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Crescita posted 7/29/2013 16:36 PM

Too many decisions. I'm frazzled.

My Verizon contract is up, and my current android is near spent. Need a new phone, tired of contracts. So now I have to pick a new carrier AND phone.

It seems simple enough but it's so hard to compare apples to apples when they all have to offer their own individual perk "forget apples, check out this kumquat!"

You'd think going no contract you could dabble with different providers and find one that fits. Ha! The perks all come with built in catches and you might as well be signing a contract. Have to pick wisely.

Is there an all perk phone/plan combo?

I'd like 2gb data, unlimited text and at least 500 minutes talk. International service would be fantastic, but sadly not overly necessary.

As for the phone itself, I don't care about music and camera, I just want a smartphone with good battery life and enough room for games.

Amazonia posted 7/29/2013 16:49 PM

I use Virgin Mobile and love them. You can get what you want for $45 a month and the cost of the phone ($100-400 depending on how nice you go).

ETA they run on Sprints network so similar coverage.

[This message edited by Amazonia at 4:50 PM, July 29th (Monday)]

h0peless posted 7/29/2013 16:55 PM

Just keep in mind that the Pay As You Go phones work great as long as you're in an urban area but they don't include roaming like the big carriers and coverage can be spotty in Arizona outside of major metropolitan areas and freeways.

metamorphisis posted 7/29/2013 17:01 PM

forget apples, check out this kumquat


That's it exactly!!! And once you get comparing plans and phones across several carriers you feel like you're going to lose your mind

Sorry I am not more help. They are going to have to pry my antiquated Blackberry out of my hands when the time comes because I don't want to have to choose all over again

Crescita posted 7/29/2013 17:13 PM

Hopeless, spotty coverage is one of my concerns; even Verizon has dead zones around here. Iím thinking as long as I get coverage at home Iíll be happy, but thatís why I worry about picking the wrong plan.

Ama, Virgin is my current front runner. I just hesitate because Virgin phones are locked. Even if the contract is month to month, Iíll have to stick with them for at least a year to make up for the cost of the phone.

Meta, glad you can relate

KVille posted 7/29/2013 17:16 PM

It really depends on the service area with the big providers. I have to keep Verizon for 1.5 more years. I will use Sprint after that because of the unlimited data.
PLUS the fact that they (Verizon)are dropping the retirees of companies they offered discounts with ....with only 60 days notice. This just happened after I got retired, lucky me.

tabitha95 posted 7/29/2013 17:30 PM

I have had virgin mobile for about 3 or 4 years. I'm on my 3rd phone. I will never go back to a plan again. I was stuck with a crappy phone and expensive plan for 2 years and swore never again.

Crescita posted 7/29/2013 17:46 PM

Eep, I fell for the today only $150 off S3 offer on Virgin. Search over With the savings I should recuperate the phone cost in 11 months.

Amazonia posted 7/29/2013 18:02 PM

I've been with VM for 3 and a half years now, and am really happy with them. I hope you love them as much as I do!

For future reference, they do really great phone sales on Black Friday every year. So hang onto your S3 for at least 16 months.

Crescita posted 7/29/2013 18:25 PM

Thanks for the tip. Hopefully I can push it to 28! I've had my current for 25 months, and I've put up with it shutting down and freezing up randomly for the last 6 months because I happen to be stubborn like that. Also bad at math, I've recalculated and it will only take me 6-8 months to recoup the cost of the phone depending on how few minutes I end up using

Bobbi_sue posted 7/30/2013 06:21 AM

Staighttalk from Walmart.
Sounds similar to the Virgin Mobile plan mentioned by Amazonia as far as the phones you can get. The smartphone plan is $45 / month, no limits on data, texts or phone minutes.

You have to do some research to find out which network the phone you buy will use, either ATT or Verizon. Our Straighttalk phones use the Verizon network and they have the same roaming as any other verzion phone as far as I can tell.

Too_Trusting posted 7/30/2013 07:09 AM

I'm with AT&T ATM, but when my contract is up, I think I'm going "contract-less" myself. I may look into the VM thing myself, because I had such a HORRIBLE experience with Straight Talk, I wouldn't go back to them if they gave me a phone and a lifetime of minutes. Yes, it was THAT bad. Never, ever, EVER again. That's just my experience, tho. YMMV

FaithFool posted 7/30/2013 08:43 AM

I've been a Nokia fan from Day 1. They work.

As for plans, mine is very basic and costs $33 a month with a Canadaland company that's aligned with AT&T. They have the best coverage if I'm stateside, at a cost.

I'm not a data junkie, though nor do I talk on the phone very much, recluse that I am...

I use my IPad for surfing if I'm out and just use hotspots.

ETA: I'd go with Virgin just because I like Mr. Branson. Yeah, great reason!

[This message edited by FaithFool at 8:44 AM, July 30th (Tuesday)]

Amazonia posted 7/30/2013 08:52 AM

If anybody is interested in VM, feel free to PM me. I'm pretty sure I've "sold" at least 3 people on SI and a handful in real life on their phone service. I seriously love it.

Sad in AZ posted 7/30/2013 10:04 AM

Since you've already got your new phone & service, I hope you don't mind my jacking your thread

I'm coming off of a contract with Sprint and have been using a Samsung Galaxy SII (not the notebook) I hate it and I'm not sure what I hate. Yes, the phone is a cluster--the first battery fried and the screen is super sensitive--if I try to move while using it it will drop the call. It also freezes up and has a nervous breakdown frequently.

Now for my confusion. Because the phone is so lousy, I'm not sure what is service-related and what is phone-related. I can't get service inside most buildings. Houses are ok, and my apartment was ok most of the time, but it was only a 2-story building. In my office in Houston, on the 17th floor, service was almost non-existent. It frustrated me to see other people using their phones in the elevators and mine didn't even work at my desk!

Sprints coverage is very spotty from what I've seen. I've been on roaming within Houston city limits! I'm confused as to how much is related to the POS phone and how much is related to lousy Sprint service.

I'm moving to a much more rural area and am about to go back to Verizon, even though I won't have unlimited data. Does any of this make sense to anybody?

[This message edited by Sad in AZ at 10:05 AM, July 30th (Tuesday)]

Amazonia posted 7/30/2013 10:22 AM

Sad, do you have friends in your area with Sprint? Or better yet, friends in the area where you're moving to...

You might try to get onto a 4g plan/phone, especially if you want to use data on your phone (I know you use it largely for calls). Is there someone in your new office or do you know people in the city where you'll be in NY who you can ask about service coverage there?

ETA: What I'm trying to say is that if you ask others what their service is like, you'll get a feel for whether it's the phone or the provider.

[This message edited by Amazonia at 10:22 AM, July 30th (Tuesday)]

Crescita posted 7/30/2013 10:35 AM

Sad, I've seen a lot of bad reviews for the S2, so it could just be the phone, but since you are moving, I'd ask around your new neighborhood about service anyway.

metamorphisis posted 7/30/2013 10:51 AM

Glad you found something you could live with!
I am going to stick with my phone as long as I can when my contract is up. I am also with Virgin Mobile. Coverage has been wonderful, service has been hit or miss. Long waits, and sometimes clueless reps but overall not too bad. I will likely switch to pay as you go. I am on a 3 year contract and I have not once in 3 years used more than 1/4 of my data. What a waste that was. Also they offer nowhere near the incentive I would need to sign on to another contract. If I ever do want to go with a contract again I'll shop around.
The fact that they want me to pay a fee to sign on to a new contract is ludicrous. I won't be paying ANY fee for someone to get another 2 or 3 years of business out of me

sad12008 posted 7/30/2013 14:23 PM

There's always something timely here on SI! Another sad w/a hijacking:

My situation's a lot like Crescita's. Our home is in a rural county and when we moved here 8 years ago, I'd asked local people which carrier provided the best coverage & reliability...and that's how we wound up with Verizon. Now we have 5 lines, 2 w/data, and the dang bill is over $200./mo! We still have the unlimited data plan, but haven't ever reached the 2GB mark, for instance, in any month. Of course, our contract end dates are staggered; I think we have two phones still under the 2 yr contract (but end in 6 months or less).

I was researching this topic and saw a company I'd never heard of before (Consumer Cellular) highly rated by Consumer Reports...anyone used them?

Is there a way to find out which phone companies have towers in my county? Heck, I don't even know if that's a question to ask, my knowledge level is so pitiful. I just learned about GSM & CDMA network technology, for instance.

Where's the cheapest place to buy a phone if you're not getting it under contract?

I feel rushed b/c DD's birthday is zooming toward us, and I'd wanted to give her a little phone upgrade (actual phone, to a smartphone). However, I first conceived of this notion when I was thinking freebie through Verizon.

It seems simple enough but it's so hard to compare apples to apples when they all have to offer their own individual perk "forget apples, check out this kumquat!"

Love it!!

metamorphisis posted 7/30/2013 14:35 PM

Is there a way to find out which phone companies have towers in my county?

You can ask the company directly. I know VM was cheaper than Bell here but they use Bells towers. So anywhere I could get Bell service I was fine to use VM. I would just find out who uses Verizons towers.
I know here Bell owns Virgin Mobile. It might work the same where you are that Verizon owns a company with cheaper rates.

ETA) Also if you go on each individual carriers website, they will usually have a coverage map somewhere. You input your postal code and see if they cover your area.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 2:36 PM, July 30th (Tuesday)]

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