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  1.    #1  
    I just bought an unlocked GSM Treo 650 and it is very nice. Before I bought, I was tempted to get a contract with Cingular, Sprint, or Verizon. Luckily, I did the math first. You really should add up your monthly fees over the length of the contract, along with your phone costs, to determine whether you're getting screwed or getting a deal.

    (HINT: If you sign a contract, your ALWAYS getting screwed)

    Here's the breakdown for me:

    Cingular

    Treo 650 (w/ 2 year contract, from Amazon): $299.99 after rebates
    Nation 900 minute plan: $59.99 a month
    Data Connect Unlimited: $44.99 a month
    Service activation fee: $36

    Total cost for 2 years: $2,855.51

    Sprint

    Treo 650 (w/ 2 year contract, from Sprint): $449.99, no rebates
    1100 minutes Free and Clear: $65.00 a month
    Sprint PCS Vision Pack: $15.00 a month

    Total cost for 2 years: $2,369.99

    Verizon

    Treo 650 (w/ 2 year contract, from Verizon): $399.99, no rebates
    1000 minutes America's Choice: $65.00 a month
    Unlimited Data: $44.99 a month
    Activation fee: $20.00 a month

    Total cost for 2 years: $3059.75

    T-Mobile

    Treo 650 GSM Unlocked: $699.00
    1000 anytime minutes: $39.99 a month
    T-Zones: $4.99 a month

    Total cost for 2 years: $1,778.52

    Bottom line: By not signing a contract and not going with the somewhat tempting $299.99 phone price, I'm saving over $1000 in the long-run, plus I'm not stuck in a silly contract.

    You never get something for nothing. I hope that everyone else considering purchasing the Treo 650 takes a few minutes like I did to figure out the real costs of some of these wireless plans.

    BTW, I love my new Treo 650! I used to have a Treo 300 but had to give it up because I got a new job. The Treo is the best smart-phone on the market right now.

    edit: Added Verizon to the cost comparison...
  2. #2  
    TMobile doesn't support EDGE in my market, thus I'm paying more money for much faster data rates - and I push a LOT of data around
  3.    #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by gregorypierce
    TMobile doesn't support EDGE in my market, thus I'm paying more money for much faster data rates - and I push a LOT of data around
    If you really need (and can actually get) the higher speeds, that might be the best plan for you.

    All I'm saying is that it's a good idea to sit down for a few minutes and evaluate YOUR needs, and figure out the long-term cost.

    I've bought cellphones in the past with contracts, and after this purchase I don't think I'll do so again. I like being in a position of power when it comes to negotiation. If T-Mobile decides to screw up my phone service, I like having the ability to call them up and cancel my service at any point in time. You won't believe how much the CSRs will offer you if you threaten to leave, and they know you don't have a cancellation fee hanging over your head.
  4. BrettS's Avatar
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    #4  
    It's an interesting thought... and definitely worth considering, but like Gregory said, it doesn't apply to everyone. I'm a Cingular user and I'm happy with Cingular. I have no intention of leaving Cingular, so for me it was cheaper to get the locked Cingular phone and sign the two year contract than it would have been to get an unlocked phone and Cingular service for two years.

    However, if you don't care what carrier you use and you're simply looking for the cheapest service, then it does appear that an unlocked phone with TMobile is the way to go.

    Brett
  5. #5  
    One thing you didnt' factor in is the data rates available to those networks. Depending on how important the Treo 650 is as a data-enabled device should also influence your decision with what carrier you use. Some of the awesome abilities of the Treo 650 can be stifled by poor data rates.

    Sprint PCS is known to have a very fast, robust, widely available data path, almost 3 times faster than T-Mobile.

    I use data heavily and enjoy listing to 96/56kbps mp3 streams, using RDP/VNC, SSH, and SSL-Wrapped IMAP/SMTP. I also do a fair amount of surfing on the Treo 650, all of which rely on a fast data rate to be useable or bearable.

    Sprint charges $15 for unlimited data usage versus Cingular's price of $44/mo for unlimited. Sprint is also faster, even in "limited" Cingular EDGE enabled markets. T-Mobile from my understanding is the slowest of the data providers.
  6.    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by gregorypierce
    TMobile doesn't support EDGE in my market, thus I'm paying more money for much faster data rates - and I push a LOT of data around
    One other thing... I would argue that if you purchased the unlocked GSM version and used it on Cingular networks, you might be able to negotiate a better monthly price, which would cancel out the phone subsidy... I say might because I know Cingular/AT&T is one of those wierd carriers where they require everyone to be on contract, and dock your monthly minutes by 100 if you're not. You probably have to talk to the right person and say the right things. Most likely business sales, and convince them that you're evaluating the Treo 650 smartphone for possible corporate-wide rollout with 200+ devices... you know... tell them what they want to hear.
  7.    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by evilghost
    Sprint PCS is known to have a very fast, robust, widely available data path, almost 3 times faster than T-Mobile.
    Good point. I used to be on Sprint when I had my Treo 300, and I could consistently get 160kbps from my laptop using the USB cable... I could listen to 128k mp3 streams (from my laptop anyway), and it rocked...
  8. #8  
    Come on, that's not an apples to apples comparison and you know it. First of all, T-Zones does not give you the same access (some ports are blocked) and speed as Cingular or Sprint data. Second of all, you're also not accounting for the value of Cingular's Rollover plans, free N&W and free M2M in their much wider subscriber base. Let's do a real world comparison based on a real-life situation.

    If I had bought an unlocked Treo 650 with my former T-Mobile account:

    Treo 650 GSM Unlocked: $699.00
    1000 anytime minutes: $45.99 a month (free N&W)
    Unlimited Data: $19.99 a month
    Activation Fee: $35

    Total Cost for 2 Years: $2,317.52 (before taxes)

    Treo 650 (w/ 2 year contract, from Treocentral): $229.99 after rebates
    Nation 900 minute plan: $59.99 a month (free N&W, free M2M, free rollover)
    Medianet Unlimited: $24.99 a month (can be done w/Treo because I have it)
    Activation Fee: $36

    Total Cost for 2 Years: $2,305.51 (before taxes)

    Well that's interesting. Cingular turns out to be cheaper by my account.


    Quote Originally Posted by illumin8
    I just bought an unlocked GSM Treo 650 and it is very nice. Before I bought, I was tempted to get a contract with Cingular, Sprint, or Verizon. Luckily, I did the math first. You really should add up your monthly fees over the length of the contract, along with your phone costs, to determine whether you're getting screwed or getting a deal.

    (HINT: If you sign a contract, your ALWAYS getting screwed)

    Here's the breakdown for me:

    Cingular

    Treo 650 (w/ 2 year contract, from Amazon): $299.99 after rebates
    Nation 900 minute plan: $59.99 a month
    Data Connect Unlimited: $44.99 a month
    Service activation fee: $36

    Total cost for 2 years: $2,855.51

    Sprint

    Treo 650 (w/ 2 year contract, from Sprint): $449.99, no rebates
    1100 minutes Free and Clear: $65.00 a month
    Sprint PCS Vision Pack: $15.00 a month

    Total cost for 2 years: $2,369.99

    T-Mobile

    Treo 650 GSM Unlocked: $699.00
    1000 anytime minutes: $39.99 a month
    T-Zones: $4.99 a month

    Total cost for 2 years: $1,778.52

    Bottom line: By not signing a contract and not going with the somewhat tempting $299.99 phone price, I'm saving over $1000 in the long-run, plus I'm not stuck in a silly contract.

    You never get something for nothing. I hope that everyone else considering purchasing the Treo 650 takes a few minutes like I did to figure out the real costs of some of these wireless plans.

    BTW, I love my new Treo 650! I used to have a Treo 300 but had to give it up because I got a new job. The Treo is the best smart-phone on the market right now.
  9. #9  
    illumin8,

    The 1000 minutes from Tmobile for 39.99 is not included unlimited tmobile to tmobile and free night and weekend
    You need to use the 1000 minutes for 69.99 for free night and weekend plus tmobile to tmobile option for $5 (or $6)
    Also - you need to use the T-mobile pro for 9.99.
    I did the same comparison before I bought mine too.
    You will end up with $2738 with Tmobile
    With cingular - you can get the unlimited data for 24.99
    yout total will be $2374

    and it's not even compounding the $400 you save when you buy the handset
  10. #10  
    t-zones is not equivalent to the other data plans. it's much slower and you get very very limited access as almost all ports are blocked.

    apples to oranges my friend. you need to rethink before you preach.
  11. #11  
    Another thing to add, while being completely civil and not turning this into a pissing contest like some of the other members are attempting to do. Cingular's data plan does not provide a public IP address, they are instead using NAT and providing an internal address. Sprint PCS does provide a public IP Address, allowing you to use the phone to host an incoming VNC session, FTP server (in a pinch), etc.

    I've been onsite before and the frame was down, I had no form of connectivity and I had to have a Cisco engineer get into a 2750, I used the console cable and did a serial session to the router, then using my Treo 650 did a BT-Dun and let the engineer VNC into my computer. This wouldn't be possible with another carrier's data plan, and it saved my **** and a lot of time.
  12.    #12  
    I thought the only unlimited data plan that worked with AT&T was $44.99. If it's only $24.99, that throws my projections off completely.

    Also, you guys are right on the nights/weekends minutes thing. I just wanted a plan that gave me 1000 minutes, I didn't care when I used them. Free nights and weekends isn't that big a deal for me since I mostly use my phone during the day anyway.

    I should stress that all of the numbers above are for MY uses, not yours. Everyone buying a phone should do a comparison on their own.

    alamerican-- perhaps I should return my GSM unlocked and go with a Cingular plan... If it's only $24.99 for data, I might just do it.
  13.    #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by evilghost
    I've been onsite before and the frame was down, I had no form of connectivity and I had to have a Cisco engineer get into a 2750, I used the console cable and did a serial session to the router, then using my Treo 650 did a BT-Dun and let the engineer VNC into my computer. This wouldn't be possible with another carrier's data plan, and it saved my **** and a lot of time.
    Damn... that is definitely a cool use for the Treo 650. My main use is VPN + SSH client for those times when I'm on-call at work and might need to do a little late-night sysadmin type work, and I don't want to have to stay home by the computer all night just in case I get called.
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by illumin8
    Damn... that is definitely a cool use for the Treo 650. My main use is VPN + SSH client for those times when I'm on-call at work and might need to do a little late-night sysadmin type work, and I don't want to have to stay home by the computer all night just in case I get called.
    Yep, and it was actually very fast when using TightVNC with 8bit color on the remote end

    I use pssh, Mobile TS (RDP/Term SVC), PalmVNC, Snappermail with SSL wrapped IMAP/SMTP, and Movian VPN (IPSEC) on the Treo, but love having the ability to do the BT DUN. Additionally when doing BT DUN my speeds often exceed 220K, which I believe is out of spec for the network, but using real-world applications (FTP, HTTPS, HTTP Transfers) in addition to the accurate tests at http://www.testmy.net I'm forced to face the reality that I'm a rockstar.

    I love streaming PTunes @ 56Kbps, checking email, and chatting away on Verichat on a "cellphone".
  15. Mize's Avatar
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    #15  
    T-mobile's coverage sucks outside cities. I have t-mobile, vzw & cingular phones & t-mobile has the worst coverage of the three.
  16. #16  
    Ummmm...I don't get it.

    If the point is that an unlocked phone is cheaper than a sub'd one, then shouldn't you be comparing an unlocked phone on one of the GSM carriers to a sub'd phone on the same GSM carrier?

    I see apples and oranges, not apples to apples. Makes no sense at all (at least based on the title.)
    Palm III -> Palm Vx -> Clie T615c -> Clie T665c -> Tungsten T|3 -> Treo 650 -> Trew 700W (for a few days) -> XV6700 -> Moto Q
    http://geckotek.blogspot.com
  17.    #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by Geckotek
    Ummmm...I don't get it.

    If the point is that an unlocked phone is cheaper than a sub'd one, then shouldn't you be comparing an unlocked phone on one of the GSM carriers to a sub'd phone on the same GSM carrier?

    I see apples and oranges, not apples to apples. Makes no sense at all (at least based on the title.)
    The reason I'm not doing that is that T-Mobile doesn't offer the 650.
  18. #18  
    I'm a newbie to this wonderful forum (getting my T650 tomorrow). I read this post and think there might be a math error. Unless my Verizon account is the exception, I don't think the $20 month activation fee is correct - that would be $480 over the term of the 2-year contract. Isn't the activation fee one time only? Did I miss something?

    Verizon

    Treo 650 (w/ 2 year contract, from Verizon): $399.99, no rebates
    1000 minutes America's Choice: $65.00 a month
    Unlimited Data: $44.99 a month
    Activation fee: $20.00 a month??????????

    Total cost for 2 years: $3059.75
  19. #19  
    And the price on the VZW is also incorrect. You can save $100 on the phone if you go with a data plan (and you'll WANT to anyway).

    It's also about reliability and coverage though. I know everyone has different opinions, but I almost ALWAYS have coverage on the VZW network whereever I travel (even through the boonies) when I've had friends on Cing. and Sprint who couldn't get one bar. I pay quite a bit (nearly $150 a month) for my plan, but I use it for my own business and reliability is very key. If I can't email in the grocery store, then the unit is useless to me.

    Pamela
  20. Kash76's Avatar
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    #20  
    Putting Verizon or Sprint on the list doesn't make sense. Especially because you cannot activate a non Sprint ESN on their network. There is no such thing as a unlocked CDMA version.
    Kash76

    Sprint - Treo 650, 700wx, 800w, Touch Pro
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