03/09/2013, 12:44 PM
So a few months later, I thought I'd share my experiences with the Pre3 on T-Mobile.
MMS service is spotty. For some reason we don't always get MMS pictures from people on other carriers. Also related is that vCards sent via MMS show us as text and look like garbage (although I can cut and paste the info info Contacts, it is annoying). I've tried to remedy this to no avail. We're living with it for now.
The 3G coverage in NYC is pretty solid. I'm on Edge mostly when I'm indoors, so what I've ready about building penetration being poor is fairly accurate. WiFi is helpful in these situations.
Overall speeds are a big improvement over Sprint's 3G/1X network. Running speed tests over the past few months have yielded an average of 1Mbps when 3G is available. I tended to see about 500-600 kbps with 1Mbps possible but extremely rare. Sprint claims to be addressing this with their network upgrades; who knows how much of that is marketing lies?
T-Mobile's Edge coverage feels faster to me. I never tested Sprint's 1X network, but I remember it being really really painful to use. I'd say that subjectively, Edge is more pleasant to use in the limited number of places I've used it.
Forced Roaming: I had grown accustomed to using the Roam Only patch while on Sprint to put the phone onto Verizon's network when needed. I assumed that after I meta-doctored my Pre3 with the "vanilla" script, I'd be able to do the same to fore the phone onto AT&T's network. I found out that it doesn't work that way. In NYC when I choose the AT&T network, the phone goes into SOS Only mode. No data or phone calls. I don't know the reason for this, but I assume that T-Mo and AT&T don't have a roaming agreement that covers NYC. I haven't traveled after I "vanilla'd" the phone, so I haven't been able to test elsewhere.
I have used the phone where there was only AT&T service and the phone roamed on its own. I got H+ coverage, but since it was rural Vermont, that amounted to speeds of about 52kbs (or the speed of a modem in 1994). My friends on AT&T had LTE coverage, but they were yelling at their phones to load web pages so on balance, I'll take the lower monthly bill.
Over-all I'm happy with the T-Mobile service. Phone calls sound great, I haven't had any dropped calls, and the $41.00 bill per person (3 people on a family plan, with 2 unlimited data, and 1 call heavy plan - plus a 15% employer discount) is saving us $30 per month ($360 per year). And when this hardware bites the dust (or we get tired of the "black screen" freezes that happen every other week or so) we'll be ready for some GSM Open webOS action!
I'm still curious to know if I'm ever going to get an H+ icon while on T-Mobile. This phone should be capable of getting T-Mo's 42Mbps H+ coverage, but I've yet to see it. For now, the 3G speeds are plenty fast, and I end a 14 or 15 hour day with 10 - 20 % battery left. Something that never happened with a FrankenPre2 on Sprint.
As a last note, I've read on tmonews.com that T-Mo is going to drastically simplify their plans soon (if they haven't already) which will effectively increase the monthly price by removing options that allow you to tailor your bill to your usage. If you've been on the fence about switching, you might want to crunch the numbers for yourself now before the changes go into effect.
Ok, hope this is helpful information!