Great options for cheapskates like me….

Posted May 08, 2012 at 10:06 am in Threads > Smartphones & Tablets

I can not afford $70+ per month plans. I currently have an LG Optimus V on Virgin Mobile. I was grandfathered in to their $25/mo plan (its now $35) for 300 minutes/mo, unlimited data (throttled at 2.5 GB), and unlimited texts. Its about time for an upgrade…

Virgin Mobile recently announced that with any new smartphone purchase for a smartphone released in May 2012 and beyond you will lose your grandfathered plan and have to use one of their new plan prices. ($35 for 300 min / $45 for 1200 min / $55 for unlimted) all of those have unlimited data (throttled at 2.5 GB) and unlimited texts. Well they just announced a new phone coming 5/31, the HTC EVO V for $299 (which is the HTC EVO 3D) and it will use Sprint’s WIMAX for 4G speeds (I know its not as fast as LTE)…but this is big news for most prepaid people who are still on 3G.

http://www.virginmobileusa.com/4G

Another option that I am considering is Republic Wireless, they are currently in beta, but will be announcing new phones and opening up their service to more beta users this summer. I am currently on their list to join their beta service. Repulic Wireless offers unlimited data, voice, and texts for $19/mo…what!?!?. The catch is they want you to use as much WIFI as possible and have WIFI calling built into their phone. Not sure what they do if someone abuses their service and is rarely using wifi…but that wouldn’t be me. I am a pretty light user at work, and have wifi at home. Currently they only have the LG Optimus S (same as my LG Optimus V), but they are scheduled to announce new phones soon before they open up their beta to more users. They sent a surve to all their prospective customers to find out what phone they might be interested in and listed these 3 phone options (without giving the specific phone models):

`$199 up front fee that includes your phone plus your first month of service, new manufacturer, with a 3.5” touchscreen, 600 MHz processor, 0.5 GB storage, 5 megapixel camera.
`$299 up front fee that includes your phone plus your first month of service, well-known manufacturer, 3.7” touchscreen, 1.0 GHz processor, 1.0 GB storage, 5 megapixel rear camera, VGA-quality front-facing camera.
`$499 up front fee that includes your phone plus your first month of service, well-known manufacturer, 4.3” touchscreen, 1.2 GHz dual core processor, 8.0 GB storage, 7 megapixel rear camera

So the $499 option is basically the same as the HTC EVO 3D specs. $499 is pretty expensive, but then your are only paying $19/mo, and these specs from Republic are just in a survey, nothing official has been announced, so maybe they decide they can sell that phone for $399 instead.

So these are the 2 options that I am considering that seem to best for me, here is how they break down:

Virgin Republic
Phone 299 499
Price/mo 35 19
Total 1 yr 719 727
Total 2 yrs 1139 955
Minutes 300 unlimited
Data 4G 3G

I am leaning towards the Republic Wireless option, it is cheaper in just a little over a year, I won’t have to worry about going over my 300 minutes (I do some months and pay 10 cents per minute, but not enough to move up to the next plan). I don’t really know what I am missing with 4G speeds, so maybe that won’t be a big deal…

What do you think? Is anyone considering these options?

There is another significan option, but its not for me. T-Mobile has a $30/mo prepaid plan with 100 minutes, umlimited texts, and unlimited data (with first 5GB at 4G speed). That is a nice option, but I would go over the minutes every month. I have read some people use this option with VOIP over the 4G using GrooveIP or another VOIP option, but I have not had much luck trying to do GrooveIP with my Optimus on wifi, so I am skeptical of that option (kind of funny because I am considering using Republic which is based on using wifi).