Author Topic: Yet another phone question  (Read 2817 times)

Threshkin

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Yet another phone question
« on: August 11, 2014, 05:34:50 PM »
I am approaching FIRE and need to change my phone service.  I currently own my device (Samsung Galaxy S5) but service is provided by work (AT&T).

My SP is on T-Mobile with an old Galaxy S1 and needs an upgrade.  Her phone will not play videos or show some images downloaded over wifi. She uses WeChat a lot to keep in touch with friends and family around the world.  She also uses her phone a lot for work (real estate)

Post FIRE I do not need much of a phone.  I would probably be happy with a dumb phone but more likely will want to get a simple smart phone that lets me check the weather, text, and run simple wifi based apps.

Ideally, I would give my phone to her but they are on different carriers.  She has time left on her contract but is eligible for a new phone.  But why buy one when we have this S5 that I do not need.  She would be very happy with my phone.  If we need to buy her out of her T-mobile contract we will, she has no more than a year left.

Questions:
  • I assume my AT&T phone will not run on T-mobile, even if it was rooted. Correct?
  • What low-cost carrier options are available for AT&T phones?
  • I know that carrier preference is a very volatile subject around here. But are any better for two people together?

Thanks!

EarlyQuit

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Re: Yet another phone question
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2014, 05:47:28 PM »
My former AT&T phone (iphone) runs on T-mobile just fine (actually on Ultra mobile that uses T-mobile's network). I am not sure why Samsung Galaxy would not. You can typically check on your desired carrier's website if they support the phone you have by entering its serial number (or another id) somewhere on the 'bring your own device' section of the website.

Daley

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Re: Yet another phone question
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2014, 05:54:02 PM »
1) You should be able to get the Galaxy S5 carrier unlocked and take it to any GSM service provider you like, including T-Mobile and T-Mobile MVNOs.

2) Check the guide. There's "unlimited" talk and text plans through P'tel for as little as $20/month if you don't mind a T-Mo MVNO. There's cheaper options if you don't need much time.

3) If there's multiple lines, significant savings can be had with some MVNOs like Ting and Consumer Cellular... ther's others like H2O that offer discounts for multiple lines and auto-pay as well. Again, check the guide and find what's best for your needs.

Any other questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Threshkin

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Re: Yet another phone question
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2014, 09:31:56 AM »
Thanks Early & I.P.!  This simplifies things enormously.  We will swap phones, her old Galaxy S1 is more than enough for me.  Now we just need to pick a service provider.  We will use the superguide for that.

Daley

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Re: Yet another phone question
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2014, 09:44:17 AM »
Glad to help! Just be sure to get both phones carrier unlocked from AT&T and T-Mobile respectively before you pull out and switch providers. :)

LibrarIan

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Re: Yet another phone question
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2014, 10:21:20 AM »
Just to throw this out there, your Galaxy S5 will most likely work on T-Mobile. Open up your phone's settings and go to More Settings > Mobile Networks > Network Mode. This line of phones will operate on both LTE/CDMA networks and GSM/UMTS networks, which covers pretty much everyone including T-Mobile. I jumped from Verizon (CDMA) to T-Mobile (GSM) with my S3 and it works fine, so I assume the S5 is the same. Set your phone to Global in this settings menu and it will operate on any network.

And just so we're clear, you will NOT have to involve anyone to 'unlock' your phone for this work. All you need now is a T-Mobile SIM card.

Daley

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Re: Yet another phone question
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2014, 12:20:50 PM »
And just so we're clear, you will NOT have to involve anyone to 'unlock' your phone for this work. All you need now is a T-Mobile SIM card.

You jumped from Verizon over to a GSM provider using an S3. The reason why you didn't need to carrier unlock is due to the agreements between Verizon and the FCC to purchase the LTE spectrum they had, the GSM end on capable phones has to be left carrier unlocked by default. This unfortunately is not the case with GSM providers like AT&T and T-Mobile, and both phones will need to have a carrier unlock request made to take those handsets to another provider. Even if they're bought outright instead of on contract, the default setting is GSM carrier locked with handsets branded and purchased from AT&T or T-Mobile.