1. kingp's Avatar
    I recently received a Focus Flash, and was curious as to the device's performance on the T-Mobile network. Has anyone done this? I know it is an AT&T branded phone and doesn't support all of T-Mobile's frequencies, but just wanted to get some feedback from folks that have done this already. I looked at AT&T prepaid, and it isn't a good value for data. T-Mobile is a much better value for my dollar, but I'm assuming it's comes with a cost, that cost being data speeds.

    Previously I've been using an HTC Arrive on Sprint, but I'm leaving Sprint after 6 years. With that said, I know very little about GSM technology/providers since I've only known the CDMA side.

    Please feel free to share your thoughts/opinions.

    Thanks!
    01-30-2012 09:51 AM
  2. bigkevbosky's Avatar
    Here - from T-Mobile's forums :

    "I'm interested in using an unlocked Samsung Focus Flash (AT&T) with a TM SIM card. I've been told by a TM salesman that I will get 3G speeds and possibly 4G speeds. Can anyone confirm this? The phone specs are below.
    Thanks.

    Technology
    GSM:
    850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
    UMTS:
    850, 1900, 2100 MHz
    Data:
    HSDPA+ (4G) 21.1 Mbit/s, HSDPA 14.4 Mbit/s, UMTS, HSUPA 5.76 Mbit/s, EDGE
    Global Roaming:
    Yes"

    "I'm really glad you asked this question before making your purchase. The T-Mobile 3G and 4G services use bandwidths of 1700 and 2100 MHz, and in order for another carrier's device to access those services they must support BOTH bandwidths."

    So - in simple terms - no. It *may* support Edge (2G), but you'd be better off trying to sell the Focus Flash and buy a Nokia Lumia 710 or a Dell Venue that are made for T-Mobile's bandwidths.
    01-30-2012 10:27 AM
  3. kingp's Avatar
    Here - from T-Mobile's forums :

    "I'm interested in using an unlocked Samsung Focus Flash (AT&T) with a TM SIM card. I've been told by a TM salesman that I will get 3G speeds and possibly 4G speeds. Can anyone confirm this? The phone specs are below.
    Thanks.

    Technology
    GSM:
    850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
    UMTS:
    850, 1900, 2100 MHz
    Data:
    HSDPA+ (4G) 21.1 Mbit/s, HSDPA 14.4 Mbit/s, UMTS, HSUPA 5.76 Mbit/s, EDGE
    Global Roaming:
    Yes"

    "I'm really glad you asked this question before making your purchase. The T-Mobile 3G and 4G services use bandwidths of 1700 and 2100 MHz, and in order for another carrier's device to access those services they must support BOTH bandwidths."

    So - in simple terms - no. It *may* support Edge (2G), but you'd be better off trying to sell the Focus Flash and buy a Nokia Lumia 710 or a Dell Venue that are made for T-Mobile's bandwidths.
    yeah, I saw that post too. I was hoping some folks here had some "real world" experience with this type of set-up.

    I just don't want to go to AT&T and lock in for two years with their shotty network, and T-Mobile needs to get some better phones. The Lumia 710 is barely any better than the Focus Flash I have. Now if they got the Lumia 900, I'd be there in a heartbeat.
    01-30-2012 10:38 AM
  4. bigkevbosky's Avatar
    yeah, I saw that post too. I was hoping some folks here had some "real world" experience with this type of set-up.

    I just don't want to go to AT&T and lock in for two years with their shotty network, and T-Mobile needs to get some better phones. The Lumia 710 is barely any better than the Focus Flash I have. Now if they got the Lumia 900, I'd be there in a heartbeat.
    Well, the thing about AT&T is - you can get out with an early termination fee. So, for example - you already have a Focus Flash that you want to use. Go sign up with AT&T and get a phone you can sell on Ebay or Amazon for high resale value - the Titan or iPhone 4 or something. Take that $300 or $400 you'd make off the sale of the phone, and stash it in a sock drawer. That way, in 6 months, if you hate AT&T, use that cash to pay the early termination fee - and you'd still have your Focus Flash. If you LIKE AT&T, in 6 months when a new phone comes out that you WANT like the Lumia 900 - you have your $300 or $400 in a sock drawer, PLUS you can then sell your Focus Flash for at least $100 - and that total amount of money you can take and buy the phone you want off contract.

    Make sense? People seem to think 2 year contracts are death sentences, but there's lots of ways to make them work to your advantage and still get the phone you want.

    Or, alternatively, you can sell your Focus Flash and take the $250 + you'd get to buy a Dell Venue. Its a good phone and it works with T-Mobile's 3G bands no problem.
    01-30-2012 11:13 AM
  5. alpinestars1z's Avatar
    yeah, I saw that post too. I was hoping some folks here had some "real world" experience with this type of set-up.

    I just don't want to go to AT&T and lock in for two years with their shotty network, and T-Mobile needs to get some better phones. The Lumia 710 is barely any better than the Focus Flash I have. Now if they got the Lumia 900, I'd be there in a heartbeat.
    Haha, real world experience isn't going to change anything. EDGE is still EDGE. It depends on you whether you can stand EDGE or not. I had to live with EDGE for a few months with the iPhone on T-Mobile, and I got sick of it and switched phones. I didn't like waiting 30 seconds to over a minute for a page webpage to load. Meanwhile, there are other people who are okay with it because all they do is check their e-mail and weather while on their phone.

    You don't like the 710? What about the HTC Radar?

    By the way, there's another alternative: You can try an MVNO like Red Pocket or Jolt Mobile. These two run on the AT&T network, and IIRC costs $60/mo for Unlimited Talk, Text and 2GB of data. One downside is that you'll get AT&T prepaid coverage, which means no roaming so it may not be good for people who travel. Also, 3G is throttled somewhat, but it's not bad. I've heard of people getting between 1.5-3.0Mbps. And lastly, you might have trouble setting up MMS on a Windows Phone device. You need to change the APN & MMS settings for it to work, but I know quite a few WP devices only allow you to edit the APN but not MMS settings. I'm lucky because my DVP has a secret menu and I can change MMS settings.
    01-30-2012 12:13 PM
  6. kingp's Avatar
    Haha, real world experience isn't going to change anything. EDGE is still EDGE. It depends on you whether you can stand EDGE or not. I had to live with EDGE for a few months with the iPhone on T-Mobile, and I got sick of it and switched phones. I didn't like waiting 30 seconds to over a minute for a page webpage to load. Meanwhile, there are other people who are okay with it because all they do is check their e-mail and weather while on their phone.

    You don't like the 710? What about the HTC Radar?

    By the way, there's another alternative: You can try an MVNO like Red Pocket or Jolt Mobile. These two run on the AT&T network, and IIRC costs $60/mo for Unlimited Talk, Text and 2GB of data. One downside is that you'll get AT&T prepaid coverage, which means no roaming so it may not be good for people who travel. Also, 3G is throttled somewhat, but it's not bad. I've heard of people getting between 1.5-3.0Mbps. And lastly, you might have trouble setting up MMS on a Windows Phone device. You need to change the APN & MMS settings for it to work, but I know quite a few WP devices only allow you to edit the APN but not MMS settings. I'm lucky because my DVP has a secret menu and I can change MMS settings.
    So what kind of throughput are we talking with EDGE, because I've been on Sprint for 6+ years and the best I've EVER had on Sprint's awesomely slow 3G is about 150-300Kbps, and no I didn't type that incorrectly. 150 to 300 Kilobits per second. If EDGE is comparable to what I'm already getting on Sprint, then I won't miss out on anything.

    My plan is to go prepaid until the Lumia 900 is released on AT&T, and then go all in (if it gets good reviews) or maybe I'll wait until fall when the Apollo devices are released.
    02-03-2012 09:02 AM
  7. bigkevbosky's Avatar
    So what kind of throughput are we talking with EDGE, because I've been on Sprint for 6+ years and the best I've EVER had on Sprint's awesomely slow 3G is about 150-300Kbps, and no I didn't type that incorrectly. 150 to 300 Kilobits per second. If EDGE is comparable to what I'm already getting on Sprint, then I won't miss out on anything.

    My plan is to go prepaid until the Lumia 900 is released on AT&T, and then go all in (if it gets good reviews) or maybe I'll wait until fall when the Apollo devices are released.
    Your plan won't work. From what I've heard, people who try the prepaid route with data using a non-prepaid phone end up getting caught. AT&T will force you into either using a contract with data or cut off your service altogether.
    02-03-2012 09:06 AM
  8. kingp's Avatar
    Your plan won't work. From what I've heard, people who try the prepaid route with data using a non-prepaid phone end up getting caught. AT&T will force you into either using a contract with data or cut off your service altogether.
    How will AT&T know what I'm doing, if I'm not on their network?
    02-03-2012 09:47 AM
  9. bigkevbosky's Avatar
    How will AT&T know what I'm doing, if I'm not on their network?
    No you're right, my mistake - you're taking the AT&T device to T-Mobile and using T-Mobile's prepaid network. Nevermind - I'm stupid.

    I *think* on Edge you'd probably be looking anywhere between 60 - 200 kb/sec, compared to something like 1 - 2 mb/sec on 3G. And since your Flash is HSPA+ enabled, you could theoretically get something like 7 mb/sec on AT&T's network, but in reality you'd probably get 2.5 - 3 mb/sec. Basically - imagine not having your internet the speed it is now, and instead going back down to a dial up connection. That's Edge.

    Web pages and downloads will be brutally slow on Edge, but it'll work. If you don't stream music or videos, and save downloads for WiFi networks, you should be fine. Just be prepared to be patient and wait when you're in line somewhere and try to start browsing the net and it takes 30 + seconds to load up a website.
    02-03-2012 10:31 AM
  10. palandri's Avatar
    I had my Treo Pro on T-Mobile Edge for a while. It's like going back to a dialup modem, as bigkevbosky said. If you are just looking at news sites it's not bad.
    02-03-2012 10:53 AM
  11. alpinestars1z's Avatar

    I *think* on Edge you'd probably be looking anywhere between 60 - 200 kb/sec, compared to something like 1 - 2 mb/sec on 3G. And since your Flash is HSPA+ enabled, you could theoretically get something like 7 mb/sec on AT&T's network, but in reality you'd probably get 2.5 - 3 mb/sec. Basically - imagine not having your internet the speed it is now, and instead going back down to a dial up connection. That's Edge.

    Web pages and downloads will be brutally slow on Edge, but it'll work. If you don't stream music or videos, and save downloads for WiFi networks, you should be fine. Just be prepared to be patient and wait when you're in line somewhere and try to start browsing the net and it takes 30 + seconds to load up a website.
    I agree with everything said here.
    02-03-2012 01:47 PM
  12. kingp's Avatar
    No you're right, my mistake - you're taking the AT&T device to T-Mobile and using T-Mobile's prepaid network. Nevermind - I'm stupid.

    I *think* on Edge you'd probably be looking anywhere between 60 - 200 kb/sec, compared to something like 1 - 2 mb/sec on 3G. And since your Flash is HSPA+ enabled, you could theoretically get something like 7 mb/sec on AT&T's network, but in reality you'd probably get 2.5 - 3 mb/sec. Basically - imagine not having your internet the speed it is now, and instead going back down to a dial up connection. That's Edge.

    Web pages and downloads will be brutally slow on Edge, but it'll work. If you don't stream music or videos, and save downloads for WiFi networks, you should be fine. Just be prepared to be patient and wait when you're in line somewhere and try to start browsing the net and it takes 30 + seconds to load up a website.
    That's what I'm trying to figure out. Currently I'm getting about 15-30KB/s download on my Nexus S 4G on Sprint's craptastic "3G" network...so I'm used to slow speeds. EDGE really won't bother me all that much. Otherwise, I'm on WiFi when in the office or at home.
    02-03-2012 01:54 PM
  13. bigkevbosky's Avatar
    That's what I'm trying to figure out. Currently I'm getting about 15-30KB/s download on my Nexus S 4G on Sprint's craptastic "3G" network...so I'm used to slow speeds. EDGE really won't bother me all that much. Otherwise, I'm on WiFi when in the office or at home.
    Then go for it. Like you said yourself - you can prepay with T-Mobile, use it for a bit, and if its really awful, you can still sign a contract with AT&T. And the best part about all of this is that no matter what you'll still have the Focus Flash that you can get money for or re-gift to a loved one when you decide what you're going to do.
    02-03-2012 02:02 PM
  14. kingp's Avatar
    So I lucked out, and the Focus Flash that MS gave me, is unlocked. I'm now on T-Mobile prepaid service for one month. I am on EDGE data only, but it's not that bad. It's on par with Sprint's 3G, as far as speed goes. I figure next month I'll try out Red Pocket mobile, since they are an AT&T MVNO and see if I like them any better. The price ends up about the same anyway.
    02-07-2012 01:47 PM
  15. alpinestars1z's Avatar
    So I lucked out, and the Focus Flash that MS gave me, is unlocked. I'm now on T-Mobile prepaid service for one month. I am on EDGE data only, but it's not that bad. It's on par with Sprint's 3G, as far as speed goes. I figure next month I'll try out Red Pocket mobile, since they are an AT&T MVNO and see if I like them any better. The price ends up about the same anyway.
    Are you able to use MMS on T-Mobile?
    02-07-2012 03:44 PM
  16. freestaterocker's Avatar
    So - in simple terms - no. It *may* support Edge (2G), but you'd be better off trying to sell the Focus Flash and buy a Nokia Lumia 710 or a Dell Venue that are made for T-Mobile's bandwidths.
    Or the Radar. It's the closest in terms of features to the flash...
    02-07-2012 04:08 PM
  17. kingp's Avatar
    Are you able to use MMS on T-Mobile?
    So far I have not been able to receive MMS from anyone while on T-Mobile. I may pull the trigger on the Dell Venue Pro. Amazon has them for 229 bucks, new. It's really old tech, but I can get the most out of this T-Mobile plan.

    Does anyone here have any experience with the Venue Pro? Is it a good phone? Did Mango clear up the problems the phone had? Did the compass ever work?
    02-08-2012 08:23 AM
  18. alpinestars1z's Avatar
    So far I have not been able to receive MMS from anyone while on T-Mobile. I may pull the trigger on the Dell Venue Pro. Amazon has them for 229 bucks, new. It's really old tech, but I can get the most out of this T-Mobile plan.

    Does anyone here have any experience with the Venue Pro? Is it a good phone? Did Mango clear up the problems the phone had? Did the compass ever work?
    Probably because you aren't able to change the MMS settings, huh? Same thing will happen on Red Pocket, just so you know.

    I have the Dell Venue Pro, I bought it post-Mango and haven't had any problems with it. The only thing that bothered me is the Pentile subpixel arrangement (but since you have a Focus Flash that has that same "feature" I'll assume you're not annoyed by that), the camera isn't that great, and the battery life isn't as good as my Titan.

    And when I last checked, still no compass. :(
    02-08-2012 12:38 PM
  19. kingp's Avatar
    Probably because you aren't able to change the MMS settings, huh? Same thing will happen on Red Pocket, just so you know.

    I have the Dell Venue Pro, I bought it post-Mango and haven't had any problems with it. The only thing that bothered me is the Pentile subpixel arrangement (but since you have a Focus Flash that has that same "feature" I'll assume you're not annoyed by that), the camera isn't that great, and the battery life isn't as good as my Titan.

    And when I last checked, still no compass. :(
    Yeah, I really don't care about the Pentile arrangement of the display that much. It doesn't really bother me. Heck I could barely send/receive MMS on Sprint since they integrated with Google Voice (and GV doesn't fully support MMS anyway).

    My DVP should arrive today (just ordered it yesterday!) and I'll have some fun with this plan. It really looks like a solid device and the reviews have been all around good on it (post Mango of course).
    02-09-2012 08:16 AM
  20. alpinestars1z's Avatar
    Yeah, I really don't care about the Pentile arrangement of the display that much. It doesn't really bother me. Heck I could barely send/receive MMS on Sprint since they integrated with Google Voice (and GV doesn't fully support MMS anyway).

    My DVP should arrive today (just ordered it yesterday!) and I'll have some fun with this plan. It really looks like a solid device and the reviews have been all around good on it (post Mango of course).
    Great! Let us know what you think!
    02-09-2012 05:24 PM
  21. kingp's Avatar
    So far the DVP is really nice. There are some quirks to the phone, like no haptic feedback for the Back, Home, Search keys, and the Power button is too small.

    Other than those things, I really like the phone. It is also compatible with all T-Mobile frequencies, so I can actually get 3G now instead of EDGE.
    02-10-2012 12:39 PM
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