By now you can probably tell that I’m loving the time I’ve spent with the HTC One S so far. However, to my surprise, I’ve also been really impressed by the service I’ve received from the exclusive carrier for the device here in the US, T-Mobile.
I’ll talk more about T-Mobile’s network quality and data speeds in a future post (here’s a preview: I’m impressed). But what I want to get into now is the monthly price. In addition to writing for Pocketables, I’m also a full-time grad student (I’m graduating in just a few weeks!), and as most people know, grad students are always low on cash. So the monthly price for cell phone service is really important to me.
That’s why I’m so impressed with one of T-Mobile’s no-contract monthly “4G” plans – I’m talking about the one that give you unlimited data (5GB at the highest speeds available), unlimited texts, and 100 minutes of talk for $30/month. That’s a really good plan; it’s the same price as Verizon and AT&T’s data add-ons that only give you 2 or 3GB/month, and it also includes unlimited texts.
100 minutes/month isn’t that great, but if I combine those with GrooVe IP for free calling over WiFi, those 100 minutes are more than enough to get me by when I’m out and about and nowhere near a WiFi connection. Additionally, since I only seem to use around 3 or 4GB per month of data, I have around an extra gig that I can also use for GrooVe IP calls when I’m not next to WiFi.
To be clear, I’m not impressed with T-Mobile’s other plans: For $50/month, I can get unlimited talk and text, but only 100MB of high-speed data. For $60, I get 2GB of high-speed data, and for $70 I get 5GB. But once I’m in this price range, I may as well sign a two-year contract and take advantage of subsidized device pricing, along with whatever student or employer discount I can manage to get added to my account.
AT&T and Verizon both offer various plans that seem OK, but they are still more expensive, and either have lower caps or device restrictions. Some of the smaller regional carriers offer decent plans, but they are also more expensive, too. MVNOs like Boost or Straight Talk also offer some pretty good monthly plans, but many of those use CDMA networks that are much slower, or have restrictive terms of service with low caps and no tolerance for activities like video streaming.
In other words, I just don’t think that anyone else right now can beat 5GB of “4G” data, unlimited text, and 100 minutes for $30. The icing on the cake is that I was able to activate the plan in a T-Mobile store, even though T-Mobile’s site says it’s only available at Walmart or online. Plus, I can use the plan in any phone, and T-Mobile doesn’t care.
It can’t get much easier than that!