[Photo Credit: Android Community]
Lets Talk is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that provides smartphones and phone plans (whether on or off-contract, two-year or prepaid) for consumers. Like all virtual network operators (such as FreedomPop), Lets Talk runs off of an independent carrier’s mobile network. The group offers you the choice of signing agreements with carriers such as Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. All three of these carriers have independent networks and do not rely upon the network of another – although Verizon does allow its customers to use both the AT&T and Sprint networks for its unlocked iPhone 5. Virtual network operators, however, have a unique perspective on phone service and the phone business: they get to promote the services of carriers for a more affordable price and reap profits as a result.
Currently, Lets Talk has a deal on the table: you can get a 16GB Nexus 4 for $85 with a two-year contract to T-Mobile. To add to the deal, you can use a certain code at the checkout when you purchase the two-year agreement and get an additional $8.50 off of the price of the Nexus 4 – bringing your total to $76.50. For those who want to take advantage of this deal, use the code “Talk4Ten” when you arrive at the checkout.
This is certainly one of the nicest deals on one of the most coveted smartphones at the moment, but T-Mobile has a deal of its own: as of yesterday, the nation’s fourth-largest carrier announced that it will sell the Nexus 4 online to new subscribers for $50 with a two-year contract. The sale will only be online through February 18, 2013.
There are two unique ideas to remember when purchasing the Nexus 4. First, it has an in-built wireless charging capacity; simply grab an LG wireless charging mat and you’re good to go. Another unique idea to remember with the Nexus 4 is that it does not have LTE (LTE can be accessed if you root the device, however). Since it does not have LTE, you have a grand opportunity here to be able to use the device as a “Wi-Fi phone.” This may include a small plan with T-Mobile as well as Skype Credit. T-Mobile also offers its free Wi-Fi calling feature, which means that you can still make calls even if you’re out of your network by turning off your cellular connection.
What are some impressive specs about the Google Nexus 4? Aside from the Wi-Fi and wireless charging, the device comes loaded with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Google has always been King of the Android OS, and the company is responsible for Android updates. Purchasing a Nexus 4 not only means that you will have one of the top phones of year, but also that you will have “first dibs” on Android OS updates. While I cherish my Galaxy S3, I do not cherish the fact that I have to wait weeks and months after the “Nexus crowd” to get an update. Thus, if you want a 16GB device (you can do without 32GB and a microSD card slot) and want to have Android updates as quickly as possible, you should invest in the Nexus 4.
While I think that T-Mobile has a great deal, I also think that you can purchase the phone for $299 (8GB) or $349 (16GB) straight from the Google Play Store. While T-Mobile’s selling point for the device comes in at $500 or so (over two years), the Play Store will save you $150-$200 without a two-year contract. If you want to settle with T-Mobile, then go ahead. T-Mobile has an excellent service and I use my iPhone 4S on T-Mobile’s network with affordable monthly plans. As of this week, I have been with T-Mobile for three months and now have 0.5GB of free 4G wireless with my plan each month (versus the 100MB 4G data throttling I had before). At the same time, I understand that there are those who would rather have a smartphone plan without commitment. If you want a smartphone plan without commitment, I suggest you activate a plan with either FreedomPop or try out new virtual network operator Solavei.