Got a Blackberry for work some time back and have been simply loving it. Typing on a QWERTY keyboard, especially on one as great as the Berry’s, makes me much more productive.

I was on a prepaid plan, using the Berry only for data with my old SE phone for calls, which worked well at first but it soon got tiresome switching between two phones. Switching to my old phone to SMS only reminded me how much faster typing on the Berry was. And I had a tendency to forget to bring both phones out with me. So I realized it was time to use my Berry for both voice and data.

Only problem here was that my then-current postpaid provider, had a seriously bad data package for the Blackberry:

You read that right: RM40/mo for 5MB and RM55/mo for 10MB, with unlimited data at RM120. Seriously, RM55 for 10MB? I didn’t even have to pay that much in the old dial-up Internet days. Blackberry email compression is good but not that good; I had a tool running that estimated my usage per month to be around 400MB.

I double checked with customer care and confirmed that this was in fact the only postpaid data plan available for the Berry. Why it’s annoying is that if I weren’t on a Blackberry, the typical data plan would only be RM58/mo for 500MB of data. I realize there might be licensing fees and all, but RM55/mo for 10 measly MB just doesn’t cut it.

Even so, I waited quite a few months to see if any new Blackberry plans would come up (as Carol was also on Maxis), but to no avail. I’m a little puzzled at this as Celcom and DiGi have been heavily promoting their own Blackberry plans.

DiGi recently came up with a brilliant smartphone plan:

Not only does it have a flat rate of RM68/mo for data charges, voice and SMS are made on a pay-as-you-use basis so there’s no monthly commitment (although you can still subscribe to a fixed plan for a better charge rate). Perfect for people like me who don’t call out much.

The icing on the cake is that if your total bill comes up to more than RM100, you get an RM17 rebate (25% of the data charge) off your bill, and if it comes up to more than RM200, you get an RM68 rebate (100% of the data charge). And according to DiGi, this is the total bill, meaning you only need to spend RM32 to get the initial rebate!

For Blackberry users, it also includes tethering (their old RM58 plan didn’t).

Other bonuses for me were:
1) Free Friends and Family subscription
2) DiGi doesn’t have “bill shock” if you are using data without a plan – you are capped at RM5/day. This is a huge thing, my sister on a supplementary line landed me RM40 in data charges in a few hours on Maxis after I gave her my old phone and she downloaded a few pictures – we never expected data charges could be so high!

3) RM5 rebate if you subscribe to auto-billing
4) If you exceed the Fair Usage Cap on the data plan, you don’t get more “bill shock”, DiGi throttles your speed to EDGE speed instead (which is moot since my Berry doesn’t have 3G :P ).

The DG Smart plan is pretty much the phone plan to get if you are using a smartphone right now (and yes, if you already have an iPhone, you can switch to this plan). I know a lot of people who have already made the switch, and you should seriously consider it if you use a smartphone. DiGi is just much cheaper for Blackberry plans compared to Maxis. I feel dumb for taking so long – I was using my Berry as a netbook instead of a smartphone!

5 thoughts on “Why Smartphones can be Dumbphones – DG Smart Plan vs Maxis Blackberry Plan

  1. hi tim,

    i read this and inclined to go for digi blackberry plan.

    wanna ask you, how about celcom?

    RM68 for unlimited BIS data plan + RM50 plan? quite similiar to digi interms of cheapness right?

    please email me ur reply if you are free at seven959@hotmail.com

  2. I used to be on xpax prepaid actually, not too updated on celcom plans though.

    Generally how Digi is different is that you get a rebate if you exceed RM32 usage. And it’s PAYU, meaning you don’t need an additional postpaid plan. As I don’t call out much this is perfect for me, it’s saving me quite a bit in bills

  3. Pingback: Android Market Roundup: Seven Great Apps « tim thinks that***

  4. Great site you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any user discussion forums that cover the same topics discussed here? I’d really like to be a part of online community where I can get responses from other experienced individuals that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Thanks!

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