Upgrade your tech armory without spending a dime by entering this giveaway for a Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 and a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. You’ll enjoy total mobile computing freedom with the svelte, portable Tab S2 and the incredible power of Samsung’s flagship phone, the Galaxy S7 Edge. This brand new addition to the Galaxy series is already collecting rave reviews from the likes of CNET, Tech Radar, and Android Authority, so you can rest assured you’re getting a couple of top-notch pieces of tech. Oh right, and for free!
BLU R1 HD – 16 GB – Black – Prime Exclusive – with Lockscreen Offers & Ads – $59.99
If you’re an Amazon Prime Member looking for a backup phone or a phone for a child, you can’t beat this deal. Be sure to order the $59.99 phone with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. Don’t order the $49.99 phone with 1GB of RAM. Amazon displays lockscreen offers and ads, but that shouldn’t deter you from getting this phone. Watch a YouTube review of the phone by DetroitBORG at https://youtu.be/mJ-op6g9CcE
ALCATEL IDOL 4S – $349.99 pre-order before August 3, $399.00 after August 3
This one is hard to believe. It appears to be a great phone, but there’s more. First, here are the key specs of the phone:
- 5.5-inch, 1440×2560, AMOLED display (534ppi)
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 Chipset, two quad-core processors, Adreno 510 GPU
- 3GB RAM, 32GB Storage
- NFC, microUSB
- Dual nanoSIM (one is shared microSD, up to 256GB)
- 16 megapixel rear camera, 8 megapixel front camera, 2160p (4K) video
- 3000mAh battery, Fingerprint sensor
But there’s more than just the phone. Here’s the complete bundle:
- IDOL 4S Smartphone
- IDOL 4S Virtual Reality (VR) Goggles
- JBL Headphones
- 2.5D Tempered Glass Screen Protector
- Quick Charge Adapter and Micro-USB Cable
- Incipio Protective Phone Case (Clear)
- SIM Card Tray Tool
Reviewer Flossy Carter did a very enthusiastic “Unboxing and First Impressions” video on YouTube. Flossy’s opinion: “On a scale of 1 to 10, this is a major win.” See his video at: https://youtu.be/hK5INXY0wm8. Now Flossy has posted a “Real Review” at https://youtu.be/g5YPNMxqVNQ
In a recent poll Android Central asked, “What’s your favorite new phone of 2016?” The results are in and 41.63% selected the HTC 10. The Samsung Galaxy S7 was a close second with 37.75%. You can read the article here.
After trying various no contract phone services I decided that MetroPCS was the best for me. MetroPCS is owned by T-Mobile and it uses the T-Mobile network. T-Mobile has good coverage in my area of Northern California. If that is not the case where you live, MetroPCS might not be the right choice for you. MetroPCS has plans starting at $30.00 per month for 1 GB of high speed data. The most expensive plan is $60.00 per month for unlimited high speed data. I chose the $40.00 per month plan which provides 3 GB of high speed data. Here is what the plans include:
I decided to try one of the phones offered by MetroPCS. I need a large screen and I selected the LG G Stylo. Although the LG G Stylo is relatively inexpensive, I wound up liking it so much that it has become my regular phone. I have owned some very good phones, most recently a Samsung Note 4 and a Motorola Moto X Pure Edition, but the LG G Stylo is the most impressive phone I have seen for the price. As I write this, MetroPCS is offering it for $129.00 after rebates. It has features not found on many flagship phones, features such as expandable memory via a microSD card, a removable battery, and NFC. The LG G Stylo is 4G LTE enabled, it has a 5.7” HD IPS display, a 13MP Laser Autofocus camera with LED flash and a 5MP front facing camera. It uses a 1.2 GHz Quad-core processor and has 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, and it supports calling over wi-fi. The phone has a built-in stylus, like the Samsung Note phones. It doesn’t include Samsung’s stylus software, but the stylus is perfect for making quick notes. I like the phone’s user interface and the ways in which it can be customized. This is the first time I haven’t installed the Nova Prime launcher on a phone. The only thing I have to get used to is the location of the power and volume buttons on the rear of the phone.
For me, the LG G Stylo phone and MetroPCS are the ideal combination.
I had read that Consumer Cellular (CC) had outstanding customer service and that they were on the AT&T network. With CC you build your own plan. I selected a Talk Plan with a monthly allowance of 250 minutes ($14.25 per month with an AARP discount) and a Connect Plan with a monthly allowance of 3,000 texts and 500MB of data ($9.50 per month with an AARP discount), a total of $23.75 per month. I had several occasions to deal with customer service and it was outstanding, but the SIM card I was furnished (at no cost) was for T-Mobile and not AT&T. My real disappointment with CC was the cost. My $23.75 monthly cost became almost $28.00 with taxes, fees and surcharges, and that is almost as much as the MetroPCS plan for $30.00 per month, and that includes unlimited calling and text, plus 1GB of high speed data, and the monthly flat rate includes all taxes, fees and surcharges. My only concern with MetroPCS was that call forwarding is an extra cost option, and I decided to give MetroPCS another try.
I’m on a mission to find the best cellphone service for the least cost, and the February issue of CONSUMER REPORTS had ratings of cellphone carriers. For traditional service billed at month’s end Consumer Cellular was rated Number 1 and Ting was rated Number 2. Ting advertises that the average monthly bill is $23.00 per device. I have watched my usage and I don’t have a lot of phone calls or text and I only use about 500 MB of data each month so I decided to try Ting. Ting offers coverage from Sprint or T-Mobile; I’ve had both services and T-Mobile coverage is better in my area so I ordered the T-Mobile SIM card and the bill came to $13.68. I haven’t yet completed a full month with Ting but it looks as if my monthly cost will be $23.00 or less; however, I may have been spoiled by Cricket’s use of the AT&T network because coverage seemed to be much better than what I’m getting with Ting on the T-Mobile network.
I used Cricket as my cellphone service provider for several months. I had the Basic plan which cost me a flat $35.00 per month (with autopay) for unlimited talk and text plus 2.5 GB of high speed data. The service was great and coverage in my area was excellent (Cricket uses the AT&T network). My only complaint about Cricket was the download speed cap. I think all cellphone service providers reduce download speeds when you reach your data allowance, but Cricket has speed caps of 8Mbps down on 4G LTE and 4Mbps down on 4G while you’re still within your data allowance.
The October 19th issue of TIME magazine has an interesting article on changes in the cell phone industry. Goaded by T-Mobile, major carriers like Verizon have eliminated two-year contracts. Other carriers, like AT&T and Sprint, offer both traditional and contract-free plans. Customers can either buy phones at full price or finance them over the long term.
Unlocked phones that work with any carrier are now common and they make it simple to try different providers in search of the best deal. However, unlocked phones are typically sold at full price, and that may cause sticker shock. As an example, a 16GB iPhone 6s will cost about $649.00 and the same phone bought as part of Apple’s upgrade program will cost about $779.00 over two years.
I think this is a great opportunity for companies such as Motorola which offers the unlocked 32GB Moto X Pure Edition for $449.00. I have a 32GB Moto X Pure Edition and it’s the best phone I’ve ever owned. I’m using Cricket Wireless (owned by AT&T) and I pay a total of $35.00 per month for unlimited talk and text and 2.5GB of high-speed data.
Designing my Moto X Pure Edition using Moto Maker was a fun experience. I chose 32GB of internal storage, white and silver for the frame and front, a winter white back, and a metallic champagne accent.
I was anxious to get my new phone and I checked the order status page on a daily basis. The status always showed “Device Being Built” and the estimated delivery date continued to show September 24th. Then I read that the order status page was not accurate, so I called customer service hoping for an earlier delivery date. The lady I spoke with was unable to give me a date other than September 24th. That night, however, I received an email from FedEx advising that my order had been picked up in China and delivery was scheduled for September 18th. That was a pleasant surprise and I was even more pleasantly surprised when my phone was delivered on September 17th.
After two weeks of daily usage I am very happy with the phone (I did replace the stock launcher with Nova Prime). I was able to activate the phone immediately on Cricket (AT&T), and I have had no problems with random reboots or speaker rattles. With poor eyesight I am able to see the screen, even outdoors, and the call quality is good. I also have poor hearing and I tend to miss calls because I don’t hear it ring or feel the phone’s vibration when it’s in my pants pocket. To solve that problem I have the phone connected via Bluetooth to my Pebble watch. I do feel the watch vibrate on my wrist and I haven’t missed a call yet.