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The rumors are true: Qik video chat will cost extra on the Evo 4G

Time to get the pitchforks out, people. We slept on it in hopes it was all a nightmare, but the ugly rumor that began yesterday (first by Android Guys and later confirmed by Engadget) is true: Video chat on Qik on the Evo 4G is going to cost an extra $4.99 a month, payable by Paypal.

It's more than a little suspect that this wasn't mentioned -- ever -- during Sprint's Evo 4G launch party in New York, nor did any of the Qik folks there drop the bomb, and here we are just a week from launch. The good news is that there's already one free alternative in Fring, and Skype may be bringing video chat as well in the form of a "consumer app" (outside the bounds of its exclusivity with Verizon) later this year. [Android Guys, Engadget]

  • I thought Sprint was the cost effective carrier. Guess they're becoming a VZW nickel and dimimg the customers
  • Don't be such an Artard! It's not sprint that's charging you for this. It's Qik!
  • yep !
  • But it is sprint charging $10 a month extra for the premium features, which they lead everyone to believe would include video chat
  • Let's end the confusion. Sprint demoed video streaming/uploading at the launch, which is still included. Not video chat! Qik is not charging for video streaming/uploading, just for 2 way chat!
  • Pigs get fed and hogs get butchered. Qik is going down for this, its pure short-sighted greed. Don't get me wrong, I understand they can charge whatever they want for their service offering...but not once have I seen anywhere where they are bringing any additional value to the table over Fring. Sure, maybe some uninformed folks will pay for it for a little while, but one would think that Qik's long-term plan cannot be to continue to charge for a product that is readily available for free elsewhere.....right? So how are the suckers who pay for it going to feel when Qik decides to make it free (so they can compete) in 6 months? I see no long term benefits to doing this unless they want an easy way out of the market.
  • Then how come Qik doesn't charge Big Red customers? {{-_-}}
  • Because Big Red doesn't have video chat! Qik is not charging for video streaming/uploading just for 2 way chat!
  • You can all stop crying. Qik is free. For $5 you get premium features.
  • Screw that! Already have tested Fring and it works great. Even has compatibility with many other network services but the biggie naturally is Skype. I wont even download Qik.
  • Well, I guess it's a feature, and they (collectively Sprint and Qik) have a right to do it, but... $69.99 for basic Sprint plan
    +$10.00 for premium data surcharge (groan.)
    +$29.99 for mobile hotspot
    + $4.99 for Qik
    =$114.97 monthly charge Not exactly looking like the most competitive pricing anymore. Hopefully there are no other surprises regarding premiums for functionality before launch (or after, for that matter).
  • So you are really going to get the mobile hotspot? Well if so, you get to cancel your home DSL/Cable ISP and save money that way. Funny, even with everything you have totaled, it is still cheaper than VZ's comparable unlimited plan, $120/mo, (with no hotspot, no 4G, and no Qik).
  • Hey you do realize that the $10 premium data allows you to use the phone as a tethered device, right? The mobile hotspot fee is ONLY if you want to make your phone a wifi router and allow up to 8 devices to connect. But if you simply want to use your phone to allow a data connection for one laptop, you don't need to pay the additional $29. By the way, screw Qik, there will be other developers making comparable products.
  • Where did you see that the #$10 Premium Data charge allow you to use the phone as a tethered device? I know that it is possible using PDAnet (limited to http and no https unless you buy the software) but, this isn't Sprint's software and works on any Android device. Are you talking about the option on HTC 2.1 to allow internet sharing when the USB cable is connected actually works? I know with the Hero it just gives some error about PCS Vision username/password.
  • Doesn't really say they allow it just that they really can't do anything about it if people choose to use other methods to get their other devices online through the Evo. I wonder if that means that the Internet Sharing will work from the HTC menu when USB is connected or will you still have to use 3rd party apps like PDAnet.
  • Sprint told me that the wifi hot spot is included with the simply everything so good news for those of us on that plan. Just the $10 per month is all we have to pay.
  • Yes, a BIG F-U to Sprint AND Qik. Sprint charging extra for 4G (even if u not in 4G area, but benefit of REAL unlimited data and tethering) and to Qik for charging for video calling... shouldnt that be in the premium addon?? Da fukk! But bump that, good thing about open source is that alternatives will come soon enough.... Shoutout to Sprint already fuggin up the release of their new phone w/ bullshyt - Yes, I'm still gettin it!
  • I just called Sprint. They said that it is an extra $29 rather you use it as a mobile hotspot, or to tether. I was hoping it would let the tethering, but nope. Truely all you get is the data cap removed for the extra $10. While with 4 phones on my account, I never even got close to the cap, maybe with the Evo, I will. . .
  • $114.97 if you want or need the mobile hotspot and the Qik app. For me, having the mobile hotspot would be helpful in rare circumstances. Tethering via a USB cable is still enabled and is all I really ever need (and that'll probably be less then once a month). The Qik app is probably something I'd never use (esp. since there are now other alternatives). My cost will be $10 more then I pay now (family plan with 4 phone - only 1 will be an EVO). Taking a look at Sprint's competitors, I'm still saving a bundle of money compared to what I'd have to pay for the features I want and will actually use. Everyone's needs are different - you might save money with a different carrier. If so, feel free to use them. I doubt if most people need or care about having a mobile hotspot - more might care about video conferencing, but there are alternatives available for that.
  • Sprint is giving Mobile hotspot Free for the first month. Hopefully by then we will have the new update.
  • As much as I want to get 2.2 I think it would be dreaming to think we'd get it in a month. I would guess since this is the newest top of the line phone and I'd think that the Evo and Incredible share lots of coding with the core components and sense then it shouldn't be as hard to get it out, but I would guess the Incredible will get it first since it was released first. I just hope they get off their butt and release it sooner than I am guessing.
  • Shenanigans!!!!!!!!! Fring is good enough for me...
  • Who cares. I really don't see myself using that anyway. It's still too gimmicky for me.
  • I thought the reason they were charging the extra $10 even if you didn't live in a 4G area was for the video chat. Now it's going to cost an extra $5? WTF?
  • wow, you are so misinformed. "They" are not the same "they" that are charging the $10/mo. Just use Fringe and find something else to complain about.
  • Actually, I'd blame both because you don't know if Sprint was in cahoots with Qik to make that extra charge. Although I dont like the $10 extra, free tethering, REAL unlimited 4G AND 3G is GREAT. May never use home internet again, thats a benefit. Pass on the $5 as there are, and will be more alternatives (Fring for Skype calling allows me to call ppl on comps and on their mobile if they have support for Skype mobile. I'll take that.
  • If it was Sprint, then it would end up on your Sprint bill. You pay QIK by paypal. I think Spring had nothing to do with this one.
  • Come on Phil! Give us something serious to complain about! Wake me up when it's June 4th, or when the Evo plan gets close to the price of VZ comparable plan...
  • I hope Google comes out with their own native Gtalk video chat thing.
  • For what it's worth, this charge is completely Qik's decision, not Sprint's. That $4.99 charge via Paypal goes straight to Qik. As their service, they have a right to charge for it, and Sprint really can't do anything about it. For those that are annoyed by this, just speak with your money and use one of the free video chat options like fring. I'm sure more will be coming.
  • Finally a level-headed consumer.
  • I hear what everyone is writing and I say f*ck that... WOW...sprint could have killed it with the EVO and it all started with the $10/month b*tch move and now this. i hope its not true but the training material looks pretty real....i guess even less people will buy the EVO...i am still getting the EVO but with every negative news, i am feeling less excited about it....i wonder how many customers and nerds sprint will loose for these B*TCH A$$ moves that they keep pulling. It is nice that their are other free options like fring but none of the free apps were demoed by sprint with the launch and party for the EVO and sprint insinuated that it would be included specially when they said that they would be charging $10 for premium data for things like video chat video chat. I guess we will see what sprint says if they say anything.
  • Over reaction of the century! Sprint did not demo Qik's video chat at the launch party! It demo Qik's video streaming, which is still included for free! Still, if you add up all the charges you can possibly incur for using the Evo4G IT IS STILL CHEAPER THAN VZ OR ATT'S COMPARABLE PLAN! $114/mo for simply everything, premium data, hotspot, and Qik video chat versus $120 from VZ and ATT for none of these features and no 4G speed! Keep up the useless bitching and complaining.
  • Root your phone, Fring, and use Google Voice = hotspot, video chat, and unlimited SMS for free. 4G would be nice from VZW, but that'll all come in time. (If you haven't rooted your phone, then you're not using it as the OS was designed to be used, but how your provider decided you should use it.) You listed premium data. Just the unlimited data plan would work, no need for the premium data plan (that's for businesses and what not.) I pay <$90 on VZW, for just about unlimited everything. Old VZW was a rip-off. Their latest prices are a bit more comparable to other providers now.
  • also, has sprint really confirmed this yet? Engadget just linked from android guys so someone needs to confirm with qik or sprint before the pitch forks come out.
  • .
  • Yup I will probably not use this a bunch...but there will be plenty of free or even paid apps that will do just this. As long as it's not mandatory rate, it doesn't affect me.
  • ill jus use qik for the live thing. most of my family hav sykpe on the computer anyway. so ill being to using fring. how many people going to be video chatting on qik? can u video chat your computer with it?
  • Seems like you get charged for using every feature of this phone that makes it the high end device that it currently is. Hopefully Skype and Fring improve (any sort of Skyping on VZW is currently only 3G, no WiFi support at all, so hopefully Skype changes that when they release a non-VZW Android app. Fring seems like it's at the entrance to the ball park, maybe even first in line, but not quite there.)
  • Sprint could offer 5g and I still spent buy it. I gave them my money in exchange for older devices and and the worst customers service in the biz.
    Dan has done and admirable job trying to wright the ship.
    The evolving is a step into the right direction but it won't be enough to save them from themselves.
  • Really? I mean, really people? What is the big deal? Everyone is acting like there's never been an app for any phone that has a monthly recurring charge. Really? Get over it. There are alternatives to this app; plain and simple! If something that idiodic is going to stop you from buying a phone then you probably shouldn't have a smartphone anyway. I mean, seriously: "I'm not going to buy the (arguably) best phone on the market today because of an app that I DON'T have to use OR pay for". This IS a stupid decision for Qik considering that it is probably NOT going to be a HUGELY popular service and that they are pricing themselves out of being competitive. BTW, read the writing on the wall. VZW is probably not going to go with unlimited plans for 4G service, unlike Sprint. That means there service will cost even more money than it does now even though they'll be saving money in terms of delivering the service (LTE). So are you really complaining about $10 a month? Buy two less coffees and call it a day. GO EVO 4G!!!!!!!
  • At first this did make me mad. But I see that this is Qik's decision not Sprint's apparently. It still irritates me that this is like it is, but not a big deal as Sprint is still the best value in wireless carriers. This phone is going to rock and I am still getting it, but I am happy there are free alternatives. It would be fantastic if Skype would get off their butt and release a full featured Android client that utilized this feature. I think the $10 charge, as reasonable as it really is, is a black eye for sprint because it does seem to be counter to the claim that 4G won't cost more. I can't say that I blame Sprint for wanting to make a little more for an awesome phone and to recoup the costs that 4G put on them, but they had a real good opportunity with this phone.
  • I never see people say this about the $10 charge a month, but this is for uncapped 3g and 4g which is pretty sweet, you never ever have to worry about going over the "unlimited" 5gig caps that everyone else has anymore. This all coming from someone who does live in a city which has 4g, so i am excited for this! So let Qik charge there $4.99 extra a month for a service i will not use, and that others will go ahead and release on there own for free. So far i still have no complainants coming towards sprint, as long as there service does not suck as much at Tmo's does for me right now i will be 100% happy with my awesome new phone and service, all at a little cheaper price then what i am paying now for the Myfavs 300 plan.
  • A week before launch they announce this?!
  • Does anyone know if fring has a dektop client to work? We need to be able to vid chat from phone to home...... not just phone to phone.... I looked ont here site, and did not see anything.. thanks
  • Well, I am sure Qik will get at least 7-9 subscriptions off this. That ought to help them recover their $40-$50k in dev costs for this service, not. The rest of the Future install base who are interested in video chat (hey, I get the fact that not everyone has a three year old they want to say good night to when they are traveling) will use Skype (either through Fring or a native skype client if one is available later this year) or Google Talk (one must assume Google is working on a client - it is their OS afterall!).
  • It would be smart of google to get something out soon. With this front facing camera being on the (yet unannounced) iPhone 4g (supposedly) and the Evo 4G this will start being added to more high end phones I would guess and having gtalk support video chat would put them in the run to compete with Skype. Don't I remember Google buying a video conferencing company about six months ago anyways? I doubt they just started thinking about doing this in the last few weeks. I hope this service is close to rolling out so they get in on the Evo rush! People will be wanting to try this out just to play around if nothing else.
  • Ok Phil what do we do and who we complain to?
  • Hooray for Fring! There's only one person with whom I'd use video chat, and that would be infrequent - kind of a novelty thing, really. I don't use PayPal, and certainly wouldn't use video chat enough to pay $4.99 a month. Thank you, Phil and Android Central, for letting us know about this.
  • There might (purely accidentally, of course) be a link to Qik's contact page in the post above. :)
  • ok guys wrote my letter and here is their Facebook *** ****
  • Everyone's all excited about video chat. It's been around in other countries for a while and frankly isn't that popular. Why? The way you hold a phone below your head to video chat isn't very flattering for one. And doing it in public looks kinda silly. Not that concerned with video chat, really.
  • I keep seeing comments similar to yours, frankly, I don't give a hoot! The reason video-chat never caught on in other countries is due to the high carriers fees that were associated with it, not because people weren't interested.
  • i sent them an email.
  • ok ppl, its ann app just as all the apps from icrap. i am SURE google will answer this with their own version of this app. lets look at how many ppl will actually use or have this capability! only evo ppl. so at the end of the day qik just lost the war! believe that sprint or google are already working on a free app for this feature. there are enough devs out there that will put effort into this device and we will see it soon .
  • It is clear a lot of folks are misinformed, the EVO has the ability to two-way video-chat. Qik just happens to be the native app on the EVO, not the only app that will work with the video-chat feature on the EVO. Are people going to blame Sprint because XM radio charges a subscription? Sprint never said neither did they imply the Qik version will be free. Again, video-chat is a feature on the device, Sprint does not charge for that, neither are you paying Qik for that, you pay Qik to use their app.
  • When you are going to pay $10 extra on your bill to USE the EVO you think that the EVO features are included thats my gripe.
  • The video feature enables the app, if the device did not have that feature, Qik would not work. Not having Qik does not mean the video feature will not work, obviously since we all know Fring works with the EVO as well. Skype will soon have an app as well, which will work with the EVO's video recording, "feature."
  • This is a good thing to me. I hope it means no one uses it and Qik shrivels and dies. I have hated Qik for a long time as it never worked well for me on any phone. I have tested Fring video chat at it's quite satisfactory. Add to that the possibility of seeing a polished official Skype app, and the coffin is sealed. Skype already has the edge on this market, and it allows me to video chat with people I already video chat with. It would have been hard enough getting my lazy friends to adopt a new client, and nigh impossible to get more than one to pay for it.
  • i agree with some of the people above, obviously there's going to be similar apps for the video chat, though i also don't like the way some companies are trying to justify ridiculous charges because of supposed premium services. Now they will simply call everything a premium service and charge us for it.