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Buy phone now vs. Summer/Fall?


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This question involves no phone in particular:

 

Since the current triband offerings are among the first Sprint triband phones on the market, what technology would I be missing out on if I waited until the Summer/Fall to buy a new device? Is being an early triband adopter a bad thing, or will everything stay pretty much the same for the foreseeable future?

 

For example, will devices released in Q4 2014 have any additional wireless technology that is compatible with the Sprint network? (Based on rumors that Sprint may utilize a new wireless technology/feature, or devices may implement a new wireless technology/feature that improves speed/range…etc.)

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This question involves no phone in particular:

 

Since the current triband offerings are among the first Sprint triband phones on the market, what technology would I be missing out on if I waited until the Summer/Fall to buy a new device? Is being an early triband adopter a bad thing, or will everything stay pretty much the same for the foreseeable future?

 

For example, will devices released in Q4 2014 have any additional wireless technology that is compatible with the Sprint network? (Based on rumors that Sprint may utilize a new wireless technology/feature, or devices may implement a new wireless technology/feature that improves speed/range…etc.)

 

The next known things for Sprint is Band 41 Carrier Aggregation and VoLTE.  I can't see B41 CA happening in devices before early 2015.  As for VoLTE, I don't think it's imminent.  Or even all that necessary.  Voice on CDMA 800 is the most important thing for voice on the Sprint network.  VoLTE voice will likely use the same HD codec and it will just offer less coverage.

 

Triband devices may get even better over time.  But the reports of band handoffs on Triband has been good.  And it's hard to imagine an RF performer better than the Nexus 5.  Now if we can just measure its use on Band 41.

 

Robert 

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Just what I wanted to know. I didn't think any major advances were on the imminent horizon, now seems as safe of a time as ever to buy a new device. Now if I was considering a Nexus 5 in November '14… I might have a bit of buyer's remorse. I suppose I could enjoy an N5 for all of 2014 if I got one now, though. 

 

Can't wait until 95% of sites are triband… what a beautiful world that will be. Constant LTE on road trips, seamless handoffs. Ah!

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Just what I wanted to know. I didn't think any major advances were on the imminent horizon, now seems as safe of a time as ever to buy a new device. Now if I was considering a Nexus 5 in November '14… I might have a bit of buyer's remorse. I suppose I could enjoy an N5 for all of 2014 if I got one now, though. 

 

Can't wait until 95% of sites are triband… what a beautiful world that will be. Constant LTE on road trips, seamless handoffs. Ah!

 

Question for you is do you want to pay phone subsidy price OR buy full retail in monthly payments like Tmobile?  There is a rumor from a Sprint employee that Sprint may be killing the phone subsidy + 2 year service contract model around mid March and adopting the Sprint Easy Pay as the only way to purchase a device by financing it.  This means that you won't be able to upgrade your device for $200 with 2 year contract.  The GS5 and HTC One 2 phones won't be available until May.   What that ultimately means in your situation is that if you want to upgrade using the phone subsidy + 2 year service contract model then you will want to upgrade your device with the current triband LTE phones.

 

Now this is just a rumor but the post below is from a Sprint employee. You might want to pay attention in the near future about whether these changes are truly going to be in effect on March 14th.

 

http://s4gru.com/index.php?/topic/5308-say-hello-to-the-framily-inexpensive-but-potentially-confusing-new-sprint-group-plan-pricing/?p=274813

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If Sprint & T-Mobile are really serious about merging, we may also begin to see Band 4 (AWS) LTE added to all future Sprint smartphones. Heck, it's a good idea to add that band anyway in the event a LTE roaming deal with any of the other major carriers can be struck. Fortunately for Nexus 5 owners, they would already be set for that.

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I will be surprised if they do that -- but have seen stranger.  I am thinking they will do something more like what the "#4" carrier did and get rid of it for the company stores, but still allow it through 3rd party.  I am also curious how they will handle this for the millions of us that are on subsidized plans -- are they going to tell us they are glad to keep collecting subsidized sized checks from us each month, but "so sorry" on any upgrades?

 

I am torn on what to do based on this rumor (leaning toward doing nothing).. I am eligible for an upgrade on a line 2/1/14 -- but I want to wait until the Note4 to use it.  But will it be there for me to use?  I also have been toying with getting the Framily plan -- but for five lines it isn't much cheaper -- especially when considering a few lines will need the 3gb plan -- and the loss of subsidized upgrades... This is kind of off topic (but not really as I am toying with buying now or waiting until fall -- just like OP -- for slightly different reasons, I guess)..

Question for you is do you want to pay phone subsidy price OR buy full retail in monthly payments like Tmobile?  There is a rumor from a Sprint employee that Sprint may be killing the phone subsidy + 2 year service contract model around mid March and adopting the Sprint Easy Pay as the only way to purchase a device by financing it.  This means that you won't be able to upgrade your device for $200 with 2 year contract.  The GS5 and HTC One 2 phones won't be available until May.   What that ultimately means in your situation is that if you want to upgrade using the phone subsidy + 2 year service contract model then you will want to upgrade your device with the current triband LTE phones.

 

Now this is just a rumor but the post below is from a Sprint employee. You might want to pay attention in the near future about whether these changes are truly going to be in effect on March 14th.

 

http://s4gru.com/index.php?/topic/5308-say-hello-to-the-framily-inexpensive-but-potentially-confusing-new-sprint-group-plan-pricing/?p=274813

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I will be surprised if they do that -- but have seen stranger.  I am thinking they will do something more like what the "#4" carrier did and get rid of it for the company stores, but still allow it through 3rd party.  I am also curious how they will handle this for the millions of us that are on subsidized plans -- are they going to tell us they are glad to keep collecting subsidized sized checks from us each month, but "so sorry" on any upgrades?

 

I am torn on what to do based on this rumor (leaning toward doing nothing).. I am eligible for an upgrade on a line 2/1/14 -- but I want to wait until the Note4 to use it.  But will it be there for me to use?  I also have been toying with getting the Framily plan -- but for five lines it isn't much cheaper -- especially when considering a few lines will need the 3gb plan -- and the loss of subsidized upgrades... This is kind of off topic (but not really as I am toying with buying now or waiting until fall -- just like OP -- for slightly different reasons, I guess)..

 

Um Sprint, Tmobile, Verizon and ATT has always done this.  You have NEVER received a discount on your service plan after your 2 years have been complete even if you bought your device outright.  Sprint didn't give you a "horray" or "atta boy" after your contract ends.  It is your responsibility to not hold onto your device past the 2 year mark once your contract to sign up for a new device. It is only now with the "new Tmobile" that you get a discount on your service bill after you pay off your device.  You can't assume this was EVER the norm.

 

In the case of Sprint, I see them making a big push for people to sign up for Framily plans when their contract is up especially if Sprint Easy Pay is the only way to purchase a device.  They can't force you off of your grandfathered contracts but all they can do is just prevent you from getting a new device on a 2 year contract and not allow you to activate a device on that service plan even though you buy it outright.  This way you are forced to switch to the new plan or don't ever get a new device.  Now lets not kid ourselves here...you and I are not going to hold onto our current LTE devices for more than 2 years anyways so you will have to make a tough choice and will upgrade eventually.  Personally for me I would just switch to the Framily plan because I can't have my current device for 5 years. 

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I am also curious how they will handle this for the millions of us that are on subsidized plans -- are they going to tell us they are glad to keep collecting subsidized sized checks from us each month, but "so sorry" on any upgrades?

 

As I have accurately stated several times previously, you are not paying forward future subsidy.  You are paying down past subsidy.  So, if you are on a plan that incorporates monthly subsidy, Sprint does not owe you a future subsidized upgrade.  And if you are on such a plan and effectively continue to pay the monthly subsidy past your upgrade and/or contract end date with no chance of a future subsidized upgrade, that is your prerogative.  I am finished arguing with those who think these non subsidy plans a raw deal.

 

AJ

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I understand that guys. The other problem is the staggered contracts of others on my family plan. Furthermore, it really is a "what do I do" moment, just like OPs...

The FAQs on the Framily really helped me.  If you move to a Framily plan prior to 3/15 (or something close to that), Sprint will wait the fees associated with plans the upgraded any point prior to 1/10/2014.  I will find the link for you.  I am in the same boat as you with 4 lines all being on different contract dates.

 

EDIT:

http://support.sprint.com/support/article/title/315d1dfb-7fe2-4e5a-b633-36db2003ecc8?INTNAV=LP:RMB:01092014:QA

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I don't really care about the subsidy at this point, to be honest. I won't be buying the $500-600 devices, but rather staying in the $300 range. (My 5C, NEW on eBay was $349… thanks to it being a Sprint model) N5 is $349 as well. Plus, I'm open to buying a lightly used device as well if the opportunity arises. (Anyone have an N5 they don't want?)  ;)

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This question involves no phone in particular:

 

Since the current triband offerings are among the first Sprint triband phones on the market, what technology would I be missing out on if I waited until the Summer/Fall to buy a new device? Is being an early triband adopter a bad thing, or will everything stay pretty much the same for the foreseeable future?

 

For example, will devices released in Q4 2014 have any additional wireless technology that is compatible with the Sprint network? (Based on rumors that Sprint may utilize a new wireless technology/feature, or devices may implement a new wireless technology/feature that improves speed/range…etc.)

 

 

I would just get a Nexus 5 now.  The LTE performance is so good, you will be missing out on a LOT but not really gaining much.

 

Really, the next big step in SoCs won't be until late 14 when Qualcomm goes 20nm.

 

For the radio performance alone, I wouldn't suffer another day with any other sprint handset - the nexus 5 is just too good.

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VoLTE is seemingly getting pushed back by Verizon and AT&T each year. Now AT&T has said 2015 is the year of VoLTE mass market adoption.

 

I hate to even use voice anymore to be honest. Voice quality on all carriers I simply think is substandard, especially on AT&T and Verizon. Skype and other OTT services just have better quality.

 

I don't see why Sprint couldn't do VoLTE in 2015... I would hope there's enough SMR LTE by then to make it worthwhile. That said, the AMR-WB codec isn't that large of a gain over EVRC-NW. Maybe EVS would be a larger jump.

 

My larger point is that the state of VoLTE in the market is depressing. It hurts CDMA/LTE providers worse too.

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