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Cell phone questions
#11
ibofightback Wrote:From a consumer perspective the main issue with 3G vs 4G is internet speed. 3G can offer speeds of up to 3-4Mbps. 4G can get over 100Mbps. That's fast enough for high quality video transfer.

So if I get a 4G phone, it's not guaranteed to be able to go that fast, right? The service provider (Sprint, AT&T, etc.) has to be set up to handle that speed. Am I understanding this correctly? Most of the information I gather on the Wireless MarketPlus site about phones and plans refers to 3G. It's tempting to just go with a 3G phone, because of cost and more choices.

Here's my main question: Is it important to get a 4G smart phone to be prepared to take advantage of upcoming faster speeds while on the Internet, or is a 3G phone fine for now since that seems to be the more common speed available right now? There's plenty of free (and very cheap: $50 or less) 3G smart phones available (with a 2-year contract extension) on the Wireless MarketPlus site. The 4G phones are a couple hundred bucks.
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#12
depends entirely on what you plan on using the phone for and how much cash you're willing to spend.

If you want to watch streaming video and spend most of your time in a 4G area, can find an affordable plan that suits you, you'll be set for a few years.

I recently bought a smart phone but wanted something smaller, which means smaller screen and thus not so suited to streaming video, and didn't even worry about 4G even though it's available here.

Unless you have a specific need in mind, it's my opinion that by the time 4G is widely spread and useful, you'll probably be off contract and in the market for a new phone.
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#13
Thanks IBOFightBack. It's helpful to get advice from people who aren't trying to sell me stuff. Over the course of my life I've gotten myself into trouble (again and again) by trusting salespeople too much, without doing my own homework and thinking things through properly. (I should be making "what not to do" resolutions, but that's another topic.) Back to cell phones, another thing to consider is whether plan prices are tiered based on the data volume I'll be accessing. I'd expect that some companies would charge more for a 4G plan versus a 3G plan. Although I've heard that Sprint (my current provider) has data friendly plans that don't charge a lot of extra fees.
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#14
ajgannon Wrote:Thanks IBOFightBack. It's helpful to get advice from people who aren't trying to sell me stuff. Over the course of my life I've gotten myself into trouble (again and again) by trusting salespeople too much, without doing my own homework and thinking things through properly. (I should be making "what not to do" resolutions, but that's another topic.) Back to cell phones, another thing to consider is whether plan prices are tiered based on the data volume I'll be accessing. I'd expect that some companies would charge more for a 4G plan versus a 3G plan. Although I've heard that Sprint (my current provider) has data friendly plans that don't charge a lot of extra fees.


This is really a personal decision, but you have to be *very* careful. I bought my phone outright rather than on contract, and use a prepaid card that has a cap on data fees. It's a great setup for me but from what I gather nothing so good available in the US Sad
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#15
AJ,
I have a HTC Hero (Droid) from Sprint. So 3G. I believe all their plans have unlimited data. So my phone has a certain number of minutes, and unlimited data (Internet).
We used to have the "simply everything" plan--unlimited minutes, but since all mobile-to-mobile calls (any carrier) are free, we found that are using very few of our minutes, since everyone is using their cell phones now.

I upload (to Facebook) and email photos from my phone, but I don't upload video (haven't had a need to at this point).

As far as being able to surf the Net, I can do it as fast as I can type on my tiny touch screen. Smile And I watch YouTube videos like normal.

A lot of websites now have mobile platforms, so that's another reason why the speeds seem similar to a laptop--you're getting a pared down version of the website.

My Hero gives me the ability to go "Full Site," and that does slow things down, but I very rarely have to do that. The mobile versions are sufficient for what I need on the go.

BTW, sometimes you can get a better deal directly from Sprint via their website. Or, what happened to me, I called them about something and the customer service rep directed me to buy the phones at Best Buy b/c he said I'd get the rebate right on the spot with nothing to mail in (which we did).
Wireless Marketplace weren't offering that particular phone at the time, and that's what we wanted to get.

Another thought: Sprint offers a loyalty program. You should be getting a new phone, or like a $150 discount off a phone, every time you renew your 2-year contract.
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#16
Bridgett Wrote:AJ,
BTW, sometimes you can get a better deal directly from Sprint via their website.

For the sake of lurkers, I assume you're talking about an existing Sprint customer. In order to get the 18% monthly discount (which I think is the best deal, long-term), you have to be an IBO and make the purchase through Wireless MarketPlus. (And I assume Sprint gives that discount to employees at other large institutions.)

Bridgett Wrote:Another thought: Sprint offers a loyalty program. You should be getting a new phone, or like a $150 discount off a phone, every time you renew your 2-year contract.

I see, all the major carriers offer significantly discounted phones, and several free (even smartphones) on the Wireless MarketPlus partner store site, when you renew the 2-year contract. I like it that Wireless MarketPlus doesn't do the mail-in rebates. I'd rather not shell out the cash up front and then deal with filling out forms, putting it in the mail, then waiting several weeks for the refund.
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#17
Bridgett,
Thank you for giving all that detail, especially in regards to how you use your phone. That's helpful for me.
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#18
ajgannon Wrote:
Bridgett Wrote:AJ,
BTW, sometimes you can get a better deal directly from Sprint via their website.

For the sake of lurkers, I assume you're talking about an existing Sprint customer. In order to get the 18% monthly discount (which I think is the best deal, long-term), you have to be an IBO and make the purchase through Wireless MarketPlus. (And I assume Sprint gives that discount to employees at other large institutions.)


I meant the phone. A better deal on the actual phone, not the plan. Sorry for not being clear. :good:
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