Ms Crooked Halo

My friend and I were having a discussion on just how much it costs to buy a Samsung Galaxy S III on contract vs the cost of paying cash for the phone and using a prepaid service.

Samsung Galaxy S III

Samsung Galaxy S III (Photo credit: John Biehler)

Since even the major companies (with the exception of Sprint, who will refer you to Virgin Mobile or Boost), offer prepaid now, prepaid purchasers no longer have to suffer the iniquity of bad reception, dropped calls, or missing text messages that was the plague of days gone by.

Prepaid customers are also no longer limited to the dregs of yesteryears technology since most carriers will sell the phone and, if necessary, the SD card to activate the phone.

So, the only question left is, in the long run, is it cheaper to buy the phone outright and go prepaid or get the discounted phone and go with a contract.

To the math!

Let’s start with my own carrier, Tmobile.

If I had purchased the Samsung Galaxy S III from Tmobile last year with a contract, I would have paid $299.99. But, lo and behold, I took a looksy today, and the phone is now down to $99.99 if I order it online.

If I purchase it outright from Tmobile prepaid (I don’t. Ebay is my friend!), the phone would cost me $549.99, a significant difference, right.

So, let’s compare plans, shall we?

The contract plan that I would most likely chose is $89.99 per month. The comparable prepaid plan, 4G and all, is $70.00.

$89.99 x 24 months = $2159.76

Adding in the cost of the phone, $99.99, brings the total to $2259.75

On the prepaid side, $70 x 24 = $1680 plus the cost of the phone is $2229.99.

The difference is only $29.76 in favor of the prepaid and I am not obligated to Tmobile for two years even if the service goes downhill.

Also, the price of the phone is on “sale” for a limited time only. If it goes to comparable of what the other major retailers are asking, the difference will go up $100. If it goes up to the price that Tmobile was originally advertising, the difference will go up $200.

Now, my friend has a Sprint contract.

According to Sprint’s website, the cost of Unlimited Everything is now $109.99 (up from the $99.99 that made it so appealing just a few years ago).

The cost of a new Samsung Galaxy S III on Sprint is, and has always been as far as I know, $199.99.

So the cost of a two year contract is $2639.76 plus the cost of the phone brings the total to $2839.75.

The difference between a Sprint contract and Tmobile prepiad is $609.76.

That’s a huge difference.

And, without even doing the math, I can tell you that the Verizon’s and ATT plans are so not for me.

Shared data plans?!?!

No unlimited data plans?!?!

But for those who want to see that math, here you go…

Verizon and AT&T contract is $199.99 for the phone and $70 for the contract for a total of $1879.99.

Again, no unlimited data for those of us who that makes a difference.

If not, then Verizon or AT&T may be your best bet, money-wise.

Verizon’s prepaid does not offer the ability to buy the S3 directly from the site but the prepaid is still $70.

I would go prepaid so I wouldn’t be locked into a contract and get my phone from Ebay, Craigslist, or Amazon, but that’s just me.

You actually come out cheaper with a Verizon contract when you add in the cost of the phone.

AT&T’s Smartphone prepaid is $65.00 which is $5 lower than the contract.

AT&T also did not offer the ability to purchase the S3 with your prepaid account online.

So, for my money, I will be sticking with my Tmobile prepaid account.

Not only is it extremely cost efficient in the long run but I am able to change my monthly account type with no penalties or repercussions during those lean months.

So, did I get the math right?

Did I miss any facts that might make a contract phone more appealing?

I’ve been known to be wrong…occasionally.


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{February 6, 2012}   Blackberry Playbook: Day 1 – 4

Playbooks went on sale this week and I swooped one up on Thursday from the Sprint store in MacArthur Mall.

Actually, I ended up buying two of them.

Want to hear that story for first?

You do…

Ok, here’s what happened.

I was browsing Amazon for a cheap yet reliable tablet and I had almost decided Amazon Kindle Fire
when lo and behold…the BlackBerry Playbook was on sale for the exact same amount.

Which to get ….

Which to get…




Ok, that was no help.

But, ya know what, the Kindle Fire is and will always be $199 but this Playbook is on sale.

Decision clinched….add to cart….and purchased.

But, wait, you say, that is only one Blackberry Playbook…I thought you said that bought two.

Hold ya horses….I’m getting to that!

Did you fail to see where I said that I got mine from the Sprint Store?!?!

So, yeah, I went downtown with a friend to handle some business.

She had to pay her Sprint bill so I met back up with her in the store.

And I allowed her to talk me into relieving my need for instant gratification by buying a Playbook then and there.

(I actually considered the Samsung Galaxy tablet too but Sprint forces you to get a contract on that one…so nope!)

First, however, we took advantage of the Apple store to cancel my order on Amazon.

And this is where it gets interesting.

Because when I got home, I not only had an email from Amazon saying that they could not cancel my order but that my BB Playbook has already been shipped.

Mind you, I went for the Super Saver Shipping which is free, and thus, the very bottom of the shipping barrell.

Frankly, I think that it got shipped faster because I cancelled it! Lol.

No worries, though….as I could always refuse delivery and gets my ends back, right?


Because when Baby Girl found out that another one was coming, she immediately put her dibs in…

She even went so far as to bargain way the laptop that she has been begging to get for months!

And heck….I’m no fool.

$200 for a Playbook or at least 4 large for a decent laptop…

You do the math! Lol.

Anyway, I thought that I would chronicle my journey with it thus far.

So, here is the Playbook Chronicles Days 1 – 4.

Day 1:

I’m in love!

The Playbook has a nice weight to it…it feels nice and substantial. Like it could take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’.

It is also small enough to slide right into my slim cross body purse so I can take it everywhere with no problem.

It took me a minute to get use to all of the sliding this way and that to move from screen to screen but within an hour or so, I was an expert! lol.

I watched Youtube videos and movies on a site that shall not be named but, yeah, it is shady…but free! lol. I tried to watch Hulu but, as usual, not supported. Frankly, Hulu, that is getting embarrassing. And you want me to pay for Hulu Plus? Yeah, right….

I tried to pick up the wifi on a friend’s phone but it could not find it…Boo! Then I realized that I hadn’t activated the program. Lol. Hopefully, that was the only problem and BB did not make a Apple mistake of only allowing me to use a BB phone to use Wifi. That would suck royally.

Day 2:

Realized that there is no Kindle App…yet…bummed….Hopefully soon since BB is opening itself up to the Android market.

I found this cool cover/keyboard that I really, Really, REALLY want but I am saving up for a car.

The only thing missing is a place to put a stylus.

Day 3:

Found out that I could use the Amazon Kindle Cloud to read books. I can also pin to books to take with me on the go. Not quite as nice as a real Kindle App but it is servicable. The Cloud is slow to load and clunky to operate but the actually reading part is great.

I also played the car game. The graphics are beautifully clear. And it was FREE! Take that iPad!

What I do not like is that there are no gmail or yahoo apps.

Instead, clicking the icon will take you to the browser.

Duh, I could have gone to the browser by myself! Lol.

Running Yahoo seems to be fine but the new gmail seems to be clunky.

Not sure if this is a problem common to all tablets but I do not have this problem on my iPod Touch.

Day 4:

Took my Playbook over a friend’s house today and her kids fell in love with the racey car game.

She is considering getting one for her toddler to keep him happy in the car but I advised it might be better to get him a Sony PSP.

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