As promised, I am reviewing my new phone, the Samsung Galaxy S2 4G, and my service provider, Ting.com. Both kind of go hand in hand, so I am reviewing them in the same post. First, the phone…
Samsung Galaxy S2 4G
This is my first smartphone which means I am still in awe of what it can do. The S2 is a thin, lightweight phone with a 4.5” display (1” bigger than the iPhone). It’s running the Android operating system 2.3 Gingerbread, but is easily compatible with 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and even 4.1 Jelly Bean (got a sweet tooth yet?). The display is very sharp and the touch interface response is quick (you touch, it does stuff). It has 12 GB USB storage, 2 GB phone memory (for apps and stuff) and it is expandable up to 32 GB using a Micro SD card. Call quality is good, but then not much has been done in the past decade to improve it. As can be seen by the name of the phone, it is 4G (Sprint 4G) which is a fast wireless network, but if you’re in a place with Wi-Fi then that would be the better choice to use (for speed and savings). Since I’m new to the world of the smartphone, I have nothing to really compare it with from my own experience. The network and phone plan make a world of difference, though.
Run by Tucows, who also run the domain registry of the same name and Hover.com, Ting is a phone company that does things differently. I came from one of the major carriers in the US (no names) and was spending over $100 per month on two phones with 1400 minutes and unlimited texting and no data. I had heard on the TWiT network about this company and I decided to check them out. The phones are higher priced than the major carriers, but I am not locked into a contract (the major carriers subsidize the phone and the custom pays over the course of the contract). They use the Sprint Network which is pretty dependable around here (check the coverage map for your area) and has 4G data. What may sound like a downside, but it’s really not, is that they don’t do free nights and weekends, but then the major carriers work that into the bill. The billing process is the big selling point of Ting.
If you go over your minutes or text or data on a major carrier, they usually charge a penalty plus additional usage (per text, per minute, per MB). This is where Ting is very different. You start off by choosing a level (XS, S, M, L, XL or XXL) for each function, my first month I chose M for all three. This means 500 minutes, 1000 texts and 500 MB. What if would have gone over on any of these? Ready for this? They would charge me the difference between the M and whichever plan I ended up in (if I used 900 minutes, they would charge me for the L plan) and apply that to next month’s bill. Cool, eh? No overage charges. Wait, it gets even better. I mentioned that I paid for M across the board, but I used under 100 MB data. They refunded me the difference between the M and S plans (they deducted it from the next bill). How cool is that? You pay for what you use, that’s it.
The one downside to the phone is that it is a Sprint phone which means it comes with bloatware (Sprint software that takes up valuable space) that can be eliminated by rooting the phone (this is a dicey process, be careful). A downside to the service is that they have a very limited number of devices, but they are spread throughout a wide price range. The service also uses the Sprint Network which may or may not be the best in your area. I have the most expensive phone at $485 (-$50 with the TWiG promo code). They do seem to get new devices every so often, so keep checking.
If you decide to change, won’t you please use my referral code? (It's in the link), it will earn me a $25 credit toward my service and it will give you $25 off of your first device purchase and I will write you a thank you post on my blog.