• News
  • 5 January, 2010

Nexus One Service Plans

We all know the Nexus One is dropping with two pricing options. You can get the unlocked phone for $530 which you can slap a SIM card into immediately and put to use on either T-Mobile with their shiny new 7.2Mbps HSPA+ service or on AT&T’s Edge network. For the discounted price of $179 you can also purchase the same device bound to T-Mobile.

When it launched, G1 plans were created with extra fees to cover the costs of all that extra bandwidth we Android users are known to consume. Yes, our unlimited data plans cost slightly more than other options on the same network, but there was some logic behind those limitations.

The Nexus similarly launches with some limitations on the available plans. This time around they are slightly stranger. A call this afternoon to T-Mobile to inquire on the possibility of a partial subsidy for an early G1 adopter was disappointing. Though it’s been over 14 months since the purchase of the G1 and despite partial subsidies being available for other similarly priced phones, no partial subsidy is currently available for the Nexus. It’s currently either $189 or $530.

For those of you considering eating the early termination fee and switching to the Nexus, the T-Mobile rep spoken to said there is only one service plan available for customers activating subsidized phones. According to this rep, there is currently no unlimited minutes version of this plan. You’ll have to be careful not to spend more than 500 minutes of your weekday peak hours bragging to your friends or you’ll face overages. Of course, once you’ve got your service up and running on the new plan you’re free to upgrade your service, but for those of us with loyalty plans, that upgrade can bring the cost of unlimited talk, text and web from $85 a month up to $99.

For early G1 adopters with loyalty rate plans, to qualify for a discounted Nexus you would have to pay an early termination fee of $200. To keep your unlimited minutes you would also have to increase your monthly bill by $14 or $336 over the term of the contract. When you add the cost of the phone itself, the total cost of that Nexus upgrade leaps to $715. With those sorts of potential upgrade costs for a locked version of the phone, the unlocked and unsubsidized phone looks very appealing. It does make you wonder, however, why smartphone costs are so high.