Google’s recently announced Nexus 4 will go on sale later this month for $299 unlocked and unsubsidized. There is one American operator who will be offering it on a contract however, T-Mobile. They’ll gladly sell you a Nexus 4 with a 2 year contract for $199, which sounds appealing, but the folks at TmoNews have recently learned that WiFi calling will not be supported on the device. Some background: T-Mobile has a service whereby you can make phone calls over your wireless network at home instead of having to go through the cellular network. It’s useful if you live somewhere that has spotty coverage, if you’re traveling abroad, and the best part is you don’t get billed for the minutes you make when on WiFi.
Now that we know the Nexus 4 isn’t going to support one of T-Mobile’s best features, this poses an important question: Should you buy this phone on contract? Buying phones unsubsidized is commonplace in many parts of the world, but for Americas it’s still considered a taboo for reasons we don’t quite understand. The amount of money you can save by going with a prepaid operator and then buying a phone unlocked is startling.
Take Straight Talk for instance, which lets you pick whether you want to use AT&T’s or T-Mobile’s network. They’ll give you unlimited everything for $45 per month. That’s half what the big boys charge. We can’t stress this enough, when using Straight Talk you’re on the same network that your friends and family are paying double to use! How is it so cheap? Straight Talk doesn’t have retail stores, they don’t subsidize phones, their customer service leaves a lot to be desired, and they go out of your way to be a dumb pipe.
When was the last time you called the company that provides you with electricity or water? Exactly. That’s what prepaid operators are like.