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Are 2 year contracts for cell phones good or bad?


#1 thefallingscream   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   111 Posts   Joined 11.9 Years Ago  

thefallingscream

Posted 15 March 2011 - 05:32 PM

I've been thinking about getting a new phone for over a year now. I've been using net10/tracfone for over 3 years now and I'm tired of it.The phone that I have now isn't even a smartphone. I want something that has a touchscreen,3g,apps and a better camera.Walmart has cell phones for 97 cents. They said all I need is a 2 year contract and that's it. Is that any good? Am I going to get hit with charges that I don't know about or what? Really could use some help.

#2 Serpentor   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   5163 Posts   Joined 15.0 Years Ago  

Posted 15 March 2011 - 05:52 PM

All comes down to monthly charges... How much are you willing to pay? Most people have talk/data/text plans. Some people realize that they don't text/talk much and use WiFi instead of data plan, it's cheaper to go with prepaid plans, like T-mobile's 1000 minutes expire in one year...

#3 thefallingscream   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   111 Posts   Joined 11.9 Years Ago  

thefallingscream

Posted 15 March 2011 - 05:58 PM

I could do $50-$80 a month.I just started a new job a few days ago. I'm on facebook a lot and I wouldn't mind messing around with apps.
http://radioshackwir...wcustblock=true

http://radioshackwir...5d6886088db64fd

#4 AquaKnight   Defender of the Seas CAGiversary!   215 Posts   Joined 11.9 Years Ago  

AquaKnight

Posted 15 March 2011 - 06:06 PM

I get free phones with 2 year plans, with no hidden fees or charges all the time. The one I have now is probably my 3rd - 4th phone that used a plan like this one. The key is just to make sure you don't care about upgrading and that you're satisfied with your phone, as breaking the contract is usually pretty pricy and convoluted.

tl;dr If you don't care about having the latest phone, its a pretty good deal.

#5 thefallingscream   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   111 Posts   Joined 11.9 Years Ago  

thefallingscream

Posted 15 March 2011 - 06:10 PM

I want to get something today. Anything is better then the phone I have now and I really like those android phones.Thanks for the help.

#6 mkelehan   Xbox Live Arcade Fiend CAGiversary!   2469 Posts   Joined 17.3 Years Ago  

mkelehan

Posted 15 March 2011 - 06:13 PM

Do the math. Ask how much the monthly plan will be if you DON'T get a contract; it's almost always cheaper. Multiply the savings by 24, and see if that's higher than the rebate you'd get on the phone. It can cost more at the outset, but save you hundreds over two years.

#7 fatboyjam   A Champagne Jam CAGiversary!   713 Posts   Joined 13.3 Years Ago  

Posted 15 March 2011 - 06:30 PM

When comparing phones across carriers, don't forget to figure in the cost of the monthly data plan over the course of two years. Most carriers are discounting the cost of their smartphones and making up their money with higher cost dataplans. (and if you plan on using it as a hotspot, that'll cost you too.)

#8 Survivalism   CAG's Lance Boyle CAGiversary!   3125 Posts   Joined 13.3 Years Ago  

Survivalism

Posted 15 March 2011 - 10:00 PM

I want to get something today. Anything is better then the phone I have now and I really like those android phones.Thanks for the help.


Virgin has Android phones (or Blackberry) with unlimited web and data for $25 a month with no contract. You buy the phone for under $200, but you don't need to be a math whiz to tell that's massively cheaper than any contract.

#9 typical guy   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   1448 Posts   Joined 11.7 Years Ago  

typical guy

Posted 15 March 2011 - 11:58 PM

To answer the actual question posed by the title of this thread:

It is always a better deal to get the discount and not buy the phone if you don't plan on changing carriers in the near future. If you don't do the contract, you have to pay full price for the phone and for smartphones, that can easily be 500 or 600 dollars.

As far as I know, T-Mobile might be the only exception to this as the monthly bill is cheaper if you are out of contract. You would have to do the math and figure out what's better for you if you have them.

#10 thefallingscream   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   111 Posts   Joined 11.9 Years Ago  

thefallingscream

Posted 16 March 2011 - 04:45 AM

Virgin mobile seems like the best choice for me. I could easily pay $60 for the unlimited plan and I really like their phones. I get my first paycheck next week so I plan on getting the LG Optimus.Really appreciate the help.

#11 DKYang   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   161 Posts   Joined 13.3 Years Ago  

Posted 16 March 2011 - 06:01 AM

If you were using prepaid services like net10 and tracfone, then I'm assuming you don't use your phone much pertaining to minutes at least. Virgin Mobile seems to be the best option for you. Get the LG Optimus phone and pick a plan. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, I'm sure you can use the phone without a data plan if you don't want to. That's if only having wifi access is okay with you.

#12 ThirdEchelon   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   252 Posts   Joined 10.8 Years Ago  

ThirdEchelon

Posted 17 March 2011 - 02:33 PM

Make sure you're going to be happy with the phone and that the coverage in your area is good. I switched to Verizon last year to get the HTC Incredible. I love the phone, but I've come to find out they didn't tell me that the closest cell tower is 2 miles away from my house. So I now have a phone for another year that I basically can't use at home.

#13 vherub   x CAGiversary!   3441 Posts   Joined 17.6 Years Ago  

Posted 17 March 2011 - 07:02 PM

wirefly.com is a good site for phone deals

#14 Matt Young   Follow the buzzards CAGiversary!   15183 Posts   Joined 17.0 Years Ago  

Matt Young

Posted 17 March 2011 - 07:15 PM

If you were using prepaid services like net10 and tracfone, then I'm assuming you don't use your phone much pertaining to minutes at least. Virgin Mobile seems to be the best option for you. Get the LG Optimus phone and pick a plan. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, I'm sure you can use the phone without a data plan if you don't want to. That's if only having wifi access is okay with you.


Net10 has unlimited talk, text, and (very shitty) mobile web for $50 a month. Their coverage sucks, though.

#15 thefallingscream   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   111 Posts   Joined 11.9 Years Ago  

thefallingscream

Posted 20 March 2011 - 02:49 AM

Net10 has unlimited talk, text, and (very shitty) mobile web for $50 a month. Their coverage sucks, though.

I text way more then last year and I really want to mess around with a better phone. Net10's internet is slow as hell and I can't play any games on this phone.

#16 necrojustice   is fighting Tyson CAGiversary!   826 Posts   Joined 15.0 Years Ago  

necrojustice

Posted 20 March 2011 - 03:05 AM

I have a family plan through Verizon that I pay for 3/5 lines and I'm the only one with a smart phone. I'm happy with it.

#17 dmaul1114   Banned Banned   24688 Posts   Joined 16.5 Years Ago  

dmaul1114

Posted 20 March 2011 - 04:07 AM

I always do 2 year contracts with Verizon. Gets you the best deals on phones with their new every two deal.

I'm actually out of contract at the moment as mine ran out last month but I want to wait and see how the next iPhone is and what comes out on the Android side in the meantime. My old LG Voyageris stll going strong anyway.

I don't mind contracts as I've always been happy with Verizon, and my cell is my only phone so I would never cancel it anyway.

Other options are better if you don't talk much, but I use my phone a ton since I haven't had a landline in 6 years. I also prefer calling friends and family to texting or e- mailing etc. So I use a good bit of minutes..mostly nights and weekends when it's free if not an in network call that is free any time.

Edited by dmaul1114, 20 March 2011 - 03:01 PM.


#18 darkbase   CAG Veteran CAGiversary!   37 Posts   Joined 13.6 Years Ago  

darkbase

Posted 20 March 2011 - 04:32 AM

Unless you have a lot of dough to blow, two year contracts are horrible. I just got the Optimus and started with the $25/a month plan with Virgin Wireless in February and it's fantastic. I was paying over $80 a month for tons of unused minutes and no texting or web with AT&T for years. I can't get web access in certain, obvious areas (stock room at work which my AT&T phone used to not even make phone calls in) but at home I have WiFi and 3G. I was surprised how broad Virgin's coverage was in Central Florida.

#19 Survivalism   CAG's Lance Boyle CAGiversary!   3125 Posts   Joined 13.3 Years Ago  

Survivalism

Posted 20 March 2011 - 10:01 AM

If you were using prepaid services like net10 and tracfone, then I'm assuming you don't use your phone much pertaining to minutes at least. Virgin Mobile seems to be the best option for you. Get the LG Optimus phone and pick a plan. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, I'm sure you can use the phone without a data plan if you don't want to. That's if only having wifi access is okay with you.


Who would want to? It's already impossibly cheap for unlimited data. My brother has the Blackberry, the whole thing is just beautiful, $25 for unlimited text, web and data. It's less than I pay right now for just for texts and no data. I know people paying upwards of $80 for the exact same thing on Verizon.

#20 VipFREAK   Fun Knee! CAGiversary!   9412 Posts   Joined 14.4 Years Ago  

Posted 20 March 2011 - 10:14 AM

it's cheaper to go with prepaid plans, like T-mobile's 1000 minutes expire in one year...


With the amount of min I talk I wouldn't actually mind that. The problem is T-Mobile blows for reception to start with... (I'm assuming you can get a data and txting though too?)

#21 mietha   sXe CAGiversary!   1645 Posts   Joined 16.6 Years Ago  

Posted 20 March 2011 - 10:39 AM

Virgin has Android phones (or Blackberry) with unlimited web and data for $25 a month with no contract. You buy the phone for under $200, but you don't need to be a math whiz to tell that's massively cheaper than any contract.


For comparision, a droid on verizon will cost you about $100 a month ($30 data plan is REQUIRED) and you don't even get the phone for free so, yeah, that's pretty much your answer.

#22 maxim2boobles   AwesomeNOT CAGiversary!   1231 Posts   Joined 12.6 Years Ago  

maxim2boobles

Posted 20 March 2011 - 11:17 PM

i have optimus V with virgin mobile. they have cheap plans but 3g internet gets throttled if you use too much data

#23 alongx   Soy loco por el Cornball CAGiversary!   4889 Posts   Joined 17.6 Years Ago  

Posted 21 March 2011 - 12:19 AM

Do the math. Ask how much the monthly plan will be if you DON'T get a contract; it's almost always cheaper. Multiply the savings by 24, and see if that's higher than the rebate you'd get on the phone. It can cost more at the outset, but save you hundreds over two years.


What vendor do you use that it's cheaper to do pre-paid month-to-month? If anything, it's almost guaranteed to be cheaper to go under contract - the mobile provider would be willing to offer it to you for a discount, since they know you'll be paying at least 24 months. Example: Verizon Wireless's prepaid plan for voice only, 450 minutes is $35/mo under a 2 year plan, $45/mo for a pre-paid plan. Like everything else, you almost always get better prices for buying in bulk!

For comparision, a droid on verizon will cost you about $100 a month ($30 data plan is REQUIRED) and you don't even get the phone for free so, yeah, that's pretty much your answer.


I guess I'm a counterpoint to that argument? My bill is $65/mo for voice and data with a Droid X.

#24 Moltres423   Not easy being meaty CAGiversary!   480 Posts   Joined 11.9 Years Ago  

Moltres423

Posted 21 March 2011 - 12:35 AM

I pay $80 for a year of service and approximately 600 minutes with a tracfone. probably the cheapest plan, ever amirite?

#25 silentevil   Most evil man ever!! CAGiversary!   580 Posts   Joined 14.3 Years Ago  

silentevil

Posted 21 March 2011 - 12:46 AM

I got an Android phone with Virgin Mobile. 25 bucks a month unlimited texting and data. Plus VM uses Sprints network so coverage is pretty good. 2 year contracts are good if you A) have the money to blow 80 to 100 bucks a line per month B) You're trying to increase your credit score. I see no reason to be locked into a contract with a company that's so expensive since I don't talk on my phone often.

i have optimus V with virgin mobile. they have cheap plans but 3g internet gets throttled if you use too much data


I have the same phone and haven't had a problem with 3G at all. Virgin just updated their severs last week.

#26 whoknows   Time and Eternity for all of time and eternity CAGiversary!   40129 Posts   Joined 16.8 Years Ago  

Posted 21 March 2011 - 12:51 AM

I have the Optimus through Virgin as well and I love it.

You really can't beat the price.

#27 Invicta 61   Gabagool, Provalone and vinegar peppers CAGiversary!   2177 Posts   Joined 11.0 Years Ago  

Posted 21 March 2011 - 01:35 AM

I still use my LG VX8300 that I bought back in 2007. I did some research because I wanted a phone that would be reliable. The thing is bulletproof! I've dropped it, drenched it, and genrally abused it but it keeps going. Of course Verizon has great coverage and I've never had a problem with the service.

My friends do make fun of me whenever they see me using it because of it's age. They ask if it has a rotary dial when I flip it open.

#28 Moltres423   Not easy being meaty CAGiversary!   480 Posts   Joined 11.9 Years Ago  

Moltres423

Posted 21 March 2011 - 05:00 AM

I have the Optimus through Virgin as well and I love it.

You really can't beat the price.

Killer phone. nice plan. What do you think about the intercept though? what do you like about your phone specifically?

I'm highly interested @ $25 a month for a smart phone. Thats astounding.

Edited by Moltres423, 21 March 2011 - 05:23 AM.


#29 whoknows   Time and Eternity for all of time and eternity CAGiversary!   40129 Posts   Joined 16.8 Years Ago  

Posted 21 March 2011 - 05:09 AM

Killer phone. nice plan. What do you think about the intercept though? what do oyu like about the phone specifically?

I'm highly interested @ $25 a month for a smart phone. Thats astounding.


I looked a little at the Intercept before deciding on the Optimus, and from what I've learned the battery in the Optimus is pretty bad, it's supposed to be pretty glitchy and slower than the Optimus, it's running Android 2.1 but supposedly getting an update sometime, but it's not guaranteed.

I did like it had a slide out keyboard, but that was the only thing that looked better to me.

The Optimus responds quickly, Android 2.2, the home/back/search/menu buttons are physical, which is nice. I had the Kyocera Loft before the Optimus, so the Optimus just seems so amazing to me :lol:

It is my first Android phone and I'm impressed, but I haven't actually used the Intercept so I only know what I've read about it.

#30 Moltres423   Not easy being meaty CAGiversary!   480 Posts   Joined 11.9 Years Ago  

Moltres423

Posted 21 March 2011 - 06:14 AM

I looked a little at the Intercept before deciding on the Optimus, and from what I've learned the battery in the Optimus is pretty bad, it's supposed to be pretty glitchy and slower than the Optimus, it's running Android 2.1 but supposedly getting an update sometime, but it's not guaranteed.

I did like it had a slide out keyboard, but that was the only thing that looked better to me.

The Optimus responds quickly, Android 2.2, the home/back/search/menu buttons are physical, which is nice. I had the Kyocera Loft before the Optimus, so the Optimus just seems so amazing to me :lol:

It is my first Android phone and I'm impressed, but I haven't actually used the Intercept so I only know what I've read about it.


The battery in the Optimus is bad you say? Did you mean intercept?