Today the fourth largest mobile carrier, T-Mobile, launched its rumored Value plans officially on its website. This Value plan is a new way for T-Mobile to allow customers to ditch contracts and essentially revamp the way we think when we hear "prepaid". While T-Mobile has been highly criticized in the past, it seems that this move is the beginning of the company taking a new direction for the better.

I decided to take a look at just how the new Value plans worked. While the Value plans seem tempting and the process itself is easy, the plans and the way they are laid are just a tad confusing.

It's worth noting that the entire time I went through this process the website went down several times, so I can assume the website is under a heavy load right now. I had to start over a total of 11 times so be aware of that if you plan on checking the plans out themselves.

On the first page you'll be able to choose the number of lines you want and the amount of data you'd like to use. Your choices range from 500 MB (included) to Unlimited Nationwide 4G speeds. In between the two you have the choice between 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12GB of data that you can choose from (tack 500MB on to each, as it's included with every plan - so really the plans are 2.5GB, 4.5GB, etc.) Each bracket states that once you reach the highest for that bracket (2.5GB for example) your speeds will slow down to 2G, which debunks the rumors before that you would just be charged $10 extra for going over without having to call in or make adjustments. However, I think the amount of choices you have for the amount of data you want is good because most carriers don't offer that many choices - for many, it's either a few gigs or unlimited.  Flexibility in that range is a good start; people like choices.

Here's where the confusing part is: As of right now, the plans are priced as follows for Individual Plans: the 500MB (included) plan starts at $50, and each plan goes up $10 depending on the amount of data you want, bringing the 12GB plan to $110.00. When I click on the last option (the “Unlimited 4G”) I expect to see 120.00 or something of that nature. Nope. $70.00. What? So you're saying I could either have 4GB of data for $70, or Unlimited 4G for the same price? That's a little confusing, but I'm not going to say no to a bad thing. So I choose the Unlimited 4G and move on.

The next page takes you to where you get to choose your phone. It gives you the option to pay either in full or in payments. They have some decent choices for $0 phones today – Galaxy Note II, HTC 8X, and HTC One S notably. The Nexus 4 is $49, the Galaxy S III is $69, and the Galaxy Note II is $199. It's almost like you're signing up with a carrier that you're bound on contract with. However, you'll notice below the price you'll pay today it will tell you how much extra you'll be tacking on to your monthly plan for the next two years. In the example below, you see that you would be paying $20 extra each month for the Galaxy Note II for 24 months. Not a bad deal if you're not willing to fork over $679.00 on the spot.

The next page will be the accessories they want you to buy, and after that you get to the final checkout page where everything is spelled out for you. The Unlimited Talk + Text portion is $50/mo., and the Unlimited Data comes to $20/mo. The phone will cost $20/mo. for 24 months, bringing your total to $90/mo. You might think to yourself, "Yeah, but that's what I'd be paying at my contract carrier, too." Except for the key here is that you're not in contract and you can leave whenever you want with no repercussions.

An added bonus is that if you already have a T-Mobile device, or any other GSM device, you can bring it with you and skip adding that extra monthly charge for a new device altogether.

Personally, I have said and I still think this is a good move for T-Mobile. Even though their plans are a little confusing right now (I am wondering if their "Unlimited 4G" plan is something that will only be offered for a limited time) they’re still priced competitively and offer more freedoms and features (HSPA+ and LTE) than most prepaid carriers can say that they do, plus they give you two options on how you would like to pay for your full-price phone if that's the route you're going to take. They’re paving a whole new path for mobile carriers, and if the plans really are as good as they say they are then I think we will be seeing more of these pop up over time.

As I mentioned before, T-Mobile's website is kind of finicky right now so if you're interested in checking these plans out for yourself then please be aware you might have to start over a few times.

Readers, now that you can officially see what these plans entail how do you feel about them? Do you say yes or no to the Value Plans? Do you get a better value from your current carrier? Let me know your opinions in the comments!

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Products mentioned in this Article

eBay prices for the Samsung Galaxy S II Titanium

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36 Reactions to this post

"What say you: yay or nay to T-Mobile's Value plans?"

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David DiPilla Ya I heard once you leave the big cities with t-mobile you dont get as good as service and even that your paying 20 dollars a month for the phone on t-mobile it still taked over 2 years to pay it off so its like having Verizon but Verizon is king they are rated number one for a reason
Justin Charles Reback I think the Monthly4G prepaid plans are better, but that's just me.
Mike Tasler If it works, the others will do it to. I wish my carrier would do it right now
Brian Walden yay. Hopefully the other carriers will catch on and follow.
Roger Schubert DeOliveira and also....4GB of shared data? do you guys share toothbrushes and underwear too? $60 per line...how many lines do you have?
Michael Hercliff On a family plan with Verizon, I only pay $60 a month for unlimited talk, text and 4gb of shared data. That is much cheaper than I would pay with T-Mobile. The article says that there would be no repercussions for terminating early, but how can that be if you're stuck with paying an additional $20 a month for the device you are subsidizing yourself??
Adrian Jordan Yay, T-Mobile has some very good prices for their smartphone collection.
Chris Sucharda If u love 2g ie AOL dial up speeds then go for it. So glad I can tether my unlimited vzw data to my tmo nexus 4. T-Mobile is so slow out side the city.
Wayde Philpot This plan is ideal for families or groups bringing their own device....also ideal for those who always want to have the latest and greatest....Imagine you got the s3 when it launched last yr...now you're thinking about getting the the s4....just pay off the remaining balance on the s3 and make a down payment on the s4. TMO allows you to affordably "upgrade" when you want to. There's also an "on the spot" trade-in program available to lower the net cost on the new purchase.
Milton R. Ervin IV Well I guess you could always pay the phone off..anytime you want right?
Derek Everette Yay. They only keep you if you buy the phone with them if you bring your own phone. It's really competitive. Especially since I have to on vzw right now anyway.
Martin Rodriguez No thanks. T mobile service is horrible. I will stick to Verizon.
Anthony Ruiz Yes. I was never on a contract anyways. I buy all my phones unlocked anyways. This just made it easier. Galaxy nexus. HTC vivid. IPhone 3gs.
Abram Wenevermet Dennis Tmobiles network isn't much better that sprint here... I'll stick with AT&T & Verizon for now..
Tim Davis I'd be all for it...too bad the coverage is nowhere near as good as AT&T/VzW in my area.
George Millhouse you still are technically under a contract since you have 20 months of higher payments after buying your phone. same difference.
Jaime Espinoza I might go back to T-Mobile once my contract is up with Sprint.
Dan Daniel YAY not a fan of contract for anything. They have always had great service SO Cal
David Slawter I like it a lot, but I'm staying with Verizon simply because of a wider range of cell service.
Joan Wolke Solavei has a better plan. Does your mobile phone pay you ?
Anthony Charles Boyd Yay now other companies watch and learn
Anthony Evans Jr great plan only for the price cause if you need a phone its basically still a contract.. but if they get 4g lte in my area I may consider them
Victor Ayuba yay all the way... Will make other giants come to their senses
Rogelio Esquivel No 4 g always 3 g in san antonio tx

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