Better Late Than Never – As Promised …..
I have now successfully used both services and their phones for about two months. I planned on writing this up a month ago, but I’ve ran in to some recent personal issues that have kept me a bit more away from my blog than I would have liked.
All that aside, in answer to “Which service do you recommend for me today?” – My answer would go a little something like this.
Mirror Mirror On The Wall – Is T-Mobile The Fairest Of Them All?
TIP: Cheapest price on Samsung Exhibit II 4G Prepaid Android Phone (T-Mobile) is at Amazon - Buy there instead of from T-Mobile proper.!
If you are a consumer who only uses <100 minutes a month, then go with T-Mobile and their $30 4G plan. The Samsung Exhibit II is a great phone – sturdy, long battery life compared to the Virgin line up. With the $30 plan, you 4G speeds to your first 5GB of data (more than even some of their most expensive plans on and off contract) and unlimited text, video messaging, photo sending, etc.
If you play your cards right, you can implement some apps that will allow you to make phone calls over data so that you can technically use more minutes than allotted.
I have been VERY pleased with the data coverage from T-Mobile, which in my area of the world is far superior to Sprint’s even though they both look pretty good on a map.
Also, T-Mobile takes sim cards, which means that most unlocked phones out there can be brought right to the table, have the sim popped in, and bam, be working its hind legs off to make all your digital wishes come true.
This is particularly exciting since Google is now selling their Galaxy Nexus unlocked and ready to go for a plan like T-Mobile’s.
Since Virgin Mobile is not a GSM carrier and never will be, the whole sweet perk of unlocked phones will never really be an option.
Now, Let’s Flip The Coin.
I recommend staying with Virgin Mobile if you talk more than 100 minutes a month. T-Mobile does have higher minute plans but they come with severely restricted 4G data speeds – seems to defeat the purpose in my eyes.
Virgin Mobile is getting 4G speeds at the end of May with the advent of at least one new 4G Phone, The HTC EVO V.
Of course, switching to this new phone will be a bitter pill for some who want to hang on to their $25 bucks a month plans, which will go away if they activate on a newer smartphone (still can switch up the old ones with no penalty).
BUT before the riots begin, remember, they are adding 4G with the regular 2.5GB cap on the highest speed and possible throttle aftewards. They are $5 more than T-Mobile’s plan, but they offer 2oo more minutes of talk time as well.
Virgin Mobile is also going to break down and offer legit and legal – “terms of service” friendly – hotspot options for new Androids like the HTC Evo V for a mere $15 add on to any Beyond Talk plan.
The decision to stay with Virgin Mobile or to switch to T-Mobile is really “the choice” of the moment no matter who you usually get your wireless service from.
Both are competing at the lowest prices trying to wheel in the future 4G juiced consumer base before the other one does.
That is why, for all intents and purposes, this is really a price war right now.
My final recommendations are the following:
- If you just want to know about T-Mobile’s service range, get one of their CHEAPEST phones or find a friend who has T-Mobile and either use a $2 sim card in the cheap phone or talk your friend into letting you stalk his/her phone for the day.
- If it is true that you will want Virgin Mobile’s 4G service in the near future and consequently know that you will be giving up your $25 plan as a result, just go ahead and drop your plan now and try T-Mobiles for at least a month.
- Try both plans concurrently if you are really adventurousness and have the disposable income (or at least the illusion of disposable income)
- If you have not yet committed to either side, consider whether you want more data or more talk and run with the respective T-Mobile and Virgin Mobile solutions.
- If you are already at T-Mobile and are wondering if it is better over at Virgin Mobile - I’m put most of my money down that it is not better right now. Price wars have the potential to either make or break companies and industry standards. Virgin Mobile may be better in the near future. Right now, however, if you are already with T-Mobile – I would not change.
What Is Dana Rock Going To Do?
Since I have both lines still active – I intend to keep it that way until I see where this price war is going, If I had kids, I’d give my kid the Virgin Mobile line and keep the T-Mobile one for myself while I waited it out.
I hope to publish at least one more article in the coming months about where I finally decide to rest on this issue – who knows, there may be some dark horse waiting in the shadows that could change my mind about Virgin Mobile and T-Mobile completely.
Keep on Rock’n!