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Subject: Help, a luddite needs a cellphone for the first time rss

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M C
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oh hai chit chat hive mind!
Here is my situation:
I am over 30. I have managed never to have a cell phone. Now I need one for work. I have no idea where to start, what kind of tricks and got-yas are written into contracts, which carriers are best, what a reasonable price is, nothing. If you were to buy a cell phone and a plan today what would you do?

Here are my needs that I know of:
Since I am working with young adults I have a feeling I will be doing a lot of texting. I will be on the bus so having internet access would be good (to see when the next one is coming). iPhone is above my price range (and I don't want one) Thoughts?

Also, is it viable to just use a 4g tablet with a data plan and google voice as a phone?

Thanks Chit Chat!
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M C
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I should also say that despite my lack of phone and the luddite title, I am fairly tech savvy, if that matters.
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Erik D
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I'm pretty happy with my Droid. If there's one flaw with it, it's that the selection of apps (mostly games) isn't as strong as the iPhone.
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fightcitymayor
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These are the latest thing:


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David K.
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fightcitymayor wrote:
These are the latest thing:




Not exactly the latest, those have gone cordless recently.

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erak wrote:
I'm pretty happy with my Droid. If there's one flaw with it, it's that the selection of apps (mostly games) isn't as strong as the iPhone.


+1
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John Holder
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Sounds like a data plan is too expensive then, as then phones (iPhone 4S and reasonably powered Androids) only run you about $100 with such a plan from the likes of Verizon. Or do I misunderstand?

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JessA
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Look at the Virgin Mobile plans, they have some pretty reasonable options.
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Blorb Plorbst
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I think we're all bozos on this bus.
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Consider StraightTalk.com

It's a no contract (pay month to month). Unlimited everything for $45.

If that's not meeting your needs, move to another plan when you have a better idea what your real needs are.
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Blorb Plorbst
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I think we're all bozos on this bus.
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Also consider getting a Google Voice number. Especially if you're already a google customer.
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Billy McBoatface
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Love my Android phone (Galaxy Nexus). T-Mobile has fairly cheap plans if you have an unlocked phone; you pay the whole phone price up front, but over the next two years you'll get the money back and then some.

If you go android, the nexus phones have three advantage over carrier-supplied phones:
1) Can be bought unlocked and thus get cheaper plans
2) Guaranteed to get firmware upgrades for as long as the newest firmware fits on it
3) No crapware
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Live like a pimp and use burners from the drug store.
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Andrew Brannan
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T-Mobile Pay as you go. You can get a phone for as cheap as $25 (basic flip phone), and once you've hit $100 in paid minutes, you get a boost on your purchased minutes. I've used mine for about 6 years now, and it takes me about 10-11 months to go through $100 worth of minutes (1000 minutes). Texts are $.10 for each incoming and outgoing, and they do have a phone that has a qwerty keyboard (it's around $50 IIRC).


So, basically what HiveGod said: A burner from the drug store.
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Necessary Evil
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If this is for work should you not be submitting expense reports for it, or at least writing it off?


I am an iPhone apologist so i can't help you with anything other than that. You can however buy older generation iPhones cheap and you probably do not need a iphone 5.

I guess the real question is how much do you want to spend on the phone, how much monthly for service and what do you need to do on the thing (phone calls and txt at a min I assume) Email? Web Browse? Post to chit chat?

all of the smart phones (iphone, andriod, and Windows) do the same things. Just make sure you know the requirements you want and then buy what is in your price range.


-M
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malloc wrote:
If this is for work should you not be submitting expense reports for it, or at least writing it off?


This. If your employer is requiring you to have a cell phone for a job-related function, they should be paying for it. If they only want to have some way of contacting you while you are "on call", then any basic phone will do.

I've had my cell (a Kyocera K7) for nearly eight years now and it has worked well. My wife and I both bought ours from Target (IIRC) and got very basic models for about $20 each.

We are on Virgin Mobile's "Pay As You Go" plan, so we have to add a minimum of $20 to our accounts every three months, whether we use it all or not. I use mine just enough that I'm probably putting in $10 every month or six weeks. My wife uses Virgin's "Auto-Top-Up" option so that when her account gets below $5 (I think that's the threshold) it automatically transfers money from our checking account. This insures that her phone doesn't go dead in mid-conversation by running out of money.

Virgin has several different plans and you can go on-line to switch between them anytime your usage pattern changes.

I have discovered two downsides to my phone that will cause me to get a different model when this one craps out:
1) Unable to assign different ringtones based on the caller (I'd like to have a tone for family, one for friends, and one for the recruiters I talk to frequently); and
2) The standard phone keyboard. Not having a QWERTY keyboard really slows me down when I'm trying to text. I don't text much anyway, but this makes the few I send slow and painful to write.

I have no need or interest in all the fancy stuff a "smart phone" can do. Once in a great while it would be nice to be able to look something up on the Internet, or take a picture, but those times are so few and far between for me that I can't justify the cost of a smart phone. YMMV.
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Key Locks
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claymore_57 wrote:
We are on Virgin Mobile's "Pay As You Go" plan, so we have to add a minimum of $20 to our accounts every three months, whether we use it all or not. I use mine just enough that I'm probably putting in $10 every month or six weeks. My wife uses Virgin's "Auto-Top-Up" option so that when her account gets below $5 (I think that's the threshold) it automatically transfers money from our checking account. This insures that her phone doesn't go dead in mid-conversation by running out of money.


This is what we use. The price is right, and it fits us because we don't use our phones very much. I will only warn that Virgin Mobile's customer service is somewhat less than great. You get what you pay for in this regard. Still, we are sticking with them for the forseeable future.
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M C
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I am defiantly leaning towards the Nexus 4... now the carrier ,and to contract or no, I am lost. Mobi's $40 unlimited text talk and data plan looks appealing. I feel like there is some gotcha somewhere.
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