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I need the 411 on cell phones

 
 
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2012 02:27 pm
I have to get a new cell phone and I know absolutely NOTHING about them.

Here's what I use my phone for:

Rare phone calls
Occasional photos

I would kind of like to be able to:

Check my email
Access a few internet sites
Maybe have some basic games that would keep Mo from getting bored on long plane flights/car rides/waiting.

I see that you can get older model iphones for free now when you sign up for service with AT&T but I don't know if that's a good deal.

I have heard that there are phone that do all the stuff that iphones do but that are much better deals.

What are these better deal phones?

How much should someone expect to pay for monthly service?

Where is the best place to get a phone and sign up for service?

How does one keep that big screen from getting all beat up?

Is it possible for me to keep my current phone number if I switch services?

Thank you!

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Type: Question • Score: 7 • Views: 2,744 • Replies: 24
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roger
 
  2  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2012 03:29 pm
@boomerang,
Geez. You got a kid. Ask him. Kids are born knowing about stuff like this.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2012 03:35 pm
@roger,
Ha!

We're a pretty low tech family, including Mo.

He would say I needed whatever the flashiest thing without concern for cost or service.
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2012 03:37 pm
@boomerang,
There isn't anything better than an iphone. The latest one is the iphone 4S, so any previous models should be fairly inexpensive but still better than any cell phone.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2012 03:43 pm
@CalamityJane,
But you're stuck with AT&T service with the iphone, right? I understand that it isn't a good deal because of that.

I remember someone here talking about Android phones where you could chose service providers being a better way to go but I can't find the thread.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2012 03:46 pm
@boomerang,
Actually it's not just AT&T anymore. Also Verizon and Sprint.

I have a Blackberry Bold with Sprint and I am very very happy with it.

What I usually recommend to non-teenagers is if you're going to be doing a lot of emailing or texting -- typing for one reason or another -- the actual physical keypad of the Blackberry is much preferable to the iPhone.

But the iPhone is better in pretty much every other way.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2012 03:47 pm
@boomerang,
This has some info about the various plans available:

http://ipod.about.com/od/beforeyoubuy/a/Verizon-Iphone-Versus-Atandt-Iphone.htm
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2012 03:49 pm
@boomerang,
I think Android is the only way to go if you can find a good service plan. I don't know the U.S. plans so can't help out there - but the best mobile option by far is Android. Kicks everyone else's butts by miles.

I'm using a Blackberry, like it since it was fairly intuitive, but it's not a very exciting choice.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2012 04:00 pm
@boomerang,
No, as sozobe said, AT&T doesn't have the monopoly on iPhone any longer.
We have Verizon and my daughter has an iPhone - I actually have an Android now and as soon as I can upgrade mine, I'll get an iPhone too!
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2012 04:07 pm
@CalamityJane,
I read something recently about a problem re used IPhones, something you couldn't do, but I don't remember what it was. No link.
0 Replies
 
thack45
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2012 04:22 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

I have heard that there are phone that do all the stuff that iphones do but that are much better deals.

What are these better deal phones?
Well, technically many cheaper androids and the like can do all (and more) that an iPhone can. But not nearly as well. Truth is if you want a phone that operates as well as an iPhone, you're going to pay as much or more for it.

Now I'm an android guy, but I'm a total nerd about my phone... rooted with a custom OS and kernel... my 1st generation droid is customized for minimal button pressing and geeked for speed making it faster than many newer devices (it smokes my brother's stock samsung galaxy s).

But I'm just in to that stuff. From the things you listed that you want to do with your phone, a refurbish iPhone sounds like the way to go. Mr. Green


By the way, I like how my mac properly capitalizes "iPhone" for me. Wouldn't want to misrepresent...
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2012 04:56 pm
@thack45,
Is there a reliable vendor for refurbished iPhones?
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2012 05:06 pm
@sozobe,
Wow. Those plans are really expensive. I had no idea they cost that much.

Maybe I ought to get a super cheap phone that makes phone calls and get some kind of tablet computer instead.....
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2012 05:14 pm
@boomerang,
Yeah, that's why I have a Blackberry with Sprint.

Their unlimited data plan is only $30/ month as a special thing for deaf customers. (RIM got started as making devices for deaf people, and have kept special pricing. Not close to my $10/ month back in the day [actually I think it started at $4.99] but still way better than other options out there.)

Now that Sprint offers plans for iPhones that might be my next one, as they have the deaf/hh discount for that too, but it's still more expensive than for the Blackberry, and this one's new enough that I'll probably have it for at least a couple more years. I do really like it.
0 Replies
 
thack45
 
  2  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2012 05:49 pm
@boomerang,
You know, I never thought to look. I knew Verizon had refurbed phones, but apparently not iPhones. They do have an 8GB iphone4 for 100 beans with a new contract. http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/store/controller?item=phoneFirst&action=viewPhoneDetail&selectedPhoneId=5782

That's less than I'll be paying for the droid bionic in a couple months.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2012 08:00 pm
@thack45,
So for someone like me, who basically use her phone to make phone calls, would it make more sense to get an iPad and a phone that makes phone calls?

It looks like it doesn't make too much difference what kind of phone you have in the price you pay for service, though.

If I'm going to pay a hundred bucks or more a month for service I should probably go with a phone that does a lot, right?

This stuff is so confusing!
roger
 
  2  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2012 08:15 pm
@boomerang,
If I ever got a used phone, I would make darn sure I also got the original user's manuel and all instructions. Not that I would expect them to be useable by anyone that didn't already know how to use it, but I would insist on that much.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2012 08:58 pm
@roger,
No kidding.

I was an early adopter of cell phone technology. My first one came with a briefcase type battery, issued by the company I worked for. I've hated them ever since. When I traveled for business I could always be found, no matter what hour or time zone I was in, usually by people in much earlier time zones.

I'm still not a fan and I think that's why I refuse to learn anything about them other than to make a call.

Mr. B's company just issued fancy new phones and that's why I have to get a new one. He says "just go buy something" but I can't seem to make myself do it. My service will expire in 5..... 4...... 3....
0 Replies
 
thack45
 
  2  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2012 09:29 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

So for someone like me, who basically use her phone to make phone calls, would it make more sense to get an iPad and a phone that makes phone calls?

It looks like it doesn't make too much difference what kind of phone you have in the price you pay for service, though.

If I'm going to pay a hundred bucks or more a month for service I should probably go with a phone that does a lot, right?

This stuff is so confusing!
It looks like you've pretty well answered your own question much as I would have. And I think a lot of people initially balk at the monthly charges for a smartphone.

To me though, there's just not a lot of time well spent in trying to save a little money by owning numerous half-antiquated tools to do the job.
CalamityJane
 
  2  
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2012 09:39 pm
@thack45,
I have to agree with thack here, I pay around 100 bucks for my daughter's
iPhone per month, but she uses it a lot, not necessarily to talk on the phone,
but texting is so easy (she has a free text app) and music and all the game apps and what not - it keeps her occupied for quite a while.
0 Replies
 
 

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