No subsidy offered for Samsung Mondi purchased with two-year contract

Samsung_mondi_nosubAlthough Samsung neglected to mention pricing in the press release announcing the retail availability of its Windows Mobile 6.1-running Mondi WiMAX MID, it quickly became known that the unsubsidized price was $449.99 (as evidenced by the order page and my receipt) and that committing to a two-year Clear WiMAX contract would lower the hardware cost to $349.

A $100 subsidy is already rather pathetic, but how about no subsidy at all?

After being tipped off by a reader in Las Vegas who told me that Best Buy is selling the Mondi for $500 without a contract and Clear is selling it for $450 with one, I headed over to Clear's website and pretended to live in an area with WiMAX coverage so I could get through the order process.

And as you can see from the screen capture, the Samsung Mondi I bought (and am really enjoying!) contract-free for $449.99 (reasons for the purchase here) is indeed being sold with a two-year commitment for the very same $449.99.

Thanks, Don!

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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15 thoughts on “No subsidy offered for Samsung Mondi purchased with two-year contract

  • Avatar of Steven Law

    But hey, you get free activation and shipping. What a steal!

    Seriously though, I noticed that there’s a $10 off each month for the first six months. Is that something that appears on all contracts?

  • Wow, $449.99 seems high for this thing without a phone but given I like just about everything else about it I figured I could just barely swing the price. Then on the very last order screen they slapped on an extra $50 CA tax and that put it over the top for me. Oh, well. Sucks to be poor!

  • Avatar of Don McNiel

    I called CLEAR about any kind of rebate or price break off the purchase price of the two Mondi units I bought from Best Buy here in Las Vegas. They opened a research ticket to find out if they would be subsidizing these units with a two-year commitment. I didn’t hear back for a couple of days, so I called back. The first person that I talked to read the resolution from the research ticket back to me. They could not do anything since I did not purchase the units from them. To their credit, they escalated the issue and tried valiantly to go around their system to at least make the price the same as if I HAD bought the units online from them. That would have given me back the difference of $50 for each unit. Long story short, the advice was to go back to Best Buy and have them price match the CLEAR store price of $449.99 each. Best Buy did do that, so at least there is no difference purchasing online through CLEAR or Best Buy. WOW!

    I would not have returned the Mondi units. I really do like them. I haven’t started the forum thread yet, but hopefully this weekend!

  • The discount is just part of a Mondi promotion they’re running.

    WiMAX data plans in general are actually pretty decently priced. Clear also offers a $10 day pass, which is nice. Too bad coverage is so limited right now.

  • I’m surprised you were able to get that far in the order process since CA doesn’t have WiMAX coverage yet. If you still want the Mondi, you can get it from LetsTalk. I didn’t have to pay any tax on mine.

  • It’s a shame about the subsidy, but at least Clear’s customer service sounds pretty good.

    BTW, do you notice a *significant* difference in website page load times when you’re on WiMAX versus WiFi? My guess is that the issue is the CPU and not the connection type, but who knows.

  • I was ordering it through LetsTalk! Turns out they only charge tax in Texas and California. Maybe you can sell me yours when you get sick of it:)

  • Avatar of Don McNiel

    I did a quick test to measure how long it took to load the website on the Mondi using my wifi connection at work. This is of course, by no means scientific! From the time I hit enter in the address bar using Internet Explorer, to the time that the progress bar went away with the web page fully loaded, it was 39 seconds. Using WiMAX, with the same criteria, it took 23 seconds.

    I ran pcpitstop speed tests and was getting from 1200 Mbps download speeds to 3700 Mbps on WiMAX. The speed tests using WiFi were considerably slower, to the range of 300 to 650 Mbps download.

    Again, these were simple tests from one website on two different services with different variables. However, there is a noticable difference in speed.

    The WiMAX service on the home modem is “significantly” higher than the WiMAX speed on the Mondi. That is not a topic for this blog, but it is relatively fantastic.

    I am very happy with the cost effectiveness of WiMAX and the value for the bandwidth dollar.

  • Thanks for the tests, Don, but why are you using Internet Explorer? Opera Mobile is *so* much better and much faster! It also includes Flash support (only Flash Lite 3, but still), double-tap to zoom, and pan-and-drag. If you haven’t already remapped your IE hardware key, pressing and holding it will launch Opera.

    What are the load times on your home computer with WiMAX and WiFi? The difference should be very significant since the Mondi only has an ARM11 and I assume your PC has an x86 CPU. It’s really a shame that Samsung didn’t use the Cortex A8 instead.

  • Use coupon code WWMAG2 at LetsTalk right now and you can get $90 off (20%). I don’t know how much longer the code will be valid, but it’s working right now.

    With ground shipping, the total comes out to about $365. Even with the CA tax and overnight shipping, you’d still be paying less than the MSRP. :-)

  • Wow, THANKS! The coupon dropped my total by $98.32! If all goes well I’ll be the proud owner of a new Mondi in two business days!

  • Avatar of Don McNiel

    I was in Internet Explorer to compare the two systems and rather than switch, I just ran the tests there. I agree about Opera Mobile. I really have a lot to learn about these devices. I keep wanting to run the videos that are only available with Flash 9 and can’t do it.

    The test load for on my Dell M1730 was just under 6 seconds to fully load the page under WiMax. The Wifi here at the house is from the neighbor and it is super slow. The difference is daylight and dark from the Mondi to the laptop. I have the Intel Core 2 Extreme 2.8GHz processor.

    I agree with the Cortex A8. I also wish that Windows Mobile 6.5 was on here. Perhaps, there will be a chance to upgrade or refresh later.

    Thanks for all your help!

  • Great! Let us know (in the Pocketables Forum if possible) how you like it when it arrives. :-)

  • Wow! The WiMAX speed you’re getting at home is insane! It takes about 11 seconds for Pocketables to load via WiFi on my primary computer (Vaio TZ subnotebook).

    Info so far indicates that the Mondi most likely won’t be eligible for the WM 6.5 upgrade, but I’m sure that there will be unsanctioned ways of getting around that. :-)

  • I’m about to pull the plug and jump onto the WiMax bandwagon. Too many good things reported and absolutely stunning speeds.

    It’s interesting as I’ve been watching the rollout here in Vegas and just recently they intro’d the uncapped downstream plans. Additionally, if you view the current “Mondi Unlimited Promo”, you are getting a small subsidy and without contract.

    $549.86 total includes: (Shipping is free)

    Samsung Mondi
    First Months Service

    Shipping is free and the plan includes – Unlimited Downstream and 1Mbps upstream speeds for $40 month.

    Clear are offering $10 off the monthly service (Originally $40) for the first 6 months, so I look at that as my subsidy. With the Mondi being $450, I’m using the $10 off per month x 6 months and knocking $60 off the Mondi for an actual cost of $390.


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