T-Mobile’s “No Contract” Language Is Fuzzy At Best

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There it is, that little fine print at the bottom of every T-Mobile ad. Sure, their network is much better than it has been. They offer you more bang for the buck than any other carrier and they aren’t ashamed to admit it. What they are a bit hesistant to bring up is all the fine print that is associated with their ‘deals’. When you hit the T-Mobile website right now, you will see the ad above in all it’s glory – FREE TABLET! Nothing down, nothing per month. Only at T-Mobile. The $319.99 tablet is advertised as 100% gratis to you when you have a qualifying plan, which just happens to be the 2GB postpaid plan for new subscribers, or 1GB for existing subscribers. The 2GB plan is $20 per month, and you are required to hold the plan for a full 24 months or the remaining device payment is due.

Loosely translated, this means that T-Mobile is basically running the same deal as the contract cellular plans that it destroyed when they became the uncarrier. They are subsidizing the device cost by making you sign up for service for 2 years. If you leave 6 months into the deal, you will recieve credit for 6 months of payments on the tablet, or about $80. This leaves $240 due before you are off the hook. Most would call that an ETF, which is what T-Mobile said they had done away with.

This just goes to show you, no matter how much carrier bashing the “un-carrier” does, it’s still just like everyone else in the micro-fine print department. Buyer beware on this deal, just like when you finanace a phone through most carriers now. When you leave, you’re still going to have a pretty good fee to pay, whether they call it an ETF or a device payoff.

Source: T-Mobile

Get $75 From Verizon On New Prepaid Activations

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Just when you thought the deal on Verizon’s Prepaid services couldn’t get much better, they toss this one out. Right now, when users switch to Verizon Prepaid, you get a $25 monthly bill credit for the first 3 billing cycles. This means for the first 3 months of service, which includes unlimited talk, text and 3GB of LTE data with autopay enabled, users will only have to pay $20 a month. This will certainly ease the blow of having to purchase a new handset, but with values like the HTC Desire 626 for just $149.99, the savings will add up quickly.

The total out of pocket for year one on this deal would be a lowly, $465, plus the device. With the afore mentioned Desire, the one year cost settles at 614.99. Not bad for a plan with unlimited talk and text along with 3GB of LTE data. The 4 line family plan comparison has this coming in at $1860 for a year of service as compared to $240 a month or $2880 for the 12GB 4 line family share plan with their post paid offerings.

Whether you need one line or 5, Verizon’s Prepaid offerings have the perfect solution for you. Maybe this weekend the best gift you can give to yourself is a lower cell bill on the best network in the US. Hit the link below if you are ready to start saving now.

Link: Verizon Prepaid

Verizon Adds More Data To Prepaid Options

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As Verizon continues to get beat up on in the press by T-Mobile, the nation’s largest carrier isn’t happy just sitting back and taking it. Big Red continues to roll out deal after deal, and even attack T-Mobile back. In the latest volley of deals, Verizon has upped their prepaid offerings to now include 3GB of data with their $45 and 6GB of data with their $60 plan. While it doesn’t quite reach the MVNO “unlimited” levels, the fact that plans continue to increase on all the major carriers, without affecting pricing, is a great thing. Probably the largest positive to this deal is that for a family of 4, you can walk away with a decent handset in the sub $100 range and pay just $45 a month per line for Verizon’s service. This makes the monthly cost for a family of 4 $180 a month for the ability to use 3GB each.

When the 3GB isn’t quite enough, you can purchase a 500MB, 1GB or 2GB data add-on that are good for 30, 90 and 90 days respectively. 500MB of data will only cost you a $5 top up. The 1GB raises the price to $10 and the 3GB is just $20 more. The 1GB and 3GB add-ons are good for a full 90 days as well. It’s also worth noting that Verizon’s prepaid services do not have surcharges on top of them, though sales tax may be added in your area. Remember the additional bonus data requires that you are signed up for AutoPay, so no shopping discount refills to save a buck on this one.

The two year cost of the Verizon Prepaid program for a signle user on the $45 a month offering is $1080, plus device. This compares to almost $1725 for the same option under their postpaid offerings after taxes and fees have been added. As you can tell from those numbers, the prepaid offering is quite the steal if you want to move to Verizon. Again, devices like the Moto E or HTC Desire 526 will set you back less than $100 to get started with the savings on the Verizon prepaid plan. If you want more phone, selections include the newest devices from LG, Samsung and Apple, but be prepared to pay an upfront cost of nearly $900 for the upper tiered devices as they all come unlcoked and ready to use on any GSM caerrier in the US or worldwide. If you think this offer is right up your alley, hit the link below to check it out.

Link: Verizon Wireless Prepaid

Hidden Data Mongers And High Speed Data Usage

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As an editor of a smartphone blog, I hate to see it when rogue Apps destroy a users battery, performance or even worse, go on a data stream spree using up your cellular data instead of rolling on to the Wi-Fi network it is supposed to be hooked to. Unfortunately, this is exatly what my Samsung Note 5 did to me last night as I remoted in to a PC via Chrome Desktop Remote. What happened over the next 10 to 15 mintues was the Note logged off of the Wi-Fi connection, slipped back to mobile data and then proceeded to run up over 125MB of data.

I’ve shot off a few emails to Samsung today to see if there is any explaination to the random behavior, but I’m fully expecting a ‘this is your fault’ or maybe the ‘device needs to come in for service’ thing. I know that that is the simple answer for everything wrong with our smartphones today, at least according to the manufacturers, but the carriers always try to pin the blame on them as well, so you do have to wonder if some of it may be true. For the time being, I’m making the official PSA to make sure to shut off your mobile data if you are connected up to a Wi-Fi connection – or just somewhere you won’t be needing it.

As someone that had Google Play Music go rogue last month for a 250MB download and then had Google Chrome Remote do it again this month, it only makes sense to me to shut down that connection until I need it for something. Not only will it save me some needed data for when I need it, but it will also save me a hit to the pocket book if a few choose to go crazy within the same billing cycle. Of course, if you are on an unlimited plan, you don’t need to worry, but if you aren’t, keep track of your Apps that are chewing through your data.

Red Pocket Mobile Brings Back T-Mobile Plans

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In a move that caught literally everyone by complete surprise, Red Pocket Mobile announced this week that they have brought back their uber popular GSMT plans. The unlimited talk and text offering coming in at $19.99 is $5 less than any of their other unlimited offerings. The value of the day is still their Web & Text plan that offers users 300 minutes of talk, unlimited text and unlimited data with the first 2GB at LTE speeds. As excited as we are to see Red Pocket Mobile offering up the GSMT plans again, we have to move cautiously on a full recommendation as they were already discontinued once before. Sure, moving a no contract service around is no big deal, but if you aren’t watching the news carefully, sometimes those moves can end up costing you a number.

Source: http://www.goredpocket.com

Ten Minutes With Windows For Mobile

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It was time once again to break out our staff HTC One M8 for windows for another Windows Update. What we didn’t know, was that this time, it would be different. You see windows is growing up and getting much stronger. Gone are the days of sloppy designs and poor quality OS issues. Windows is getting it’s polish on.

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The overall look of the OS isn’t changing much, nor has it since Windows Phone 8. Sure, a bit of that polishing has been done, but honestly,  you can take it right back to that Windows Phone 7 look pretty quickly if you want to.

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Next in line is the fact that the App Store is actually starting to fill in, finally! A good selection of games, productivity and social networking options have all found their way into the Windows Store. Unfortunately,  many are still in their 8/8.1 modes, but at least they are popping up now instead of just going missing like they had in previous builds.

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Another positive about the latest updates from Microsoft is how well the Outlook App is progressing in the latest build. For some time now, it’s seemed as if Redmond was devoting all their Outlook development to iOS and Android. Today, it appears that the death of Windows Mobile was greatly exaggerated.

Everything in the latest build is just a tad sharper than it was last month. It’s still far from perfect, but with every Insider release, Microsoft continues to build towards something better. Sure, market share may be dwindling, but that probably has more to do with people buying multiple phones for themselves and not anything to do with new user adoption rates.

For example, many users simply take their old devices and save them for e-readers or for using as a music player at the gym when they land a newer version. Like those that purchased a Galaxy S4 and are now getting a new S6. The market numbers count that as 2 active devices as long as they are both accessing data. That could signal a false sense of “growth” as the total number of users didn’t change, but the number of devices did.

While nobody knows what the future holds for Windows on the smaller screen, it is very safe to say that the folks in Redmond are moving in the correct direction, and are doing it at a pretty strong pace.

T-Mobile Adds Amazon Video, Fox News, WWE And Univision Now To BingeOn

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T-Mobile added a few new providers to their BingeOn service today. Outspoken T-Mobile CEO John Legere made the announcement via Twitter this morning. Coming on board with the non-data counting service Will be Amazon Video, Fox News, Univision Now and the WWE Network.
For those that aren’t aware of BingeOn, the program is offered on T-Mobile Simple Choice Plans and allows users to stream unlimited videos from select services without using any of their data cap. It is worth noting that T-Mobile “compresses” the streams to 480p on all services to accomplish this, leaving some higher resolution users feeling a bit underwhelmed. For most mobile watchers 480p resolution will be more than enough, but if it’s not, users can always disable the feature.
For now, check out the details at http://www.tmobile.com and binge a bit more Amazon without worrying.