By now you know that you’ll have to pay an extra $10 a month to use Sprint’s EVO 4G, even if you don’t live in a 4G market. Sprint says this is because of the capabilities of the device and I find that to be a dangerous precedent that hurts the appeal of the device and Sprint in general.
The EVO 4G is downright drool-worthy: it has a massive 4.3-inch screen, a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, Android 2.1 with the latest build of Sense UI, a front-facing camera for video calls, an 8-megapixel shooter, a wireless hotspot option (for an additional fee, of course) and all the connectivity goodies you’d expect from a device of this class. This is an extremely compelling handset and I’ve been mulling eating the early-termination fee from Verizon to get it, but that extra $120 a year gives me pause.
Sprint’s John Taylor said the premium is in place, “because the phone has a faster processor, a huge 4.3-inch screen and an 8-megapixel camcorder/camera, we expect you will be using a lot more data than you would with our other devices. These features will give you capabilities that have previously never been available on a wireless device and we think they provide a premium experience. (Remember, this is the world’s first 3G/4G Android phone.)”
So that’s a solid point and the awesome video-chatting feature would run you an extra $10 on AT&T but it sets up an awkward future. So, the EVO is capable of more so you should have to pay more, but what happens when the next great Sprint smartphone comes out? Should we pay even more? Aren’t we already paying for “unlimited” data? Isn’t that the beauty of Sprint’s Simply Everything plans?
Look, I understand the technological pressures the carriers are facing with these devices and the proliferation of high-speed mobile data. There’s going to be a bandwidth crunch and maybe we should pay more. But, I think a tiered model is far more equitable and fair – If you exceed a certain threshold (assuming there are adequate measuring tools), you should pay more. I’m a cheap bastard, so I hate paying more for anything but I can accept that. What I don’t want to accept is having to pay more for the possibility that I may use more data, especially when I’m already paying for an “unlimited” plan.
This could rub customers the wrong way and we all know Sprint can’t afford to anger any more of its subscribers. It’s always one step forward and two steps back for Sprint. Sigh.
Am I just being needlessly angry, friends? To be fair, Sprint’s smartphone plans, even with the $10 premium, are still better than AT&T and Verizon. Will this stop you from getting an EVO 4G?