iphone 4 or ipod touch 4?

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swidwaks

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First off I'm looking to replace my first gen ipod touch that was recently stolen. I had never really considered iphone before because I expected the plan to be ridiculously expensive... which I suppose it is, but interestingly enough could end up being less than what I pay for a normal verizon plan (non-smartphone).

I had already planned on replacing verizon with Virgin Mobile, probably the 25$/mo unlimited plan. I figured that, or pay as you go, with a $10 phone would likely be sufficient. I'm heading up to Penn State this Fall, and although the Sprint Network is pretty bad around PA, I figured it'd be good enough for my needs (and budget).

I was looking into the plan for the iphone, however, and noticed that I could get 200mb/mo 3G + access to ATT Wifi Hotspots for 55$/mo. Penn State is a paid ATT hotspot, and while I wouldn't normally consider paying 20$/mo (the normal cost of ATT WIFI Plus) to get campus-wide wifi, but if it came bundled with a cell phone service it may seem more worthwhile.

Anyways, excuse the long intro, but here are my questions.

1) Would that 200mb/mo be a sufficient replacement for a standard txting plan assuming I used the free txting apps on the app store?

2) Are the free txting apps a much larger drain on the battery than the standard txting built into iphone?

3) Will I be able to use my att account to connect to the wifi hotspots on my laptop, or only on my iphone? (not buying tethering)

4) Battery life was my biggest concern on my old ipod. I used it consistently as a dictionary, a scientific calculator, study flashcards, music player, email check, calendar, handheld game console, and ebook reader. While battery life would sometimes get tight, I usually made it all day on a single charge. Would using it as a phone make this difficult? What about as a camera as well (stills mainly, not video)

I'm not terribly big on phones, I hardly ever make calls but I do txt a decent amount. I'm leaning towards the virgin mobile unlimited plan and ipod touch 4, but I'm wondering if the extra $30 a month might be worth while. My concern is that you get what you pay for, and with sprint that doesn't seem to be very much. I think typing extra $30 a month pretty much made my mind up for me, that still sounds like a lot of money. If anyone has any comments/advice, however, please feel free.



edit: Now that I've seen the numbers I think I'm gonna work on dropping the texting and just move to tracfone... when I really looked at it I'd be paying between $20 and $50 more a month just to be able to txt and have one device.
 
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