First of all, I can’t begin to express the shock my girlfriend and experienced when talking to the T-Mobile reps (on both Twitter and in the store) compared to our interactions with Verizon reps. Not only did they make sure we had everything we needed in the store, they went out of their way to let us know how to get money back on our bills. Even T-Mobile’s CEO gets his hands dirty to help people!
The Phones: Galaxy S8
After a great deal of deliberation, research, and hands-on investigation I went with the Galaxy S8 in Orchid Grey as there was a Buy One Get One Free deal offered by T-Mobile through their partnership with Verizon. Initially, my plan was to go with HTC’s new U11, but after having splurged on a new camera I had to readjust my budgets accordingly, haha. Both the U11 and S8 use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 and both have ridiculously impressive cameras. Having a headphone jack is icing on the cake, though! I’m looking forward to playing with this over the next few weeks.
The Plan: T-Mobile One
In the end, all things (coverage, speediness of communication with representatives, etc.) being equal, the bottom line for a consumer is going to be what they pay for the plan in question. T-Mobile is nice in that you know exactly what you will pay when you walk out of the store, taxes and fees included at all times.
The T-Mobile ONE family of plans is known for offering unlimited text, talk, and data. As with most providers, there is a sliding scale based on how many lines are on the account (the more lines, the lower the per-line price). However, simply configuring auto-pay will reduce your price by $5/line/month. Icing on the cake? You have the option to opt-in for “KickBack” – if you or anyone on your plan uses less than 2GB/month, you get a $10/line/month refund. That means if you have four lines and each line uses less than 2GB, you get $40 back. However, you still don’t get charged more since this is an unlimited plan – purely beneficial! With how much WiFi there is coating public areas these days, that isn’t too hard to do. 😉
More awesome news? You get your same unlimited data (at 4G speeds), talk, and text throughout Canada and Mexico, and 2G speeds in more than 140 countries. Though the speed is markedly lower (~128kbps for the basic ONE plan, ~256kbps for the ONE Plus plan) than 4G, it’s still unlimited and should be plenty for things like email, Google Maps, and Uber/Lyft. My favorite bit, though, is that T-Mobile is now taking over my Netflix bill (standard 10.99 plan only). Here’s a quick comparison for two lines on both T-Mobile’s lowest unlimited tier and Verizon’s lowest unlimited tier. I’ll be reporting back on how coverage and speeds are in Mexico upon my return!
|$120/month with auto-pay, including taxes and fees||$130/month with auto-pay, not including taxes and fees|
|Unlimited text, talk, and 4G data in Canada and Mexico||Requires Beyond Unlimited ($160/month with auto-pay, not including taxes and fees)|
|Netflix included ($10.99/month value)|
|$10/line/month refund if you use < 2GB|
|1 hour of free WiFi on GoGo enabled flights (unlimited if you upgrade to ONE Plus for +$10/line/month)|
|Unlimited text, talk, and 2G data in 140+ countries|
While we were waiting on our numbers to be transferred from Verizon, and our initial activation to complete, the local Samsung rep walked in and noticed we were getting new S8s. Not only did we have a wonderful conversation, but he left us with some pretty awesome swag!
Not only did we get a really nice tumbler, but a swanky wine set with two vacuum seals!