Smartphones need data plans to be truly smartphones, unless you are happy enough hunting down WiFi hotspots.
Unlimited data plans. Unlimited data plans have gotten less expensive. With Smart, you can get it built in to your All-in-Plan at Php1,000 a month and it cost you roughly Php1,200 on the older Data Plans. It is a bit cheaper with Globe Telecom. Globe will give you unlimited data as an add-on or built-into you plan for the cost of Php999. Sun Cellular can add on unlimited data to you postpaid plan for just Php649 a month. If you have a BlackBerry, you can avail of a BlackBerry MAX Plan for Php599 a month.
If you are okay spending this much, these plans give you maximum flexibility and are a must for the heavy user.
If these plans don't fit you whether you are better off with volume based or time based plans depends.
Volume Data. Globe Telecom has very nice volume based data plans.
- Php99 for 50 MB for 30 days
- Php299 for 300 MB for 30 days
- Php499 for 1 GB for 30 days
The only problem is if you use up your allocation, you cannot avail of another volume based plan for the same period. You fall back to per minute charging. Still it is not so bad, since no matter how much you use, Globe won't charge you more than Php999 a month with their Anti-Bill Shock Feature if you are on a volume data plan.
This plans are also only available to postpaid subscribers.
Smart volume plans are as follows:
- Php300 for 250 MB for 30 days
- Php500 for 500 MB for 30 days
- Php750 for 1 GB for 30 days
- Php995 for 2GB for 30 days
If you are going to avail of 1 or 2GB, you might as well consider getting a unlimited data plan.
Smart plans cost more, but you can avail of multiple add-ons in a month so you can buy 250MB, and if you consume that buy another 250MB. Also, their volume data plans can be availed of by pre-paid and postpaid subscribers.
The plans that make sense to us are:
- Globe's Php299 for 300 MB for 30 days
- Globe's Php499 for 1 GB for 30 days
- Smart's Php300 for 250 MB for 30 days
- SMart's Php500 for 500 MB for 30 days
These plans make sense if you use services that need to be connected the whole day but do not use up plenty of data or apps that you use for short periods. These are:
- Instant Messaging (iMessage, GTalk, Yahoo Messenger)
- Social Networking (Facebook, Twitter, Google+)
- Accessing cloud storage (Dropbox, iCloud, Skydrive)
- Traffic updates (MMDA app)
- Weather updates
For this use 250-500MB for 30 days should be fine.
Time based plans. Some activities consume a lot of data in a small period of time. If you browse the web, it is easy to eat 10-20MB in 30 minutes. You can consume 3X or more that streaming video, uploading pictures or downloading files in the same period of time. Basically, you could consume 250MB of data (cost Php300) in 5 hours of less. Five hours time based data only costs Php100.
If you consume a lot of data but only connect to the web with your mobile, this may be the plan for you. A warning though. Leave your device connected by mistake for a few hours, and this could cost you A LOT.