Save by Paying More for the Google Nexus

5:35 PM -- The unlocked $299.99 Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC) Galaxy Nexus Android phone now being sold by Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) could definitely save some money for cellular fans, particularly for users who travel internationally.

Just as Google unveiled this latest push with contract-free phones, Verizon Wireless slashed the price of its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) Galaxy Nexus by $100, to $199.99 with a two-year contract.

So I thought it would be good to compare how the cost of the Google Nexus and the Verizon Nexus stack up for a 24-month period: For Verizon, I selected the 450-minute voice plan, the cheapest $10 texting plan with 1,000 messages, and the $30 2GB 4G data plan. Big Red is currently offering double data on the LTE plan, which means you get 4GB of data a month. Verizon also adds a $35 activation fee for the phone.

So, assuming no data overages, you'd pay $2,154.75 overall over the two years of the Verizon Nexus contract.

If you twin the $299.99 Google Nexus phone sale with T-Mobile US Inc. 's $60 4G prepaid plan it costs $1,739.99 over two years for the phone and the plan. This T-Mobile plan gets you unlimited talk and text and so-called "unlimited" data, although T-Mobile actually throttles back data speeds after 2GB of downloads in a given month.

The real steal, however, is if you can hang with just 100 minutes of talk time a month: T-Mobile's $30 Web plan throttles back data speeds after 5GB of downloads and offers unlimited text, but not much yap. Buying that plan would cost $1,019.99 for the phone and the service over two years.

T-Mobile sells SIM cards for $1 over the phone, or for $7 to $25 when bought in-store, and the Galaxy Nexus is the phone they've seen the most SIMs purchased for recently. You can also grab a SIM kit off Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) for just over $5.

Of course, because the Galaxy Nexus from Google is a GSM-based phone, you can also swap in a SIM card from AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and many other wireless carriers worldwide. Being able to pick up a SIM at the airport for the Nexus will appeal greatly to users who go abroad a lot. You could save big on international data roaming fees.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

gtchavan 12/5/2012 | 5:35:15 PM
re: Save by Paying More for the Google Nexus

Why promote a second rate product, iphone 5 is coming in in 3 months.  It will put everything these guys will sell to shame.  Best of all it is LTE and it will kill ATT and Verizon networks and will force them to buy more hardware and save networking jobs.  These guys better be prepared, in 6 months apple will likely sell 35-50 million LTE phones in the U.S. alone.

joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:35:15 PM
re: Save by Paying More for the Google Nexus I'm not promoting anything, just thought the costs were interesting. I don't particularly expect many people to buy an unlocked device, its not the American way.

I admire your devotion to the idea that the iPhone will change anything though. Arguably its encouraged carriers to cap data and AT&T still hasn't finished dealing with the fallout from the 3G version. They said today that 84 percent of traffic is now on enhanced backhaul.

The only thing that would the carriers pick up their game is if people stopped buying the iPhone in protest and the revenues dried up.

Don't think that's going to happen though, do you?
mj42 12/5/2012 | 5:35:12 PM
re: Save by Paying More for the Google Nexus

This sounded interesting. I've always thought that open phones where I can load the SIM card was the way the market should go so I went to the google play web page. It shows a price there of 399 not 299. Less interesting to me at 399.

Bannana 12/5/2012 | 5:35:06 PM
re: Save by Paying More for the Google Nexus

Picking up a SIM when you land in a foreign country and paying local charges sounds good, but in how many countries/at how many airports can you do it?

In my experience, this is something that carriers don't want to encourage, so they don't make it easy.

joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:35:05 PM
re: Save by Paying More for the Google Nexus

I guess I'm mostly thinking Europe. You can typically grab a sim kit out of a vending machine in Heathrow for example.

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