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Six Month Rating

bullet 132 reviews (92 good) (13 bad)
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Review by tkdslr See Profile

  • Location: Pompano Beach,Broward,FL
  • Cost: $30 per month
  • Install: about 1 days
Good "5GB data, unlimited text.. 100 minutes of airtime, extra airtime $0.10min"
Overall "Best Purchase I've made in a decade.."
Pre Sales Information:
Install process:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

It's been 10 months since purchasing my Samsung Exhibit II 4G ($200+sales tax from Walmart) and things are getting better.. Voice service always solid and clear..

4G data service seams to hangs up, (in upload mode), a couple of times a day. Jumping into airplane mode and back out again restores 4G service. Average usage 4 to 5GB of data a month.

Initially I had to call t-mobile to change phone settings in order to get data service working. (Check mark Packet data & Roaming under Settings->Wireless and Networks->Mobile networks"). That call lasted 15 minutes or so.

Took several months to figure out how to purchase additional airtime while still on the $30 Walmart plan. (T-mobile doesn't document this very well, neither do CS reps know about it.) Solution, just keep extra money in prepaid account, each minute you go over deducts $0.10min from the account.

Speeds up to 9Mb(D)/2Mbit(U) so far.. I've gotten higher speeds on my TM ZTE hotspot, but that has a better radio(21Mbps verses 14Mbps).

But, I just forced my II 4G (hidden menu setting) to use T-mobiles new HSPDA+ 1900Mhz WCDMA service.. wow.. instead of 2, maybe 3 bars.. I now get a full 4 bars.. Very nice..
I'll update this review with the outcome of that experiment..

Note: That particular experiment failed a couple of months ago..I.E. no data, but that was then, and this is now.. Yeah..

Rooted, removed or disabled a couple of t-mobile's apps & spyware.
One thing I've learned is to disable all updates. Very selectively do I allow any update. Allowed Andriod OS to update to 2.3.5.. but not 2.3.6(yet)..

It seams that app vendors have a propensity to ruin a once useful app with an update. So no more updates. if an app works, it going stay working, just like I found it.

Favorite FREE apps so far..
older "My tracks" v1.1.16 in widget mode, Very handy for Bicyclists.
"Titanium backup" v5.5.1
"Flashlight" v4.9.2 in widget mode..
"Compass" v1.2.1
"Anti sms spam" v1.42

RF hazard like all cell phones, I rarely put my Andriod phone in my pocket. Instead it goes in a nap stack pocket with at least a few inches of separation from my body.. (also better view of the sky for the GPS app "my tracks")..

At home, I use a Siemens Gigaset one bluetooth gateway to route all TM calls to my cordless phones(with talking caller id). Bluetooth connection seams to fail to sync up a couple of times a month. But, forcing a bluetooth unpairing then reconnect on TM phone fixes this.

That's all for now.. This is one of the best deals I've gotten in long time..

=== updated 12/30/2013 ===
T-mobile's data network has fallen over.. and died..(~12/28..12/29) everything is like 2G speeds or slower in my neck of south Florida. It's like the republican convention all over again..

My tests indicate routing loop activity, periodic timeouts/long ping responses, but there is no way to communicate this info to the appropriate people.. (Spent an hour on tech support.. with no results.. )

All the final tech support did was give me a new APN(, which had no effect..

Web pages that normally load in less than a second, now take minutes.

Followup.. My idea, by forcing my Samsung exhibit II 4g phone to use only the 1900mhz band(Iphone band).. data access is wayy better.. almost normal.. I just hope I can keep on using it.

===updated 2/18/2015 ===
Just updated Exhibit II 4G to Galaxy Avant.
(Walmart online purchase $149+tax, ship to store) .

Instead of using included mini sim, I cut up my old standard sized sim(from exhibit II 4G) and converted it into mini, then plugged it into the Avant. It activated with my old phone #, airtime, everything without calling or asking anybody. Still using $30/mo 5GB/100 minute Walmart prepaid plan.

Using the old sim was real handy, since it took me several back and forth attempts to get everything backed up (google sync'd) and then restored into my new phone.

15mhz band 4 LTE access is much faster(3 of 5 bars).. so far up to 20Mb/5Mb.
Google voice calling is much smoother and more consistent.

Rooted phone almost immediately, (Once I knew it was working..)
Tried using new 700mhz LTE band 12, so far Avant just stayed in HSPA mode. (no go)

Notes: Avant Diag/config mode is *#0011#
Most of the network hangs I was experiencing on my old Exhibit II 4G seamed to disappear after I walked into a T-mobile and had them pull up my account #.
T-mobile store wouldn't honor advertised online pricing($149) for prepaid account, they wanted ~$230+$15sim+airtime, so I walked out. Surfed the net, and found $149 Walmart online deal was up again(back in stock).

Hands down, the $30 Walmart/T-mobile deal is still the best thing in town.

member for 10.9 years, 1689 visits, last login: 1 days ago
updated 57 days ago


Apache Junction, AZ

1 edit

Glad to hear 1900Mhz works.

I also purchased a 4G Exhibit II back in January with the $30/mo plan but since it can't get the more common 3G and there aren't very many 4G towers around it turned out to be mostly worthless and couldn't get data anywhere unless it was on wi-fi so I gave up after a while and got a Galaxy S-2. I was wondering if it would work on the new 3G 1900Mhz service, if it does that might give it some useful life after all so it won't be a total waste of money.
Mine was already at 2.3.5 and I updated to 2.3.6 but couldn't really tell any difference. I also rooted it and updated to 4.0.3 to see if that would give it 3G capability and while Android 4 runs OK data still won't work anywhere around here.
BTW, if you miss paying your bill on time your service might revert back to the regular plan (I heard of it happening to someone) but you can avoid that by setting up auto pay using a credit card so it gets paid automatically each month.

Apache Junction, AZ

Re: Glad to hear 1900Mhz works.

Since they have started moving 3G from 1700Mhz to 1900Mhz so iPhones can use it and there is one of those towers just a block or two from my house my old Exhibit II has started working again! Looks like there might actually be some useful life left in it after all!

Minneapolis, MN

Doesn't the Exhibit only support HSPA+ and HSPDA?

The problem w/ the exhibit is when I last checked it only was able to pick up HSPA+21 and HSPA+42, but not LTE. If this is true, you really got to get a new phone as it is soo much better on their LTE.

Pompano Beach, FL

2 edits

Re: Doesn't the Exhibit only support HSPA+ and HSDPA?

My old Exhibit II 4G is worse than that, it topped out at 14.4Mbps HSDPA.

My updated review(2/18/2015) indicates that I just upgraded the phone to a brand new Galaxy Avant.. (which supports LTE cat 4 150D/50U, and 21D/5.76U Mbps HSPA )