hinted last week on social media, MetroPCS has now officially unveiled the Samsung Galaxy S4. The new flagship is a GSM phone running on T-Mobile's GSM/HSPA+/LTE network. Metro merged with T-Mobile in May and has announced plans to shut down its CDMA based network in 2015 and move customers to the T-Mobile network.
I was hoping that the S4 launch would open up MetroPCS GSM nationwide, but that didn't happen. Instead GSM availability has been expanded to four more markets; New York City, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Atlanta. That brings the total number of MetroPCS GSM markets to eight. GSM has been available in Boston, Dallas - Fort Worth, Hartford CT and Las Vegas since June 12.
If you are in one of the eight GSM markets, you can pick up a new Samsung Galaxy S4 for $549.99 at a MetroPCS store. If that's too rich for your blood, four other MetroPCS GSM phones are also available:
- Samsung Galaxy S III Android phone $399
- LG Optimus L9 Android phone $149
- The "new" Samsung Galaxy Exhibit SGH-T599 $129
- Alcatel 768 flip phone $49
All the GSM phones are currently only available in stores, not online. If you already have a compatible GSM phone, Metro stores in the eight GSM markets can also set you up with a SIM card.
Reportedly, Metro needs to add your GSM device's IMEI serial number to a database before it will work with the SIM. That means every time you want to switch devices you need to go to a MetroPCS store to connect the new device to the database. This negates one of the major advantages of GSM, the ability to easily switch devices by swapping the SIM from one phone to another. I suspect this limitation is intended to keep people from selling activated MetroPCS SIMs outside of official GSM markets. If that's the case, I expect the requirement to go to a store to swap GSM phones will be eliminated once MetroPCS GSM goes nationwide.
- MetroPCS Hints a Samsung Galaxy S4 Announcement Coming Next Week
- MetroPCS CDMA Clearance: $25 Android and $99 LTE Phones
- MetroPCS GSM BYOP Launched in Boston, Dallas, Hartford and Las Vegas
- MetroPCS to Begin Selling GSM phones and BYOP SIMS June 12
- MetroPCS, T-Mobile Merger Finalized - What it Means for MetroPCS Customers
- T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS to Merge