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User Topic: Gah cell phones
Crescita
Member
Member # 32616
Default  Posted: 4:36 PM, July 29th (Monday)

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.


Posts: 3256 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: The Valley of the Sun
Amazonia
Member
Member # 32810
Default  Posted: 4:49 PM, July 29th (Monday)

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)]


"You yourself deserve your love and affection as much as anybody in the universe." -Buddha
"Let's face it, life is a crap shoot." -Sad in AZ

Posts: 13564 | Registered: Jul 2011
h0peless
Member
Member # 36697
Default  Posted: 4:55 PM, July 29th (Monday)

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.

Posts: 1571 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Arizona
metamorphisis
Administrator
Member # 12041
Default  Posted: 5:01 PM, July 29th (Monday)

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



We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are.... Anais Nin

Posts: 43970 | Registered: Sep 2006
Crescita
Member
Member # 32616
Default  Posted: 5:13 PM, July 29th (Monday)

Hopeless, spotty coverage is one of my concerns; even Verizon has dead zones around here. Im thinking as long as I get coverage at home Ill be happy, but thats 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, Ill have to stick with them for at least a year to make up for the cost of the phone.

Meta, glad you can relate


Posts: 3256 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: The Valley of the Sun
KVille
Member
Member # 29071
Default  Posted: 5:16 PM, July 29th (Monday)

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.


never ever getting back together

Posts: 167 | Registered: Jul 2010 | From: North Carolina
tabitha95
Member
Member # 22033
Default  Posted: 5:30 PM, July 29th (Monday)

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.


BW (me) - 45
DS 14, DS 11
D-Day#1: Oct 30, 2008
D-Day#2: June 3, 2011 (same MOW) Separation: June 3, 2011
Divorce finalized: Feb 2012 (due to 6 month waiting period).

Posts: 3247 | Registered: Dec 2008
Crescita
Member
Member # 32616
Default  Posted: 5:46 PM, July 29th (Monday)

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.

Posts: 3256 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: The Valley of the Sun
Amazonia
Member
Member # 32810
Default  Posted: 6:02 PM, July 29th (Monday)

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.


"You yourself deserve your love and affection as much as anybody in the universe." -Buddha
"Let's face it, life is a crap shoot." -Sad in AZ

Posts: 13564 | Registered: Jul 2011
Crescita
Member
Member # 32616
Default  Posted: 6:25 PM, July 29th (Monday)

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

Posts: 3256 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: The Valley of the Sun
Bobbi_sue
Member
Member # 10347
Default  Posted: 6:21 AM, July 30th (Tuesday)

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.


Posts: 5682 | Registered: Apr 2006
Too_Trusting
Member
Member # 99
Default  Posted: 7:09 AM, July 30th (Tuesday)

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


"Anyone perfect must be lying; anything easy has its cost. Anyone plain can be lovely; anyone loved can be lost." Barenaked Ladies

Posts: 2441 | Registered: Jun 2002 | From: North Carolina
FaithFool
Member
Member # 20150
Default  Posted: 8:43 AM, July 30th (Tuesday)

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)]


DDay: June 15, 2008
Mistakenly married Mr. Superfreak
20 years of OWs, WTF?
Divorced Dec 26, 2011
"Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget
to sing in the lifeboats". -- Voltaire

Posts: 17147 | Registered: Jul 2008 | From: Canada
Amazonia
Member
Member # 32810
Default  Posted: 8:52 AM, July 30th (Tuesday)

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.


"You yourself deserve your love and affection as much as anybody in the universe." -Buddha
"Let's face it, life is a crap shoot." -Sad in AZ

Posts: 13564 | Registered: Jul 2011
Sad in AZ
Member
Member # 24239
Default  Posted: 10:04 AM, July 30th (Tuesday)

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)]


I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.

Posts: 19795 | Registered: Jun 2009 | From: Upstate NY
Amazonia
Member
Member # 32810
Default  Posted: 10:22 AM, July 30th (Tuesday)

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)]


"You yourself deserve your love and affection as much as anybody in the universe." -Buddha
"Let's face it, life is a crap shoot." -Sad in AZ

Posts: 13564 | Registered: Jul 2011
Crescita
Member
Member # 32616
Default  Posted: 10:35 AM, July 30th (Tuesday)

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.

Posts: 3256 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: The Valley of the Sun
metamorphisis
Administrator
Member # 12041
Default  Posted: 10:51 AM, July 30th (Tuesday)

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



We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are.... Anais Nin

Posts: 43970 | Registered: Sep 2006
sad12008
Member
Member # 18179
Default  Posted: 2:23 PM, July 30th (Tuesday)

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!!


"Everybody's life is hard. You look at life, and it's not a cakewalk. You've got to be able to bounce back." --Neil Young, father to two children with CP, another with epilepsy, and otherwise experientially qualified to comment

Posts: 3856 | Registered: Feb 2008 | From: a new start together
metamorphisis
Administrator
Member # 12041
Default  Posted: 2:35 PM, July 30th (Tuesday)

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)]



We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are.... Anais Nin

Posts: 43970 | Registered: Sep 2006
Amazonia
Member
Member # 32810
Default  Posted: 3:30 PM, July 30th (Tuesday)

Verizon may be able to adjust your bill for you - my SO has a phone and tablet and called to cancel service on the tablet to save money recently, and they shaved his bill down by something like $50 a month!


"You yourself deserve your love and affection as much as anybody in the universe." -Buddha
"Let's face it, life is a crap shoot." -Sad in AZ

Posts: 13564 | Registered: Jul 2011
Sad in AZ
Member
Member # 24239
Default  Posted: 5:06 PM, July 30th (Tuesday)

I have 4G now, but it's rare to find the actual service

Verizon seems to be the service of choice in my new area. I don't think I've ever gone over 2 gigs of data, so I don't think it will be an issue.


I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.

Posts: 19795 | Registered: Jun 2009 | From: Upstate NY
Cally60
Member
Member # 23437
Default  Posted: 6:13 PM, July 30th (Tuesday)

For anyone not concerned about having the latest model of phone.....we're really happy with Ting.

Since we changed, our monthly bill for two smartphones has been far less than I was paying for just one unsmart phone with AT&T. And their customer service is superb. Real live agents who don't seem to have scripts, actually listen to what you say and write their own emails.

They use Sprint/Verizon and GSM, so no SIM cards. But my husband bought a compatible phone on ebay and just put a different SIM card in it when he went abroad. (They offer a "Bring-your-own-phone" plan, as well as their own smallish selection of phones.)

[This message edited by Cally60 at 6:19 PM, July 30th (Tuesday)]


Posts: 2083 | Registered: Mar 2009
scaredyKat
Member
Member # 25560
Default  Posted: 9:06 PM, July 30th (Tuesday)

I'm shopping, too, but don't want to give up unlimited data I have with Verizon... I noticed that sprint is going to offer unlimited data plans for LIFE, and they offer discounts if you are a member of a credit union.


Me-BS-60-Can't tell you how painful it was to change this number!
HIM-SAFWH-63
Damn autocorrect is responsible for the silly errors, sorry!

Posts: 3280 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: In my head
Amazonia
Member
Member # 32810
Default  Posted: 9:27 PM, July 30th (Tuesday)

I have unlimited data with VM for $35 a month. Unlimited texts too.


"You yourself deserve your love and affection as much as anybody in the universe." -Buddha
"Let's face it, life is a crap shoot." -Sad in AZ

Posts: 13564 | Registered: Jul 2011
StrongerOne
Member
Member # 36915
Default  Posted: 10:00 PM, July 31st (Wednesday)

AT&T, with iPhone 4. Unlimited texting (cuz I love texting soooooo much), unlimited calls, plenty of data for all of us but the teen. That's his problem -- he pays for overages. Kind of expensive, but works great AND the phones cost us ONE DOLLAR each, because they're not the newest hottest model. I LOVE my phone!


DDay Feb 2011.
In R.

Posts: 841 | Registered: Sep 2012
unbreak_my_heart
Member
Member # 12145
Default  Posted: 4:08 PM, August 2nd (Friday)

I'm a T-Mobile girl. Have been for over 8 years!


HAPPILY RECONCILED!

I ♥ my Husband!!!


Posts: 2282 | Registered: Sep 2006 | From: Our happy place
scaredyKat
Member
Member # 25560
Default  Posted: 9:14 PM, August 3rd (Saturday)

Ama, does VM tether your unlimited data once you go over a certain amount of use? Apparently that's a big deal to my DSs...

They really need to untether themselves from my plan...


Me-BS-60-Can't tell you how painful it was to change this number!
HIM-SAFWH-63
Damn autocorrect is responsible for the silly errors, sorry!

Posts: 3280 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: In my head
Amazonia
Member
Member # 32810
Default  Posted: 9:26 PM, August 3rd (Saturday)

It's throttled (?i think that's the word?) over a certain amount, but I think that only applies to 3G, 4G is still unlimited for real? I've never personally run into any trouble, works like a charm for me.


"You yourself deserve your love and affection as much as anybody in the universe." -Buddha
"Let's face it, life is a crap shoot." -Sad in AZ

Posts: 13564 | Registered: Jul 2011
Topic Posts: 29