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TMo G1 probs, repair or replace? (within 3-5 days)

by pianoplayer88key / September 8, 2011 8:31 AM PDT

Hi all. I've had a T-Mobile G1 since within a couple months after they were released. It's served me somewhat adequately over much of this time, but in the last year or so it's been showing its age and now it's hardly even usable.
Among other things, the camera quit working almost a year ago, and more recently the keyboard/trackball will sometimes do things when I'm not touching them, the speaker for listening to calls the traditional way doesn't work (speakerphone still does). Within the last couple weeks the battery life of the Seidio 2600 mAh extended battery I have in it has gone down the sewers - I'm lucky to get 5 minutes on it now. It'll shut off even when it shows around 80% charge, then when I turn it back on it shows below 15%. I've read some posts somewhere else about an issue with T-Mobile's network increasing battery usage, but I don't think that's the issue here.

I'm at a bit of a quandary on what to do now, and I need to resolve this by/before this coming Tuesday (the 13th). I have a few options I'm considering...
* Buy another battery for my current phone, also maybe open it up and try to repair or replace the camera and speaker; not sure what to do about the keyboard and trackball though
* Buy another phone, pop my SIM card in it and start using it. The only current 5-row QWERTY I find for GSM (T-Mobile) is the Sidekick 4G, but I'm reading mixed reviews on that model.
* Switch to Sprint and get an Epic 4G
* Switch to Verizon and get a Droid 3. (Only if there is a very good reason to do it, no features on my phone will be locked/blocked by Verizon, and it doesn't have a bloated UI on top of whatever Android has that saps resources.)
(I'm not aware of a 5-row Android QWERTY for AT&T.)

I would prefer to stick with a GSM carrier so I can easily move from one phone to another at will. Yesterday I timed it and it took me about 40 seconds (including some fumbling) to pull the SIM card out of my G1 and replace it. Can switching phones with a CDMA carrier be done at least that fast, even at, say, 1:30am PDT?

My current plan with T-Mobile is 500 minutes, unlimited messaging and unlimited data, for about $62-63 a month or so. On an active month I might use 15-20% of the minutes, and probably send/receive less than 100-150 texts. I use the data extensively a few hours a day, though. It's supposed to be the pre-cap unlimited grandfathered data, but I'm still having problems even streaming low-quality YouTube videos in real time, and I can't even load the HQ ones anymore. Also the $62-63/month is stretching it for me, but so far I'm barely managing.
Is there a way I can streamline my plan to get what I need at a better price? If I could get $10-$20 knocked off the monthly price, that would be really nice. Or, should I just stick with what I have now?

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All Answers

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You are back with more questions, I see ;)
by Pepe7 / September 9, 2011 12:41 AM PDT

I recall your last query was fairly detailed, like this one. I would like to help, but first let's start with some of the low hanging fruit, eh? Clear the deck a little, if you will.
Regarding switching out a SIM card, are you asking whether or not a less than one minute phone swap could be improved upon? Sounds fairly unreasonable since that time generally works for 99.9% of users. The short answer is no, since IME it takes longer when you go online with a CDMA system to use/activate another handset. You have to be the one to choose whether or not you want to move to a somewhat less flexible that requires some external procedure to swap handsets at will.
The more pressing bottom line is whether or not the other carriers will provide you with adequate coverage where you need service. I'd look into that part first before worrying about handset selection. Frankly, of the larger carriers only Sprint will give you the rock bottom price on such an 'all you can eat' plan considering you require (unlimited) data. Not sure if an MVNO such as Virgin Mobile or Simple Mobile would suffice since you would lose the grandfathered data you have now. The cost of the minutes you do not need/use is something you may have to eat in order to get the price and quantity on the data plan.

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Also, regarding data speeds...
by Pepe7 / September 9, 2011 12:48 AM PDT

It looks like the issue could be how the T-Mobile network performs at your location. (Are you on the edge of a 3G coverage area?) How does Youtube streaming work at other locations w/ the same handset? Keep in mind youtube is known for periods of slowness at times. YMMV.

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