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Thread: About a month in. A review.

  1. #1
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    About a month in. A review.

    I came into this with open eyes. I can't recall the last time I have used T-Mobile (proper) and the last MVNO usage was Solevia in 2013. Cricket was my previous carrier. I wouldn't even had bothered changing, but they stopped the rewards program and I ran out of free credits. I had a good run though. I ported 4 lines over to the 4/$100 plan. I took whatever free phones they had in stock. The port process is only done in store and is a hassle. There are 0 corporate stores within 150 miles of me, so authorized retailers were my only option. The one I went to was new, close, clean, and friendly enough. It took the better part of an hour. They didn't have 4 of the same phone. I ended up with 2 J7, a ZTE, and an E4. The total cost out the door was $100+ $10 per line, plus tax. $146.00. I then sold the 4 phones for a total of $230.
    Activation. What a nightmare. I set up an online account, but unless you have a working phone you can never use the account, SMS verification. This meant I had to go ahead and bust out one of the free phones I got. No biggy. It worked right away. Got the online setup and went to SIM swap. No dice. Wouldn't take my SIM as correct. 2nd line wouldn't take my IMEI as correct. I ended up having to call in 4 separate times to set up all 4 lines with my unlocked phones. One originally had been a MetroPCS phone, even it couldn't be activated online.

    Calls. Call quality is awful. If this is HDVoice or VoLTE keep it. Calls sound tinny and kind of like an echo. I notice this specifically with my other MetroPCS lines. It is not as evident with other calls, so I am guessing this is a Metro to Metro HDVoice thing. Just yuck. Wifi calls, seem to work. I don't like or use this feature. I used to 10 years ago with Sprint when I had a repeater in my building, I thought we were past this. I am also a big proponent of making the carriers provide me with the service. I don't want to piggy back on my home internet or office connections. Carriers are using this as a crutch and pushing it to consumers as a feature.

    Text and pictures. Work as they should.

    Internet. Fired it up 50-60Mbps I was elated. Sure. I noticed immediately it took forever for the speed test to start. The ping and jitter seemed fine, but initiation took longer than it should. This hasn't stopped. What has stopped though is the 50-60Mbps. It is hit and miss at best. I constantly notice things not loading in a timely manor. My wife who knows nothing about technology noticed it immediately. My kid who knows nothing about tech is begging me for a new phone now because hers sucks. It is awful. I often see speeds less than 1Mb. I don't know how the FCC allows them to advertise this as 4G/LTE. These speeds are akin to EvDO. They keep wanting me to troubleshoot with them, but: 1. Unless I am getting credits to help them improve their network, it isn't my job. 2. I can not consistently repeat the results. It is frequent, but seemingly with no trigger. Youtube videos are often unwatchable if they even start. I have to reload apps and games to get them to refresh the connection. Speeds were slower with Cricket, but they were consistent. I don't download huge files and I am betting most of you don't. Speeds are perceived MUCH faster on Cricket for this reason.

    Tethering. Even though my U1 Note 8 tethers on Cricket, it was blocked on MetroPCS. So was my S8, and other 2 phones. I got what I paid for, so I can't be mad.

    Network. I travel a bit. I use Waze and when my wife is with me SiruisXM via internet. Awful coverage. It went out very frequently as soon as I left the city. Music would stop. Connection would drop for the maps. GPS still on, but no updating.

    Cost. Same as Cricket in my case.

    I am getting a $100 credit if I stay another month. My current cost has $84 in my pocket. If I stay the next month I will still be ahead. 3 months would have me at $16 cost. I am going to endure it since it is still technically free to me. To me this is the definition of a budget carrier and awful. I liken this to my days with Sprint always over promising and under delivering.

    Speed test were all taken inside my home at various times. Signal is roughly the same throughout my home.
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  2. #2
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    Thanks for the review. Where are you?

    T-Mo can still be abysmal in even some reasonably populated areas. Here in central Virginia, I tried a T-mo tablet SIM. In rural areas there are large gaps between their cells. In town I could get 50 Mbps LTE in one spot and nothing two blocks away.

    T-Mo is no slouch in building their network. They just have not done much here and other places yet. When they get their 600 MHz deployed nationwide and people get 600 MHz devices it should be a pretty good network.

    If they are allowed to buy Sprint and all their spectrum they could build a network to rival or surpass Verizon in square miles covered. That is going to take a few years.

  3. #3
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    Interesting review. I'm still in my first thirty days also. Remarkably improved over my prior experience with tm a coupe of years ago. I've not been able to travel with mine yet, but I expect good service along interstates and major cities, but we'll see. Agreed about backward activation process.

    My local service, which is really what matters is good except in about a 5 mile stretch through some hilly area, on work route, very annoying, as cricket is 100% solid there. No perceived sound quality issues. Strangely, my At&t signal db had dropped in the past few days, but still isa steady 3Mb.

    The reason I tried the service was to try the zte blade, which I really, really like. I'm satisfied with internet speed, which is usually better than 10 Mb, a few lower, and higher, but imo, after a certain speed, not much practical difference. I'll keep metro as a backup to cricket, if I can find two more to share 4/$100 with, as thus far, precluding the annoying dead area, I actually prefer the metro.

    Oh, and as the other reply asked, what area you in.My use is near knoxville, tn.

  4. #4
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    The bad voice/sound quality could be your phone's speaker or maybe it isn't HD voice or VoLTE capable?? The HD voice quality on my phone is the best I've ever had.

    Sent from my Z982 using HoFo mobile app

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cellphone-guy View Post
    The bad voice/sound quality could be your phone's speaker or maybe it isn't HD voice or VoLTE capable?? The HD voice quality on my phone is the best I've ever had.

    Sent from my Z982 using HoFo mobile app
    Note 8 and S8. I did not notice it while on Cricket.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ls3mach View Post
    Note 8 and S8. I did not notice it while on Cricket.
    Where will you go next? Back to Cricket? Rewards are back LOL
    Cheap calling cards now available! Click here!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by blacksurfer View Post
    Where will you go next? Back to Cricket? Rewards are back LOL
    If the year free of Sprint is still a thing I'll try it. Otherwise yes back to Cricket. Regarding rewards, they aren't back how I was getting them. I was spoofing my location each day to max out the check in points. I haven't had Sprint since 2012, maybe it isn't awful anymore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ls3mach View Post
    If the year free of Sprint is still a thing I'll try it. Otherwise yes back to Cricket. Regarding rewards, they aren't back how I was getting them. I was spoofing my location each day to max out the check in points. I haven't had Sprint since 2012, maybe it isn't awful anymore.
    In the areas I travel, Sprint's voice coverage is actually way better then T-mobiles but I'm guessing it's because of roaming agreements with Verizon and others. I have a few Tello lines that use Sprints native coverage which is pretty bad but works in the cities like T-Mobile. Probably better off going back to Cricket or even At&t Prepaid if ya need good coverage.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fishx65 View Post
    In the areas I travel, Sprint's voice coverage is actually way better then T-mobiles but I'm guessing it's because of roaming agreements with Verizon and others. I have a few Tello lines that use Sprints native coverage which is pretty bad but works in the cities like T-Mobile. Probably better off going back to Cricket or even At&t Prepaid if ya need good coverage.
    I used Sprint for about a decade. For a good part of that I used a Verizon PRL, so my real world experience isn't the same as other Sprint customers. My last phone with them was a Note 2 or 3. If it sucks I'll just cancel.

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