1. mcgrathpatj's Avatar
    So, I've been seeing a few people picking up the 920 unlocked from various places - NegreElectronics, WElectronics etc., paying upwards of $700. I'm trying to see the advantage of doing so.

    I've had straightalk with my current Android phone, Nexus S, and the service was abysmal. Speed ratings were equivalent to EDGE. I took the phone back to AT&T becuase it was unbearable slow and simply not worth the $45. I'd rather pay the $80 bucks or so to ensure I have decent 3G speeds. Now, with the Lumia 920, I see it's offered on AT&T for $99... but I hate AT&T. However, if I purchased it unlocked, the difference I'd save going to T-Mobile would be ~$10 a month. At the price delta of $700 to $99, it's $600. It would take me 5 years to re-coup the savings... So, why would anyone do this?

    I assume if you travel a lot it might make sense... But, can you not just get a AT&T international SIM for the period you'd be travelling?

    To me, I'd rather deal with AT&T sh!tty customer service and enjoy their very strong LTE cell service. But man, I shudder at the though of dealing with AT&T... Hopefully it's not too often.
    11-06-2012 04:24 PM
  2. Landsharkk's Avatar
    I've never asked AT&T the difference in cost between a contract and no-contract plan.

    I do know, that my current plan is a family plan (4 phones total) and is only costing me about $80 a month for 2 lines w/data (both windows smartphones) with way more minutes than we ever need (might be unlimited, I don't know).

    That's $40 per phone per month. The off-contract monthly price would have to be $25 less per phone or $15 per month (using the numbers from the post above) in order to break even on the unlocked phone price vs the 2 year contract price.

    Somehow I doubt AT&T would give me an off-contract monthly price of $15 for voice/data on a smartphone. :)
    11-06-2012 04:37 PM
  3. BellaRed's Avatar
    Unlocked sim free phones are pretty popular in the UK.

    1. Not tied to a contract or can change phones mid contract

    2. Can use any network you please on pay and go plans which are cheaper

    3. It's much cheaper to use a local sim abroad than pay carrier international plans but here in the UK it has become much more reasonable in price to roam in Rurope. Not so if you go outside Europe.

    4. Your phone will be easier to sell and worth more if you decide to move onto something else later

    You will often see us UK folk doing our sums and working out what we end up paying over 1 or two years.... Cheapskates us! Lol
    11-06-2012 04:48 PM
  4. mcgrathpatj's Avatar
    Hmm, I guess I'll simply bite the bullet on go on contract with AT&T. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense especially if I want LTE. I think it's $110 for the 5GB plan but I get a 25% discount for working within Boeings network..... Yay me.
    11-06-2012 05:15 PM
  5. chriscookz's Avatar
    From what I've read and what I've experienced, I think there are 4 reasons to buy an off-contract / unlocked phone Stateside.

    1) You don't want to lose your current unlimited data plan
    2) You don't want to be tied down to a contract (though I can't figure out the financial benefit to this)
    3) You want a brand new phone but aren't eligible for an upgrade
    4) You want to bring the phone to a service such as StraightTalk that has a BYOD option.

    As far as number 2 goes, lets say you are signed up for a contract that runs you $50/mo (probably too cheap an estimate for the plans these days) and you don't want to by locked into that contract again, but you want to stay on the same plan. It's my understanding that once your 2 years ends, you are just paying month to month. So you can buy an off-contract phone for $600 or whatever that phone costs. But you are still paying $50 a month, right? So why spend $600 and still pay $50/mo when you could spend $100-$200, get the phone subsidized, and still pay the same $50/mo? Just so you can say "I'm not tied to a contract?" That seems dumb to me. Unless you are planning on also executing #4 and moving to a BYOD service provider.

    I understand overseas the plans are much cheaper, maybe $20/mo, and so most people don't buy a subsidized phone as that allows them to switch much more often and they don't get that subsidized benefit. I wish that's how the plans were here. I would gladly pay $600 for new phone if I could pay $20/mo for service instead of the $200 for a new phone and then $100/mo for service it currently costs me.
    11-07-2012 08:51 AM
  6. doublesman3486's Avatar
    I have always bought my phones unlocked, the most recent one being the Nokia N9 last year. The main advantages for me are because i travel and can use it with a local sim where ever i travel too.

    The next advantage that i like is that when Nokia releases software updates i get it pretty quickly and i get the full software update rather than having the likes of AT&T strip down and cherry pick the software update to take out what they dont want from the software update on their devices. Added to that carriers have a habit of dragging their feet on releasing software updates quickly.

    The next advantage is i took out a sim card with a dumb phone from AT&T and got the $50 unlimited plan, unlimited talk , text and web. and the mobile internet is screaming along nicely on my Nokia N9. Its the same sim i would soon be putting into my brand new 920.

    :D
    11-07-2012 12:13 PM
  7. Old_Cus's Avatar
    The next advantage is i took out a sim card with a dumb phone from AT&T and got the $50 unlimited plan, unlimited talk , text and web. and the mobile internet is screaming along nicely on my Nokia N9. Its the same sim i would soon be putting into my brand new 920.

    :D
    I hope your N9 uses a micro sims card cause the L920 does.
    11-07-2012 12:21 PM
  8. doublesman3486's Avatar
    I hope your N9 uses a micro sims card cause the L920 does.
    Yes the N9 does indeed use microsim......i got the full sim for the dumbphone and i used my microsim card cutter to cut it to microsim. :D
    Old_Cus likes this.
    11-07-2012 12:40 PM
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