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Old 02-08-17, 12:03 PM   #1
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No contract phone plans-experiences, suggestions, best phones

I am starting this thread looking for some ideas, recommendations, and experiences in regards to no contract phones. I have had a pay as you go phone with T-mobile going on 12 years, but I am getting to the point where I am using my phone more and having a flip phone just isnt practical anymore. I have looked at a couple of options.

https://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/...ans-individual
I have looked into tmobile as I have had good luck with them as a customer. My price range is is probably in the $30-50 a month. They have a $40 month plan, but I know taxes will be extra.

I have looked at others companies that I know are on the cheap, such as Metro PCs, Boost Mobile, but I am kind of scared of them. I know their coverage maps usually are bad. I am in the Kansas City area and its usually covered in those plans, but not always good in other parts of the country if I travel anywhere. I am also looking for any good phone recommendations. I have thought about looking for a used phone at cell phone repair shops or buying a new phone. I just need a more reliable phone, and I am looking for some good ideas.

Last edited by Bluelitespecial; 02-12-17 at 01:44 AM.
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Old 02-08-17, 02:05 PM   #2
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Re: No contract phone plans-experiences, suggestions, best phones

MetroPCS is owned by T-Mobile so if you get good service with T-Mobile then you will probably be fine with MetroPCS.

How much are you looking to pay for the phone?
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Old 02-08-17, 02:31 PM   #3
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Re: No contract phone plans-experiences, suggestions, best phones

$200-$300, I worry about those really cheap phones they offer. I have a 64gb iPod touch that I use, but would like a phone with a decent amount of memory. I have read 16gb doesn't go very far when you account for software programs.
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Old 02-08-17, 02:42 PM   #4
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Re: No contract phone plans-experiences, suggestions, best phones

Have you looked at Project Fi by Google? Very limited on the phone selection, but maybe the $250 Nexus 5X would work for you. The service uses Sprint and T-Mobile towers, along with wifi when available.

Its $20 per month for unlimited talk and text, and then $10 prorated per GB. Included free tethering, and data in other countries is charged at the same rate.

I've been very happy with it. I don't use much cellular data, and my average total bill has been $29.
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Old 02-08-17, 03:15 PM   #5
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Re: No contract phone plans-experiences, suggestions, best phones

That's another idea I will look into, thanks. So that's $10 extra for a gb of data? I would primarily use wi fi when I can but I don't know how far 1gb would go. Plus is that all the data you are allowed? What if you go over? What about taxes?
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Old 02-08-17, 04:30 PM   #6
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Re: No contract phone plans-experiences, suggestions, best phones

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Originally Posted by Bluelitespecial View Post
That's another idea I will look into, thanks. So that's $10 extra for a gb of data? I would primarily use wi fi when I can but I don't know how far 1gb would go. Plus is that all the data you are allowed? What if you go over? What about taxes?
It depends on your usage. Light email and web would be OK with 1gb. If you go over then you are charged 1 cent per 10mb. There is no limit but if you use a lot of data then you should consider another plan which might be cheaper than project fi with high data usage.

If you are considering mvno like project fi, you can also look at mint which is a T-Mobile mvno. It is$12/mo for 2gb high speed data and unlimited talk and text, but you have to pay for 3 months at once. If you need more data you can do 10gb which is$20 per month, keep in mind that this also requires three month commitment. They do offer monthly but it costs a little more.

Last edited by D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB); 02-08-17 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 02-09-17, 02:23 PM   #7
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Re: No contract phone plans-experiences, suggestions, best phones

I have been very happy with Cricket. They use AT&T towers and we have had great coverage everywhere I have been. It's $35/mo out the door if you set up auto pay for unlimited talk/text and 3 GB of data. $45 for 8 GB of data. You can either buy a phone like the moto G4 or a used AT&T phone on swappa and put in the cricket sim. I bought an LG v10 for about $200 a number of months back. You can get a Note 4 or a V10 or the like for around 2-250 shipped there.
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Old 02-10-17, 07:53 AM   #8
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Re: No contract phone plans-experiences, suggestions, best phones

Note 4 is pretty old by smartphone standards. If you were to get a note, I would suggest a note 5 which can be had for around $300. The s7 can be had for just a little more used too, and still should have a little warranty left since the s7 was released in March.

I would avoid the lg v10 since it had the bootloop problem like my lg g4. If you do get one, make sure it has usa warranty as i had an lg g4 international unlocked h815 which had usa gsm LTE support but lg USA refused to warranty it for bootloop due to it being an international version.

If you decide to go with MetroPCS, the ZTE zmax pro is $100 and I got $60 off when I did a port in a few months ago, though not sure if that promotion is valid now. Really good phone for the price if you go with MetroPCS.

The honor 8 goes on sale occasionally dipping below $300 and has really good specs and performance for the price. I also have this phone and really like it on the current nougat build which is somewhat close to stock Android , not pixel or moto level by any means. There's also the ZTE blade and honor 6x for 230-250 but IMO, waiting for a sale on the honor 8 would be the better Deal.

Last edited by D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB); 02-10-17 at 08:01 AM.
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Old 02-10-17, 08:28 AM   #9
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Re: No contract phone plans-experiences, suggestions, best phones

I'm still using my 2 y/o Moto G3 and have been very happy. The hardware is solid, and the no-bloat pure Android software load has been a delight. I paid right at $200 for it new, and though it only has 16GB (which is on the low-end by 2017 standards) it's worked well for me.

It works fine with T-Mobile, though I'm with AT&T because of the relatively remote location where I work and the lack of availability of multiple providers to choose from. T-Mo and AT&T don't play well together down here any longer. I'm paying them a flat $45/month (prepaid) for 6 GB data w/rollover, but I'm confident you can get it for less from Cricket or another MVNO - I just don't have that option.
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Old 02-10-17, 08:39 AM   #10
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Re: No contract phone plans-experiences, suggestions, best phones

Quote:
Originally Posted by D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB) View Post
It depends on your usage. Light email and web would be OK with 1gb. If you go over then you are charged 1 cent per 10mb. There is no limit but if you use a lot of data then you should consider another plan which might be cheaper than project fi with high data usage.

If you are considering mvno like project fi, you can also look at mint which is a T-Mobile mvno. It is$12/mo for 2gb high speed data and unlimited talk and text, but you have to pay for 3 months at once. If you need more data you can do 10gb which is$20 per month, keep in mind that this also requires three month commitment. They do offer monthly but it costs a little more.
Hadn't heard of Mint.
https://www.mintsim.com/plans

Plans:
2GB/mo:
1 month = $35
3 months = $69 ($23/mo) << PROMO: $35 ($12/mo)
6 months = $119 ($20/mo)
12 months = $199 ($17/mo)

5GB/mo:
1 month = $50
3 months = $99 ($33/mo) << PROMO: $50 ($17/mo)
6 months = $169 ($28/mo)
12 months = $299 ($25/mo)

10GB/mo:
1 month = $60
3 months = $119 ($40/mo) << PROMO: $60 ($20/mo)
6 months = $209 ($35/mo)
12 months = $399 ($33/mo)

Decent prices, though the $20/mo for 10/GB is a promo offer for new customers only. Once your 3 months are up, everything reverts to normal. But it's almost cheap enough to buy a SIM just to try out the coverage down here. Thanks!
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Last edited by kenbuzz; 02-10-17 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 02-10-17, 09:36 AM   #11
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Re: No contract phone plans-experiences, suggestions, best phones

We've also been on Cricket for a few years now. We have 5 of us (various family) on one plan and it works out to ~$25 a month per person.

We play a lot of PokemonGo and don't have too many issues with running out of data.
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Old 02-10-17, 01:04 PM   #12
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Re: No contract phone plans-experiences, suggestions, best phones

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Originally Posted by kenbuzz View Post
Hadn't heard of Mint.
https://www.mintsim.com/plans

Plans:
2GB/mo:
1 month = $35
3 months = $69 ($23/mo) << PROMO: $35 ($12/mo)
6 months = $119 ($20/mo)
12 months = $199 ($17/mo)

5GB/mo:
1 month = $50
3 months = $99 ($33/mo) << PROMO: $50 ($17/mo)
6 months = $169 ($28/mo)
12 months = $299 ($25/mo)

10GB/mo:
1 month = $60
3 months = $119 ($40/mo) << PROMO: $60 ($20/mo)
6 months = $209 ($35/mo)
12 months = $399 ($33/mo)

Decent prices, though the $20/mo for 10/GB is a promo offer for new customers only. Once your 3 months are up, everything reverts to normal. But it's almost cheap enough to buy a SIM just to try out the coverage down here. Thanks!
I should add a disclaimer that they supplied me with a free trial through my association with another website but I used it a bit today and it seems to run just as well as MetroPCS when I had them a few months back, and MetroPCS is owned by T-Mobile
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Old 02-11-17, 10:06 AM   #13
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Re: No contract phone plans-experiences, suggestions, best phones

Zte blade pro is $210 now. It is specd similar to my Moto Z Play Droid and, assuming that it performs similarly to it, then the performance would be like 95% of my s7 edge. Beware though that it launches with marshmallow.

https://slickdeals.net/f/9762511-32-...si_v2_14390409

Last edited by D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB); 02-11-17 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 02-12-17, 12:51 PM   #14
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Re: No contract phone plans-experiences, suggestions, best phones

Honor 8 is $265 at Amazon. Very good bang for the buck... flagship or near flagship specs . I really like this phone considering the price.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...5ff2dea3510INT

For fairness, I was provided one for free due to my association with another website.
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Old 02-12-17, 01:02 PM   #15
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Re: No contract phone plans-experiences, suggestions, best phones

I have never heard of Huawei, it looks like the specs could be good. I have gotten some good ideas here. I will probably go talk to someone soon at Tmobile, Metro PCS, and maybe Cricket. I am waiting to do my taxes probably within the next month, to get a good idea on what my refund will be before I make my decision.
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Old 02-12-17, 02:02 PM   #16
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Re: No contract phone plans-experiences, suggestions, best phones

I have Google Project Fi and pay about 25 per month. For data you only pay for what you use. IF you don't use any you don't pay for it. The only problem there are only a few phones that support it.
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Old 02-12-17, 06:32 PM   #17
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Re: No contract phone plans-experiences, suggestions, best phones

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Originally Posted by Bluelitespecial View Post
I have never heard of Huawei, it looks like the specs could be good. I have gotten some good ideas here. I will probably go talk to someone soon at Tmobile, Metro PCS, and maybe Cricket. I am waiting to do my taxes probably within the next month, to get a good idea on what my refund will be before I make my decision.
Huawei is the second largest Android phone manufacturer in the world but they don't currently have a big USA presence
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Old 02-14-17, 02:43 PM   #18
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Re: No contract phone plans-experiences, suggestions, best phones

I was in Best Buy today and saw that Huawei honor phone. That was reall nice. Is there a place online to lookup what phone services it might be compatible with? I might be leaning towards Cricket.
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Old 02-14-17, 03:13 PM   #19
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Re: No contract phone plans-experiences, suggestions, best phones

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Originally Posted by Bluelitespecial View Post
I was in Best Buy today and saw that Huawei honor phone. That was reall nice. Is there a place online to lookup what phone services it might be compatible with? I might be leaning towards Cricket.
If you are referring to the honor 8 then it works with att and T-Mobile and their mvnos. Cricket is a wholly owned subsidiary of att so it will work.

This is a nice website to check network compatibility

http://willmyphonework.net
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Old 02-15-17, 05:50 AM   #20
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Re: No contract phone plans-experiences, suggestions, best phones

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Originally Posted by Bluelitespecial View Post
I am starting this thread looking for some ideas, recommendations, and experiences in regards to no contract phones. I have had a pay as you go phone with T-mobile going on 12 years, but I am getting to the point where I am using my phone more and having a flip phone just isnt practical anymore. I have looked at a couple of options.

https://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/...ans-individual
I have looked into tmobile as I have had good luck with them as a customer. My price range is is probably in the $30-50 a month. They have a $40 month plan, but I know taxes will be extra.
What is your usage profile like? Looking at your recent usage, how many minutes to you talk per month? How many texts do you send? How much data do you use?

Given the fact that you have had a flip phone, I'm guessing that your data usage would be minimal, or at least less than average, even once you get a smartphone.

If you don't use voice that much, you might want to consider the $30 plan on that T-mobile page you linked. It has 100 voice minutes, but unlimited text and data.

Another possibility you might want to consider is Ting (Ting is a T-mobile MVNO, so you'll see the same coverage). Ting bills you on tiered rates based on your actual usage for each category each month. If you have the usage data I asked about earlier, you can estimate what your monthly cost would be here:

https://ting.com/rates

If you have really light usage in voice and/or data, you can save a lot each month compared to normal smartphone plans. My parents switched from feature phones to iPhones a couple years ago, but because I knew they would hardly use the data, I put them on Ting. They also reduced their voice usage a lot, using more texting instead (now that texting was more convenient with smartphones vs. their feature phones), so they typically pay less than $40 a month for 2 smartphone lines on Ting.
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Old 02-15-17, 11:37 AM   #21
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Re: No contract phone plans-experiences, suggestions, best phones

I am really liking the $35 a month I have seen at Cricket. I would describe my usage as almost minimal, but I text a lot with family and some friends, talk sometimes, and would use the data that I think would fit in with the Cricket or MetroPCS plans. I have needed to get a better phone for a while now, I hate trying to text on it, the buttons are starting to not work, plus I would like a more reliable phone when I travel. When I have gone to visit my sister in Wisconsin, my phone doesn't work, so that is important to me. I like the idea of Ting, but the coverage is limited in Wisconsin.
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Old 02-15-17, 11:51 AM   #22
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Re: No contract phone plans-experiences, suggestions, best phones

I would like that $30 a month for tmobile, but that 100 minutes a month is that all you would get for talk time? Or would it just be a certain rate if you go over?
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Old 02-15-17, 03:13 PM   #23
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Re: No contract phone plans-experiences, suggestions, best phones

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Originally Posted by Bluelitespecial View Post
I would like that $30 a month for tmobile, but that 100 minutes a month is that all you would get for talk time? Or would it just be a certain rate if you go over?
I believe it charges you $.10 a minute once you use up your 100 minutes. I usually just keep $10 extra in my account in the rare instances I go over my 100 minutes. Add in the fact that Binge On works with that plan (as well as T-Mobile Tuesday giveaways), and it does everything I need it for.
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Old 02-23-17, 12:24 PM   #24
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Re: No contract phone plans-experiences, suggestions, best phones

I've been with Virgin Mobile since 2010. They're owned by Sprint, so coverage will largely mirror Sprint's in your area. The standard plan is $35/month for unlimited talk & text and 5GB of LTE. Since I work from home most days, 5GB is more than enough for me... in fact, I can't even think of the last time I hit 2GB, much less 5GB.

Random observations:

- Sprint really has improved its network, at least here in the Charlotte area. Used to be that there were huge "dead zones" throughout my county, but almost all of these have been fixed, and the network that's there is much faster than it was before.

- Virgin accounts now include "Data Free Music" from Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, Slacker and Napster. As you might guess, streaming from those services doesn't count against your data cap. I had to drive to Raleigh for work yesterday (almost 6 hours round trip) and listened to Spotify nearly the entire time. When I left I'd used 240MB of my data this month; when I got to my destination, I'd used 246MB, which was mostly Google Maps.

- Newer VM phones include voice roaming. Sprint doesn't (didn't?) own towers in a lot of rural areas. So they had tower-sharing agreements with Verizon. But Sprint only allowed Sprint phones to use those towers. A new months ago, they enabled those towers for VM customers for voice use. So if your car breaks down in BFE, you can at least make a call now instead of getting the old "No Service" message.

- VM sells iPhones and Galaxies. If you wanna pay $600-$900 for one, you can. Traditionally, VM's mid-range phones - the $149-$299 models - were trash. Take a mid-range Android phone on Verizon, but give it 1/4 the storage and half the RAM, a significantly worse camera, and an older version of Android, and that's what VM's phones would be like. And they'd lock up, crash and reboot a lot, too. However, the phones have gotten much better over the last couple of years. I can't speak for other brands, but their LG phones are pretty decent, and my current phone - the Stylo 2 - has gotten several security updates & bugfixes, and was upgraded to Nougat a month ago.
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Old 02-23-17, 04:04 PM   #25
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Re: No contract phone plans-experiences, suggestions, best phones

I'm with Republic. They have phones to buy or you can BYOP (certain phones). Their thing is pushing you toward wifi whenever possible. Their most popular plan now is $20 for unlimited text and calls and 1 GB of LTE data. Of course all the wifi data is free since it's not theirs.

They use Sprint towers, I think, although they might have (or be getting) a second with their new phones/plans.

I do need a new phone because mine (Moto X a couple years old) has crappy battery life now, but other than that I'm happy with them and of course the price is right.
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