DrBoost
DrBoost MegaDork
5/19/21 6:19 a.m.

I know we have some that are very knowledgeable as far as cell phones, and even cell phone plans go. I'm looking for some guidance. 
I am leaving my current employer in 8 days. I've had a company cell phone for almost 7 years, and my new employer doesn't provide a phone (not that I expected them to).
Time to start shopping.  
Currently I have an iPhone 8+.
My family (3 lines) are on sprint (TMobile now) and are happy with the service.

I'm not married to iPhones, but naturally that's the easy button because I've had iphones for 10 years. 

Here's my questions:
1 - What phones out there are comparable to the 8+? I don't need the latest and greatest, but I'd rather not go smaller or slower. I don't want to spend more than $500.
2 - Are there any deals out there if the family and I decided to switch from sprint to another carrier?

 

Thanks for your time.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
5/19/21 6:53 a.m.

I'll start with the easy part: You want another iPhone. It's what you're used to, and iMessage is a killer app. The corollary to "another iPhone" is you want the newest model you can afford.

Most of the top-tier carriers will give you a good incentive to bring the family over. Search around online and you can usually get a free or heavily discounted phone if you're willing to look for a deal or wait a month if there isn't anything good right now. When we got married my wife switched from Sprint to my ATT plan, and they gave us BOGO iPhone XRs (they'd just come out at the time) in exchange for adding the line. She's still happily using that phone, while I used the XR credit towards an XS Max and only paid the cost difference.

I travel a lot and my phone is my lifeline when I'm on the road, so I usually trade in every other year for the newest flagship iPhone. That's a fairly cost-effective way to always have a nice phone, as there seems to be a sweet spot in a phone's depreciation curve at two years old. Otherwise, buy the three-year-old version and run it into the ground if you're not worried about the latest and greatest. 

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
5/19/21 7:17 a.m.

I despise iPhones. However, tom is right. You want another IPhone. No sense in changing os if you don't really care either way and you're not looking for a hot rod. If I wasn't married to IPhone, and was in your price category, I'd be looking at OnePlus... whatever. Pro7? Nord? Idk what's in that price range for them right now, but I've been happy with all of mine. 

 

That being said, I've been with tmo for...20 years now. I've been very happy the entire time. The 5g service seems a little chippy right now, but that's because 5g around me at least is fairly new. 

szeis4cookie (Forum Supporter)
szeis4cookie (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/19/21 7:46 a.m.

Looks like the iPhone XR is right at $500 unlocked new from Apple, and you could do better than that if refurbished is an option (Swappa has them starting from $260). iPhone SE second generation is also worth a look - that's iPhone X guts (I think) in the iPhone 8 case. These would come carrier unlocked so you could then just shop for a good deal on a plan (and have the freedom to switch carriers if you need to).

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/19/21 8:47 a.m.

If you're used to iPhones and the ecosystem (for example, using iMessage like Tom mentioned, or have a bunch of apps already), getting another iPhone is the easy button. Also, IME iPhones tend to have the longer viable life span compared to most Android phones as they're getting security updates longer than most Android phones.

I do have both (an iPhone X and a OnePlus 7T Pro 5G) and both work well, so it really comes down to what you are comfortable with.

As to cell providers, if T-Mobile works for you network wise, have a lookat Metro PCS also as that may or may not work out cheaper. I'm on T-Mobile myself and make decent use of some of the add-ons I have with them around international calling, so it works well for me. 

DrBoost
DrBoost MegaDork
5/19/21 3:54 p.m.

Well, I went to the Tmobile store today (been with sprint for 20 years) and they gave me a new iPhone 11 for 300. Deal. 
Thanks all for your input. 

DrBoost
DrBoost MegaDork
5/20/21 5:45 a.m.

In reply to john991 :

Yup, brand new. It's a deal because of how long we've been with Sprint, now tmobile. 

dxman92
dxman92 Dork
12/23/21 9:14 a.m.

I saw this post and thought I'd ask the hive. Mrs. DX and myself have Verizon and are growing very frustrated with their service with them for how much our monthly costs are. Is TMobile the easy switch button here? Or check out one of the Metros/Cricket/Republic/Mint Mobile?

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/23/21 9:23 a.m.

In reply to dxman92 :

Are you frustrated with the cost, or the quality of the service?

If it's the cost, IIRC Verizon has at least one discount brand (Visible - IIRC it's visible.com) that is supposed to be a lot cheaper.

We've been with T-Mobile for quite a while and I'm happy with the service, but I've not had to interact with their customer no service for quite a while, and from what I hear that's been going downhill since the management change.

I'm also on a grandfathered plan that has some add-ons that I'm not sure have an equivalent anymore (around hotspot and international calling), don't know how the current plans compare.

If I didn't need the discounted/free international calling option that I have, I'd look into the discount brands like Metro PCS, which is T-Mobile's discount brand.

Also, I've heard good things about Google Fi, but I've also heard massive complaints that if anything goes wrong, their customer no service makes your local cable monster's CNS look like a paragon of efficiency and responsiveness.

mtn
mtn MegaDork
12/23/21 10:01 a.m.

First, look back and see what you have been using in terms of data, call time, texts, etc. Getting unlimited plans if you're on wifi all of the time and only use 4 gb of data a month is overkill.

Unfortunately, due to how much these things change, you're going to need to do the work. Fortunately, somebody else has already done that for you: Figure out how many gigs of data and how many minutes you need, factor in any extras that you would use, and use this chart to find the best option for you.

 

93gsxturbo
93gsxturbo UltraDork
12/23/21 1:36 p.m.

My wife is on Fi and loves it - from a value perspective its very good.  

Some of my bros who have their own phones are on Spectrum Mobile which is essentially Verizon.  Its really good for the price.

I sold my soul to the company store and have had a work phone for 10 years now so I just use what is free.  

dxman92
dxman92 Dork
12/25/21 2:11 a.m.

We're frustrated with our service w/Verizon with how much our bill is every month. Probably going to explore going to unlimited data as well.

bgkast
bgkast GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
12/25/21 11:47 a.m.

In reply to dxman92 :

I had similar frustrations with Verizon a year ago and switched to T-Mobile. The price was a little lower but I couldn't get past all of the dropped calls and dead zones so I switched back around a month ago. With the new unlimited data plans that include streaming services that I had already been paying for, and them paying me to bring my phones over my overall cost at Verizon is a bit lower than what I was paying for T-Mobile.

triumph7
triumph7 HalfDork
12/25/21 9:06 p.m.

We just switched from Verizon to T-Mobile, being over 55 they have a great deal at $55/mo for 2 lines with unlimited talk, text and data.  Verizon was over $140 and no unlimited data.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
12/25/21 9:52 p.m.

What does iMessage have to do with this?  Used it it in what way?  Android has the exact same functionality, only Apple decided to lock their ecosystem down.  This is the #1 reason I don't want to buy an iPhone.

That said, iPhone is going to be faster for sure than any Android competitor, and generally higher quality.  I'm going that route shortly despite the above because... if you can't beat them, join them.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
12/26/21 9:18 a.m.

From 1997 to 2012, or 15 years, I worked in middle management in the cell phone industry.  First with Sprint, then ATT, then Nextel responsible for Nextel's new offering in 2005, Boost Mobile.  Later, Nextel was bought by Sprint and I knew it was the beginning of the end as Sprint is(was) a miserable organization.  

My work life after the cell business has me traveling very rural so the only network that could meet my requirements was Verizon and I have been their customer now for approaching 10 years.  

I never bought into the Apple eco-system.  Like the laptop computers, the Apple choices are premium priced over the other choices.  For many people the value and justification is there for the premium.  I understand.  For me, it has not been.  I will agree with the sentiment that if you are deep in the Apple eco-system, you might be best staying there.  For me, it is Android.  Specifically, I buy my Androids directly from Motorola who always offers a nice phone in the $200 range.  I carry an older Moto G7 Power and my wife has a Moto G Stylus (2020).

 

Prepaid is the only way for me.  In my early Sprint years, I learned you don't want to trust Sprint to let you talk first and charge you later (know as post-paid or what was often thought as service with a contract.)  Its a big accusation but it would almost seem that these companies want their billing to be deceptive.  We all hear of people, like in this thread, mentioning that the monthly bill is more than they expect or understand.  

With pre-paid, if the service is $50 (paid in advance) then there will never be any additional cost without you being aware of those costs.    We are on the VZ Prepaid $50 plan.  When I signed up I put down a CC number and at every renewal, the card gets hit fore the charges.  in VZs program, once you've been a customer for 6 months, that price goes down to $35.  For that $35 I have:
Unlimited calling
15gb of fast data and unlimited slow data after but with wifi in the house, I never really use more than 4 gb per month
Hotspot capability that I use multiple times per month with a work laptop from the field.  
This plan does not allow me to travel internationally or call away from North America, but I don't need those features.  

This is however enough service for me to run a business and be on the road, locally most days.  

 

$35 per month for VZ service is a good value for me.  

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
12/26/21 9:59 a.m.
John Welsh said:

From 1997 to 2012, or 15 years, I worked in middle management in the cell phone industry.  First with Sprint, then ATT, then Nextel responsible for Nextel's new offering in 2005, Boost Mobile.  Later, Nextel was bought by Sprint and I knew it was the beginning of the end as Sprint is(was) a miserable organization.  

My work life after the cell business has me traveling very rural so the only network that could meet my requirements was Verizon and I have been their customer now for approaching 10 years.  

I never bought into the Apple eco-system.  Like the laptop computers, the Apple choices are premium priced over the other choices.  For many people the value and justification is there for the premium.  I understand.  For me, it has not been.  I will agree with the sentiment that if you are deep in the Apple eco-system, you might be best staying there.  For me, it is Android.  Specifically, I buy my Androids directly from Motorola who always offers a nice phone in the $200 range.  I carry an older Moto G7 Power and my wife has a Moto G Stylus (2020).

I have a Moto G(8) Power.  Holy berkeley what a piece of garbage.  Its got a great battery, but thats about it.  I'm fine with a phone being a bit slower than Apple (the iPhone is 4-8x the speed), but when its so slow that stuff doesn't work it really becomes an obstacle I have to deal with on a daily basis.  Also, who the berkeley puts the microphone right next to the speaker, making it virtually impossible to have a video call?

I'm on my 3rd round of cheap Android phones, and I just can't take it.  I miss getting photos of my son because my camera is crashing/wont open.  I have to pull over and waste time while navigating because maps & audible are both berkeleying up.  I miss talking to my son/he misses talking to his mom sometimes because the speaker/mic setup is so bad.  When I type and hit send and it never does, it makes my conversations confusing.  When I am trying to log nutrition intake and the app needs to use the camera so it just crashes, I have to manually enter or go to a computer.  Its all just a pain in the ass.

If a $200 Android was basically a Honda Fit and a $700 iPhone was a BMW - sure.  But the iPhone is a BMW with rock solid reliability and performance and the Android is an ebay Hunda Fyt.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
12/26/21 10:08 a.m.

In reply to ProDarwin :

This has not been my experience, but wow, yeah.  That's enough drama to justify a change!  

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