Contemplating my first-ever smartphone (VZW)

DarkScythe

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Messages
367
Hello everyone,

As the title suggests, I am currently thinking about getting my first-ever smartphone.
I am still using an old flip-phone and I have no problems with it, as currently I just make a couple calls and that's it. My friends claim once I start using one though, I will be hooked. I can't say I would agree with it, but it has gotten me thinking about it.

My contract expired back in March, so I believe I am up for pretty much anything right now, and I should have my new-every-two $100 credit. based on reviews and such, I am thinking of getting the Droid Incredible for my first smartphone. I do intend to stay with the Verizon network, as I'm in a shared family plan. However, the cost of the additional $30 data plan is pretty tough to swallow, especially since I don't even need to use it right now, so this upgrade would hinge on if I can figure out a way to lower costs. I'm not itching to upgrade, but if it works out, I might as well.

In any case, I have a couple major questions about everything, since this is my first smartphone and all.

First, with the $30/month data plan, they seem to claim unlimited usage, but is it really unlimited, or is there some hidden 5GB cap I've read for other things?

Next, I know the plan should include "mobile web" for surfing on your phone, but is there a way to allow your laptop/netbook to use it, or does that require a separate "mobile broadband" package? I'm thinking this plus the free wifi from Verizon Internet should be good internet coverage pretty much anywhere in NYC.

If the above is possible, how does it work, and how many devices can use it at once? Is it tethered to a single device at a time, or can it act as a mobile hotspot for several devices at once?

Fourth, what's the deal with all this 3G/4G business?

Finally, I've heard some people talk about ROMs and such; they sound like custom OS's or something, but wouldn't these void warranty? What exactly are these and what are their advantages/disadvantages? Do these apply to Droid devices, since they're technically open-source already?

I apologize for the rush of questions, but I feel I'm diving headfirst into this mess and I'm in way over my head now.

Thanks in advance.
 

Bloodgod42

Gawd
Joined
Nov 20, 2005
Messages
592
I just went and played with the Incredible and you will not be disappointed. I cant answer all your questions, but I promise once you have a smartphone, you will find ways to justify the data plan. ;)
 

dirksquarejaw

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 3, 2006
Messages
1,985
I have the droid for verizon since launch and do not regret the phone one bit.It does everything I need it to do and then some.
The data package includes(for me at least)UNLIMITED no hidden fees/cap or anything hidden.Once you have the data plan you have the web features at no additional cost to you.
3Gs Vs 4G
3G data rate up to 2 Mbps 4G 100Mbps moving - 1Gbps stationary
In my real world experience using speedtest.net(free app) DL 1.15 Mbps and Upload is .73 Mbps.Hooked to a router wirelessly I was able to get 2.91 Mbps and 1.5

Roms are modifications to the operating system of the phone.You can change the layouts of the phone,overclock them all by using the "roms." (www.droidforums.com)
My phone is running at 1Ghz(factory is 600 Mhz)I havent run into any need to run a warranty on my phone since modding it.You are changing factory settings so to answer your question yes it does void your warranty but from the forums people have turned their phones in with the custom roms and have had no issues thus far.Roms are also reversible so you can set it back to factory setting if you need to.
Hope this helps.
 

SuperSubZero

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 21, 2000
Messages
3,745
First, with the $30/month data plan, they seem to claim unlimited usage, but is it really unlimited, or is there some hidden 5GB cap I've read for other things?
The "cap" is not really a cap, it's at Verizon's discretion how they want to handle very frequent, consistant high bandwidth users. That being said, how much data do you really plan to move? For someone who's never owned a smartphone, and is still even questioning the usability of one, you shouldn't be too concerned about data. It's not like you're going to be seeding torrents on your smartphone (which isn't to say you can't, just that it's not likely you will). As a point of reference, I've had an iPhone since December, and in four months I've done a whopping 211MB. Four months.

Next, I know the plan should include "mobile web" for surfing on your phone, but is there a way to allow your laptop/netbook to use it, or does that require a separate "mobile broadband" package? I'm thinking this plus the free wifi from Verizon Internet should be good internet coverage pretty much anywhere in NYC.
Sounds like you want to tether your laptop to your phone. I don't know how the Incredible handles this, but the Palm Pre Plus has an app for doing just that, and Verizon no longer charges a fee for it. The software makes the Palm Pre Plus into a mobile hot spot for up to five devices.

If you do this, then of course your usage could go up substantially and that 5GB cap may matter to you. The mobile hot spot thing isn't for hooking a bunch of computers onto a 24/7 hot spot and then ditching your cable internet. It's for the occasional "need to get on the internet on my laptop at the airport" type of thing.

Fourth, what's the deal with all this 3G/4G business?
It refers to the network architecture and the speeds provided by said architectures. Verizon hasn't rolled out any 4G infrastructure and isn't going to for some time, and won't have phones for it for some time. 4G is a crystal ball future thing and so far other than "fast hurr" the details of it are not widely understood or known.

Finally, I've heard some people talk about ROMs and such; they sound like custom OS's or something, but wouldn't these void warranty? What exactly are these and what are their advantages/disadvantages? Do these apply to Droid devices, since they're technically open-source already?
Tinkering with your phone's OS with custom hacked ROMs will likely void your warranty, especially if it does permanent damage to the phone in the process. Hacked firmware offers whatever the hacker deems fit to add. They may remove components the hacker doesn't think are important, or change existing functionality. The rule of thumb with unofficial firmwares is "If my phone works, I don't need to fool with it."
 

MuZI

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 1, 2006
Messages
344
Hello everyone,

As the title suggests, I am currently thinking about getting my first-ever smartphone.
I am still using an old flip-phone and I have no problems with it, as currently I just make a couple calls and that's it. My friends claim once I start using one though, I will be hooked. I can't say I would agree with it, but it has gotten me thinking about it.

My contract expired back in March, so I believe I am up for pretty much anything right now, and I should have my new-every-two $100 credit. based on reviews and such, I am thinking of getting the Droid Incredible for my first smartphone. I do intend to stay with the Verizon network, as I'm in a shared family plan. However, the cost of the additional $30 data plan is pretty tough to swallow, especially since I don't even need to use it right now, so this upgrade would hinge on if I can figure out a way to lower costs. I'm not itching to upgrade, but if it works out, I might as well.

In any case, I have a couple major questions about everything, since this is my first smartphone and all.

First, with the $30/month data plan, they seem to claim unlimited usage, but is it really unlimited, or is there some hidden 5GB cap I've read for other things?

Next, I know the plan should include "mobile web" for surfing on your phone, but is there a way to allow your laptop/netbook to use it, or does that require a separate "mobile broadband" package? I'm thinking this plus the free wifi from Verizon Internet should be good internet coverage pretty much anywhere in NYC.

If the above is possible, how does it work, and how many devices can use it at once? Is it tethered to a single device at a time, or can it act as a mobile hotspot for several devices at once?

Fourth, what's the deal with all this 3G/4G business?

Finally, I've heard some people talk about ROMs and such; they sound like custom OS's or something, but wouldn't these void warranty? What exactly are these and what are their advantages/disadvantages? Do these apply to Droid devices, since they're technically open-source already?

I apologize for the rush of questions, but I feel I'm diving headfirst into this mess and I'm in way over my head now.

Thanks in advance.

Last year I made the switch to a smartphone and never looked back. I've had the Imagio, a few Blackberries, the Droid, and now the Eris. It's true once you get a smartphone you really don't want to go back. Being able to surf the web, play pandora, and tons of apps. For me the biggest thing was being able to get emails quickly (the blackberries do this very well). This all started when my friend showed me his TP2 and I was extremely impressed.

The HTC Incredible is a great choice. If I wasn't stuck with my Eris (due to wirefly 6 month contract) I'd have an Incredible right now. According to some places it's sold out due to high demand. (http://www.everythingandroid.org/droid-incredible-sells-out-on-verizon-wireless/2010/04/29/)

The data IS unlimited. You can use as much data as you want as long as you're not abusing it but downloading stuff all the time. With my droid I'd always go over 5-6GB a month and never had an issue. Unless you're tethering tons of data I don't think VZW will mind.

The 2nd thing you're talking about is tethering. It's when you use your cellphone as a modem for your laptop. I personally don't know much about this since I never used it.
 

JaguarSKX

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 19, 2008
Messages
1,449
First, with the $30/month data plan, they seem to claim unlimited usage, but is it really unlimited, or is there some hidden 5GB cap I've read for other things?

Next, I know the plan should include "mobile web" for surfing on your phone, but is there a way to allow your laptop/netbook to use it, or does that require a separate "mobile broadband" package? I'm thinking this plus the free wifi from Verizon Internet should be good internet coverage pretty much anywhere in NYC.

$30 is for unlimited data as long as it is only done on your phone whether is it surfing the web, downloading or GPS data. The 5GB cap is for tethering like surfing the web on your laptop via your smartphone. What's the charge beyond the 5GB cap per month for tethering? Don't know, don't care... $1 per MB???

I'm pretty sure you'll need a device for tethering. Best advice is ask at a Verzion store.


Fourth, what's the deal with all this 3G/4G business?

Just data transfer rate.

Finally, I've heard some people talk about ROMs and such; they sound like custom OS's or something, but wouldn't these void warranty? What exactly are these and what are their advantages/disadvantages? Do these apply to Droid devices, since they're technically open-source already?

It's called "rooting" and I have not done it myself. It can void your warranty since it is not an OS which comes pre-installed with your phone nor is it supported by Verizon. Advantages include unlocking some hidden abilities, adding some abilities and overclocking the processor. If you can afford to buy a replacement smartphone (probably at full retail price) in case your brick your phone, then knock yourself out.

=============================================

I bought my Motorola Droid last month and it is my first smartphone. The extra $30 per month can be hard to swallow, but that's the price you pay if you want an "advanced" smartphone. "Dumber" smartphones only requires the $10 data plan; the $30 plan is optional for them.

It actually came in pretty handy. Took a trip from NYC to Stratton, VT for some snowboarding / skiing. The driver did not have GPS and I was somehow designated as the navigator so I used my Droid Maps and GPS function to get us there.

Installed some games to kill time while commuting between home and work.

Used it to plan out next vacation while drinking in a bar amongst freinds. You know, checking out Orbitz.com.

Checking personal e-mails on the street or in the office.

You'll find uses for the $30 dataplan that makes it convenient to have, but will it change your life? Probably not.
 

Met-AL

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Apr 9, 2002
Messages
7,889
Do you have any other options than big red in your area? Both Sprint and T-Mobile would be cheaper than Verizon by quite a bit. In my area, VZW is $480 more a term than my current carrier Alltel and Sprint is $430 cheaper than Alltel.

So, in my area, I would save $910 by going with Sprint vs VZW. Just some food for thought, and Sprint is unlimited everything.

You can directly compare at www.billshrink.com
 
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Garby

Weaksauce
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
67
Sounds like you want to tether your laptop to your phone. I don't know how the Incredible handles this, but the Palm Pre Plus has an app for doing just that, and Verizon no longer charges a fee for it. The software makes the Palm Pre Plus into a mobile hot spot for up to five devices.

If you do this, then of course your usage could go up substantially and that 5GB cap may matter to you. The mobile hot spot thing isn't for hooking a bunch of computers onto a 24/7 hot spot and then ditching your cable internet. It's for the occasional "need to get on the internet on my laptop at the airport" type of thing.
I know you weren't really recommending a Pre Plus, but I just wanted to chime in and recommend heartily against one. There's a good reason VZW gives away a feature for free on Pre Pluses that they charge $30 for on BB/Android phones, and that's because they're godawful and they can't move their inventory. Witness Palm's sale to HP. I could go into detail on this subject, but I might start to rant at my old phone and we don't want that.


It refers to the network architecture and the speeds provided by said architectures. Verizon hasn't rolled out any 4G infrastructure and isn't going to for some time, and won't have phones for it for some time. 4G is a crystal ball future thing and so far other than "fast hurr" the details of it are not widely understood or known.
Details on 4G (LTE/Wimax) are actually pretty easy to come by through Wikipedia; LTE is the option AT&T and VZW are going with, Wimax is what Sprint chose. I haven't heard anything about T-Mobile's plans, though.
 

DarkScythe

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Messages
367
Whoa, thanks for all the responses guys - keep them coming; I appreciate the insight!

I have a couple more questions now but I'll try to respond to everyone's points first.

First, I don't necessarily NEED unlimited web (and as you guys say, I probably won't come anywhere close to even 5GB of usage a month) but I do like that piece of mind that comes with not having to worry about when I'm going to trip over some line.

The gap between 3G and 4G does seem pretty substantial though, but then again it probably doesn't amount to much in real-world use (correct me if I'm wrong here though.) Sites with a "mobile" version will load fairly quick regardless, as those are usually lighter than the desktop counterparts.

That said, it could be an issue for if I try to use it to browse the web on my laptop (at hotels, for example) when I don't want to pay or have no access to wifi. I don't know if I will tether it everywhere I go, but again, it's nice to have that option available. I assume this requires a physical (USB?) connection and is not done wirelessly with the laptop? If it's wired, I also doubt it can be used as a hotspot for multiple devices (friend sharing the room, etc.)
I know the Palm handles this natively, as a friend of mine uses Sprint and has a Palm device (I borrowed it briefly a while back to check email at a hotel.) He seemed to suggest that Verizon may have this functionality locked down or something though, so how does this relate to the Incredible specifically? Can anyone check? I wouldn't put it past Verizon to do so, since they would make more money forcing people to buy yet another mobile broadband package for their laptops. Jaguar, you mentioned the 5GB cap is for laptops, but can they detect whether the traffic is originating from the phone or the laptop and assign caps to each? (Meaning, unlimited web on phone, but 5GB cap for tethered use.)

With regard to the ROMs/rooting, I suppose only one ROM or such is ever able to be installed at once, correct? If it's a replacement of the entire OS, that is. I suppose that rule of thumb is good to go by, especially for a new user though. For a first phone, I should probably get used to its stock functionality before moving on.

Met-AL, I do have access to the other major carriers here (T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint) but I'm not particularly fond of them and don't really want to deal with switching. A couple years ago I was using an individual VZW plan and my parents were on T-Mobile. They constantly suffered from dropped calls and such, so after their contract ended, I suggested they come to VZW for their network, which is how I have a family plan now. They haven't complained about the reception and stuff since then, so I assume it's at least one thing working for them. I don't particularly like AT&T, and Sprint I'm looking at only because their plans seem a bit cheaper, but their family plans still look pretty nuts (I don't need the whole family on unlimited everything.) For now, I would stick with VZW because I've already been with them so long, and I'll try to use that to see if I can talk them into a better price for a contract renewal.

Now, I have a couple additional questions that came up while I was reading all the responses.

Since ROMs are effectively third-party OS's, they will void your warranty. Android development is ongoing, so there will invariably be new updates from time to time. The Incredible, though, is running HTC's Sense UI, and from what I have read, they are slow to update it to newer versions of the Android OS.

First, where do you get these new Sense UI updates? From VZW, or from HTC themselves?

Second, if the "official" SenseUI/Android updates lag behind, from reading the Anandtech Nexus One article, it was suggested that the community could pick it up and you could download/install their unofficial updates, but wouldn't this technically fall under the above rooting scenario and void your warranty?

Finally, how does the messaging system work or figure in to the data plan?
I currently do not text at all, mainly because I'm charged 20 cents per message (no texting plan, and don't use it enough to justify paying for a plan.) Does the data plan also include texting (I assume in this sense, it means from mobile to mobile, although I'm not sure if there are any other forms.) or is this still yet another add-on?
Would simply using the unlimited web and using an IM program (say, AIM or something) allow you to get around it? I suppose this second method does have its drawbacks though.

Thanks again for all the responses guys, it's been very helpful. Some of this information is tough to come across.
 

MuZI

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 1, 2006
Messages
344
Sorry to the OP in advance for getting off topic here.

Why on earth would you regress from a Droid to the Eris?

The size. The Droid was way too big to carry around and I really liked Sense UI. The only thing that hit me in the ass was the 2.1 OTA still isn't out. I know it's been leaked and tons of people have it but I'm waiting for the OTA. This seriously sucks since the Eris is EOL pretty soon.

Plus I sold my Droid on ebay for $375 and wirefly had the Eris for $19 -$100 BCB so I made $80 + $375 for switching from the Droid to Eris.

I wish I had waited for the HTC Incredible though...
 

Garby

Weaksauce
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
67
He seemed to suggest that Verizon may have this functionality locked down or something though, so how does this relate to the Incredible specifically? Can anyone check? I wouldn't put it past Verizon to do so, since they would make more money forcing people to buy yet another mobile broadband package for their laptops. Jaguar, you mentioned the 5GB cap is for laptops, but can they detect whether the traffic is originating from the phone or the laptop and assign caps to each? (Meaning, unlimited web on phone, but 5GB cap for tethered use.)
It's pretty simple.

Do you have a Palm phone? Then tethering is free. Anything else at all, tethering is $30 with a 5GB monthly cap (because it's much easier to use 5GB of data on a computer than on a phone, since it's more comfortable to browse larger sites on a computer).

The logic for this is that it's one of the only draws the Pre has; they comprise less than 1% of smartphones worldwide, millions of them are sitting in warehouses waiting to be sold, and each day they sit there, they get harder to sell. Android phones and Blackberries, on the other hand, sell themselves.

(There are lots of other reasons to avoid the Pre too, like flimsy hardware, a terrible app ecosystem, and a ridiculously laggy OS.) Don't let the free tethering suck you in - you will regret it.
 

caw2007

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 8, 2008
Messages
1,899
Its true Sense adds another layer of testing to the stock Android updates, but its actually the carriers who usually lag in terms of demanding updates for their supported devices. Updates can come from the carrier via OTA notifications or they can be downloaded from HTC. It depends on the carrier..

Usually installing unofficial updates involves rooting the phone or doing some trick or customization to get it working..

I am wondering about the texting thing myself, but I have the corporate unlimited data plan and I'm fairly certain unlimited texting is included.. It damn well should be..
 

Lanx

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 3, 2004
Messages
384
right before i went on vacation (the day before) to hawaii, i got a droid, got it charged, and that was the only way i was able to connect online.
It was awesome, fiance and i planned our whole trip there, using the web (review sites, or apps like yelp, urban spoon) used the google gps, even gave us times to go on the bus! and told us when bus was running late, all on 3G, the only time i ever dropped 3g for 1x was in the bathroom, lol.

so yea, you will find uses for the phone like everyone says, currently it is an expensive PIM, and daily organizer, but i don't mind, i love it that way.

you can "root" to tether and not pay extra if you want, i had an excellent time just browsing the web with the droid tho, so there wasn't a reason for us to tether to our laptops, our laptops just became a way to charge our ds/phones and cameras(via usb).

i rooted my phone after my trip, cuz well i was leary of hacking it when i really needed a phone, all that did was let me delete some horrible verizon apps(like amazon mp3, visual voicemail , wtf!) and let me use some very cool "root only" apps like setcpu and other stuff.
 

Azazel90x

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 10, 2006
Messages
2,807
Verizon doesnt have Unlimited texting on the incredible? The best plan i see is 5000 Text messages + unlimited mobile to mobile, and most, if not all the people i text don't have Verizon...
 

MuZI

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 1, 2006
Messages
344
Verizon doesnt have Unlimited texting on the incredible? The best plan i see is 5000 Text messages + unlimited mobile to mobile, and most, if not all the people i text don't have Verizon...

I think there is another plan which is like $30 than the basic plan which allows everyone in on that plan to get free unlimited txting and data (only for dumbphones). Unless I was dreaming or they've already removed it...
 

DarkScythe

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Messages
367
I don't have a Palm phone, unfortunately. I was referring to one of my friends who did have one on the Sprint network and I borrowed it for mobile internet access once. I'm currently still using a good ol' LG VX8350 flip phone.

But yeah, my point was more of asking how Verizon handled this tethering or hotspot function on the Incredible (or other smartphones, if they're all the same, barring Palm.) With the $30/month data package, I can have unlimited browsing on the phone itself, but once I hook it up to my laptop somehow (either by USB or wireless - I don't know how it works here) what happens? Does Verizon have this functionality locked down so it won't even work unless I hack/root it? Does it allow me access anyway but somehow figure out it needs to initiate a 5GB cap? or does it just go on and pretend everything is part of the phone's browsing? Basically, I do NOT want to have to pay additional for their "true" mobile broadband; especially since I have access to Verizon's wifi hotspots already with my Verizon DSL service.

On the topic of how it works, are there any special software or drivers that need to be installed, either on the phone and/or on the laptop?

It definitely sounds like everyone's having a lot of fun with this phone though.. I dropped by my local VZW store today, but no units on display yet. :( Only the Droid and the Eris.

As far as unlimited texting goes, I have no idea, which is why I asked, lol.
I know I currently have no texting plan, and I can add it as an additional option for a monthly fee, but that's kind of dumb, considering I don't text much. (20-40cents every couple months.) However, I don't know if "texting" by typing to another mobile number is differentiated from "texting" to an IM service like AIM from your phone using the unlimited web data plan. As I said, I have no idea how these things work, so what seems like common sense to you guys is very confusing to me right now.

I have read user reports that claim to be very successful at getting their VZW loyalty plans though, so I'm going to give that a try some time next week. Considering I'm currently out of contract and I've been with VZW for 6-7 years, I should be able to negotiate something, although the extra $30/month data charge really kills any possible savings I was hoping to get.
 

MuZI

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 1, 2006
Messages
344
As far as unlimited texting goes, I have no idea, which is why I asked, lol.
I know I currently have no texting plan, and I can add it as an additional option for a monthly fee, but that's kind of dumb, considering I don't text much. (20-40cents every couple months.) However, I don't know if "texting" by typing to another mobile number is differentiated from "texting" to an IM service like AIM from your phone using the unlimited web data plan. As I said, I have no idea how these things work, so what seems like common sense to you guys is very confusing to me right now.

I have read user reports that claim to be very successful at getting their VZW loyalty plans though, so I'm going to give that a try some time next week. Considering I'm currently out of contract and I've been with VZW for 6-7 years, I should be able to negotiate something, although the extra $30/month data charge really kills any possible savings I was hoping to get.

If the main account holder on the plan you have works you can usually get a 10-20% discount on your bill. Check out this thread (http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/hot-deals/529327/). Even if it's not on the list you can call them up and tell them "I got an email that you guys give 15% off, will you honor it?" and they usually will without even checking.

For the older dumbphones the AIM application used to use up your txts or minutes or something like that. With a smartphone the AIM application just uses data and since data is unlimited it's practically free.

But yeah, it's stupid how they charge you $30 a month for data and then on TOP of that for txting. If my cellphone wasn't as important as of my other appendages I'd be very pissed. Assholes...
 

Rune75

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Messages
1,344
As the happy owner of a droid until 3 days ago when I picked up the Incredible, I am getting used to the SenseUI interface on the HTC phone. I like it a lot, just will take some adjustment for me. Since you don't have that previous experience, I bet you will have a much easier transition.

I saw one person asking about tethering earlier and if you needed to root the phone to do it. 2 things: If you get the Incredible (and I think it's the best and most powerful smartphone on VZW), when you plug the data cable into your computer, it asks you if you want to mount the phone/SD card as a hard drive to transfer files, to sync contacts, or to tether your phone so you can use your phone's connection to the net on your computer (something the Droid didn't do). Second choice is to get the free copy of EasyTether app to tether using the USB cable (bluetooth support later, they say) or get a copy of PDANet that will do USB or Bluetooth tether.

As far as making your Android into a wifi / bluetooth hotspot for multiple computers, I do not know. Perhaps if you root your phone.


As for unlimited text/MMS/data plans, I have one for 29$ a month, but I'm not sure if that is just a grandfathered clause now or if it's still available. Ask the rep. Worth every penny to not have to worry about it. Besides, the limited data plan will incur overage charges every month.

If you want to IM others, you can use Fring app. Skype, MSN Messenger, AIM, Yahoo chat, ICQ, Google Talk, SIP and Twitter Contacts. Using that will use data, but not text messages. And, while it does have Skype, just use the Skype app for that.
 

DirtyB

Gawd
Joined
Jun 30, 2007
Messages
830
If the main account holder on the plan you have works you can usually get a 10-20% discount on your bill. Check out this thread (http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/hot-deals/529327/). Even if it's not on the list you can call them up and tell them "I got an email that you guys give 15% off, will you honor it?" and they usually will without even checking.

The discounts only apply to the main line, then each additional line is 9.99(non-discountable).

You can not just call VZW and say "dur i want 15% off i have a job dur". You need either an ID badge that has your picture & company name on it or you need a paystub.

As far as texting goes...

$5= 250 Txt Messages
$10= 500 Txt messages + Free M2M texting
$20= Unlimited Texting
$30=Unlimited texting for an entire Family share plan (discountable)
 

dadi38

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 4, 2008
Messages
229
I've been a smartphone user with verizon for years. My plan is 59.99 for 450 minutes, unlimited nights and weekends, unlimited video, picture and text messaging. Plus the 30 a month unlimited data plan. I may be able to do better but I've never looked into it. You won't be sorry with the droid incredible. A nice phone.
 

DarkScythe

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Messages
367
Been busy for the last couple days, so I haven't had a chance to respond.

Thanks for the tip on the work discount, but unfortunately I don't qualify. No one works for any big companies in my family. If being on AIM and such only consumes (the unlimited) data, then that is very nice, although I suppose one downside is that I can't expect anyone else I'm texting to actually be on AIM as well.

Rune, thanks for the information about the tethering; all the information I've found is people saying "it should" do this or that, but no concrete evidence of "I did this and this happened." I don't think I've seen anything about an unlimited text option though, but I doubt they have something similar to that now, and it's ridiculous anyway considering it's even more additional expense and I don't text as it is. Maybe I'll just leave it and eat the 20-40 cents every couple months. Sure beats paying out the ass for an option I don't necessarily use. Then again, this could apply to the data as well.

DirtyB, what do you mean by the $10 option - texts and free M2M? Mobile to mobile? Isn't that generally what a text is anyway? I'm confused.

Has anyone had success or heard of getting a further discount either on the loyalty plans or the data/text plans? These would have to apply to a family plan of course (3 additional lines,) though only my line needs anything more than basic voice. I'm not sure if I'd be wasting my breath trying to haggle with VZW CS down past the loyalty rates if that's all they ever hand out.

Thanks again, guys, I really appreciate the help.
 

MuZI

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 1, 2006
Messages
344
DirtyB, what do you mean by the $10 option - texts and free M2M? Mobile to mobile? Isn't that generally what a text is anyway? I'm confused.

Thanks again, guys, I really appreciate the help.

-> The $10 texting plan means unlimited texting to people who have VZW and 500 text msgs to any other carrier.
 

DarkScythe

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Messages
367
Oh, I see. Thanks for the clarification.

I've been looking into alternatives and it seems some people recommend using Google Voice to send/receive texts for free. I don't text often, so I think it's ludicrous to pay $5/mo for even the smallest plan, but at the same time, I can't expect everyone I text to be on AIM or some other messenger. Google Voice seems like it'd work perfectly, as I can have people text specifically that number and I shouldn't be charged any texting fees. Unfortunately, it seems to be in invite-only stage (gee, reminds me of gmail) so I've submitted a request to them for an invite. Hopefully I'll get one before I get the phone.

As far as tethering goes, it seems like everyone just uses PDANet or some app to do it for free. It seems like it's against the VZW TOS though, considering they want to force users to buy the additional mobile broadband plan. How do they figure out whether the traffic is coming from your phone or your laptop? I'm thinking I'd be giving it fairly light usage to check email/bank/etc while I'm attending events and staying at various hotels, so I doubt I'd get "caught" for heavy usage, but I can't be sure since I've never done this before. What are everyone's experiences?

In either case, it looks like if I'm getting a new phone within a month or two, the Incredible won't let me down. If I can manage to swallow the additional $30/mo for data, of course.
 

Rune75

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Messages
1,344
Well according to http://verizonwireless.com, it seems there is no more cheap plan for smart phone data. Looks like you would be stuck with the 30$ data. If it's any consolation, I thought 95% of the people that got the old cheap data plan for their smart phone were idiots.

Oh, and you can be sure that if tethering bothered vzw that much, HTC would not give us that option and the Palm would not be a wifi hotspot...
 

ALL4AMD

I Go to Court for Fun.
Joined
Jun 5, 2002
Messages
7,076
I just went and played with the Incredible and you will not be disappointed. I cant answer all your questions, but I promise once you have a smartphone, you will find ways to justify the data plan. ;)


yeah until i got mine i did not have a data plan and now that i have it i did not know what i was missing.

 

Bohica69

Gawd
Joined
Jul 12, 2005
Messages
676
Been busy for the last couple days, so I haven't had a chance to respond.

Thanks for the tip on the work discount, but unfortunately I don't qualify. No one works for any big companies in my family.

Did you call them and ask? I work for a VERY small company, but we outsource our HR, and I get a discount because of that.

ALWAYS ask - the worst they can say is No. If you haven't asked, then the default answer is no.....
 

DarkScythe

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Messages
367
Well..

Took a little bit over a month to mull it over, but I decided to give it a shot. I finally got my Google Voice invite anyway, so I need a phone to use it with.

Called up customer service today, spoke nicely to the CS rep and she took her time explaining everything to me, answering all my questions and worked with me to figure out the best way to minimize costs.
Ended up dropping my plan down to their $50 loyalty plan with 550 minutes to offset the cost of the additional data plan. She also recommended I wait until the day of a new billing cycle to start before activating the phone because apparently the system will pro-rate and charge you an additional month automatically if you activate mid-cycle.
She also managed to keep me on my grandfathered NE2 terms (I think) so as long as I have a plan above $35/mo I'll continue receiving my $100 credit every 2 years; woot! :D

Now that I have the Incredible on the way.. or actually, I'm a bit confused. As far as I know it's on backorder and out of stock everywhere, but I received an email stating I would receive my new phone in 2 business days - is this just a stock "order placed" email or do these CS reps somehow have access to a hidden cache of phones?

In any case, what are some recommended accessories?
I was thinking some kind of screen protector (zagg's invisible shield, maybe?) because I hate how my iPod is a fingerprint/dust/scratch magnet, but those things usually also seem reduce contrast significantly so I don't know if that would be good here.
I guess only other thing I can think of is a larger battery, but I have no idea on anything like that.

On the software side, I browsed the android store briefly on a sample phone at a VZW store and it does look pretty expansive with multiple apps doing the same thing. Are there any particular ones (free preferred) that people think is a "must have" for these smartphones?
 

entropism

2[H]4U
Joined
Dec 23, 2004
Messages
3,640
Dark, look into Handcent for your SMS needs, bTunes for an iPhone-cloned music player, Carrr Matey if you find yourself forgetting where you parked often, Key Ring helps you get rid of those supermarket bar code keychain tags, NewsRob for your RSS, Shazam, Pandora and Slacker for music, and Urbanspoon for restaurant recommendations.

If you're into Twitter, the actual Twitter app is nice, but I prefer Touiteur. *shrug*
 

DarkScythe

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Messages
367
Holy crap, that's a lot of apps.

What have I gotten myself into? lol.

What exactly does Handcent do?
I was under the impression that I could do free texting with Google Voice (which is why I went to get an invite) so I wouldn't have to deal with a VZW texting plan or random 20 cent charges.

Key ring also sounds pretty interesting, although I don't know how that would work either (does it display a scannable image of the bar code on its screen?)

Sounds like there's something to accomodate almost any need; any others?
 

entropism

2[H]4U
Joined
Dec 23, 2004
Messages
3,640
Handcent replaces the stock SMS app, and works very well. However, if you've decided to bypass the SMS charges, you'll HAVE to go through Google Voice's app, and that means no MMS for you. I'm sure you know that.

Key Ring (and Card Star as well) lets you scan the barcode through the phone's camera, then it displays the barcode on screen. People at the register scan the phone instead of the tag. Here's a video that explains it all:

http://www.froogloid.com/key-ring

If you think this is a lot of apps, wait till you have the phone for a few weeks...
 

DarkScythe

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Messages
367
Haha, thanks for the tips- I'm sure I'll be overwhelmed pretty soon.
I'm pretty excited. :D

I'm still open to anything else anyone wants to toss my way while I wait for delivery though.
 

soulesschild

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
Messages
6,176
Let me make something clear about rooting and custom roms. (The Incredible has just only been rooted so it's not full fledged yet but it should be approaching that soon)

(The info below applies only to well known rooted phones, Motorola Droid, Nexus, G1, Devour, etc ; Incredible is NOT fully developed yet but it should be soon. A good place to check is XDA)

It is almost IMPOSSIBLE to brick your phone from any of the well known rooting methods. Especially for a Moto Droid due to RSD Lite. But if you were to flash a bad ROM (which rarely happens unless you're adventurous and like to try experimental builds), you can recover it through either Clockwerk recovery or SPRecovery as long as you make BACKUPS. And while it does "void" your warranty, you can easily flash it back to a "factory" state and they'd never be able to tell the difference AFAIK.

IMO, rooting and custom roms is well worth it. Just stick with official developers such as those on XDA or head over to phandroid.com to always be up to date on the latest and greatest regarding root.

And if any Moto Droid users/Nexus users have questions about rooting just shoot me a PM and I'd be glad to offer help :)
 

Scott6003

n00b
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Messages
9
If you are going to get a smartphone wait for the droid X. You might as well go all out if you are going to get your feet wet in the smartphone market.
 

DarkScythe

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Messages
367
I did actually see the Droid X from the thread floating around here, but it looks ridiculously large.
I don't particularly like how it looks; plus I don't really like Motorola phones either, so I'll stick with the HTC for now.

Thanks also for the extensive rooting info, in case I get around to trying it.
 

GonzoP

2[H]4U
Joined
Jul 3, 2006
Messages
3,660
If you actually get an Incredible in 2 days I will be very surprised and you will be very lucky, I know people who have been waiting several weeks now. Maybe its a zip code thing. The Inc is a good choice overall. I was leaning that way myself but will know go with the Moto Droid X
 

shoto1699

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 16, 2010
Messages
446
the incredible is a good phone but i really hate how every smartphone they have for verizon needs a data plan. i have the family plan also but just for calling. no txting or data. :( so next monday our contract plans and im not sure what to get anymore since i cant get a nice new phone.
 

kbaer89

Weaksauce
Joined
Dec 28, 2009
Messages
78
I decided to get the devour over the droid.

I'm not sure how much the incredible is with vzw but the devour is free and the droid is $100.
 
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