Is this a good deal on a cell phone?

Posted on 2013-05-14
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-05-27
I signed up for a Samsung Galaxy III phone(Droid??Android??) with a 2-year Sprint plan, with "estimated" monthly charges of $79.99.

Can anyone tell me if this is a good plan, good phone? It seems to be in line with the charges other people pay per month. The phone is supposedly worth over $600 without a contract.

Is Sprint a good plan/have good service? Please tell me all you know. There is a 14 day return clause on the sales receipt, and I believe you have 3 days to legally get out of any contract. Please tell me anything you feel I need to know.

Thanks in advance,

Question by:sheana11
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Accepted Solution

käµfm³d   👽 earned 2000 total points
ID: 39164144
The S3 is an Android phone, yes. I have an S3, and I think it is an amazing device. It was a big step up from my Motorola Droid in terms of quality and style.

As far as your plan, what does it come with? Price-wise it sounds about normal, but what does the package come with? IIRC, Sprint is offering unlimited data with no throttling. Is this what they told you?

The phone is, as most are these days, $600+ without a contract. You do get the benefit, when you pay that up-front price, of being able to do whatever you want with your phone (in terms of rooting or unlocking). The subsidized phones are now being restricted with how you may modify the device while under contract. This may not be a concern for you, though.

This is complete hearsay on my part, but I have always heard (in my area) that Sprint has good service, but their billing stinks. I have no personal experience with this, so hopefully someone else can confirm or deny.

Keep in mind also that even though they tell you that the $79.99 you pay per month includes the subsidization of the phone itself, your bill won't change once your contract expires. Even if you go month-to-month at the end of your contract, you will still be paying $79.99 a month even after you "own" the phone.

One more thing:  The $79.99 always sounds good in the store...and then you get your first bill. Expect that $79.99 to turn into $100+ after taxes and surcharges and such.
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ID: 39164150
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ID: 39164196
IMO, I think that the entire branded phone range is a waste of hard earned money.

In this case, the Samsung Galaxy SIII is nearly in the range of the iPhone 4S or even the iPhone 5. The former runs Android Ice Cream Sandwich or Jellybean. Whilst a company like Samsung will maintain updates and patches for that phone, there are more economical alternatives like the InnOS I5 which is made in China (as is the iPhones and many other leading brands) but sells for under a quarter of the price. This is just an example.

Most companies charge you a lot the first month as it includes an advance rental. Check on this prior to buying. Also Android can be heavy on data usage so if you do access the internet and check emails, play games or similar internet intensive work, your data usage will also be high. So learn how to maximise on free wi-fi and also disable data connectivity for background tasks leaving the phone data enabled for what you want it for.

Also, compare rates for calls taken. If one network allows you 500 minutes calls for the charge incurred, another network may provide you with 650 minutes. The phone unit cost may be slightly higher in some cases but the lower call rates will save you moe cash in the long run.

Just my two cents. Hope this helps you at least a bit.

Author Comment

ID: 39164248
From reading your comments, there is obviously a lot of "geeky", technical things about the contract & phone that I'm hopelessly unfamiliar with. For instance, what is "throttling"?

I also got the phone at RadioShack, if that means anything......bad, for instance.

I just got the phone last night - can I return it and not be charged anything, i.e. restocking, early termination, whatever. I thought you had 3 days to get out of a contract. Please advise, and as quickly as possible. I already regret it, and I haven't gotten my first bill. I think I bought way more "phone" than I need.
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by:käµfm³d 👽
ID: 39164322
"Throttling" is when an internet provider (even your home internet) is slowed down, usually because of excessive data consumption. Most cell phone providers are advertising "4G" service lately. With throttling, you will get this 4G speed until you reach your monthly data allocation. Once you hit this cap, all data afterward is served to you at a slower speed (3G I think).

Many of the providers are now providing data in tiers. You can purchase data access in a 2GB (gigabytes), 5GB, 10GB, etc. tiers. The 2, 5, and 10 are the amount of data you can request in any billing cycle. In any billing cycle, if you go over the limit you signed up for, you are charged for the overage. These charges (and the data limits themselves) vary by carrier. As I mentioned above, I think Sprint is doing unlimited data with no throttling. You shouldn't have to worry about this--but wait for someone who actually has Sprint service to confirm.

Also, I believe every provider provides for a "cancellation fee." It's usually expensive enough to perform some mental voodoo on you to cause you to think it's cheaper to just keep the phone. For my provider, Verizon, the cost is $375. At any time after that initial "buyer's remorse" period, I can pay the $375 and cancel my contract. I have heard that this fee is reduced the longer you have been under contract, but I am not certain myself. You can check with Sprint to see if have they this option.
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Expert Comment

ID: 39165156
"Throttling" is when an internet provider slows your connection speed down to broadband speed once you have used up your monthly high speed data transfer quota in GBs
The quota of your plan will be writen in your contract.

You are stuck with your own countries mobile phone rates, as they all compete on a level playground in your area.
I pay monthly Yen 315 = $ USD 3.0 for unlimited calls & mail within my providers network ( softbank ... formally vodaphone )
Also the phone was free with a 2 year contract, then new upgaded phones are also free every 2 years.
I do not need internet connection on my mobile phone as the screen is too small, thus I also pay monthly Yen 4600 = $ USD 45.0 for high speed fiber optic 100MBs unlimited use internet connection for my PCs which also includes a landline phone / fax @ 10 cents per 3 minutes nation wide. ( Japan )

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