Oct 31 AT 12:38 PM Taylor Wimberly 174 Comments

Top 4 US pre-paid wireless plans for the Nexus 4


Regular readers of the site will know that we are huge fans of pre-paid wireless service, and the recent launch of the Nexus 4 has brought a new level of attention for these cheaper plans. We recently covered the best pre-paid plans for Android phones, but we thought the guide should be updated from a Nexus point of view. Read on for our top picks and let us know which service provider you plan on using.

The Nexus 4 is sold unlocked and is GSM/HSPA+ compatible so it will operate on more than 200 network providers worldwide, including AT&T and T-Mobile in the US. The Nexus 4 supports networks up to 4G HSPA+ 42Mbps, which happens to be offered by T-Mobile, the official Nexus 4 launch partner. AT&T’s 4G HSPA+ network only supports max speeds of 21 Mbps.

1. T-Mobile Monthly 4G

Summary: T-Mobile Monthly 4G is our top pick since they offer the cheapest pre-paid plans. Their basic $30 plan includes up to 5GB of full-speed 4G HSPA+ data, but it is only limited to 100 minutes talk time. Many people grab this cheap plan and then use Groove IP to place VOIP calls and save their minutes.

Network: T-Mobile 4G HSPA+ 42 Mbps

Plans: $30 for 100 minutes, unlimited text, and data (throttled after 5 GB). $60 for unlimited talk, text, and data (throttled after 2 GB). $70 for unlimited talk, text, and data (throttled after 5 GB).

SIM card fee: $0.99

The good: Cheapest prices. Defined data policy. Multiple plans to choose from. In-store support.

The not-so-good: Does not support conditional call forwarding. You might need to disable your T-Mobile voicemail if you want to use Google Voice voicemail on a carrier number.

More infoOfficial site

2. Solavei

Summary: If you have a lot of friends and family or you are active on social networks, then you might want to explore Solavei. It only offers a single $49 plan, but it includes unlimited talk, text, and full speed HSPA+ data that is throttled after 4 GB. For people that need more calling minutes, Solavei’s $49 plan is a better deal than the $60 T-Mobile Monthly 4G plan that only includes 2GB of full speed data. Solavei is unique because they pay you to refer your friends. Read my hands-on experience for a closer look at Solavei.

Network: T-Mobile 4G HSPA+ 42 Mbps

Plans: $49 per month:  Unlimited talk, text, and data (throttled after 4 GB)

SIM card fee: $9

The good: Clearly defined data policy. Supports conditional call forwarding. Pays you a monthly bonus for customers you refer.

The not-so-good: Only T-Mobile compatible phones will see full 4G HSPA+ speeds, but this will improve as T-Mobile upgrades their network to support 1900 MHz in their top 50 markets by end of 2012.

More infoOfficial site (referral link)

3. Straight Talk

Summary: Straight Talk has become very popular since it lets you choose to get a SIM card compatible with AT&T or T-Mobile. In our last round up we listed them as our top choice, but it was mainly because they support AT&T phones. The Nexus 4 can operate on any GSM network, and we prefer T-Mobile for their faster data speeds. The major downside to Straight Talk is they do not have a clearly defined data policy. Some users have reported consuming 8 GB of data in a month while others say they were throttled after 2 GB.

Networks: T-Mobile 4G HSPA+ 42 Mbps, AT&T 4G HSPA+ 21 Mbps

Plan: $45 per month:  Unlimited talk, text, and data.

SIM card fee: $9.99-14.99

The good: Choice of AT&T or T-Mobile’s network.

The not-so-good: Data policy is not clearly defined. You will get a warning if you go over an imaginary data limit, which can differ from market to market.

More infoOfficial site

4. Simple Mobile

Summary: Simple Mobile recently lowered their top tier unlimited plan from $60 down to $50. It is now competitive with Solavei or Straight Talk, but Simple Mobile doesn’t really offer anything unique. They also have an undefined data policy and you could be throttled any time they think you are abusing their service.

Networks: T-Mobile 4G HSPA+ 42 Mbps

Plans: $40 per month:  Unlimited talk, text, and data (3G speeds). $50 per month:  Unlimited talk, text, and data (4G speeds).

SIM card fee: $12.99

The good: Multiple plan options.

The not-so-good: Data policy is not clearly defined. Only T-Mobile compatible phones will see full 4G HSPA+ speeds, but this will improve as T-Mobile upgrades their network to support 1900 MHz in their top 50 markets by end of 2012.

More infoOfficial site

Final Words and Advice

The great thing about buying the Nexus 4 is you have a lot of choices for pre-paid wireless service. All of these plans we listed come with no long term commitments or contracts, so you can try several of them out and see what works best for you.

We suggest pre-paid service on T-Mobile since they offer the fastest HSPA+ speeds, but some people might get better coverage from AT&T in their local area. Check out Open Signal Maps for a preview of who has the best coverage in your area.

As always, be sure to leave a comment if you have any questions. There are a lot of pre-paid fans in the audience and they will be happy to help you out.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • Donald Williams

    Heck yea. Finally T-Mobile is getting some spotlight again. Cheap plans and great options especially if you live in the area they cover.

    Thanks “T” for the great write up again… sending link to a friend. Been trying to get him to switch for over a year. Hopefully this will help.

    • ibap

      It’s that ‘area they cover’ part that leaves me out. When I tried T-Mobile at my home – goose egg.

      • Ellen89

        Agreed, t-mobile is the worst carrier. I have at&t with my iPhone4S and its fantastic.

        At&t forever, iPhone forever. The best of both worlds.

        • ddpacino

          Why are you even here?!

        • ioconnor

          I had AT&T in 2002. Tried it again in 2012. I doubt I’ll try them again in 2022. Verizon and T-Mobile have better features and speeds.

    • Nobby

      Final nail in the coffin for android

    • ayocuz

      These plans make me not feel so bad when i pay $96 a month on t mobile but my data is truly unlimited. Last monthi used 48g of data which i have to admit isa lot but when it comes to smart phones you’re gonna need unlimited 4g speeds if you’re gonna use it like you’d really like to. Throttled speeds to me seem to really be useless

      • Philip

        What plan do you have? Value or Classic?

        • ayocuz

          Classic with a discount

  • NamelessTed

    I am on Solavei right now and it has been solid for me so far. I will definitely continue to use it when I buy the Nexus 4 as soon as it releases.

    The big reason for going with Solavei for me is that it is cheaper than T-Mobile for the plans with more than 100 minutes, and I can still get 4GB of 4G data before it gets throttled. I know most people haven’t had problems with Simple Mobile or Straight Talk, but the completely undefined data structure makes me not want to go anywhere near it.

    Now I just need to slowly start convincing everybody I know to switch over to Solavei as their contracts start to expire.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      I think the pre-paid carriers just like to advertise the word “unlimited.” They know that the majority of their customers will never go over 1GB and they just throttle the top 5% that abuse it. Like you, I’d rather have something more clearly defined.

    • Erik Hanson

      The best part of a pre-paid carrier is that if they get too terrible or arbitrary — it’s pre-paid, so just switch at the next month! No contracts tying you to their service like the old days, so the carriers actually have to compete on service and price, not lock-in. FINALLY.

  • joe dirt

    Can you not sign up for Solavei until you have the phone in hand? I know the Nexus 4 will work with them but you need an IMEI number to get past the signup. I assumed that you coutd just pop your sim card between different phone on their and it wasn’t locked into your current phone. Since i’m on sprint i don’t have an IMEI # yet.

    I was tryign to sign up this month to get the free month and waived activiatio even though it the nexus 4 is out till the 13th.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      They check your IMEI number to see if you need a normal SIM or micro SIM. You should be able to enter an old IMEI number and have it still work. I will pass along the feedback that some people want to purchase a SIM without already having their new phone in hand. I think they include this check to prevent Sprint and Verizon customers from accidentally signing up.

    • Dave

      Borrow the # from a friends GS3, I would post mine, but not sure if somthing fishy can be done with that.

    • troglodytis

      looks like Solavei did extend the promotion another month. ROCK!

    • Sebastian

      You can check out this video to see how to get a Solavei sim card before your Nexus 4 arrives:

  • LoyalAndroidUser

    Something to be aware of about Straight Talk – I was told by Straight Talk support that they don’t leverage all of the TMobile towers even when using the Tmobile compatible SIM card and phone. So even if you had 4G in TMobile doesnt guarantee that you will get it in Straight Talk as I recent found.

    Thanks for the list of the other carriers for use with the Nexus because this is EXACTLY what I plan to do!

  • Robert Kelen

    Do any of these plans allow tethering? It’s not something I need to do often, but when there’s no wi-fi available it’s occasionally been a must.

  • David Chen

    And there is T-Mobile Value Plan, It might have too much string attached for some but if you already have T-Mobile value plan Nexus 4 is a perfect match.

    I have T-Mobile family value plan, $60 for four lines, plus $10/line for unlimited internet. I have already got two galaxy nexus, the next one will be a nexus 4.

    • Richard Yarrell

      You sound like you’re rolling pretty hard on Tmobile and i know it’s fun. Unlimited data /value plan on Tmobile is a great way to go no question..

      • swazedahustla
      • Max.Steel

        But…but…but according to what you said, Sprint is the best and “tween mobile” sucks.

        • swazedahustla

          Actually I didn’t. But But But………after checking the reviews of the phone I can’t help but to say Really?? Piss poor battery life according to 3 mobile sites….And even though benchmarks mean nothing, stock nexus 4 gets blown out the water by every phone announced the past 4 months. Hell even my Evo 4G LTE crushes the nexus 4 in quadrant…..and thats stock, out the box, NO MODS. LMAO!!!!

          But I do think its a step up for anyone with a Gnex, but not for me.

          • Max.Steel

            I was talking to Dick. lol.

          • lol

            according to three mobile sites? out of, what, 100? ahaha. Nice sample size there, buddy.

            Not even going to touch the “blown out of the water by every phone announced the past 4 months” comment…you demonstrated your own intelligence making that poor statement

  • Nate B.

    Do you use Straight Talk Taylor?

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      I actually have service with Solavei, Straight Talk, and Simple Mobile right now.

      • Nate B.


      • steven

        What’s been your experience with ST data limits? Can you explain how legally they can get away with marketing UNLIMITED if they admit its limited?? And why is the limit such a secret??? Some folks say they’ve gotten dinged at 2gb while others say they’ve used 4gb w no issues. Just signed with them today to try but worried..don’t even know what to set up my data limits on my phone

        • Voliam

          Data is unlimited in those plans. The fact that they throttle you just slows down your throughput, but you can still use data without extra charges.

          • Frank

            What sort of speeds does one get in US once the carrier throttles data?

        • ArticulateFool

          In my experience, Straight Talk will throttle you if you are on an ATT sim card. I generally get throttled at 2gb or when I use over 200mb in a day.

          I have heard that T-Mobile sim cards through Straight Talk will not get throttled, or at least have a lot more wiggle room.

  • co.ag.2005

    I wish there was a MVNO that utilized more data allotment (like 4 GB) on AT&T. Here in Denver, when I tried out T-Mobile prepaid on my Galaxy Nexus, it was much slower than AT&T. Plus, I didn’t like when I traveled that I was on EDGE a lot with T-Mobile.

    I think my wife and I are still going to switch to Straight Talk this spring, but I’m nervous about that unclear data policy.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Red Pocket Mobile is a MVNO on AT&T, but their top plan only offers 1GB of data. http://goredpocket.com/

      • co.ag.2005

        yeah, I’ve seen them all. I’m just wanting one with more data. Thanks for the reply, though.

  • Cesar Munoz

    I been using my amaze4g on simple mobile for the last 8 months and it work just fine. I was paying $60 dls and they did reduce their monthly payment to $50 dls. I recently try out the HTC One X w/ at$t single line and my bill was going to be $125 dls but I cancel it, if u are trying to save some money I think that tmobile or simple mobile will be your best option.

  • adring

    So we know carriers are cheap nowadays. What about cheaper options for phones? Not that I would ever stray too far from Google Play devices, but is that the cheapest options? Are there any trustworthy sites that sell say SGS3 below the $550 phone only price from Amazon/ATT/etc?

    • mattcoz

      You want a cheaper phone but are asking about the SGS3? The Nexus 4 is dirt cheap and a better phone. They posted an article recently covering cheaper options for phones, but none come close to the value of the Nexus 4 now. Maybe prices will start to fall though.

    • steven

      I just wonder how Google unlocked is 300+$ less than others. I think Nexus unlocked has to be the best phone for the price. Tmo direct keeps pricing phones higher than others..be itgGoogle play or what they’ve done with sg3 & note2. So.much for value brand. Wait till they have a sale & check website often. Last month sg3 was free w contract online for an entire week. But their Mktg sucks. They had this great sale but didn’t tell anybody

      • Scott

        Easy: phone manufacturers make money on phones, Google makes money on people using them. Google sells phones at cost, or for all we know, at a loss. Their incentive is to get a pure Android device out to developers, consumers and other manufacturers. Manufacturers partner with Google to advance their ability to make and sell Android phones (look what Samsung did with 2 consecutive Nexus devices). They also gain by actually being able to influence the direction of Android’s code. LG’s credibility as an Android partner is going to shoot through the roof, and their next Optimus or whatever is going to be all the better.

  • Oscar Ortega

    right now im using tmobile prepaid plan :)

  • Ross Winn

    I think that T-Mobile and MetroPCS will form a strong allied relationship and march strongly toward 4G LTE at very competitive pricing. I love my SimpleMobile service, and make no mistake they are simply another part of T-Mobile.

  • Y314K

    Does Solavei charge Fees + Taxes without a corporate discount ??? Or is it just like Straight talk, where u just get charge for Tax and nothing else extra ???

  • Derek

    I love Straight Talk on AT&T. T-mobile does have faster 4G data speeds, but their network is smaller, much smaller in most markets. I’ll trade off a little slower 4G speeds for a larger 3G/4G market coverage.

    I’ve tested Straight Talk on several iphone 4′s and consistently get 2.5Mbps down and 500-800 kbps up. that’s more than enough data speed for mobile use. And that’s here in SC where AT&T really doesnt have much 4G capacity period.

    • Nate B.

      Exactly the same in my area. My speeds are faster but same difference in my area.

  • Nathan D.

    Wooho, t-mobile is coming back! Can’t wait until they lunch their new super phone :-)

  • rr2009

    T-mobile is the best choice.

  • christianchew

    If one signs up for StraightTalk, does it mean that you get to use a combined AT&T and T-Mo network or do you have to use seperate SIM cards for it?

    • douglasc_hill

      There are separate SIM cards for both (when you sign up for service you pick the network).

    • steven

      @Christian….ST you choose either an at&t or tmo Sim..not both. Use promo SIMSAVE to get $10 off (free Sim)..and when u checkout, your shipping should be free. I just did it for 45+tax

  • Kevin

    I’ll sell you my used s3 for $420. I’ve only had it for 3 months. Let me know. kevinfennelljr@gmail.com

  • douglasc_hill

    My only complaint about T-Mobile is the cost and hassle of getting a micro-SIM. First off you cannot order a prepaid micro-SIM online, if you call support they recommend that you go to a physical store. When you go to the store, they try to charge over $20 for the SIM which is crazy considering the standard SIM is usually on sale for .99 with free shipping. My recommendation is to order the standard SIM and bring it to a Tmobile store and they will cut it down for you (no charge). If there are no TMo stores around just buy a SIM cutter off Ebay for $3.00.

  • Deon Davis

    I much Prefer Simple Mobile over STraight Talk, Even if its not officially stated you 2 GB full speed before throttle. Straight Talk is to iffy on their data plans.

  • Jasonhunterx

    Using T mobile on my Galaxy Nexus and if I pick up a 4 it will be rocking it to

  • James W.

    I would like to try Solavei but I don’t like the $50 activation fee and the $30 sim card fee. They should extend that promotion another month for the Nexus 4 launch. I’m deciding between the $30 T-mobile plan and Straight Talk.

  • Rovindra Singh

    I just purchased the SIM card from Solavei to work on my Galaxy Nexus, didn’t anticipate that the Nexus 4 was going to utilize a Mico SIM, any ideas on how they will allow users to get a Micro SIM to use if they are already on the Solavei network or will we have to go ahead and purchase another SIM card and pay all the fees attached?

    • douglasc_hill

      Cut it down, you can get a SIM cutter on Ebay for a few dollars. Then if you need to switch back to a standard SIM you can get an adapter.

  • Dan13

    I heavily considering jumping over to T-Mobile. That $60 a month plan is pretty darn appealing. T-Mobile has great coverage in my area. I suppose the deciding factor will be what the reviews for the Nexus 7 say. Although I’m sure it’ll be nothing but good things.

  • Nasko

    These are not the top plans by any means. There are plans on t-mobile that do not include unlimited minutes and/or unlimited text that are still very affordable. I don’t understand why journalist have this obsession to discuss the cheapest possible and all you can eat plans, when most people will probably fall in the meduim category.

    Also it would be smart to make a comparison for family plans between t-mobile value plan and other prepaid carriers, because there you can see why prepaid carriers are no good. And from my personal observations more than 50% of regular consumers are on some type of family plans (this is the main reason why VZW and ATT have so many customers – their family plans used to be pretty good).

    And lastly including plans single plans that have unlimited txt messaging on a android blog is very weird, most of the readers here probably use Google Voice or crapload of other messaging apps that will give you free text messaging.

    • reddragonman

      Did you read the article title? It’s about prepaid plans, which is why it didn’t include family or individual contract plans. This is to promote buying an unlocked Nexus 4 at an incredible price, and saving money by not being locked into a contract. Prepaid is not for everyone, and if you’ve read other articles on here, you’d know that.

  • LukeinDC

    Simple Mobile throttles you at 2GB. And completely cuts off data at 2.5GB. I’ve had this experience twice since getting a Galaxy Nexus. I’m moving to Solavei

  • Alec Waddelow

    I’ve made my mind up that I will be switching to T-Mobile monthly 4G once my contract expires in February with AT&T. And of course I will be buying a Nexus 4!

  • steven

    I just don’t understand how Straight Talk gets away with advertising unlimited data when they openly admit they don’t offer that. Isn’t it an FTC violation or something against the law? And why is their data limit a secret if they’ve told me its same no matter where u live..I don’t get it..but trying em for a month. Con is terrible outsourced support. Regular line barely understand English. I found a secondary support line that’s answered immediately..no 20 min wait
    You can get the Sim card free. Upon checkout enter promo code SIMSAVE..that gets you $10 off & when you check out the s/h will also be waived. I only paid 45+tax. The port,although they said could take 2 days, happened in less than half hour. Might have even started during the rep call cuz my phone disconnected mid call.
    Finally can someone tell me the REAL speeds they get with T-Mobile HSPA+21..I only get 3-3.5 Mbps at best in Atlanta which is disappointing

  • txbluesman

    Ok Taylor, quick question(not really). If I was to use the $30 plan on T-Mobile w/100 minutes, could I port my current Sprint number to Google Voice, get a new number w/T-Mobile on the New Nexus 4 (of course), forward it to GV, use GV # to make calls to stay under the 100 minutes on T-Mobile? Hope you got all that. By the way, I can’t wait to get this new Nexus 4.

  • steven

    The other CON with Straight Talk you neglected to mention & which is probably important to many of your readers us NO STREAMING..NO VIDEO OR MUSIC. NO NETFLIX,HULU,PANDORA,SPOTOFY etc. They even told me I can’t watch a single YouTube video or stream a single song. I haven’t tried so don’t know if that immediately triggers a ding. But one YouTube 3 min video would only use A few GB so not sure why its that big a deal. They’re basically forcing you to use as little data as possible

    • jp

      There are ways around that… for example just leave your proxy setup blank instead of what they tell you to put in there…
      Im on straight talk with att sim card. I recently had my data throttled around 2.5. Even then it wasnt too bad. I could still load most mobile websites, i could even stream pandora~!! just took a bit longer to load.

      Then i called and complained and 10 min later reset my phone and off i went! back to full speed. Overall straight talk is the best deal. Unless you are going to do tethering, 2-5 mps for DL is just fine for pretty much all of your needs.

  • Phred99

    These articles are useful, but they should include complete and clear information about how well each plan works with Google Voice. GV and GV voicemail are indispensable tools for many of us, and a site devoted to Android (and, by default, Android/Google integration) ought to consider that carefully before making recommendations.

    I switched to T-Mobile pre-paid because of an article on this site; if I’d have known the hassle it would end up causing me with Google Voice, I never would have done it.

    • GV

      what was the problem with Google Voice?

      • Ardrid

        T-Mobile’s prepaid plans don’t support conditional call forwarding, which is essential to using Google Voice with your existing mobile number. It’s my understanding that Solavei does support conditional call forwarding, which is one of the reasons I’ve changed my mind and decided to give them a shot, that and the price savings.

  • Ardrid

    I’ll be pairing my Nexus 4 with T-Mobile’s Monthly4G plans. I’ll start off with the $30 plan and, should that not work, move to the $60 plan. Either way I’m saving money over my current AT&T plan.

  • Marc

    Would it be possible to use a Nexus 4 without a cell/data plan at all? I know it’s an odd idea, but I’d love to be able to use it as an Android equivalent of an iPod Touch :) I’m always around WiFi …

    • Sundell

      why would u do that? you can get a mp3 player by Cowon (that has android) that has 10 times better audio quality than any phone. or for cheaper you can get a samsung galaxy player that has pretty good audio quality too.

      • Marc

        Because I’m looking for a device that can do more than just play audio :) I want to be able to use a wide range of apps, play games, do e-mail, and whatnot, and thus want a higher-end device than something like the Galaxy players (which still only have Android 2.x installed).

        Think of it like wanting a little tablet I can carry everywhere with me :)

        • Abhi Kul

          Exactly my thoughts!!!

          So were you able to use a Nexus 4 with just a pay-as-you-go sim-card, and no data plan? highly interested in your advice.

  • Tritaru

    That’s it!

    You’ve convinced me.

    I’m switching to T-mobile’s $30/month data plan.

    • Mitt Romney, your next president (hates 47%)

      T-mo has no coverage EVERYWHERE

  • ibap

    Shouldn’t there be some factor in all of this for extent of coverage? I love how they all say ‘nationwide’.

  • Sundell

    silly question, but with these plans do you get a bill in the mail every month like i do with my regular AT&T plan right now?

  • wow

    It’s like picking between piles of dog crap. Way to go Google, have fun losing money.

  • jasonP

    I’m just getting a 4g phone for the first time and this site has been a huge help. But can someone answer a few things for me (sorry to ask q’s that you think are simple but this is totally new to me):

    1) How can a company like Solavei that runs on T-Mo’s network charge less then them?
    2) If T-Mo switches to LTE next year, will the current phones still work?
    3) If I plan to use a month-to-month service that runs on T-mo’s network am I still better off with an unlocked phone or should I just get one tied to T-MO?

    • Ralph

      I have the same question as Jason. I am on the T-Mobile $30 plan. If I purchase the unlocked Nexus 4, can I just put in my SIM card and I’m good to go, or do I have to purchase one made for T-Moblile?

      I’ve seen a lot of T-Mobile bashing here. The coverage in Denver is way better than Verizon (my former carrier), Chicago is great too. I will say their customer service is terrible…

      • Ardrid

        I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t, so long as it fits (Nexus 4 uses a micro-SIM).

  • ralphwiggum1

    Haven’t read through the comments but some “corrections” to article.

    Simple Mobile has a few important advantages for $50. No tax, so you only pay $50. It also includes free international texting and free $5 long distance every month.

    Solavei and Simple Mobile collect tax, I believe, making them closer to $55 and $50, respectively. Solavei does define data limits and also includes conditional call forwarding for Google voice.

    • ralphwiggum1

      I meant Solaveiv and Straight Talk collect tax.

  • Chris

    I am gonna stick to Simple Mobile. What I do is turn my wifi on when I am in my house so I dont get throttled but who ever said that it cuts off after 2.5 GB not true. I am mad that I have to get a new SIM and I probably will have to order it online from simple mobile. I will have to pay 12.99 for a Micro Sim.

  • Chris

    O and its 42.2 Mbps.




    Hi Steven,

    As mentioned on the previous email that I sent you, we don’t have the exact limitation for data usage. But please do not go over 100MB on any given day and under 2GB for the month and you should be fine.

    Should there be any question, feel free to reply on this email.


    Straight Talk Wireless

  • Justin W

    Will I be able to utilize 4G HSPA+ speeds on ATT with the Nexus 4 and Straight Talk? I know the Nexus 4 is able to utilize HSPA+ 42, but I want to be sure I can use it with ATT’s HSPA+ 21. All the info I found (Wikipedia is your best friend) shows they should be backwards compatible, but I still am not sure.

    • dcdttu

      AT&T’s network will only do HSPA+ 21mbps. T-Mobile has HSPA+ 42mbps.

  • super fly snooker

    i wonder if bestbuy is gonna sell the nexus 4?

  • Jennifer

    What do you think about the

  • brian thumbsuckummson

    Net10 is the greatest $50/month unlimited talk,text,data no throttling, I’ve managed to use 15gb in 3weeks with my Samsung gs3 still getting 4 to 15mbps download and 1.5mbps Up…

    • sure?

      yah….u probably live next door to their antenna….hahahhahah…..lying sack of shit!!

  • Peter Walter

    I have been with verizon for a very long time. I have kept my “stupid” phone for as long. After using my nexus 7 I am thinking seriously about getting a “smart” phone , namely the Nexus 4. I was worried about the level of customer service of using Solavei but the more I thought about it I have only called Verizon a handful of times and it has been when I changed plans or activated new phones. Still I would feel better if you gave me a phone number of someone at Solavei I could talk to from customer service. I found no such phone numbers available in my search about this start up. Please send me a phone number of someone I can talk to at Solavei and I will sign up with you.

    Regards, Peter Walter

  • dcdttu

    You might also mention that T-Mobile doesn’t offer national or international data roaming, which sucks. If I’m at my parents, or in Colorado, or on the road in rural Texas, I have a great 2G signal, but no data.

    Ironically, on the T-Mobile-based MVNOs you listed, all provide data roaming at no charge.

    I have a Galaxy Nexus now and am getting the Nexus 4. I also think I’m switching to one of the T-Mobile based MVNOs so I’ll have data roaming AND save money.

  • Andrew Richardson

    Or be like me and own a small business and pay $53 a month (after taxes) for 1000 minutes, unlimited text, and truly unlimited data (no throttling).

  • Eric Richardson

    What about Virgin Mobile. Are they legit?

    • Party Like a Ninja Star

      Virgin Mobile is legit, I used to have them. I loved their service. They’re not compatible with Nexus 4, though. They run on Sprint’s network.

  • Party Like a Ninja Star

    I’m currently on a T-Mobile family plan, but I’m thinking of switching to their pre-paid once my contract is up (after trying out the other pre-paid carriers to see how they compare to the T-Mobile service I already know). My question is this: If I choose the $30 100 minute plan, will they just charge me by the minute if I go over my alloted time? I probably use more than 100 minutes, but definitely less than 300. If I were to go over minutes, I figure I’d still be paying less than $50 a month if I get charged per minute after.

    I want a plan that has at least 5 GB data because, depending on my usage, I can easily go past that.

  • Joe

    Do any of these plans offering tethering? I’m thinking about the T-mobile $30 plan but want to be able to use my phone (planning on getting the Nexus 4) as a mobile hotspot.

  • Chris

    I have 2 smartphones with unlimited minutes, messages and data for only $49.99 each. Data has 4 Gig’s at 4G on each phone (8 Gig’s total) and from there on I get throttled, if I even use that much. I then use an app to tether my laptop, tablet or other device for free. You can find more info at http://123tellme.com No contract and even has more benefits.

  • Jim

    Beware of StraightTalk:

    I bought a GS2 in Oct and could not believe the quality and speed of the data service. I could stream HQ video with no buffering at all. Then on 11/12 I awoke to find that I had no data service at all, but not for the reason you might be thinking. I called and they “refreshed” my phone and the data service has been lousy ever since. Everything buffers. Even low bit rate audio. I called today (11/27) to complain, and you won’t believe what they told me…

    When I first signed up for ST about 5 years ago I lived somewhere else (i.e. a different zip code). They said that I was “roaming” because I now used my phone in a zip code other than where I originally signed up. To make things worse, they said that in Oct they changed their data roaming policy and that they no longer allowed it. Period. With that they turned my data service off while I was on the call with them. Yes, I said off. And they refused to restore it unless and until I suspend my account, then re-establish it with my new zip code and a new sim card they’re sending me (which will take ±5 days to arrive).

    Even if I install the new sim card, they made it clear that they no longer allow data roaming. That means when I’m at work, or on a biz trip out of state, or just out to dinner in another freaking zip code, that I will have NO DATA SERVICE. I repeat: they’re eliminating the use of data services when you are outside of your home area (i.e. zip code).

    So to recap, they sold me a “smart phone” for $349, with which I can now only get data service if I’m in my home zip code. I sh#t you not. StraightTalk is going to loose massive amounts of customers when this gets out. They lost my business today. Anyone want to buy a ST GS2? Stear clear of Straightalk. And that’s coming from someone who’s been with them for 5+ years.

    • bluesky

      Thanks for this– I am at school and will be graduating in the Spring–>moving across the country for work. I was looking into getting the $45 for myself and the Nexus 4, and the $30 plan for my parents (different state) and wondered why ST was being so weird about switching between zip codes.

      Youve saved me a headache!

      I think I am going to try Solavei since they extended their free SIM/free month promotion, and I dont want to stress about minutes for the $30 T-mobile. Anyone still reading this thread want me to sign up under them?

      • Rob

        Today is the last day for the Solavei promo!!

        bluesky, sure, Sign up under me. :) I’ve owned more phones than I’ll list here and had a number of services.

        I’ve been with Solavei almost two months.

        Signup at http://circlephone.com

        We’ve got a good group and I’ve done well at signing people up: I maxed my last bonus.

  • rafael schopp

    Love that 40 month by simple mobile

  • Zachary

    Is there any way to check the coverage for any/all these carriers?

  • phaet2112

    Solvei still seems like a scam that is going to fall apart within 18 months

    • bluesky

      It offers the best plan for me, for the price, even outside of the ‘money making’ side of it. If it sucks/goes under, I just switch to Straight Talk or T-Mobile. *shrug*

    • ERV

      Okay, I just got everything activated on Solavei– Switched from an ATT account my parents started in 1999 :-/ It was beyond painless– Dad didnt even have to call to cancel my line- They cancelled it when my number switched to Solavei.

      Big thumbs up for them, so far.

    • Rob

      Yes, what’s the point? If your main # is held at Google Voice, who cares what actually rings? You did do that right? Port the important # to Google? Solavei folds, nothing happens but you go get a new carrier. Your # is safe, calls and texts and voicemails work online til you get your new SIM card. Wow, what an apocalypse!

      I’m offering a free iPhone 3GS *AND* Android ZTE Phone for ONE LINE right now for Solavei.

      Decide which one you want. Ask me how.

      Or, think it’s a scam and ignore this. Here’s proof it’s not a scam: It behooves you to check with me about this. What kind of scammer uses the word behoove?

      832 FIVE TEN se7en 909

  • Kenitra

    Net10 is the Rodney Dangerfield of providers. 45.00 for unlimited everything, Pandora all day long, exceptional coverage, no apparent throttling, but no respect.

  • CaptainDoug

    I’ll be going with either Straight Talk or Simple Mobile. The wife and I pay $170 at Verizon and we just don’t use it enough to warrant having the premium service.

  • gp126904

    Here is to hoping we see a Google wireless in the next few years!

  • thymeless

    I use T-mobile monthly on my Galaxy Nexus. Quite pleased with the speed and service for the price.

  • cuteandrew21

    Straight talk is the best

  • jsfacade

    Sure with this thing had LTE… where is googles wireless data service when you need it… Please come sooon

  • tylerfoy

    The cell phone plans in the US sure are a lot better than in Canada. They need to charge a lot up here due to a low population/km^2.

    Shame. Nice for you guys though!

  • scubabum

    Good article. Looks like Simple Mobile is the cheapest option for me.

  • wrfrazier

    Nice write-up. Makes me consider dumping Sprint. I’ve been with them for about 14 years.

  • grajasekar

    Three cheers for T-Mobile. However since I still only use data at 2G speeds (cos I want to conserve battery and I’m around wifi all day long) I’m using their $50 monthly4g plan that has 100mb of 4G data and throttling after that.

  • http://www.openintro.com OpenIntro

    I know I’m a bit late on this thread, but I’ve been using my Nexus 4 on the T-Mobile 4G Pre-Paid plan at $30 a month for a week now and it is GREAT. The HSPA+ speeds have been excellent on T-Mobile (faster than the Sprint 4G speeds I used to have). The $30 plan only comes with 100 minutes of talk time, but I am using GrooVeIP, along with Google Voice to route all of my calls over data. I’ve only used 5 ACTUAL talk time minutes, and the rest have been made on data. There are minor imperfections with this, but the fact that it is saving me $70 a month far outweighs this!

  • spidremann

    I’ve got 3 lines on Sprint, and been a customer for 12+ years. My only complaint with them is the slow updates.

  • marcus1518

    I also have had similar slow updates with Sprint…

  • bdub

    I really wish T-Mobile had a legit tower presence in my area as I would consider switching to them or at least a pre-pay that runs on their networks. We have 4 Phones + 1 Hotspot(permanent in a house in the boonies), on Verizon and still have Unlimited for a couple lines but thats obviously going byebye when i replace my Nexus unless I buy my next outright. I love Verizons LTE coverage but think i’d be fine on a fast HSPA.

  • Manroth

    T-mobile or AT&T when I switch? Decisions decisions…

  • No Contract Phone

    Great blog on Wireless Service.

  • aryn

    I’d never spend so much money on a wireless prepaid plan ;) There’s wifi almost everywhere and I don’t stream a lot or whatever =P

  • melan26

    I hardly use my phone for talking anymore and I just use wifi for accessing the web.

  • Paulstraker

    For me T-mobile is the best.

  • Luv_android

    There are two things that sucks about prepaid plans…one coverage and second data caps (or throttle speeds)..

  • gul.nik.03

    TOO many choices make it even harder to buy a plan for me

  • logsend

    Anyone know how Solavei is in Baltimore/DC area? Currently with Verizon.

  • ad12

    T-Mobile rules!

  • m2kmunroe@gmail.com

    Great Scott!

  • dejay

    i really wish Tmobile offered service in my area cause I HATE STRAIGHT TALK WITH A PASSION and hate paying 2-4 times there plan amounts on a contract plan, and with Tmobile getting rid of contracts i would LOVE LOVE LOVE to go with them, hate having to be locked into something

  • One Voice Mobile

    Here is a really good review of the Nexus 4 on Solavei from One Voice Mobile: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9hT-DItJmA&feature=plcp
    Solavie has no contract mobile phone plans.

  • cuteandrew21


  • thechad

    Thanks for the review.

  • ConfuciusTse

    I’m looking for a real pay-as-you-go plan where I’m not locked into any pre-determined timeframe (eg, monthly). Basically, I pay for what I use and nothing if I don’t. In the US, Boost Mobile charges me a daily rate and I keep my number if I credit at least $10 every 3 months into my account even if I have no usage (hence no charges). But their network is weak and their phone offerings are worse. China Unicom charges me $5/month to keep my number but that includes 200 MB of data a month (use it or lose it) and PAYGO calls/SMS. That one uses SIM cards so I can bring just about any phone on to their system.

    There’s got to be better US prepaid options out there. Anyone have a suggestion?

  • imdiane

    T-Mobile is definitely the way to go in terms of US prepaid options!!! Best advantage! The only plans I’ve seen that beat it are outside the States unfortunately.

  • dejay

    you didnt mention the BYOD program with Net10 WHO IS MUCH MUCH MUCH BETTER THAN STRAIGHT TALK>> They dont throttle yet…

  • jaysond


  • jaysond

    why isn’t cricket on the list?


    Thanks for the review. I’m a verizon plan and fan myself.

  • misael

    i have the $30 pack from tmobile. It one of the best data plans out there in my opinion. I dont make alot of phone calls but i do use most of my data plan since tmobile updated their 4g for unlocked smarthphones i am using most of my data

  • J.T. Brown

    I just configured the unlimited Straight Talk plan (with an AT&T compatible SIM card) on a Nexus 4 using Google Voice. At first there was an issue configuring the ST service to use ‘conditional call forwarding’ (which is needed for effective Google Voice integration) and none of the normal dial setup codes (like *004*…#) worked.

    Finally, I was able to enable and configure the proper call forwarding ONLY by going to the ‘settings’ page of the built in Nexus 4 phone dialer, selecting ‘Call Forwarding’ (under ‘Other Call Settings’), and then manually enabling the three individual sub-settings for ‘Forward when busy’, ‘Forward when unanswered’, and ‘Forward when unreachable’ – and it’s imperative to enter a ‘+1′ prefix before any 10-digit US phone number.

    After the above setup, Straight Talk worked like a charm with GV on my Nexus 4. I hope this helps anyone else struggling to setup ‘conditional call forwarding’ using Straight Talk on a Nexus.

    • Brad

      I assume you only give out the GV number to avoid conflict with the call forwarding and voice mail issue with the T-m number. Correct?

      So far I’m using GV and talkatone with out a sim which works great when in wifi.

  • Froojr

    I feel stupid now, with my Verizon GNex and under contract until January 2014. When my contract is over, I’m done with overpriced Verizon. A new unlocked Nexus and prepaid is the way to go. No more contracts!

  • castlefox

    I cant wait to leave my ATT 2 year contract far behind and try out a contract free plan with my Nexus4 that I ordered. My ATT 2 year contract plan will be over in April 2013

  • Jmax

    fyi…for any of you on prepaid plans…you can buy cheap refill cards online. I got my unlimited ST card for $38, but they same place has TMO cards as well. This place is legit, the codes are emailed out instantly. crazygametime, look it up! I heard about it from slickdeals.

  • NexusLR

    anyone having problems getting internet to work on solavei. got the sim new and put it in Google unlocked LG Nexus 4 and it worked fine. 2 days later, no internet. voice network only. went to help chat and got a negative response from unhelpful service:(KELLI M is from solavei chat)

    KELLI M: is the phone unlocked?
    last_name: yes
    last_name: and this phone worked when i got the sim
    last_name: i can make calls, but no interenet
    last_name: but the internet worked 2 days ago, i have data records on my phone showing it was through the solavei network
    KELLI M: I am doing some research on this. Please bear with me!
    KELLI M: I cannot do anything for you on this phone, I have no documentation on the phone and according to the IMEI it is not a suppored device. It will not work on Solavei’s network.
    KELLI M: It may have worked for a minute.
    KELLI M: Please do, we have to check imei’s to make sure phones work.
    KELLI M: That is why you have to enter it upon enrollment.

  • Tiger

    If phone specks say it doesn’t have 4G, yet some of the networks mentioned have T-Mobile 4G HSPA+ 42 Mbps. Does it mean it still performs at speeds of up to 42mbps? I think I need to switch out of Verizon after my last contract expires in 6 months. After about 8 years with them, paying $150/mo for 1 smartphone and 1 regular phone is ridiculous, especially knowing what’s available out there.

    Does Nexus 4 have SD card memory? If not, how can I store lots of pictures and music? Thanks

    • John Zwiers

      I have a Nexus 4 16GB and love it. There is no SD card slot. I have 5GB free right now, with 6GB of apps and 1GB of photos and video. It appears that the operating systems takes up about 4GB, so a 8GB phone makes no sense to me.

      All my photos and video, and I take quite a bit) are automatically uploaded to Google+. I uploaded my music collection to Google Music and can stream any song in my collection. I can also download albums to listen to offline. It is a pretty easy process, though not as nicely implemented as on the Kindle Fire.

      Check the news. My bet is that LG is coming out with an updated Nexus 4 with more internal memory.

  • Tiger

    What does SIM fee mean? Is this something in addition to the plan prices listed? For example, on Solavei, will I pay $49 for the plan and additional $29 for SIM fee?

    • John Zwiers

      That’s the one-time fee for the little chip that goes in the phone.

  • Jason

    Solavei works off of T-Mobile’s GSM/HSPA+ network. Imagine using your Nexus 4G with unlimited Talk, Text, and Web for only $49/month or even FREE! I was a little skeptical myself, but I started my service just to help a friend out and I was pleasantly surprised! The data was lighting fast and calls were super clear!

  • DH

    I do NOT want to sell Solavei, I just want the $49 plan. I have a T-Mobile phone. How much will it cost to join Solavei and how much will my monthly bill be?

  • ioconnor

    I’m tempted to get the two year slave contract at $70/month with t-mobile so I can eat up 50GBs per month and not get throttled. Two questions:
    1) Are there any other options out there that would get me unlimited 4G speeds on a prepaid plan?
    2) I’m living in CA and am worried that the $70 might somehow turn out to be $120 after taxes and such. Like sprint does to people. Anybody know?

    • NexusLR

      Solavei uses the same towers as t-mobile. No throttled data. unlimited everything $50 monthly.

  • max

    Please help.
    I got my nexus 4 and try to switch to a prepaid (the $30/month 100 talk unlimited text 5gb) but t-mobile says it’s not available for me (I am coming out of a two year contract plan with t-mobile itself).
    Do you think this limitation is because I am not a truly new customer? Should I change my phone number? (a pain, but might be worth it). What they are offering me is the $50 plan, not so good on data (only 100mb), though has unlimited talk.
    How can I get the $30/month plan? I know it exists, I have its t-mobile brochure!

  • Bob Heathcote

    Check out my blog post in getting T-Mobile to work with a Nexus 4. Only bummer is the hotspot feature is blocked, sometimes…. http://weblogbob.blogspot.com/2013/02/how-i-got-wal-mart-special-30-unlimited.html

  • Gavin

    I understand the whole HSPA+ only and no LTE deal for the 4G speeds; but I was wondering, for those of us like myself who aren’t data hogs, if we could still take the Nexus 4 to carriers like Sprint or Virgin and settle for their 3G speeds?

  • Akshay Nambiar

    How is the GoPhone prepaid Connection of att? Is it compatible with nexus 4..? The plan i have right now is $50 monthly for Unlimited calls, msgs and data.

    Thanks in advance

  • Bryan Martinez

    Hello Taylor, I live in the DFW area and recently received a nexus 4. I was wondering what throttle limits you have noticed in your area with Straight Talk. Also Would I have any trouble with some light tethering to my Nexus 7 with the service.

  • Nick Orth

    For Solavei if you already have a T-Mobile sim card will that work with the Solavei network or do you have to order a sim card specifically for Solavei?

  • jeremy

    I want to no which company should I go with out of straight talk and simple mobile give me y’all answer which one should I pick and is the best to use thanks

  • is hukuku

    thanks for help , good article

  • wvcadle

    The -main- problem with T-Mo is that every time you find yourself in an area they don’t serve, you have -zero- data. Text and calls only. And, since they’re not in my area, no dice for me.

  • De Fault