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Thread: Advice on Cell Phone Purchase

  1. #11
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    I have a Samsung Galaxy A10e through Tracfone, and I absolutely love it. It's currently available for $79.99 through Tracfone. We got one for DH more recently and he has the A20 I believe. He was switching from a second-hand iPhone 5, and made the transition without difficulty. I previously had an LG Rebel through Tracfone, and I would not recommend it. It was always turning itself on and taking pictures of the inside of my pocketbook and using all my battery power, and I only had capacity to load 3 or 4 apps, no exaggeration.
    We do a monthly plan through TF and it costs us each $16. a month. There are usage limits, but we've never bumped up against them, so perfectly adequate for our needs. Right now, I have 9.29 GB of data, 19,180 texts, and 15,274 minutes remaining for the month. I can never really figure what the data numbers translate to in terms of my usage, but it's always more than enough, and the text and phone call limits are way more than I would ever need in this lifetime. I use a laptop as my primary device for data usage, so probably need less data than someone who just uses a phone and no desktop or laptop. I do use my phone a fair bit, although it is not a permanent appendage.

  2. #12
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    Iphone and Android are different animals. You already like Iphone, and both will have more capabilities then you will or need to use. Besides those options, a third option is something like an Alcatel flip phone (Nokia came back out with a flip, but I think all in this country are grey market phones). It uses KAI OS, which is effectively a modified Android. Flip phones seem to me to be much harder to text on, and that was my upgrade I was planning, since I didn't text on my old $45 a year, prepaid service.

    My goals on a smartphone, when my friend/boss passed and I needed one for work, were:
    Decent battery life (more then a day, as everyone's seems to be)
    durable (seen too many broken screens)
    Inexpensive

    I am a Linux user, so I prefer Android. I have yet to use maps on my phone (I would prefer a GPS itself), but don't travel as much (more work now). No matter what version of Android, there will be changes (so I tried to find a book for the version on my phone, which is 10), and a learning curve. I have learned some, but still have to figure out how to back up my phone (contacts, more then anythings), as I would like to back it up to my computer, rather then some cloud.
    After looking at several phones, I went the opposite direction of most people. My phone was targeted more towards military or construction, due to its design. It was $120 (caught a sale, normally $150), 8000 Mah battery, Android 10, could use 2 sim cards (different networks) or 1 sim and one sd card, and is built like it is already in a case (thicker and durable). It is a Ouiktel WP5. My old number became the house number (Ooma, at around $60 a year), where the new phone service cost me $180 for the year (2gb per month data, that I have gone no where near, unlimited talk and text). I wanted to prepay for the year (enough to worry about then monthly stop and pay).
    I just looked at it and I have 65% battery life and the last time I charged it was 5 days ago. Decent battery life.

  3. #13
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Happy, you might want to check out the Greatcall Jitterbug Smart2. It's the Jitterbug of smartphones, with simplified menus, bigger fonts, and a large-ish screen. At $75 right now (Mother's Day sale; presumably there will be a Father's Day sale in a month) it's a pretty good deal, though GreatCall service isn't cheap compared to other carriers (GreatCall's package equivalent to what we get through Consumer Cellular is twice as expensive and I know we could go cheaper than CC).

    If that phone does not appeal, however, as large a smartphone as your hands feel comfortable using will get you the biggest screen. Buy the phone unlocked, if you can. If you don't, you'll have to stick with a whoever is selling the phone for some months or a year, at their rates, before the phone can be unlocked and moved to another carrier. In some cases (like GreatCall, Cricket, Tracfone, and others) the phone will locked to the offering carrier for life (the phone or theirs, not yours). I wouldn't pay more than $200 for a phone I could not get unlocked and take to another carrier.

    Motorola and Nokia seem to get high marks for making good Android phones at fairly low prices. Note that LG, which sold widely in the prepaid space, has pulled out of the market. I've really liked past LG phones I've had but the market has decided. Given the abysmal rate at which Android manufacturers keep up with OS and security updates for older phones, I would avoid LG even at a discount right now.

    As for carriers, go with whoever has the best phone service in your area and/or stick with your husband's provider if you're happy with their signal. The best prices come with prepaid service; the best coverage with postpaid. Tracfone has a rep for keen pricing (but terrible customer service) but they offer flavors of service from the big three carriers. Of the big three, AT&T Prepaid is decent but Cricket, Verizon Prepaid, and the various T-Mobile brands (Boost, Metro, etc.) are not as good a deal as you can get with those carriers. Visible (Verizon) is good but there are only specific customers who are going to find the Visible deal worthwhile.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  4. #14
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToomuchStuff View Post
    Besides those options, a third option is something like an Alcatel flip phone (Nokia came back out with a flip, but I think all in this country are grey market phones). It uses KAI OS, which is effectively a modified Android. Flip phones seem to me to be much harder to text on, and that was my upgrade I was planning, since I didn't text on my old $45 a year, prepaid service.
    I had one of the retro Nokia 3310s (actually a candy bar phone) for couple of years. Picked it up cheap and we used it when we couldn't find our own phone quickly enough. It felt great in-hand, it sounded good, and it had some bonuses (apps for Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp, iirc). The killer was that it was a 3G phone and most carriers in the U.S. are no longer activating 3G phones. Oh, and pressing 7 four times to get one s into a text message.

    Carriers are switching to new transmission bands and protocols -- you'll see them advertised as LTE and 5G. Phones that can't use LTE for voice and data will see decreasing amounts of service as carriers repurpose their older gear and antennas for more current bands of service. In the low-volume, low-cost market of flip phones, VoLTE (Voice over LTE) is rare. There are maybe 3-4 flip phones out there (the Alcatel Flip being one of them) which fill the bill. And they cost as much as cheap smartphones which can do far more and offer you a more useful keyboard for messages.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  5. #15
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HappyHiker View Post
    Spouse & I have been sharing a cell phone (an Android), but it's time for me to get one of my own due to some off-site gigs I have upcoming.

    Soooo...seeking your advice on a simple, uncomplicated, inexpensive (relatively) cell phone to be used for mainly calls/texting/directions.

    Something like a Jitterbug--but not a Jitterbug for my aging eyes,chubby fingers and Luddite ways.

    Or MUST it be s Jitterbug??

    Help!!!

    And thanks!!!
    Have you considered all the possible uses for your phone that you now have to look elsewhere. My phone is used to store all my phone numbers addresses, emergency contacts for me with notes if necessary. It is my camera, map, appointment calendar as well as phone and text. The apps for weather, garbage collection, grocery flyer, kindle/library books reader, as well as my emergency back up computer when I needed it.
    When I bought my 6S iPhone, I wanted some of the same simple uses as you have listed. I use it for so much more today which I never expected.
    Just mentioning this to consider before deciding which phone you choose.
    As Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveinMN View Post
    I had one of the retro Nokia 3310s (actually a candy bar phone) for couple of years. Picked it up cheap and we used it when we couldn't find our own phone quickly enough. It felt great in-hand, it sounded good, and it had some bonuses (apps for Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp, iirc). The killer was that it was a 3G phone and most carriers in the U.S. are no longer activating 3G phones. Oh, and pressing 7 four times to get one s into a text message.

    Carriers are switching to new transmission bands and protocols -- you'll see them advertised as LTE and 5G. Phones that can't use LTE for voice and data will see decreasing amounts of service as carriers repurpose their older gear and antennas for more current bands of service. In the low-volume, low-cost market of flip phones, VoLTE (Voice over LTE) is rare. There are maybe 3-4 flip phones out there (the Alcatel Flip being one of them) which fill the bill. And they cost as much as cheap smartphones which can do far more and offer you a more useful keyboard for messages.

    The Nokia is a 2720, so they reused an old model number, which makes a bit harder to find. (could easily end up with an old one, which was a 2g gen phone). When found, they were also 3x higher then what I gave for the Alcatel ($40, just bought a few months before my friend passed, as my 3g was starting to have connection issues in some locations as it was being dropped. Similar thing happened to my old candy bar Nokia, which was my first phone). From what I have seen, I won't get the life out of the smart phone, that I did out of the old candy bar phones; those went away because of the loss of service (2g to 3g, planning upgrade to 4g to keep that style). I once tried to text on my old phone, only to never be able to get the letter I needed (it went letter, to letter, and then to words, skipping the last letter).
    I still might buy a prepaid thing for the alcatel, as the other boss, looses his phone frequently, so it would be an emergency use thing, or a number to use to get rid of things, since I am consolidating houses.
    Both that and the WP5, are 4G LTE, although the later was right around the switch time.

  7. #17
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by razz View Post
    Have you considered all the possible uses for your phone that you now have to look elsewhere. My phone is used to store all my phone numbers addresses, emergency contacts for me with notes if necessary. It is my camera, map, appointment calendar as well as phone and text. The apps for weather, garbage collection, grocery flyer, kindle/library books reader, as well as my emergency back up computer when I needed it.
    When I bought my 6S iPhone, I wanted some of the same simple uses as you have listed. I use it for so much more today which I never expected.
    Just mentioning this to consider before deciding which phone you choose.
    Good point, Razz. During Covid shutdown, I learned to deposit checks via banking apps and was able to photo docs that I would previously have scanned at the library.

  8. #18
    Senior Member HappyHiker's Avatar
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    You are all very helpful --lots of knowledge here. And lots for me to chew over...appreciate your thoughts and advice...
    peaceful, easy feeling

  9. #19
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Personally I have an iPhone 11 amateur that I bought 18 months ago as my personal phone and an iPhone 8 work phone. So my perspective may not match yours. But as a couple others have mentioned, my phones are super useful in so many ways.

    I haven’t priced phones lately but my iPhone 8 work phone is still totally functional and will likely remain so for at least a few years. If they are cheap to buy that is what I would recommend since you liked your previous iPhone.

  10. #20
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToomuchStuff View Post
    The Nokia is a 2720, so they reused an old model number, which makes a bit harder to find. (could easily end up with an old one, which was a 2g gen phone).
    3310 was a reused model number, too, and, like the 2720, was a recreation of the original design with modern updates (color screen, etc.). The mobile phone equivalent of a BMW Mini or current FIAT 500 (if you liked the old one...). I got mine for $15 NIB at auction. For an emergency phone, it was worth that much paired with $5 a month phone service. Alas, it didn't make sense to spend $$ to replace it. Now we have to keep track of where our phones are.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

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