Planhacker: What’s The Best BYO Plan For A Nexus 4?

Planhacker: What’s The Best BYO Plan For A Nexus 4?

Dear Lifehacker, With the upcoming release of the Nexus 4, I was wondering if you could do a comparison of the best BYO mobile plans for the phone. I’m particularly interested in networks which offer DC-HSPA+, since the phone doesn’t support 4G. Any advice? Thanks, Nexus Lust

Dear Nexus Lust,

The upcoming launch of the Nexus 4 has got Android fans excited, not least because of the fact that it is being supplied by Google directly through the Play store. Not only does that mean you’re not tied to a contract, it also means that updates to Android should roll out more speedily than when carriers get involved in the process.

We have official prices in Australia ($349 for the 8GB model, $399 for the 16GB version), but not yet an official ordering page or delivery date. The US release is scheduled for November 13, and it’s widely assumed we’ll know more about local release plans then, but there hasn’t been any word from Google. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start thinking about what might suit it.

We recently rounded up BYO contract cap plans for Planhacker, so hit that post if you want a detailed roundup of everything on the market right now. Every carrier has a range of plans under their own brand, and there are also plenty of MVNOs selling BYO plans on the Optus and Vodafone networks.

In terms of DC-HSPA+, the only provider offering it actively right now on a wide basis is Telstra. Vodafone is rolling out 3G+ (its label for DC-HSPA+) in select locations, but doesn’t have the same breadth of coverage. Optus has basic HSPA, but has opted to refarm its existing 3G spectrum and push out 4G rather than going with the interim solution.

That said, I wouldn’t get too hung up on the network labels. Performance will vary widely on all networks, and sometimes all you’ll get is basic 3G no matter who you have signed up with. If you know a given network works well in your house, sticking with it can be wise.

Cheers Lifehacker

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    • Indeed or if you need a bit more pay $17 p/m. I’m on Liveconnected and also pay $11 p/m but vaya has a few advantages. When are they releasing 4G plans I wonder.

  • Personally I would go on pre-paid with Telstra Cap Encore rather than a BYO plan. $50 recharge gives you 800mb of data (but you can buy a data pack using included credit for $49 that gives you an additional 3gb), $950 worth of talk and text and unlimited calling and txt to standard numbers between 6pm and 6am every day of the week. I use this at the moment on my GS2 and it is great.

    • so you pay $399 + postage for the nexus 4 phone, then pay $50 a month for a call plan which comes to $66.63 a month (over 24 months).

      If you are not going to country areas a lot then the optus network can work fine. I am using VAYA (which uses optus netwok) $11/month – no contract ($500 calls & 1.5GB internet).
      Works great for me – a great smart phone with $500 of calls & 1.5GB internet a month for only $27.63/month (cheaper than most 24 month contracts)

      • You get what you pay for, if you want to use the Optus network, go for it, but for many it isn’t an option if you want reception. My initial comment still stands that the majority of pre-paid deals offer better value than a BYO plan.

        • As someone who recently moved from Vodafone to Telstra, I’d say paying the extra amount is worth it. I can finally make calls or browse the internet without worrying about losing reception.

  • i’m on contract with Telstra, with a Galaxy Nexus.

    I believe the Nexus-4 is a penta-band model supporting 850Mhz. Does anyone know if it would support Telstra’s “Next-G” on 850Mhz ?

    sometimes frequency matching isn’t enough and the encoding or something also needs to be compatible ?

    • Hmm, i’m sure it would support nextg if it supports 850mhz, that said i’ve never heard of frequency matching and encoding needing to be compatible. In a way i think it would be a bit of a waste to get a phone without lte (no matter how good a phone it is) on Telstra. You are paying for LTE so might as well use it.

      • thanks for the reply.

        I’m happy to have a better phone going from the galaxy nexus to the Nexus4. LTE doesn’t worry me that much as long as i have at least 5Mb/s download speeds, as for me coverage is more important,

        LTE is only available in the CBD’s of cities and even then only about 2 KM radius, so the rest of the time you’re going to be using HSDPA anyway.

        The Nexus4 uses HSDPA up to 42Mb/s so i would n’t be worrying about not getting up to the theoretical 100Mb/s of LTE, most LTE gets less than 50Mb/s anyway.

        here’s the Nexus4 using HSDPA and getting decent speeds (over 20Mb/s) on a decent carrier:

        it’s all about the network carrier, if the carrier has decent HSDPA speeds, they’l probably have decent LTE speeds and vice versa.

        If a carrier has low speeds on HSDPA, they’ll also likely have low LTE speeds proportionally to the competition too.

        So if i can have the Nexus4 on Telstra and get same or better speeds than what i’m currently enjoying with my Galaxy Nexus, then i’m in !

    • I’m still on the “$49 plan” which would cost $19.99 but I get it for $14.99. It is indeed full of win. But the Nexus 4 will be my first Android, after almost three years using Ubuntu on a Samsung netbook as my commuting device.

  • I’m still a fan of RedBull Mobile while they offer the 12 months for $365 unlimited (with an extra 3 months free). Works out at roughly $25 a month.

    I can’t see anything beating that in the next year so I’m happy to have locked in for that.

    • Was so excited when I read your post, jumped on the Red Bull Mobile site, got more excited, read that it uses the Vodafone network, excitement turned to disappointment.

      • hmm. vodafone are actually starting to look more attractive now with their 850MHz HSPA+ band supporting faster speeds than optus do (on their 2100MHz/900MHz network)

  • I think the $18 TPG medium plan is great value. Would only want the Redbull if i needed the 5 gig / month as the Optus 3G network is a bit better than VF in Perth.

  • I bought a galaxy nexus and went on a dodo $9.90 cap. Back then they had a special which gave you a total of 2.5Gb data and $150 calls.

    That deal doesn’t exist anymore though 🙁

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