Finding a Better Phone Plan with Snoobe

The big story for mobile in Canada this week was carrier price hikes. In case you missed it, check here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. I think you get the idea.

In the midst of this hostile environment I caught a tweet from forums member Ben Klass about a new Android app (iOS version soon) called Snoobe, which promises to deliver the perfect mobile phone plan to the palm of your hand.

The team behind Snoobe is based in Montreal; thus the current Play Store version of the app is optimized for Canadian consumers. Users in the U.S. are encouraged to download a beta from the company website.

This Canadian installed Snoobe on his Nexus 5 yesterday and tried it out.

Snoobe Splash Screen

The splash screen… Ok, I get the Robin Hood bit, but Snoobe? No idea…

Snoobe Reassurance

This is a nice way of saying that the app is going to help itself to some personal data on your phone. Not to worry, though, it’s all for the greater good.

Snoobe Permissions

I had a look at App ops to see what Snoobe was up to. The required permissions make perfect sense—the app needs to know what province you’re in (location), your phone usage (call log) and how many texts you send and receive (read SMS/MMS).

As for reading contacts, it’s probably only ever going to be used if and when you choose to spam your Facebook friends about the awesome phone plan that Snoobe found for you.

Snoobe: "Hi, I'm Robin..."

To calculate your data requirements you’ll have to answer a few questions…

Snoobe WiFi

I deliberately overestimated wherever I could to see how big my data bucket would get.

Snoobe Emails

Available options for email are 10, 30, 50, 75 and 100 messages per day.

Snoobe Websites

Available inputs for websites are 3, 5, 10, 50 and 100 per day.

Snoobe Videos

Inputs for videos are 0.5, 1, 2, 3 and 7 hours per week. I think this option should include streaming music as well.

Snoobe GPS

GPS inputs are the same as the ones for videos—0.5, 1, 2, 3 and 7 hours per week.

Snoobe Apps

For app and game downloads you can choose 0, 3, 5, 10 or 30 per month. What about podcasts?

 Snoobe: "Almost there!"

So according to Snoobe, I need 2.3 GB of data per month. That seems a bit low.

Snoobe Results 1

And now the magic happens… As you can see from my usage, I don’t make a lot of phone calls, and use IM way more than SMS.

Funny how the top three hits are WIND, Public Mobile and Mobilicity… 🙄

Snoobe Results 2

There’s also this plan from Koodo. Sweet deal, yo!

Snoobe Plan Details

What I’m supposed to do now is take my phone to the nearest Koodo store, shove the screen in someone’s face and say: “Gimme gimme!”

The only small technicality is that this particular plan doesn’t exist, at least where I live. Bit of a fail, that.

Snoobe still has some value if you want to calculate your monthly data requirements, but until they can keep up with the ever-changing landscape of mobile prices in this country I can’t really recommend it for its intended purpose.

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