Why I Dumped My HTC Fuze for an iPhone 3G


Remember a couple weeks ago I wrote about the new HTC Fuze for AT&T (review available here)? Well, on Friday I returned the Fuze and picked myself up a nice, new, 16 GB iPhone 3G. Now before you go attacking me saying that I always complain about the high iPhone rates, and that I went against my words — hear me out. Read on and I’ll explain to you everything that went through my mind before I walked out of AT&T with an iPhone.

I’ll start with the reasons why I dropped the Fuze.

The first, and most prominent reason behind why I dropped the Fuze was because after less than half a month of usage, it magically got me a $150 “data usage” bill. Oh, and I mean magically: I had this thing by my bed as an alarm for school, and one day I woke up and found it on the internet- without me doing anything (I was sleeping)! I don’t care what you say bout the iPhone’s high rates, there is a BIG difference between $30 a month and $150 a month.

I also was nervous about using the WiFi on the device, as I had no idea when it would just give me 3G and not WiFi for internet browsing (WiFi was a big reason I got this phone — I wanted to use the Internet around my school, which has WiFi, sometimes 😉 , and my house, without having to lug around a big ol’ laptop). I also did not want to pay for an Internet plan.

I also ran into assorted bugs, like slowness of Windows Mobile and the nice TouchFlo 3D HTC puts on (which really is nice).

All in all, I still like the Fuze, but if you don’t wanna pay for an Internet plan, don’t bother going for it or you’ll risk the major bill I got.

Now let me explain the reasons why I went for the iPhone 3G instead of a Blackberry Bold or other AT&T phone.

For one, I always loved the freedom you had with the Apps on the iPhone, I adored touchscreens (especially multi-touch), and I desperately needed a new iPod (I had a 4 GB original Nano which was getting a little old after 3 years 🙂 ).

But the main reason here also was money and the monthly bill. The AT&T guy I went to was extremely helpful, and made me this great deal. Seeing I was part of a family plan and spending all this money on a phone (I explained to him the reasons why I was returning the Fuze), he asked what my parents professions were, and when I responded that my mom was a teacher, he told me about a great deal they offer to teachers: 15% off your bill and 25% off all accessories. A really great deal.

He asked me if I preferred iPhone 3G or Blackberry Bold, and when I chose the iPhone, he went through all the math with me, showing how if I got an iPhone, my monthly bill would be much cheaper under this plan (I think it is now about $15 a month after the 15% off and such).

Basically, after trading in my Fuze (an option available since it was within 30 days from when I bought the phone), I spent a total of $92 at AT&T on Friday, and walked out with a 16 GB iPhone 3G — the whole internet plan, an Apple Protection Plan granting an extra year of warranty (not bad after spending all this time picking a phone), and a nice case.

And I gotta say, after using it for a couple days, I completely understand why the iPhone 3G is the hottest selling phone in America (it really is that good of a device).

So what are your thoughts: if you use an iPhone- like it or hate it? Any Apps you would reccomend for a new iPhone 3G owner like myself?  You gonna go to AT&T and try to get in on this teachers discount if one of your parents are a teacher (something I would without question recommend doing)? Feel there is a better phone out there on AT&T that I should’ve gone with? Let your voice be heard in the comments.

Posted on December 7, 2008, in Cell Phones and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. you could have disabled data by going to the settings tab, clicking communications and then disabling data. you can also call AT&T and they can lock data so it won’t turn on.

  2. @David

    Yeah, I tried that, and every time I went off of WiFi I made sure I wasn’t connected to 3G. Still, as I said in the post, it “magically” did things with the internet. I don’t know what, and have no real clue as to why it did, but after looking at my bill, I know it did something.

    And calling AT&T to lock data is just annoying and prevents me from doing things like going on AIM and other IMing services pre-installed on the phone (I have used AIM on other AT&T phones before, and know that it wasn’t the cause of the problem even though it uses the internet. It counts as text messages according to my texting plan).

  3. Not saying it which is better, but now you’re paying $30 for an internet plan, which you stated you didn’t want. You could have just turned that on with the Fuze.
    And as for the $92 for the iPhone, that was AFTER paying $299 for the Fuze, making it $391 for your “deal”.
    Also don’t understand your $15 a month. The cheapest voice plan is $39.99-15% = $33.99. Or data: $30-15% = $25.50.

    Maybe AT&T is using the special math that got this country in it’s current mess.

  4. Hmmm…. The data plan for the FUZE is the same price as it is for the iPhone. So the monthly costs would be identical for the two. Not exactly sure why you were unwilling to pay for unlimited data for the FUZE (@$30/month)+ Nation 500 ($40/month) = $70/month when that’s the same base price as the iPhone’s voice+data plan.

    The two are quite different devices for two very different types of consumers. The touch screen on the iPhone is more responsive, and the ability to install apps is elegant-as-heck. But the FUZE uses WinMo, which has a crap-load of apps available, not to mention people actually creating brand new ROMs for it.

    So, in terms of nice, easy satisfying user experience, the iPhone is where it’s at. But, if you want to multi-task applications, or listen to FM radio, or stream any kind of content you like, or type on a real keyboard, the FUZE is a better bet despite its limitations in the usability department.

  5. @ George W-

    I’m on a family talking and texting plan so the only thing I needed to worry about was data, and when taking the 15% off the family plan as well as the math you did above, I’m around or below $15 a month. I also said in the post that this whole “deal” was after I traded in my Fuze.

    @ Jon-

    The whole reason I got the Fuze to begin with is because I wanted internet through WiFi without paying for a data plan. When I saw my bill I came to realize I couldn’t have both and I decided to return the Fuze. The iPhone, as you said, is a much easier to use device and the apps are also nice and easy to use. I also love being able to get them all from an App Store rather than searching through the internet (not to mention the quality of apps are much better, and a lot of really good apps are free 🙂 ).

    I’m not saying the Fuze is a bad phone, quite the contrary actually as I think it is a great phone and possibly the best Windows Mobile phone out there. I also agree that the iPhone has limitations like no video recording, zoom, or flash for the camera, lack of a physical keyboard etc.

    All that being said, for what I wanted (good web browsing, iPod/music player, apps), you can’t go wrong with the best phone in those categories on the market; and if you need to pay the money anyway, why not settle for the best 😉

  6. Eli,

    I understand why the iPhone is better for most people, but I think it’s a bit misleading in your post to say that the monthly plan cost was the main reason for the switch. Again, if you would have bought the unlimited data plan for the FUZE, you would not have gotten your huge data bill, and it would have been the same price you’re currently paying for the iPhone.

  7. @ Jon-

    I see your point and yes, the unlimited data for the iPhone and Fuze are the same ($30), and had I sprung for it originally then I could’ve avoided my whole mess.

    That being said, as I mentioned in the post, I didn’t want to pay for data and just wanted to use WiFi for internet when it was available. With the Fuze, that apparently was not a great option for me. And yes the monthly cost for me was the main reason for the switch, the discount per month I get with the whole teacher’s plan made me choose the iPhone over any other phone.

    I could though see where there might be some confusion, and I apologize if there was. My intentions were not to cause confusion, rather to mention this great deal I found and that it is risky to just use the Fuze for WiFi internet browsing.

    Thanks for the comment and for pointing that out.

    All the best,

  8. Hi Eli,

    Boy, I’m really being a nudge here, but isn’t the teacher discount available for AT&T plan, not just the iPhone plan?

  9. @ Jon

    Lol don’t worry your not being a nudge 😉 And yes I assume it would be available for the Fuze and other phones as well. For me though, I found a better deal in taking a 16 GB iPhone than a Fuze if the pricing was the same. And again, I went with the Fuze before I knew of this plan and when I didn’t want to pay for Internet.

    Good point though and thanks for pointing it out!

  10. iphone sucks. the only good thing about it is the touch screen and all that, but a windows mobile device like the Fuze is cool because u can install many applications that u cant on an iphone.

  11. hey guys. comeone. I use my fuze as a modem. and get internet naywere I go. do that with ur low resolution iphone.

  12. The Fuze is much more powerful and versatile then the iphone. It’s not for noobs. You kind of have to know what you are doing, but when you do it’s awesome. Today I got Super nintendo, GBA, Sega Genesis, and NES working flawlessly on it. It’s got a spot for an SD card, removable battery, wifi, ect. Unlike the iphone app store there are many windows mobile apps they just aren’t as out in the open. If you would of downloaded Advanced Config Tool you could of disabled the ATT internet and had it only use WiFi. I basically shut the ATT 3G internet service off via registry. I bought mine without a 30 dollar internet plan and I’m paying 60 bucks a month to use it as a phone and a mobile media device. ^_^

  13. i want the Fuze or the iphone.. i dont know which one to get though.. help! (im a teenager and love to text). thanks!

  14. Hey Sammi,

    I see why it’s such a tough choice 🙂 both are great phones. Now here’s my question for you: are you willing to pay at least $30 a month for internet, which you would pretty much need to fully use either phone. If the answer is yes, and you would pay $30 a month for internet, then I would personally go iPhone, as coming in June with iPhone 3.0, you’ll get a landscape keyboard for texting, which will be AWESOME (though you do get used to the current on screen keyboard for texting pretty quickly, there is really no learning curve and after a day or so texting is a breeze– and that’s coming from personal experience 😉 ). The iPhone gives you more as well, because it’s got the App Store built in (you can also add apps to the Fuze, though not as easily– you need to most of the time search online and once you find an app, you need to connect to your computer to download onto the phone), a better web browser, and an awesome iPod. If you got a good iPod, and don’t need a new one or apps, and would instead prefer a real, physical keyboard, then the Fuze would be an excellent choice as well.

    If the answer to the paying for internet question is no, the I would recommend maybe going for something from our recent post on 5 upcoming AT&T phones . All phones on that list are really designed for heavy texting, and each has a full QWERTY keyboard. My personal pick from that list is the Samsung Impression, which looks to be an amazing phone, with both a touchscreen AND slide out QWERTY keyboard! It also will not cost you $30 a month as internet is not required (or needed).

    Hope this helps, and lemme know if you got any other questions.

    All the best,


  15. sammi. get a phone with a real keypad. iphone virtual keypad is a huge problem for texting.

  16. I think Eli got screwed by the sales rep.
    Eli: good choice in getting the iPhone you obviously have no idea on how to use phones like Fuze (I owned 8525, Tilt and as soon as I get back from Afghanistan I will be getting Fuze or newer model available).
    It is very simple to turn off the data on the Fuze, it is even easier to have the phone only connect to WiFi, all you have to do is know how to use the phone.
    And you mentioned that you didn’t want to buy internet but you still got sucked into it, didn’t you? discount? almost everybody get can a discount at att (military, federal employees, teachers, bigger companies…you just have to look around)
    iPhone is for people who just want to have a “cute and bueatiful phone” that doesn’t really do anything else except looking prett.
    Fuze is for real man 🙂

    Peace man, hopefully next time you do better research

  17. Hey HTC_Lover,

    Lol I guess I can see your a tad bias toward a particular company 😉 I never said the Fuze was a bad phone, and my problem btw wasn’t turning data off (I was very used to doing that thank you very much 🙂 ), it was that every time I turned 3G off and WiFi on, it would drop the WiFi and re-turn on 3G, which was not only annoying but very costly. I wanted to only use WiFi for internet without a monthly fee, and when I saw that wasn’t possible I went to the best internet on a mobile device (even you have to admit, mobile Safari is the current best mobile internet browser. Better than Opera and Skyfire, and without a doubt 100x better than Internet Explorer Mobile 🙂 ).

    And say what you will bout AT&T giving out a lot of discounts, I didn’t know bout it before this guy told me (they shockingly don’t really advertise that you could get money off your bill with certain professions in their normal ads 🙂 ), but now I got my iPhone with all its data, apps, etc. for little changes to my monthly bill, so I’m not complaining!

    Oh, and the iPhone is def. a man’s phone, just an updated one not running a dated OS like Windows Mobile 😉 (though I will admit, Window’s Mobile will get much better with version 6.5 later this year and 7 sometime after that, and with better devices coming out like the next version of the HTC Fuze/Touch Pro, the Touch Pro2 and such).

    Whatever, come home safe man and thanks for keeping us safe.



  18. ok obviously you are mixed up with the difference between switching from 3G to WiFi and completely disabling it. If you don’t completely disable 3G it will automatically goto 3G anytime the WiFi Cuts Out. Disabling it the best way is to restrict any data usage that you dont pay for in a package directly with AT&T. The fact that 3G still kicked in means you didn’t do it right. So stop telling people you did because obviously you didn’t. And obviously after AT&T waved your fees you would have told them to disable it or add the data plan at that point. And don’t say AT&T didn’t wave your fees because this is a common problem they told me… Yes I had to learn it the hard way too but now I know.

    Also for what you have told us, about your exchange, i feel you payed the average price you would have for an iPhone of 16 GB’s. And Apple Care isn’t necessary for iPhone and actually is better for Macbooks iMacs and Mac Pros. The common break on the iPhone is a broken screen and they won’t cover that. By the time that battery goes out your Apple Care will expire. And the only way your iPhone is one bit useful is if you have jailbroken firmware installed then you basically get to say screw you AT&T and Apple. I believe Windows Mobile is way better and as soon as version 7 hits later I believe they are waiting till late 2009 or early 2010, version 7 will kick the iPhones ass. For the money you spent you should have stuck with the fan or waited for the 3GS. Well I am done

  19. Call it like it is

    I personally found it hard to get behind a phone from a company who, at their latest expo, boasted about new features for their macbooks and iphones that other smart phones have been doing for years. Tethering, Video, and MMS are just a few. And another common break on the Iphone is where it locks on the loading screen and refuses to boot. I know several people who have purchases and Iphone and they have all had this problem atleast once, and online forums are flooded with the same issue. The Fuze has the best of both worlds, a physical keboard and an onscreen one as well should you feel like using it. And as for the apps, Iphone apps are from the apple store, just another way they force you to pay them. Windows mobile apps are sold through third parties from what i’ve seen, which gives some competition tot he market and many apps are available for free. Like everyone has been saying, it’s all about knowing how to use the phone, and like all of apples products, they’re user friendly, but useless if you like to truly make it your own.

  20. Times had changed.
    Apple is forbidding iPhone users to install Google Voice app on the device.
    This smart phone is essentially a computer with operating system and an ability to install third party software like any other computer. When I called Apple, tech support representative informed me that Apple does not have to explain why they are forbidding me to install Google apps after I purchased device planning to use it with Google Voice. She also informed me that App Store is like any other store has right to choose what they put on their shelves.
    Well, I respect their choice, but the last time I checked in my neighborhood mall none of their stores are FORBIDING me to use products from anywhere else but from their store. Does Apple respect my choice? Communist China government did not dare to make Lenovo give me a list of software I can install on my laptop. Lenovo respects my choice because they know what will happen with their laptops if they would try to deny this choice to people in free world.
    Just imagine what would happen if Microsoft make an agreement with Comcast and set up a list of software you are allowed to install. What if they allow you to connect to internet only through Comcast? What if Comcast decides they not like some software and a week later Microsoft would FORBIDS using it without any meaningful explanation? That would definitely be considered mafia-like behavior and nobody would tolerate it.
    We are not tolerating this behavior neither from China, US government, Microsoft, nor from Comcast. For how long are we going to tolerate this behavior from Apple? I erased my iPhone, I smashed it with hammer and I will send it on Monday to Steve Jobs, c/o Apple 1 Infinite Loop Cupertino, CA 95014

  21. A friend linked me to this, and I just can’t explain the depravity of your idiotic responses Eli. You are not only wholly misleading the general public with your post, but stating things as fact, when in fact they are the opposite because of YOUR failed decision making.

    Here is a point by point assessment of your issues.

    1. Your bill, as you later admitted, was huge because of your malfeasance on thinking no data plan was necessary.

    2. Data connections are wholly independent of each other, but if you leave a WiFi hotspot coverage, it automatically switches to the cellular data connection. This has NOTHING to do with being on 3g or not. If you weren’t aware, voice aka talking, goes over 3g also.

    3. Slowness….as if the iPhone doesn’t have this. And I have used all but the 3GS. With all software updates from 1.1 to 3.0.

    4. Don’t get a smartphone/pda phone without a data plan. It is like buying an F350 with a 4cylinder engine. You just don’t do that.

    5. Freedom of apps on the iPhone. You fail far and wide here. Apps are deemed suitable or unsuitable by Apple. Many apps, that create competition with, or are better than, Apple apps, are rejected. So, this is patently false.

    6. You yourself admitted that your bill was high because of your malfeasance. So, the iPhone had no effect. Not to mention, the $92 on top of the money you already spent.

    Do I think the iPhone is a bad device? No, but you really failed with how much idiocy you have in this post. You sound like all those stupid Apple fanboys that think Apple can do no wrong and they are god. Just quit blogging about things you don’t know about.

  22. Hey BenG,

    Let me just explain somethings about the post. For one, the reason I didn’t get a data plan was because I didn’t plan on using 3G data, only WiFi, and therefore didn’t see the need for it. The fact was the WiFi only option didn’t work because even when I had perfect WiFi and was connected for one minute, it would “magically” disconnect me the next. I was in WiFi areas and connected to WiFi networks, not moving in and out of range as you claim in your comments. It could’ve been a faulty WiFi chip, but whatever it was, it was in no way my doing.

    Next, I know 3G is used for voice, but that should have no effect at all on a data bill, and I don’t believe it did.

    Now to the comments of me being a “Apple Fanboy.” Ok, here is where I find your completely wrong. For one, I will be the first to admit that what Apple is doing now with their App Store approval “system” is out right dumb and should for sure be taken to task for by the government (which is currently under way by way of the FCC) and general public. There is no common sense going on there about which apps should get approved and which apps shouldn’t, and that just isn’t fair to both the developers and us users. When I bought the iPhone– almost 1 YEAR ago– this obviously wasn’t the case as all this info just got out a few weeks ago.

    And I’ll also be the first to admit that Apple products have major flaws too– and that the Apple Care is insanely clutch. My iPhone for example, broke or had major issues 5 (yes 5) times with things like dead pixels, some of the buttons, battery problems and headphone jack not working, as well as dust under the screen. I actually now call Apple Care directly with any new issues (thankfully the last one they sent back to me actually seems like it works and I hopefully won’t need to repair it again), as when I took it into my local Apple Store, they would sometimes give me back worse iPhones then before. One last point with regards to slowness– running 3.0 on a first gen iPhone will probably be a little slow as that is the latest software mainly designed for the more powerful 3G and 3GS, is being scaled down to work on older hardware. On my 3G, whether running 2.0 or 3.0, I still will admit it was much faster than when I ran Windows Mobile 6.1 on the Fuze.

    Hope this clarifies a few things.

    All the best,


  23. For the HTC Fuze someone in the above post said that you can completely disable the 3G plan to prevent it from connecting when the WiFi cuts out?

    My question is do you just call AT&T and tell them that?

    Do you have to buy the no commitment price or can you do it off the two year contract price?

    I appreciate all the help thank you

  24. And btw, as far as I know most discounts DO NOT apply to iPhone data plans, but would apply to a regular data plan, like one used for the Fuze. Don’t know if that is for all discounts, but it applies to mine.

    It basically seems to come down to this: if you have no clue what you are doing, go for the iPhone, if you are interested in messing around with it and making it YOUR phone, the Fuze is a better choice.

  25. You can make your Fuze even better with rom updates and new shell’s. Anyone with a Fuze should try SPB Shell, It a awsome program, the other cool programs the Fuze has is one note mobile and word mobile, and the GPS.. rather than paying a extra monthly fee to ATT you can buy (a one time fee of $99) Garmin Mobile XT. it is way better than ATT Navigator. Also.. like the other posts mentioned.. its all about choice. just like Apple computers you are limited to what apple makes for your computer (software and hardware), there are some third party vendors but with Windows you can have any program, any game, any piece of hardware work. Everything I own from my Fuze, my Jeep, my Computer is custom. I hate having what everyone else has I want something different. My Fuze is completly different than my girlfriends fuze, she likes a different shell, and she has apps like the tip calculator and simple text and pic editors, where my phone has more pro stuff, I have a program for editing photo’s that is as good as Paint, and I have a unit calculator, and I use outlook and sync my contacts, onenotes, tasks, photo’s, and webpages. the list goes on, but the point is.. I used to be a apple fan but the more I learned about how you can have more choices with Windows I switched and never looked back, and as for reliabilty, like I said, I have used Macs in the past and have had just as many complaints about that OS as I do about Windows. oh, also one other note, the Fuze can take a little more of a beating than Iphone, you should see my fuze.. lol I’m glad it has that metal frame because its got some nice dents in it but I take it camping and off roading so @#@$ happens lol

  26. Hey any1 know how to upgrade the fuze to 6.5?

  27. Stupid people always end up buying iphones. Apple attracts them like moths to a flame.

  28. I know that this is an old post, but I thought I’d point out that your statement “(I have used AIM on other AT&T phones before, and know that it wasn’t the cause of the problem even though it uses the internet. It counts as text messages according to my texting plan).” is not actually correct. On the fuze, AIM is charged twice: Once as a text message, and once as data. I know, because I went the other way: “Who needs text messages when you have AIM?” Then I got whacked with text message charges in addition to the data usage…

  29. Thanks for this great article. I have the HTC Fuze and I would have to say it is only good for those who like to mess around with phones. The phone, with stock firmware, is a piece of crap until after you flash a customized ROM onto it. It can also run a ported version of android almost flawlessly with the exception of a camera. I like both phones but I chose the HTC Fuze because of its physical keyboard. I would not dis either Apple Iphone 3G(s) or HTC Fuze (Touch Pro) because both have their perks. the only thing I like about the Apple iphone is the enormous amount of games and apps available. Whether Apple fails at trying to control the phone or are maniacs, the iphone is an amazing piece of technology. The data problem could be fixed by downloading a simple “DataController.Cab” (somewhere on XDADevelopers) or a registry edit.

    Anyways, I’m glad that you enjoy you are happy with your current phone 🙂

    You should’ve just switched carriers…lol

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