How much do you really pay for your smartphone?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Chuck
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Post by Chuck » Fri May 20, 2011 12:30 pm

snyder66 wrote:How did all of you Page Plus customers set up your smart phones. I really wouldn't want one for data, but it would be nice to have a wifi every day phone with an actual keyboard. Not sure if the Palm fits the bill on that one. Thanks
I set up my Pixi with a good old fashioned ESN change. I've heard it's a little trickier if you want it set up with a new account, because the Palm phone wants data access to do the initial setup, which is a bit of a chicken/egg thing, but there's several people at howardforums that have done it.

After the setup, you can turn off data access and never use it again. (The setup cost me something like 15 cents in data usage fees.)

elbryn1000
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Post by elbryn1000 » Fri May 20, 2011 2:02 pm

Chuck wrote:
snyder66 wrote:How did all of you Page Plus customers set up your smart phones. I really wouldn't want one for data, but it would be nice to have a wifi every day phone with an actual keyboard. Not sure if the Palm fits the bill on that one. Thanks
I set up my Pixi with a good old fashioned ESN change. I've heard it's a little trickier if you want it set up with a new account, because the Palm phone wants data access to do the initial setup, which is a bit of a chicken/egg thing, but there's several people at howardforums that have done it.

After the setup, you can turn off data access and never use it again. (The setup cost me something like 15 cents in data usage fees.)
i got the pixi plus on sale from meritline for 43 bucks when they had a sale. i think you can still buy it from newegg for aroudn 60 bucks. since i already had an account on pageplus, did an esn change to the new phone. initial setup did require a little bit of data use to get past the palm profile setup but i was willing to eat that bit of cost. once past the profile setup, you can disable the mobile data.

kitty wireless is a pretty good source to go to. after that, you can do whatever you want in regards to preloader/homebrew/etc.. lots of resources for that sort of thing out on the internet. howardforums is another good resource.

only thing to keep in mind with pageplus is that you're mostly on your own when it comes to issues and getting the phone to work. you're also in charge of making sure you have your account funded and should mobile wifi be turned on accidentally, you can easily blow your funds without even knowing it.

we used to pay ~$75 a month for two phones on a family plan with work discounts at verizon. we only use voice minutes and never more than a few hundred a month out of our 700 allotted. going this route has dropped us to about $20 a month. pretty well worth the time/effort of learning the process to save $660 a year.

jridger2011
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Post by jridger2011 » Sun May 22, 2011 11:50 pm

Verizon Wireless - frighteningly expensive.

$100 share plan, 700 mins, unlimited text
$30 unlimited data x 1
$10 small data plan
$12 insurance x devices
$6+ taxes

I don't have a landline for what it's worth, so it's not terrible, but not cheap either. There are a ton of carriers that are more cost effective but I'm looking for reliable service to be able to take and place calls wherever I am - heavily shielded building or lower levels of stores, wherever.

centrifuge41
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Post by centrifuge41 » Mon May 23, 2011 5:20 pm

jridger2011 wrote:Verizon Wireless - frighteningly expensive.

$100 share plan, 700 mins, unlimited text
$30 unlimited data x 1
$10 small data plan
$12 insurance x devices
$6+ taxes

I don't have a landline for what it's worth, so it's not terrible, but not cheap either. There are a ton of carriers that are more cost effective but I'm looking for reliable service to be able to take and place calls wherever I am - heavily shielded building or lower levels of stores, wherever.
Do you have fast broadband? If so, you can get an IP based landline for $3.47 a month + the cost of an Ooma device (around $160 on sale). This may let you drop down to a much less expensive Verizon Wireless package, or switch to prepaid outright. If you only need good outbound calling, Google Voice is a free IP based solution. You can then use a cell phone as a "pager" for inbound Google Voice calls.

Oh, and the insurance on the phones is full of small text and conditions. It is most likely pretty heavily negative expected value, so you'd likely be better off not carrying it, unless the users of the insured phone(s) are a much worse than average risk (really clumsy!) Sorry, not trying to poke fun :) I'm pretty clumsy too, but I have a cheap phone so I'm cool with it.

Tabulator
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Re: How much do you really pay for your smartphone?

Post by Tabulator » Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:01 am

Does anyone use a pager instead of a phone?

mhalley
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Re: How much do you really pay for your smartphone?

Post by mhalley » Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:31 am

How are you getting $25 a month at virginmobile? I only see the $35 plan as the cheapest one.
Mike

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Igglesman
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Re: How much do you really pay for your smartphone?

Post by Igglesman » Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:33 am

mhalley wrote:How are you getting $25 a month at virginmobile? I only see the $35 plan as the cheapest one.
Mike
I still have the Virgin Mobile $25 plan. They grandfathered us in...as long as we always pay the bill.

Diogenes
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Re: How much do you really pay for your smartphone?

Post by Diogenes » Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:38 am

$45 month unlimited talk, text, and data. StraightTalk, works great and no contract.
I hear they may slow high users, and they ban tethering, but neither has been an issue.
Truth and clarity are important in all things...

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wander
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Re: Pagepluscellular

Post by wander » Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:42 am

coloradobound wrote:1200 minutes
2000 txt
100 MB data

29.95/ month (this includes all taxes, everything..)


pagepluscellular

$140 droid phone from ebay

page plus uses the verizon network as a reseller so the coverage is awesome where I am.

you could also pay 4cent a minute if you are not a big cell phone user..
Your info is out of date:
1200 minutes
3000 txt
500 MB data

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wander
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Re:

Post by wander » Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:44 am

centrifuge41 wrote:
supertreat wrote:How do you find a list of smart phones that are compatible with page plus service?? I was thinking of going with them. Thanks.
PagePlus is good with any Verizon phone with the exception of:

Blackberries
iPhone
Prepaid Verizon phones

The most popular android phones are the Droid 1 and the Droid Eris because they are discontinued. The Palm Pixi Plus is very popular because you can get one for around $50 new without contract. Howard Forums should have a whole lot more info regarding cell phones and plans.
Iphones also work on PP. Howard Forms has info about it.

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magellan
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Re: How much do you really pay for your smartphone?

Post by magellan » Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:52 am

I average $8-10 a month for tmobile's pay-as-you-go plan using an HTC mytouch 4G android phone. I paid $220 for the phone about 2 years ago.

After initially funding your prepaid balance with $100, you just have to add $10 a year to keep the account active. I can enable 4g data for $3 a day any time I need it. In practice, I've been very surprised by how little I need to pay for data.

In addition to free hotspots at coffee shops and many retailers, Comcast (Xfinity) now offers free wifi access to all broadband subscribers at a zillion hotspots. I think anyone with a comcast wifi enabled cable modem automatically becomes an xfinitywifi hotspot provider. There's a free wifi-finder app and all the xfinitywifi hotspots are configured the same, so once you provide your home account login credentials, you'll automatically connect to any xfinitywifi that's in range. I created a dedicated comcast email account/login for wifi access, so I'm not using my real comcast login credentials to access these hotspots.

http://arstechnica.com/information-tech ... i-hotspot/

Jim

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daytona084
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Re: How much do you really pay for your smartphone?

Post by daytona084 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:06 am

Update on Virgin Mobile (because this is an older thread) - - As of last month, the discounted refills are no longer available on callingmart.com.

I have the "grandfathered" $25 per month plan (300 minutes plus unlimited text and data). This plan would be $35 if signing up today.

With the option of the refills from callingmart.com no longer available, the cost is $27 per month with taxes.

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Ged
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Re: How much do you really pay for your smartphone?

Post by Ged » Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:11 am

I have a Google Nexus 4 phone and use it on a TMobile prepaid daily service which costs $2 a day when I use it, 0 otherwise. I only use it on the mobile network when I travel which is about 10% of the time. Otherwise I use it on WiFi. I pay about $100 a year for this plan.

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Toons
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Re: How much do you really pay for your smartphone?

Post by Toons » Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:55 am

Straight Talk-LG Optimus Showtime Andrioid-45 monthly unlimited (with taxes 50.00) :happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

hectorochoa
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Re: How much do you really pay for your smartphone?

Post by hectorochoa » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:03 am

PagePlus Cellular $29.95 plan. Now comes with 500 Megs of data each month. Been with PagePlus for about four years and very happy with them. It's easy to switch and you can keep your current phone number.

We purchase our renewal minutes from Prepaidonline.com - they send us a discount code each month, so our total ends up being about $28.00 for this plan with the discount.

My current phone is HTC Incredible - you can purchase on Ebay for about $40 now.

Go to Howard Forums and view a list of phones that will work with PagePlus:

http://wiki.howardforums.com/index.php/Page_Plus

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Hayden
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Re: How much do you really pay for your smartphone?

Post by Hayden » Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:34 pm

We pay $258/month with Sprint. That covers two iPhones plus a hotspot. We run our small business using this, so it's essential that it works well wherever we are.

From the other responses here, it seems we're paying much too much.

30moreyears
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Re: How much do you really pay for your smartphone?

Post by 30moreyears » Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:55 pm

Can someone with a good heart walk me through this? I still have about 5 months left on my (2 year) Verizon contract (their basic text, data, voice plan for an iPhone 4S). The average monthly comes out to around $90. There's no WAY I use that much data, so one of these cheaper plans sounds like just the ticket.

Even WITH the early termination fee (which I assume is somewhere around $150, though I haven't checked), I'm sure that I'd come out ahead if I just cancelled service right now and used the phone. However - and pardon my ignorance here - even after having tried to read here and on Mr Money Mustache's site about how to ditch the plans, I don't quite "get it." Can someone tell me if this understanding is right?

1) I call up Verizon, saying "It's not me, it's you! Deuces!" They charge me their pound of flesh, and I am left with a phone ready to accept a pay-as-I-go-kinda-thing.*
2) I immediately call PagePlus or some other company and say "Aha, I would like to purchase your services."
3) Representative from goodly company from #2 walks me through the set-up process, whereupon I save $40-50/month in perpetuity.

The part I'm not sure about is 1* - is it really as simple as calling and saying "I'm done, please charge me the ETF"? Are there other intermediate steps required to "unlock" (hint: I don't even know what this means) a phone once the contract is up and paid for? Many, many thanks for your kind explanation. Please explain this as if I were a fifth-grader.

Sidney
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Re: How much do you really pay for your smartphone?

Post by Sidney » Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:44 pm

Ged wrote:I have a Google Nexus 4 phone and use it on a TMobile prepaid daily service which costs $2 a day when I use it, 0 otherwise. I only use it on the mobile network when I travel which is about 10% of the time. Otherwise I use it on WiFi. I pay about $100 a year for this plan.
Does the $2 get you data as well when you are on the TMobile network?
I always wanted to be a procrastinator.

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magellan
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Re: How much do you really pay for your smartphone?

Post by magellan » Sun Jul 28, 2013 4:40 pm

Sidney wrote:
Ged wrote:I have a Google Nexus 4 phone and use it on a TMobile prepaid daily service which costs $2 a day when I use it, 0 otherwise. I only use it on the mobile network when I travel which is about 10% of the time. Otherwise I use it on WiFi. I pay about $100 a year for this plan.
Does the $2 get you data as well when you are on the TMobile network?
$2 gets you unlimited 2G data. $3 gets you 200MB of 4G then unlimited 2G. What t-mobile calls 2G is a connection that's throttled down to about 100 kbps, although your phone may still indicate that you're on a 4G network.

http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/prepaid-plans

As long as I don't try to download videos, I've found 200MB of 4G to be a workable limit, even when I use the phone as a hotspot. There have been a few times I paid for 4G but could only get 2G, which was a bummer, but it was better than nothing. Of course, browsing bogleheads usually works great even with 2G.

BTW, the hotspot app is a neat feature that t-mobile seems ok with, at least on prepaid plans (my phone isn't rooted and the hotspot app came with the phone). Anytime I stay in a hotel that charges for Internet access, I use the phone as a hotspot and DW and I can both get Internet access on our laptops through the phone for $3. This beats paying the hotel $10 for each laptop, which a lot of the nicer hotels seem to charge. Also, even if the connection does eventually get throttled to 2G, that's better than you get at a lot of hotels during prime time.

Jim
Last edited by magellan on Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

slick_dealer_05
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Re: How much do you really pay for your smartphone?

Post by slick_dealer_05 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:11 pm

I hate palm pixi. Crappy phone , Very small screen, and slow to respond. Pixi is ok for occasional web surfing but not for power users.
Switched to Nexus 4 on Straight talk and couldn't be happier. Costs $220 per 6 months or $36 per month for unlimited everything plan ( buying discounted refills on ebay). Residual/Resale value of GSM phones with SIM cards is much more than CDMA phones as the former can be sold across the world.

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Ged
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Re: How much do you really pay for your smartphone?

Post by Ged » Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:17 pm

magellan wrote:
BTW, the hotspot app is a neat feature that t-mobile seems ok with, at least on prepaid plans (my phone isn't rooted and the hotspot app came with the phone). Anytime I stay in a hotel that charges for Internet access, I use the phone as a hotspot and DW and I can both get Internet access on our laptops through the phone for $3. This beats paying the hotel $10 for each laptop, which a lot of the nicer hotels seem to charge. Also, even if the connection does eventually get throttled to 2G, that's better than you get at a lot of hotels during prime time.
Yes, I've used the hotspot feature as well. On the Nexus 4 it's a standard feature. It was really handy immediately after Sandy hit - I was still able to get online from my laptop and get email out to my employer and family members in other parts of the country.

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