A few years ago, I reluctantly gave up on the idea of using T-Mobile’s cell service in our current, very rural town. I closed my beloved T-Mobile flip phone for the last time, and switched to a service whose bars numbered five, on my new phone. It turned out to be acceptable phone service, although the pricing for various features seemed a bit much, and their policies, arbitrary.
One of the pluses of the new service was being able to get an Android phone, helpful for checking programming assignments, on a prepaid plan (I avoid phone/internet contracts where possible). That Android phone landed in the dog’s water dish this past week. Sticking it in rice almost fixed it, but it was done. On the bright side, I managed to get the stubborn kernels of rice out of all the nooks and crannies, I was able to (barely) wipe my personal data from it, and the phone’s cost was covered. Considering the pricing and policies of my at-the-time current service provider, I decided to try to go back to T-Mobile.
It was a good move. T-Mobile offers a feature, on capable phones, called Wi-Fi calling. With this, I can use the phone over my internet connection even at this house, which doesn’t get signal from the company. My internet is a bit sluggish, compared to cable internet, so calls themselves aren’t too smooth, but I hate talking on the phone anyway. And texts and everything else goes through like lightning. We’re planning on moving asap, also. The plan costs less, and T-Mobile has very fair policies concerning data.
It is almost painful to write this next part. Judging from my own old and new phones, Windows blows Android away on a cell phone. The Nokia Lumia 521 is a joy to use, and was so easy to set up in the first place. The phone, itself, is great for these old eyes. The screen is roomy, and just the right level of responsive. Unlike some who share their horror stories, I don’t have a problem using Windows 8 on my laptop. It just isn’t Linux. But on this phone, I wouldn’t trade Windows for another OS. It’s very intuitive, right out of the box. The icons are just the right size(s) – they are resizable – and they behave in a convenient way. It is all super fast, once the phone has booted up. I loved having my assignment calendar, kept on Google, automatically show up on the start page. Social sites are simple and pleasant to keep up with on this phone.
The only thing I’m not happy about, with the phone, is that vibrate cannot be completely turned off. It’s possible to turn it off for incoming calls and some other events, but not for when the back arrow or the start screen icon are used. Also, the charger plugin on the phone end is a bit catchy, and I worry about wear on that. The battery holds a good charge of at least a day.
The telephone customer service reps at my recent cell phone carrier sometimes warned customers not to perform certain tasks on their website, since the website is glitchy. I had to deal with some of that glitchiness following the dog water incident. T-Mobile’s website works without a hitch, just as I remember. Because of this, I haven’t had to call customer service this time around, and cannot comment on that. But it used to be wonderful, with knowledgeable, in-country reps who were given the tools to actually fix issues.
Through T-Mobile, the Lumia 521 is reasonably priced. It costs even less if you buy the version supported by a combined T-Mobile, Target service. A type of insurance/guarantee is available for a monthly fee, but since the phone costs less than the deductible, it doesn’t seem to make sense. Maybe tossing a couple dollars into an envelope each month to save up the cost is the better insurance policy.
All-in-all, I highly recommend this service and this phone.
Note: It’s ten days past the original post, here, and I can no longer complain about even the tiniest of issues with the phone. Mine just got an OS upgrade today, and it’s now possible to turn vibrate off completely. Service has been excellent.