Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
palaheel
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:35 am

Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by palaheel » Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:37 am

Is anyone else tempted by a Metropcs $200 iPhone SE?

https://www.metropcs.com/shop/phones/de ... 0198291936

I'm trying to find the downside to this deal. I'm with Cricket now, and need a new phone. The phone is a bit smaller than I want, but most of the Android phones are too big for my pocket. I like that Apple will update this device for the foreseeable future, which is a real worry with less expensive Android devices.

Maybe TMobile won't have good coverage for my area. But I think the unlock period is only 90 days; I can probably survive that long and switch back to Cricket. And if the coverage is good, maybe I'll move DW over and save a few bucks.

How bad is the fat finger problem with a device this small? Can 60+ year old people see the screen adequately? I use a phone as a phone, to check email, the weather forecast and driving instructions. I text a little and occasionally use a browser for a restaurant's menu or store opening hours. But I'm not a gamer, and have never used more than 500MB of data in a month. I think that 32GB should hold a moderate user for a couple of years.

What am I missing?
Markets crash. Markets recover. Inflation takes your money FOREVER.

student
Posts: 1034
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:58 am

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by student » Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:40 am

That's a good deal and they have 2 lines for $50 if you don't use much data.

Edit: You need to be with them for 6 months before they will unlock.

https://www.cricketwireless.com/legal-i ... olicy.html

bloom2708
Posts: 2532
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:08 pm
Location: Fargo, ND

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by bloom2708 » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:00 am

TotalWireless.com (Verizon) has the 32GB SE for $159 (black or white).

Unlimited/Unlimited/5GB 4G LTE for ~$33/month with Auto-Pay on.

Walmart is the brick & morter "host" for Total Wireless.

This is $2 less and 1 GB more data per month compared to Cricket. Verizon vs. AT&T which both have good coverage.
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead | | Want to buy something? Watch this first: https://vimeo.com/41152287

snowman
Posts: 596
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:59 pm

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by snowman » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:07 am

4 inch would be really small for me, but I understand everyone has different preferences.

You can get the same deal from Consumer Cellular:

https://www.consumercellular.com/Products/821/Details

They resell AT&T just like Cricket, so your phone will work on Cricket out of the box. Alternatively, you could switch to CC, remain on the same network you are currently on, and save some money (depending on your usage).

https://www.consumercellular.com/Plans

One thing to keep in mind - Cricket plans include all taxes and fees, whereas CC will add them on (additional 20% or so). CC has 5% discount for AARP members.

marcwd
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:15 am
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by marcwd » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:12 am

bloom2708 wrote:TotalWireless.com (Verizon) has the 32GB SE for $159 (black or white).

Unlimited/Unlimited/5GB 4G LTE for ~$33/month with Auto-Pay on.

Walmart is the brick & morter "host" for Total Wireless.

This is $2 less and 1 GB more data per month compared to Cricket. Verizon vs. AT&T which both have good coverage.


Will tethering work on the iphone with the Total Wireless plan?

bloom2708
Posts: 2532
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:08 pm
Location: Fargo, ND

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by bloom2708 » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:18 am

marcwd wrote:
bloom2708 wrote:TotalWireless.com (Verizon) has the 32GB SE for $159 (black or white).

Unlimited/Unlimited/5GB 4G LTE for ~$33/month with Auto-Pay on.

Walmart is the brick & morter "host" for Total Wireless.

This is $2 less and 1 GB more data per month compared to Cricket. Verizon vs. AT&T which both have good coverage.


Will tethering work on the iphone with the Total Wireless plan?


Not sure. That would be a question for their support. I posted because it is a good mix of value. Lowest price I've seen for an SE. Verizon coverage (which for many is the best overall coverage), 5GB data (better than 4GB on Cricket or 3GB on H20). Reasonable monthly cost. Small bonus for Auto-Pay. Access to any Walmart (they are all over). Good Family plans as well.

If you are a low data user, TW also has a $25 plan, then for $10 you add 3GB of 4G LTE "Rollover data". You only add another $10 when you use up your data. So if you use 300mb/month, that $10 would last 10 months. Pretty good deal for low data users.
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead | | Want to buy something? Watch this first: https://vimeo.com/41152287

User avatar
catdude
Posts: 1339
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 8:11 pm
Location: Central Oregon

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by catdude » Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:08 pm

I took advantage of the Consumer Cellular $200 offer a month or two ago. It's worked out great. I love that the SE fits easily in my pocket -- it's very portable. I'm 61 and don't have any trouble seeing the screen. It's OK for texting; I admit that it's easier to text using my iPad, but it's not a major problem to text with the SE.
catdude | | “The holy passion of Friendship is of so sweet and steady and loyal and enduring a nature that it will last through a whole lifetime, if not asked to lend money.” (Mark Twain)

sunny_socal
Posts: 1096
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:22 pm

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by sunny_socal » Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:45 pm

I've had good luck unlocking phones via ebay.

Procedure:
- Find an ebay vendor offering to unlock phones
- Pay your $5 (or whatever)
- Wait for your unlock code to appear in your email inbox
- Enter the code - *POOF* - phone is now unlocked

palaheel
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:35 am

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by palaheel » Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:47 am

I appreciate everyone's insights. More things to consider....
Markets crash. Markets recover. Inflation takes your money FOREVER.

cutterinnj
Posts: 186
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:08 pm

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by cutterinnj » Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:50 am

My MIL is with Straighttalk Wireless.

Cricket, just like Straighttalk, uses AT&T; any AT&T phone will allow you to continue on Cricket.

I bought her the iPhone SE 32GB for $200 from the AT&T store, slipped the sim card into it, and used it without any fuss.

Would recommend just getting the AT&T version of the phone and continue using Cricket unless Metro is somehow inherently better.

cutterinnj
Posts: 186
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:08 pm

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by cutterinnj » Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:54 am

Actually, even better; Walmart has the iPhone SE for $159 with Straighttalk, which is also AT&T; the phone may also work on any AT&T network as well (Cricket.)

Would go with that.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Straight-Tal ... 3=&veh=sem

spooky105
Posts: 90
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2015 11:38 pm

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by spooky105 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:08 am

Just completed moving the family (4 lines) over to Total Wireless from AT&T. We're using a mix of iPhone SE's and iPhone 6's.

No tethering and we have to deal with the old Verizon issue of not being able to talk and access data (except on WiFi) at the same time. Otherwise, LTE data coverage and cell reception greatly exceeds what we were getting with AT&T. At the end of the day, the bill is down from $155 to $100 per month so these minor issues are worth the $660 annual savings.

Also, two of the lines are my parents. My dad (mid sixties) prefers the iPhone SE to my mom's iPhone 6 -- more comfortable size to handle / fits in a pocket better.

rj49
Posts: 355
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:22 am

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by rj49 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:32 am

The cheapest plan I've found for the most data is on Mintsim, which uses TMobile's network. The only catch is you prepay for a year of service to get the best deal, which right now is $20 a month for unlimited everything with 5GB at high speed (using a 20% off code from retailmenot.com). Their lower plan for 2GB LTE is $15 a month, but I upgraded to 10GB LTE a month for $27. My favorite part is that includes free tethering, so I replaced home internet with my iphone hooked to my computer. They simply send you a SIM that's prepaid for a year, you pop it in your phone and register, and you're good to go.

If you want a cheaper-than-retail iphone, I'd also recommend swappa.com. It sells used and new iphones and lists condition and shows detailed photos, with no tax, free shipping, and guarantees through Paypal. I just saw you can get a used iphone 6 in mint condition for $235, which is slightly larger than the SE, but I'd go into a store and see how different sizes feel to you (after going from an iphone 5 to the 6 plus, I can't go back to a 4" screen).

If you really want to save on a cell phone plan, Sprint is offering a free year of service for unlimited everything ($60 after that, although you can cancel).

scooterdog
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:42 am
Location: Potomac MD

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by scooterdog » Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:42 am

I just bought an iPhone SE as a 'wifi only' device (because the 16GB work-issued iPhone 6 is very cramped for space) a few weeks go.

It takes a little getting used-to, but the SE is a great device - amazing battery life for one, another is that the size is an advantage being easier to slip into a pocket. Having the space of a 64GB device for me means I can listen to a lot of podcasts now, in addition to a lot more music.

sunny_socal
Posts: 1096
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:22 pm

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by sunny_socal » Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:27 am

cutterinnj wrote:Actually, even better; Walmart has the iPhone SE for $159 with Straighttalk, which is also AT&T; the phone may also work on any AT&T network as well (Cricket.)

Would go with that.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Straight-Tal ... 3=&veh=sem


Looks like a good deal. But it seems they have adopted the "Tracphone" method of locking, could be tricky to use the phone on any other carrier before the mandatory 12-month waiting period is over.

http://www.tomsguide.com/forum/id-30352 ... twork.html

It's my impression that the budget phone carriers have gone to far greater lengths to lock their phones compared to the mainstream carriers. My brother uses Tracphone and it seems like a very restrictive system (but works for him... he hardly ever uses his phone and it's just a flip phone :shock: )

palaheel
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:35 am

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by palaheel » Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:36 am

scooterdog wrote:I just bought an iPhone SE as a 'wifi only' device


Thanks for the tip. I didn't know an iPhone could be used w/o service. When they're turned on, they sure seem to complain if there's no SIM card. I guess I strike another feature off the "Android only" list.
Markets crash. Markets recover. Inflation takes your money FOREVER.

CULater
Posts: 333
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 10:59 am

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by CULater » Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:09 pm

I'm assuming that all these deals being mentioned (Consumer Cellular, StraightTalk, etc.) mean the SE is locked to their service and must be unlocked to get away -- correct? How long are you married to the service before you can do that?
May you have the hindsight to know where you've been, The foresight to know where you're going, And the insight to know when you've gone too far. ~ Irish Blessing

User avatar
catdude
Posts: 1339
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 8:11 pm
Location: Central Oregon

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by catdude » Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:20 pm

CULater wrote:I'm assuming that all these deals being mentioned (Consumer Cellular, StraightTalk, etc.) mean the SE is locked to their service and must be unlocked to get away -- correct? How long are you married to the service before you can do that?


With consumer cellular you're locked in for six months.
catdude | | “The holy passion of Friendship is of so sweet and steady and loyal and enduring a nature that it will last through a whole lifetime, if not asked to lend money.” (Mark Twain)

palaheel
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:35 am

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by palaheel » Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:39 pm

CULater wrote:How long are you married to the service before you can do that?


That's a really important point.

For metroPCS, 90 days
https://www.metropcs.com/terms-conditio ... olicy.html

As someone mentioned earlier, for cricket, 6 months

For Straighttalk, 12 months
https://www.straighttalk.com/wps/portal ... conditions

For ConsumerCellular, 6 months
https://www.consumercellular.com/help/billing

For SimpleMobile, 12 months
https://www.simplemobile.com/wps/portal ... BIS9nQSEh/

For TotalWireless, 12 months
https://www.totalwireless.com/wps/porta ... conditions

Someone else mentioned that 3rd parties can unlock some phones, but that some MVNOs might defeat that possibility.

There's also the "taxes included" vs "plus taxes" question, which is significant per month.
Markets crash. Markets recover. Inflation takes your money FOREVER.

scooterdog
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:42 am
Location: Potomac MD

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by scooterdog » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:39 am

palaheel wrote:
scooterdog wrote:I just bought an iPhone SE as a 'wifi only' device


Thanks for the tip. I didn't know an iPhone could be used w/o service. When they're turned on, they sure seem to complain if there's no SIM card. I guess I strike another feature off the "Android only" list.


Yes you'll need to pop in a SIM card (I bought it barely used off of Craigslist) to activate the device, but can be promptly removed after. I brought my own iPhone 6 to meet the seller and popped it in to setup the phone (just takes a few minutes).

FYI buying used iphones off of CL can be a source for a good deal, but it takes some expertise (and time of course) to make sure everything is as it should be.

snowman
Posts: 596
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:59 pm

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by snowman » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:34 am

catdude wrote:
CULater wrote:I'm assuming that all these deals being mentioned (Consumer Cellular, StraightTalk, etc.) mean the SE is locked to their service and must be unlocked to get away -- correct? How long are you married to the service before you can do that?


With consumer cellular you're locked in for six months.

Not necessarily. If you buy a phone from AT&T MVNO, it will work on AT&Ts network. Since OP uses Cricket, an AT&T company using AT&T network, he can buy the phone from CC or AT&T GoPhone or other such places, put in Cricket SIM card, and off he goes. Yes, the phone may be locked by MVNO, but it will work on AT&T network in the US. It will not work with TM or outside US unless unlocked first.

One other option OP has is to buy this phone from Best Buy for $200 which is part of AT&T GoPhone offering:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/at-t-gophon ... Id=5792701

Any GoPhone will be unlocked by AT&T within 3 business days over the web, there are no phone calls necessary and neither is wait time of 6-12 months. The key is to request unlock code on AT&T website (link below) BEFORE the phone is turned on with SIM card in it. You can do it with the phone still packed in the box, just fill out the form (make sure you select NO for current AT&T customer), and wait 3 business days until you get unlock code via email directly from AT&T.

https://www.att.com/deviceunlock/request/#/unlockstep1

At that point, you can open the box, take out GoPhone SIM card, and replace it with your current Cricket SIM. It will work out of the box the same way whether you requested unlock code or not. The difference is that now you have an option to unlock your phone should you choose to do so. If you first turned on the phone with any AT&T SIM card in it, it will register the phone as current AT&T customer, and your request for unlock code will be denied by AT&T.

CULater
Posts: 333
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 10:59 am

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by CULater » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:53 am

snowman wrote:
catdude wrote:
CULater wrote:I'm assuming that all these deals being mentioned (Consumer Cellular, StraightTalk, etc.) mean the SE is locked to their service and must be unlocked to get away -- correct? How long are you married to the service before you can do that?


With consumer cellular you're locked in for six months.

Not necessarily. If you buy a phone from AT&T MVNO, it will work on AT&Ts network. Since OP uses Cricket, an AT&T company using AT&T network, he can buy the phone from CC or AT&T GoPhone or other such places, put in Cricket SIM card, and off he goes. Yes, the phone may be locked by MVNO, but it will work on AT&T network in the US. It will not work with TM or outside US unless unlocked first.

One other option OP has is to buy this phone from Best Buy for $200 which is part of AT&T GoPhone offering:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/at-t-gophon ... Id=5792701

Any GoPhone will be unlocked by AT&T within 3 business days over the web, there are no phone calls necessary and neither is wait time of 6-12 months. The key is to request unlock code on AT&T website (link below) BEFORE the phone is turned on with SIM card in it. You can do it with the phone still packed in the box, just fill out the form (make sure you select NO for current AT&T customer), and wait 3 business days until you get unlock code via email directly from AT&T.

https://www.att.com/deviceunlock/request/#/unlockstep1

At that point, you can open the box, take out GoPhone SIM card, and replace it with your current Cricket SIM. It will work out of the box the same way whether you requested unlock code or not. The difference is that now you have an option to unlock your phone should you choose to do so. If you first turned on the phone with any AT&T SIM card in it, it will register the phone as current AT&T customer, and your request for unlock code will be denied by AT&T.

Most helpful. I'm tempted to try this out. Couple questions. The AT&T unlock site requests the phone's current phone number. What would that be? I thought you didn't get a number until service was activated on some service provider so how would that work with the phone still in the box? Second, I'm assuming if you to unlock the phone successfully you have voided the possibility of returning the phone to BestBuy for refund, yes?
May you have the hindsight to know where you've been, The foresight to know where you're going, And the insight to know when you've gone too far. ~ Irish Blessing

snowman
Posts: 596
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:59 pm

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by snowman » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:55 am

CULater,

That's why I said you have to select NO for current customer on AT&T's website. When you do that, the screen changes and it will ask you for IMEI number (displayed outside on the phone's box), make and model number. You also type in your email, to which AT&T will communicate. You will get 3 emails back - first one right away to confirm the request (I think you need to click on the link to confirm). Second one couple days later telling you they are still working on it, and the last one same or next day giving you the unlock code. Your phone still sits unopened in sealed box.

I bought and unlocked 5 phones this way; I also returned 2 to Best Buy - 1 open/used, 1 never opened. The retailer has no idea about unlock code being requested, given, or not approved. It doesn't matter to them - this is prepaid phone not tied to any carrier contract. They will give you full refund if the box is still sealed. They will charge $35 if the phone has been used (new policy implemented last fall). Again, any unlock code/request is irrelevant.

As far as actually unlocking the phone once you got the code, there are 2 ways. Some phones (search the web) will allow you to punch in sequence of numbers to get the phone display the page where you can enter unlock code. Many phones don't do that though. The other way is to insert TM or foreign SIM card, which will automatically ask you for the code when you start the phone. The reason I mention it is because if all you do is insert GoPhone or CC or Cricket SIM card, the phone will work right away (it's configured for AT&T network) and will not prompt you for unlock code. This, BTW, is also the reason why you can buy "locked" phone from one AT&T MVNO and use it on another. By the same token, if you are currently with AT&T MVNO, and want to switch to Cricket, you will not qualify for new customer promos, as the number being transferred is registered as AT&T, i.e. current customer.

CULater
Posts: 333
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 10:59 am

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by CULater » Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:04 pm

snowman wrote:CULater,

That's why I said you have to select NO for current customer on AT&T's website. When you do that, the screen changes and it will ask you for IMEI number (displayed outside on the phone's box), make and model number. You also type in your email, to which AT&T will communicate. You will get 3 emails back - first one right away to confirm the request (I think you need to click on the link to confirm). Second one couple days later telling you they are still working on it, and the last one same or next day giving you the unlock code. Your phone still sits unopened in sealed box.

I bought and unlocked 5 phones this way; I also returned 2 to Best Buy - 1 open/used, 1 never opened. The retailer has no idea about unlock code being requested, given, or not approved. It doesn't matter to them - this is prepaid phone not tied to any carrier contract. They will give you full refund if the box is still sealed. They will charge $35 if the phone has been used (new policy implemented last fall). Again, any unlock code/request is irrelevant.

As far as actually unlocking the phone once you got the code, there are 2 ways. Some phones (search the web) will allow you to punch in sequence of numbers to get the phone display the page where you can enter unlock code. Many phones don't do that though. The other way is to insert TM or foreign SIM card, which will automatically ask you for the code when you start the phone. The reason I mention it is because if all you do is insert GoPhone or CC or Cricket SIM card, the phone will work right away (it's configured for AT&T network) and will not prompt you for unlock code. This, BTW, is also the reason why you can buy "locked" phone from one AT&T MVNO and use it on another. By the same token, if you are currently with AT&T MVNO, and want to switch to Cricket, you will not qualify for new customer promos, as the number being transferred is registered as AT&T, i.e. current customer.

Thank you very much for this detailed guide. I trucked on over to the local BestBuy today to see if I could pick up an SE go phone but didn't see any on the rack. I guess will have to order this online for delivery to store.

I am currently with H2O, AT&T MVNO, The way I read your instructions I'll request the unlock and when I receive the code I can take the phone out of the box and swap in the H2O SIM before turning it on. Will I then have the same number, etc. as I do now on my existing phone? Just will be running on the SE instead? I will not be asked to enter the unlock code at all?
May you have the hindsight to know where you've been, The foresight to know where you're going, And the insight to know when you've gone too far. ~ Irish Blessing

palaheel
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:35 am

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by palaheel » Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:01 pm

CULater wrote:The way I read your instructions I'll request the unlock and when I receive the code I can take the phone out of the box and swap in the H2O SIM before turning it on. Will I then have the same number, etc. as I do now on my existing phone? Just will be running on the SE instead? I will not be asked to enter the unlock code at all?


I was also wondering about this. How can you tell whether a phone is really unlocked? I'll be changing SIM cards because my current phone doesn't use nano-SIMs. I don't see that this matters.

The wealth and breadth of information on this site never ceases to amaze me.
Markets crash. Markets recover. Inflation takes your money FOREVER.

snowman
Posts: 596
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:59 pm

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by snowman » Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:34 pm

As far as Best Buy goes, you can check their local inventory online. Your store may not have it, but the one 10 miles away might. Worth checking. I would also ask what the return policy is for the specific phone you are buying (I never bought Apple product so not sure if they have brand-specific return policies). Retailers sometimes change rules, so you do not want any unpleasant surprises. Verify before you leave the store (Best buy will print return policy on the receipt, so read it to make sure it is exactly what the sales person told you).

I am not personally familiar with H2O, but yes, that's exactly how it should work. Your SIM card will be recognized and you should be able to make and receive phone calls right away. Same for texts. You might have to register and configure the phone with H2O for cell data and MMS messages - again, I am not familiar with H2O, but generally speaking MVNOs will either text you instructions to follow, or email them to you, or you just go on their website and look it up, or you call their CS. Google is your friend, so you should know the procedure for your carrier before you even open the box.

Remember, if you are buying GoPhone, you are buying AT&T branded phone designed to work on AT&T network in the US straight out of the box. So whether you put in AT&T or CC or H2O or Cricket SIM card makes no difference. The phone may be officially "locked" to GoPhone service, but in reality you can always switch among different AT&T MVNOs without ever unlocking your phone. The only reason you would ever want to unlock it is if you planned to switch to TM in the future (or TM MVNO), or if you wanted to take it with you abroad and use it on any GSM network.

CULater
Posts: 333
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 10:59 am

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by CULater » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:21 pm

snowman wrote:As far as Best Buy goes, you can check their local inventory online. Your store may not have it, but the one 10 miles away might. Worth checking. I would also ask what the return policy is for the specific phone you are buying (I never bought Apple product so not sure if they have brand-specific return policies). Retailers sometimes change rules, so you do not want any unpleasant surprises. Verify before you leave the store (Best buy will print return policy on the receipt, so read it to make sure it is exactly what the sales person told you).

I am not personally familiar with H2O, but yes, that's exactly how it should work. Your SIM card will be recognized and you should be able to make and receive phone calls right away. Same for texts. You might have to register and configure the phone with H2O for cell data and MMS messages - again, I am not familiar with H2O, but generally speaking MVNOs will either text you instructions to follow, or email them to you, or you just go on their website and look it up, or you call their CS. Google is your friend, so you should know the procedure for your carrier before you even open the box.

Remember, if you are buying GoPhone, you are buying AT&T branded phone designed to work on AT&T network in the US straight out of the box. So whether you put in AT&T or CC or H2O or Cricket SIM card makes no difference. The phone may be officially "locked" to GoPhone service, but in reality you can always switch among different AT&T MVNOs without ever unlocking your phone. The only reason you would ever want to unlock it is if you planned to switch to TM in the future (or TM MVNO), or if you wanted to take it with you abroad and use it on any GSM network.

What I don't understand here is why you even need to ask AT&T to unlock the GoPhone if you just want to stick in a SIM from an AT&T MVNO. GoPhone states that you have to stay with them for 6 mo. before you can unlock, same for CC, etc. Why couldn't I get a CC phone, for example, and then just stick my H2O SIM into it and use H2O instead of CC? Trying to answer my own question, I guess once the phone is activated on GoPhone, CC, etc. then it is locked to that provider until their minimum time requirement is met.
May you have the hindsight to know where you've been, The foresight to know where you're going, And the insight to know when you've gone too far. ~ Irish Blessing

palaheel
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:35 am

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by palaheel » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:57 pm

CULater wrote:What I don't understand here is why you even need to ask AT&T to unlock the GoPhone if you just want to stick in a SIM from an AT&T MVNO.


You are correct that if one can find a suitable phone at a suitable price on a suitable network, unlocking isn't necessary.

But for me, it's about independence. I like the idea of deciding to switch carriers on the spur of the moment, walking into another shop and keeping my number and phone for a better deal.

In the past, lacking independence has forced me to put up with very poor service (Sprint) and high prices (Verizon).
Markets crash. Markets recover. Inflation takes your money FOREVER.

snowman
Posts: 596
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:59 pm

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by snowman » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:51 pm

You don't need to unlock the phone if you plan to stay on AT&T network forever. Unlocking gives you flexibility to switch to TM in the US, or any GSM carrier abroad. It's not a necessity, it's just nice to have. Since it's free, why not. As far as I know, the unlocking method I described only works if you buy GoPhone.

amd2135
Posts: 177
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:48 pm

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by amd2135 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:10 pm

bloom2708 wrote:TotalWireless.com (Verizon) has the 32GB SE for $159 (black or white).


My SO bought one last week- there was a 15% off coupon code available that I found via a web search. It was supposedly "expired" as per a popular deal site but worked fine. Not sure if it's still available.

I was surprised to find a Verizon iPhone SE at that price. Yes, it's locked to TW for a calendar year, but it's still an excellent deal- ~$135 with free overnight shipping. And this is a new, factory sealed device.

Despite the lack of advertising as such, she does get visual voicemail and VoLTE.

CULater
Posts: 333
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 10:59 am

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by CULater » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:30 pm

snowman wrote:You don't need to unlock the phone if you plan to stay on AT&T network forever. Unlocking gives you flexibility to switch to TM in the US, or any GSM carrier abroad. It's not a necessity, it's just nice to have. Since it's free, why not. As far as I know, the unlocking method I described only works if you buy GoPhone.

Thanks for the clarification. I think that if you begin using the GoPhone with any MNVO without unlocking it, then you have a problem getting AT&T to unlock it later. Do you concur? If so, then you have to unlock it before ever using it with an MVNO or it stays locked to ATT forever. No problem unless you might want to move to a non-ATT MVNO or use the phone abroad later. In that case I agree it seems better to just unlock the thing upfront.
May you have the hindsight to know where you've been, The foresight to know where you're going, And the insight to know when you've gone too far. ~ Irish Blessing

bloom2708
Posts: 2532
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:08 pm
Location: Fargo, ND

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:23 am

The Total Wireless coupon is "TOTAL15" and goes until June 30th.

That knocks the price down to ~$138 for a new 32GB SE. The $25 plan with $10 for 3GB of Rollover data (when needed) seems like very good deal for light data users.
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead | | Want to buy something? Watch this first: https://vimeo.com/41152287

snowman
Posts: 596
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:59 pm

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by snowman » Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:00 pm

CULater wrote:
snowman wrote:You don't need to unlock the phone if you plan to stay on AT&T network forever. Unlocking gives you flexibility to switch to TM in the US, or any GSM carrier abroad. It's not a necessity, it's just nice to have. Since it's free, why not. As far as I know, the unlocking method I described only works if you buy GoPhone.

Thanks for the clarification. I think that if you begin using the GoPhone with any MNVO without unlocking it, then you have a problem getting AT&T to unlock it later. Do you concur? If so, then you have to unlock it before ever using it with an MVNO or it stays locked to ATT forever. No problem unless you might want to move to a non-ATT MVNO or use the phone abroad later. In that case I agree it seems better to just unlock the thing upfront.

Correct.

swjwseren
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:05 pm

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by swjwseren » Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:11 pm

CULater wrote:
snowman wrote:
catdude wrote:
CULater wrote:I'm assuming that all these deals being mentioned (Consumer Cellular, StraightTalk, etc.) mean the SE is locked to their service and must be unlocked to get away -- correct? How long are you married to the service before you can do that?
With consumer cellular you're locked in for six months.
Not necessarily. If you buy a phone from AT&T MVNO, it will work on AT&Ts network. Since OP uses Cricket, an AT&T company using AT&T network, he can buy the phone from CC or AT&T GoPhone or other such places, put in Cricket SIM card, and off he goes. Yes, the phone may be locked by MVNO, but it will work on AT&T network in the US. It will not work with TM or outside US unless unlocked first.

One other option OP has is to buy this phone from Best Buy for $200 which is part of AT&T GoPhone offering:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/at-t-gophon ... Id=5792701

Any GoPhone will be unlocked by AT&T within 3 business days over the web, there are no phone calls necessary and neither is wait time of 6-12 months. The key is to request unlock code on AT&T website (link below) BEFORE the phone is turned on with SIM card in it. You can do it with the phone still packed in the box, just fill out the form (make sure you select NO for current AT&T customer), and wait 3 business days until you get unlock code via email directly from AT&T.

https://www.att.com/deviceunlock/request/#/unlockstep1

At that point, you can open the box, take out GoPhone SIM card, and replace it with your current Cricket SIM. It will work out of the box the same way whether you requested unlock code or not. The difference is that now you have an option to unlock your phone should you choose to do so. If you first turned on the phone with any AT&T SIM card in it, it will register the phone as current AT&T customer, and your request for unlock code will be denied by AT&T.
Most helpful. I'm tempted to try this out. Couple questions. The AT&T unlock site requests the phone's current phone number. What would that be? I thought you didn't get a number until service was activated on some service provider so how would that work with the phone still in the box? Second, I'm assuming if you to unlock the phone successfully you have voided the possibility of returning the phone to BestBuy for refund, yes?
Unfortunately, I tried this yesterday. I went to the link, entered the IMEI # from the unwrapped box, and submitted the request. I received the email to confirm the request which I did. I checked the status link today and received the message at the top that the phone has not be active for 6 month. STATUS: Denied. What now?

palaheel
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:35 am

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by palaheel » Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:00 am

swjwseren wrote: Unfortunately, I tried this yesterday. I went to the link, entered the IMEI # from the unwrapped box, and submitted the request. I received the email to confirm the request which I did. I checked the status link today and received the message at the top that the phone has not be active for 6 month. STATUS: Denied. What now?
The same thing happened to me. I purchased the gophone from Best Buy and was denied unlocking. I returned it unopened. Then I discovered that Cricket would let me upgrade to a 64GB iPhone SE for $230 (or $220, I can't remember) with a 6 month waiting period to unlock it. Since I'm with Cricket anyway and happy with the service, I'll put up with the 6 month commitment.

It seems lots of MVNOs have relatively cheap iPhone SE deals at the moment, most with a 6 month commitment. MetroPCS is only 3 months, I think. I'd suggest picking the network you want to be on and looking for a deal with an associated MVNO with a time commitment you can endure.

One thing I find very appealing about the iPhone is that I expect software updates for the foreseeable future. That's just not the case in the Android world.
Markets crash. Markets recover. Inflation takes your money FOREVER.

SlowMovingInvestor
Posts: 96
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:27 am

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by SlowMovingInvestor » Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:57 am

Consider going with Virgin Mobile

viewtopic.php?t=221692

The iPhone SE (32 GB) is $274 (with taxes, around $299). You get unlmited service for $1 (essentially free) for one year. Even the cheapest 1 year service plan with some data (excluding FreedomPop) will likely cost more than the cost of the phone. Cricket wireless would be $360 for 1 year for their cheapest plan (1GB).

Virgin uses Sprint Network, so quality and coverage is likely a little below ATT/Verizon

snowman
Posts: 596
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:59 pm

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by snowman » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:05 am

swjwseren wrote:
Unfortunately, I tried this yesterday. I went to the link, entered the IMEI # from the unwrapped box, and submitted the request. I received the email to confirm the request which I did. I checked the status link today and received the message at the top that the phone has not be active for 6 month. STATUS: Denied. What now?
I never checked the status like you did - I submitted request, got email, confirmed, and waited. 2 business days later I got email they are still working on it, and the following business day email with the code arrived.

If you just sent in the request on Saturday, you should wait and get "we are working on it" email on Tuesday or Wednesday. Unlock code should arrive Wednesday or Thursday.

This has been the process all along, worked every single time. Not sure if AT&T changed it recently, but I would give until Friday to get the code.

swjwseren
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:05 pm

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by swjwseren » Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:08 pm

Thank you, again, for your assistance. Unfortunately, we attempted again. NO email. We have gone in circles attempting to speak with someone in their prepaid dept. Apparently, customer service is none existent. Only phone prompts but none to request to speak with a representative. Several days ago we finally got a representative from the regular AT&T line who said she was sending in the request and we would receive a response TODAY. Unfortunately, no email response. Same circle with reps on the main contact number not being able to assist with prepaid phones.

palaheel
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:35 am

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by palaheel » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:44 am

I've heard that AT&T is tightening up on their process. I was denied unlocking. I suggest picking the network you want to be on and shopping its MVNOs for deals. There are plenty to be had. You'll have to be with that MVNO for a period of time, ~6 months for most of them. After that, have the phone unlocked and you're free to hop around. I am happy with Cricket, so committing to them for another 6 months for a less-than-half price iPhone sounded reasonable.
Markets crash. Markets recover. Inflation takes your money FOREVER.

CULater
Posts: 333
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 10:59 am

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by CULater » Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:55 pm

So, here's my question. Can I buy an SE from Consumer Cellular, use it on CC and unlock it after 6 months, and then stick a SIM in it for a Verizon MVNO and use it on Verizon instead of AT&T? In other words, will it be like any unlocked SE that can be used on either network?
May you have the hindsight to know where you've been, The foresight to know where you're going, And the insight to know when you've gone too far. ~ Irish Blessing

User avatar
pennstater2005
Posts: 2287
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:50 pm

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by pennstater2005 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:14 pm

palaheel wrote:
swjwseren wrote: Unfortunately, I tried this yesterday. I went to the link, entered the IMEI # from the unwrapped box, and submitted the request. I received the email to confirm the request which I did. I checked the status link today and received the message at the top that the phone has not be active for 6 month. STATUS: Denied. What now?
The same thing happened to me. I purchased the gophone from Best Buy and was denied unlocking. I returned it unopened. Then I discovered that Cricket would let me upgrade to a 64GB iPhone SE for $230 (or $220, I can't remember) with a 6 month waiting period to unlock it. Since I'm with Cricket anyway and happy with the service, I'll put up with the 6 month commitment.

It seems lots of MVNOs have relatively cheap iPhone SE deals at the moment, most with a 6 month commitment. MetroPCS is only 3 months, I think. I'd suggest picking the network you want to be on and looking for a deal with an associated MVNO with a time commitment you can endure.

One thing I find very appealing about the iPhone is that I expect software updates for the foreseeable future. That's just not the case in the Android world.
I got the $199 AT&T Go Phone from Best Buy. Had it shipped to the house. It came with the Go Phone sim card. I took my Cricket SIM and put it into the new phone. Worked fine. All ATT mvno services should work in any an iPhone locked to ATT.
Last edited by pennstater2005 on Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
“Life is short, Break the Rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you smile" - Unknown

palaheel
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:35 am

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by palaheel » Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:59 pm

CULater wrote:So, here's my question. Can I buy an SE from Consumer Cellular, use it on CC and unlock it after 6 months, and then stick a SIM in it for a Verizon MVNO and use it on Verizon instead of AT&T? In other words, will it be like any unlocked SE that can be used on either network?
I'm far from an expert on these types of things, and I hope someone will correct any misstatements. As I understand things, there are different models of iPhone SEs, some with both CDMA and GSM radios (CDMA is used by Verizon and Sprint), and some with only GSM. From what I can tell, ConsumerCellular rides on AT&T, a GSM network. I would guess that CC sells GSM-only phones, and such phones simply lack the necessary CDMA capability.

Several years ago I decided to go GSM-only. At the time, CDMA phones simply weren't portable at all. It seems that's no longer as true as it once was.
Markets crash. Markets recover. Inflation takes your money FOREVER.

CULater
Posts: 333
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 10:59 am

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Post by CULater » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:09 pm

palaheel wrote:
CULater wrote:So, here's my question. Can I buy an SE from Consumer Cellular, use it on CC and unlock it after 6 months, and then stick a SIM in it for a Verizon MVNO and use it on Verizon instead of AT&T? In other words, will it be like any unlocked SE that can be used on either network?
I'm far from an expert on these types of things, and I hope someone will correct any misstatements. As I understand things, there are different models of iPhone SEs, some with both CDMA and GSM radios (CDMA is used by Verizon and Sprint), and some with only GSM. From what I can tell, ConsumerCellular rides on AT&T, a GSM network. I would guess that CC sells GSM-only phones, and such phones simply lack the necessary CDMA capability.

Several years ago I decided to go GSM-only. At the time, CDMA phones simply weren't portable at all. It seems that's no longer as true as it once was.
Thanks. I think you might be right about the SE. Probably either a GSM or CDMA version but not both.
May you have the hindsight to know where you've been, The foresight to know where you're going, And the insight to know when you've gone too far. ~ Irish Blessing

Post Reply