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iPhone SE Questions
Posted by: Mike Johnson
Date: July 24, 2018 02:45PM
My son wants an iPhone SE, the 128 gig model. I know there are deals on the 32 gig model but he wants the 128, because many of his favorite games are over a gig in size. He wants the SE because it’s small and has a regular headphone jack.

I really like the plans and pricing at Mint Mobile, but they say the SE is limited to 2G speeds. Is that because an unlocked iPhone SE lacks whatever it needs to connect at 3G LTE or whatever on a T-mobile network? How the heck am I supposed to figure all this stuff out?

My assumption is that he’ll use this phone for a couple years, then maybe I’d take it over as an emergency phone when he wants an upgrade, so my focus is on total cost of ownership. Like I know Sprint has “free” service till January but it’s $60/month thereafter. I don’t want him using the cellphone so much that $720/year seems a reasonable amount to pay for all his high speed data when he’s not at home.

Cripes I hate this cell phone stuff.
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Re: iPhone SE Questions
Posted by: Acer
Date: July 24, 2018 03:03PM
That's got to be a Mint Mobile limit, because the SE is definitely LTE. Some of the low-cost providers won't even let you activate a LTE with their cheap plans, they want you to get a much more expensive "Smart phone" plan.
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Re: iPhone SE Questions
Posted by: Winston
Date: July 24, 2018 03:11PM
The iPhone SE 64 GB is what I have. It's (mostly) an iPhone 6S in a smaller shell. If Mint Mobile is limiting it to 2G speeds, then that's a choice they've made. The phone supports 2G, 3G, "4G" (the T-Mobile alternative to LTE, which they still have in operation) and LTE (which is also called "4G"). I'm on T-Mobile, and typically get 4G if I turn LTE off. There are times when the LTE signal is weak or overwhelmed, and the service is better on 4G.

Locking a phone has nothing to do with its capabilities. It only locks it to a specific carrier, so it can't be used with other carriers' SIM cards.

There are two models of the SE in the U.S. One is sold for AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon (model A1662), but lacks several LTE bands which are useful abroad, mainly 7 and 28. Band 7 gets a lot of use in Canada. The Sprint/Global model (model A1723) has more international bands, but not LTE band 13, which is Verizon's main LTE band, and LTE band 29, which is a minor AT&T band. For T-Mobile, the Sprint version works fine, as T-Mobile has no service on bands 13 or 29.

If your son is likely to do any travel abroad, especially for an extended period (summer study, semester abroad), the Sprint model would be a better choice.

More info on iPhone LTE bands below.

Good luck.

- Winston






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Be seeing you.
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Re: iPhone SE Questions
Posted by: Winston
Date: July 24, 2018 03:17PM
Remember, the phone is not limited by the cellular connection speed when it's on WiFi.

But if you want your son to, for example, be able to use Google Maps for navigation, 2G could be painfully slow. When my SE has defaulted to 2G in rural areas Google Maps and most web browsing has become unusable. You could teach him to download Google Map areas to the phone when on WiFi, and they'd work fine for navigation (but maybe not for additional data like details on a location) even with a slow cell connection. It's listed as "Offline Maps" in the Google Maps settings.


Good luck.

- Winston



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Be seeing you.
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Re: iPhone SE Questions
Posted by: Mike Johnson
Date: July 24, 2018 03:23PM
Well, that’s what I would have thought. The way Mint Mobile works, it’s like $25/month for 5gb of 4G LTE. Which is a much better deal than any other prepaid plan I can find. I wouldn't think they’d discriminate against iPhones, but when I walk through the “See if Mint is Right For You” process, and put in my zip code and say it’s an iPhone SE, it says “Up to 2G: Yikes! You’ll be able to call and text with Mint, but you will experience slow data speeds when trying to access the web. We recommend upgrading your phone to get the most out of our service."
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Re: iPhone SE Questions
Posted by: nwyaker
Date: July 24, 2018 03:45PM
FYI
[www.prepaidphonenews.com]
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Re: iPhone SE Questions
Posted by: billb
Date: July 24, 2018 03:48PM
The only reason I can think of offhand for why the iphone SE might see more 2G speeds from MintMobile is because it is a heavily subsidized phone they are offering and they are also deprioritizing service to it.

If he was talking about 2G when being used outside of the T-mobil network then all phones can often be limited to 2G service not just the iphone SE.
Heck you can get just 2G service even when you have a 3G or LTE icon on the top left of the screen. Just because you are connected to a LTE data network band doesn't necessarily mean you are getting high speed service.



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The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
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Re: iPhone SE Questions
Posted by: Winston
Date: July 24, 2018 04:50PM
Quote
Mike Johnson
Well, that’s what I would have thought. The way Mint Mobile works, it’s like $25/month for 5gb of 4G LTE. Which is a much better deal than any other prepaid plan I can find. I wouldn't think they’d discriminate against iPhones, but when I walk through the “See if Mint is Right For You” process, and put in my zip code and say it’s an iPhone SE, it says “Up to 2G: Yikes! You’ll be able to call and text with Mint, but you will experience slow data speeds when trying to access the web. We recommend upgrading your phone to get the most out of our service."


Wonder if that's effectively a typo at Mint Mobile. Some text pulled from an older phone that shouldn't have copied over to the iPhone SE. Might be worth contacting them if you otherwise really like their offering.


Good luck.

- Winston



------------------------
Be seeing you.
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Re: iPhone SE Questions
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: July 24, 2018 08:35PM
For short trips, I've been able to plot them in Maps while on WiFi and then turn off cellular data and still navigate, as long as I don't stray too far.

I don't recall if I lose turn by turn though.




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Re: iPhone SE Questions
Posted by: Winston
Date: July 24, 2018 08:43PM
Quote
RAMd®d
For short trips, I've been able to plot them in Maps while on WiFi and then turn off cellular data and still navigate, as long as I don't stray too far.

I don't recall if I lose turn by turn though.

Google Maps now automatically downloads the route, but if you detour off of that without either a data connection or Offline Map it can't handle it. It probably does pick up a few blocks on either side of the route. And I think you are right that turn-by-turn uses a data connection.


Good luck.

- Winston



------------------------
Be seeing you.
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Re: iPhone SE Questions
Posted by: raz
Date: July 25, 2018 08:25AM
FWIW, you can buy navigation software from Garmin (it's an App of course). You then, download the map data (free updates). It takes about 2GB on your phone, but gives you turn by turn even if there is no cell service.

I generally prefer it to Google Map and Apple Maps.



--------------

Embarassing myself on the Internet since 1978.
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Re: iPhone SE Questions
Posted by: space-time
Date: July 25, 2018 08:47AM
you can download certain Maps in Google Maps, I think you can select several large areas that should be more than enough for even very ling trips.

Also, there are programs like HERE that offer offline maps.

And finally, you can use Apple Maps or Google Maps and plan your route in WiFi without downloading any maps, and as long as you stay close to the route, it should work. But if there is any detour or you make a wrong turn, you find yourself without guidance. This, I prefer to download maps ahead of time.

Now both of my cars have built-in navigation, so I rarely use the phones.
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Re: iPhone SE Questions
Posted by: billb
Date: July 25, 2018 09:11AM
offline maps app:
[en.wikipedia.org]

Russophobics need not apply



The Phorum Wall keeps us safe from illegal characters and words
The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
BOYCOTT YOPLAIT [www.noyoplait.com]
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