I am trying to justify if internet on a phone is worth $30/m

Max-Powers

Gawd
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I have Tmobile and been wanting to get a smartphone and a data plan for the past year, but I just cannot justify it. There are many times that having internet on my phone would have been great, but for $30 a month it is not worth it. How do you justify it? I would love to have a smartphone for the tools it has, but why have one if you don't have a data plan? I also carry a laptop everywhere, so if I need something I always have that for wifi. (HP Tm2)
My current phone is a $50 slider from walmart. I want to get a Vibrant, but what would you do on a phone without a data plan?
 

vck6v3

Weaksauce
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Jul 27, 2003
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The phone becomes fully functional on wifi, and since you already are content with connecting to it on the move, then the big benefit to having the phone is that its always-on ready to go all the time. That's versus having to wait for the laptop to start.

You can still text, and receive picture and video messages on a smart phone. If you have a localized navigation application, you can still get directions.

Some other things I can think of:
Take pictures, record video
Play Games
Organize your Calendar
Draft emails
 

tissimo

Limp Gawd
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If you're trying to justify it, it wont ever seem worth it.

But its a nice tool to have, many many times I'm glad I have it. Google searching things in the middle of no where, searching for restaurants, searching evens on the go, GPS directions, Lookup business phone #s etc on the go, videos (youtube), watching TV waiting in lines (doctors/dmv/etc), emails, social networking, and good old wasting time.

As I said though, if you're looking to justify it you'll have a hard time. Its like trying to justify spending $75 more on X video card vs Y card, or a $50 steak vs the run of the mill chain restaurant $15 steak. Its not needed, but you want it, hahah.
 

Liver

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If you're trying to justify it, it wont ever seem worth it.

So true. Also if you manage to justify it, I will say that you will have a very high chance of "buyer's remorse."

For me, I needed it. As such, it is a business expense for me. I'd say I use it several times a day, however I am still under the 2 gig a month "cap."

(edit) Oh, once I got it, my productivity and knowledge base improved.
 

Stupac

[H]ard|Gawd
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if you've been with t-mobile for a while you can get a preferred loyalty data plan for $20 unlimited, it's not advertised it's just something they might offer you.
 

Greenstuffs

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you can get the $20 data plan if you ask nicely if you been with them and currently out of contract, they tried raising my data plan to $30 and the rep was a total ass, she said it was an old promotion, and i had to threaten to leave which i'd gladly do, next time they try to pull a stunt like that i'll leave tmobile service sucks big time.
 

GreenMonkey

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So true. Also if you manage to justify it, I will say that you will have a very high chance of "buyer's remorse."

For me, I needed it. As such, it is a business expense for me. I'd say I use it several times a day, however I am still under the 2 gig a month "cap."

(edit) Oh, once I got it, my productivity and knowledge base improved.

Agree with the above.


Having a pair of smartphones with data isn't worth the $80+ everyone spends on it. I don't get it. We used to have an expensive Verizon plan...now we get by on prepaid. I run super cheap Pageplus pre-paid with basically zip data.

We just got the wife on Virgin's 300min / unlimited text/ unlimited data plan for $25 month this weekend. She can't do a whole lot on the phone - LG Rumor Touch (mainly facebook and emails and such). But it's super cheap. And there's a 1200 min/unlimited plan for a $40/mo.

If you want just SOME data, like me, you can get on Boost CDMA and with a little cajoling customer service get a better Sprint phone working on it (see howardforums for tips). I'm planning on doing that in the coming months.
The only limitation with Boost CDMA and Virgin is Sprint coverage with no Verizon towers/roaming coverage which makes it pretty weak around here. Our house is in a no-coverage 2 mile area, we get zero bars, but so far it still works for texts / calls OK.

I'm perfectly happy with wi-fi points and my wife's hand-me-down ipod touch for the most part - there's free wi fi at McDonald's, Tim Hortons, etc. I'd just like data once in a great while.
I don't understand the "internet everywhere all of the time" mentality. I'd rather read a book or play a game or something most of the time. I'd only want once in a while in a pinch for google maps or the like.
 
Last edited:

saku

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I flashed android 2.2 Froyo to my HTC Touch (vogue). This 3 year old phone is now on par with the best smartphones on the market and I'm using it on a 30 buck sero plan.

Data plan is def. a must. There is no point in having that "smartphone" without a data feed, imo of course.
 

Max-Powers

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558
I will call tmo and see about getting a discount. If I can get data for $20, I think i would go for it.
Can I use outlook with a vibrant? One note? Dropbox?
 

obs

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AT&T has a $15/month plan. 200MB will be plenty for browsing and email, but will run a little light if you start doing video and audio streaming over 3G. Also, since you have tmobile make sure you can actually get 3G service as their coverage is terrible.
 

NimTheMad

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Here ya go, I'll justify it for you:

  1. The numbers game: For $30 a month, you get a ton of personal productivity. Time is the most valuable resource. Money is common, it's everywhere and if you really need more it's out there for the taking. Having a really nice smart phone that's always connected to the internet allows you to check email, look up phone #'s, directions, web research, etc. all while you're out in the real world living your life instead of sitting at your computer. I think if you add up all the time you save by busting out your phone instead of wasting time finding a computer or public wifi or whatever, you probably will agree that the ROI is positive, especially if you if believe like I do that time is extremely valuable.
  2. Quality of life factor: You're on this forum, so you're a technology enthusiast. You won't be alive forever, and you owe it to yourself to be happy. If this one small little thing will bring you any amount of happiness than do it! Do it now! Do you really think you'll regret the decision? I don't.

Allow yourself to be happy my friend. Don't feel any guilt about it.

-Nim
 

Max-Powers

Gawd
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558
Thanks. Yal make good points. I may be fairly new to android phones, but can they access office files like word, excel and all that? Is there an Outlook app to check mail, calenders and to-do lists? Is there any way to pull up one note? I know dropbox has an app, but It would be useless if I cant open the files.
 

Sean

[H] for Life
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Can you find value in $1 per day with a smart phone? If so buy it. If you can't honestly answer that question, don't. Remember you can't have your cake and eat it too, unless you pay full price!
 

Stupac

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Also, since you have tmobile make sure you can actually get 3G service as their coverage is terrible.

that was more like 3-4 years ago. if you live in cities, towns, population centers in the US, your set. if you live on a farm in a rural area then you may want to test it first.
 

obs

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that was more like 3-4 years ago. if you live in cities, towns, population centers in the US, your set. if you live on a farm in a rural area then you may want to test it first.

Or a suburb. I live about 45 min west of downtown milwaukee and only had edge service when I checked 2 years ago. That may have changed, but it's still worth checking. There's plenty of populated towns that aren't rural farms they don't have 3G service in just by looking at their coverage map.
 

schizrade

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I find a smartphone to be invaluable when out and about. It saves so much money when looking for phone numbers/businesses. Otherwise you are stuck using 411, and that is EXPENSIVE now. Hell when I am out picking at junk stores and yard sales it pays for itself for months at times.
 

TexUs

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that was more like 3-4 years ago. if you live in cities, towns, population centers in the US, your set. if you live on a farm in a rural area then you may want to test it first.

Town of 75,000 people here and no 3G in sight from them.
 

Jeremy C

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I've been thinking about this one myself as well. My main reason to even wanting a data plan comes down to one thing: I want to listen to Pandora at work. Since the site is blocked and wi-fi is a no-way there (our internet access feels like 56K, even slower at times), I'm stuck looking at $30/month to enjoy music (which I can listen to all day while at work).
 

King Icewind

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The only reason I have it is because I get 25% off my bill. Otherwise I would have a lame phone. :p Motorola Droid is great btw.
 

TimG

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Internet radio man.

I drive all the time and I constantly have Pandora streaming. Occasionally I use Google Navigation for turn-by-turn directions. To be it's totally worth it.
 

darkpark

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My experience with a smartphone is that once you get one and use it for a while, eventually you'll wonder how you ever managed w/o one. :)
The android phones come with a gmail application and standard email client that can handle outlook/exchange but it's a toss up whether it will work. There is a non-free application called touchdown that will work wonderfully with exchange. If you just need basic imap/pop3 mail than the built-in email app has you covered.
As for opening MS Office documents, you can get Documents2Go from the android market. The view only version is free, but if you bide your time than you can score the full version for either 5 or 10 bucks. Every so often they have sales/specials.
I have had my Motorola Droid since December and I love this phone. i use it as my alarm clock, portable music player, email on the go, note taking, texting, GPS/maps, light web surfing and calender/reminders.
 

Max-Powers

Gawd
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I was so close to going for it. I called and talked to someone about loyalty discounts. (I am tmobile by the way) They told me because I have been a customer a long time I can get a discount on the data plan, and bring it down to $20. But they were not looking at my account so they didnt make a note of it. So when I called back, the next person had no idea. I called again, and another person had no idea about loyalty discounts. So now I need to figure out how to get my discount on a data plan.
I am able to get 18% discount for being military though.
 

Greenstuffs

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I was so close to going for it. I called and talked to someone about loyalty discounts. (I am tmobile by the way) They told me because I have been a customer a long time I can get a discount on the data plan, and bring it down to $20. But they were not looking at my account so they didnt make a note of it. So when I called back, the next person had no idea. I called again, and another person had no idea about loyalty discounts. So now I need to figure out how to get my discount on a data plan.
I am able to get 18% discount for being military though.

you need to call the customer retention department, good luck!
 

FadedSpark

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How fast will you burn through 200mb just surfing the web? (ie engadget, digg, forums)

It's not hard with the amount of streaming you can do on a smartphone...

JUST surfing the web, that would probably last.

But in a week, slacker radio put me at about 800mb ^_^
 

obs

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How fast will you burn through 200mb just surfing the web? (ie engadget, digg, forums)

Browsing and email that is a lot of data. Just avoid downloading apps on 3G. You really burn through it if you use pandora or other streaming apps on 3G. It's also nice that if you see your usage approaching the limit you can just upgrade to the higher bandwidth service and they prorate it
 

Stupac

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For those looking for the right name of the plan to ask for:

the name of the t-mobile $20 unlimited data plan is called Preferred Android not preferred loyalty. I had that confused with my Unlimited Loyalty plan for voice.
 

Liver

Supreme [H]ardness
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Oct 24, 2005
Messages
5,328
Here ya go, I'll justify it for you:

  1. The numbers game: For $30 a month, you get a ton of personal productivity. Time is the most valuable resource. Money is common, it's everywhere and if you really need more it's out there for the taking. Having a really nice smart phone that's always connected to the internet allows you to check email, look up phone #'s, directions, web research, etc. all while you're out in the real world living your life instead of sitting at your computer. I think if you add up all the time you save by busting out your phone instead of wasting time finding a computer or public wifi or whatever, you probably will agree that the ROI is positive, especially if you if believe like I do that time is extremely valuable.
  2. Quality of life factor: You're on this forum, so you're a technology enthusiast. You won't be alive forever, and you owe it to yourself to be happy. If this one small little thing will bring you any amount of happiness than do it! Do it now! Do you really think you'll regret the decision? I don't.

Allow yourself to be happy my friend. Don't feel any guilt about it.

-Nim

man knows what he is talking about. Increased my productivity and overall fun.

I may be more paranoid, some call it careful, but I never check bank records or trade online over a free WiFi. Sure, 3G is not perfect but I am assuming its better than open WiFi.
 
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