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4G Android phone megathread


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#3101 drbretto


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Posted 19 August 2015 - 11:17 AM

Ok, well, anyway.

 

If anyone reading this thread DOESN'T want to waste all their money on their cellphone bills for the rest of their lives, here's a tip: Half of your bill is most likely your phone, regardless of how much your phone actually costs. And you will continue to pay for it long after your contract is up. These kinds of contracts have become obsolete. The phone companies don't even advertise them anymore. Instead, they simply let people who are content throwing their money away continue to do so for as long as they want to, but are advertising the new type of plans to get new customers. I can't speak for Verizon, but AT&T will allow you to switch even in the middle of a contract.

 

The new way things are done now requires no contracts or early termination fees. New phones are offered with no money down at all, and you pay a monthly fee that is not only less than the added fees for your contract plan to begin with, but they also stop charging you once the phone is paid off. The phone acts as the "early termination fee" as if you leave for the competition, you will be billed for the rest of the phone. That amount is generally less than a typical ETF from a contract. They also allow you to trade in your phone every year, instead of 2 years. All you end up having to do is pay the new monthly fee for the new phone. You return the old phone and the debt is wiped out. 

 

There's no catch. This is what they needed to do to stay competitive. There is no reason not to call and see if you can switch right now unless you're grandfathered in to an unlimited plan or something to that effect. This will see nearly 100% of regular AT&T and Verizon customers paying less than they are currently paying even if the phone is not fully paid off. 

 

When I made the switch, I was with AT&T sometime in the first year of my contract. I was not only able to switch from my contract without breaking it, but I got a brand new phone just months after the previous upgrade and dropped the overall bill (2 lines) by around $20 per month. I then ditched that phone for a new one a year later. It ended up increasing my bill by $1 because I got a more expensive phone this time. Had I stayed with AT&T long enough to pay the two phones off, it would have saved a combined $56 per month. Instead, I had to leave because I moved to an area that AT&T didn't cover. Instead of an ETF, I had to pay out the last $100 for my HTC One M8 that I now use as my backup MP3 player. 

 

Literally, there is no downside. Save some money AND get new stuff.


Edited by drbretto, 19 August 2015 - 11:20 AM.


#3102 Rsox4life

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 12:38 PM

Dr Bretto,
I have Verizon and never thought about it but if I call them what should i say. My wife has an iPhone 6 and I have the note 3. We are pretty happy with our phones but would love to save some money each month. What would you ask/say if I call them. Currently we have 2 lines unlimited text and talk and 10gb of date each month. My upgrade is in February my wife's is a long time off but she is the primary line. Any advice how to approach Verizon would be appreciated.

#3103 jayhoz


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Posted 19 August 2015 - 01:04 PM

I am having an issue receiving SMS images.  Started yesterday.  I get a message saying "Receiving Message Failed".  I was using hello as my messaging app.  I have switched to hangouts to see if that changes anything, but have not received a text yet.

 

Thoughts?



#3104 drbretto


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Posted 19 August 2015 - 01:05 PM

You don't need to circumvent anything. Just call them up and ask them about Verizon Edge (not sure if that's what they still call it or not). I had AT&T and I did mine online, but chatted with someone to make sure I was reading it all right. It was very easy, I just clicked the "change my plan" button and picked a new phone and new package. 



#3105 Rod Becks Mullet

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Posted 20 August 2015 - 01:56 PM

possibly stupid question - my Sprint contract is up in October and I was hoping to ride it out with my Galaxy 4 until then, but its been going downhill quickly.  I've been on the Google Fi waiting list about a month (still showing 4-8 weeks as my waiting period), but was thinking of purchasing a Nexus 6 in the meantime.  If I get one online that's listed as "unlocked" does that mean it would work with whatever service I need?  So I can buy it, use it with Sprint until I get the Fi invite?



#3106 drbretto


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Posted 20 August 2015 - 02:03 PM

Correct. As long as it's unlocked, you should be fine. Just make sure that you don't enter a new contract period, obviously, because Google isn't going to pay your ETF :P



#3107 Monbo Jumbo


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Posted 20 August 2015 - 02:15 PM

possibly stupid question - my Sprint contract is up in October and I was hoping to ride it out with my Galaxy 4 until then, but its been going downhill quickly.  I've been on the Google Fi waiting list about a month (still showing 4-8 weeks as my waiting period), but was thinking of purchasing a Nexus 6 in the meantime.  If I get one online that's listed as "unlocked" does that mean it would work with whatever service I need?  So I can buy it, use it with Sprint until I get the Fi invite?


Yes, this is what I did. Make sure it is a north american model if you are buying used online. I think somewhere I read someone had trouble getting one purchased from Motorola to work on Sprint, but if you're buying from Google, it won't be a problem.

#3108 Fratboy


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Posted 20 August 2015 - 08:05 PM

When I got my Droid Turbo in October 2014, I also got a 2 year customer loyalty plan for $60/month for 2GB data, unlimited text and talk, and the net cost of my phone was $150, taking into account the $100 gift card I got from Verizon I can use for my next phone. The total 2 year cost was cheaper than if I'd gone to any other carrier and gotten a comparable unsubsidized phone and a similar data plan.

 

I ran the numbers for 7 different options and was ready to switch. It made the most sense for me to stick with Big Red.

 

YMMV.



#3109 glennhoffmania


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Posted 21 August 2015 - 10:23 AM

I would still stick with the M9. It's just a direct upgrade over what she has and the HTC issues just mean there won't be any new ones. If that design is already what she's used to, it's still a great phone. 

 

 

Should the software upgrades be a concern though?  Their announcement that they won't be releasing a fix to lollipop really pissed me off, so now we have to wait until probably at least Jan. for marshmallow.  I don't know anything about this stuff but it would seem logical to assume that their failure to provide updates could be related to their current problems, no?



#3110 drbretto


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Posted 23 August 2015 - 07:40 AM

 
Should the software upgrades be a concern though?  Their announcement that they won't be releasing a fix to lollipop really pissed me off, so now we have to wait until probably at least Jan. for marshmallow.  I don't know anything about this stuff but it would seem logical to assume that their failure to provide updates could be related to their current problems, no?


That's a good point, I suppose. I generally hadn't bothered with updates in the past so I never rlly thought of it from that angle. I don't have a good answer for you unfortunately.

#3111 crystalline

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 08:12 AM

When I got my Droid Turbo in October 2014, I also got a 2 year customer loyalty plan for $60/month for 2GB data, unlimited text and talk, and the net cost of my phone was $150, taking into account the $100 gift card I got from Verizon I can use for my next phone. The total 2 year cost was cheaper than if I'd gone to any other carrier and gotten a comparable unsubsidized phone and a similar data plan.
 
I ran the numbers for 7 different options and was ready to switch. It made the most sense for me to stick with Big Red.
 
YMMV.


Right. You are the person who wants the latest and greatest phone, so the subsidized-phone plans can make sense. Me, I tend to hold onto phones for longer than two years and I often buy last year's model, so it made sense for me to switch to a T-Mobile unsubsidized plan. (Thank you to the thread for telling me about this a few years ago.)

Also thank you T-Mobile (or should we thank Deutsche Telekom?) for introducing no-phone-subsidy plans in the US and forcing Verizon and AT&T to change their policies via competition.

#3112 Boggs26

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 08:14 AM

Has anyone seen any decent estimates for a LG Nexus5 2015 release date?

Also, for the Google Fi folks, is it a good bet that the new Nexus phones will be supported?

#3113 Monbo Jumbo


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Posted 23 August 2015 - 08:23 AM

October is a good guess, or early Nov.

Every new Nexus phone in North America will support Fi. There's no point in them ever releasing a new phone without it.

So there should be three phones that support Fi then. 1st and 2nd gen 6, and 2nd gen 5.

Edited by Monbo Jumbo, 23 August 2015 - 08:24 AM.


#3114 smastroyin


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Posted 23 August 2015 - 08:49 AM

Yeah I'm not sure the unsubsidized deals are that great. I re-priced my current plan with VZW new plan same options and it was $9 more per month despite having to pay for my own equipment going forward.

#3115 saintnick912


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Posted 23 August 2015 - 10:25 AM

Rumors are pointing towards October for the Nexus release this year, at least the new 5.  Unsure on any other devices (new 6, any tablet).



#3116 Boggs26

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 10:33 AM

Monbo and Saintnick, thanks for the info. I'm currently in the Verizon edge program, but I'm thinking about buying the nexus outright, paying off the rest of my G3 and selling it on eBay and then leaving Verizon for Fi. I think I should more or less break even on the initial deal and then save something like $80 a month from them on. Does this sound logical or am I missing something?

#3117 Monbo Jumbo


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Posted 23 August 2015 - 10:40 AM

Monbo and Saintnick, thanks for the info. I'm currently in the Verizon edge program, but I'm thinking about buying the nexus outright, paying off the rest of my G3 and selling it on eBay and then leaving Verizon for Fi. I think I should more or less break even on the initial deal and then save something like $80 a month from them on. Does this sound logical or am I missing something?

 

Obviously, the price of the new Nexus 5 is an unknown. Reportedly, it will be less than the 6, with the 6 being pushed as their premium phone - but until it's out, who knows?

 

But yes - the math I did coming over from Sprint was very favorable, especially if I keep this phone for a while. Right now, my Fi bill is on track for $30. this month, incl taxes and fees.  If you're paying for data you don't use, you are getting ripped off. 


Edited by Monbo Jumbo, 23 August 2015 - 10:42 AM.


#3118 Boggs26

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 10:48 AM

That's what I figured. I've never used more than 6gb in a month and I'm usually closer to 3 yet with Verizon I'm sharing 15 between my wife and I and she never breaks 2.5

Unfortunately I'm not sure if I can talk her into switching, so I will have to see what Verizon's individual plans are.

#3119 glennhoffmania


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Posted 24 August 2015 - 08:26 AM

That's a good point, I suppose. I generally hadn't bothered with updates in the past so I never rlly thought of it from that angle. I don't have a good answer for you unfortunately.

 

I never did either but I got tired of the update reminder popping up on my phone every day and there was no way to disable it.  So I finally gave in and while it hasn't been terrible I can't believe they aren't making the minor fixes available.



#3120 drbretto


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Posted 25 August 2015 - 09:18 AM

Yeah I'm not sure the unsubsidized deals are that great. I re-priced my current plan with VZW new plan same options and it was $9 more per month despite having to pay for my own equipment going forward.

 

I meant to reply to this one a few days ago but forgot about it. 

 

That sucks that it's more per month. Is that because they're making you pay off the current phone though? There's no way that it's more expensive and that's not including paying for the phone. Once the phone is paid off, the bill would have to be lower, where you'd have the option of purchasing (outright or monthly) a new phone, or keeping the existing on and no longer paying for it. I only have experience with the AT&T side. When I did it, it saved a few bucks per month before the phone. All I know about the Verizon plan is that it's a similar concept though, I don't know the details.



#3121 smastroyin


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Posted 25 August 2015 - 10:44 AM

Because I have been a smart phone user for a long time, I am grandfathered in for fairly cheap data, and I get a corporate discount that doesn't apply to data.  Of course VZW's next step will be to eliminate my fairly cheap data at which point moving over will be roughly cost neutral, and then if they take the next step and apply the corp discount to the VZW plans I can save some money, but only about $12/month.

 

In exchange for that, I have to buy my own equipment.  Say I wanted an LG G4.  Currently I can get a subsidized one for $199.  Full price is $550.  So over the course of two years, I save $288 on my monthly plan in order to pay $350 more for the phone itself.  

 

Now, I'm not on a contract so that's worth something.  And I can bring my own equipment, so go to ebay or whatever and see if I can find a cheaper G4 than VZW's retail price, etc.  And I don't have any obligation to upgrade my equipment in two years, so the savings are until the phone dies if I don't care about something new.  But, my impression remains that the new pricing models are meant to secure as much money for the phone companies while giving the illusion that they are competing with low cost carriers.  



#3122 timlinin8th

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Posted 25 August 2015 - 02:27 PM

my impression remains that the new pricing models are meant to secure as much money for the phone companies while giving the illusion that they are competing with low cost carriers.  


There's something to this. The last contract I got into a little bit ago (just prior to VZW announcing they were going to the no-contract model) was an incredibly cheap "loyalty" package I got that included a subsidized LG G3. Having looked at the new plans, mine now is actually a little cheaper than if I was on a contract-free plan + phone cost.

Its all about being able to advertise a lower number. You know they didn't switch to this model thinking they're going to lose money, so regardless of how the funny numbers go I'm sure the average dollar cost to the consumer is roughly about the same. The ones who probably get burned are the actual cellphone companies, as people won't be spurred to upgrade on a regular cycle at the end of contract anymore.

#3123 Trautwein's Degree


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Posted 27 August 2015 - 03:03 PM

I have the Moto X 2014 and I like it a lot. But I'm on AttNext12. I'm ready to upgrade but my only real options are the GS6 and iPhone since Moto is selling direct. First world problems for sure, but it's a weird transition in the industry. My instinct is that my aversion to Samsung bloatware is going to push me to Apple bloatware.

#3124 Trautwein's Degree


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Posted 28 August 2015 - 07:24 AM

Even more fugged up is the best plan of attack for me is to "upgrade" my Moto X 2014 to a 2014 refurb Moto G. This would reduce my monthly cost by $23. Then I would buy the Moto Pure outright and let my Moto G collect dust. 



#3125 Seven Costanza


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Posted 28 August 2015 - 07:51 AM

I don't quite follow you here- are you on a plan with ATT that has separate device & service payments?  Why not just buy the new Moto of your choice outright and forgo the device payment?

 

Or are you in a traditional wireless contract and want to continue/re up with one?



#3126 Trautwein's Degree


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Posted 28 August 2015 - 11:46 AM

I don't quite follow you here- are you on a plan with ATT that has separate device & service payments?  Why not just buy the new Moto of your choice outright and forgo the device payment?
 
Or are you in a traditional wireless contract and want to continue/re up with one?

Because I'll end up paying like $300 for my Moto X 2014 which isn't worth close to that. Buying a new Moto for $400 outright and paying off a cheaper $135 Moto g is cheaper.

It's screwy and not even my idea. I pulled it off some phone message board. But it's a way to get the phone I want, save money every month, and break away from Next.

Edited by Trautwein's Degree, 28 August 2015 - 11:51 AM.


#3127 Seven Costanza


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Posted 28 August 2015 - 11:53 AM

Ah, I see what you're saying.  Got it. 

 

If you do end up with a G for any length of time, I'd be interested to hear your opinion on it.



#3128 saintnick912


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Posted 28 August 2015 - 11:59 AM

I got my parents both 2014 G's.  I tried one of them a bit, and you really feel the 1GB of RAM and I'd have problems with the 8GB storage.  The screen is surprisingly decent, the camera is crap but had to cut corners somewhere.  They both had flip phones before so anything was an improvement.

 

The 2015 on the other hand, I think I could get by with the 2GB/16GB model as a regular phone if mine died in a fire, and it's a steal at $229.



#3129 Trautwein's Degree


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Posted 28 August 2015 - 03:32 PM

Decided to opt for the S6 Active. Fantastic camera and battery life. Not to mention the added durability is a plus given my kids are 2 and 5.






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