In my previous post , I mentioned I was considering switching to the Nexus 5. So after thinking about it for a bit, I’ve decided to take the plunge. Best case scenario, I use a phone I really like and save a lot of money doing it by switching to a lower-cost carrier off contract. Worst case, the money I’ll save even in a few months means I can jump on my wife’s carrier and get an iPhone 5S or whatever is out at the time. With that mindset, I ordered a SIM from Ting, the provider I’m going to use for my Neuxs 5 about a week ago, and it arrived in the mail yesterday. With all of the materials in place, it was time to move from an iPhone to a Nexus, and from Verizon to Ting.
There are a number of steps involved with a ‘bring your own device’ setup with a carrier that we take for granted but fortunately all of this is documented very well on Ting’s knowledge base. First off, I had to do a carrier reset for the phone to recognize the SIM card. Secondly, when I tried to activate my phone, apparently the activation service on Ting.com was down. I spoke with a rep on the phone who suggested I try again later. I tried again the next day and things were then up and running. I entered in my phone’s IMEI number as well as the SIM’s number and I was on my way. I had to enter a few things on the phone itself to configure it to work with text messaging and such, but the entire process (there is a support article that covers how to do all of this.), once the web site was working, took about 5 minutes.
My setup process was far from a great first experience given the one day delay, but these things happen. I’ll be honest – most all the terms and screens I dealt with were new territory for me, which means that most anyone should be able to do this, but also is kind of frustrating that it’s this difficult to get a phone working on a carrier by yourself. Maybe I’m being naive, but I just hope for a world where consumers really can take their device to any provider just by putting in a new SIM and signing up online without tons of configuration options.
Once I set up the phone as a new device, the number just ported over and that officially ended my service with Verizon. This month’s service is already paid for so my final bill from Verizon will be an ETF for canceling my service early. Within about 2 hours of porting my number, the Nexus 5 was working as intended. I deactivated iMessages on my iPhone so that texts would more reliably go to my Nexus when sent from other iMessage users, but otherwise didn’t do anything but shut off my iPhone. Through Gazelle, I sold my iPhone 5 (Verizon, 16gb) for $240 – more than enough to cover the ETF from Verizon ($200) on it’s own. It doesn’t hurt that Ting will pay $75 towards that as well. All you have to do is provide them with your final bill, proving you did in fact cancel and port that number over to Ting. Not bad.
My goal is to use Ting and the Nexus 5 for a few months and then make a decision about the long-term feasibility of this setup. It’s not like I’m ditching iOS completely, I’ll just do most of my iOS use on my new retina iPad Mini or my iPod touch and use the Nexus as my phone. I’m hoping it’s the best of both worlds. I’ll try to post a few updates as I go along regarding, Ting, the Nexus 5 and Android in general, all from an iOS user’s perspective. I’m pretty sure that there are a lot of folks out there like myself who are growing a bit weary of the way things are going in the iOS / carrier subsidized phone world, and maybe I can give some information on the pros and cons of making the leap.