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Mr.Radar
Nov 5, 2005

You guys aren't going to believe this, but that guy is our games teacher.


Quetzadilla posted:

So I'm looking for something cheap but reliable. I don't do much talking or data.

I currently have a Coolpad Quattro on MetroPCS $40/mo plan and it is loving terrible. I can't connect/drop calls all the time, probably miss 1/4-1/3 of incoming texts, and data might as well be nonexistent. That I don't care so much about because I'm privacy paranoid and don't use any apps aside from nav every so often when I get lost and the occasional web browsing, but it takes a goddamn long time to do that assuming I have any data connection at all. There appears to be no rhyme or reason to any of it, since I can be at full bars with 4G and unable to load a website or dial a number. MMS is a loving nightmare, where replying to a group text sends only to the sender and initiating a group text just sends individual texts to all recipients, assuming any of it works at all in the first place.

I'd assume this is the phone's fault more than the carrier, since it is complete garbage that can't even maintain a USB connection to pull (crappy) photos or add music for longer than 3 minutes. I can't really be sure, though. After poking around, it seems buying a Moto G or a Samsung Galaxy Light and T-Mobile's dork plan is the way to go, but I guess that would be the same network as what I have currently, so if it isn't the phone's fault, I definitely don't want that.

So a good alternative looks like Cricket, especially with the $100 porting credit and since I could probably switch my father over and pay for him to get unlimited international landline calls for $50/mo.

I'd really like to be able to test my current provider's reception on another device to see whether T-Mobile might be viable before I spend a lot of time and money on a new phone/carrier. My Coolpad Quattro has a SIM card, so would I be able to pop that into another GSM phone to check it out (provided I can find one)?
Yes. You should be able to put your SIM into any T-Mobile or MetroPCS phone (or any unlocked phone supporting T-Mobile's bands) and it will "just work."

quote:

I'd appreciate any advice on carriers or phone picks. Moto G 1st or 2nd? 1st gen has 4G though apparently that doesn't mean poo poo for T-Mobile but could be useful on Cricket? Galaxy Light has 4G and is half the price, and I do like that Samsung includes a basic app suite parallel to but not actually Google since I'm paranoid, but is it garbage?
The only inexpensive Android phones really worth buying are the Moto E and Moto G. Pretty much everything else is under-speced garbage which will never see a single OS update. T-Mobile does use 4G (specifically LTE bands 2, 4, and 12, with 4 being the main band) but as you know their 3G is pretty good too (the biggest advantage of LTE is much lower latency).

quote:

I'm in the greater Santa Barbara, CA area ZIP (93101-93120) if that helps. Opensignal's heatmaps are kind all over the place and don't really reflect my experience on MetroPCS at least (which leads me to further believe it is the phone's fault).

EDIT: I also want to keep my number which Cricket will do, but if I do T-Mobile's dork plan will I have to go through Google Voice to do that? I do not want to do that so if that is the case then I'd definitely do Cricket.
Not sure about that. You don't have to use GV to use the dork plan, but T-Mobile may require you to port your number out to a 3rd party provider before you could port it back to them for the nerd plan (I'm not sure how they handle MetroPCS -> T-Mobile porting, especially since the nerd plan is for "new customers only").

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Mr.Radar
Nov 5, 2005

You guys aren't going to believe this, but that guy is our games teacher.


Stupid_Sexy_Flander posted:

Anyone know much about Straight Talk?

My mom recently got on there with an android phone, but for some reason she can't get picture messages. She can get emoji and all that jazz, but not pics of stuff that I send her.

Keeps telling her it's expired.

Any ideas?

Have you checked her APN configuration? StraightTalk's support page which apparently provides instructions for configuring it is here.

Mr.Radar
Nov 5, 2005

You guys aren't going to believe this, but that guy is our games teacher.


Vykk.Draygo posted:

Okay, good. The first paragraph of the shipping confirmation said be prepared to sign, but hopefully the UPS guy will just leave my $10 package on the porch like he usually does. Thanks.

I think their system is setup for phone deliveries and SIM deliveries were not in mind when they wrote those messages. It makes perfect sense to require signatures for phone deliveries.

Mr.Radar
Nov 5, 2005

You guys aren't going to believe this, but that guy is our games teacher.


T-Mobile nerd plan or their "Simple Choice Prepaid" plans are probably the best in most areas. T-Mobile's network is often the least overloaded in most places and they don't have any kind of throttling or proxying on those plans. I've gotten over 50 Mbps with ~60 ms ping in speed tests on the nerd plan in Minneapolis and my phone doesn't even support all of their LTE bands.

Mr.Radar
Nov 5, 2005

You guys aren't going to believe this, but that guy is our games teacher.


chocolateTHUNDER posted:

Some of this is true; just make sure you don't have to travel a lot or else you'll find T-Mobile's coverage isn't quite as upto snuff as Verizon's/ATT is.

sweetmercifulcrap is on Virgin Mobile right now which uses the Sprint network. There aren't many places where Sprint has service that T-Mobile doesn't, though of course he should probably try it out himself before fully switching.

Mr.Radar
Nov 5, 2005

You guys aren't going to believe this, but that guy is our games teacher.


Lblitzer posted:

To extrapolate from this; Verizon LTE phones are unlocked out of the box, so if their version of the Moto G had LTE, you could bet you'd be able to get at least HSPA+ on GSM networks, but alas it's a 3G only phone so no sim card slot to speak off.

Which is strange because I thought I remember something about Verizon shutting down all of their CDMA towers by 2016.

You're probably mixing up two cellular changes happening soon. AT&T will be shutting down their 2G EDGE network in 2017 (to use the bandwidth for 3G HSPA and 4G LTE) and Verizon will be dropping CDMA/EVDO support from new phones next year (since they feel their LTE network has reached coverage parity with the CDMA network). Verizon will continue providing CDMA/EVDO service through 2021. Also, in case you're wondering, neither Sprint nor T-Mobile have announced plans to discontinue their 2G or 3G services though over time you should expect them to reallocate bandwidth away from 2G/3G and towards LTE (since it's way more efficient).

Mr.Radar
Nov 5, 2005

You guys aren't going to believe this, but that guy is our games teacher.


TheMopeSquad posted:

I was just wondering if anyone had any insight into this problem I'm having.

Just bought an unlocked Moto G and signed up for the T-Mobile $30 Nerd Plan and I just cannot receive texts or calls, can send them fine but cannot receive. I've already googled as much as I could, did a factory reset and contacted TMob customer support who were no help at all.

At this point I'm thinking I should just order a Cricket SIM instead and hope for the best.

Did you port your number from a different carrier? Sometimes it can take a few hours for incoming calls to be routed to the new carrier instead of your old one.

Mr.Radar
Nov 5, 2005

You guys aren't going to believe this, but that guy is our games teacher.


That plan (with 1200 minutes) would be a nice compliment to the T-Mobile nerd plan. I've never had CDMA service before, what's the least-crap cheap phone that works with it? The 2013 Moto G? (It looks like there'e supposed to be a 2015 CDMA Moto G but it's not out yet.) Do phones have to be previously activated on Sprint before I can use them with RingPlus+?

Mr.Radar
Nov 5, 2005

You guys aren't going to believe this, but that guy is our games teacher.


Endless Mike posted:

The 2013 CDMA Moto G doesn't have LTE, so it's effectively useless as a smartphone on Sprint.

Oh, the page on the RingPlus+ store said it had 4G LTE. What's my best option besides waiting for the 2015 Moto G variant? Or is that my best option?

Edit: the store page for the Moto G on RingPlus's site is weird, it says 4G LTE and links to a CNet review of the 2015 variant but all the other specs (and the stock image) are for the 2013 version. Also they are selling some ancient devices on there too, like the Motorola Photon Q (the Sprint variant of the Droid 4) and the HTC Evo 4G which they describe as having a "responsive Android build" (it's a loving Gingerbread device, there's nothing "responsive" about it).

Mr.Radar fucked around with this message at 17:15 on Nov 21, 2015

Mr.Radar
Nov 5, 2005

You guys aren't going to believe this, but that guy is our games teacher.


whatever7 posted:

Just grab a ESN and activate a line first. You can swap out phone later for 2 dollar fee. If you can't use any of the ESN code on the slickdeal thread first post, I can hook you up with a ESN.

OK, let me make sure I have this straight. I can just use any ESN that passes their test to activate a line then I can buy, e.g., a Boost Mobile Moto E (like the one Target will be selling for $30 on Black Friday) and transfer the line over to that? It looks like they're also waiving their ESN transfer fee on BF so that will work out nicely. Also, could you link or PM me the thread you mentioned? I can't find it and the layout of Sickdeals is giving me a headache.

Edit: found a working ESN, thanks!

Mr.Radar fucked around with this message at 19:46 on Nov 21, 2015

Mr.Radar
Nov 5, 2005

You guys aren't going to believe this, but that guy is our games teacher.


If you're on RingPlus and want to stay on Sprint's coverage, I'd recommend Tello. They have both a pay-as-you-go option (3c/minute, 1c/text, 2c/MB with no credit expiration as long as you use your phone once every 6 months) and customizable monthly plans (so you pick how many minutes/texts/MB per month you want). Porting from RingPlus is easy and you don't even need a new SIM card.

Also, if you're thinking about getting Freedompop, be aware that they switched their network provider to a UK company called Fogg Mobile who use their roaming agreement with AT&T to provide service in the US, so it won't work with Sprint-locked devices. Their service was also downgraded to 3G/HSPA-only (even on paid tiers) and only 200 MB data on their free tier (compared to 500 MB when they were with Sprint). EDIT: Apparently they now offer an LTE-compatible SIM for US customers, which wasn't the case when I ordered mine back in December. EDIT 2: Now I'm not sure about the GSM-only part either. Has anyone activated a CDMA device with them recently?

Mr.Radar fucked around with this message at 17:01 on Feb 4, 2017

Mr.Radar
Nov 5, 2005

You guys aren't going to believe this, but that guy is our games teacher.


Rastor posted:

Well, T-Mobile postpaid will roam onto AT&T, and I think they are working on a deal with US Cellular too. But then that's not prepaid.

Google Fi will automatically switch between T-Mobile and Sprint.

Even T-Mobile postpaid data roaming on AT&T is very limited, IIRC only 200 MB per billing cycle with a hard cutoff if you go over. Also, Fi added US Cellular in addition to T-Mobile and Sprint.

Mr.Radar
Nov 5, 2005

You guys aren't going to believe this, but that guy is our games teacher.


Stupid_Sexy_Flander posted:

Any new good deals?

I'm on cricket at the moment with the $50 8?gb plan. Just wondering if anyone has a better deal for next month.

The current best deals in prepaid are from providers that require you to buy multiple months of service in advance. Mint Mobile runs on T-Mobile and has 2, 5, and 10 GB for $15, $20, and $25/month if you prepay for a year (or 3 months with their current promotion).

Mr.Radar
Nov 5, 2005

You guys aren't going to believe this, but that guy is our games teacher.


I just got an e-mail from FreedomPop and it looks like they're cutting off Sprint service. Somewhat of an end of an era considering FreedomPop got it's start reselling Sprint WiMax service for literally free to boost subscription numbers when that network turned out to be a total flop. They are transferring their Sprint-based customers to Ting with an option of the following plans according to the e-mail:

Option 1: $6 unlimited talk and text + $4/GB
Option 2: $20 unlimited talk and text + 20GB data + first month free

The only Sprint line I have with FreedomPop is a hotspot, I wonder if they will offer different plans for those since talk and text is obviously not applicable.

Mr.Radar
Nov 5, 2005

You guys aren't going to believe this, but that guy is our games teacher.


Did some more looking into this and it looks like this is just a side-effect of a deal where Red Pocket acquired FreedomPop and UNREAL Mobile last month. Red Pocket is only hanging on to FreedomPop's GSM customers and it's unclear what will happen to them in the long run (whether their free or paid service will continue at their current rates). Also, apparently paying CDMA customers were notified of the Ting transition last month but the only indication free customers get is an e-mail and text when their account was transferred which is bullshit (though given the cost of the service (free) I don't have too much room to complain).

It looks like the special Ting offer above only applies through the end of the year. After that you apparently get transferred to one of Ting's standard plans which are much more expensive. It also seems that Sprint will not allow MVNOs to unlock mobile hotspots for use on non-Sprint networks/MVNOs, which is supremely annoying. Looking around at various Sprint MVNOs it looks like my best option for inexpensive service would be Tello where you can configure a plan with no voice/text service which puts it below Ting's special offer rate for 1 GB of data ($6 vs $10) and the same rate if you want unlimited voice/text. I'll have to verify I can actually use a hotspot with this plan when I get home tonight.

Mr.Radar fucked around with this message at 22:15 on Jul 18, 2019

Mr.Radar
Nov 5, 2005

You guys aren't going to believe this, but that guy is our games teacher.


Sprint: U.S. Approves T-Mobile-Sprint Merger, a Deal That Would Reshape the Industry. The deal was approved with the conceit that Dish will start a new national wireless network to compete with the now-Big 3. Dish is getting Sprint's prepaid customers (first-party (Boost/Virgin/Sprint-branded) only I think but I'm not sure) and band 26 (800 MHz), 20k cell sites, and a 7-year roaming agreement with T-Mobile. T-Mobile in-turn gets to keep the rest of Sprint's spectrum/cell sites/customers and has also agreed to lease some of Dish's band 71 (600 MHz) spectrum.

Mr.Radar
Nov 5, 2005

You guys aren't going to believe this, but that guy is our games teacher.


Stupid_Sexy_Flander posted:

Neat, finally figured out how to turn off the goddamn display on my phone.

If you have a moto phone, and you are tired of the display coming on to notify you of EVERY SINGLE GODDAMN THING and half the time NOTHING AT ALL THE loving MOTION SENSOR JUST SENSED YOUR DEAD GRAMPA OR SOMETHING gently caress WHY DOES IT DO THIS poo poo AT 3AM, then go into the Moto app, and go into display, and disable peek. After that, finally, you will be able to rest without the display popping up every 15 goddamn minutes.

You are welcome, fellow moto enthusiasts.

4 of my last 5 phones have been Motorolas with that feature and I just set my phone upside-down when I sleep

Mr.Radar
Nov 5, 2005

You guys aren't going to believe this, but that guy is our games teacher.


Cricket and AT&T Prepaid are both doing a promo plan with unlimited talk and text and 2GB high speed data for $15/month. This is clearly a reaction to T-Mobile's similar plan, though this one is better because it throttles you when you reach the data cap instead of cutting you off completely like the T-Mobile plan. The differences between the Cricket and AT&T plans seem to be that the Cricket plan has taxes included but is subject to their normal restrictions (8 Mbps speed cap, no hotspot) while the AT&T plan does not include taxes but does include hotspot, data rollover (for 1 month), and no speed cap.

Mr.Radar fucked around with this message at 19:25 on Mar 27, 2020

Mr.Radar
Nov 5, 2005

You guys aren't going to believe this, but that guy is our games teacher.


FYI if you hopped on those $15 Cricket or AT&T plans I mentioned on the last page, the price is increasing to $30/month in July so be sure to cancel your plan before it renews in July.

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Mr.Radar
Nov 5, 2005

You guys aren't going to believe this, but that guy is our games teacher.


Visible and PagePlus are the two Verizon MVNOs I hear the most about. Some multi-carrier MVNOs like Tracfone and Red Pocket also have Verizon as an option. In order to active your service you'll need a phone with an IMEI that Verizon accepts (here's Visible's IMEI checker); once it's activated you can probably swap the SIM to another phone with compatible LTE bands but if it doesn't support Verizon's VoLTE properly voice and text will not work.

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