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IuniusBrutus
Jul 24, 2010



SB35 posted:

You know you can use straight talk and continue to get AT&T service for only $45 /month right? Then you won't have to worry about whether or not 3G works in your area

$15/month isn't worth 3g service to me.

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FranklinPCombs
Jan 27, 2005

Maybe your old man’s just a little bit cooler than you thought he was

I'm not a heavy talker, texter, or web browser on my phone, but I would like the option, I like freedom from contracts, am cheap as hell and like the coverage I get from AT&T.

I want to try the $30/mo. 1,000 minutes/1,000 text/30MB plan from StraightTalk, with this phone: http://www.jr.com/lg/pe/LG_P509BK/ . I like the idea of being able to get a SIM card from StraightTalk, and if it doesn't work out, I could use this phone with T-Mobile as well (right...?). I really just want the most basic I can get, and seeing as how I haven't gone over 1,000 minutes OR 1,000 texts ever since having a phone, and am going to be in a place most of the time that has WiFi, I don't see too much wrong with this idea.

I just wanted to run it buy the collective wisdom of others first who might have any words of warning, &c.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





The only caveat is that 30MB is really easy to burn on any smartphone. My mother-in-law uses a Motorola Xprt and still has sucked down twice that data without even remotely trying.

Zero VGS
Aug 16, 2002
"It has gunfights and shit!"


Lipstick Apathy

I've posted this once before but don't even think of the 30mb plan unless you can deal with things that depend on data shutting down. Google Voice, Maps, Email, you're basically reduced to a dumbphone after a day of ordinary data use, and stuck like that for the next 29 days. It's easier to work around the 100 minutes of the other $30 plan than it is to try the 30mb poo poo.

Zero VGS fucked around with this message at 22:05 on Nov 15, 2012

FranklinPCombs
Jan 27, 2005

Maybe your old man’s just a little bit cooler than you thought he was

Zero VGS posted:

It's easier to work around the 100 minutes of the other $30 plan than it is to try the 30mb poo poo.

Ah ok. This is why I liked the option though, because there's the flexibility to switch between plans if I don't like what I have. Sure it would be a waste of activation fees or SIM card fees or whatever I'd have to pay, but the fact that I can get a new plan without having to worry about ETFs and contracts...

The way I'm seeing it is that it's an upgrade in phones over what I have now, the cheap-o plan is probably all I'd need, and even if it's not, the ST $45/mo. plan would still save me a couple hundred dollars over 2 years (including the price of the phone) and I don't even have data right now!

The beauty of no contracts!

edit: On second reading what I took from your post was that maybe I should go with the T-Mobile plan to start (limit my voice minutes, not my data) and work from there. This makes sense, and is duly noted.

FranklinPCombs fucked around with this message at 22:16 on Nov 15, 2012

Zero VGS
Aug 16, 2002
"It has gunfights and shit!"


Lipstick Apathy

Just remember that the $30 5GB plan is "first time customers only", which in T-Mobile logic means that it has to be the first plan you put on the SIM card, or you can't have it at all. You can't switch off it and then switch back, or start with something else and switch to it, without buying a new SIM card and starting from scratch. Makes no sense but hey.

sourdough
Apr 30, 2012




Zero VGS posted:

Just remember that the $30 5GB plan is "first time customers only", which in T-Mobile logic means that it has to be the first plan you put on the SIM card, or you can't have it at all. You can't switch off it and then switch back, or start with something else and switch to it, without buying a new SIM card and starting from scratch. Makes no sense but hey.

If you've ported your "real" number to Google Voice, is this really a limitation? I assumed "first time customers only" meant they linked it to your credit card or name+address or whatever, but if it's literally just to the sim card, that doesn't seem too restrictive.

Zero VGS
Aug 16, 2002
"It has gunfights and shit!"


Lipstick Apathy

It's not nearly as big of a deal if you're ported into Google Voice, but you still have to buy a new physical SIM and redo an account signup any time you want to go back to the $30 plan.

All the other plans let you pop around at will but they arbitrarily make this one a pain in the rear end to get. I imagine that's because it's their loss leader that they only advertise on Walmart and Online because that's where cheap/savvy customers show up, as opposed to Joe Shlub who walks into an actual T-Mo store and buys whatever's pitched.

IuniusBrutus
Jul 24, 2010



I don't know if this is a stupid question or not...but the pre-paid services DO allow me to transfer my number to them, correct?

Arcsech
Aug 5, 2008


IuniusBrutus posted:

I don't know if this is a stupid question or not...but the pre-paid services DO allow me to transfer my number to them, correct?

Yes, but you will have to jump through hoops with most of them. Expect to call their customer service at least once, possibly more.

IuniusBrutus
Jul 24, 2010



Arcsech posted:

Yes, but you will have to jump through hoops with most of them. Expect to call their customer service at least once, possibly more.

Sigh.

Are there any that won't give me a bunch of poo poo if I try to do it? Looking more at the Straight Talk (ATT) service, it seems like I could handle $45/month as well. My iPhone is unlocked, so will I have to worry about loving with it to get MMS to work?

Also, are there any stores that will have the Straight Talk SIM cards? Or will I have to order one?

ThermoPhysical
Dec 26, 2007





IuniusBrutus posted:

Sigh.

Are there any that won't give me a bunch of poo poo if I try to do it? Looking more at the Straight Talk (ATT) service, it seems like I could handle $45/month as well. My iPhone is unlocked, so will I have to worry about loving with it to get MMS to work?

Also, are there any stores that will have the Straight Talk SIM cards? Or will I have to order one?

You'll have to order a SIM card from straighttalksim.com but, from what I've noticed, the iPhone may need a bit of messing with to get MMS to work...but, then again, so does Android sometimes. Apparently, it has to do with you need two APNs. One for cellular service, SMS, and data and the other specifically for MMS.

MC Hawking
Apr 27, 2004

by VideoGames


Fun Shoe

Zero VGS posted:

I've posted this once before but don't even think of the 30mb plan unless you can deal with things that depend on data shutting down. Google Voice, Maps, Email, you're basically reduced to a dumbphone after a day of ordinary data use, and stuck like that for the next 29 days. It's easier to work around the 100 minutes of the other $30 plan than it is to try the 30mb poo poo.

My only issue with this largely correct statement is that you can locally cache Maps these days which do away with the whole data need thing.

If you have wifi at home and work that also largely renders the need for mobile data moot. I will agree that 30mb is a bit light for any data plan. 200mb should be the minimum you look for just to be on the safe side. Of course this ignores internet browsing on the train/bus/whatever other use.

Uthor
Jul 9, 2006

Gummy Bear Heaven ... It's where I go when the world is too mean.

Sample size of one: when I had wifi at work, I would regularly use 100-150 mb per month just checking email/SA/Google Reader and the occasional maps when out and about.

Y2J
Aug 18, 2000

The Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah

FranklinPCombs posted:

I'm not a heavy talker, texter, or web browser on my phone, but I would like the option, I like freedom from contracts, am cheap as hell and like the coverage I get from AT&T.

I want to try the $30/mo. 1,000 minutes/1,000 text/30MB plan from StraightTalk, with this phone: http://www.jr.com/lg/pe/LG_P509BK/ . I like the idea of being able to get a SIM card from StraightTalk, and if it doesn't work out, I could use this phone with T-Mobile as well (right...?). I really just want the most basic I can get, and seeing as how I haven't gone over 1,000 minutes OR 1,000 texts ever since having a phone, and am going to be in a place most of the time that has WiFi, I don't see too much wrong with this idea.

I just wanted to run it buy the collective wisdom of others first who might have any words of warning, &c.

2 things. That phone has a great version of android since it "Features OS Android OS, v2.2 (Frodo) " LOTR android phone.

And 30mb, even with maps caching is really nothing. Basically if you can live with 30mb of data, its almost worth considering an ultrabook/cheap tablet with wifi and a dumbphone. Almost. But I can see that data being used if you travel (airport, rental car, walking directions), stream radio/pandors, or want to be connected anywhere where there may not be a wifi signal.

Stick100
Mar 18, 2003


MC Hawking posted:

My only issue with this largely correct statement is that you can locally cache Maps these days which do away with the whole data need thing.

I believe local maps will find locations but will not do turn by turn without data. I'm interested to hear I'm wrong.

Zero VGS
Aug 16, 2002
"It has gunfights and shit!"


Lipstick Apathy

Last I checked your turn by turn navigation will still be toast, and even with cached maps you won't be able to use voice search to bring up directions, or get a map of a business unless you know the street address. It cripples things pretty bad.

Edit: the only way I could see 30 megabytes work is if you used ICS/JB to ration 1mb a day and keep Mobile Data toggled off until you're ready to tap into said megabyte.

Edit 2: and if you're at that point you might as well use a dumbphone. There's a bunch of Google services you can access via SMS, including directions, getting search results on a term, etcetera.

Zero VGS fucked around with this message at 04:40 on Nov 16, 2012

ThermoPhysical
Dec 26, 2007





Would turn-by-turn work okay with ST's $45/plan? Would it really pull THAT much data?

Zero VGS
Aug 16, 2002
"It has gunfights and shit!"


Lipstick Apathy

Turn by turn should be fine, really without streaming things you should be fine with straight talk. 2GB is a lot different than 30MB. But again, you could use Android's ICS and beyond data controls to make sure you don't raise ST's ire.

ThermoPhysical
Dec 26, 2007





Zero VGS posted:

Turn by turn should be fine, really without streaming things you should be fine with straight talk. 2GB is a lot different than 30MB. But again, you could use Android's ICS and beyond data controls to make sure you don't raise ST's ire.

Yah, I can do without streaming, I've gotten so used to never streaming on Sprint due to slow data, I just offline mode any music I want and ignore videos.

Thanks for the quick response!

MC Hawking
Apr 27, 2004

by VideoGames


Fun Shoe

Stick100 posted:

I believe local maps will find locations but will not do turn by turn without data. I'm interested to hear I'm wrong.

I can't really answer this 'cause I really don't use maps in a typical way. I'll usually let GPS lock onto myself then search the cached maps for wherever I'm going. Then either figure out if the path that maps throws up for me is good or sucks. I live in one of the top 10 lovely traffic cities but rarely drive. My usage patterns won't cover the same usage patterns of many people, but I've learned to pre-plan many trips. If you need a lot of off the cuff directions, then spring for more data.

I'm a big believer in proper prior planning prevents piss poor performance and lovely karma. This isn't popular, but it works for me.

Long Francesco
Jun 3, 2005


FranklinPCombs posted:

I'm not a heavy talker, texter, or web browser on my phone, but I would like the option, I like freedom from contracts, am cheap as hell and like the coverage I get from AT&T.

I want to try the $30/mo. 1,000 minutes/1,000 text/30MB plan from StraightTalk, with this phone: http://www.jr.com/lg/pe/LG_P509BK/ . I like the idea of being able to get a SIM card from StraightTalk, and if it doesn't work out, I could use this phone with T-Mobile as well (right...?). I really just want the most basic I can get, and seeing as how I haven't gone over 1,000 minutes OR 1,000 texts ever since having a phone, and am going to be in a place most of the time that has WiFi, I don't see too much wrong with this idea.

I just wanted to run it buy the collective wisdom of others first who might have any words of warning, &c.

Whatever it is that you decide to do, do not buy that phone. Find a cheap used nexus s or something. Anything but that phone.

FranklinPCombs
Jan 27, 2005

Maybe your old man’s just a little bit cooler than you thought he was

Long Francesco posted:

Whatever it is that you decide to do, do not buy that phone. Find a cheap used nexus s or something. Anything but that phone.

Haha, ok. You've got me on the hook, would you care to go into this just a bit more?

cage-free egghead
Mar 8, 2004

Ready to eat me, sir!


FranklinPCombs posted:

Haha, ok. You've got me on the hook, would you care to go into this just a bit more?

It uses a very old version of Android, the processor and memory was considered middle of the road back in 2010 and for your money you can get a lot more than that. Check out cowboom.com, people have had pretty good success and it's got a lot better hardware than that.

lazer_chicken
May 14, 2009

PEW PEW ZAP ZAP


The worst problem with those super-low end phones is the tiny storage space. See how it only has 170mb of internal storage? Well you're going to install 5 apps and boom it's going to be low on space and then you can't do poo poo. Don't be fooled by the fact that you can add sd cards. Unless you root the phone you often can't move apps to the sd card. You'll have gigs upon gigs free on the sd card but 7MB free on the phone and it's a constant battle to keep clearing the app caches and jesus christ it's so annoying. I used to have the Optimus V and it was the same way.

Plus they are stuck on an already-outdated version of android and will not ever be updated, ever.

ThermoPhysical
Dec 26, 2007





How long can you keep your Straight Talk SIM / $45 plan card before it expires? It looks like I'll have a bit of a wait for the Nexus 4.

lazer_chicken posted:

The worst problem with those super-low end phones is the tiny storage space. See how it only has 170mb of internal storage? Well you're going to install 5 apps and boom it's going to be low on space and then you can't do poo poo. Don't be fooled by the fact that you can add sd cards. Unless you root the phone you often can't move apps to the sd card. You'll have gigs upon gigs free on the sd card but 7MB free on the phone and it's a constant battle to keep clearing the app caches and jesus christ it's so annoying. I used to have the Optimus V and it was the same way.

Plus they are stuck on an already-outdated version of android and will not ever be updated, ever.

The weirdest problem I ran into with the Optimus V's low space was when I ran out of space, I also ran out of the ability to receive texts.

I'd also stay away from any phone that doesn't have a sort of good development community. At least then you could root/ROM a sort of updated OS on.

Nitrousoxide
May 30, 2011

do not buy a oneplus phone





Okay, so there is this Solavei thing. They say they run on T-mobile's network and have roaming relationships. They offer $49/mth for unlimited voice/text/data. The trick is they seem to be a classic ponzi scheme. They rely on multilevel marketing to get new customers and supposedly pay people for recruiting new customers. They also literally just started up like 2 months ago.

So sketchy as that is, is this thing legit or should I stay keep them away with a 50 foot pole?

Zero VGS
Aug 16, 2002
"It has gunfights and shit!"


Lipstick Apathy

Yeah, I raised an eyebrow at that one too. MLM aside, $50 for unlimited everything could be anywhere from eh to awesome depending on how they really handle the data and roaming. If for example they do 5gb without protest, and full AT&T roaming, that's pretty drat good actually. Considering that their business model depends on word of mouth, they might not be too quick to give you the StraightTalk skullfuck for streaming.

Then back to the MLM, as an IT guy who directly recommends phones and plans to everyone in my company all day, it's tempting to think I could be having a huge monthly check cut to me. I should call them and get the skinny on their unlimited data to decide if I can hawk this poo poo and still look at myself in the mirror.

Edit: also, since you get $70 a month when you have three people signed up under you, that could actually be economical as a contact-free ghetto family plan hack.

FISHMANPET
Mar 3, 2007

Sweet 'N Sour
Can't
Melt
Steel Beams


What's up with the differences in the AT&T map in the OP and the StraightTalk coverage map (http://www.straighttalksim.com/coverage.php)

sourdough
Apr 30, 2012




Nitrousoxide posted:

Okay, so there is this Solavei thing. They say they run on T-mobile's network and have roaming relationships. They offer $49/mth for unlimited voice/text/data. The trick is they seem to be a classic ponzi scheme. They rely on multilevel marketing to get new customers and supposedly pay people for recruiting new customers. They also literally just started up like 2 months ago.

So sketchy as that is, is this thing legit or should I stay keep them away with a 50 foot pole?

Doesn't T-Mobile themselves have a $60 per month unlimited/unlimited/5 GB (or is it 2)?

Naffer
Oct 26, 2004

Not a good chemist

RVProfootballer posted:

Doesn't T-Mobile themselves have a $60 per month unlimited/unlimited/5 GB (or is it 2)?

Tmobile has the following:
$30 100/unlimited/5GB ($0.10 /min after 100)
$50 unlimited/unlimited/100 MB (~129 kbit after limit)
$60 unlimited/unlimited/2GB
$70 unlimited/unlimited/5GB

Simple Mobile (another T-Mobile MVNO) has the following:
$40 unlimited/unlimited/250 MB (~250 kbit after limit)
$50 unlimited/unlimited/2GB (this limit isn't explicit on the website, but they throttle you after you hit 2GB)

IuniusBrutus
Jul 24, 2010



So, if I buy one of the Straight Talk or T-Mobile micro SIMs, I can just drop it into my unlocked GSM phone, and activate it from the carriers website? How long am I looking at for the process to be done?

edit: I want the $30/month plan - since it is apparently only available through Wal-Mart/T-Mobile's website, I am concerned that I will have issues just buying a SIM card and dropping it in my already-owned phone.

IuniusBrutus fucked around with this message at 03:49 on Nov 20, 2012

gariig
Dec 31, 2004
Beaten into submission by my fiance

Pillbug

IuniusBrutus posted:

So, if I buy one of the Straight Talk or T-Mobile micro SIMs, I can just drop it into my unlocked GSM phone, and activate it from the carriers website? How long am I looking at for the process to be done?

edit: I want the $30/month plan - since it is apparently only available through Wal-Mart/T-Mobile's website, I am concerned that I will have issues just buying a SIM card and dropping it in my already-owned phone.

It's instantaneous so as fast you can type in your information once you get your sim

ilkhan
Oct 7, 2004

IF I JUST LICK ENOUGH BOOT LEATHER, BIG DADDY TRUMP WILL SURELY LOVE ME

gariig posted:

It's instantaneous so as fast you can type in your information once you get your sim
When I went to a TMo store and swapped for a microSIM, I literally took it from his hand, popped the back of my GNex off, slipped it into position, restarted the phone, and had service. Not bad.

Hoppin Tin
Mar 5, 2004


Fun Shoe

I just bought an ATT&T Galaxy Note off Ebay and unlocked it for use with T-Mobile. I'm doing the $30 unlimited web plan. Download/Upload speeds are loving atrocious. 56k loving atrocious. I've looked up on XDA for various fixes and it seems most people get their poo poo up and running just fine, but I run into problems left and right. Any one else have problems with T-Mobile speeds with a Note of similar phone or using unlocked phones and have sub-par service? I was thinking of checking out Straight-talk, but I don't wanna pay $45, unless I totally have to.

Zero VGS
Aug 16, 2002
"It has gunfights and shit!"


Lipstick Apathy

The I-717 Note with the row of capacitive buttons on bottom? You will have Edge speeds on that if you use it with T-Mobile because it is using AT&T radios.

However, you can root it and flash T-Mobile radios to it and you will at least get gimpy 4G. Apparently that phone has all the guts to be a full 4G T-Mobile phone, including pentaband, but the antennas aren't optimized for it so you'll pull down low 5-digit mbit speed tests after flashing the new radios.

plester1
Jul 9, 2004







Hoppin Tin posted:

I just bought an ATT&T Galaxy Note off Ebay and unlocked it for use with T-Mobile. I'm doing the $30 unlimited web plan. Download/Upload speeds are loving atrocious. 56k loving atrocious. I've looked up on XDA for various fixes and it seems most people get their poo poo up and running just fine, but I run into problems left and right. Any one else have problems with T-Mobile speeds with a Note of similar phone or using unlocked phones and have sub-par service? I was thinking of checking out Straight-talk, but I don't wanna pay $45, unless I totally have to.

Does the AT&T version of the Note use the same bands as T-Mobile? You might have screwed yourself into EDGE-only data by using that branded version, but don't quote me on that.

Edit: This guy above me knows what he's talking about.

plester1 fucked around with this message at 07:50 on Nov 20, 2012

Hoppin Tin
Mar 5, 2004


Fun Shoe

Zero VGS posted:

The I-717 Note with the row of capacitive buttons on bottom? You will have Edge speeds on that if you use it with T-Mobile because it is using AT&T radios.

However, you can root it and flash T-Mobile radios to it and you will at least get gimpy 4G. Apparently that phone has all the guts to be a full 4G T-Mobile phone, including pentaband, but the antennas aren't optimized for it so you'll pull down low 5-digit mbit speed tests after flashing the new radios.

See that's the thing, I've rooted and flashed all kinds of radios but when I flash them, I get errors saying My SIM doesn't work so I have to go back to stock radios. Other people say they get constant 4G speeds while others say they have the same problems, but don't get a full explanation as to why.

I was thinking of maybe buying a T-Mobile branded Note? Or maybe take my current Note to t T-Mobile store and see what they say?

Zero VGS
Aug 16, 2002
"It has gunfights and shit!"


Lipstick Apathy

You still haven't confirmed the model to me. If you take an AT&T phone to T-Mobile, unlocked or not, they will laugh at you; it's not their problem.

If you have the I-717 and flash, for example, the T-Mo Blaze radio, it should work fine with mediocre speeds. I know this because I've done so in real life. If you don't actually have that model of phone you are poo poo outta luck and will have to choose between edge and straight talk.

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Hoppin Tin
Mar 5, 2004


Fun Shoe

Zero VGS posted:

You still haven't confirmed the model to me. If you take an AT&T phone to T-Mobile, unlocked or not, they will laugh at you; it's not their problem.

If you have the I-717 and flash, for example, the T-Mo Blaze radio, it should work fine with mediocre speeds. I know this because I've done so in real life. If you don't actually have that model of phone you are poo poo outta luck and will have to choose between edge and straight talk.

Yeah it's the I-717 AT&T branded one with the capacitive buttons on the bottom.

So how's straight talk with their speeds? Having ridiculously lovely speeds is pretty much a deal breaker for me. But buying another unlocked phone (preferrably another Note or Note 2)isn't out of the question for me either..

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