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My Smart Phone is Very Smart

by Ryan Guina

Just last week I wrote about my smart phone not being so smart. Well, that changed this week when I bought a new phone, an HTC Evo 4G from Sprint. To say it is an improvement over my previous phone is an understatement. I had my previous cell phone for over 4 years, and since I’m not an early adopter of technology, it had already been on the market several months when I got it.

Though I’m not one to rush out and buy something on launch day, I do appreciate quality, so I try to buy at or near the top of the market when I do buy. That way I know I’m getting something which is high quality and should last a long time. I hope my HTC Evo lasts me as long as my last phone did.

About the cost of the phone. The phone was $199 after a $100 rebate. I’m not too worried about the upfront cost, because as I mentioned, I tend to keep my electronics for a long time. My main concern is the ongoing service plan, which is where most of the cost lies. And the monthly service plan is the reason I don’t have an iPhone. I’ve been out of contract for well over a year now and could have (and would have) bought an iPhone ages ago if the monthly service wasn’t so expensive. (more tips for saving money on your cell phone bill).

Thankfully, I was able to get a very good deal on the plan. Several years ago I signed up for the Sprint SERO plan, which was a ridiculously good deal. The plan is no longer available, and the HTC Evo wasn’t even eligible for that plan, so I had to upgrade to the SERO Premium, which runs $40 a month for 500 minutes and unlimited data. It also includes Any Mobile Anytime and Unlimited GPS Navigation. The 4G phone requires an additional $10 per month for data, even though I live just outside the 4G service area. But I’m OK with the extra $10 charge – I get 500 minutes, unlimited data and GPS, and mobile to mobile calls for $50 a month, which is a very good deal compared to the data plans at many other carriers.

As for the HTC Evo – it’s simply amazing. I’ve had an iPod Touch for over a year and I am familiar with the “smart phone” aspects of the iPod Touch and the iOS (Iphone/iPod operating system). But the HTC Evo beats it hands down. It took a day or so to get used to the Andoid OS, but overall I like it better than the iOS. There are some quirks and some more features I need to learn, but overall I’m happy with the phone. It was well worth the wait. I can’t wait to see what they come out with 3 years from now! :)

Do you have questions about rewards credit cards?

Bankrate is hosting a live chat about rewards credit cards on March 16th: The truth about rewards cards: Rewards cards live chat, 1 p.m. EST, Wednesday, March 16.

The chat will feature Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate’s senior financial analyst, and Leslie McFadden, Bankrate’s credit card adviser. together, they will clear up the confusion and tell you the truth about rewards cards.

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Published or updated December 29, 2011.
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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Traciatim

Pretty much every competing product beats Apple products. Apple just has a nice marketing team and make things look pretty so they sell well.

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2 Ryan

Traciatim, I agree with you for the most part. There are a few things Apple does better than anyone else in addition to marketing. For example, the iPod is the industry standard for mp3 players, even though hundreds of companies have tried to enter the market (and no one can compete with the iPod Touch, which is basically an iPhone without the phone). The iPad is also the industry standard, but I don’ think it will be long before the Android tablets come with more features and lower prices. Apple makes great products, but they make you pay for them, that’s for sure!

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3 Sun

Is sero premium available to new subscribers? “4g” drains battery faster no?

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4 Ryan

So far as I know, the SERO Premium is only available to Sprint subscribers who were already on the Sprint SERO plan. So if you weren’t already on that, I don’t think you can get in on the Sprint SERO Premium. Here are the details about the SERO Premium plan.

I’ve read the 4G drains batteries more quickly, and the Evo is a battery hog (it’s the biggest complaint about the phone). Unfortunately, I’m just outside the 4G area, so I don’t know how much of a difference the 4G makes on battery life, since I don’t use it. The Evo does allow users to turn off the 4G when it isn’t in use, so it won’t drain your battery if you don’t live in a 4G area, or don’t need 4G speeds (for example, you won’t need 4G just to talk, but you would want if for surfing the web). The Evo also allows you to turn on and off the GPS, Wi-Fi, and BlueTooth when no in use. These can help you save battery life as well.

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5 Brandon

I prefer Apple myself since I’ve never had any problems. I’ve had my macbook for 5 years with no issues at all and by the way everybody copied the first iPhone. The HTC Evo has the iPhone to thank for inspiration. Yes apple products are more expensive but they put out stuff that works. My brother bought 3 $500 PC’s in the same amount of time I’ve had my computer.

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6 Evan

Why did you go with the Evo rather than the Evo shift?

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7 Ryan

The Evo has a larger screen and a faster processor than the Evo Shift, and I don’t use the Qwerty keyboard, which is on the Shift. Size really wasn’t an issue as the Evo was roughly the same size as my last phone and I don’t need to put it in my pocket frequently. There are a couple other differences, but those were the important ones for my decision.

Overall I’m extremely pleased with the Evo – it’s a huge upgrade over my last phone, and I like it much more than the iPod Touch, which I used at home for the “smart phone” capabilities (basically everything but the phone). I looked at the iPhone, and I like the Evo better based on my personal experiences and usage, and the cheaper plan makes it a much better deal (unlimited data at roughly half the price is a huge win in my book).

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8 MoneySmartLife

Interesting viewpoint on your phone. I think the best way to make a smartphone smarter is to download the right money-saving and money management apps and to use them diligently as an asset to the rest of your financial life!

Also wanted to say thanks for including the information about the upcoming rewards credit card chat. There are so many different cash back credit cards out there now that it can be confusing for consumers and I think it’s great that a talk is happening to clear up some of that confusion!

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