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Thread: iPhone 14 Pro & Watch: Help me pick service

  1. #1
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    iPhone 14 Pro & Watch: Help me pick service

    Current situation
    Hardware:
    iPhone 13 Pro 512GB
    Apple Watch 5 Cellular

    Primary eSIM:
    AT&T Prepaid; 25GB LTE with tethering (Walmart deal) - $40 month

    Secondary SIM (Physical):
    XFinity (Verizon MVNO) 1GB: $11 month + $10 for Apple Watch LTE

    Use case:
    I use the XFinity line as a VZW backup to AT&T. I also have my Apple Watch on XFinity as AT&T doesnít support Apple Watch prepaid.
    On my AT&T line I typically use 5-10GB per month. I occasionally tether, not often. I donít travel outside North America often, and if I do would install travel eSIM for worldwide coverage. I guess Iíd like 5G UW service if available, as my current AT&T 25GB plan is 4G\LTE only.

    ó

    New hardware:
    I have on order Apple Watch Ultra and will place an order for iPhone 14 Pro 512GB tomorrow. I usually roll my hardware downstream to my partner and take their now two year old iPhone trade it in and give them my one year old handset with AppleCare.

    Since that Iím getting new hardware, Iíd like to revisit my options for service. Looking at postpaid for a single line, the prices are frankly crazy ($75-$85mo).

    What Iím thinking about:
    - Port my AT&T line over to Visibleís $45/month plan with UW 5G. Plus $5 for Apple Watch. This gives me VZW coverage on eSIM and my primary number on on Apple Watch.
    - Get Red Pocket yearly GSMA (AT&T) for line 2. No need to port, random number ok. Needed only as a backup to primary line. $99 for annual 1GB/month service.(~$8.25 month). Note that iPhone 14 series has support for dual eSIMs only, no physical SIM slot.

    Asking for opinions of best service vs price for my use case. Any hiccups I should be aware of? I was thinking about playing with the Visible free 15 day eSIM trial on another handset before I commit to a port.

    Thanks in advance to allÖ
    Current Mobile Devices:
    Apple iPhone 13 Pro 512GB
    Nokia 3.1 A
    Motorola 2021
    Apple iPhone SE2 64B
    Apple iPhone SE 32GB
    Apple iPhone 1st Generation 8GB
    Amazon Fire Phone

    Carriers
    AT&T Prepaid
    XM


    Retired Phones:
    Apple iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4, 4S, 5, 5S, 6, 6S, 7, X, XS, 11 Pro, 12 Pro
    Sony-Ericsson: Z310a, T290a, T610, T810, K790a, K750
    Ericsson: T68m, T28, R380z
    Nokia: 6010, 6030
    Nokia: 5160, 3360
    Motorola: V551, V60i, V60c
    Mitsubishi: AMPS Bag Phone (1986)

  2. #2
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    Take a look at Verizon prepaid, unlimited plus,
    ( 5g ultra ) starts at 75$, 60$ after 10 months with auto pay, progressive discount 2-10 months.
    Save even more with a Target card.

    So, does 15$ more get you better service direct from Verizon compared to Visible.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaZZoo View Post
    Take a look at Verizon prepaid, unlimited plus,
    ( 5g ultra ) starts at 75$, 60$ after 10 months with auto pay, progressive discount 2-10 months.
    Save even more with a Target card.

    So, does 15$ more get you better service direct from Verizon compared to Visible.

    Thanks kaZZoo, however I think that Verizon Prepaid is out.

    When looking at Verizon Prepaid vs Visible, there are quite a few differences, some deal breakers for me.

    - Verizon Prepaid: No Apple Watch service, Visible has at $5.
    - Verizon Prepaid: Need to get the Unlimited Plus option which includes tethering/hotspot and UW 5G. After 10 months, its $60. $60 vs $45 = $185 year savings. With that savings, I can buy the $99/year plan 1GB/mo RedPocket plan as my AT&T backup.

    So I'm looking at going from my primary and secondary lines on my existing iPhone
    $40
    AT&T Prepaid
    25GB/mo (~6-10 actually used) LTE
    Tethering/Hotspot

    and as my backup VZW line on my existing iPhone:
    $24
    Xfinity By the Gig
    1GB Month (maybe 200MB typically used)
    Apple Watch service

    $64 month for two lines (ATT primary, VZW secondary) and Apple watch


    and proposed:

    Visible:
    $50
    Visible Plus (5G UW)
    Unlimited
    50GB tethering/hotspot
    Includes Apple Watch ($5)

    Red Pocket (ATT)
    $8.25 month
    1GB data month

    $58.25 for two lines VZW primary, ATT secondary and watch on VZW

    Make the move?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperDuper View Post
    Thanks kaZZoo, however I think that Verizon Prepaid is out.

    When looking at Verizon Prepaid vs Visible, there are quite a few differences, some deal breakers for me.

    - Verizon Prepaid: No Apple Watch service, Visible has at $5.
    - Verizon Prepaid: Need to get the Unlimited Plus option which includes tethering/hotspot and UW 5G. After 10 months, its $60. $60 vs $45 = $185 year savings. With that savings, I can buy the $99/year plan 1GB/mo RedPocket plan as my AT&T backup.

    So I'm looking at going from my primary and secondary lines on my existing iPhone
    $40
    AT&T Prepaid
    25GB/mo (~6-10 actually used) LTE
    Tethering/Hotspot

    and as my backup VZW line on my existing iPhone:
    $24
    Xfinity By the Gig
    1GB Month (maybe 200MB typically used)
    Apple Watch service

    $64 month for two lines (ATT primary, VZW secondary) and Apple watch


    and proposed:

    Visible:
    $50
    Visible Plus (5G UW)
    Unlimited
    50GB tethering/hotspot
    Includes Apple Watch ($5)

    Red Pocket (ATT)
    $8.25 month
    1GB data month

    $58.25 for two lines VZW primary, ATT secondary and watch on VZW

    Make the move?
    You're switching your primary carrier from AT&T to Verizon in this case -- a few things to consider:

    You may not see as much VZ 5G UWB as you might expect. I work in midtown NYC, and it rarely comes up unless I am walking on certain streets. Yeah, C-Band will likely change that since it travels much further, but I think it's just a matter of time before they let all plans use UWB (IMHO, UWB is more marketing over substance at the current time). I still see anywhere from 25 - 250 Mbps on 5G nationwide on Verizon.

    Visible used to have very high ping times for a domestic carrier, since they previously pushed the data through a cloud APN. They say their new plans don't do that, which was a rationale to bump the price to $30 from $25 for the base plan (yeah, they also moved away from the group plan concept since that was also form over substance), and they added priority data (higher QCI) for the more expensive plan.

    If you decide to do this, I would do the free 15-day eSIM trial for your iPhone 14 when you get it -- you can use their data and your voice can stay on your AT&T SIM. Beat it up on speed tests, making sure you hit all of your usual places at the same times of day / days of week that you'd usually be there.

    Then you need to decide if you really need the $45 plan vs. the $30 plan. That's a QCI (data priority) question, as premium data comes with the higher priced plan (but presumably not the base unlimited plan). If you rarely face crowding on Verizon, this might be a non-issue for you and you can save $15/month. Personally, if you decide to sign up, you can always start on the $30 plan and then upgrade if you feel the need for it. My Verizon postpaid line has priority data and it's still not great in some places (I use about the same 5-10GB/month as you on this device), so again, it feels like the premium data may also be a marketing thing, depending on your use case.

    Also, if you go forward with Visible, don't forget to claim the $200 port in promo rebate, which will become valid after 3 paid months of service. AT&T prepaid is a valid carrier to come from for this.


    If you don't expect your data usage to go up much, then what about the AT&T prepaid $300/year plan, which now gives you 16GB of data? You'd keep the everything you have now (except dropping down to 16GB from 25GB), but save $15/month? You'd still have hotspot and 1-month rollover, so you can rollover the prior months unused data to get a bit more in the next month. For example, if you use 11GB in month 1, then you have 5GB rollover to use in month 2 (you'd effectively have 21GB for that month). If you use 15GB in that month, then only 1GB rolls over to month 3 (the month 1 rollover data is now expired), and you'd have 17GB that month. Another cell phone carrier marketing gimmick, but it does protect against a one-month period where you need a bunch of extra data and you didn't use your prior month allotment in full...

  5. #5
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    Thank you for the suggestions, some I already took. And things get complicated..

    On my 13 Pro, I installed the free T-Mobile 90 day eSIM trial. Also installed the Visible 15 day free eSIM trial.

    So I now have XFinity Mobile, AT&T prepaid, T-Mobile, and Visible on my iPhone. In my home, Visible and XFinity are pretty bad. I was getting around 6 Mbps DL on Visible, not much better with XM. I think this alone disqualifies the VZW network for my usecase.

    T-Mobile gave the best UL/DL throughput. I really can’t test AT&T equally since I don’t have 5G service with my legacy LTE plan (I was hoping that ATT would force me to use 5G to lower their congestion, I guess it didn't happen). Driving all around the CA Bay Area. looking at signal strength on both lines, ATT has a bit of an advantage. A few rural areas ATT had 1 bar, TMo had 0

    So I may do this:

    TMO Magenta Max postpaid ~$70 -Port my primary ATT number here. I don't care about my XM number.
    - Corporate discount from my employer
    - Apple Watch +$10
    - Includes free data for most countries I would be interested in visiting. Their worldwide service was pretty good from past experience. I like not having to find a eSIM when I land at an airport at 5:25am or hope the eSIM service I setup up in the USA actually works. With TMo, free data was very usable with FaceTime,while phone calls to/from the USA were only $0.25 a min. I made only 1 or 2 calls, received a handful and resumed them on Google Voice or FaceTime audio.
    - With 5G UC UW, I should get fantastic speeds in dense areas, in the mountains I expect poor service. I am in Northern California.
    - Unlimited everything. You can eat you fat behind off. Gorge yourself in data. I doubt I’ll ever eat 50-100GB at the buffet.
    - Free AAA. This has value as I currently am a member and stacks to an existing membership. Free Paramount to watch Star Trek and only Star Trek
    - $200 gift card after 90 days BYOD, no other strings attached
    - Not interested acquiring any hardware from TMO. I just want great dumb pipe service and a smile.
    - Interested in their low earth satellite 5G service with Starlink. Could be a game changer to kill most outdoor dead zones.
    - The primary negative I see is that TMo has an inferior network in rural areas to ATT.

    Then I add Red Pocket $99 GSMA ATT annual 1GB/month eSIM. For $100 a year, this covers me with ATT service for a backup line. Drop my XM line with watch.

    So I guess it would be about $88 for my carrier expenses going this route. I currently am at $65 ($40 ATT + $25 XM with Watch). I mentally reason that the $200 Visa card is worth ~$8.33/mo over two years and the AAA membership is also $8.33 over two years. If I back those out, as I'd pay for it regardless, the cost differences are close to equal.

    Thoughts? Pitfalls?
    Anyone know of a way to get a better deals or other suggestions with my requirements?
    Requirements:
    - Best service to support new unlocked iPhone 14 Pro hardware; single line; need to port from ATT
    - LTE Apple Watch
    - eSIMs
    - Tethering/Hotspot
    - +60Mbps at home, no deprioritization or APN bottlenecks for my primary line

    Nice to have:
    - Free international roaming and data
    - Free services such as AAA, Paramount, as i would buy it anyway
    - 5G Satellite Baby!

  6. #6
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    How do I get the tmobile 90 day free trial? does it include a phone number and data? I don’t have any service on the new iPhone 14 pro max on line so I need a phone number?

  7. #7
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    iPhone 14 Pro & Watch: Help me pick service

    Quote Originally Posted by Orchids58 View Post
    How do I get the tmobile 90 day free trial? does it include a phone number and data? I donít have any service on the new iPhone 14 pro max on line so I need a phone number?
    Start here: https://www.t-mobile.com/offers/free-trial

    UPS delivered my iPhone 14 Pro 512GB on launch day.

    Hereís what I did and where Iím at:

    1. Signed up for TMo Magenta Max with Work Perks discount (15%). Ported my primary number from ATT prepaid. Very quick and easy port. Super fast 5G. Seeing as high as half a gigabit download speeds. Wow - very impressed with TMO and this handset.

    2. Transferred my grandfathered Xfinity Mobile by the Gig $12 plan to eSIM. I pay a $12 XM bill and get $20 credit on my cable bill. It literally pays me to keep this line active.

    3. Purchased Red Pocket GSMA (ATT) annual 1GB service ($99).

    So I think Iím in a good spot now. I got the latest, most advanced Apple handset. Iím happy with reaching ludicrous speeds from a wireless device, carrier redundancy on ATT, VZW, TMO networks, and emergency satellite SOS messaging.

    What more could I ask for?
    How did I do?

  8. #8
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    iPhone 14 Pro & Watch: Help me pick service

    Deleted post

  9. #9
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    I'm assuming that you have all 3 plans as eSIM, and select the 2 you want active at any time.

    Sounds good, especially for travel, as long as you don't break or lose your phone. A major reason I keep a backup phone with a 3rd number on it. Not that I've broke/lost a phone in use like this.

    I'm still looking around/waiting for a good plan combo where I can also use my cellular Apple Watch. With cost as an issue for me, if I wanted to do something in 2 months when my paid service at ATT Prepaid ends, I could try Visible+ for primary + watch, RP for my backup ATT coverage on my phone, and do my T-Mobile MVNO on the physical SIM on my 12 Pro or leave it in the old 2016 SE I have.

    I'm still waiting to hear more reports of the V+ and whether it is actually much improved.
    iPhone 12 Pro is my current phone I carry.

  10. #10
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    iPhone 14 Pro & Watch: Help me pick service

    [mention]kevink1 [/mention] , yesÖ on iPhone, you can have any two eSIMs active at any given time.

    For my backup phone, I have a $199 2020 iPhone SE from Cricket that came with free 6 months of service. On the last day before the plan expired, I unlocked the phone. The SE has both SIM and eSIM. I have a annual GSMA SIM from Red Pocket in there now. I also have an $40 Tracfone that also included a year of service for all my Android 11 needs.

    I had terrible problems with performance using Visible. I had expectations for mid to good service at my home, but for me it didnít work out.
    If you have iPhone eSIM, you can try the trial here: https://www.visible.com/free-trial/
    Last edited by SuperDuper; 09-18-2022 at 02:41 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperDuper View Post
    So I think Iím in a good spot now. I got the latest, most advanced Apple handset. Iím happy with reaching ludicrous speeds from a wireless device, carrier redundancy on ATT, VZW, TMO networks, and emergency satellite SOS messaging.

    What more could I ask for?
    How did I do?
    You did very well...

    You may already know this as you've been using the dual SIM capabilities, but if you end up in a "No Service" area from T-Mobile, you can switch your data to the RedPocket SIM, and your phone will use that AT&T data to emulate Wi-Fi calling for your T-Mobile line. So your T-Mobile voice line will still work, but use AT&T's data pipe to carry the call.

    Unfortunately, there isn't an automatic way to force this behavior, so if you're in a marginal T-Mobile area, you'll get spotty voice service, as the iPhones try to hold onto cellular VoLTE as much as possible (since it's higher network priority than data and it reduces the handoff from Wi-Fi to/from cellular).

    One backdoor way to do this is to change your network on your T-Mobile SIM to a network they can't use (in the US the AT&T FirstNet network is 313 100 which won't allow any non-FirstNet SIMs to authenticate) Since T-Mobile's iOS carrier profile doesn't hide the network selection (like Verizon does in the US), this will force your device into an SOS only situation. Then turn on one of your other lines and make it the default data line. It might take a bit of time for the T-Mobile line to switch over to emulated Wi-Fi calling, but a quick toggle of airplane mode on/off will make it happen instantly in most cases.

    Just remember to change your network selection back to Automatic on the T-Mobile SIM (and turn your data back to T-Mobile) when you get back into an area with good coverage.

  12. #12
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    Something for me to consider before I leave town next time.

  13. #13
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    iPhone 14 Pro & Watch: Help me pick service

    [mention]high technology [/mention] ,

    Thank you for the reminder of forcing Wi-Fi calling.

    Iíve played with Wi-Fi calling using different networks in the past but didnít think to force it by your method of changing the carrier selection profile. Nice hack !

    Itís been a while since I used TMo as my primary carrier. My first jaunt was with a Sony Ericsson T68m on VoiceStream and the next day it became T-Mobile, USA.

    So far Iím impressed with Magenta, but prepared if Iím in the boonies to have Big Red and Death Star Blue to fall back on..

    For extended outings, I add the convenient Apple MagSafe Battery pack. For longer durations, I use a solar charged battery. Right now, Iím stoked how this iPhone 14 Pro ďbuildĒ came out.

    Cheers!
    -SD

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orchids58 View Post
    How do I get the tmobile 90 day free trial? does it include a phone number and data? I donít have any service on the new iPhone 14 pro max on line so I need a phone number?
    You just download the T-Mobile app to the phone. Yes, you do need an active phone number when you sign up. I guess they don't want to give out free service for three months to people who aren't paying.

    US Mobile has a free 10 day trial that you can activate by esim. And then use that to activate the T-mobile free trial.

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