iPhone on Aio: A Review

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by jimsowden, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. jimsowden macrumors 68000

    jimsowden

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2003
    Location:
    NY
    #1
    Hey All,

    I recently switched my unlocked iPhone 5 from T-mobile's $30 UNT/UNT/100 prepaid plan to Aio. For those who aren't familiar, Aio is an at&t owned mvno that operates on their full LTE network (though no roaming, I believe). I thought I'd give anyone researching their options my full impression.

    From the $30 T-mobile plan (which netted out to about $33 after tax), I switched to an aio plan for $45. It has only 2.5gb of full-speed data (rather than T-Mobile's 5gb), but unlimited calling (rather than 100 minutes) and the same unlimited texting. And, it's $45 after tax, with a $25 referral bonus after 2 months. Figured I'd give it a try.

    The first hurdle that it needed to overcome is native iPhone support (something carriers like StraightTalk and Net10 struggle with.) AIO nails it; visual voicemail working flawlessly, MMS without issue. Basically it acts like a native carrier; the same integration T-mobile finally got a year ago.

    The second thing to note is LTE. Everywhere. There is simply no comparing at&t's network to T-mobile's. T's will drop to edge if you walk too far into a grocery store, one where you have LTE outside. Aio's LTE just stays connected, and it's everywhere. I live about an hour outside the Philly metro area, and there are a good few places where T-mobile has struggling edge or no service at all. Aio's LTE feels like a pervasive virus. I haven't seen it drop to 4G yet. Really, exactly what I was looking for.

    Third are the drawbacks. The data is halved, and is ~$10 more a month. But I'm a pretty full user of everything you can do on an iPhone, and only averaging about 2gb a month. Also, you're a second class citizen on at&t, meaning HSPA is throttled to 4mbps, and LTE to 8mbps. But outside of the speedtest app, this has no real world impact. iMessages send as rapidly as on wifi, Netflix streams in high quality very quickly, and everything just works without flaw.

    And on a side note, it's nice to not to have to worry about minutes any more. I felt like turning on Dawson's Creek and cracking open a Frutopia every time I had to think about the 10 or 15 minutes I had left that month.

    There you have it. Aio's seeming great, and I'm without a tinge of regret. I really like what T-mobile is doing for the US cellular industry, and I was proud to be a customer, but not at the sacrifice of my own connectivity.
     
  2. forcetactic macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #2
    One thing to note is your iPhone 5 might not have the updated T-mobile bands so that might explain why T-mobile drops to edge when you walk out of their refarmed areas
     
  3. wicker21 macrumors member

    wicker21

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    #3
    I recently switched to AIO from T-Mobile as well. I was on the $50 plan with T-Mobile and switched to the $40 ($35 if you auto pay) AIO plan. Much better coverage and the experience so far has been great. I was previously on AT&T so I knew what coverage was like. One thing I missed was that they could actually provide reliable coverage inside of buildings. Glad to have that back after switching to AIO.
     
  4. PsstGreek macrumors 68040

    PsstGreek

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    #4
    I thought about switching to AIO from T-Mobile prepaid but the capped data speeds are discouraging from doing it.
     
  5. jimsowden thread starter macrumors 68000

    jimsowden

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2003
    Location:
    NY
    #5
    It was a silently revised GSM iPhone, definitely did have the 1700mhz AWS band (used one before it did, pretty much unusable)

    ----------

    That was my big qualm too, but in honest getting one bar T-mobile 4G delivering 2-3mbps and 3 bars Aio LTE at 7mbps in the same location (my job), there's a physical data speed cap that outweighed it. If I was all metro use, I'd probably stick with T-mobile.
     
  6. 869639 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Location:
    Earth
    #6
    Straight Talk / Net10 are now official carriers of the iPhone and have their very own Carrier Profile available through Apple that is official and includes all settings [APN, MMS] however only thing lacking is the Visual Voicemail. One no longer is required to fiddle with sim swapping or unlockit.co.nz for things to start working, jus pop and go :)

    Also for some reason I feel the ST data is not throttled, despite having same ping rates as AIO. I can average about 5-15Mbps/3-10Mbps and during wee hours of the morning have seen speeds of up to 45Mbps in my city while on ST so that confirms that unlike AIO, ST does not throttle its speeds and gives the same 2.5GB Data/month.
     
  7. jimsowden thread starter macrumors 68000

    jimsowden

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2003
    Location:
    NY
    #7
    Two big reasons I left StraightTalk: Horrendously low-end customer service (think impound lot quality reps, stories of numbers being stuck and unportable) and unclear in inconsistent features. For a long time, the throttle limit wasn't publicly admitted, and people still have issues with the now official carrier profiles and throttling limited:

    http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php/1823828-ST-throttling-after-1GB-of-data

    http://smartphonematters.com/guides...w-15-6-for-straight-talk-and-net10-customers/
     
  8. 869639 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Location:
    Earth
    #8
    Oh ya, I'm with you on that, ST CS service is the worst ever....literally the guides the employees are made to read aren't even complete or make sense...
     
  9. wicker21 macrumors member

    wicker21

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    #9
    Have you used any other phones on AIO? I have a Moto X as a backup but have not put my SIM card in yet. I assume it will be the same as AT&T and T-Mobile where you don't have to mess with any settings and it just works.
     
  10. kupkakez macrumors 68000

    kupkakez

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    #10
    I've used AIO with both an iPhone and Android and didn't have to configure any APN settings or anything on either.
     
  11. Z8beema macrumors 6502

    Z8beema

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Location:
    Mass.
    #11
    I don't know if someone here can help me but I'm currently on straight talk. I'm on the att side and am very pleased but would data be more or less the same on aio as it is on straight talk? I would imagine so as they are both att mvno
     
  12. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #12
    AIO (soon the be Cricket) is probably the better option as they are not an MVNO but rather a wholly owned subsidiary of AT&T.
     

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