Tech Talk Discuss PC Hardware, Software, Internet and Other Technology

Benefits of an unlocked phone?

Old 10-31-13, 03:03 PM
  #1  
Psi
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
Thread Starter
 
Psi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Texas
Posts: 8,985
Benefits of an unlocked phone?

Google just launched a Nexus 5 today, $349 for 16 GB and $399 for 32 GB, both unlocked: https://play.google.com/store/device...s_5_black_32gb

I want to wait for the reviews, but otherwise I am very interested in this. I am free from my previous contract with Verizon, and can start with any carrier I choose. If I buy this phone, how do I get the benefit of a lower monthly fee with a major carrier like AT&T? (The phone won't work with Verizon) Since I will be paying $349-399 for this phone, I hope to pay less per month than someone else who buys a phone from them for $200.

The lower monthly fee is important to me, more than the absence of a new contract.

Last edited by Psi; 10-31-13 at 04:43 PM. Reason: Fix price error
Psi is offline  
Old 10-31-13, 03:44 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 38,649
Re: Benefits of an unlocked phone?

I assume a pre-paid service like StraightTalk that uses the AT&T network at a much lower price?
RichC2 is offline  
Old 10-31-13, 04:06 PM
  #3  
Banned by request
 
Supermallet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Termite Terrace
Posts: 54,156
Re: Benefits of an unlocked phone?

You can do pre-paid, or T-Mobile will offer you a lower monthly rate on postpaid. Also, if you're ever out of the country, you can pop in the SIM of a local carrier and not pay the exorbitant roaming charges.
Supermallet is offline  
Old 10-31-13, 04:40 PM
  #4  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 1,642
Re: Benefits of an unlocked phone?

AT&T and Sprint will not give a discount even if you bring you own device. As the other posters mentioned T-Mobile will. Straight Talk does not give a discount but its service is a better deal for some people.

The main benefits of the unlock phone is: 1) no contract 2) the ability to move to on different network and 3) higher resale value. For the specs the Nexus seems to be a good deal.

Last edited by Kdogg; 10-31-13 at 08:40 PM.
Kdogg is offline  
Old 10-31-13, 06:25 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk Hero
 
D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB)'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Stick out your tongue!
Posts: 39,190
Re: Benefits of an unlocked phone?

What are your needs? How much data do you use a month? Minutes? Texts?

For example, the 5gb,100 minutes, unlimited text for $30 on tmobile is great if it works for you.

If you need Unlimited Minutes and texts but 2gb data is enough then Verizon has a $60 loyalty plan. You don't get a discount off contract, but it is cheaper than the closest tmobile plan, once you factor in the subsidy

If you need Unlimited everything, then tmobile $70 plan is a good option.

If your concern is strictly about getting a lower monthly rate for for not using a subsidy, but you don't care about how much you pay overall after say two years, then att, Verizon and Sprint aren't for you as they don't offer discounts for off contract. But if you are interested in paying the lowest total cost overall after say two years, then the best plan would depend on your usage.

With regards to unlocked phones, most of Verizon's current 4GLTE smartphones are factory sim unlocked. For example, the Verizon iPhone 5s and 5c can be moved to att or tmobile as they are factory sim unlocked, and contain all the frequencies that the tmo and att version support. But this would depend on the device. The Verizon phones which are factory sim unlocked can also be used overseas.

Also, since you are currently on Verizon, you can buy a contract phone, then immediately port the number to another carrier. This would trigger etf automatically, but may be cheaper. For example, the iPhone 5s was $100 last week, so even with etf and upgrade fee, you are looking at $480,which is cheaper than any off contract 5s unlocked at the moment. Yes, $100 was the sale price last week and no longer valid , but I am sure that a new promotion would surface in the future

Last edited by D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB); 10-31-13 at 06:43 PM.
D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB) is offline  
Old 10-31-13, 07:00 PM
  #6  
Psi
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
Thread Starter
 
Psi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Texas
Posts: 8,985
Re: Benefits of an unlocked phone?

Thanks for all the replies.

Looks like T-Mobile is my best option. I don't need a lot of talk minutes or text messages, but I would like a fair amount of data, >5 GB per month.
Psi is offline  
Old 10-31-13, 07:23 PM
  #7  
Banned by request
 
Supermallet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Termite Terrace
Posts: 54,156
Re: Benefits of an unlocked phone?

T-Mo is definitely your best option, then. But check and see if they've activated LTE in your area first.
Supermallet is offline  
Old 10-31-13, 07:25 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk Hero
 
D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB)'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Stick out your tongue!
Posts: 39,190
Re: Benefits of an unlocked phone?

Yeah, tmo $70 plan would be good for you then. Also if you upgrade frequently, the jump program allows you to upgrade every 6 months and includes insurance, so avoids the hassle of resell .


If you have unlimited and wanted to move to tmobile, you can sell your unlimited plan for $300, but you would lose your number


Before porting, make sure that tmobile or whoever you choose has good service where you need it. Keep in mind that especially indoors, service can vary substantially even in the same building. In my house, it can vary from 3 to 5 bars. At work, it varies from 4 bars to very limited 2g service.

Originally Posted by Psi View Post
Thanks for all the replies.

Looks like T-Mobile is my best option. I don't need a lot of talk minutes or text messages, but I would like a fair amount of data, >5 GB per month.

Last edited by D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB); 10-31-13 at 07:32 PM.
D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB) is offline  
Old 10-31-13, 09:19 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
flair's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,294
Re: Benefits of an unlocked phone?

I picked a Nexus 5 up today, upgraded from the N4. I've mentioned it before, but I use Straight Talk with ATT towers. They recently switched to LTE service as well. Amazon.com has 6 month refills for $210 every so often, so about $800 total for a new phone and 12 months of service. If you have multiple lines you can get better deals than that, but I only need the one.
flair is offline  
Old 10-31-13, 09:38 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk Hero
 
D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB)'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Stick out your tongue!
Posts: 39,190
Re: Benefits of an unlocked phone?

Doesn't straight talk have a cap of 2gb or something like that

Originally Posted by flair View Post
I picked a Nexus 5 up today, upgraded from the N4. I've mentioned it before, but I use Straight Talk with ATT towers. They recently switched to LTE service as well. Amazon.com has 6 month refills for $210 every so often, so about $800 total for a new phone and 12 months of service. If you have multiple lines you can get better deals than that, but I only need the one.
D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB) is offline  
Old 10-31-13, 09:41 PM
  #11  
Psi
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
Thread Starter
 
Psi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Texas
Posts: 8,985
Re: Benefits of an unlocked phone?

"Picked up" as in, you have it already, or did you place an order? They are quoting 2-3 weeks shipment on the Google Play web site.
Psi is offline  
Old 11-01-13, 08:28 AM
  #12  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 38,649
Re: Benefits of an unlocked phone?

Originally Posted by D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB) View Post
Doesn't straight talk have a cap of 2gb or something like that
Yep, it's 2.5gb before throttling. Not too shabby for $45.
RichC2 is offline  
Old 11-01-13, 10:01 AM
  #13  
DVD Talk Hero
 
D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB)'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Stick out your tongue!
Posts: 39,190
Re: Benefits of an unlocked phone?

Originally Posted by RichC2 View Post
Yep, it's 2.5gb before throttling. Not too shabby for $45.
Thanks for the clarification. It is a good deal for those who need Unlimited talk and text, but use less than 2.5gb. Though the op said he uses >5gb,so it isn't a good fit. It is kinda deceiving because they advertise unlimited talk text and web, but web is limited if you read the fine print. I have read that some who have used under 3gb have been terminated on StraightTalk as well, not sure if they still do that though for those who exceed the limit
D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB) is offline  
Old 11-01-13, 10:12 AM
  #14  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: MA
Posts: 11,140
Re: Benefits of an unlocked phone?

Does the N5 work on Sprint or is it ATT/TMO only?
Noonan is offline  
Old 11-01-13, 10:39 AM
  #15  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: US
Posts: 9,623
Re: Benefits of an unlocked phone?

There is only a single model, works with t-mo/at&t (gsm) and sprint (cdma), buy having both types of radios inside. Android central confirmed with sprint that the play store variety will activate on sprint. Apparently the only issue you might have is needing to get a sim card from sprint, which means you'll have to go to the sprint store.

If you buy it directly from sprint, it will already have the sim card.
Dave99 is offline  
Old 11-01-13, 10:41 AM
  #16  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: MA
Posts: 11,140
Re: Benefits of an unlocked phone?

Thanks Dave. I read that Sprint was releasing it next week but I wasn't sure if the Play Store model was the same or GSM only. If that's the case, I may bite on a 32gb model soon.
Noonan is offline  
Old 11-01-13, 06:15 PM
  #17  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
flair's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,294
Re: Benefits of an unlocked phone?

Originally Posted by D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB) View Post
Thanks for the clarification. It is a good deal for those who need Unlimited talk and text, but use less than 2.5gb. Though the op said he uses >5gb,so it isn't a good fit. It is kinda deceiving because they advertise unlimited talk text and web, but web is limited if you read the fine print. I have read that some who have used under 3gb have been terminated on StraightTalk as well, not sure if they still do that though for those who exceed the limit
They now cap to 2G when you hit 2.5GB. I've never come close to that. Wifi at my house, Wifi at work, free wifi around all of downtown. Only really use data when I'm in on the road.
flair is offline  
Old 11-04-13, 01:11 PM
  #18  
Psi
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
Thread Starter
 
Psi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Texas
Posts: 8,985
Re: Benefits of an unlocked phone?

I stopped by T-Mobile on the weekend. Looks like I will start with their $50-60/month plan to see how slow they throttle the speed down to when I exceed the plan threshold.

Since there is no contract, it is easy to adjust up or down, depending on their speed and coverage is in my area. I like their pricing method a lot more than the AT&T or Verizon way.
Psi is offline  
Old 11-04-13, 02:48 PM
  #19  
Banned by request
 
Supermallet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Termite Terrace
Posts: 54,156
Re: Benefits of an unlocked phone?

T-Mobile is by far the most consumer friendly of the national carriers at the moment.
Supermallet is offline  
Old 11-04-13, 03:15 PM
  #20  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 25,062
Re: Benefits of an unlocked phone?

Originally Posted by Supermallet View Post
T-Mobile is by far the most consumer friendly of the national carriers at the moment.
Yeah, I just switched after being on AT&T for years and I'm loving T-Mobile. Better service in New York than AT&T, believe it or not. And my bill dropped $40.
Tracer Bullet is offline  
Old 11-04-13, 07:44 PM
  #21  
DVD Talk Hero
 
D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB)'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Stick out your tongue!
Posts: 39,190
Re: Benefits of an unlocked phone?

Originally Posted by Supermallet View Post
T-Mobile is by far the most consumer friendly of the national carriers at the moment.
Yeah, I am actually jealous. Verizon won't give you anything more than what they have to
D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB) is offline  
Old 11-04-13, 08:13 PM
  #22  
Banned by request
 
Supermallet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Termite Terrace
Posts: 54,156
Re: Benefits of an unlocked phone?

Don't worry, once enough people switch, T-Mobile will become completely draconian and we'll all scramble to find another carrier.
Supermallet is offline  
Old 11-04-13, 09:31 PM
  #23  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 38,649
Re: Benefits of an unlocked phone?

Yeah, I loved T-mobile's customer service, shame their service is ass everywhere I go.
RichC2 is offline  
Old 11-05-13, 07:46 AM
  #24  
DVD Talk Hero
 
D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB)'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Stick out your tongue!
Posts: 39,190
Re: Benefits of an unlocked phone?

Originally Posted by Supermallet View Post
Don't worry, once enough people switch, T-Mobile will become completely draconian and we'll all scramble to find another carrier.
I really hope that tmobile did much better than Verizon in last quarter. That may give Verizon incentive to ease up
D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB) is offline  
Old 11-05-13, 08:14 AM
  #25  
Psi
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
Thread Starter
 
Psi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Texas
Posts: 8,985
Re: Benefits of an unlocked phone?

These two articles made me decide to give T-Mobile a try. I'll just have to see how good their coverage is in my area. Their map says no problem

T-Mobile doing away with contracts

T-Mobile eliminating international roaming charges
Psi is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.