I went to Straight Talk and ordered the SIM card kit for the BYOP program which was a $55 investment with the 30 day time card. I chose the AT&T Micro Sim Package which doesn't matter as the SIM I received was a normal sized SIM with a micro break away cut out as well.
I fired up the Registration/Activation page from Straight Talk, filled out all the info being sure to use the SIM card serial in place of the MEID/IMEI, and ported over my number from Verizon. Verizon has no PIN, you just need to provide them with your Verizon password for your account.
After that, I called ST which was a PITA, but I wanted to make sure everything went through fine. After hearing the verbal warning about how the SCH-I454 may or may not work with their service, and hearing how there is no refunds for the SIM card or the time card, I said go ahead and activate the SIM. He did so after reading me about three pages of BS and then telling me it could take up to 2 days for the number to be ported.
I continued to play with the phone with the VZW SIM in it until it went dead (about 30 minutes later), then switched out the SIM and began the conversion.
Added new APN settings as follows:
settings/connections/more networks/mobile networks/access point names
APN Name: Straight Talk
MMS Proxy: mms3.tracfone.com
MMS Port: 80
APN type: default,mms,supl
Save and restart the phone.
(Note: At first I had no data, after freaking out and searching the website in a panic. I was starting to lose hope when I looked down and noticed, hey there it is. So just give it a minute or two before you panic.)
Global Mode Speed Test Results with 2 bars of H service: 253 Ping - 0.98 Mbps Down - 0.58 Mbps Up
GSM Mode Speed Test Results with 2 bars of H service: 351 Ping - 1.63 Mbps Down - 0.38 Mbps Up
Global Mode vs. GSM Mode:
Make sure your phone is set to Global Mode or GSM Mode by going here:
settings/connections/more networks/mobile networks/network mode
I noticed I had a Voicemail icon, but when I clicked on it, it routed me into the *63 loop of "Call can not be completed, blah blah".
This is due to Verizon using a different access for voicemail than ST. It is easily fixed.
Go to settings/my device/call/voicemail settings/voicemail numbers
and enter your cell number.
Now when you click on the VM icon or press and hold the 1 key, it will take you to your VM.
If you have a VM icon stuck on your screen, simply call your cell from a different number, leave a VM, then retrieve and delete it and it should disappear.
Verizon Bloatware Removal (sort of):
I figured since I wasn't on Verizon anymore, I could go ahead and get rid of the VZW bloatware all over this thing. There are ways to do it, that I found on these forums but I'm not very savvy when it comes to installing ROM's and such on phones so I chose to just play it safe and go to
and Turning Off everything that said or started with "Verizon".
Day 2: Continuation of Self Education
So I started receiving annoying pop up messages asking me to sign into my Verizon account. I could menu tab out of it, but it was mucho annoying. So I started digging deeper into this glorious website and the forums and learning about Safe Strap, ROM's, and flashing modules.
This led me down a bright path.
I ended up following the directions on this site in regards to installing Safe Strap v3.71 from Hashcode and the RootJunky (Tomsgt) Youtube installation video. Backing up the Stock ROM and then decided on the Hyperdrive RLS14 from sbreen94. Following the directions as outlined in the RootJunky (Tomsgt) YouTube videos, everything installed easily and I had zero issues.
Now in order to use Safe Strap, you will need root access, but finding that information on here is fairly easy. Easiest way is to search for the Tomsgt post where he links a lot of his videos. I believe it is even a sticky.
If like me, you are brand new to this whole thing and a little intimidated, it's okay. Just take your time, don't get in any hurry. Watch the installation videos prior to beginning your own installation, and just be careful. You are in good hands here.
One of the side effects of switching over to ST from VZW was the addition of having the + sign added to calls in the call log. Now this didn't affect making calls or sending texts via your contact list, but if you tried to call back from the call log, the carrier assumed you were trying to make an international call and would drop it.
There is no way to fix it via the Calling options in settings but I did find a work around. An app by the name of Prefixer, put out by 253°Below (253below.com).
With this app, you can set rules to drop the + sign from outgoing and incoming calls. It's still going to show up in your call log, but when you tap a name or missed call to call them back, Prefixer automatically removes the added symbol and everything works like a peach!
Reclaiming Device Space:
Flashed HyperDrive RLS15 over the stock ROM this morning. Flashed the Modules before reboot and after install. Only issue I had was TouchWiz Home crashing on occasion, but a kindly soul on here told me it looked like it was an issue associated with restoring data. Although I didn't restore data, I also chose to just flash over the Stock ROM and use the installers Wipe/Factory Reset option instead of wiping the ROM slot first (Dumb move). All I had to do was boot into recovery with SafeStrap and Wipe the new ROM, reboot, and good to go. Now have close to 6Gigs of free space on the Flashed Stock ROM.
Update 13th April 2014 at 10:52 AM:
Over a month in now and everything is still working fine!
Update 30th April 2014 at 06:36 PM:
Got a new job that takes me all over the state of California and can absolutely confirm that I have 4G LTE from ST on this phone, with the above APN, when I am in an area that supports it.