Okay this is placed in the "Help me find a deal" section, but I kinda want general experience comments and stuff like that (in a sense it is a deal, but not in the traditional aspect).
So my plan is about to expire. I have to option of moving from Sprint to any other carrier (or maybe even stay with sprint), but I wanted to know something, which is better overall in terms of least amount of money: going with those "big" carriers that lock you on a two-year contract (you buy your phone from them).. or you buy your own phone (unlocked) and go on those "no contract" carriers.
Right now I have a family plan of just talk (grandfathered Sprint plan with 800 minutes, 4 lines, for about ~$90ish (including tax) )
What caught my attention was a poster on macrumors[macrumors.com] mentioned the cost of plans (contract v. non-contract) and it got me thinking whether it's worth paying more for an unlocked phone).
2-year total cost of ownership breakdown
A&T: $199 iPhone 4S 16GB (subsidized carrier-locked handset) + $36 activation/upgrade fee + $2,880 service ($120/mo for unlimited talk, unlimited text, 3GB cellular data) = $3,115
Straight Talk: $649 unlocked iPhone 4S 16GB (from store.apple.com) + $15 Straight Talk SIM (one-time charge) + $1,080 service ($45/mo. no contract for unlimited talk, unlimited text, "unlimited" cellular data -- anecdotally about 2GB) = $1,744
Monthly cost of ownership
Straight Talk: $72.67 (it drops to just under $70 if you prepay for service for 3 months at $42/mo.)
I may be switching to a data plan (as there really aren't very "nice" looking phones offered by Sprint), but opinions ofr both
ok, I use boost mobile, unlimited talk test and web. it is on sprints network. There is no 4g within hundreds of miles from where I live. Also a key feature for me is the international connect, for the extra bit of cash I can call relatives all over the world (I have experience with england and canada it works well, I cant speak for other countries) I use the samsung galaxy prevail which is adequate for my needs (I use it to run epocrates, pandora, a couple of games, a weather app and that google gps thing + opera). I love the fact that it is no contract and I can drop it at any time plus shrinkage is a great bonus.
Downside is you pay for your phone (they are reasonably priced (galaxy prevail was $69 on black friday). I think it is 149 regular price right now but will likely be discounted on memorial day.
First things first figure out what you want to do with your phone. Also where you will be calling.
Second find out what each network offers coverage wise and speed wise (if there is no 4g anywhere around you then having a 4g phone may not make sense for you).
Third look at your budget.
write it all down then pick.
Depends how many minutes you need and whether you need much or any data or not.
Nowadays when people are completely new to prepaid, I tell them to check out Page Plus and go from there since PP has good/great plans for most people. Someone might want more data or a family plan would save them a few bucks or whatever and thus a different carrier might be better, but PP's plans is a good starting place to look at to get an idea if nothing else.
Also, you can use most any Verizon-branded phone on it you want other than 4g and maybe iPhone (I forget at the moment). It's pretty nice to have a kickass phone with wi-fi and whatever else yet not having to pay extra just to be able to use a smartphone.
There's other carriers with good deals too, but, like I said, I'd start there to get an idea.
After Verizon tried screwing me over while under contract and me not having many options to stop them, I pretty much swore off contracts after that. Screw contracts.
One thing to watch out for on prepaids is whether they can roam or not. There might be a cheap Sprint prepaid, but if the coverage sucks, you also might not even be able to make a call when out of area because it can't roam. Just something to keep in mind.
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