Carrier Let's Talk Google Voice, Hangouts, and Data-Only SIMs

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by rillrill, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. rillrill macrumors 6502

    rillrill

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Location:
    New York
    #1
    Do you see yourself dumping or porting your carrier phone number for a Google Voice/Hangouts number? Will prepaid customers ever get a decent deal in the States?

    Here's the story. I broke my Nexus 4 around the end of August and have been waiting for a cool, new phone to be released. At first, I wanted the Note 3, but when I finally checked it out it just didn't appeal to me. The size is fine, but Samsung's Touchwiz and the lack of accessible unlocked versions soured my liking of the device. Yeah, I know I can ordered it through certain websites, but what if the device has a problem?

    Next, I looked at the iPhone. I thought about returning to the iPhone because Apple has great tech support, I already bought a ton of apps for IOS, I can get it unlocked, and their cameras are really good. Nevertheless, the small screen and teenage OS design also made me pass.

    I ordered a Samsung Galaxy S4 GPE, but the hardware is on the old side now. Also, the processor gets really hot doing basic activities like web browsing, so I returned it.

    Now I'm waiting for the Nexus 5, and this whole time I have been communicating with Google Voice via my laptop and Facebook Messenger without much of a problem. Now, I have T-Mobile's $30 plan with unlimited data and text - which is still the best deal out there, but the service is still not the best out here. Verizon is better in my area, but there is NO WAY I'm signing another contract. ATT is second best in my area, but it's the same problem.

    Basically, has anyone picked up a data-only plan for a phone in the USA? I did it in Italy with the Nexus 4, and it worked flawlessly. I really want to be prepaid, no contract, and on a decent LTE network, unlimited data for like $50 a month.

    With a new Google Hangouts, hopefully, being rolled out, I think the services are there to make carriers the dumb pipes they should be.
     
  2. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    #2
    We have few data only plans in the US, and T-mobile doesn't have good coverage. The other carriers that do won't let you use a data only plan in a phone. The best bet is to use a small tablet, which do have reasonably priced prepaid data only plans. The big problem is google hangouts and google voice are not reliable, especially for phone calls. You'll constantly have signal and lag problems.

    Being on contract is not really a big deal. You get better prices for the plans and you can always cancel whenever you want and pay the ETF, which is less than purchasing an unlocked phone outright.
     
  3. Explicitic macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    Location:
    Undecided
    #3
    If Google Voice had MMS capabilities, I'd be all over it because I constantly switch numbers and being able to use multiple devices and acessing the same calls/texts would be extremely useful.

    I've been using T-Mobile on and off for a few months now. Their LTE is fast but the only problem I have is indoor service. I get aboslutely no service or a small EDGE signal when I'm inside any sort of building.
     
  4. rillrill thread starter macrumors 6502

    rillrill

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Location:
    New York
    #4
    definitely have to disagree about the cost of subsidized contracts. on tmo's $30 plan with a nexus 4 for a year it cost me $760. with an iPhone 5s it'd be around $1060. I don't need more than 100 minutes a month. verizon, admittedly better service, would be $1160 for just one year w/ a $200 phone. contracts that go for more than one year are not an option for me.

    i'm thinking about a tablet - iPad mini r or nexus 7. but i'd like a more pocketable device.

    still, no one has gotten a date only plan on their nexus's or other smartphone?
     
  5. jeremiah256, Oct 27, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013

    jeremiah256 macrumors 6502a

    jeremiah256

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Location:
    Southern California
    #5
    Do You Mind Carrying Another Device?

    Reason I'm asking is, if you are only looking for data to use primarily with Google Voice and Facebook Messenger, you might look at going for a new Nexus 5 ($400 max?), and a Verizon MiFi ($200 off contract plus $360/year for 4 GB of data per month), for a total of $960 the first year, $360 the next. If you don't mind a two year contract for the MiFi, you can drop the first year down to $760. Advantage is, you can tether 10 devices. If you need more data, seems like it's about an extra $10 per GB.

    AT&T also sells the MiFi but seem like the only plan they have is the $50 5GB plan. Advantage of AT&T is they have various hotspots throughout the country that you'll be able to access for your $50.

    Edit: Looks like for Verizon, there is a $20/month access fee? Might be just for my area (Southern California). Anyway, it would bring up the first year costs to $1200! Second year $600. Yikes.
     
  6. rillrill thread starter macrumors 6502

    rillrill

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Location:
    New York
    #6
    yeah, like i said, i haven't found a better deal than the $30 plan on tmo. i'll probably get a nexus 5, but i'm going to start just giving my google # out more so i can move on if i want to. hangouts has to be like iMessage though...
     

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