After wiping the drool off our screens long enough to actually read Sprint’s press release for the EVO 4G, we found ourselves a bit put off by the 10$/month ‘Premium Data Charge’. Here’s the relevant excerpt from the release:

A $10 per month Premium Data add-on will apply allowing customers to take advantage of a richer data experience than ever before.

The way that the $10/month fee is presented in the press release seems to imply that it would only be applicable to those who can take advantage of Sprint’s 4G network, which is still in the process of rolling out in many parts of the country. However, after seeking out further clarification, it is apparent this is not the case. Instead, if you pick up an EVO 4G, whether you can get the 4G data speeds or not, you’ll be shelling out an additional $10 per month.


The official logic for this decision was explained by John Taylor, a Sprint Nextel spokesman, on his blog:

Because the phone has a faster processor, a huge 4.3 inch screen and an 8 megapixel camcorder/camera, we expect you will be using a lot more data than you would with our other devices. These features will give you capabilities that have previously never been available on a wireless device and we think they provide a premium experience. (Remember, this is the world's first 3G/4G Android phone.)

Here’s the thing: So what? You know what else has a ‘faster processor’ and an 8 megapixel camcorder/camera (albeit with a slightly smaller screen, but last I checked my screen isn’t using any data on its own)? The Droid Incredible, and last I checked Verizon wasn’t about to start charging an extra $10 a month because it anticipates its users will be using greater amounts of data.

If this charge were to apply to only those who can use the 4G network, fine, that would be reasonable as you’re getting something tangible in exchange for a monthly fee. But instead, you’re getting stuck with an extra $10 a month, regardless of whether or not you’re using their 4G network, because you might use more data.

This isn’t the perfect analogy, but think about this: what if you purchased a new, faster computer and your ISP decided they’re going to charge you $10/month extra because they think you’re going to use additional bandwidth as you take advantage of your computer’s new features? Never mind that the $10/month will not actually net you a tangible change in internet speeds since you’re not in their super-ultra-mega-fast-broadband service area, but that computer sure is shiny and we know you’ll be tempted to clog the tubes with your Youtubing, so we’ll go ahead and charge you anyways.

Now, playing Devil’s advocate, I do understand that network capacity can be a scarce resource – we’ve all had friends gripe about awful experiences with AT&T after the iPhone was introduced. But with that being the case, why not just charge the big offenders? Or why not have the extra $10/month be opt-in for those that do plan on really taking advantage of the phone’s multimedia features?

As you can probably tell, I’m none too excited about the new change – however, I’ll probably end up getting an EVO 4G regardless. Do you think it’s fair to have to shell out the extra $10/month if you live an area that isn’t covered by 4G? Is this charge going to change your decision to buy the phone? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Source: Sprint Press Release – EVO 4G

Chris Dehghanpoor
Chris is an Android devotee based out of Houston, TX. He enjoys indie rock, general geekery and long walks on the beach. If you can't find him online, he's probably playing Plants VS Zombies.
  • http://ravenamarillo.com Russell G.

    I think its fair. Its no different than what I'm paying a month for blackberry.

    • http://www.kyontap.com Andy Nicole

      The $10 charge is relevant to the device and NOT the network. Whether you have 3G or 4G you will still pay $10 each month to have the E.V.O..

      I pay 79.99 a month for a 900 minute plan through Verizon. This includes 900 minutes of Talk and Unlimited Texting. Since I have a Droid, I pay $29.99 per month for data services, a total of $109.98 before taxes and surcharges.

      If I switch to Sprint, I would pay $69.99 for Talk, Text& Data services. If I choose the E.V.O., that's an extra $10 and STILL $29.99 less than Verizon. For the additonal $29.99 I can utilize the mobile wifi hotspot for up to 8 devices and say goodbye to my mobile broadband and cable internet. This option would cost $169.97 with Verizon.

      I would rather pay Sprint $10 for having a "smart phone" rather than pay Verizon $29.99 for having a "smart phone".

      • Talon

        I'm definitely saying its not right. We understand their is a premium associated with 4G but considering it will not be everywhere, yet you pay the additional cost regardless makes no sense. And to say that someone MIGHT use more bandwidth because of it isn't fair either. I would suggest that they detail over X amount of data per month will qualify someone as a heavy user. Which should be easy...find the average of users and add a cushion...whatever goes over that amount can be considered a heavy user that pays a premium.

      • Elmer Torres

        Exactly!! It is still cheaper.. The person who is Writing this Article is just trying to make SPrint Look Bad.

  • bobby

    i think that only applies for 4g. If you dont want 4g you pay the normal price

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      No, it's a mandatory fee regardless of whether you're planning to use 4G or not, or if 4G is available at all and has been confirmed by multiple Sprint reps.

    • Mr. TKO

      @bobby THe whole article is specifically about the fact that all EVO users will be paying the fee regardless if you are 4G or if you’re in Timbuktu and barely have 3G much less 4G.
      Now From what I’m uderstanding, This is still cheaper than most other companies, regardless if it’s 69.99 or 79.99 so I don’t see the big deal, but to be honest I live in a 4G area so I don’t really care either way

  • Mr. TKO

    @bobby THe whole article is specifically about the fact that all EVO users will be paying the fee regardless if you are 4G or if you're in Timbuktu and barely have 3G much less 4G.

    Now From what I'm uderstanding, This is still cheaper than most other companies, regardless if it's 69.99 or 79.99 so I don't see the big deal, but to be honest I live in a 4G area so I don't really care either way

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      That's right and while paying $10 for actually using 4G is acceptable in my opinion, paying $10 for using the same old 3G is borderline outrageous.

      • Mr. TKO

        True enough, I see how it would be upsetting if you're 3G and u have to pay $10 just for the phone, the only way I could look at is to think about the fact that the $10 you're paying is helping bring 4G to your area faster. I think we get ours within the next couple of weeks.

        From what I've heard, 4G is coming to a gook chunk of the US by the end of the year so you've probably paid anywhere from $10 to $60 before you get it....

    • Chris Dehghanpoor

      Yeah, my main point is that, while in the end the price is still reasonable, it doesn't make sense to me that existing 3G should magically cost an extra $10/month.

      • Elmer Torres

        With those extra $10 you get any mobile anytime minutes which is cool, and Navigation..

  • supa-fly

    The price sounds more than reasonable to me especially given what ATT and Verizon currently charge for same or less type of plans.

  • James

    I will only think it is fair if they officially announce video chat calls with the device. Nothing has been formally announced yet and I'm beginning to wonder that it will not be capable of doing so.

    • Mr. TKO

      They actually have announced that. I remember that they'll be utilizing the Quik service and maybe one other service right off the bat.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      It's right in the press release actually. Have a look.


    Then go get an Incredible and pay over $100 each month! I live in a 3G area and will pay extra 10 bucks! $79.99 for unlimited text, data, and Any Moblie Any Time.... Try to match that on VZW!

    • jr

      verizone service is way better than sprint!! try to match that sprint...

  • Bob

    When you say "however, I’ll probably end up getting an EVO 4G regardless," you're telling Sprint you know they're screwing you and, despite a pithy rant, you're still more than willing to give them your money. LMAO! Ever heard the phrase "vote with your wallet?"

    • Chris Dehghanpoor

      Haha, yeah I mean it annoys me that you're getting charged an extra $10 for no good reason, but the phone is still gorgeous and when its all said and done the monthly price isn't awful.

  • Dennis

    Maybe some of you have, but i got to hold an HD2 the other night and it changed my mind for the worse. I was really interested in the EVO until I realized how much bigger the screen made the device. if I were any of you I would trot on over to a T-mobile and check out the form factor on the HD2 before you commit yourself to this behemouth. Mind you I had an Incredible on me at the time and the size on that is perfect but even compared to the Droid its was huge in a bad way.

  • boriqua2000

    $10 more for 4g sucks.dan hesse promised it would be free.he lied.i think im going to get the droid incredible instead.i don't like being lied to and dan hesse is a liar.

    • Q

      Wow over-react much? Like someone earlier posted, those 10 dollars you are paying will help bring 4g to other areas of the country faster. Also any plan using the Incredible is still more expensive than a Sprint plan.

      Yes this really does suck for those people that plan on only using 3g, but the reality is, even though 4g is a cheaper technology in the long run, they still have to pour millions of dollars into building the infrastructure. Sprint can't give you everything for free. They certainly are giving quite a bit for free in comparison to the other companies.

      • boriqua2000

        then they should have said all that from the beginning.they knew for a long time how much all that new technology cost.i bet when they saw how hyped we all got over the EVO4G that thats when they decided on the extra $10.they figured that they could squeeze a few more dollars out of all their customers.the sad part is that most people are ready to give up their money with a big smile one their face.dan hesse lied and nobody is calling him on it.

  • http://www.kimmeldesign.com Mike Kimmel

    I'm willing to pay an extra $10 a month, from what I understand this will eliminate the monthly data cap Sprint currently has. For me the EVO will be replacing my weak Touch Diamond and my iPod touch, possibly my Garmin. This means I will be using at least twice as much data as I am currently. Worth it I'd say.

  • Riggs

    Ok, Here is a typical family plan with two Evos on Sprint:
    129.99 – 1500 minutes
    20.00 – 2 x $10 EVO Fee
    149.99, pretty much unlimited everything, free visual voicemail, detailed billing.Verizon with two Incredibles:
    119.99 – 1400 minutes
    29.99 X 2 = 59.98 – unlimited data (5gb max) for two lines
    2.99 x 2 = 5.98 – visual voicemail on both phones (srsly vrzn?)
    1.99 x 2 = 3.98 – detailed billing costs! SERIOUSLY?
    =189/month. (and if you have 4g, you get that too, and get rid of Home Internet to save some more $$)$30/month in savings even WITH the $10/EVO fee.Still a winner to me, (that’s not including any discounts for either company)

  • Irritated Customer

    Sure but where does it end people? Instead of rewarding people that are switching from ATT and Verizon, Dan Hesse and Sprint will charge them. (not to mention Mr. Hesse specifically stating on March 24, "It's like standard def versus high def, but with that analogy, you paid more for the better service. With 4G, we're giving you more for free.)

    Obviously you can't tack on $10/mo with each "G" that comes out...so when ATT and Verizon roll out with theirs in a year and charge less Sprint will have to lower their price.

    This is basically trying to capitalize on the first people bringing you business until you have to lower prices. A little sleazy in my opinion especially considering he said we won't be charged a "4G fee"

    • Titan

      What makes you think they won't add this fee, or a higher one, to the next -G?

      What makes you think this fee won't be applied to the next high-end smart-phone of Sprint's?

      What makes you think other carriers than Sprint and ATT, who already have this tiered pricing for top-end, won't adopt the same model?

      The cost of phone plans will only go up as the devices become more capable.

  • Irritated Customer
  • Kevin

    I get a kick out of those who keep saying the extra ten dollars is for helping Sprints 4G infrastructure set-up. Sprint is making millions upon millions of dollars and trying to make even more from it's past mistakes. The point here is, Sprint does what Sprint wants and Sprint only wants new customers and more revenue. If they can squeeze a little more from you they will.

    I don't blame those who are commenting that an extra ten dollars is a good value It just sucks for the loyal customers because of greed! That extra ten dollars should have been said differently and we wouldn't even have been talking about it.

    By the way, Dan Hesse did lie and at the least, he should man up to his comments!

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Actually, Sprint is in the red, big time. Just check out their financials - http://finance.yahoo.com/q/ks?s=S+Key+Statistics. They're not rolling in money and instead trying to turn the company around.

      Frankly, I'll gladly give Sprint my $10 for the EVO experience.

  • Mike
  • annoyed
  • joAB

    here's the fundamental question:

    i neither live in nor travel to 4G areas. how will this $10 premium data charge IMPROVE the quality and/or availability of my 3G?

    sprint has taken an impulse buyer and turned it into a lets-wait-for-4G buyer.

  • skyler

    yeah I was originally upset that the $10/mo was added. But compared the charts and here's what I've found.

    Verizon you can have unlimited talk, text, data (all for 2 lines), and a connection card for $269.98/mo.

    Sprint you can have the simply everything plan for 2 phones and have unlimited talk, text, data, the 2 $10 premium charges and a mobil hotspot for $239.97/mo.

    But here is the biggie, the connection card will only support one device. Whereas the Mobile hotspot supports up to 8. You can run your laptop, xbox, wii, whatever, all on here and STILL pay $30 less each month. And they do have the 4G market rolling out...

    Or, you can have the 1400 minute plan through Verizon with unlimited text, and data plus a connection card for $239.98/mo.

    Or get the Everything data 1500 which gives you ulimited data, text and anymobile anytime, also the 1500 minutes to call landline minutes with (100 more minutes than Verizon's plan gives you all together for anytime minutes) plus 2 $10 premium charges and a mobile hotspot all at $179.98/mo.

    So, on this plan you save $60/mo, plus have anymobile anytime, plus 100 more minutes for landlines than Verizons, and the Hot spot feature that gives you up to 8 devices, AND the 4G market...

    Thats $720/year cheaper, and you have a cooler phone, AND you have a MUCH better plan and internet....

    This is a no brainer for me. I've got too many kids with too many laptops. This will save me a million in connection cards...

  • Will network tech

    It's fair and it's Sprint's right to make such a decision. They need revenue to increase 4g coverage and to help increase bandwidth capabilities. The big picture though is that Sprint has noticed that they will likely see an overall usage increase compared to other devices... Why is it fair a BB user pay the same amount for 50mb to 1gb as a droid user pays for 250mb to 10gb... I would not be surprised to see the stats somewhere in that region. It's supply demand... Supply of broadband is low believe it or not and demand is hi we sprint needs to charge more so they dont end up like AT&T

  • unhappy sprint customer

    you are absolutely wrong and so is sprint... when have you ever paid for a service that you could not recieve but yet you paid so that they hopefully can offer it to you in the future???? It is wrong of sprint to charge the $10 fee to people who cant even use the 4g service. I didnt pay for cable internet when i had dial up because they were gonna offer cable internet to me in the future now did i?

  • Dave Frailey

    This is what I received from a sales rep when questioned about the $10 "EVO Tax", and my response:

    from: Dave Frailey
    to: Travis Heppner
    date: Tue, Jun 8, 2010 at 5:50 PM
    subject: Re: Question about EVO 4G $10 add on


    Thanks for the reply -- but that's just simply a load of crap. You might be able to sell that to grandma, but not someone with IT smarts. This is just opportunistic, unmitigated greed on the part Sprint because (for the moment) they (finally) have a somewhat competitive Android phone.

    My HTC TP2 has the same resolution, and bandwidth consuming capabilities -- and works fine on a $15 PowerVision plan! But Sprint made me upgrade our family plan to Everything Data (which now doesn't seem to be quite so "everything") in order to put a couple of Samsung Moments on two lines.

    Don't fool yourself, this will leave a bitter taste in the mouth of any long-time Sprint user that was waiting patiently for Sprint to catch up with the Android offerings on other carriers (who, aren't surcharging the heck out of loyal customers).

    Just what does Sprint think it's going to do when they want to add another Android phone with competitive specs? Charge $10 for it too? When does this end? Is every decently-spec'd smartphone now going to get a $10 surcharge? For what?

    I'm strongly considering taking the $20 I'll save by dropping one of my lines out of contract, plus the $10 I'll save by not buying the EVO, and getting an iPhone 4 instead. Now there's a phone that can use the bandwidth! It has more resolution, more power, smaller form factor, more apps, better camera, NO BATTERY issues, and far better reception (where I live). I'd actually receive a benefit from that additional investment!

    David G. Frailey, MCSE
    Williamstown, WV

    On Tue, Jun 8, 2010 at 3:48 PM, Travis Heppner wrote:

    Hi David,

    the EVO 4G $10 premium data add on is required with all EVO's that are activated. This $10 add on is required with the use of an EVO regardless if you are in 4G coverage or not. The $10 add on provides a richer data experience and you can really see and benefit from the difference. So regardless where you go to order, EC Purchasing is still your way to go. Let me know if you're interested in submitting an order or what other questions you have.


    Travis Heppner - Wireless Advisor - 612-220-9952 - [email protected]

  • worldwidejoe

    If you're going to get one anyway, what the hell are you complaining about?

  • Guy on the Fence

    I live in the USA, but complain about politics all the time. Voicing your opinion is the best way for companies like Sprint to make changes for their next big business practices. I also think that the $10 charge is redonkulous, but all their other phones quite honestly provide no satisfaction when compared to the other major smart phones right now. Its their top end phone and they want to charge more, while still beating the competition in price. Its annoying, but its the cost of getting the next big thing. Wait two years and people will be complaining about a 5g charge. If you can't afford the $10 bucks, get a palm. Ha!

    • jerry

      I have a palm pre I'm getting charged 10 is this right

  • ITS ME

    I dont agree with the $10 charge a month. It's not like its just a one time fee its every month and that adds up. I think sprint should not charge that extra $10 if you are not using their 4g network. THIS IS RIDICULOUS!!!! It's not my fault they dont have 4G in my area thats theirs. I should not pay more money for something that I'm not getting nor using!!!!

  • IslandGirl

    My husband was ready to get the EVO, but after finding out about the $10/month charge has completely changed his mind. We were planningto add a line to my existing Everything Data Plan and spoke with 3 representatives at Sprint's Customer Care line, and even went to a Sprint store to get informaiton about doing this. Each time we spoke with a Sprint representative about the expected cost for the shared plan with my BlackBerry and his EVO we were told the same thing:

    "1500 minutes shared, unlimted date, texting, email, etc. 129.99/mo with applicable taxes."

    NEVER ONCE did any of these people mention the fact that there would also be an additional $10/mo charge for "the experience". My mother happened to read something about it on the internet and I asked about it at the Sprint store last night. The sales rep tried to change the subject, but eventually had to admit that there was indeed a charge for 4G. When I explained that we do not have 4G coverage in our area...or even in our state for that matter. He then switched his story to say we were paying for the "faster experience" of the EVO because the EVO has a much faster processor than other phones. It's a load of BS (my husband has worked in IT for years), but I went with it and said "My BlackBerry Tour has a faster processort than my mom's Rumor but I don't pay $10 more a month for that."
    Fact is, the processor is part of the device. You are already paying for the use of the processor when you pay the purchase price of the phone.

    I think some people have stated that they will gladly pay the $10 a month because it will "help bring 4G to my area faster". This is ludicrous. When I bought my BlackBerry, 3G was just taking off where I live. My area was not even fully 3G capable at the time (I live in Charleston, SC). I didn't pay an additional "3G" surcharge per month so that they could "bring 3G to my area faster". It is wrong and unethical to make someone pay for a service that has not been rendered - one that is not even AVAILABLE to them.

    So to answer the question posed by the write of this article, no, we will not be getting an EVO or any other 4G phone until Sprint decides to stop charging for a service that is unavailable. If that never happens, I'm sure we'll be able to survive with our "old" 3G phones :)

  • MA

    I think they should say from the get go that they were going to charge the extra ten bones on top of the 69.99 for the damn 450 minutes I got...and they don't include the taxes of the surcharges from state AND federal, which they chose to fork onto the consumer. once my two year contract is up I'm done with smart phones, fuck I need one when the internet's just as good and the wifi will still work. I've been paying the 10 extra dollars and I don't mind the extra "useless" data that I'm receiving, especially when sprint doesn't protect you from the third party mofo's until you have to CALL them...

  • Jmann

    I think its bullshit. Their making me want to consider cricket service. "What part of signing a contract and not living up to it" don't they understand. When you sign a contract you're supposed to honor it, not do changes without your consent. I'm really considering just canceling my plan. I love my evo but damn this is making me consider flashing it to sorryass cricket. Tmobile and At&t suck ass. Verizon is a joke. Damn it sprint you have failed me big time.

  • stallion

    Who cares pay the 10 bucks or don't get the phone no body making u get it

  • RuzzT

    Since I purchased my Epic 4G a little over a year ago, I find that I rarely use the 4G option for which I pay a nice $10/month premium charge. My old phone used to say "Charges apply" when I wanted to use data for the Internet. Why can't it be the same for "Smart" phones? If I want to get "super fast 4G gravy" when I need it, then charge me for it when I actually need to use it. Why must I pay every month for the possibility that I might use it. Why is common sense not common?

    The biggest problems I have with 4G is:

    1) It's not consistent, sometimes it works great, other times it can't get a signal for crap. So, think you're going to watch Netflix or Hulu while you're out and about? Don't count on it!

    2) It works better outside, where I don't benefit from seeing that sweet SAMOLED screen due to being washed out from glare. If I have sunglasses on you can forget it completely.

    3) It doesn't work with Wi-Fi on at the same time. So, I have to choose, wait for it to start and connect, and hope I get a speedy connection.

    4) It's a battery assassin! Seriously, leave it on for 20-30 minutes and watch your phone beg for a recharge in no time. Just try to use Google Maps to navigate a trip with 4G AND GPS on at the same time. And God forbid you want to use your Bluetooth headset to make a call while trying to get to your destination. With all these things running on a full charge and plugged into power, I have watched the battery drain to the point the phone powers down. Yep, that's why I still carry around a big fat Thomas Guide.

    5) It makes my lovely 21st century technology that I store IN MY POCKET, as hot as Miami Beach in August, (minus the fine bikini girls).

    4G to me means "For Greed". But here's some clarification on what 4G really is: