Now I See You’re The One For Me

Someday a technology company will create an ad for their new phone that has a 5 second glimpse of two men getting married and it won’t be a big deal. Judging from the comments on this video on YouTube, we’re pretty close, but not quite. The music is from 20 year-old Tessa Rose Jackson, straight out of Amsterdam.

By the way, I ordered this phone yesterday and will have a review of it up as soon as I use it. I’m also going to try a couple of contract-free voice and data plans. My goal is to own a top-end smartphone for less than $50/month over two years, including the cost of the phone. Don’t judge — we all have our petty obsessions. Open thread.

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58 replies
  1. 1
    burnspbesq says:

    Good luck with that.

    Arrived at local Apple Store at 5:00, expecting to see 30-100 people in Line. Nope. I was the line for a half hour. Then three more fools showed up. The nice line monitor person said that the website took 400 orders between midnight and 5:00 a.m. for pickup at this store.

  2. 2
    raven says:

    I luvs my new 5S

  3. 3
    burnspbesq says:

    @raven:

    Kid got his 5S yesterday from AT&T in Seattle. They gave him so much for trading in his 5 that he ended up paying less than the subsidized price.

  4. 4
    dpm (dread pirate mistermix) says:

    @burnspbesq: So he bought an unsubsidized 5S, right? Did he have to throw down on a contract extension? Just curious how AT&T handles that.

  5. 5
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Don’t judge — we all have our petty obsessions.

    OK, but only ’cause my wife is almost as bad as you. Maybe worse. As for me? I am just about to chuck the cell phone into the Meramec River just because I am sick to death of people who feel like their latest triviality is more important than my peace and quiet. I have already changed the message on my voice mail to say, “Don’t bother. If I wanted to talk to you I would have answered the phone.”

  6. 6
    burnspbesq says:

    @dpm (dread pirate mistermix):

    Two-year extension. I think we’re now tied to AT&T until 2037. I don’t mind, I’m a Bell System Baby. AT&T customers paid for my college and law school.

  7. 7
    raven says:

    @burnspbesq: yea, we got $200 each for the 4s’. I popped for the Apple care Plus so now we can just relax for a couple of years. I’m trying to get used to the thumbprint.

  8. 8
    currants says:

    DPM: wondering about coverage on your contract-free options? (I mean area, range…) We’re near Boston, where a lot of networks work, but at home, only Verizon works (and it’s spotty).

    Would love to switch. Anybody have experience with Credo?

  9. 9
    burnspbesq says:

    @raven:

    I expect that one of the first things I will do when I get a 5S is turn off the thumb scanner.

  10. 10
    dpm (dread pirate mistermix) says:

    @currants: With this phone you can choose between T-Mobile and AT&T, either direct or via a MVNO (mobile virtual network operator – i.e., a reseller). I’m going to test T-Mobile first and then Straight Talk which is run by American Movil, the Tracfone people, and marketed by Wal-Mart.

    Credo is a MVNO for Sprint. The issue with MVNOs is that usually you can’t roam on a MVNO. A for-reals Sprint customer would roam on Verizon. Since you have Verizon signal in your home, the question to ask Credo is whether you can roam on Verizon if Sprint doesn’t work.

    Some of Straight Talk’s phones use Verizon’s network. It has a $30/month unlimited plan for non-smartphones, and $45/month for smartphones.

  11. 11
    raven says:

    @burnspbesq: It seems to work about 80% of the time but I guess it “learns” your print and gets better.

  12. 12
    Linus says:

    For me – this is the strategy that added up to total cost of $ 50 bucks per month per user including cost of the phone.

    1. Get together with two other friends who want to spend $ 50 per month or less on phone.
    2. Buy three Nexii 5 (3 times $350 = $1050)
    3. Get on to T Mobile family no contract with unlimited talk, text and data at a monthly cost of $ 90 bucks. For two years it will cost $ 90 X 24 = $ 2160.
    4. Total two year cost = $ 3210.
    5. Per line monthly cost = 3210 / 72 = $ 43.33.

    This will give you 500 MB very high speed data (LTE) and unlimited 3-G data. I found that good enough because most of my data connection is on wifi at home and office.

    Options if you are use data like crazy –

    1. you can up the monthly LTE limit to 2GB for 10 additional bucks per line.

    2. unlimited LTE is additional 20 bucks per/per.

  13. 13
    Belafon says:

    I’ve been seeing a large number of the t-shirts with the Christian cross on them that say “This shirt would be banned in 11 countries.” I want to make a t-shirt with two guys kissing that says “Too many people in America want to ban this.”

  14. 14
    currants says:

    @dpm (dread pirate mistermix): Wow. Thank you. That’s more relevant information about phones than I’ve gotten from anyone–phone companies especially–in YEARS.

    (takes off to see what changes might be possible…)

  15. 15
    dan says:

    Just paid $150 for a Galaxy S2 and getting unlimited text and data for $35/month.
    Total cost=$41.25/month over two years.

  16. 16
    dan says:

    Just paid $150 for a Galaxy S2 and getting unlimited text and data for $35/month.

    Total cost for phone plus service=$41.25/month over two years.

  17. 17
    MomSense says:

    I don’t care how wicked smaht the phone is because I have no cell signal except on my back porch. This is all well and good in the three months of nice weather if you don’t mind being dive bombed by mosquitoes, but it is getting awfully cold to stand outside in order to talk on the phone.

  18. 18
    aretino says:

    Two men getting married isn’t getting much fuss, but after this year’s Cheerios freakout I am waiting to see what happens when folks get to the last 5 seconds of the ad.

  19. 19
    some guy says:

    @Belafon:

    “Really, 11 countries? Would those be the same countries where kissing someone of the same gender would get you jailed, stoned, or killed on sight? “

  20. 20
    some guy says:

    “Really, 11 countries? How many of them have their militaries subsidized by the US taxpayers?”

  21. 21
    Botsplainer says:

    Love my 5s. If it wasn’t for the kids demanding smartphones, my bill would be lots less than the $$$$ I’m paying now.

  22. 22
    some guy says:

    “Really, 11 countries? When we help Al Qaeda achieve victory in Syria will that make 12?”

  23. 23
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @some guy: One and the same. But that’s a feature, not a bug.

  24. 24
    dpm (dread pirate mistermix) says:

    @MomSense: If you have an Internet connection and WiFi, T-Mobile has an option where you can use your phone on WiFi in your house. Only a limited number of T-Mobile phones can do that, all of them are smartphones I believe.

    This would only be worth doing if you had decent T-Mobile coverage in your area, i.e., your house is an isolated dead zone.

  25. 25
    some guy says:

    “Really, 11 countries? Name at least 3. “

  26. 26
    NotMax says:

    @Belafon

    Would be sorely tempted to go up and say “11? Not to worry, as we’re working as hard as we can to make it many more.”

  27. 27
    some guy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    exactly, and hence the vital and necessary task of explaining (in simple and easy words and phrases so basic even a wingnut can understand them) the T-Shirt wearers own complicity in this sordid state of affairs.

  28. 28
    Deb from Indiana says:

    @dpm (dread pirate mistermix):

    I am a Credo Customer and I have been roaming on Sprint via Credo all over the country for the last 5 years and never had a problem, even in the mountains of NC (Sapphire) last spring. My niece (AT&T) could barely get a signal and couldn’t use her tablet. I am very happy with Credo but due to budgetary constraints and a wish to retire early, I am looking for a non contract plan now.

  29. 29
    MomSense says:

    @dpm (dread pirate mistermix):

    I just added a phone onto my cable plan because I think we truly are in a dead zone. Verizon has the best coverage in the area but even my neighbors with Verizon ended up having a land line installed because it doesn’t work at their house.

    ETA: TMobile has terrible coverage where I am but I do have wifi so that could be an improvement.

  30. 30
    raven says:

    OK Lou Reed peeps, check this film school vid Walk on the Wild Side film short 1976. Athens, GA

  31. 31
    aimai says:

    @Belafon: I’d remake the cross shirt with “Not enough countries want to ban this–lets double down on the homophobia and anti-woman legislation.”

  32. 32
    aimai says:

    @aretino: Is that supposed to be an interracial marriage? Its not really all that clear.

  33. 33
    Fuzzy says:

    I just buy minutes from Verizon and find that $100 twice a year is plenty. Of course I’m retired and have never texted in my life. If you want to talk, talk it’s faster and friendlier. I do not send nor care to see tiny pictures of anything and I can wait for news without going through withdrawal. Harrumph

  34. 34
    Cassidy says:

    @Belafon: Fuck’em and their persecution complex.

  35. 35
    dan says:

    @dan: That is Virgin Mobile BTW.

  36. 36
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @Linus: This is the same service we signed up for with T-Mobile. The only difference is that we purchased two no-name smart phones direct from the factory in China for $130 each. They’re great little phones, and we’re very happy with T-Mobile.

  37. 37
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @The Fat Kate Middleton: And we have two homes, each in a rural area – we use 3G in the most remote, ’cause of no wireless there. Works fine – have yet to use up our data allotment.

  38. 38
    Butch says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I usually stay out of these threads, but in response to yours, I ditched the cell about 5 years ago and have never missed it even for a moment.

  39. 39
    aretino says:

    @aimai: That’s what it looked like to me. Perhaps they’re reluctant to make it too obvious.

  40. 40
    Steeplejack says:

    My Droid Incredible is about 3-3½ years old, still working fine but with occasional idiosyncrasies. When I think about upgrading, I am put off by the idea that Verizon will probably try to take away my current unlimited-data plan and “upgrade” me to a metered plan.

    I don’t use a lot of data—I use wi-fi at home and wherever possible outside—but I do love me some Google Navigator, which I use in the car about once a week, for trips of varying lengths. My presumption is that it is data-intensive, but I don’t really know. So I would have to burrow through my account information on the Verizon Web site to see what my usage is and decide what monthly data cap to buy.* Tedious. Plus there are a lot of good-looking Android smartphones out there now, so that’s more shopping research. All of which leads me to the “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” point and I stick with what I’ve got. Guess I’ll have to wait for the advertising on some particular phone to wear me down. (Galaxy S4, looking at you.)

    * This raises the question of whether it would be cheaper to bite the bullet and get a stand-alone GPS system for the car (e.g., Garmin) and minimize the use of Google Navigator. (Which is also useful in “walking” mode for navigating downtown D.C.)

  41. 41
    dpm (dread pirate mistermix) says:

    @MomSense: If you get unlimited long distance via your cable, and use your phone very little otherwise, Tracfone is also an option. For voice they have the best coverage in the US because they roam on either AT&T/T-Mobile or Verizon/Sprint networks.

    @Steeplejack: You can see your data usage on your online verizonwireless.com account. Log in and take a look. You might be surprised how little you use.

  42. 42
    NotMax says:

    Got the same phone bought 30 years ago, when the phone company first began selling them. It does what it is supposed to do. Use it maybe 6 times a month.

  43. 43
    aretino says:

    @aimai: After watching a couple more times I think it isn’t after all. Never mind.

  44. 44
    replicnt6 says:

    @Belafon:

    I’ve been seeing a large number of the t-shirts with the Christian cross on them that say “This shirt would be banned in 11 countries.

    It makes me proud to live in a country where a person can openly display their Christianity.

  45. 45
    Leszek Pawlowicz says:

    @steeplejack: You can keep your unlimited plan with Verizon if you pay full price for the phone; works out to about $20 a month extra over 3 years. And there are navigation apps like CoPilot that let you download all the data to your phone, so you don’t need to use your cellular data. I have CoPilot, and it works – not as good as Google Navigation, but does the job.

  46. 46
    mattH says:

    @dpm (dread pirate mistermix):

    Some of Straight Talk’s phones use Verizon’s network. It has a $30/month unlimited plan for non-smartphones, and $45/month for smartphones.

    Close. The $30 is 1000 min 1000 texts, 30MB 2G data. Also, the $45 plan only offers 3G speeds, not 4G,

    The only issue with Straight Talk is the limited capabilities of most of their customer service reps. Most don’t have the ability to do much of anything for your phone service if you need something slightly more technical than “my phone number port hasn’t gone through”.

  47. 47
    dpm (dread pirate mistermix) says:

    @mattH: You’re right about the $30 plan. The $45 plan supports LTE. However, the LTE speed may be capped at ~8 MB. Latency on LTE is lower than HSPA+ so it is somewhere between 3G and the best 4G you can get.

  48. 48
    Steeplejack says:

    @Leszek Pawlowicz:

    Thanks for the information. I guess I need to get off my ass and run the numbers to determine (a) how much data I’m using now, (b) what the monthly cost for that would be on a metered plan, (c) what data allowance I could get with the current monthly amount I’m paying and (d) how all of the above correlates with the “truly unlimited” plan if I have to buy a phone at full price.

    And, hey, anybody got a recommendation on an Android phone? I don’t watch a lot of “media”; I use it as a phone, for Google GPS navigation and Web browsing when I’m away from home and as an MP3 player. Nice camera would be nice.

  49. 49
    jeffreyw says:

    @Steeplejack: I would take over your unlimited data plan in a heartbeat! S4 is a pretty good phone, Verizon just sent out the 4.3 Android update to mine. There are quirks.

  50. 50
    BH in MA says:

    My wife and I have had smart phones for about 2.5 years now. Over that time period we’ve paid Verizon about 130/month or about $4,000 plus the initial cost of our phones. Once we upgrade our phones, our plan with Verizon will cost $150/month. If we add our son, it would cost another $40. Ridiculous. I’m currently shopping for a used Nexus 4 on Ebay and will be signing up for T-Mobile’s 100min/unlimited text/5GB data plan for $30. According to their site most of the places I visit on a regular basis are smack in the middle of T-Mobile’s 4g/LTE service blobs, including at my house. If all goes well, over the next two years I’ll save something like $35 per month. If I can convince my wife to join me we’ll save double that. I also bought my son a $20 phone that can do calls and texting and intend to buy him 1000 minutes for $100 in a T-Mo pay as you go plan. I also got him a deactivated 2 year old HTC phone for $60 that he can use for music, pictures and video as well as email, texting and web over WiFi. Hopefully that investment (<$200) will hold him for a while.

  51. 51
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Steeplejack: Navigation doesn’t use too much data, I’d check the MyVerizon app on the phone. My upgrade date is the end of the month and I’m leaning towards a Note 3.

    ETA: If you watch any video on the phone, that is what uses lots of data. If you don’t a limited plan will probably work OK.

  52. 52
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @NotMax:

    Got the same phone bought 30 years ago, when the phone company first began selling them. It does what it is supposed to do.

    That’s nice, but it’s sort of a category error. What dpm is after is a pocket computer that uses cellular service for networking, and can also make phone calls. Not a phone.

  53. 53
    kzoostout says:

    @dpm (dread pirate mistermix): I’ve been using T-Mobile’s pay as you go plan ($.10 a minute, good for a year) with a Nexus 4. I use wifi when at home/work/bars & restaurants with open signals. For the few times that I *need* data, I have a FreedomPop hotspot that I can bring along. I get 500mbs a month for $3.99. It’s supposedly “free” but only if you have LTE coverage–still, 4 bucks a month seems fair for a little data.

    I use Google Voice for free texting and I have a Obihai Obi100 that gives me free a VOIP landline via my Voice account. Supposedly Google will be integrating Voice with Hangouts, and that will let me make/receive VOIP calls directly from my Nexus. I know I can do this with third party apps, but I can’t be bothered right now.

    It’s kind of a complicated set up, but I spend less than $150 a year on my phone bill. Well worth it if you don’t need data all the time.

  54. 54
    Culture of Truth says:

    I’m obsessed with smartphones / plans as well. This may be my first smartphone!!

  55. 55
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @kzoostout: Thanks for your post. We’ve got a Nexus 4 that we use with a Truphone SIM when traveling in Europe, and have $30 T-mobile monthly plan (mentioned above), but service in our area is spotty so it’s not used a lot. I’d never heard of FreedomPop – their hotspot gadgets sound interesting. Thanks for the pointer!

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  56. 56
    kzoostout says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: FreedomPop gets knocked for being scammy–and they are, to the extent that they really push the “free” angle and hide the charges. They will try to upsell you to get more data and other services, but what company won’t do that? Like I said above, 4 bucks a month seems pretty fair to have a little bit of data when you need it. Supposedly they are coming out with a “free” smartphone and plan.

    Another pretty good option that I forgot about last night is Republic Wireless’ Moto X deal for $25 a month.

  57. 57
    Sondra says:

    @currants:
    I have Credo now and it’s terrible – usually doesn’t work at home so I still have my landline.
    Somewhat better elsewhere,, but really hard to get out of their contract without paying lots of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$s.

  58. 58
    Sondra says:

    @dan:
    Well then my Credo plan suck worse than I thought. My phone (same model as yours a year ago) works poorly and is 2x more money.
    Help…how do I get rid of Credo’s contract?

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