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Samsung Galaxy S4 in the flesh polycarbonate

Recently we received the first of several Samsung Galaxy S4s for the Ting help desk and test lab. Yesterday, we asked the Ting Facebook community what they’d like us to demonstrate in video form.

Samsung Galaxy S II, S III and S4 compared

First, we took a look at the physical differences between and evolution of the Galaxy line of devices.

New features and the camera on the Samsung Galaxy S4

The Samsung Galaxy S4 carries over some of the useful S- features from previous devices and introduces a several new ones.

The camera app on the Samsung Galaxy S4 has been very much overhauled too and includes a veritable cornucopia (always wanted to say that) of new features and additions.

Subscribe to the Ting channel on YouTube to get the latest video updates as they hit. If you’ve got any video requests, things you’d like to see on the Samsung Galaxy S4 juse let us know and we’ll do our best to get a video for you.

Device Update: Device Update: Less sizzle, more service

Spring is in the air. Other weather-related small talk.

That’s enough of that. Device update time!

First order of business: The HTC One is available on the Ting devices page for pre-order. The Samsung Galaxy S4 will follow in short order; barring circumstances beyond our control, it should appear on the Ting devices page early next week.

While we initially stated “ships in two to three weeks” for the HTC One, it looks likely that we’ll be able to meet the low end of that estimate for everyone that pre-ordered: Supply chain willing, we hope to begin shipping out HTC Ones as soon as late next week.

Samsung Galaxy SIII sale

The 16GB Samsung Galaxy SIII is on sale for $450 ($79 off the original ask). Now, it’s joined by the 32 GB Samsung Galaxy SIII at $497, $82 off.

While it’s about to be outshone by the Samsung Galaxy S4 (which also bucks the Roman numeral versioning system) the SIII is still a powerful and very capable smartphone.

Other devices returning to the Ting lineup

We’re adding a bunch of devices back into the Ting lineup. We

Samsung M400

A simple and accessible flip feature phone, the M400 is perfect for the elder set or really, for anyone looking for a simple, no-frills flip phone.

Samsung Array

Perfect for the heavy-texting set, the Array is a feature phone with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. A good entry point for kids as they can’t “accidentally” watch 18 hours of YouTube videos while on a family road trip and push your usage to strange new levels.

Samsung Galaxy Victory

I personally like this device. It’s the entry-level LTE device on Ting and offers a great balance of price and performance. You don’t hear a lot about this one because it’s not as exciting as one of the top-tier superphones. It is, however, a very capable smartphone running ICS.

Airave

If you find yourself in a mobile deadzone but you still want to take advantage of the mobile savings that Ting offers, this is the device you need.

In addition to adding the Airave back to our devices listing, we’re also now able to bring over SOME Airaves purchased used. UPDATE: Only Airvana Airave devices, version 2.0 or 2.5 with a MAC address that begins with 00:05:B can be brought to Ting. Samsung Airave devices are being decommissioned by on August 1, 2013 and will no longer work after that date.

Snag a used Airvana Airave for a good price (make sure you as the seller for a picture of the MAC address sticker to ensure it can make the move). Email us with your Airave’s MAC address or give us a call and we’ll help you get it up and running with Ting.

That’s it for now. Follow Ting Device Alerts here on the Ting blog and / or sign up for Ting Device Alert emails. Just look for “Get Email Updates” in your Ting account dashboard or in the bottom right of the Ting homepage.

Device Update: New devices, devices on sale, refurbs and a Bring your Device to Ting update

They say that no news is good news.

If that’s so, and if the inverse is also true, you might want to sit down. We’ve got some bad news.

We’ve got news and clarifications on new and previously announced devices that are coming to Ting.

We’ve got an update on the Samsung Galaxy SIII sale for those that don’t receive our Device Update emails.

We’ve got news on refurbished devices including the fact that we’ll soon have refurb Airaves on the site for less than $100.

Finally, we have a quick update on the latest developments in the Bring your eligible Device to Ting program.

New devices coming to Ting

HTC One

Soon, like within the next week or so, we’ll have the HTC One up for pre-order on the Ting Devices page at $525 (Update: The HTC One is available on the Ting devices page for $536). As a quick refresher, the HTC One is a beautifully designed smartphone with its unibody design painstakingly milled from a single slab of aluminum.

HTC Sense has toned down on the superflous graphical flash and is much better for it. At the same time, it has dialled up its usefulness, presenting your social feeds, relevant news, sports scores and the like (BlinkFeed). It takes beautiful pictures and videos (UltraPixel camera) and turns them into little animated shorts, perfect for sharing (HTC Zoe) and much more.

It’s got 32GB of internal storage, a colossal, super bright and vibrant screen at 4.7-inch and 468 PPI. 2GB of RAM and a quad-core 1.7GHz processor (in short: It’s ridicuolously fast, bright and smooth.)

No promises, but it looks to us like the GSM SIM card slot is going to be unlocked on the version we’ll be offering. More news on that just as soon as we can confirm.

Check out our HTC One unboxing video in the mean time.

Samsung Galaxy S4

Nothing more to share on this particular device just yet, but it’s coming. As soon as we know, you’ll know (assuming you follow our Device Update posts.)

It looks as though we’ll be able to offer the S4 in mid-May. The S4 is in high demand and we’re working with suppliers to ensure we have adequate stock.

While the S4 was announced with three variations for internal memory (16GB, 32GB and 64GB), it’s looking like we may not have the full gamut of capacities available. At the same time, it looks as though there will be more color variations that we originally reported.

Again, we’ll share more as soon as we know more.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini

Looks like the S4 Mini will be a little further out than anticipated. We have yet to hear any real dates around this device. It looks as if whatever is keeping the S4 Mini from coming to Ting sooner as opposed to later is systemic and that the Mini will be late coming for all carriers.

LTE USB data stick coming

If you’ve been waiting for an LTE data stick option on Ting, the time is nigh. Or very nearly nigh. We will be getting a Franklin LTE USB data stick. This news is so new that said LTE data stick hasn’t been officially named as yet. As soon as we know, we’ll let you know.

Windows Phone 8 devices

We’re still on track to offer Windows Phone 8 devices from both HTC and Samsung in late June or early July. Nothing new to report at this point. We just wanted to make sure our WP-loving brethren didn’t miss out in this update.

In other device news…

S3 16GB price drop

Late last week, we put the Samsung Galaxy SIII 16GB Pebble Blue on sale at $79 off the original $529 ask. While quantities last, we’ll be offering the SIII 16GB blue for $450.

If you missed this news last week, you can sign up for device news and / or our monthly newsletter by clicking on “Get Email Updates” in the lower right of the Ting homepage

Refurbished devices

Samsung Galaxy SII

We’ve received numerous requests for more and better refurbished devices. We’ve added the Samsung Galaxy SII back to our used and refurbished device lineup at $190 for the black and $180 for the white versions.

LG Optimus S

Last week, we put the refurbished charcoal grey LG Optimus S back on the site for $68. Traditionally, the purple Optimus S is less expensive than its grey counterpart. So it is that the LG Optimus S purple is on sale now for $59.

Refurbished Airave

No exact timing on when this will hit the Ting site. However, the Airave will soon be available as a refurbished device for under $100.

Bring your Device to Ting

With the latest update to Ting.com, the Bring your Device to Ting program is exiting beta and is ready for prime-time. Bring your Device to Ting now supports LTE devices and the list of explicitly supported devices continues to grow. For devices we don’t explicilty support, it’s still possible to turn an eligible device into a Ting device. We just don’t have the process fully documented as yet. If you’re confident in your ability (it’s really not hard) you can bring any device that’s on the device whitelist.

If you already have an Airave, we’re currently working on a process that will make it easy to move your Airave over to Ting. As it stands, we can work with you to manually bring your Airave over if you send us an email that includes your Airave’s MAC address or give us a call at 1-855-846-4389.

We recently redesigned the Ting Devices page to better separate new and used / refurbished devices and to offer Bring your Device to Ting within the device purchase path. After all, why buy a phone from us if you’ve got already got an eligible device that can work with Ting?

That’s all we’ve got for now. Stay tuned for the next device update.

Imagining the Ting iPhone plan

Update: We have some big news, check out Ting’s Whitelist for more info!

Ever since T-Mobile got the iPhone 5, there has been a ton written about choosing the best “iPhone plan.”

I was looking at one piece by Christina Warren on Mashable and couldn’t help but imagine what Ting might look like on that nifty, little grid. Hey, look right, there it is!

Listen, Ting will likely get the iPhone some time soon. I figure it can’t hurt to start talking about this now.

The case for the iPhone on Ting is the same as the case for any other device. You pay for the device upfront. You enjoy monthly savings on service because our rates are great and you aren’t wasting money buying usage you don’t use. Over twenty-four months, you come out ahead.

Here’s how I did the math you see represented on the grid.

The Mashable piece based all the plans on at least 4GB of data and unlimited minutes and text. I looked at all Ting customers who have used at least 1GB at least one month in the last five. We know that almost everyone at that sort of level thinks of themselves as data hogs. Plus, we know that people at that sort of level tend to be terrified of the overage penalties that come with most limited plans. I figure those are all folks who would have chosen a 4GB+ or unlimited plan on the major carriers.

In fact, I think I am being more than fair. Millions of people who use way less still make the mistake of buying themselves the big or unlimited plans. Plus, 16% of the folks I included went over 4GB at least once and 11% went over 5GB at least once. More than 2% went over 10GB. This comparison does not include the nasty overage penalties they would incur on AT&T and Verizon or the throttling they could experience on T-Mobile.

Among the 1GB+ users, the average monthly data usage was just below 1GB. That is not at all surprising. Remember, our Validas study revealed that average monthly data usage tends to be just 62% of the peak.

The same folks averaged just below 1,000 minutes and just below 1,000 texts.

Looking at our plans page, 1GB plus 1,000 minutes plus 1,000 texts plus the $6 device fee comes to $53 a month. Multiply that by 24 months and add a $649 upfront price on the iPhone (just a guess at this point) and Ting comes to $1,921 for 24 months, making Ting the “Best iPhone 5 Plan.”

And there are way more factors that would push you even lower on Ting. There are so many ways to lower your data usage. You can also use data solutions (particularly on Wifi) to lower your minutes and texts. With unlimited devices on an account pooling usage and just $6 a month per device, you will certainly save with Ting as you add more devices to your account. Finally, as Mashable pointed out, T-Mobile and Sprint limit hotspot usage.

Of course, with Ting, you also get to be with Ting. I’ll let our customers comment on that.

Alas, this post is indeed a bit premature. I do apologize. But again, why wait until the glorious day when we reveal the iPhone to start doing this math for yourself and start planning accordingly. Grab some old bills and check out your Ting savings calculation. Chime in here if you think this analysis is helpful or unfair.

And then, we wait.

Retro Phone Connect was (gasp) not real!

We lied. OK? We’re sorry.

We posted the Retro Phone Connect, a Home Phone Connect 2 paired with a pretty awesome old-school rotary dial phone, as the Retro Phone Connect. We priced it at $6,000, on sale for $4,750. You probably caught on to the fact that it was a joke.

The Retro Phone Connect device page has since been removed from the Ting devices page. However, it will live on forever in our hearts. Or something.

While it is conceivable to turn a rotary phone into a cell phone (like this GSM-only, alas), we’re focussed on getting the latest and greatest, not the oldest and oddest.

Device Update: Samsung Galaxy S4 and S3 Mini, HTC One and LTE data devices inbound

Told you the next device update would be more substantial. Let’s get right to it.

Samsung Galaxy S4 inbound

In advance of Samsung’s big launch event tomorrow, we’re excited to say that we’ll be able to offer the follow up to the Samsung Galaxy S3 which we’ll call the Samsung Galaxy S4 unless we’re provided reason to do otherwise. What’s more, we’ll be able to do so at around the same time as the major carriers; on or at least around the actual launch day.

Expect to see the S4 hit the Ting device page as a pre-order in six to eight weeks, shipping within a few weeks of that date.

As for pricing, we’ll be able to offer the Samsung Galaxy S4 contract-free (which is the only way we’d have it) for around the full unlocked price.

There’s not much more we can say about this device without incurring the wrath of entities much larger than ourselves. Honestly, it’s all speculation anyway and will remain so until the big launch tomorrow. We’ll just say that we’re excited and if you can spare the time, we’re quite sure it’ll be worth following along with the live video feed.

HTC One

Several weeks back I had the good fortune to head to NYC for the HTC One launch event and to see the HTC One up close and personal. This milled aluminum unibody phone is a natural evolution of HTC’s well deserved reputation for attention to detail in design and material. What’s more, it’s the flagship HTC device and endeavours to put a stop to the iterative versioning that HTC has fallen prey to.

Software wise, there’s plenty to get excited about too. We’ll profile the HTC One on the Ting blog soon.

Expect to see the HTC One hit the Ting device page for pre-order in about 30 days, shipping in a few weeks of that date.

Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini

Take most of the stuff you love about the Samsung Galaxy S3 (given that it’s the most popular Android smartphone ever released we’re guessing you’ve found a lot to love), shrink the body and the price. What you’ve got is the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini which hits the Ting lineup in around the same timeframe as the aforementioned Samsung Galaxy S4.

An LTE hotspot

We’ve been busting our humps to get an LTE data device into the Ting lineup. There have been delays and supply chain problems that have kept these devices and the faster data speeds they bring out of our (and hence your) hands. It looks like all the delays and issues are behind us and we’ll have an LTE device up for pre-order within six weeks.

Covering off the FAQs

When will Ting get the iPhone?
We haven’t stopped working. As soon as we have news to share you can bet we’ll share it!

What about Windows Phone 8 devices?
They’re definitely coming. As soon as we have a clear timeframe, we’ll share it.

Any word on LTE support for the bring your Sprint device to Ting program?
Yup. A good word too. More news very soon 🙂