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Head to Head Giveaway: Nexus 5 vs iPhone 5

Today’s Head to Head involves two heavy hitters in the Ting lineup, the Nexus 5 and iPhone 5. Click to vote for your favorite in the video below. We’re giving away the winning device (Nexus 5 or iPhone 5) to a lucky YouTube subscriber!

*Congratulations to our winner, Casey K!

To enter:

  • Subscribe to Ting on YouTube.
  • Pick your preferred device by clicking the appropriate annotation in the “Head to Head” video below.
  • Comment on the “Thanks for voting” video telling us why it’s your favorite!

Not familiar with these devices or their respective operating systems? We recently hosted a Ting Hangout where we debated which was the better smartphone!

Here’s how Head to Head works:

Two comparable devices face off and it’s up to you to decide who wins! To vote, click on your favorite at the end of the video. Voting is open for one week, after which we’ll share the results video to announce the winning phone (and lucky device winner). Winner will be announced at 3PM EST on June 6. Open to United States residents only.

So, are you a Google fanboy or Apple fanatic? Vote below to let us know!

The votes are in.

Find out which smartphone came out on top!

Device update: Spring is in the air

It’s been far too long since we did a device update. Let’s fix that right now! Blame the slow first quarter of the year, when manufacturers take a deep breath after the holiday rush.

First though: A small device sale! The refurbished Nexus S is available for $20 off the regular price and by the same token, the ever-faithful LG Optimus S refurbs are available for $10 off the regular price.

Following are the latest additions to the Ting lineup along with a look into the very near future at some devices that will be landing imminently.

A quick note: While it’s true that just about any Sprint device is technically capable of working on Ting, devices that are less than 1 year old are blocked from moving from Sprint to another carrier.

In short: Sprint release date + 1 year = BYOD availability. If our network partner releases a device in May of 2013, we expect the moratorium to be lifted in May of 2014. We’ve added an approximate BYOD date to each of the devices in this device update.

If you’re not sure if a Sprint device you already own can make the move to Ting, there’s no harm in running its MEID on the Ting BYOD page. This first step of the BYOD process doesn’t make any changes whatsoever to your phone and can tell you if your device is eligible to make the move.

On to the device update!

The top end

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HTC One M8

Available now
Expected availability for BYOD: April 2015

The HTC One M8 hit the Ting devices page for sale very recently. Far from being just another smartphone, it’s a beautifully designed piece of pocket art (?!). That said, we’re not sure how likely you are to buy one in the face of the rolling juggernaut that is Samsung and its Galaxy S5, which we’ll talk about in a sec.

The HTC One M8 is very comparable to the S5 from a technology perspective but sets itself apart in the design department. By all means, please prove us wrong, but all signs point to people at large choosing for the more plasticky Galaxy S5.

The HTC One M8 demonstrates HTC’s trademark eye for design. Its body is milled from a single piece of aluminum. It gets all the simple stuff right, which wouldn’t be big news if it weren’t for the fact that almost no one else does. Case in point: The front-facing stereo speakers send sound at you when you’re watching a movie or playing a game. Compare that with just about every other phone out there where a single, rear-mounted speaker instead shoots sound away from you.

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Samsung Galaxy S5

Available now
Expected availability for BYOD: April 2015

Samsung’s Galaxy S5 is the next-gen smartphone to beat. One of our favorite features has nothing to do with raw tech specs or Samusung’s add-on features. It’s that the S5 is IP67 certified, which means it’s completely dust and waterproof. Provided you put the charging port cover back in place when you’re done charging, the S5 can stand up to a dust storm or hang out in up to 1m (3.33 ft) of water for 30 minutes. If you’ve ever dropped your phone in the drink or gotten caught in a rain storm hard enough to soak your phone, the value of this simple little addition is obvious.

For more detail on this device (and for a chance to win one in our May 19 draw) check out our unboxing of the Samsung Galaxy S5. While you’re there, subscribe to our channel!

Mid-range and entry-level

The mid-range and budget end of the Ting lineup is, apparently, brought to you by the letter V.

Kyocera-Verve

Kyocera Verve

Available: Mid to late May, 2014
Expected availability for BYOD: April 2015

Kyocera’s tagline for the Verve is “Not smart, but still brilliant,” which is uncharacteristically clever.

This is a sub-$100, feature phone device and will hit the Ting device lineup a little later this month.

While the Kyocera Verve microsite makes reference to the 2MP camera, shortcuts for online services like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and others, it’s most comfortable making phone calls and sending text messages.

To the latter point, the Verve features a slide-out landscape QWERTY keyboard and is clearly aimed at the text messaging set.

Kyocera-Hydro-Vibe

Kyocera Hydro Vibe

Available: Mid to late May, 2014
Expected availability for BYOD: May 2015

A follow up to the Kyocera Hydro, the Kyocera Hydro Vibe sticks to the same budget-conscious approach to smartphones and keeps things waterproof (IP-67) and semi-rugged, like its predecessor.

It features what Kyocera calls the “Smart Sonic Receiver” which promises to turn the entire screen into a speaker and to filter out background noise so you can have a speakerphone conversation in a loud environment.

Its 4.5-inch screen is impact resistant, in keeping with that whole semi-rugged thing. Its 8MP rear camera boasts some camera modes that are typically reserved for the higher-end of devices. Most specifically, it has a high dynamic range (HDR) shooting mode that will make your pictures pop.

We’ll take a look at and evaluate the efficacy of the “Smart Sonic Receiver” speakerphone technology and other features of the Kyocera Hydro Vibe in an unboxing as soon as we can get our hands on one.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel if you want to check it out!

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LG Volt

Available: Mid to late May, 2014
Unfortunately, we were unable to get our hands on a shipment of LG Volt’s and therefore will not be selling the device. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Expected availability for BYOD: May 2015

This is the one I’m most excited about personally. We expect the LG Volt to come in around the $260 mark when it hits the Ting lineup in mid to late May. It offers up some great features for the price. Most specifically:

  • Android 4.4, KitKat
  • Tri-band LTE
  • 1.2 GHz quad-core processor
  • A 4.7-inch IPS display protected with Corning’s Gorilla Glass 2
In short, you get a very capable device with some features and specs typically reserved for the higher end at a mid-range price.

Five inexpensive smartphones that are anything but cheap

Kyocera-Hydro-VibeThere’s a movement afoot: Smartphones that cost much less than you’d think but that can do much more than you might expect.

Whether browsing the web, using your favorite apps, sharing snaps or video chatting with friends, you don’t need to shell out hundreds of dollars to get your hands on a quality smartphone that does exactly what you need it to.

We’ve listed five inexpensive smartphones across both our CDMA and GSM network offerings that offer a great smartphone experience and, that you can actually afford to buy without signing onto an onerous mobile contract.

1- Hydro Vibe [On sale for $159] – CDMA

If durability is your primary concern, the Hydro Vibe where it’s at. No need to shell out $500+ for a waterproof Galaxy S5 – the Hydro Vibe is IP57 certified, meaning you’re fully protected in up to 3.28 feet of water for 30 minutes.

Equipped with impact-resistant glass, it’s built to take a few tumbles. If you’re a clumsy character, look no further than Kyocera’s Hydro Vibe.

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2- Moto E (2nd Gen) [$150] – GSM

At $150, the Motorola Moto E is pretty exciting. More than a sub $200 Android device though, it’s the vanguard of a movement for inexpensive but very usable smartphones… with a recognizable name brand attached.

Fit and finish-wise, the Moto E is on point. Its screen, while maybe a little small by recent standards, is protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The back shell can be switched out for one of a number of more colorful options to customize the device.

Some inexpensive devices can make you feel the sacrifices you’re making to save a couple of hundred bucks painfully apparent. The Moto E doesn’t fall into that trap and offers a phone you’ll be happy to have as opposed to one you’re

3- HTC Desire 510 [$155] – CDMA

At $155, the Desire 510 is an impressive device. It runs HTC’s popular Sense user interface that’s inside the HTC One M8 and M9 and has tech specs enough to run the most powerful apps and games.

With Tri-Band LTE support, you get blazing fast data speeds at an awesome price.

We’d be remiss not to mention the 4GB of internal storage space. With expandable storage via SD card, though, that may not be a deal breaker.

4- Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 [$249] – GSM

alcatelonetouchidol3Alcatel describes the OneTouch Idol 3 as, “A superphone for the price of a smartphone.” While “superphone” might be a bit of a stretch when put up against the latest and greatest like the Samsung Galaxy S6, the Idol 3 certainly looks to be a solid smartphone at a price that’s hard to argue.

From the build quality to internal specs, it keeps up with last generation’s flagship devices at just half the price. It’s fully unlocked too, meaning no contract (naturally) and easy travel.

Rocking a 5.5″ HD display, dual front-facing speakers and a 13 megapixel camera, the OneTouch Idol 3 is a excellent choice for use with Ting on a GSM network.

The Idol 3 is currently only available for pre-order (ships May 21, 2015).

FINALS_435- The phone you already own!

The cheapest smartphone is the one you already own! Some carriers, like Ting, offer an ESN checker where you can enter your phone’s serial number and instantly find out whether your current device can activate.

Around 80% of phones bought in the past two years can come to Ting through our Bring your own Device program. If you’re interested in purchasing a GSM device, whether brand new or used, our handy compatibility guide will tell you everything you need to know.

 

Bring a Samsung Galaxy S4 or HTC One to Ting!

htc_one_black_smWe’re excited to announce that as of right now, inactive Sprint* Samsung Galaxy S4 original model (not the tri-band “Sprint Spark” version that was released in January) and HTC One devices can be brought to Ting as part of our Bring Your Own Device program.

While we’ve been selling the Galaxy S4 and HTC One since they launched a year ago, they were blocked from the whitelist of devices that can be brought over to Ting. Today, that block officially lifts. If you have one of these two devices in-hand and you’re ready to activate, go go go!

GS4_Sprint_White

 

If you’re in the market for a used device, both the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One are available for purchase from our used device partner Glyde.

Bring an iPhone 5 to Ting

Now is the time to bring an iPhone 5 to Ting

bring an iphone 5 to ting

If you’ve got a Sprint network-compatible iPhone 5, you can now activate it on Ting. If not, you can grab one and bring it over.

If that’s all you need to know, jump into the bring your own device flow and move your iPhone 5 to a happier home.

That sound you hear is people leaving this blog post in droves.

A couple of months after we added support for the iPhone 4 and 4S, we’re getting a little more current on the Apple front.

No doubt, the first question we’ll hear is “when will you add the iPhone 5s and 5c?”

It’s a fair one: We’re looking forward to the day we can activate those too.

We’ve talked before about some of the limitations on bringing your own device to Ting. Our network partner keeps some of the best phones for itself for a year. It’s a business move as they want to recoup some of the money they spent in marketing them. We get it. That doesn’t stop us from pushing though.

We’re able to offer primo devices for sale at the same time as the major carriers. Some recent examples include the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One, Samsung Galaxy Note III and the Moto X. At launch though, these devices are excluded from the bring your device to Ting program.

Back to the question at hand: The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c hit the Sprint lineup in late September of 2013. So, we expect they’ll be able to make the move to Ting at about the same time this year.

In summation:

If you’ve got one, now you can bring an iPhone 5 to Ting and you can activate it now too. If you don’t have one in hand but you’re in the market, you’ve got options.

Hit the Ting used devices page to let the Ting personal shopper team scour the used device listings on sites like eBay for you and then send along a few worthy candidates for your hard-earned money. Or, buy an iPhone via our partner Glyde.

In either case, this is good news and we’re pretty excited about it.

Device Update: Don’t ditch that fruit phone just yet

fruit phone

Hold onto that fruit phone

It’s been a little while since our last device update. Sorry! Here’s all the news that’s fit to print.

As of Tuesday afternoon next week (March 11, 2014), a compatible* iPhone 5 will be able to activate on Ting. We’ll be communicating all the gory details at that time. For right now, we only mention it so that if you’re thinking of coming to Ting and you’ve got your eye on an iPhone 4 or 4S, you’re aware that there will soon be other options. Forewarned is four-armed, as the saying almost goes.

On the other device news front, here’s what’s new since our previous device update.

Coming soon to Ting

fruit phone

Samsung Galaxy S5

The Galaxy S5 will be coming to Ting. Barring any issues outside of our control, we expect to offer the Samsung Galaxy S5 on Ting in mid-April. The price we’ll be buying for has yet to be nailed down which means we can’t say exactly how much we’ll be able to offer it for. All signs point to the approaching $600 range.

From our limited exposure, we can say that the S5 looks like a pretty spectacular smartphone. Sammy has done away with a lot of the “feature spam” that it’s been accused of including, you know, all those neato features that look great on a marketing bullet list but that somewhat lose their luster when clogging up your Settings screens.

Aside from anything else, the S5 has got to be the slimmest and sleekest smartphone to receive IP67 certification (dustproof and waterproof to 1m for 30min). We’ll have the full Ting take on the Galaxy S5 a little closer to launch.

HTC’s next One

The much rumored next HTC One has been among the worst-kept secrets. Suffice it to say that if you’ve been following the next HTC One rumors, you probably know more than we can officially say and leave it at that. We expect the HTC Whatever It’s Going To Be Officially Titled in May. More info as soon as said info is official.

Coming back to Ting

M400 Refurbished

fruit phone
Samsung M400: Sturdy.

If you subscribe to Ting device alert emails (you can do that in the footer at the bottom of this page) your inbox will soon alert you to the triumphant return of the refurbished M400 flip phone. We expect it early next week for around $75.

Other devices that are coming back in short order:

  • Kyocera Milano – ~$75
  • Samsung Galaxy Victory – <$150
  • Rumor Reflex – ~$75

*Compatible meaning an inactive, used Sprint device that hasn’t been reported as lost, stolen or coming from a Sprint account in arrears.