Best Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Plans in Malaysia Compared

Thinking of getting the newly launched Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet in Malaysia? Check this guide to make sure you are getting the best deal out there!

What is the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1?

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is the latest tablet released by Samsung as a successor to the very successful Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1) (yes the new name is confusing, because the Note 10.1 is actually a ‘Tab’let). It is available in Malaysia from September 2012. Key features of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1:

  • Runs with Android OS (the 4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • 10.1 inch WXGA LCD screen
  • HD video recording and playback
  • Capable of making calls / SMS and accessing internet using WiFi / HSPA+/ 3G / EDGE
  • 5MP rear camera / 1.9MP front facing camera

For the full technical specs and some more nice photos of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, you can go ahead to the Samsung website here. If you actually wanted to see the best plans for the Apple iPad (one of Samsung’s competitors in the Tablet market), see our Cheapest Apple iPad Plans in Malaysia article.

We have quite a lot of other guides and tools for Android smartphones too, see our Best Samsung Galaxy S3 Plans in Malaysia article, and our Best Android Plans in Malaysia article.


Buy Outright without Contract Data Plan?

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is available for sale in Malaysia with an RRP of RM2,199. While the major networks in  Malaysia are now offering the Note 10.1 at a discount off the RRP if you join them a on a long term contract plan, you may not want to be tied in, especially if you don’t need the HSPA / 3G data plan to go with it.

You could pick up the Note 10.1 at RRP (or cheaper, once the Samsung distributors and resellers get in on the act, est. October 2012), and then stick a low cost non-contract data plan onto it (eg. the U mobile U28 or the Maxis One Club RM18/month for 1GB, if available).

In fact, if you already own a smartphone with a data plan, you could avoid those extra data contracts altogether and still enjoy the full range of services and internet connectivity by tethering your smartphone to the Note 10.1 to get instant internet connections at the same speed as your smartphone data plan. See more below:

Tethering / Mobile Hotspot from Smartphones

Basically, most smartphones (in the last 2 years) have inbuilt software that enables Tethering: the process of using your smartphone as a modem for a personal computer to connect to the internet. You can tether via a feature called Mobile Hotspot where tethering is done via WiFi connection, which your tablet’s WiFi antenna can pick up and connect to.

The reason why networks provide tablet data plans is to enable internet access for tablet users in the absence of WiFi, so if you already have a mobile device that can act as a WiFi modem, then scratch that data plan off your monthly budget plan!

So If you are using either iPhone, Blackberry, and an Android smartphone with an internet data plan (ie. a 3G mobile internet plan), then three cheers for you, because you can stop searching for a data plan and just connect your device to your tablet for instant access to the internet! However, tethering or mobile hotspots has its drawbacks:

  • Internet Data Quota - When you surf the internet via tethering, you are actually using your mobile internet data quota, so make sure that you have enough quota for both devices, and don’t have to pay extra charges for data used after exceeding your limit!
  • Battery life - Tethering drains your smartphone battery significantly, so if you use your smartphone to make multiple business calls daily or you value your battery life, either have chargers handy or then consider getting a data plan.

For iPhone users, get searching here and here to check whether your mobile can be used as a modem. For Blackberry users, you have to upgrade to 7.1 OS to enable mobile hotspot. And if you are using Android 2.2 software or higher in your Android smartphone, then you should be able to tether your mobile to your iPad (if you know any other way to tether, shout it out on our Forum!).


Is My Quota Enough for Tethering?

If you don’t know how much internet data you need in a month, read our Broadband Speed vs Quota guide to determine your usage! If battery life is not an issue for you, and if you find that your quota is not enough and considering to get a tablet data plan in addition to your internet data plan, D-O-N-T! All you have to do is just to increase your monthly quota on your existing smartphone data plan because you will Save Money in the long run:

Situation A:

Syed is currently using Celcom mBasic Mobile Internet Plan (1GB, RM 38/month) for his iPhone. He purchased the same plan for his brand new tablet.

Syed’s total Monthly cost (Celcom mBasic for his iPhone + Celcom mBasic for his tablet): RM 38 + RM 38 = RM 76 (2GB)

Situation B:

Syed is currently using Celcom mBasic Mobile Internet Plan (1GB, RM38/month) for his iPhone. He wants to have more internet data because he plans to use his iPhone as a WiFi modem for his brand new tablet, and decided to upgrade his plan to Celcom mAdvance (3GB, RM 58/month) to avoid throttled internet speed from the added usage.

Syed’s Total Monthly Cost (Celcom Advance): RM 58 (3GB)

So if you have a smartphone that can be used as a WiFi modem, and don’t mind too much about the drain on battery life, don’t bother with any tablet data plans! But if you don’t have a smartphone and plan to purchase a tablet for your daily do’s, then keep on reading because we have all the plans available for you.


I'm convinced, I'll use my smartphone as a WiFi modem, which plan to get?

For this, check out our Postpaid Mobile Plans article, our Postpaid Blackberry Plans article, (or even our Prepaid Mobile Plans article). There you will find a full analysis on the best plans with data in the market, along with a handy Postpaid Plan Comparison Tool.

Best Plans for the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 in Malaysia

Before the Samsung resellers and distributors start selling the Note 10.1, you probably have to get it with a long-term data plan. As always, there is no such thing as the ‘best’ plan for everyone, the best plan for you depends on your own usage (type and amount).

Celcom, DiGi and Maxis variants come in a 12 and 24 month contract, U Mobile only offers the device with their 24-month contracts:

Lowest Cost over 12 months

ProviderPlan NameDevice PriceData Quota (GB)Contract PeriodMinimum Monthly FeeMinimum 12 month Cost of Ownership
MaxisSurfMore50RM1,799.00212 month(s)RM50.00RM2,399.00
DiGiDG Smart Plan 48RM1,849.001.012 month(s)RM48.00RM2,425.00
CelcomCelcom First Data LiteRM1,888.001.512 month(s)RM48.00RM2,464.00

Table does not include supplementary lines or Auto-billing discounts taken into account

From the table below, Maxis comes out top if you want the cheapest possible postpaid plan option (but not by much). In fact, once you take DiGi’s and Celcom’s auto-billing discounts into account, the differences are even smaller! We would probably say go with the provider you feel most comfortable with, safe with the knowledge that the 12-month cost of ownership differences are very small.

The New Maxis SurfMore50 Postpaid Plan – RM50/month for 2GB of Data – 100% discout on RM50 monthly commitment if usage over RM250
This plan is formerly known as Internet Value Plan 50 with 1.5GB mobile internet allocation. 33% more internet is calculated based on the difference between 1.5GB & 2GB.

Device Price: RM1,799
Minimum cost over 12/24 months: RM2,399 / RM2,899
Monthly Commitment Fee
: RM50/month
Call Rate: RM0.12/min for Maxis to Maxis, RM0.20/min for Maxis to other networks
SMS Rate: RM0.05/SMS for Maxis to Maxis, RM0.15/SMS for Maxis to  other networks
Minimum Contract Length: NO Contract
Deposit Fee: None
Termination Fee: None
Quota: 2GB of Data
Usage Benefits:
- When usage reaches RM150, you get a 25% discount on monthly commitment (monthly fee becomes RM37.50)
- When usage reaches RM250, you get a 100% discount on monthly commitment (no monthly fee)
Supplmentary lines available:
- Value Plus Internet 30 Supplementary Plan
- Family Plus 30 Supplementary Plan (non-mirror)

Terms and Conditions
FAQ 

Go To Maxis
In addition to their super value-for-money ‘More’ postpaid plans, Maxis has taken the initiative to introduce a data-focused variation into the market- the SurfMore50, with the aim of catering towards data dependent users. So what are the perks and the drawbacks? And how does it fair compared to other networks?
First the perks: This plan is actually a tweaked up version of the Internet Value Plan 50 which had a 1.5GB quota allocation at the same cost of RM50/month. The 33% more internet advertised is calculated based on the difference between the 1.5GB offered by the Internet Value Plan 50 and the 2GB offered by the SurfMore50. In addition to that, the rates for same network calls and SMSes are cheaper than the standard ones offered by Maxis.
For those heavy users out there, if your usage reaches RM150, you get to enjoy a 25% discount on your monthly commitment fee. This means that if you used RM150, you would only have to pay RM187.50 instead of RM200. If you’re a phone addict and your usage reaches RM250, you get to enjoy a 100% discount off your monthly commitment fee. This essentially means that if you used RM250, you would incur no monthly fee!
The drawbacks? Exceeding your quota will not mean a throttling in speed however, a charge or RM0.30/mb (very expensive). As such if you do indeed exceed your quota, consider purchasing upgrade passes for extra data instead. This plan is most suitable for those who are primarily data dependent and isn’t the most appropriate for an average user (assume usage of 300mins, 200SMS and 1GB of Data)

 

Featured 12/24-month Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Plan: Celcom First Data Lite + Voice 
Drawbacks: 1.5GB enough?

Device Price: RM1,888 / RM1,738
Contract Period: 12 months / 24 months
Monthly Fee: RM48
Data Quota: 1.5GB
Minimum Cost over 12 / 24 months: RM2,464 / RM2,890
Rebatable Upfront Cost: RM200
Voice Plan:
Calls: 15 sen / min
SMS: 10 sen / SMS
MMS: 20 sen / MMS
Go To Celcom
Celcom were the first to roll out their Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 plans, and they don’t disappoint terribly, with a reasonable discount off the RRP with their 1.5GB First Data Lit plan (RM48/month). If you don’t want a very long term 24 month contract then Celcom’s currently the market’s only 12 month plan option. The total cost of ownership over 24 months at RM2,890 is still the lowest in the market, with U Mobile coming in a distant 2nd.

Celcom have also lopped on a pay-as-you-use Voice plan along with the First Data Lite, in case you decide you want to use the Note 10.1 to make some calls/SMSs.

Lowest Cost over 24 months

ProviderPlan NameDevice PriceData Quota (GB)Contract PeriodMonthly Cost24 month Cost of Ownership (inc. usage)
DiGiDG Smart Plan 48RM1,699.001.024 month(s)RM48.00RM2,851.00
CelcomCelcom First Data LiteRM1,738.001.524 month(s)RM48.00RM2,890.00
MaxisSurfMore50RM1,699.00224 month(s)RM50.00RM2,899.00
CelcomCelcom First Data Lite + Extra 100MB QuotaRM1,738.001.624 month(s)RM51.00RM2,962.00
MaxisSurfMore50RM1,799.00212 month(s)RM50.00RM2,999.00
DiGiDG Smart Plan 48RM1,849.001.012 month(s)RM48.00RM3,001.00
U MobileU58RM1,639.002.024 month(s)RM58.00RM3,031.00
:
:
:
DiGiDG Smart SpecialsRM699.003.024 month(s)RM148.00RM4,251.00

Table does not include supplementary lines or Auto-billing discounts taken into account

As with the 12-month contract options, the differences between the networks in total cost of ownership over the 24 month period is small, it looks like they have been doing their homework on each other!

Featured 24-month Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Plan: DiGi DG Smart Plan 48 
Drawbacks: only 1GB, most other entry level offerings come in at 1.5GB

Device Price: RM1,699
Contract Period: 24 months
Monthly Fee: RM48 (RM43 with Autobilling)
Data Quota: 1GB
Minimum Cost over 24 months: RM2,851
Voice Plan:
Calls: 15 sen / mins
SMS: 10 sen / SMS
MMS: 20 sen / MMS
Go To DiGi
For 24 month contracts, DiGi comes up cheapest if you want the new tablet, again not by much though. The 1GB data quota might be a little on the low side, especially for the media-consuming nature of tablets in general. Still, if you can live with a low quota amount or are OK with being throttled after you hit the quota, you can pick up the device for the lowest overall 24-month cost of ownership.

 

Featured Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 24-Month Plan : U Mobile U58
Drawback: U Mobile’s coverage area is smaller than the big networks; we don’t like the upfront fee even if its rebatable

Phone Cost : RM1,639
Contract Period: 24 months
Minimum Monthly Fee: RM58 / month
Minimum cost of over 24-months: RM3,031
Included Data:
2 GB
Included Minutes and SMS: 200 any network minutes (+100 mins to U Mobile users)
Rebatable Upfront Cost: RM348
Rates:
Calls: 18 sen / min (U Mobile), 20 sen / min (others)
SMS: 5 sen / SMS (U Mobile), 12 sen / min (others)
MMS : 20 sen / MMS (U Mobile), 30 sen / min (others)
Go To U Mobile
U Mobile only offers 24-month contracts for the Note 10.1, if you need more than Celcom’s 1.5GB then this is probably what you want to go for.
We don’t like the RM348 upfront fee, even if it is rebated over the contract term so it doesn’t add to the total cost of ownership. Despite all that, the phone price at RM1,639 is cheaper than then entry level offerings from Celcom.
Update 18th June 2013 : U Mobile is no longer offering the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 bundle plans.

Plans for Heavy Users – 3GB or more per month

Featured 24-month Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Plan: DiGi DG Smart Plan 68 
Drawbacks: you get throttled after exceeding the quota

Device Price: RM1,499
Contract Period: 24 months
Monthly Fee: RM68 (RM63 with Autobilling)
Data Quota: 3GB
Minimum Cost over 24 months: RM3,131
Voice Plan:
Calls: 15 sen / mins
SMS: 10 sen / SMS
MMS: 20 sen / MMS
Go To DiGi
When you go towards higher data quota requirements, the price differentials start increasing, and for contracts in the 3GB region, DiGi comes up cheapest again, although you do get 3.5GB with Maxis and 4GB with Celcom in their higher quota plans.

 

Featured 24-month Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Plan: Maxis One Club – Value Plus 30 + 3GB / 6GB Mobile Internet – if you want the lowest upfront Device Price at RM699 / RM999 
Drawbacks: Voice commitment of RM30 / month is included; Maxis charges RM0.30 for every MB gone over the quota, other networks normally just throttle you

Device Price: RM999 (3GB option) / RM699 (6GB option)
Contract Period: 24 months
Monthly Fee: RM98 / RM128
Data Quota: 3GB / 6GB
Minimum Cost over 24 months: RM3,351 / RM3,771
Voice Plan: RM30 minimum voice commitment
Calls: 18 sen / min (20 sen to other Networks)
SMS: 10 sen / SMS
MMS: 25 sen / MMS (50 sen to other Networks)
Go To Maxis
If you want to pick up the Note 10.1 at the cheapest possible upfront price, Maxis offers the device at the cheapest upfront cost to their Maxis One Club members (people who are already with Maxis, its not exactly clear yet who’s eligible and who’s not, but if your existing bill is RM150 / month or more you will most likely be offered this membership).

While the low device price certainly sounds good, Maxis is offering their Value Plus 30 + Mobile internet 3GB or 6GB bolt on with the Note 10.1, which means that you have a minimum commitment RM30 of calls / SMSes / MMSes, bringing the minimum monthly fee to RM98 (3GB) and RM128 (6GB) respectively. While we certainly don’t want to disparage the call/SMS making abilities of the Note 10.1, we anticipate that only people who want to use the device as their main communication device will be interested in plans such as these ones (ie. people who will frequently use their Note 10.1 for making calls and SMSes). If you’re not one of these people, then probably best to stick with the Internet Quota only plans on DiGi/Celcom and even Maxis’ Internet Value Plan 75 if you need a higher data quota amount.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Plan Comparison Tool

As always, the right plan for you depends on your usage, your willingness to stump up upfront costs, and your individual circumstances like whether you have a credit card to activate autobilling and get a discount, or whether you are a supplementary line holder. To this end, our team have designed our very own Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Plan Comparison Tool (in Excel) for you to compare your best plan for you!

The SaveMoney.my Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Plan Comparison Tool

 

So there you go folks! All the plans available for Note 10.1 users in Malaysia. Mind you, we do not comment on the network coverage of each provider, so do check that you have a good signal in all your favourite places before dropping your hard earned RMs into any one of them.

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