Nexus 4 is free on T-Mobile until Sunday, but it's still a bad deal

Nexus 4 is free on T-Mobile until Sunday, but it's still a bad deal
We were actually a bit torn about whether or not to put the "deals" tag on this post, because in some ways it is a special deal, and in others, it really isn't a deal at all. Either way, we wanted to let you all know that you could get a Nexus 4 for free on T-Mobile, and the deal runs until Sunday. Of course, now we feel obligated to break down this supposed "deal".

So, if you were to get the "free" Nexus 4 through T-Mobile, you would have to sign up for a two year contract, and pay $89.99 per month for an unlimited talk, text, and web plan. On the other hand, you could also buy the same device unlocked from Google for $349 (since we're talking about the 16GB model), bring it to T-Mobile, and then sign up for an unlimited everything plan for $69.99 per month without a contract. Based on the difference in the monthly plan, you'd save the equivalent of your $349 investment in the phone within 18 months. So, even a "free" Nexus 4 from T-Mobile comes out to be more expensive over the course of the two year agreement

You'll also have to pay $50 for the phone through T-Mobile, but there is a $50 mail-in rebate, which is how the phone technically comes out free. So, if you like being contractually obligated to a carrier, paying more money, and dealing with mail-in rebates, you can get the Nexus 4 from T-Mobile, we guess.

source: T-Mobile

Related phones

Nexus 4
  • Display 4.7" 768 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.3 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, Quad-core, 1500 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB
  • Battery 2100 mAh(15.3h talk time)



1. cjjohnson86

Posts: 29; Member since: Jan 05, 2012

Take note all of you who love contracts.

4. gmracer1

Posts: 646; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

I love contract..................................end dates

7. menny07

Posts: 89; Member since: Dec 13, 2012

iSee what you did there :D

11. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

I'm on their value plan with my GS3 paying $120 for 2 phones with unlimited EVERYTHING. :)


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

Why anyone wouldn't just save up a little bit of money and buy it OFF contract through Google directly is beyond me. Oh look I just saved 100-200 dollars, is it worth that 2 long painful years?

3. _PHug_

Posts: 482; Member since: Oct 11, 2011

I've tried to break this down to so many people over the past 2 years. I eventually gave up.

5. denney

Posts: 98; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

Same boat man. No one seems to understand. I have a friend that has a little less that a year left on his 4gig, 2 line contract with verizon. There was so much math going on, but I eventually proved that even if he initiated an early termination on his contract he would make up for it in under 2 years on a tmobile value plan. Needless to say, he is still wasting money as a verizon customer.

9. sectime unregistered

Yeah because Tmobile coverage and LTE is just like Verizons. Saving money is good but staring at that E is not.

16. richardyarrell2011

Posts: 510; Member since: Mar 16, 2011

I had 2lines on Verizon kicked them to the curb in June 2012. Joined Tmobile brought the Galaxy S3 then in November purchased the Galaxy Note 2. Tmobile pimp slaps Verizon here in New York City that's for sure. I haven't looked back tmobile is a great network.


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

It also depends on your location and service in that location. I'd be all on the T-Mobile train if they didn't just have 2G in my area. Sure data speeds might not matter to some, but to others it's everything...

12. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

20+ mbps here in Chicago with T-Mobile bud. :)


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

And trust me when I say I'm jealous lol

8. scsa852k

Posts: 331; Member since: Oct 16, 2012

When it comes do Nexus 4, getting it free on 2-yr contract is beyond stupidity. But when it comes to other high end phones, a lot of people opt to go with 2 year contract even if they'll be eventually paying more after 2 years. "I don't wanna pay $700 bucks for a phone!" and they choose to pay $20~30 extra each month for 2 years

17. parkwaydr

Posts: 572; Member since: Sep 07, 2011

Contracts are a rip off.

18. bbdol

Posts: 19; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

I use to love phonearena, but I suppose it's part of a natural life-cycle to see a tech news feed site fall apart. Instead of reading curious, well written, and open-minded articles I'm presented with bias in the header and throughout the body. This article is full of rage and tension that makes it hard to read. Leave while this site still has it's credibility, John V. Thanks for the good reads of the past. And thanks, phonearena, for paving the way at the dawn of the touchscreen handset revolution.

20. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

I'm sorry, but where is the bias? A claim of bias would presume that what I've said isn't accurate in some way. You can get a Nexus 4 for free on contract, but that makes no sense as it is cheaper to go the other route. That's not bias, that's making sure our readers don't think a deal is better than it is.

19. ChafedBanana

Posts: 409; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

No thanks. I actually DON'T LIKE being contractually obligated to a carrier, paying more money, and dealing with mail-in rebates.

25. JewBakaUCFG

Posts: 176; Member since: Sep 25, 2012

All pokes and jabs aside, this really made me laugh.

26. AceStorm1249

Posts: 14; Member since: Feb 16, 2013

For t-mobile its smart because as soon as ppl see "free" they'll buy it and then be mad when one of their friends has the same device but costs less...

27. p.johanna

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 23, 2013

It is interesting to read those that put down a service thinking someone is poor or cheap. The question is, what will they do when Big Red stops offering subsidized phones? As a matter of fact TMO is also going that route. They will offer you to pay $600 over payments when the same phone is sold at $350, and still lock you in a contract.

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