Review of Galaxy S4 L720 with Freedompop LTE

hankjrodhankjrod Posts: 368FreedomPop Newbie, FreedomPop Expert ✭✭✭
First of all, I originally had a Galaxy S2 with Freedompop starting in December. As those of you who have used the phone service since then, freedompop has come a long way in terms of battery life, call quality, and eliminating bugs/broken app updates. Sprint 3g where I am located gets about 1-1.5 mbps in the suburban and rural areas. In cities, 3g is almost unusable at 30-60kbps on a good day. With the Galaxy S2, I had to buy an extended battery to get through the day, and even then sometimes it would die.

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  • hankjrodhankjrod Posts: 368FreedomPop Newbie, FreedomPop Expert ✭✭✭
    I cannot comment on call quality with either the S2 or the S4, other than to say it seems to be improving, since I rarely make any call. Either way, the faster the network you are on (ping, latency, and jitter being the main factors) the better the call quality will be. 3g is not optimal, but it works most of the time. First of all the Galaxy S4 is a much better phone in terms of specs. This becomes apparent very quickly, but is probably not much better to most people than the s3. I have to say that most of the features are gimmicks, but I really like the 1080p screen and ir blaster. Other than that, I do not use most of the features.

  • hankjrodhankjrod Posts: 368FreedomPop Newbie, FreedomPop Expert ✭✭✭
    On the other hand, it uses data much faster due to the high res. and faster data speeds. One thing to note that is very important. From my experience, Sprint's map is highly inaccurate in showing lte coverage. It used to be really good, but they changed it a few months ago. Do not expect coverage in any area that is not under "best" unless you are up a tree. I sometimes struggle to get reception in "Best" areas. However, most of my area has lte.
  • hankjrodhankjrod Posts: 368FreedomPop Newbie, FreedomPop Expert ✭✭✭
    Speeds range from 8-11 mbps at my house (6mbps is all that is needed to stream 1080p) and 3+mbps in the city (I only tested here twice, the first time was 5 hours before a 5th of july fireworks show, the second during the middle of the show where I could not even get connection [estimated 100,000 people however]). You really don't need data faster than 3mbps unless you are prepared to stream video at high res. or want to download an app. This results in data charges though. Be aware though that Speedtests use up about 20mb each, so don't do too many. Anyways, lte is awesome and the primary reason I got this phone. I have not really tested call quality over 4g, since I rarely ever call anyone.
  • hankjrodhankjrod Posts: 368FreedomPop Newbie, FreedomPop Expert ✭✭✭

    One thing that really surprised my was the battery improvements. The battery lasts me the whole day, no problem with light to moderate use. Again, it is probably still worth getting an extra, but I don't feel the need for a heavy extended battery. The battery improvements can probably be attributed to several factors: 1) new phone technology 2)possibly the network settings (I turned off 1x, not sure if that makes any difference, but fp does not use 1x for calls anyways) 3)Battery Doctor App 4)making sure to close running tasks 5)latest fp messaging updates. It is worth noting that the freedompop messaging app sip client constitues 8.33% of battery usage during standby according to Battery Doctor, which is a vast improvement from what it was before. Note that Messaging does not show up in the default battery meter anymore, so the app itself does not drain battery, only the sip client (runs phone calls/texts) does.
  • hankjrodhankjrod Posts: 368FreedomPop Newbie, FreedomPop Expert ✭✭✭

    For those who were wondering, I did BYOD my galaxy s4 after purchasing it brand new off of ebay. I activated it online with the free plan ($20 activation fee) and within seconds of hands free activation the phone worked (I did have to install about 4gb of android updates though, since it is an older phone and was still loaded with the default version). I have not had any problems with it, and the gimmicky features are fun to play with. It is definitely a big step from the Galaxy S2 and I highly recommend it, however, if you have not used an S4 before, you will probably be just as happy with an S3. With the money you save using freedompop, you can save up sooner to buy a new phone, so although you won't have the latest and greatest, you can always have a good phone. One thing that was kind of annoying was that apparently you cannot transfer a phone number from a 3g/wimax fp phone to a lte one, but that is not a big deal to me and may have changed by now.
  • hankjrodhankjrod Posts: 368FreedomPop Newbie, FreedomPop Expert ✭✭✭

    Sorry for such a long review. @Taylor can you increase the posting limit on this thread? Feel free to ask any questions you may have. My sister has an s3 (not with freedompop) so if you have any device specific questions I can answer those as well. Also just in case there are any grammar mistakes, I apologize to the grammar Nazis :).
  • profiprofi Posts: 0FreedomPop Newbie
    hankjrod thank you for the insightful review.
    I've just started using FP with the Galaxy S2 and I'm learning my way around. I figure I can use it for a year+ with wimax going away, etc... Eventually I'm going to get an LTE phone from FP just like did.
    My wife is still on virgin mobile LT Optimus V (she's been there for 3+ years at $25/month) and I'm wondering if she would be happy with the S3 on FP unlimited or upgrading to S4 immediately is the way to go? I think the S3 is a nice phone and does much more that she'll ever use. She is a very light phone user. like I'm.
  • hankjrodhankjrod Posts: 368FreedomPop Newbie, FreedomPop Expert ✭✭✭
    @profi‌ I think she would be very happy with the S3. I really didn't find the extra "features" that the Galaxy s4 has to be that much better than the s3. The S4 may get better battery life (slightly) and it does have a higher resolution screen and an ir blaster to use as a tv remote, but the s3 is almost as good, and both have replaceable batteries. Since she is a light phone user, she would probably like either. One thing that I would also note is that if you can, bring her to best buy to look at phones. I wanted the s4 mainly because, I figured i would be set for a while, and would get the latest Android updates for a longer period of time. I really think the S3 would be more than adequate, the S4 adds a lot of features, but I actually turned most of them off or never use them (and I am somewhat of a tech geek).
  • hankjrodhankjrod Posts: 368FreedomPop Newbie, FreedomPop Expert ✭✭✭
    @profi I would also suggest looking into how much data your wife really needs (maybe download a data usage app if there is not one built in like samsung phones have). I never go over the 1gb/month i have with the free plan (500mb + add 10 "friends" for another 500mb), and you can purchase unlimited talk/text for 10.99/mo or 500 calls, unlimited text for 8.99/mo. Also open the My freedompop app and check the plan options there. I currently had (and purchased) an offer for unlimited talk/text for $4.99/mo. I wouldn't pay the extra for data unless she will use it. And btw, when you respond please put @hankjrod so that I get an email notification (or pm me), I will respond quicker that way.
  • Bruce MorrisBruce Morris Posts: 0FreedomPop Newbie
    @‌hankjrod
    I have a Galaxy S|||- I got when I was a slave to sprint. Since they would not let Me go prepaid. I found FP. The phone is great, FP service seems to be okay here in Oklahoma City, OK. I get 4G/LTE most of the time. I have super internet at home. 100meg and I am connected to it via wifi. So i am not sure I even need the data from FP. I do not browse the internet on my phone, that just seems silly when I am at home all day any way.
    I have had billing issues, and don't know what to do about that. I had the initial 2.49 service and 19.99 to activate my phone with FP. I thought I would up the data 2Gb at 3G/4G, and go with the 10.99 unlimited Talk and Text. so they charged me 6.80 right then. So Aug 5th I paid 22.48, Aug. 25th I paid 6.80, and Sep. 5th I paid 30.98 that seems a little wrong. I think they charged Me 6.80 just to change the plan. I am scared to drop the data for fear they will charge Me again. If it turns out to be just 30.98 I can live with it but if they keep charging me in the middle of the month for what ever reason I may drop the service...
  • hankjrodhankjrod Posts: 368FreedomPop Newbie, FreedomPop Expert ✭✭✭
    @Bruce Morris have you gotten any help? Pm the admins. BTW download the My Freedompop app and check the plan options. For a while there has been unlimited talk/text for $4.99 a month (I tried it and it works). Use an @ symbol before my name when replying so that I see it.
  • ZBrnBearZBrnBear Posts: 2FreedomPop Newbie
    I to have an SIII with Virgin aka Sprint and cannot get a fix on Freedompop's coverage in the Metro Wash., DC suburbs in MD .
    The slowdown for exceeding data on so called unlimited plans makes FP very appealing. Anyone Mid-Atlantic region have any insight on
    FP performance ? :-c
  • ZBrnBearZBrnBear Posts: 2FreedomPop Newbie
    I'm new to the forum and im curious is there anyone with insight as to how Freedompop performs in the Mid-Atlantic reigon DEL MD VA WASH.,D.C. areas ?
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