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Hey there. I would like to start out by saying that I have been an Android user for 3 years now on T-Mobile. I dont want to say im anit-Apple, but more of im just not a fan of Apple products. (Im a big pc nerd, been building PCs for 5 years now) The only thing im a fan of is iPod. But recently with the iPhone 5 being out, I have actually started to like the iPhone more. Mainly because it finally now has a 16:9 screen, which is a huge deal for me. Also im sick of Android not having good development. Everything for mobile is made for iPhone first and then usually terribly ported to Android. Also I like the fact of having both my iPod and phone in one.

Ok so here are my problems. Since im on T-Mobile, I will have to get an unlocked iPhone 5. (And yes it has to be a 5 because i cant deal with the smaller square screen) One is the price, and two is the network. Since T-Mobile's network does not fully work with the iPhone I would get either 3g or Edge depending on where im at. Since I live about 40 minutes south of Chicago I should be fine on getting 3g most of the time. But next year in the fall of 2013 ill be going to Southern Illinois University where there is no 3g tower. Also im not sure if you know about it. But the head CEO of T-Mobile came out and said on December 6th, 2012 that T-Mobile will be getting LTE in 2013 and that they will be carrying "Apple Products".

The other problem is the cost. To get an unlocked iPhone 5 16gb is $650 which is a lot. But on the other hand I will only technically be paying around $200 for it because I will be selling my HTC Amaze 4g which sells for about $200-250 on ebay. Also my iPod Touch 4th generation 32gb which also sells for about $200 on ebay. With this said its still a lot to say Im spending $650 just on a phone.

So with all of this said what do you guys think? My main concern is the network. I will technically be downgrading since I do have a 4g device now. But I also have read that the 3g is the same speed as normal T-Mobile 4g. Also my other option is going with a Nexus 4 for only $299. (But im getting really sick of waiting for it to come back in stock.) So what do you guys say? Unlocked iPhone 5? or stick with Android and wait for the Nexus 4?

Thanks, Kenny

asked Dec 29 '12 at 19:21

Albake21's gravatar image


Right now, I'd get a Nexus 4. It has full support for T-Mobile's 3G and 4G (HSPA+) network. You can buy it from T-Mobile for even cheaper ($199) if you're okay with a contract. The Nexus 4 is a great device—it's fast and fluid, has a unique and fresh design, a great display, and gets the latest version of Android as soon as the updates come from Google.

The iPhone 5 has unparalleled hardware design, it feels just as fast and smooth as a Nexus 4, and it'll keep its value better than a Nexus 4 will. It has access to Apple's full suite of services (including iTunes and the App Store), and third parties make lots of accessories for iPhones. The problem, as you mentioned, is the network. The iPhone does not support T-Mobile's 3G network, which uses GSM band 1700. The Nexus 4 supports it, the iPhone 5 does not. However, the iPhone 5 does support T-Mobile's 4G HSPA+ network in some areas. So, you'll get 4G in some areas, but in areas where there is no 4G you'll only get EDGE. Let's talk LTE: If you buy the unlocked iPhone 5 from Apple, you'll get GSM model A1429. A1429 is an international model that supports LTE mostly in Europe, standard bands 1, 3, 5. T-Mobile's LTE network, when launched, will be on band 4. So, even when T-Mobile launches LTE, your unlocked iPhone won't support it. To get LTE on T-Mobile, you'll have to acquire iPhone 5 GSM model A1428, which supports LTE bands 4 and 17—just what you need for T-Mobile LTE. Unfortunately, Apple doesn't sell GSM A1428 unlocked. Only AT&T and some Canadian carriers have it, and they're all locked. And even this model, while it supports LTE, still won't support T-Mobile's 3G network. Again, with Apple's unlocked iPhone (GSM A1429), you'll get EDGE and 4G HSPA+, no LTE when it launches. With AT&T's iPhone (GSM A1428), you'll get EDGE, 4G HSPA+, and 4G LTE (when it launches on T-Mobile). You'll have to get the AT&T one unlocked, however, which might be difficult. You could try buying an iPhone 5 from an AT&T store without a contract (at full unlocked price) and make the employees unlock it (I don't know if they'd do this, you'd have to ask them; I don't see why they wouldn't, though). Then just activate it on T-Mobile with a nano SIM, as you'll have no commitment to stay with AT&T and the iPhone will have been unlocked.

So, if you want an iPhone 5 on T-Mobile, I recommend you wait until T-Mobile gets their own iPhone. It'll support their 3G network and their LTE network when it comes out, so you won't have to worry. You can even get a Nexus 4 now (don't get it with a contract, get it for $299 from Google), and then whenever T-Mobile gets the iPhone 5 (or a newer version), buy that on contract for $199 and sell or gift away your Nexus 4. You could even keep it and use a SIM adapter to trade between the Nexus 4's micro SIM and iPhone 5's nano SIM slot, depending on what phone you want to use that day.

answered Jan 05 '13 at 19:56

jah600's gravatar image


Everything you said is exactly what I was looking to hear. And your suggestion is exactly what im going to do. Once I can get a Nexus 4 ill buy that from Google and then by the time (and if it happens) T-Mobile gets the iPhone my contract will be up to buy either that or anything else. Thank you so much for answering this. I had no idea about the all the bands. That really helps, and with that I dont want to have to mess with an unlocked iPhone.

(Jan 06 '13 at 13:34) Albake21 Albake21's gravatar image
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Asked: Dec 29 '12 at 19:21

Seen: 1,178 times

Last updated: Jan 06 '13 at 13:34