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How do you feel about the service plan prices for the HTC EVO 4G?

Money When service plan details were announced for the HTC EVO 4G and Sprint confirmed that its $10/month premium data add-on would be required to use the handset, regardless of whether customers lived in an area with 4G coverage, many people were outraged. Some complained in forums, some put their email conversations with Sprint online, and others created petitions. While these acts of protest are unlikely to cause Sprint to change its mind about the fee, it's clear that many prospective EVO buyers are unhappy and may not buy the device unless the add-on only applies to people who live in 4G areas.

And now AndroidGuys has added fuel to the fire by revealing that Qik's video chat feature could cost an additional $5 per month [Update 5/29: Video chatting will be free]. Qik isn't the only app with video chat functions, of course, so it should be an optional charge (like the use of the Sprint Mobile Hotspot). Even so, the HTC EVO seems to be following the path laid out a few years ago by Archos, who began selling plug-ins for features that most agreed should've been included on its portable media players.

What do you think of the mandatory and optional monthly costs associated with the HTC EVO?

A friend of mine (and a fellow HTC EVO owner) had this to say about the premium data add-on and mobile hotspot plan:

"It's amazing how many people are crying over the $10 charge for data on the EVO when it gets you the only true uncapped 3G and 4G service in the US. For $40 a month, you can get a completely unlimited-use mobile broadband hotspot that would normally cost $60 a month on an OverDrive, and even then the 3G option would be capped at 5GB."

Another friend (and not an HTC EVO owner) said this:

"Sprint may as well have given the phone for free if they're going to make you pay for all of that. If they're going to gouge customers like that, then they should've made the phone free with a contract. Then people wouldn't complain too much. It's really unfair for people without 4G to be forced to pay an extra $120 per year for something they can't ever use."

Before I bought my EVO from eBay and ended up with a month of free service, I had always intended to buy the phone off-contract and use it as a WiFi-only MID. I'm already using it on WiFi most of the time anyway, so even when the free service period expires, I don't think I'll end up having to deal with any of this.

To me, fair or not, the pricing scheme is what it is. If you want the EVO, then you need to accept the costs that come with it. I think that if Sprint called the premium data add-on something else, then fewer people would be up in arms about it. As my first friend said, that $10 monthly fee gets you truly unlimited 3G and 4G data. Even if you don't live in a 4G area, getting unlimited 3G on your phone for an extra $10 isn't a bad deal.

What do you think?

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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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8 thoughts on “How do you feel about the service plan prices for the HTC EVO 4G?

  • I’ll be switching over to Sprint from Verizon to get the Evo. Compared to what Verizon charges for every little addon, $10 isn’t that bad. Free would be best, but allowing an uncapped 3g/4g option is a service none of the other carries are offering.

    The other day a big wig (think it was the CEO) from Verizon said he intends to get rid of unlimited data plans altogether when they roll out LTE. Big red can bleed to death for that line of thinking!

  • I absolutely love the Any Mobile, Any Time plan and with the Google I/O discount I get 500 “landline” minutes, Any Mobile Any Time, Unlimited Data, Unlimited Text! That’s a win in my book.

    Now, i’ve also heard and read that if you take a purchased phone to Sprint, they will NOT lock you into a contract. Anyone know if this is fact?

  • What I think is that the execs at Sprint should just say that there will no longer be any additional charge of $10 for use of 4g even if it is not offered in the city you live and that the new pricing plan is whatever the total cost would be with that $10 added in for everyone.

    The plan is cheaper than anything else out there for unlimited data and people are getting hung up on this. The executives are making a huge marketing gaffe because instead of being able to say “We offer the cheapest unlimited data plan available” all the tech blogs and gadget review sites seem to be able to latch onto is the fact that they break out this fee. If they didn’t break out the fee they would still be the cheapest and fastest phone and service out there and there would be nothing to bitch about they would be the best value out there.

    They essentially took the best value out there and allowed the media to portray it as if people were getting screwed.

  • The funny thing is, Sprint never said the $10 was for 4G, they said it was for “premium” data, if I remember correctly. Everyone just started assuming that meant 4G, when in fact in means uncapped data, both 3G & 4G.

    The way I look at it, if someone is complaining about a $10 charge on a $100 plus bill, they have no business looking at this phone and should probably just move along to something a little less data-intensive.

    Also, future webOS and Windows Phone 7 owners with Sprint should just get used to the extra charge, because it will come their way too.

  • Is the Google I/O discount a lower monthly price, or do they just give you some extra features for the same price?

    Also, I’m not sure how Sprint handles someone who has an EVO by no account with them, but I inquired about adding a full-price EVO to my current line that has less than 18 months to go. They said it was no problem, the contract would not renew.

  • Remember that the AT&T added $10 to the service plan when people upgraded from iPhone 2G to the iPhone 3G. A lot of people have forgotten that and are blasting Sprint.

  • It’s still cheaper than AT&T and Verizon plans even with the $10 fee (which I don’t mind) At least I will not have to worry about dropped calls, slow data and network overload with Sprint.

    It’s just funny when people complain about the $10 when they are getting unlimited talk text and data for $79.99 per month (including the $10) Want two lines it’s $139.99… My brother using AT&T pays $200 per month with two lines (with limited texts). Wow, saving money is so hard!

  • I think a lot of people were just taken by surprise. I, for one, was expecting to switch into a $70 plan and now it just inched closer to my verizon bill and the $175 ETF. In fact, now that I can drop texting (thanks google voice!), my verizon bill will be $10 cheaper than Sprint+Evo, though without Sprint’s “any mobile” bonus, which is significant.

    Also, none of their other phones are *requiring* this premium data package on top of their unlimited data so it *is* fair to assume it’s for 4G. Where I live, I won’t see 4G for years but I’ll be paying $120/year for everyone else to enjoy it :)

    All in all, it’s made me a bit more hesitant about the switch, though the physical size is my number one issue at this point.


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