AT&T Wireless PhonesAT&T is originally a telephone company, rather than a cable company, and offers a number of wireless telephone services.
AT&T offers a number of wireless services, including both telephones and tablets. Like most companies who offer such services, they offer discounts on their hardware when one purchases a plan with them. Like many such services, however, getting that free or discounted hardware involves signing a significant contract, in their case, two years.
AT&T offers a number of different devices, including some by large brand names. The free cell phones are not what are usually called “smart phones.” Rather, they are standard cell phones such as the Pantech Link II, the Sharp® FX™ PLUS and the Pantech Crossover™. These devices are not especially well known, but they are free. They offer standard texting and photography options, though they do not include standard smart phone features. They also offer a wireless phone service, which will provide
However, one of the nice things about the AT&T plans is that you don’t need to choose between free and no discount. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S® III, a very popular smart phone, costs only $199.99 if purchased with a two-year contract, but $549.99 if purchased separately. The contract therefore gives $350 off that phone. There are also discounts on the ever-popular iPhones.
These contract discounts also apply to some of their tablets, including the Samsung Galaxy Tab™ 8.9. However, such discounts do not apply to any Apple tablets, even though Apple tablets are the most popular. This means that there is really not much incentive to purchase one of the longer contracts if one is interested primarily in purchasing an iPad.
How Are the Contracts?
AT&T contracts are reasonably fair. They are difficult to get out of, but in a sense, they should be. After all, you are getting a significant discount on their hardware when entering into the contract.
They can be gotten out of. For instance, if AT&T decides to raise its rates, it gives you an out according to the standard terms and conditions (at the time of this writing). In addition, you can always sell the contract, though this can be complicated. If you do decide to break the contract, remember to protect your telephone number by transfering it first.
The real question isn’t the contracts; it’s the service. Is an AT&T contract the kind of contract one would even want to get out of, or is their service of sufficient quality that one wouldn’t mind being with them.
How Is the Service?
As with all wireless services, service quality will depend on location. Nonetheless, unlike many of the other carriers, AT&T claims that independent studies have established that they have the best service (it can be difficult to find). However, customer complaints about service quality are generally few and far between. AT&T has been in the telephone service longer than anyone and prides itself on its connection stability. They also really know what they are doing.
However, their device support can be a little lacking. After all, they are a phone company, not a hardware company. It is important when entering into a service arrangement with them to figure out just whose responsibility it is to take care of your device if there should be a problem. Is it a warranty where you need to mail in your device (which can be a hassle)? is there phone support for technical problems? Who do you call. Don’t be embarrassed to ask these questions, as they are an important part of getting proper service.
It Is Expensive?
AT&T is more expensive than your average carrier. This is because of their commitment to quality service, which they genuinely provide.
Whether or not they are a good option depends on your tolerance for frustration. Are you okay with getting inferior service from a different company if it saves a few bucks, or are you the kind of person who is tempted to throw a busted phone into a wall? AT&T is the safe, boring but ultimately trustworthy service. Personally, I am always willing to spend a little extra money to get trustworthy service, but some people like to live on the edge.
AT&T offers a good number of plans and hardware for its wireless services. Nonetheless, be careful to be sure what sort of hardware support is available. AT&T isn’t the most inexpensive choice, but it is one of the most solid.
You can find more information on their official site here.