Yesterday late morning, I returned the LG F6 from T-Mobile back to the store. The reason of why was in the 10 days I had the phone, it has proven to have a couple of good points, but mostly bad points. The LG F6 was $290 which I paid $50 down, and would have paid $10 for 24 months. I also had paid the taxes on the $290 as well.
When I looked at the phone, it had the LG UI on it, which I wasn’t fond of, but willing to tolerate it (otherwise, I wouldn’t have purchased it). However, in the time I had it, the phone locked up on me a number of times, disabled its own Wifi – therefore in one instance burned through the data within a couple of days as I expected it to be on the home’s wifi network. Programs that didn’t even started will close due to an illegal operation.
To help try to offset some of the issues on the phone, I have tried Nova Launcher which brought the phone to worse behavior, while Apex Launcher was a little more stock 4.1 like, and a little better for this phone. The dialer was a complete mess when compared to Android, or even iOS conventions. Contacts didn’t work properly, and while the battery was great (lasting more than a day with very lite usage), the phone simply put was not worth the trouble nor aggravation.
Returning the phone imposed a $50 restocking fee, which I was able to get credited to my next bill. This is due to the relationship that in many cases feel one sided with regards to T-Mobile. Simply put, I always pay my bills on time, and dealt with them even in their low point.
There was a couple of things that were good about the phone. First, it had a micro-SIM slot which is what the Nexus 4 has. This could have meant that if I kept the phone, but lost the need for the second line, it could have served as a backup phone. It also had a micro-SD card slot which was good since there is only 4GB of storage. It was also an LTE phone which meant it would have provided better speeds as well. However, all of these good qualities could not make up for the bad, especially when I will have to pay almost $25 per month more on the bill ($10 line + $5 Name ID + $10 EIP).
Returning the phone does not absolve the need I had with a second line. The second line was to provide for a back up line in case something should happen with my primary phone. It would also have been in service as I wanted something with CID services. TruPhone simply didn’t work for me causing conflicts sometimes with answering the call.
I have a couple of options. Since the Nexus 4 is no longer available for sale in anticipation for the next Nexus (most likely named Nexus 5), I could save up for the money to purchase the Nexus 5, and find an insurance provider outsourced. After buying the Nexus 4 from T-Mobile at a much higher price, and will be paying more than twice what I would have paid for insurance, it will seem to be in my best interest to wait until I can pay for the Nexus 5. In which case, I will save half, and use the credit card which will then mean I will make payments on the other half.
Another option to consider is to go cheap. However, if I did this, the main issue is the cost of the line. Adding a line to my T-Mobile account will cost $10. Therefore, any service including most prepaid carriers will be a waste of money. Even Republic Wireless at $20 per month is more expensive than adding a 5th line.
If I was to go cheap, I will spend $100 (plus any taxes and S&H) to buy the HTC Evo and service with Freedom Pop. Yes, the HTC Evo has an repulsive interface, and an outdated OS, but the F6 was not much better. Where it will count is service. The base plan includes 200 minutes, 500 SMS/MMS and 500MB of data for $0. And I have personal experience with them on a mobile router. While they are not the fastest, they are by far the cheapest. And in reality, I only use about 250 minutes, so I could actually replace T-Mobile with this phone if I was willing to accept the Evo as my primary phone. Since I have a home phone, I will simply use that more often to get below 200 minutes.
As for what option I will choose for, I am not sure. The disadvantage of the Evo is it is a CDMA/WiMax phone and obviously locked which will not suffice as a temporary phone if something should go wrong with my primary phone. Thankfully, I could set forwarding behind the scenes and none will be the wiser. In all cases, since any second phone will likely not come directly from T-Mobile, I will also have to pay an extra $3/month with Privacy Star for Caller ID services.