T-Mobile announced that it will carry the iPhone 5 this morning at its “Uncarrier” event in New York City, alongside new pricing plans. Though the iPhone 5 is not a new device, several media outlets went hands-on with the device after the event to test out the phone’s speeds, pricing, and feature set.


Gizmodo tested the iPhone 5’s HD voice feature, which takes advantage of the wideband audio on the iPhone 5 to deliver better sound quality. On a T-Mobile iPhone-to-iPhone call, the difference was notable.

Calling from one T-Mobile iPhone to another, my caller’s voice came through loud and clear. You know how sometimes cell-to-cell voice calls can sound a little fragmented? Like little bits of sounds are being dropped? This didn’t have that. It was a much more natural sounded call. It was a bit richer, and definitely fuller. I wouldn’t say it was like night and day, but it’s definitely a noticeable improvement.

Engadget went hands on to test the T-Mobile LTE speeds of the Note II, the HTC One, and the iPhone 5, finding that T-Mobile’s LTE network performed well.

Finally, we tested two separate iPhone 5s and, interestingly, saw different speeds. The first averaged 26Mbps down, the second 18 – despite being tested at the same time. [Upload] speeds hovered around 10Mbps and pings were always very good, typically under 50ms.

So, as ever numbers vary widely from test to test, but the network can certainly deliver some impressive numbers on average.

Engadget also clarified what happens if users buy an “Uncarrier” phone and then cancel service. As it turns out, a purchased T-Mobile iPhone must be bought out, but users also have the option of continuing to make monthly payments or trading it in for another device. When trading it in, T-Mobile will provide “fair market credit” for the phone.

Feature wise, T-Mobile phones typically ship with WiFi calling, which is designed to allow users to make and receive calls from a T-Mobile phone on any WiFi hotspot in the world. As Engadget points out, that feature will not be included when the iPhone 5 initially launches, but may be included in the future.

With T-Mobile’s new UnCarrier plan, the total cost of the 16GB iPhone 5 is $ 579, with an upfront fee of $ 99 plus 24 monthly payments of $ 20. When payments are complete, the phone can be unlocked. In comparison, a fully unlocked iPhone directly from Apple costs $ 649.

T-Mobile’s iPhone 5 will be in stores on April 12th and can be pre-ordered online beginning on April 5th.

Hopefully this makes AT&T and Verizon change up their pricing.

And by change up pricing I mean make it cheaper. 😀

It’s nice to have another carrier option.

Those speeds are along the lines of what i get on ATT in the LA area.

that HD voice is the only thing that interests me
The best aspect on this news, is that T-mobile is trying to actively disrupt the duopoly that AT&T and Verizon have by not following the same formula. I know that T-mobile doesn’t have LTE speeds in as many areas, although living in LA with AT&T LTE speeds is lackluster, but I now have an option to vote with my wallet. If enough people do, it’ll create a stronger competition among the companies which is only good for the consumer.

Can someone explain to me how T-Mobile will still make a profit out of all this?

I think they’re banking on people staying to use their service.

You don’t want to use their service? So what. Just pay for the device and get out. They break even.

The Big Two can do this too but they’ve been raping our pockets for this long. Why stop now?

Well here in DC service with T-Mobile can sometimes be better than Verizon (the standard). Now it’s just deciding between the iPhone 5, Galaxy S4, Nexus 4 or waiting for the 5S whenever that comes. First world problems, I know.

Either way, looking forward to getting some T-Mobile LTE. It’s about damn time. They have always been great to me. If you live in the DC area, their coverage is typically insanely good. As always, YMMV

I have to say, I’m excited. An iPhone with unlimited voice, texting and 3G data for $ 70/month – with tethering, HD Audio, and the possibility of WiFi calling – is freakin’ awesome.

I’m in an area with shoddy reception, but always have WiFi when I’m at home or in the office. The WiFi calling feature would work much better than my current Google Voice + Talkatone setup, which shows up as being from a separate phone number than my main line.

Can someone explain to me how T-Mobile will still make a profit out of all this?

right now t-mobile is de-coupling the price of the phone and the phone bill. that’s the beauty of it! their prices are so low because it no longer builds in the higher pricing used to recoup the phone subsidy

this isn’t any cheaper than anyone else for those who upgrade after every couple or whenever eligible. All they’re doing is shifting around the #’s

$ 70 is great for all this unlimited stuff – but you’ve forgot to tack on another $ 20 for the “phone loan”.

$ 90 grand total. It’s great marketing though to artificially make your pricing look so low so since all of NA is used to looking at the monthly with subsidies.

That’s still a LOT cheaper than AT&T/Verizon/Sprint for unlimited + subsidy. T-Mobile (even WITH the $ 20) is charging about what I pay AT&T now, but would give me more!

I don’t have unlimited anything, and I pay .20 for every text (no text plan), and I’m paying just about $ 90. (I was grandfathered into a cheaper data plan: today I’d be paying even more than that.)

Plus, I’d love to be able to upgrade my phone every 2.5 years, say, and not pay a half-year of subsidy for nothing.

Any chance At&t and Verizon Match T mobile?

That is considerably better than what they offer!


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