iPad Why cellular iPad Air 2 is worth it if you are on the fence.

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Kendo, Nov 13, 2014.

  1. Kendo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    #1
    I have always bought a Wi-Fi model simply because my iPad rarely leaves home and I have a very fast Wi-Fi connection both at home and at the office. However since most stores are giving a $100 discount, rather than pocket the $100, it might be worth using the discount to get the cellular model.

    T-Mobile currently has a promo for iPad Air 2 customers that gives you 5GB of data for 150 days at $10. Most carriers charge around $10 per GB, so 5GB at $10 means you get $40 for free. T-Mobile also gives you a free 200MB per month which is 2.4GB a year. That is worth roughly $24. So in two years, you get $48 plus the $40 from the promo for a total of $88.

    Most people spend $130 to get the LTE version just to be able to get cellular service. Now you get $100 off and $88 worth of data along with the benefit of free GPS and being able to connect to the Internet whenever you need it.
     
  2. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #2
    $100 off is still $100 off. You can use this circular logic but you are still paying an extra $130 for the cellular radio!

    I have enough data to easily tether if and when I want to, and with iOS8 that is now a 1-click operation. I'll keep my $130 plus data fees thanks. :)
     
  3. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    #3
    I agree that the cellular model is the best one to buy for a large group of people. Unfortunately, your math doesn't make sense to me. Money that you don't have to spend on an additional service is not the same thing as money that you don't have to spend at all on the iPad with wifi.

    Additionally, T-Mobile coverage is basically non-existant where I live, so a free service that doesn't work isn't really worth anything.
     
  4. nolegirl macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    #4

    Can someone PLEASE explain to me how the "one click" tether works? I just purchased a cellular Air because I couldn't get the tether to work as it's being advertised everywhere. But if it truly is one click I can take my cellular back and save $130.
    How I have read it, is, the only thing needs to happen is the iPad and iPhone are on the same icloud account and the iPad would automatically connect to the phone. There shouldn't be any turning on Bluetooth (on both devices), turning on personal hotspot (on iPhone), then putting in the hotspot password (on iPad). But that is the only way I have gotten tethering to work, which is kind of an inconvenience. For the record, iPhone 6 plus and ipad Air 2 are both on IOS 8.
     
  5. Rigby macrumors 601

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    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #5
    Bluetooth needs to be enabled on both devices for Instant Hotspot to work, since that is how they discover each other. You do not need to enable personal hotspot, and there is nothing else to be configured besides the iCloud log in. It's working reliably for me since iOS 8.1.
     
  6. nolegirl macrumors regular

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    Sep 27, 2013
    #6
    Thanks! That worked! Now does that mean Bluetooth needs to be on at all times on both devices? Wouldn't that drain the battery?
     
  7. Menel Suspended

    Menel

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Location:
    ATL
    #7
    iPad stays at home 90% of the time.

    But those few out and about occasions, the 200mb/mo plan is pretty sweet. Glad I got it on my Air last year.
     
  8. sonicrobby macrumors 68020

    sonicrobby

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    Apr 24, 2013
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #8
    Or, I could buy the wifi only, save the $100 and also save the $10 a month for service. :D
     
  9. Rigby macrumors 601

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    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #9
    The iOS 8 continuity features are based on a Bluetooth LE profile. It uses very little power. Note that the actual data transfer with Instant Hotspot uses Wifi. Bluetooth is only used for device discovery.
     
  10. dsc888 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 25, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA USA
    #10
    Hmmm. That's not working for me at all. Both my iPhone 5 and Air 2 are on iOS 8.1 but can't discover each other with BT enabled. I turned off wifi to simulate being outdoors. I'm on T-Mobile and have not enabled Hotspot. Any help would be appreciated.
     
  11. nolegirl macrumors regular

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    Sep 27, 2013
    #11
    For me, wifi needed to be turned on the phone and the ipad.
     
  12. Zimmy68 macrumors 65816

    Zimmy68

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    Jul 23, 2008
    #12
    I struggled with this. I came from owning all the LTE models since the iPad 3 (except 4).

    The decision is much harder because...

    1) $130 upcharge is ridiculous, I can maybe understand it when the iPad 1 came out but now the difference should be between $50-$75.

    2) Instant Hotspot (when it works) is a perfect replacement especially since I always have my phone with me.

    So, I ended up getting the WiFi only Air 2 (my wife will use my LTE Air).
    Of course, if they had a Space Grey LTE model in stock, I probably would have bought it.
     
  13. melman101 macrumors 68030

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    Sep 3, 2009
    #13
    You need the wifi radio on. That's how it works :)
     
  14. KeepCalmPeople macrumors 65816

    KeepCalmPeople

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    Sep 5, 2012
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area, California
    #14
    So to clear up confusion:

    To use Instant Hotspot:
    1) Both devices must be logged into the same iCloud account
    2) Both devices must have BT on for device discovery AND wifi on to make the data transfer connection
    3) Once the iPad has connected once to the iPhone, it should do so automatically in the absence of any other remembered wifi networks and assuming 1) and 2) are true.

    I guess this could be considered a 'pro' of the cellular iPad, as neither BT nor wifi need to be turned on...
     
  15. saltd macrumors 6502a

    saltd

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    Aug 1, 2010
    #15
    Being able to use the iPad as a GPS device is a very big deal, and worth 130 bucks if you need it.
     
  16. Judas1 macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 4, 2011
    #16
    Your points are completely valid. I just wish they didn't charge $130 just for cellular. If it was something more reasonable, I'd be all over it. My sensibility just won't allow me to spend that extra amount just for a cellular antennae where on top of it, I have to pay for data.
     
  17. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #17
    Again, it's going to be worthwhile for some, not so much for others.

    For me, it's proven to be worth it. But I use my iPad frequently in places where it's good to have a cell signal, and also good not to siphon battery off my cell phone unnecessarily.
     
  18. dsc888 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 25, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA USA
    #18
    Great information! Thank you for the clarification!

    ----------

    Thank you! It worked like a Charm!
     
  19. zigziggityzoo macrumors regular

    zigziggityzoo

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    Nov 2, 2004
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI
    #19
    For me it was a worthwhile consideration simply for the TMobile free data. 200MB and then throttled (no overages) free all the time. I'm in.
     
  20. Kendo thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Apr 4, 2011
    #20
    What do you mean throttled free all the time? T-Mobile gives free throttled data after the 200MB is used? Do you have a source?
     
  21. haruhiko macrumors 68040

    haruhiko

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    Sep 29, 2009
  22. zigziggityzoo, Nov 13, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2014

    zigziggityzoo macrumors regular

    zigziggityzoo

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2004
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI
    #22

    I use it...

    EDIT:

    Here's a link to source if you want to see the fine print:

    http://www.t-mobile.com/landing/bring-your-own-tablet.html

    "Full speeds available up to monthly allotment; then slowed to up to 2G speeds for rest of billing cycle."
     
  23. ScottNWDW macrumors 65816

    ScottNWDW

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    #23
    For me, the LTE iPad is well worth the extra $130. When at home I don't have a problem using WiFi, we have a good provider and fast internet service through our cable company.

    At work, WiFi is available, but depending on where you are could be spotty or very slow.

    When out and about WiFi, very slow in most places. tethering to my iPhone just wears down the iPhone battery.

    For me, the decision to get an iPad 4 LTE model was a good one. I have it tied into Family share plan and whenever I run into a WiFi issue I just turn off WiFi and bam I am running without any issues. Works great in high traffic areas where the WiFi is slow. and those slow or spotty areas at work are no longer an issue anymore. I can now catch up on personal emails or Facebook while on breaks. When I went on a recent vacation I never had an issue getting online, my travel mates however did since their iPads were just WiFi. While riding in the car with the LTE on and since the Cellular models also have GPS, was able to tell what places to eat, stay, get gas or attractions were at the upcoming exits using the iExit app. It was great. I will never get an iPad without LTE again. I was the envy of my travel mates. I have, as well as 2 of those travel mates have since bought iPad Air 2's with LTE.

    The LTE Cellular model is worth it.

    Once again, your mileage may vary, but with the experiences I have had this past 2 years since getting an iPad with LTE, I will never get one without it again.

    My first iPad with LTE was the 4, then I got an iPad retina mini with it and have now upgraded from the iPad 4 to the iPad Air. Prior to the LTE models I had the iPad 1, and 3 and the original iPadMini WiFu only models.
     

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