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Fine, we will sell you a Nexus 5.

Starting today, Ting is now selling the Nexus 5. But, please, for the dear sweet love of Google, don’t buy it from us. Instead, just get a $10 Ting SIM card (now in stock!) and go buy your Nexus 5 in red, black, or white from Google Play. You’ll save $95 bucks right off the bat (and likely a lot more by switching to Ting).

Nexus 5 Red for TingHonest to goodness truth: the price we are selling the Nexus 5 at is below our cost, and we still can’t even come close to matching the awesome $349 deal that you can get buying directly from Google with no contract.

Not long after the Nexus 5 started shipping in quantity in November, it became (and has remained) our top Android device, by far, for new activations. That’s a pretty huge deal, honestly. Because of the commitment Google has made to keeping past Nexus devices up-to-date, older Nexus models have enjoyed long-lived success at Ting… But nothing like what we’ve seen with the Nexus 5. A device we haven’t even been selling up until now has, for nearly all intents and purposes, been our best seller.

In a perfect world, we’d love to ship you a beautiful Nexus 5 and Ting SIM card snug together in our fashionable Ting shipping portfolio. But when there’s a way better deal to be had, we’re absolutely not going to stand in your way. In fact, we’ll even point you in that better direction. We like to think of ourselves as being kind of like Flo, for wireless.

So, to recap… Order your Ting SIM and then head over to the Google Play store and order your Nexus 5. Then spend that extra $95 on someone or something you love for Valentine’s (or Singles Awareness) Day, instead.

Love, Ting.

Device Update: Imminent device additions and a look into the future

We’ve got news on some awesome refurb smartphones and feature phones, and a look a little further out, at some of the truly top-end smartphones that will be available on Ting in the Spring and beyond. We’ve also got some great news on the bring your own device front.
We’ll get right to the point.

Straight into the action. No delays, no wordplay, no stalling. We’ll jump right in to the thick of things. Into the fray. Headfirst. Or headlong. No dipping toes, testing the waters, mincing words or mixing metaphors. No watering down the message with a lot of cruft or fluff (or amusing parenthetical asides).

Nope. Right to the point.

Bring your own HTC One or Samsung Galaxy S4… soon

samsung-galaxy-s4-black-front_carouselThere are some limitations on the devices that can be brought over to Ting and the Ting network service provider maintains a window of exclusivity on some top-tier devices.

While we’ve been able to offer the HTC One and the Galaxy S4 for sale from Ting at the same time as the major carriers, they weren’t on the “whitelist” of devices that could be turned into Ting devices.

We’re happy to announce that as of April 30 of this year, Sprint network compatible Samsung Galaxy S4s and the HTC Ones purchased from somewhere other than Ting will be able to make the move to Ting.

This news is good for a couple of reasons. First and most obviously, would-be Ting customers sporting a Sprint Galaxy S4 or HTC One can see a light at the end of the tunnel for making the move to Ting.

Second, and more important in the grand scheme of things, this is the first time we’ve had a timeline for a BYOD restriction being lifted. We’ve always had an answer as to why certain devices can’t be brought to Ting. Now, we’ll be able to offer some insight into when “exclusive” devices can be brought over.

The short term device plan

We’ve got a bunch of devices in the pipe, set to hit the Ting device page either imminently or within the next couple of weeks.

(L-R) HTC One Mini, HTC One and HTC One Max

(L-R): HTC One Mini, HTC One and HTC One Max.

HTC One Max

With major smartphone makers pitching Mini versions of their flagship phones, it only stands to reason that Maxi versions would hit the scene too.

The HTC One Max is one massive smartphone. It takes the undeniably awesome HTC One aesthetic and phabletizes it. It’s physically larger (obviously) but that’s not the only thing that’s changed. The HTC One Max incorporates a fingerprint scanner so you can forget lock patterns and PINs (don’t even get us started on the ill conceived face unlock feature of Android). It boasts the latest version of Android and the newest version of HTC’s own Sense UI (version 5.5). It’s got a more capacious battery than its older but smaller sibling.

We’ll have it on offer for under $600 new, and we expect it to hit the site before the end of February. As it’s a fairly niche device (to say nothing of the price tag) we don’t expect it to sell like the proverbial hotcakes. Still, for bringing the HTC attention to detail and build quality to the phablet space, we figure it deserves a spot in the Ting lineup.
Rumor Touch

LG Rumor Touch refurb

This inexpensive but capable QWERTY slider messaging phone is more connected than your average feature phone.

The Rumor Touch has a 3-inch touchscreen display with access to some social media and smartphoney type things like maps and a small selection of apps. It’s a good interim step between a clamshell feature phone and a full smartphone.

At less than $40 refurbished for the black or red options, available very soon in limited quantity, we don’t expect they’ll be hanging around our warehouse for long.
Sanyo Mirro

Sanyo Mirro (3810) refurbished

An imminent arrival, we snagged a small quantity of this simple clamshell feature phone in black and red.

The market for flip phones has dried up as entry-level smartphones have dropped in price. That said, there’s still demand for these simple phones from people that just want an easy to use device that makes phone calls and doesn’t do a lot else.

I don’t have the copywriting chops or penchant for fibbing to make it sound like more than it is. If you’re looking for a simple phone, that’s precisely what the Sanyo Mirro is and you should probably buy one when it hits the Ting device page early next week for around $50.

Samsung Galaxy SIII refurb

The SIII has been usurped (and the Roman numeral numbering system eschewed) with the Samsung Galaxy S4. At under $300 refurbished though, this is a sweet deal on what is still a powerful and well designed smartphone.

It’s an LTE device. It boasts a big 4.8-inch Super AMOLED display at 1280×720. It’s got an 8 MP camera, S Voice, S Beam and a whole bunch of other neat features.

Expect to see the SIII refurbs hit the Ting site in both blue and white (sorry, Pebble Blue and Marble White) in the very near future: By the end of next week.

A look at the longer term

Switching on future vision, plans become a little more subject to change. With that said, here’s how things look to be shaping up into the spring and beyond.
LG G Flex

LG G Flex

LG is pushing smartphone design forward with this bent screen beauty. In addition to that characteristic curve, the G Flex is, as the name implies, a bit flexible too. While you won’t want to be smooshing the screen flat at every opportunity, the G Flex can stand up to life in your back pocket. And bending your curved smartphone flat is a pretty neat party trick, if nothing else.

In addition to being flexible enough to bend without breaking, the G Flex can also stand up to keys and coins: If it gets scratched, the unique self-healing material that makes up its body will bounce right back.

Pushing the design envelope apparently doesn’t come cheap: The price we’re seeing on the G Flex is north of $600. It’ll hit the Ting devices page early in the second quarter of this year.

Tri-Band Samsung Galaxy S4

Take everything you love about the Samsung Galaxy S4 (and there’s a fair bit to love) and add on access to the awesome Tri-Band LTE network and you’ve got even more of a powerhouse on your hands. Or you will, when we add this device to the Ting lineup in late March.

Operating on three distinct bands, Tri-Band LTE offers broader coverage and better building penetration than typical LTE.

If you’re in a Tri-Band LTE market and you’ve had your eye on an S4, you may do well to wait this one out.

CoolPad Quattro

What the heck is a Coolpad and why would you want one?

Fair question. Coolpad is a pretty big deal in China, where they’re the third biggest player in a market that values value. Behind only the Asian market majors Samsung and Lenovo, Coolpad is carving out market share by offering well equipped devices at low cost. They have 10.2% of the Chinese market, according to Forbes.

So, for less than $200, Coolpad offers a 4G LTE smartphone with tech specs that, while middling, are more than capable.

The Quattro isn’t going to set the mobile world ablaze. That said, Coolpad’s wider entry will, at best, serve to shake up the mobile market in North America and at least, provide some more pricing pressure on lower-end smartphones.

See (and maybe win) new devices on YouTube!

The Ting YouTube channel is in full swing. In addition to App of the Week, Behind the Scenes, Ask an Exec and other shows, we’ve also introduced device unboxings. If you want to take a close-up look at phones and other devices as they hit the Ting lineup (and for a chance to win the device we unbox) just subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Device Update: Many many new news.

‘Tis very nearly the season. So it is that this device update is a pretty hefty one. Let’s dive in head-first without first checking the depth. What’s the worst that could happen?

Coming soon

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini compared side-by-side with the Samsung Galaxy S4 Not At All MiniSamsung Galaxy S4 Mini

Take most everything you love about the Samsung Galaxy S4, shrink it to mini proportions and you have the, wait for it, Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini.

The S4 Mini can fairly be considered a more budget-friendly remake of the S4. It’s not as powerful as its older sibling but it is immediately apparent that it’s of the same lineage. At 124.6 x 61.3 x 8.9 mm (4.91 x 2.41 x 0.35 in), 109 g and around $400, it’s much more pocket friendly in both the literal and figurative sense.

We expect to have it available on the Ting devices page between late December and early January, barring any supply chain issues outside of our control.

Samsung Galaxy Mega. Totally not to scale.Samsung Galaxy Mega

If you thought the Samsung Galaxy Note line was big, prepare to have your mind blown. The Samsung Galaxy Mega is positively massive. Where “phablets” blur the line between smartphone and tablet form factors, the Mega leans much more toward the latter at 6.3-inches. Suffice it to say, you’re going to need a bigger pocket when this lands in the Ting lineup around late December/early January at under $500.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3

We’ve received requests to make connected tablets available in the Ting lineup. Not ones to disappoint, we’re happy to report that we’ll offer the Samsung Tab 3 early in the new year, if not sooner. We have yet to receive finalized pricing but we’ll update as soon as possible with that important detail.

The Tab 3 is a powerful tablet with a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor. Clocking in at 7-inches and if current smartphone trends bear out, it’ll be considered a smartphone as opposed to a tablet before too long.

Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatches.

Samsung Galaxy Gear

Who needs a smartwatch? Listen, we’re not here to wade into super important philosophical debates. We’re here to get the devices people want.

If you’re interested in the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch, it’s coming in about two weeks at around $300. If not… well, it’s still coming in two weeks, it just doesn’t affect you in any way, shape or form.

LG G2 showing off its rear-mounted power and volume buttons.

LG G2

If only to break Samsung’s streak in this Device Update, the super powerful LG G2 is coming soon to Ting. We expect to have it early in the new year if not sooner at a price that’s yet to be determined… but likely around $540. The G2 is notable for many reasons.

First, it runs a largely unadulterated version of Android: Not much in the way of add-ons or skins here. Next, it’s super powerful with a 5.2-inch display at an unprecedented 423 PPI, a 13 MP camera, 32 GB of internal storage and a full 2 GB of RAM. Finally, the LG G2 flouts smartphone convention and places the power button and volume rocker on the back of the device. It will take a little adjustment, but it feels much more natural than the traditional smartphone button layout.

ZTE Fury, looking all furious.

ZTE Fury

This is a lower-end smartphone and an ideal step up from the always popular LG Optimus S. At about $70 new, it fills a gap in the Ting lineup that’s been there since the aforementioned Optimus S rode off into the sunset. It’s obviously not a top of the line smartphone. What it is though is a capable device and an ideal entry point into the world of smartphones.

Data devices

MiFi 500

Novatel MiFi 500

The Novatel MiFi 500 will be among the first LTE data devices Ting will offer when it hits the site in a couple of weeks. Where the LTE network is available, it offers super fast wireless speeds. Where LTE is not available, you can still connect on 4G WiMAX or on the more sedate but broader 3G network. The MiFi 500 offers access to up to 10 Wi-Fi devices like laptops, tablets and shares its status at a glance with its small and battery-friendly 1.54-inch OLED display. Expect this device to hit the Ting devices page soon at around $155.

Netgear Zing looking distinctly like a portable gaming system.

Zing Hotspot

If you’re looking for the ultimate in mobile hot spots, this is it. As demonstrated by the color touch screen, this isn’t your typical hotspot.

Aside from allowing up to 10 Wi-Fi devices to connect, it also features an unlocked SIM card slot. If you’re a world traveller, there’s no need for expensive international roaming. Just grab a SIM card and a travel data plan in the airport and connect wherever you need to.

Domestically, the Zing connects you to the super fast LTE network where available. When out of LTE range, 3G is a fallback position. The Zing will be hitting the Ting Device page in the coming weeks at around $165.

Airave refurbished

If you find your mobile network connection is less than ideal at home or in the office, the Airave steps in and acts like your own personal cell phone tower. Just plug it into an available Ethernet port on your home router and you’ll get full bars on your phone over an up to a 5,000 sq. ft. area. The refurbished Airave returned to the Ting devices page recently at $84 and is available now.

Samsung M400: Sturdy.

Samsung M400

Whether you’re looking for a backup device (did you know you can easily switch your Ting number from one device to another with the latest code rollout on Ting?) or you’re simply not interested in stepping up to a smartphone, this one’s for you.

The Samsung M400 will be coming back to the Ting lineup very soon at about $100.

LG Optimus Elite

The LG Optimus Elite is stepping back in to the Ting lineup. At around the $170 mark, this isn’t a top of the line smartphone. It is, however, a very capable device at a compelling price. The Elite will return to take its rightful place on the Ting devices page later this week.

Kyocera Milano, jauntily showing off its landscape QWERTY keyboard in a raked 3/4 view. Saucy!

Kyocera Milano

If you’re looking for an Android smartphone with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, your options are limited. Fortunately, the Kyocera Milano is one such option and it’s coming back to the Ting lineup very soon.

The Milano is a decently spec’d low-end smartphone and it makes its triumphant return in a couple of weeks at around $70.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals
no sidewalk camping required

super-sale-hatWe’ll spare you the preamble and just jump right in: We’re having a pretty crazy device sale that runs from midnight ET on November 29 (Black Friday) through 11:59pm ET on December 2 (Cyber Monday). At the same time, anyone that opts to bring a device over to Ting gets a bonus $25 in Ting credit.

Device sale

We’ve put just about every new device we offer on sale. There are very few devices left untouched: Only ones where, if we cut the price, we’d end up paying you. While we’re all about shaking up the industry, that in particular would be what “experts” call an unsustainable business practice.

Hit the Ting Devices page to see what’s on offer. Here are but a few highlights:

As we’ve said, that’s just a taste of what’s on sale. Browse the Ting Devices page to get the full story!

Extra Credit

We dug deep to take between $50 and $100 off just about every device in the Ting lineup. We realized though: Those device deals, great though they may well be, leave out the huge contingent of people that don’t want to buy a device from us. People that would rather activate one they already own on Ting.

Sorted!

Everyone that brings their own device to Ting between 12:00am ET on November 29 (Black Friday) and 11:59pm ET on December 2 (Cyber Monday) gets a one-time bonus $25 in Ting credit.

Read on for the FAQ

It’s time to bring your Nexus 5 to Ting!

Now you can bring your Nexus 5 to Ting

bring your Nexus 5 to TingWow, what a week! Last Thursday, a handful of savvy denizens from around the country began activating the very first Nexus 5 devices on Ting. We have heard from those early adopters loud and clear: they really, really love their Nexus 5 — and they’re stoked to have their dapper Nexus 5 smartphones up and running here on Ting.

Which is why we are really excited to say: it’s time to bring your Nexus 5 to Ting! (In our humble opinion, of course.)

How to bring your Nexus 5 to Ting

So, here’s the game plan to get a snazzy new Nexus 5 on Ting…

  1. Go order your Nexus 5!
    • Because of sheer demand, there is a bit of a wait right now over at Google Play, so go lock in your shipping date. We’re doing everything we can to get SIM cards out the door as quickly as possible, which brings me to…
  2. If you have not already, go get on our SIM card priority list right now!
    • We have begun shipping initial batches of SIM cards out. We are emailing small groups of folks at a time to find out if they are ready for a SIM card and, if so, where they would like their SIM card shipped. Please be patient with us, as these SIM cards are still in very short supply.
    • If you are in a mad dash to get your Nexus 5 up and running on Ting, you can also check out the early adopter thread for random ideas on where else you might be able to snag the necessary SIM card.
  3. Once you have your Nexus 5 and a SIM card, head over to this rapidly evolving support article for the play-by-play.
    • And, as part of our newfangled Nexus 5 open beta, our staggeringly awesome support folks will be able to provide guidance starting later next week, should you run into roadblocks large or small.
    • In the meantime, if you run into any issues, our awesome community has done a great job figuring out the occasional Nexus 5 quirks right here.

We have said it before, but it bears repeating: the excitement we’ve seen around the Nexus 5 from you Tingfolk (and soon-to-be Tingfolk) has just blown us away. So get yourself signed up for a Ting SIM card and then head over to our forums to follow the progress!

Ting’s Nexus 5 manifesto redux:
A Very Ting Roadtrip

(For the tl;dr action plan, skip to the last two paragraphs!)

Nexus-5Over the past few days, something changed. Guys and gals in big brown trucks started delivering snazzy new Nexus 5 smartphones to anxiously awaiting folks across America. For the first time, anyone with just this one awesome device could choose between at least three of the four major mobile networks in the United States.

We knew the Nexus 5 was a smartphone we wanted to have and support for the Ting community. We were, frankly, more than a bit surprised by just how many folks bought a Nexus 5 from Google Play and then showed up at our (virtual) door. We always try to be as open as we possibly can be about new devices and our plans (just take a look at our Nexus 5 manifesto from yesterday). So in that spirit, the redux: An update on our progress with the Nexus 5.

The fact Ting runs on the CDMA network has meant that a device you buy for, say, T-Mobile cannot be used with Ting or vice versa. But, pretty darned suddenly, you can head over to the Google Play store and buy a Nexus 5 and then take it to just about any carrier.

There is one roadblock. For a little while now, almost all new CDMA devices have supported LTE. LTE devices require a SIM card. Without exception, every LTE device we sell has a SIM card included (and some are even embedded). We have never before needed to provide a SIM card by itself. For our MVNO brethren and sistren that operate on GSM-based networks, providing a SIM card is routine. For us, it’s a new logistical question.

Set of color SIM cardsWhich leads me to my last-minute trip down to Buffalo, New York yesterday. We have quite a few older SIM cards here at Ting HQ for testing, but the Nexus 5 requires a fancy new SIM card (model SIMGLW206R if you’re keeping track). Inspired by our Nexus 5 manifesto, I found the nearest Sprint Store with SIM cards on hand, jumped in my sweet, sweet ride and made a run for the border.

And then I waited. You see, Ting HQ is here in Toronto. I grew up in West Virginia, where a traffic jam is a few coal trucks getting in the way on a long and winding mountain road. Between Toronto and Buffalo, however, there is the Queen Elizabeth Majestic Parking Lot Way. Her Majesty and I need to have a little chat because clearly she needs some new traffic management planning experts.

But, I digress. I left the office at 3:30pm and arrived at a buzzing Sprint Store in Buffalo right around 7:30pm, just a half-hour before they were scheduled to close. They gave me their last five SIM cards and I headed over to the Barnes & Noble next door to jump on their Wi-Fi network. Connecting to Ting HQ via VPN, we were able to get our first few Nexus 5 devices active on Ting.

This isn’t an announcement that the Nexus 5 can now come to Ting. We’re still testing and working on instructions for getting everything up and running. That said, things are looking very promising.

We are crazy excited about the Nexus 5. The demand is awesome, but the paradigm shift it portends for the old wireless industry models is especially exciting. Want to give T-Mobile a try? Want to give Ting a try? Want to head over to Sprint for unlimited data, instead? The more freedom you have, the happier we are here at Ting. Even though I didn’t get back home until well after midnight last night, I’d be saying the same thing — perhaps even louder — after a good night’s sleep!

Where we are right now

If you want to bring a Nexus 5 purchased from Google Play over to Ting, you have a couple of options.

  1. Take the blue pill and wait for a bit while we smooth the way for you to bring a Nexus 5 to Ting.
    We are working on getting a sufficient quantity of SIM cards to start shipping them out to new and existing Ting customers that want to activate their Nexus 5 purchased from the Google Play store. If you want to be notified once we have these ready, give us your details here and we’ll be in touch as soon as we can. Please keep in mind that bringing your own Nexus 5 will only be possible for Nexus 5 devices purchased directly from the Google Play store.
  2. Take the red pill and test with us.
    If you simply cannot wait and are willing to blaze a trail with us here, get your hands on a Sprint* SIM card and head over to this thread in our forums for the nitty gritty details. Before you swallow that pill though, please be fully aware that we’re still working on getting some things working and we can’t guarantee that everything will go perfectly smoothly: There may still be challenges ahead that we can’t yet foresee.

Whether you’re ready now or you want to wait it out, here’s to the Nexus 5 helping to make mobile make even more sense!