Billshrink Shows The True Cost Of Ownership For Galaxy S Phones

When considering a cell phone carrier these days, the lines are often blurred between saving money and picking the best cell phone.  Well, thankfully, BillShrink is working on this for us and has broken down the cost of ownership between all four carriers when owning the respective Galaxy S device.  T-Mobile often comes out ahead in these head-to-head matches.  In this particular instance of the comparison, T-Mobile actually ends up tied on the lower end of the rate plan scale and the least expensive when things start going unlimited across the board.  Check on the minimum plan which for T-Mobile is $79.99 a month compared against $69.98, $79.99 and $54.99 for Verizon, Sprint and AT&T respectively.  Granted, the AT&T plan comes with only a measly MB of data and neither Verizon nor AT&T come with messaging. Add that in and they are more expensive than both T-Mobile and Sprint.  When considering AT&T, one must take into consideration a 250 MB plan as power users will likely hit those numbers before the end of the month and would rather have the advantage of an “unlimited” plan and less concern for overage.

When going unlimited across the board, there is the exception of Verizon only offering 5000 messaging against unlimited messaging for T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T.  Five thousand messages may seem like a lot, but in the days of actual “unlimited” messaging, anyone with a teenager knows that 5000 messages is often just not enough. When we break things down, T-Mobile comes out $255 dollars cheaper than Sprint, $325 less expensive than AT&T and $445 dollars cheaper than Verizon.  Over the cost of a 12-month period, that’s not a bad savings and shows T-Mobile continues to maintain its industry position as a value leader.


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  • Mike

    I agree, looking at the counts of my teenager’s messaging makes me thankful for the 20 dollar unlimited messaging…son–moderate user 4000/month…daughter –addict—12000/month—teens don’t talk on the phone like they used to..they text…hundreds of times each day….and SURPRISE, Verizon tries to screw the families with teens…big surprise there

    • Ural

      This blog is absolutely wrong. I currently use google voice and only a network plan. That’s 500 for the phone (Vibrant) and 30 a month. I have everything the maximum plan offers at Tmob, a LOT MORE than ATT useless maximum service and faster speed than Sprints Wimax for 1220 for a two year contact, or if I so choose, I con go month to month. And I do get ten Gb a month at full speed, double what Sprint and Verizon offer and give times what ATT offers as it max plan.

  • Michael

    Actually this isn’t correct, the minimum cost plan would be without text messaging for T-Mobile would be $69.99, instead of $79.99. Billshrink should’ve done their research better.

    • jon

      Isn’t messaging mandatory when getting an android phone? Go to and try to buy a android phone on an individual plan that’s less than 79 dollars. I couldn’t do it.

      So as of today, 8/31/2010, BILLSHRINK IS ACTUALLY CORRECT for the tmobile pricing info.

      • jon

        on an Even More PlusSM (No Annual Contract) it is 69 dollars. But not on a contract individual plan.

      • ken

        @ jon if you notice this is for 2yr contract plans only…price of the phone with even more plus will be the full retail price which will drive up the cost.

      • akil

        no its not required for text msgs, just call them they will change it for you, i had mine removed on the Aug 24th because i use google voice now

    • Insider

      Messaging is not required for it. Technically you can get it with only messaging as long as it is the required feature. Tmobile has a required feature policy not a data feature policy.

  • claysu

    Not a good minimum plan comparison since Tmobile’s and Sprint’s have messaging and the other 2 do not. Who doesn’t have texting but everything else? Dumb.

  • Pat

    I had Verizon before I switched to T-mobile. at that time Verizon had no real plan for families. As well as no plan for texting and we as a family needed a phone for my deaf son-in-law. So T-mobile was the best for us and unlimited text was the best. Have been with T-mobile since. Yes, 20 bucks a month for unlimited text is great great. Just wish they would bring back my faves.

  • WXman

    Define “value”. In my opinion, TMobile is NOT the best value any more. Today, I have 4 lines with TMo. 2 with data and Android, and 2 with basic service for the kids. Our bill is $200 per month. With Sprint, we could have 4 lines ALL with unlimited data, text, AND unlimited calling to any mobile in America for the EXACT same price. Not to mention, Sprint has more coverage, more 3G, some 4G, AND their Galaxy S phone is the creme of the crop.

    Translation = in terms of VALUE Sprint destroys T-Mobile. Today is my last day with TMo. The ride has been long and hard, but the Motorola debacle this Summer has pissed me off for the last time. Bye TMo, I’m headed to 3G!!

    • David Thomas

      Now this is subject to what phones and plan you have and whatnot, but here’s our setup:

      4 lines; 2 Cliqs, 1 MyTouch 3g, 1 HTC Touch Pro 2
      Unlimited Android web, unlimited mobile web (for the WinMo device), unlimited messaging (for all), shared 750 minutes (that may be how we save money). We’ve rarely used more than half of those minutes, never hit the limit.


      I call that a value, I don’t care what anyone else says.

      • WXman

        Then you are paying too much. With Sprint, you could have ALL FOUR of those lines with unlimited data, texting, the same anytime minutes, unlimited minutes to other mobile phones, more coverage, more 3G, and more powerful Android phones for $169.97/month plus taxes and fees. Where is the TMo value now??

    • tortionist

      Enjoy Sprint sucker… You and Sprint belong together.

      • Bobert

        @wxman…What happens to that Sprint bill when you call landlines?

    • Rob

      still being a college student being on a family plan with t-mobile and an android device is by the best option. My family has 5 lines I’m the only one with a data plan (which i pay for) unlimited messaging and 1500 minutes and we pay around 150 month. Our family unlimited messaging is 10 bucks a month. Now my parents have been with t-mobile for years so it’s a little different than starting now with t mobile. but…

      There is no way on god’s green earth, you could say sprint is a better value. My girl friend used to be on a family plan with her grandfather grandmother and sister and their bill would be 240 or more. And he’s been with sprint for 10 plus years. They charge $20 dollars a person for unlimited messaging.

      I live in Philadelphia and sprints coverage is garbage read consumers report, do a little research. Not just in Philly but in every major city. In most cities coverage goes like this Verizon way out in front, then ATT and T-mobile battling for the 2 spot with ATT winning most of those battles. On a rare occasion sprint is in third. But I’d pick t-mobile any day over ATT dropped calls like crazy.

      My gf would be in a spot where I’d have medium service with my old gravity which was the worst phone I’ve ever had, service problems out the ass, and I’d have better service. Sprint is not cheaper out of the big wireless companies t-mobile is cheapest without a question.

      • Rob

        also when she was with sprint only her grandfather has data.

      • WXman

        You were a college student? So you can do simple math then, right? Sprint will give you 4 lines of unlimited data, text, calling to mobiles, etc. with a proven larger network and a proven larger 3G coverage area for $169.97 plus taxes. Show me how on God’s green earth you can possibly come close to that exact plan on T-Mobile for $169 bucks. Show me. It can’t be done.

        Sprint is a MUCH better value. Period. It’s Math O55 at the community college..go check it out.

      • MattB

        Actually, if you want a ‘new’ Android phone it will cost you an extra $40, for a total of $209.97 since both the EVO and Epic require the extra $10/line 4G surcharge… even if you don’t live in a 4G market. Math 055 brother, Math 055. And, the ‘unlimited’ features with Sprint are ‘unlimited’ while on Sprints network… not while roaming, read the terms and conditions (ENG 055).

      • Dalton

        Sprint charged my girlfriend over $700 one month (for sending pictures?)…i’ll pass and stay with EM+ on TMo.

    • pimpstrong


      5 lines sharing 1800 mins and unlim text
      3 Androids
      1 Web 2 Go crap
      1 just talk
      5 insurance plans
      15% work discount

      $279 a month after taxes

    • darocker22

      We have 4 android phones on the 1500Min Even More Plus plan, and our plan is $179.99/month before taxes and $197.32 after.

      Which is only $10 more than sprint’s 1500min Everything Data Family at $169.99. However T-mobile’s 3g is way faster than sprint’s inferior 3g network. Also, T-Mobile HSPA+ just destroy’s Sprint’s 4g(I mean Clearwire’s 4g) Network. The worst part we live in KC and the sprint network is terrible.

      The Epic 4G phone is all good except for the 1GB internal storage.. If it had a 16Gb internal and 2Gb SD or no SD card, i would agree it would be best of the 4. However what is a great phone if your service sucks. Hmmm maybe Sprint’s network is alot better outside the Kansas City area(further away from the sprint campus)

    • Ural

      Having visited over 30 states this year alone with an ATT phone (BB), a Samsung Moment and a G1 now a Vibrant.

      You are wrong in terms of coverage, T Mobile actually has provided the best coverage where ever we went with the following exceptions

      Natrium — WV –> ATT better
      Geismar — LA –> ATT better
      North of Chicago on i-94 — all providers (including verizon Droid) broke down

      Backwoods of most states T Mob was the only one that had coverage.

      I agree network speeds on most interstates for T Mob where G or 2G, while Sprint provided 1.0 Mbps download speeds on its 1xEvdo network. But the data limitation of 5GB on Sprint and the fact you could not call landlines for free for hours made T mobiles 250kbps on 2G was sufficient for most applications.

      Now when we are in cities with HSPA+, even the Evo with WiMax is slower than the Vibrant with its lag issue fixed (6mpbs average) and the 10GB actual limit that T Mobile provides makes it a better service.

      We keep all lines but Verizon, T Mob has proven to be the best and I am on the road every week.

    • TMOROX

      Hopefully today is your last day HERE, moron!

    • joe

      tmobile hspa+ > sprint “4G” which isnt even owned by sprint it is clearwireless wimax network

      • WXman

        Actually, the math is:

        T-Mo HSPA+ = almost non-existant

        Sprint 4G = actually out there, in many cities, and spreading rapidly so that it’s usable now.

      • MattB

        WXman… have you even looked at the 4G coverage map on Sprints site? It is virtually non-existent. HSPA+ on the other hand has rolled out in a tremendous amount of networks, and plans to cover/is on track to cover all existing 3G markets by years end.

        In terms of speed, a 3G device (Vibrant, MTS, etc…) on a HSPA+ network downloads as fast/faster than a 4G device on Sprints 4G network. Just wait until the HSPA+ handsets start dropping.

      • Dalton

        WXman, do you work for Sprint or something? You sure do want to defend them quite a bit. Seriously? It’s TMO news. Not SPRINT news on this site. gtfo plz? kthx.

    • eYe

      Oh wow… I have the same and pay under $150 after tax…. you may need to adjust your plan there.

    • VT

      WXman, Sprint is definitely not the better value. You’re saying unlimited data, texts, and minutes for 4 lines all for $200. Incorrect. Check online, lines 3 and 4 are $90 extra, each!

  • BigKID

    Food for thought…I find it ironic that Iphone has been rumored to drop on VZ and TMO…has anyone else noticed the Galaxy(s) for both look like “Iphony” knockoffs??? rumormill amazes me…smh

  • mingkee

    Look behind the cost of plan, at least T-Mobile can manage not lose money. This is important to keep company to stay afloat.
    This is stupid to give a farm away to attract customers.
    In addition, AT&T is the far most expensive in data if you plan to use more than 2GB.

  • akil

    since tmobile has the no contract plans they should make an extra slot for them, and i bet they would if they weren’t so obviously bias to at&t every time they put out a comparison chart, plus you dont have to have text msgs if you dont want them so that should make the sprint and tmobile plans $10 cheaper ($69), and the no contract plan for tmobiles cheapest even more plus plan would be $20 cheaper than that ($49)

  • akil

    and wtf is 2gb of data? i use my phone to download torrents and yea its half as slow as reg internet but i get way more than 5gb a month

  • Andy

    This comparison is skewed and everyone knows it. I just placed my order for the Epic. It’s been a long 8 years journey with Tmobile. If Tmobile starts offering superior phones two years from now then I might consider coming back. Even more plus plan is only beneficial if you dont want to commit to a plan. Sprints everything data seemed like a good deal to me because I didn’t have to pay full reatail price for the phone and I still came out cheaper.

    • pimpstrong

      Everything data 450 with the Epic 4G = $79/mo
      EMP Talk Text Web 500 with a Vibrant = $79/mo

      is this not right?

      • MattB

        It is ‘almost’ right… the price you listed for T-Mobile is actually the ‘Even More’ pricing, not ‘Even More Plus’.

      • pimpstrong

        whoops! Ok Even More is the same as Sprints

    • WinkyDinkyDogg

      Just ordered an Evo. Unlimited everything (I might use 100 min/month on landlines), subsidized phones and yearly upgrades, all for the same price as EMP and inferior, yet full priced phones. The value is definitely with Sprint right now.

      And before you fanboys get butt hurt, I still have a line with tmobile.

      • pimpstrong

        I don’t even use 200 mins a month so there’s no value in minutes for me or a lot of other people nowadays. EMP has subsidized phones and yearly upgrades as well… is this not right?

  • pimpstrong

    What kind of speeds are you guys clocking in the HSPA+ areas on your Vibrant? I’m still getting 1500kb/s Avg. here in Kansas City and we are COVERED in HSPA+.

    I’m on a 5 person family plan with talk text web and insurance and I pay $70 after taxes with a 15% discount. $840/year is a lot now that I think about it but hey, if you can afford it then do it I always say.

    • Andy G

      what do you use to test your speed?

      • pimpstrong

    • I get average of 1500kb/s, w/ a peak & sort of a average of a bit over 1800kb/s & i’m not covered by a HSPA+ network yet.

    • Rilesman

      I haven’t noticed any speed increase in Kansas City yet…even though coverage. Maybe it is not in the Zona Rosa area…but should be I would think.

    • pimpstrong

      Zona is completely covered in HSPA+ and no speed change huh? Either one day they will actually turn it on like the map shows or we will never actually “Benefit” from the new network on this phone…

      And if Dave is getting the same speeds as us then we definently don’t have the faster speeds yet…

  • ghlu

    actually for t-mobile it’s cheaper to buy the phone outright and choose even more plus plan.

    $500 (phone) + $60 * 24 (EMP 500min/unlimited text/data) = $1940 vs $2155 for signing a 2 year contract.

  • eYe

    T-mobile is the cheapest for me right now but I really hope they improve their coverage. They really should’ve expand their 3G instead of diving into HSPA+.
    4 lines/1000min/2 Android data w/400 messages/10% corporate discount, comes out to just under $150/month after tax. Verizon is about $20/mo more but I would hate to give up the freedom of swapping SIM cards from phone to phone and ATT is out of the question for me (personal preference) even though they have excellent coverage around here. What to do, what to do…

  • kendrix_myrealname

    I have 1500 mins, unlimited text, 2 unlimited Android internets, insurance on one line and 15% discount for 171.70 a month. Sprint may be a good deal, I agree. But the fact that I can’t switch phones as often as I do without having to call Sprint dirka customer service and having to explain who I got the phone from and if it was stolen is beyond my will to jump carriers. I feel the same about Verizon although they have decent coverage wherever I go, I’d never, NEVER, patronize AT&T. So T-Mo seems to be my only viable interest. Plus I refuse to be capped by the 2GB data plan. Thats a few days of data for me

  • JMcq

    1800 My Faves Family Plan – 89.99
    2 Android Data Plans – 25 each
    Unlimited Texting – 20
    Extra Line – 9.99
    15% Discount

    Total – 145 Before Taxes

  • bl

    people moving to sprint are going to hate it…my wife made the move to get an evo and has regreted it ever since…many many many dropped calls and she never had one when she was on tmobile…also poor reception with the let me call you back statement…sprint is a poor carrier and has horrible customer service…

    • WXman

      Sprint has a 60 day guarantee. If you don’t like it, after 2 months which is plenty of time to find out, take it back and it’s on them.

      • WXman

        30 days, I stand corrected. In any case, you have options if it sux.

  • mingkee

    Since I always go for unlocked phones, Even More Plus plan helps me to save money from time to time.

  • lev

    I am with Sprint and have unlimited everything for $98.00 a month, thats including $7.00 for insurance, really $90.00, have everything data plan That blog is way off, Sprint and T-mobile have the best values in my opinion, Billshrink can F off, and do some research

  • Halamadrid

    I guess for me the advantage is also that TMO is a lot cheaper when it comes to corporate data. I can get my email from work on my device for the same price as regular Android data. VZ and ATT charge $45 just for corporate data (BB or Android). Another key advantage is being able to use my device abroad, and to pay less just buy a cheap SIM card locally.

  • Paul

    Wow… has anyone considered that one’s 2-year old phone can continued to be used for another 3-4 years? The comparison shouldn’t be for 2-years, rather 3 or 4-years. No carrier, except for T-Mobile, has a non-subsidized plan to switch to after your 2-years are up. Do I want to spend another $200+ for a new smart phone ever 2-years? What if it’s sufficient for my needs. Once you do the math, after 3-4 years T-Mobile will be ahead by hundreds of dollars over the other 3-carriers.

  • stickeywicket

    My apologies if I someone already mentioned it (reading this at work, shhhh), but what about the monthly $10 4G fee for Sprint? You know, the one you get to pay whether or not you’re in a 4G area. That’s another $120 a year for the Epic.

  • Deadinditches

    The price of 79.99 for absolute minimum is incorrect. You can actually go with 69.99 w/ 500 anytime minutes, and unlimited data

  • WXman

    OMG!!! This Samsung Epic is awesome! After using the Epic and the EVO for a while (wife got that one) and then going back to the TMo phones it’s like comparing a Cadillac to a Corolla. And our monthly payment is going down almost $10!! And I have 3G even at my house now!! This is so awesome. Sprint’s customer service in the store was amazing today. So helpful. I’m sure on the phone it’ll be a different story. But the value is awesome! This freaking phone can be a mobile hotspot!

  • mtnman

    If anyone thinks Tmo isn’t a good value, here’s what I have: 2 lines; 1 Vibrant, 1 Cliq. I have 1000 Anytime mins, 400 text, Unlimited web (Vibrant). $85.00 a month.

  • Sheppydog

    Considering I use 35-50 GB’S (yes that is correct) each month with speeds of 3-7 mbp’s and between 10,000 and 18,000 msg’s per mth plus a total of 65,000 to 90,000 min I would say that I have a great plan for the money with no worries of people giving me s%@t for my usage unlike each time I tried to use any other carriers network. I would say that TMO has the best value with consideration to Money, Usage, Customer Service, and phone’s then any other provider. If you wish to continue to try to prove your other companies service is so much better it only shows that TMO is the ones who have you and your panties in a uproar. If you did not feel threatened you would not have to comment about your company being so grand, we all would have their service. Obviously most of us have tried and failed at using other providers who say one thing and deliver another which is why we are here, on this site for TMO fans and customers. Your obviously trolling for an argument to prove to yourselves that you are happy and better of with the company that you currently have and need to here other’s chime in with you but as you see most of us seem to prove our intelligence and integrity by not falling for your bulls&%t. Most of my colleagues in the movie editing and production areas have found TMO to stomp the comp with their hassle free service. Hope that you have fun trying to create problems but those with brains know where to place their money (or should I say LITTLE money). We will find your comments amusing and your actions of wanting for a real service enjoyable, entertaining and very amusing. When you come to realize your mistakes we will accept you with open arms and show you what a real family is like and how strength in our numbers are far greater than strength in numbers from those who lead people by being deceitful, misleading and treating their customers as numbers not people.

  • eYe

    So you talk 1.5 hrs in an hour for 24 hours every day? And texting at the same time? While using your mobile data? You must be Chuck Norris then although I call BS on those numbers.

  • iron_c

    4 Lines:
    2 unlocked Nokia E63s, Samsung Gravity 2 (teen), @Home Line
    600 My Faves Family Plan – 49.99
    2 Unlimited mobile web – 10 each (yeah it’s slow, ok for email)
    Unlimited Family Texting – 10 (preferred cust discount)
    2 Extra Lines – 9.99
    10% Discount

    Total – 89.96 Before Taxes

  • marcus

    rubbish. TCO for me on t-mo is only $802: $82 for the phone (don’t ask, but not too hard to find a deal for $0 to $99), no activation fee, $30/month for android unlimited data. anyone on a family plan should be able to achieve a similar TCO. go t-mo!

  • D-Bone

    This article is worthless. As a TMO sales rep, you can still mix/match on the even more plan. How are you going to say “minimum features” and not portray our actual MINIMUMS. You can surely have 500 minutes for $39.99 + no messaging + $30 web = $69.99. (you may also build this plan for yourself online). SOOOO math is more like $1679.76 + 199.99 (phone cost after MIR) = $1879.75 (we have TONS of discount programs to have that act fee waived, so it doesn’t even count IMO).

    So if you really look at it, tmobile wins again as usual. Thanks for your time everyone.