaxy S4?General

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  1. New Member

    New Member Active Member

    I've read that the S4 varies between carriers.

    I would like to know which is the best. I am looking for the most superior model; whether that be from the particular running Processor or any other attribute. Would appreciate any advice.

  2. speedlever

    speedlever Well-Known Member

    I'd say the one that has the best coverage in your area where you will be using your GS4. ;)

    I should add that I've had VZW coverage for many years and within the past few months switched to AT&T... and thus far have been very pleased with the service. TMo tempted me mightily, but I never felt comfy with their coverage in comparison to Big Red and Big Blue. And in my usage scenario, there was no real cost savings unless we keep the phones past 2 years and reap the benefits of the no contract pricing. I figured that would be unlikely.
  3. New Member

    New Member Active Member

    Thanks for your advice. I'm curious - what did TMo offer that was tempting? Also, what's the difference between No Contract/Contract pricing? TMo has $50/month plans right now, on no contract.

    Also, would it be better for me cost-wise to go on month-to-month with TMo and pay $20-per-month for the S4? Rather than paying the higher monthly bill from Verizon or someone else? Even though I am paying more for the phone, ultimately I am saving money on the monthly bill I would assume.

    Lastly, is there any way to sign up with any carrier and have those obnoxious/useless fees waived? Not taxes -- but all the other BS fees that you typically don't know about when signing up with a new carrier.
  4. jhawkkw

    jhawkkw Chinchillin' Moderator

    AT&T is the only carrier with a 32gb version. Something to consider.
  5. New Member

    New Member Active Member

    Why is that??

    Does AT&T have a good rep?

    I've only been on TMobile and Metro. Metro sucks. TMobile doesn't have the best rep so far as coverage.
  6. jhawkkw

    jhawkkw Chinchillin' Moderator

    I'm guessing at&t paid for the exclusive right to carry it in the us. Those jerks :p
  7. Adara

    Adara Well-Known Member

    You'll want to sit down and do the math, particularly comparing the plans, based on your data usage. All things being equal, you're probably better off with T-Mobile price-wise, but the issue is really if all things are equal.

    Let's begin: T-Mobile got into trouble (read: lawsuits) for the way they were advertising the whole "no plan" deal, and they've actually changed their advertising. Look at their website now. They explain that you're basically just buying the phone on time, as you would if you were buying a car or getting a mortgage. You've got a $99 downpayment on the phone plus two years of payments at $20 each. Total is $99 + ($20 x 12) = $339. Now, you can buy the phone from VZW for $249, less a $50 rebate, so that's $199.

    VZW looks like a better deal (by about $140). But is it that simple? No. VZW may be rolling that extra $140 into the monthly payment.

    T Mobile will charge you $50/month for unlimited talk and text, and 500 MB of data. If you want 2 GB of data, that's $60/month; unlimited data is $70. (Whether and when they throttle your data speeds is outside the scope of this post.)

    Now, VZW's "Share Everything" plan is going to be $90/month for 1 GB of data (plus unlimited talk and text), $100/mo for two GB, and upwards from there (they don't have an unlimited data plan unless you're grandfathered in).

    Suppose you want 2 GB of data for month (as that's the easiest comparison). T-mobile is $60/month; Verizon is $100/month. That's $40 more per month. Remember where VZW was charging you $140 less for the phone? That's eaten up in the first four months of charges on the 2 GB plan. Two full years on the plan and you'll end up paying VZW a whopping $960 more in plan fees ($40 per month times 24 months). Sorta makes that $140 difference in the price of the phone look insignificant.

    Now, you may do this math and think, "Holy cow! I should totally go with T-Mobile because that will cost me $820 less over the life of the phone!" And that may be true. OTOH, that option doesn't exist for me, because there's crappy T-Mobile coverage in my neighborhood. Seriously crappy. I'm not talking slow data speeds here; I'm talking about nobody with T-Mobile can get a phone signal in my house -- and even when they go out to the driveway, they get maybe 1 bar and the call frequently drops. So I say to myself, "Self, do I want to save $820 or do I want a phone I can actually use?" For me, it was very clear that I had to go with VZW (and, believe me, I say this as someone with a deep abiding hatred of VZW), because they're the only ones with viable coverage. They say "It's the network," and, from where I'm sitting, it really is. So, I mean, I don't look at it as VZW charging me extra for the phone; I look at it as VZW charging me extra to use a network that actually works where I live. I hate it, but that's how it is.

    Anyway -- those are the sorts of factors you're going to want to look at before you make the call.
  8. speedlever

    speedlever Well-Known Member

    TMo offers a pretty good deal: $50 for a single user for unlimited talk, text, and data (well, 500 MB of high speed data and then unlimited at 2g with no extra charge). Add $10 for an extra 2 Gb of data. Add another $10 for unlimited data (5 GB?). Add $20/month for the EIP. That's $90/month for a lot of service. And when your EIP is paid off, your service plan drops back to $70 until you decide it's time to get a new phone.

    The trade-off is coverage. Or that was my concern. I also was going with 4 lines of service and I would be at $140/month plus $80/month for the EIP and 2.5GB/phone (no pie to share with the TMo plan). I could do AT&T (with a FAN discount) for less than that with a 10GB shared pie. I was more comfy with AT&T coverage than TMo. But I like TMo's idea. And VZW was simply too pricey.... which is why they lost me in the first place (I tried a VZW MVNO for about a year after years with VZW proper before finally bailing for AT&T).

    But a free plan is useless unless you have coverage. So price is not everything. I look for where I perceive value to be found. And while I grump at paying a subsidized price after the phone is paid for (end of the contract and beginning of month-to-month), I figured I might as well plan to upgrade the phones every couple of years. So the Tmo plan (coverage issues aside) was a wash for me when it came to comparing costs for 4 lines of smartphone service.

    Whether VZW or AT&T or TMo has the best coverage or fastest LTE/4g speeds is entirely dependent on local coverage. Each can excel (or stink) in any particular area. I do believe that VZW likely has the best national coverage. But so far, I have no complaints with AT&T coverage in the areas I've traveled.

    And that is my analysis in a nutshell. :D

    Edit: and I see that Adara posted pretty much the same as me while I was busy typing my post. ;)
  9. WalkaboutDavid

    WalkaboutDavid Well-Known Member

    The GSM carriers also have the option of a Nexus S4 - which I would love.

    VZW makes some annoying changes, deleting a few lot the nice features Samsung builds in.
  10. Money_Mark

    Money_Mark Well-Known Member

    These answers are all subjective to what your needs are. Maybe what you should be asking yourself is what phone is best for you? Is the GS4 the best phone for you? If cost is a concern, then best deal. Coverage, where do you live? Do you like to web browse, text, etc. Do the legwork buddy.
  11. speedlever

    speedlever Well-Known Member

    In fairness to the OP, he/she was asking about the best variant of the GS4 to purchase. We have mostly responded in terms of the best provider.... which is not what was asked for (but may be pertinent).

    Since we don't know where the OP lives, that might change the equation if one prefers the option of the octacore vs the quad core.

    Personally, I believe the carrier choice is more important than the variant choice, and responded in that vein.

    Or maybe the OP was asking which of the VZW, ATT, TMo, or Sprint versions is preferred for USA options. Perhaps the OP can be more definitive with the question.
  12. New Member

    New Member Active Member

    Thanks - I am curious about specific model as well from each carrier. I live just outside Los Angeles in an area called Thousand Oaks. We don't have the best coverage out here.
  13. WalkaboutDavid

    WalkaboutDavid Well-Known Member

    Op, I am out in TO all the time. I have had my VZW S4 there and had excellent reception. My buddy, who has an AT&T iPhone is happy too. Basically, both providers have solid LTE footprints there.

    Without taking coverage into account, VZW has the worst S4. For whatever the inane reasons, they disable a few features that every other s4 in the world has. Very minor issues, but still annoying.

    AT&T is closer to stock as is Tmobile. And, with Tmobile and AT&T you can also opt for the very desirable Nexus version.

    All versions of the S4 that I have seen have tons of provider crapware, btw.

    With coverage in account, the best option in the Southland is still VZW. AT&T is catching up, but their network is still way behind VZW.
  14. speedlever

    speedlever Well-Known Member

  15. New Member

    New Member Active Member

    I'm more inclined to go w/ TMO due to cost. I don't want to pay so heavily each month -- and even with the S4 mthly payments, it's still a save, right?

    How is TMO is the area? I'm also out in Agoura very often.

    Also - won't rooting take care of the bloatware? I also read that Samsung was (or had) released an update allowing users to transfer that bloatware to the SD card. I'm assuming it could be deleted from there, correct?
  16. New Member

    New Member Active Member

    Does anyone know when the new colors are supposed to come out?
  17. WalkaboutDavid

    WalkaboutDavid Well-Known Member

    I've heard mixed stuff about Tmobile. I did OK with a work tmobile blackberry and several of my friends like it. My brother-in-law had an HTC on Tmobile though and wound up paying the early termination fee because his reception was so poor. He wasn't even receiving 3G signal in parts of the city and was down to 2G/Edge.

    Personally, I think their no-contract model makes more sense than anything else out there.

    Samsung is said to be releasing a update that allows you to install new apps to the SD card. That won't have any impact on the apps installed on the phone by VZW, AT&T, etc.

    I am not somebody who roots. But, with the latest versions of Android, it is easy enough to disable crapware. Just annoying that you have to do it.

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