I’m done with carrier branded phones

Posted May 16, 2012 at 10:33 am in Threads > Opinions

They suck, am I right? I’m so glad that Google is going to expand their device offerings in the Play Store. There are lots of good pre-paid options for HSPA+ data that are half the price of AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon.

Once Google has the new Jelly Bean devices in their store by Thanksgiving, what is stopping you from dropping your carrier and going with a pre-paid option like StraightTalk or SimpleMobile and getting SIM only service?

  • Joel

    A 2-yr contract and a big effin cancellation fee. You make a good point though, the big 4 certainly havent been doing us much favors lately. Arent you gonna miss the speeds though?

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      You can still get HSPA+ speeds with pre-paid. T-Mobile’s network is more than good enough for me I think. I’ve been on LTE for the last 5 months, and I can’t think of many reasons for needing that kind of download speeds. Maybe if you are downloading huge files all the time, but I don’t think that applies to many users.

  • http://www.ndroidgamers.com B2L

    I vote with my wallet, that’s why I haven’t signed a contract, or bought a carrier branded device in years. The Play Store selling the Galaxy Nexus is showing more people that they don’t have to put up with all of the carriers crap.

    There really needs to be some laws in place, or some kind of carrier reform in the US. Most people are getting completely screwed over by their carriers, but they can’t do anything about it.

  • Dr.Carpy

    I have only bought unlocked cellphones. I am fortunate to be able to write them off as a job expense. Carrier Phone are filled with bloat. They also seemingly never get updated. Most carrier don’t seem to care because they sell data form infinitely more than they pay for it. Calls cost them essentially nothing as well.

  • Zagrash

    T-Mobile has their value plans, where you’re still on a contract, but are still getting cheaper rates because you don’t get subsidized phone prices. As long as there are unlocked Nexus devices that work on T-mob’s network, I don’t necessarily mind being on a contract (since I don’t anticipate getting rid of my cell service).

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Aren’t the Monthly 4G plans from Tmo that are sold at Walmart contract free?

      • Ardrid

        Yes, they are. You purchase them at WalMart or at T-Mobile.com

  • vachea

    I would drop my high priced Verizon contract if i could get decent data in my area from T-Mobile or At&t. I have a Galaxy Nexus and I love it. My only real problem is that its not a true Nexus device. If i could receive timely updates from Google like the Google Play Galaxy Nexus I’d be fine with having a contract. I know I can have the latest updates by using a custom rom but since this is my first Nexus device i just wanted to run stock Android from Google. That is no longer an option since Verizon is in charge of updating the Galaxy Nexus now. Also what’s stopping me is data and signal. Verizon has the best coverage in my area with LTE as well. If T-mobile had at least 3G I would’ve stayed with them.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Can’t argue with coverage. Verizon does offer one of the largest 3G/4G networks. If you can get T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network though, I’d say the experience for most apps is pretty similar.

  • spazby

    Agreed. I purchased unlocked gsm nexus for my wife and put her on t-mobile prepaid $30 plan. Once my contract is up, I will go that route as well…

  • Orion78

    I’m was debating about getting the Galaxy Nexus at the Google Play store. But I’m going to get the new EVO and get the next Nexus later this year. From the rumors, looks like I’ll have a couple of choices.

  • Ardrid

    I agree with you wholeheartedly, Taylor. And, quite frankly, I have your most recent article to thank for my change in thought. I’ve been with AT&T for 8 years now and, for all intents and purposes, its been fine. However, since my shift to Android from iOS 2 years ago, things have been anything but fine. Subsidized Android devices have to deal with carrier bloat, a consistent lack of support and upgrades, and, generally, second tier status. On top of all that, unlocked devices see absolutely no benefit in the form of lower subscription costs or other benefits.

    It’s for all those reasons, and, again, I have to credit your article, that I’ve decided to exclusively buy unlocked devices going forward, starting with the successor to the Galaxy Nexus, and utilizing one of T-Mobile’s Monthly4G plans. It just makes more sense and gives me the opportunity to truly experience a device, Nexus or otherwise, as it was intended, without carrier interference, without delay in support, and without lengthy, expensive contracts and ETF fees.

    Unlocked + T-Mobile/Straight Talk = Android As It Was Intended

  • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

    Just purchased a StraightTalk AT&T compatible micro SIM for $15 + $45 for 30 day unlimited plan. They offer free 2day shipping and total with taxes came out to $64.94.

    I plan on popping it in my international HTC One X and writing up a full report next week.

    They let you choose between AT&T or T-Mobile’s network and go with normal SIM or micro SIM. Offer sounds almost too good to be true if it really runs on HSPA+ as people say.


    • spazby

      I wanted to go that route as well but then I read some bad stories with customer service…. i decided to go directly to T-Mobile because of that as I would think they would be more responsive

    • http://www.ndroidgamers.com B2L

      My wife and I have been enjoying it since Straight Talk first started selling SIM cards. It’s more than worth it for my needs. Hopefully you have a good experience with it, but I’m guessing the data speeds won’t be up to your expectations.

  • Ironzey Lewis

    One big advantage that unbranded phones have is free tethering, or so I thought. Today I was redirected to a t mobile page that told me to upgrade to tethering.

    I’ve sad it before and I’ll say it again, Android is getting less fun.