Sunday, October 31, 2004; Page F08
"Regional Rate"$49.99: 3,000 anytime minutes, then 35 cents/minute.
"National Get More America"$19.99: 60 anytime minutes, 500 weekend minutes, then 45 cents/minute.$29.99: 300 anytime minutes, unlimited weekend minutes, then 40 cents/minute.$39.99: 600 anytime minutes, unlimited night/weekend minutes, then 40 cents/minute.$39.99: 1,000 minutes, then 40 cents/minute.$59.99: 1,000 anytime minutes, unlimited night/weekend minutes, then 40 cents/minute.No roaming or long-distance charges.
"Family Time"$49.99: 400 anytime minutes, unlimited night/weekend minutes, then 40 cents/minute.$69.99: 800 anytime minutes, unlimited night/weekend minutes, then 35 cents/minute.Plans cover two phones; additional phones, up to five total, add $10 each. No roaming or long-distance charges. Free calls to other T-Mobile phones.
Fine printOne-year contract required, but can change plans without penalty. 14-day trial. "Weekend" means 12:01 a.m. Sat.-11:59 p.m. Sun.; "night" means 9:01 p.m.-6:59 a.m. Prepaid "T-Mobile to Go" service available, starting at $10 for 30 minutes or 30 days and $25 for 90 minutes or 90 days.
Smartphones offeredBlackBerry 6230, 6710, 7100t, 7230 and 7730; HP iPaq h6315; Nokia N-Gage QD; PalmOne Treo 600; Sidekick II; T-Mobile Pocket PC 2003 Phone Edition
Real-world cost estimates1: Light use (30 minutes): $19.99
REVIEWER'S NOTES:T-Mobile, last year's weakest performer, closed the gap a bit this year. We did find areas where the signal was dramatically weaker than other carriers, but fewer than a year ago; this is real progress. If your own calls don't extend to rural areas and you find that T-Mobile's plans meet your use better than those of competitors, you might find that occasional static or dropouts are acceptable tradeoffs.