T-Mobile

T-Mobile threw a whole lot of stuff at us when they unveiled their new "UnCarrier" Simple-Choice pricing models. While we're mostly excited to see a release date for the Galaxy S4, and existing customers are pretty amped about LTE, the rest of the announcement dealt with pricing and plans. Granted, your cellular plan and how much it costs you may not be the most glamorous thing to talk about, but it might be the most important.

We broke it down as best we can previously, but the quick and dirty version is that T-Mobile no longer ties the purchase of a phone to your plan, and offers up some great prices for the use of their network. There is a lot of potential to save money here, provided you can get good enough service from T-Mobile. And you won't know that until you check into it.

I get great T-Mobile service where I live and play, but for every person like me with good service, there is someone stuck on EDGE and cruising along on 2G data speeds. You need to look at coverage maps, talk to folks you know who are using or have tried T-Mobile's service in your area, and maybe even give that 14-day trial period a spin to find out how it would work for you. That sounds like a lot of hassle compared to just renewing the service you have and walking out with a shiny new Android phone.

Are you going to do it? T-Mobile is counting on you to try it, and your current carrier is counting on you not trying it. We thought it was best to ask. You'll find a poll in the sidebar to the right (or after the break). Let us know if you're going to give it a shot.

Before we end this, we have to look at the results from our last poll. 

Samsung Galaxy S4 or HTC One - which are you buying?

Poll results

A lot of folks look interested in the HTC One. We get it -- it's a hell of a phone. But the Galaxy S4 looks like an amazing phone as well. I have a feeling these results won't stand when both phones are available. I'll mark my calendar and revisit this one around the middle of July. 




 

Reader comments

This week's sidebar poll: Are you going to look at T-Mobile for your next phone?

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If you live outside of major cities and a couple miles off major highways you will get no service at all. My experience in MO and IL and I live in St.Louis where the service sucks, not even 3g speeds here it's slow. If you Travel a lot or expect to use your phone on vacations driving, don't go with T-Mo

T-Mo would not replace my phone under the 1-year warranty in the 11th month for software issues. I paid T-mo to break my contract and switch to month to month and 2 months later ported my # to Vzw, and they tried to stick me with an ETF even though I paid to break my contract to go to month to month at the advice of a T-Mo CS rep. Not to mention bill padding too. Screw T-Mo, I was call ed a "Valued Customer," of 6 years, and in the end they tried to screw me every way possible.

If I lose my Unlimited on Vzw after my contract is up I'll be going to Dish/ Google if it is up and running by the end of 2013 like they are predicting.

Amen,no one covers major Interstates and small towns like Verizon. Having my kids on Tmobile for last year has shown exactly why Verizon charges a premium. Vacations to Cali, Tx and Northern AZ has proved that Verizon gas great DATA coverage. Was in Payson, AZ a few weeks ago and I had LTE while my kids were on Edge. But it's not like muy kids travel much, when they get older we can look at getting them VZW again.

Great minds think alike. I'm currently in the only T-Mobile 2G area for like 100 miles.. I know they are working on their towers now and hope that they go live soon. I'm done with the big V.. I'm ache'n to save 50 bucks on my bill. Most of all I'm really excited to get an unlocked phone that GETS updates regularly.. that DOESN'T have bloatware.. I can almost taste the freedom!!

I just switched from Sprint to TMO last month and couldn't be happier. The S4 may be worth checking out in the fall if it supports LTE and if TMO ramps up their LTE rollouts. I like the 15Mbps/2Mbps HSPA+ but I'm a little jealous of friends showing me their 65Mbps/20Mbps AT&T LTE speedtests...

I switched from Sprint and found that I had faster speeds, more reliable service AND it had the added benefit of being cheaper. This is in the Washington DC Metropolitan Area.

I'm looking forward to this plan since I hope that I can now use conditional call forwarding (which isn't currently available on the prepaid plans)to set up Google Voice as my Voicemail.

NNB

Yes. I don't even care if all I have is EDGE. I can go to their $30 prepaid with unlimited text and 5GB of potential high speed data with throttling. I just like that I'd have that option of paying that little. I'm in WiFi range most of the time anyways. A friend though is on Solavei nearby and he says he gets great speeds on his Sensation.

Ditto. I switched last month after 7 years with AT&T and using little data and a fraction of my minutes. Now I pay $30 a month and in Seattle my TMo coverage is as good or better than it was with AT&T. Bought the Nexus 4 and couldn't be happier.

How did you handle switching after so long? I have been with ATT 15 years and its hard to switch. I have thought of it many times.

Nope, just got to Sprint and loving it. Two years from now we will see where tmo is with everything, but not right now

Pay as you go is the way to go but it is still immature here

T-Mobile is 100% pay as you go now. Any service contract can be cancelled at any time. You just have to pay for your phone.

Where is the "I already have a T-Mobile enabled device." option? Been rockin' the Nexus 4 with their $30 plan since Nov., and have no intention of ever signing another contract.

^-This +1

I realize T-Mobile isn't for everyone but if you get decent to good coverage it is 100% worth a look.

And a big +1 from me (and a +.5 from my wife).

We both have Nexus 4s and are currently both on the "30 dollar" plan. I could not be any happier to be saving roughly a thousand dollars a year for service, and be able to use the best value in hardware available (with unlocked bootloaders, easy root, no bloat, etc, etc).

My wife on the other hand, seems to struggle with limitation of 100 minutes. Which is especially strange because I talk on the phone (a lot) more than she does. Apparently it is difficult for her to say the words "I am driving right now, I will call you back later." Of course at home (or work) we have wifi and can do VOIP. So, I simply don't understand it at all.

But, if I could understand women... the "100 minute limitation" would be just one of thousands of incomprehensible issues that could be resolved.

Agreed. I know a few that are in an area where they have decent coverage. Once my area goes live with 3/4G i'm hauling butt.

have you, or heard of, anyone porting a number? issues? how about google #?

I wish I could but they just don't have the coverage where I live. I would love to escape Verizon!!!

Sometimes price makes a difference. I can't speak for all of the techies out there, but most times, I shop around for the best price because I know the quality in the name of the product and the extensive reviews behind those products. But in the case of wireless providers, the choice is not always restricted to price. Coverage is not the same in all areas, individual user need of the service varies from person to person. Speaking as a Tmobile customer since the G1 came out and I switched a 5-line family plan to Tmobile to get the latest and greatest that Google/Tmobile had to offer (at the time), I can say with confidence that at least this customer won't consider Tmobile when my contract is up for renewal this July. Of the many considerations, the list comes down to: customer service and quality of service in my area. First the customer service, you get what you pay for. Sure they aren't shipping the calls oversee's, but getting a consistent answer and fast first call resolution on technical issues is something I've yet to see in the many many years I've been with them. Keep in mind that I rarely have to call or email, so the few times that I do (I can probably count them on one hand over the many years) the quality of that service is amplified and therefore Tmobile should be doing more to impress upon the fact that a single interaction with a customer can make or break a situation. The second comes down to service. I live approximately 38 miles west of Chicago. I consider Chicago to be a fairly large metropolitan area. But I can't have a consistent quality of service on 4G (HSPA+ varient at the moment until LTE arrives) no matter where I go. That was with the G1, Samsung Galaxy S and the HTC Sensation. 3G is always in better service even though based on the maps, all the areas in the western suburbs as well as in the loop itself (oddly enough and probably because of the proximity of the buildings in the loop where my offices are and the build structure themselves service is actually worse in the loop than outside the city) are suppose to be covered by 4G, I rarely get good use of 4G. Bottom line, even though you can save some money switching to Tmobile in my view in this particular case, there is something to be said to pay a bit more if your needs are going to be more. If you are willing to pay less and are willing to put up with some mild quality of service issues and customer service, go for it--Tmobile will be a good fit. But for me where getting premium service is important to me as my world has become more and more connected, paying the extra to go with providers like Verizon where I know at least the service for LTE is very strong in this area, it makes these brands a premium, while Tmobile will remain a bargain brand (at least until LTE fully rolls out). But as I said earlier, decisions like this don't always come down to price, so weight your priorities in terms of what you expect or demand from your provider and put your money where your mouth is.

I feel like I am beating a dead horse when I say that the GNEX experience on VZW has screwed my view of Verizon. I am ready to go back to Tmo.. just now waiting for a phone that looks better than the Nexus 4. Possibly the X phone or the Nexus 5.

Left sprint in December right after I got my Nexus 4. I was getting .08mb down and dropping calls everyday. I now use TMo prepaid I paid $70 a month for unlimited everything and have dropped no calls and average about 6mb down. YES, I'm happy with my decision. In LA I get about 22mb down.

I want to see expansion, not just upgrading.

I saw coverage maps in the New Britain Connecticut area,
near Route 9,...There's some gaps,...expand, not just upgrade T-Mobile.

Best Buy has 18 months zero interest for smartphones, so maybe that's what I'll do in order to keep my Unlimited Data on Verizon LTE.
I don't have $650+ to pay upfront.

Despite having T-Mobile in the past and leaving them when their service tanked where I live, I may give them another look. The promise of LTE, the merger (or reverse-merger?) with MetroPCS and these new pricing plans have grabbed my attention. Oh, that and the reality that without my AIRAVE device my Sprint NetworkVision service is virtually unusable at home. If I switch to T-Mobile it'll be because they can support my next Nexus device better than the next guy. I will almost certainly take the 14-day test drive for a spin. While I've considered grabbing a Nexus 4, I'm not 100% sold on that device considering that my CDMA Galaxy Nexus is practically in mint condition. It's also rooted and running CM 10.1. My only regret is that I didn't act fast enough to get myself a GSM version off Google Play. :(

At any rate, I'd like to see what T-Mobile can deliver compared to Sprint, but I also need to be mindful that Sprint is regularly if not constantly providing a decent amount of 4G coverage where I work - that's somewhat important. Where they fall flat on their faces is in some areas where I travel and, of course, at home. I also have to give huge Kudos to Sprint Customer Care (at the executive level); if nothing else - they listen and they respond with a refreshing focus on customer retention. My other choice is AT&T and I'm not one bit happy about that.

I joined T-Mobile three weeks ago and I am impressed with them so far. I have had Verizon Wireless since cell technology began. My T-Mobile phone has 5 bar reception where Verizon has No service. I am stuck with my Verizon contract for one more year. In the meantime, I'll use both accounts. T-Mobile rocks!

I just switched to tmo just a month ago yesterday. I signed up for the 5gb 100 minute plan for $30/month. I work all over the state, mostly in sleepy towns in the middle of the woods. So far I have found two job sites in the state where I get no service, and only a couple where I don't get HSDPA. In the last 10 days of the month I threw everything I had at the network, in regards to music streaming, and I still couldn't hit my data cap....I didn't even come close. I used under 2gb while streaming Pandora, tune in, iheart, and Google music.

Yup....after paying 1/3 what sprint cost me, and getting just as good coverage, if not better, I can honestly say I'm happy I bought my nexus 4 and switched.

Their deal looks enticing, but just not an option out in the boonies where I live. No coverage, so no deal. *sigh*

Damn right I will. I have 3 lines with Metro right now and been wanting to get us all the GS3, but with the GS4 coming out in May, I might just go that route.

Oh and it helps that I get a 15% discount due to the company I work for.

3 lines, all on the GS4 and with 2.5GB of data plus unlimited international on 1 line would end up costing me $188 per month after taxes and fees. Not bad at all. :-)

I think that T-mobile are doing everything right, and as we've seen in the past, they aren't afraid to advertise to let people know about their great new plans. I wouldn't be surprised to see a mass exodus from AT&T and Verizon. Way to change the game T-Mo!

Not sure how accurate that poll is going to be considering how pro-Nexus a lot of people are around here. How many who voted "yes" are Nexus 4 owners or want to be? :O

With Tmo releasing the GS4, the HTC One, the BlackBerry Z10 AND now the iPhone 5, I don't see how they can lose.

T-Mobile has thrown a ton of cash at their Network and it's sticking. I get very fast speeds on their HSPA+ Network and LTE is just a short time away. Very excited, they have great plans, real unthrottled data plans with a great selection of phones. With the iphone just a few weeks away I'm sure many new customers are on their way. Their refarmed 1900 MHZ network is everywhere including in my neighborhood, didn't even know it until I threw my T-Mobile sim card into my brother's rooted AT&T SGS2 and bingo T-Mobile HSPA+ getting over 10mb down and 4mb up. Not too shabby on a new Network. T-Mobile this time next year could be one of the new top dogs on the block. Very Impressive, T-Mobile from almost history just a short while ago to a completely new future ahead.
I'm with T-Mobile for the long haul. I have never been more happier with a Mobile Carrier than I am with T-Mobile and I have been with them all.

I do think that no carrier matched Verizon for quite some time but Tmo might just start creeping up on them.

Was considering them even before they threw the switch, although them dropping non-unlimited voice plans does raise the monthly bill from $100 to $120. Still better than what we're getting from AT&T, same monthly price but only 200mb of data on one of the phones and only 1000 minutes shared.

2.5GB data across four phones. Two Nexus 4s, one iPhone and one cheap (and more importantly, 4" or smaller) android phone of which is still being decided.

Two things AC is good for is the pro nexus slant and the us slant. I understand the us slant since it is based here but the nexus slant is beyond me

There are too many low-signal areas, and 2G areas here in Omaha. I wouldn't mind switching, but their coverage just isn't up to par. T-Mobile doesn't even have any retail locations in here, and online when I enter my zip code it says service isn't available and to check back later as coverage is expanding... hurry up T-Mo.

T-Mobile is the trailer-trash of cell phone companies. Their coverage around me is worse than AT&T, if that's even possible. Saving money isn't everything.

I need more details. I'm on Sprint and I'm thinking of switching. I've been eyeing non-contract options for some time....just waiting for hte business model to mature a bit...

I live in KC! Winning!

Jerry, I hope your great city of West Virginia is next on the T-MO LTE train!

Probably not. High end phones are too expensive to really make it worth it. I get such a good price by being on a 5 line shared data plan on AT&T that it really wouldn't save me any money every month and I'd be paying more for my phones. I only pay $53 a line and we NEVER go over data, no one has ever even gone over 2 GB of usage.

T-Mobile CEO was on crack earlier today! Also T-mobile when you get a phone with a plan is no bargain compared to any of the top three carriers when you price everything together. The only case it would be cheaper is buying an unlocked phone or buying the phone outright, and it would stupid if you didn't do that because you would end up paying more for the phone than it actually worth. I will stick with my current carrier for the new S4 when in come out next month.

Not a chance in hell after what I went through with them. They stuck me for hundreds of dollars on incoming twitter sms messages to my Nexus 7 which I never received or signed up to receive. T-Mobile wouldn't remove the charges and now I'm forced to cancel due to them not being able to do anything about it or stopping them from being sent to me and so am stuck paying for this month plus the early termination fee. Due yourself a favor and stay the hell away from these bastards.

I've been a T-Mobile Prepaid Customer for about a year with my GSM Galaxy Nexus on the $30 per month plan. I live in South Florida, don't travel much, and do use WiFi at home and sometimes at work. I'm satisfied with T-Mobile prepaid service and its low monthly price, and will continue to use their services.

I like the new plans but I would rather bring an unlocked device in. It would be great if T-Mobile dares to either cease branding altogether or reduce it to a European level, i.e. a standard device with small application add-ons rather than a special model. It would be better for them and the customers since updates goes directly from the manufacturer to the customer rather than manufacturer -> carrier -> customer.

Already with T-mobile but I'm not on contract so I guess this still applies to me.

But I AM SO EXCITED FOR THESE NEW PLANS! Specifically the fact that they include tethering with all the normal plans (and don't have a contract) means that I can finally consider non nexus devices. Don't get me wrong I will probably get a Nexus anyway but I hate rooting my phone (I do root my Nexus 7 but I need my phone for communication more than fun). But I need tethering for those emergency situations when being able to email your boss that draft while on an impromptu road trip is a life saver (True story).

My family lives in the sticks (we have Amish people around us...) so I do feel the pain of T-mobile's holes in service. But even then I can get some service and as soon as I get off my parents back road I actually have 3g coverage so honestly it isn't that bad most of the time. In boston I have very few problems and my hope is that with this new strategy + the iPhone T-mobile will have the resources to fortify their network (There is a huge dead spot right next to MIT. wtf T-mobile?!).

My point is: If you live anywhere remotely near other people (and I do realize that some people don't) T-mobile will be ok. So don't be afraid. Come join!

Anyone planning to switch should do thier homework before jumping on the bandwagon. Everyplan but the unlimited has throttled service. Also account for the amount of phone insurance as it will be required, If you dont have insurance and u are taking the payment plan route the charge from the first phone will not come off until its paid for. Meaning you could end up with a extra 20/month for two years from dropping ur phone. Even if you no longer have it. The irony in the CEO saying to cut out the BS when its obvious they can nickle and dime much better with this method is hilarious

Insurance is an optional risk mitigating expense. Does one have to pay 24 months of expensive Verizon service which includes phone subsidy if they break their optionally uninsured Verizon phone? With T-Mo one can quit service at any time. Of course if you have a 24 month payment plan of e.g. $20/mo for the phone after down payment, you have obligated yourself for that expense. I'm lost on your logic.

Lol, I wish this poll was the real situation going forward but I know most of them are just wishful thinking and a bunch of 12 year olds skewing the results. Less people congesting Verizon the better. I never thought hypebeast extended into the carrier world also. Anyway NO, I'm not leaving Verizon and NO I don't give a crap how much you people think you're saving. You can buy a full priced phone or go prepaid on Verizon. People were doing the same thing a couple years ago when Sprint unleashed their unlimited plans with false hope and child dreams and everyone ran to them now look at them. You get what you pay for and that's that.

Based on the horrible grammar and immaturity of some of the postings I can understand your belief 12 year olds participate yet, an effective influence among 29,000 survey participants seems a massive stretch. Wishful thinking (desire) has relevance.

"A lot of folks look interested in the HTC One. We get it -- it's a hell of a phone. But the Galaxy S4 looks like an amazing phone as well. I have a feeling these results won't stand when both phones are available."

What a shitty way to respond to a poll you conducted. What, you didn't like the results and then try to passively aggressively play it off? Is Samsung paying you guys?

You obviously don't get it, it seems the majority of your readership prefer the HTC One, that's not really going to change, even with launch.

SENT FROM MY GALAXY S3, SOON TO BE HTC ONE

Yes, When my contract is up with Verizon in December (been on Verizon for about 7 years) I will probably switch to T-Mobile $30 a month plan. Not sure what phone I am going to use, hopefully the next Nexus has a removable battery and LTE.

Jerry

You note your surprise that 2 out of 3 surveyed intend to purchase the new HTC One over the GS4 and await the outcome in July. Has AC had a phone preference poll where 29,000 individuals participated? That's a large number where a degree of confidence should be assured. And we should all agree AC readers are a unique subset of the total worldwide or even US universe of smartphone users. What data in July will corroborate any comparison? It can't be US or global sales. Other phones and users will be in that data mix.

According to your polling, among thousands of your readers an amazing 46%, nearly half indicate they intend to purchase an HTC One through T-Mobile.

We must realize T-Mo is rightfully concentrating on snagging more than a few Apple fanatics from ATT, yet both HTC and T-Mo should also focus on grabbing some OG EVO, EVO 3D, and EVO LTE customers from Sprint. I've been a Sprint customer for 13 years and if Sprint continues to lag on getting a robust system with LTE up and running in San Diego and only offers the (difficult to penetrate buildings) 1900 Mhz LTE frequency excluding future Sprint frequencies on Sprint's new HTC One compared with the full compliment of frequencies spec'd on T-Mo's HTC One, I and as many loyal Sprint customers I can inform are finally going to go bye bye. And as such it will be difficult for Sprint to get those customers back. Based on what I can determine at this time, it looks like T-Mo has the potential with kick ass reception and speeds to take about 1,000,000 customers from Sprint in San Diego County in rather short order. I'll be watching carefully Sprint because many of us have had it with what used to be good reception. I'll also have to compare carrier's timeliness of OTA updates and accompanying carrier bloat. Sprint has been pretty good over the past year or so with timely updates and elimination of Sprint bloat.

Jimbo here with an update to my ^above^ rant about possibly moving to T-Mo from Sprint.

I downloaded the Sensorly app from the Playstore and discovered, much to my amazement, Sprint has the best 3G coverage in San Diego County, even better than Verizon. I can also see a significant area is currently being lit up with Sprint LTE.

T-Mo's 3G (HSPA+) coverage has significantly more holes in it and no area in San Diego County appears lit up with T-Mo's LTE as yet.

I just hope Sprint's new HTC One has all their upcoming LTE frequencies available. Reportedly it doesn't compared with other carriers' HTC One and compared with the "undesirable" plastic Touchwiz SG4 to be offered by Sprint.

I was so sure I typed in androidcentral.com - how come I ended up here at t-mobile.com???

Oh...

I would like to partake in their trial period, where I will visit all the normal places I am. However, I just started a two year contract with Verizon and would have to stick with them regardless if I stay in the boonies of Pennsylvania where I go to college.

Nope...Had Sprint for 5 years waiting for them to not suck. The building pen of T-Mo isn't the greatest but other than that it blows Sprint out of the water.

Not an option for me. There is only EDGE at my house but nothing on my commute to work or at my actual workplace. I'm more excited to experience how Sprint will perform after Network Vision is complete.

To answer the poll question, I'm currently a T-Mobile customer and plan to run away from them as fast as I can when my contract is up. As many have pointed out they're network is mostly EDGE. They offer limited 4G in major cities, but even in those cities you can still find areas with only EDGE. Once outside the city, not matter how large the metro area you'll be on EDGE. Travel down any major interstate and you're on EDGE.

The promise of coming LTE doesn't convince me. They promised us 3G years ago and I've yet to find any 3G anywhere in the country. They promised last year they were going to complete the buildout of their HSPA+ 4G network and replace EDGE but they stopped midstream and wasted billions to simply move their existing 4G from 1700 MHZ to 1900 MHZ for the iPhone. I have no confidence they will ever build out LTE to amount to anything. As I said, we're still waiting for 3G.

Then there's customer service. If you like to speak to people who don't speak passable English and haven't a clue what a cell phone is then T=Mobile is right for you. Bottom line, T-Mobile is the perfect example of "you get what you pay for."

I can only consider them as a prepaid option. Unfortunately I left them for Sprint in a blinding rage before my contract was up and I now owe them money. I was tired of my bullshit Motorola Cliq XT messing up (I was already on my 2nd one because it had to be replaced) and honestly tired of ALL thier phones crapping out on me after a few months smh. I also have to see if the service is any better in my area, especially at my job.

I’m currently with AT&T. My contract expired last month and looking to see on which carrier I should buy the HTC One. Either AT&T, Sprint or T-Mobile. Verizon is not even in the conversation. Evil big Red is way too expensive.

I just recently signed up for this and I couldn't be happier. My service is good where I'm at and I get wi-fi calling at my house so the signal there is never an issue. I pretty much cut my phone bill in half and after talking to the rep, it really isn't a contact per say. It's like it kinda walks that thin line of being either. Basically you're paying for the phone you want on monthly payments which you can pay off at any time you want. And if you decide to not want the service you just stop paying for the service. So it's kinda like pre paid but isn't and you get the phone you want. For example the Nexus 4 costs say around $450. You put the down payment down say $50 which leaves the remaing balance on the phone which is $400. So then you pay say $30 (for whichever plan you want)+ the monthly fee for the phone say $18 per month. Your bill pretty much ends up being $48 plus tax. Not a bad del if you ask me.

I'm going to get a pay-as-you-go sim for my unlocked AT&T iPhone4 to try it out. I plan on owning my next phone for a long time so t-mobiles plans definitely have my attention.

Really...your statement lacks credibility on several issues. First of all, Sprint has no unlimited minutes plan.

I love T-mobile, i've been a customer for 3 years now since i've returned from Germany (Had T-mobile there too) I have had ZERO issues, and the service isn't as bad as everyone says. I live in San Antonio and i consistantly get 7 MB down and 3 MB up and on a good day in the center of the city i get 19 MB down and 3 MB up. And unlimited EVERYTHING is great...I have four phones on the plan two with unlimited everything, and the other two are just voice/text on an iphone and an unlocked ATT phone (both for kids) and I only spend 150 a month........ Can't beat it. Just my two cents.