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what is the best smartphone & smartphone plan for me ?

 
 
Ray C
 
Wed 10 Aug, 2016 10:35 am
As I’m a solid decade behind the curve, I’m about to ask a few clueless questions here…

I don’t want an iPhone, but I want a smartphone. So does that mean I’m getting an Android phone ?

About my personal habits and predicament…

I have very few friends and contacts, and don’t tend to communicate much over the phone.

But every once in a while I meet a young lady. Say she texts me like 400 times over the course of a month. Do I have to pay for all that? If so, how much does that typically cost? What if we talk like 20 mins a day? How much does that typically cost?

Not much of a gamer. I might try Tetris if stuck on the subway. No Pokemon Go.

I do like taking pictures. Does that cost me anything? For what it’s worth, soon after taking the pics, I’d just transfer ‘em to my laptop, so it’s not like I’d be stashing a zillion pix on my smartphone.

When people talk about having a “2GB plan,” what does that mean practically speaking ?? Like: If I’m using the internet for an hour on my smartphone and check my email a few times… how much memory does that consume ? Would it be more than 20MB ? What if I really like a song on YouTube and wanna listen to it 30 times over… how much memory does that consume ?


As for pay scale …

I notice that (at least in my area) most homeless people and even panhandlers have a smartphone by now. So my reaction is: How much (or how little) can these things possibly cost ?

I’d wanna spend less than $100 USD on the actual smartphone.

Regarding the smartphone plan: I wouldn’t want to spend more than $60 per month. If possible, I’d like to keep it closer to $40. And less than that sure would be splendid.


With this much said: Is a pay-as-you-go phone a good option for me ?

What smartphone & smartphone plan would you recommend ?

I assume I could keep my phone number connected to my current dumb cell phone ? But the SIM card would not be transferrable from dumb phone to smartphone, correct?

Thank you for your time.
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jespah
 
  2  
Wed 10 Aug, 2016 11:19 am
@Ray C,
My husband and I have Nokia phones, which are neither iPhones nor Androids. So there's another option. Windows phones don't get as many apps, but it sounds like that's not really a concern of yours. We like ours because the interface and icons are familiar. If you've got Windows 10 on your computer, then you pretty much know what a Nokia Windows phone is going to look like.

One thing - your questions as to cost are best answered by the providers in your area. Usually that's your phone company, your cable provider, or even potentially a satellite provider. Ask at any company where you already have an account, as you're more likely to get a deal.

Cost also has to do with the cost of the phone itself. Yes, you buy it. Get a warranty on it in the event of a cracked case. And get a holder if you are truly concerned.

Usually photos are a part of the package, but if you take a lot you may find yourself with storage issues.

I had originally thought I would not use too many apps, just like you. These are the ones I use the most, in no special order:
  • Facebook and its messenger
  • Messenger
  • Whats app (like messenger, but overseas relatives prefer it)
  • Google
  • Twitter
  • Slack (this is to manage sites where I moderate)
  • Email
  • Weather
  • GPS, both on foot and in the car
  • Camera but also photo storage and manipulation
  • Kindle
  • YouTube
  • Alarm
  • Calendar (my husband and I share calendars)
  • various local public transportation apps
  • Solitaire
  • Wordament (it's another word game)
  • Words with Friends
  • News
  • OneDrive (storage) and OneNote (memos)
  • PDF reader
  • Wattpad (another fiction reader app)


I have a few others which I need but use much less frequently, like a fax app and one for invoicing for my small business. Plus stuff like Paypal and Gmail which I prefer to look at on the laptop but I have them in case I really need them.

Every single one of these apps is free, by the way.

A 2G plan, etc. has to do with how much you use the phone. Try out a smaller plan and see how you do. If you find you are going over on the 30th day of a monthly plan, then you're probably fine. If you find you're going over on the 17th day, then step up to the next-biggest plan and see how you do. Bigger plans cost more but they don't cost as much as going over on a small plan. If you are not going to need a big plan more than once a month, though, I'd just pay the overage that one time.

You should be able to transfer your phone number. Don't know about the sim card; you'd have to ask the provider.
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ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Wed 10 Aug, 2016 02:43 pm
@Ray C,
Thanks for asking this, and thank you, Jespah, for responding -

I've been subsisting rather nicely with my ten year old dumb phone, but as many on A2K know, lead a precarious life with my almost antique iMac. A guy who helped me something like five years ago improve its memory said he'd not seen such an old mac (he was a pc pro but somewhat knew macs). I've an earlier one in my closet, circa 1999, in case those become valuable some sunny day. A nice shade of blue.

The precarious life got more so this week when I figured it was finally kaput -
the browsers bowed out at the exact minute a thunderboomer happened, usually not a problem in this locale, high tension wires close by, if that matters). I have figured that was coincidental, the damned Mac that I've nursed so long just went and died. But... I could still connect Power, DSL, and Ethernet, just not Internet... so it wasn't the usual routine fix of calling about outages or pulling all the cords and re doing them. Four or so days went by, me very dismal. No news! and I'm a big news reader, oy. Not to mention human communication, a big matter in my life, much in a2k.

I had already been preparing to get a smart phone as a way to face up to my always impending desktop mac denouement, just been researching. I'm your opposite, Ray C, in that I want a used (cheaper than new, but not too old) Mac product, as I haven't used Microsoft products since 2005 and don't want to fuddle my brain with new micro modes or security measures (I'm old and cranky and watch my pennies).

Anyway, this is a helpful thread.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Wed 10 Aug, 2016 02:52 pm
@Ray C,
Ray C wrote:
I don’t want an iPhone, but I want a smartphone. So does that mean I’m getting an Android phone ?


Pretty much, Windows phone lost badly and is not going to get even the level of development it has had, Microsoft has already started licking its wounds there and moving on. So ultimately it's a choice between Android and iOS for modern smartphones right now.

Quote:
But every once in a while I meet a young lady. Say she texts me like 400 times over the course of a month. Do I have to pay for all that? If so, how much does that typically cost? What if we talk like 20 mins a day? How much does that typically cost?


You can get basic unlimited talk and text service in the US starting at around $20 per month.

Quote:
Not much of a gamer. I might try Tetris if stuck on the subway. No Pokemon Go.


Both Android and iOS will suit your gaming needs, iOS gets more polished games sometimes but Android will suit you fine here.

Quote:
I do like taking pictures. Does that cost me anything?


Just in the phone purchase, you will want a decent camera and enough space to save the ones you want to carry around.

Quote:
For what it’s worth, soon after taking the pics, I’d just transfer ‘em to my laptop, so it’s not like I’d be stashing a zillion pix on my smartphone.


You can also transfer them to the cloud more conveniently using cloud services like Google Photos or Dropbox on Android.

Quote:
When people talk about having a “2GB plan,” what does that mean practically speaking ?? Like: If I’m using the internet for an hour on my smartphone and check my email a few times… how much memory does that consume ? Would it be more than 20MB ? What if I really like a song on YouTube and wanna listen to it 30 times over… how much memory does that consume ?


So that typically refers to the data plan when you aren't using a wifi connection. For your use you should probably be under 1gb/month. You can get 1gb of internet data for as low as $10.


Quote:
As for pay scale …

I notice that (at least in my area) most homeless people and even panhandlers have a smartphone by now. So my reaction is: How much (or how little) can these things possibly cost ?

I’d wanna spend less than $100 USD on the actual smartphone.


You can reach those prices and still get a decent, unsubsidized phone. I would recommend looking at the Moto G, as a very decent smartphone in that price range.

Quote:
Regarding the smartphone plan: I wouldn’t want to spend more than $60 per month. If possible, I’d like to keep it closer to $40. And less than that sure would be splendid.


Definitely doable, you could do unlimited talk and text and 1gb of data for $30/month with Google Fi, for example (downside is that you need to use some better phones than you can get for $100, something like $300 would be the hardware outlay).

Quote:
With this much said: Is a pay-as-you-go phone a good option for me ?


It can be, pre-paid phone plans can sometimes end up cheaper.

Quote:
What smartphone & smartphone plan would you recommend ?


In your shoes I would go with Google Fi and get one of their Nexus phones that they sell with it (for around 300). Otherwise I would go with a Moto G if you want to spend less on the phone and some of the other MVNO (here is a list of them in the US).

Quote:
I assume I could keep my phone number connected to my current dumb cell phone ?


Most likely yes, but not always.

Quote:
But the SIM card would not be transferrable from dumb phone to smartphone, correct?


If you switch providers it will not, and it is likely a different size than the new small ones used, so you will likely be getting a new sim.
0 Replies
 
Ray C
 
  1  
Sat 20 Aug, 2016 07:36 pm

Thank you for these responses. I think I’ve gained some level of understanding. Instead of being twelve years behind the curve I’m probably somewhere around five years.

A few questions linger if anyone wishes to address…

Do non-prepaid smartphone plans require you to show credit history and income amounts before activation ?

I know I’m probably delaying the inevitable (of getting a smartphone plan of one sort or another), but could I buy a Moto G type smartphone with cash and just use that, without any phone number, on public wifi as a mini computer and a as a camera in general ?

Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Mon 22 Aug, 2016 12:05 pm
@Ray C,
I think most post-paid plans do a credit check, yes. As for using a smartphone jsut on wifi yes that would work. If you don't intend of getting a phone plan with it you could also consider an iPod touch for a cheap way to be on the iOS platform.
Ray C
 
  1  
Mon 22 Aug, 2016 09:24 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Thank you, sir!
0 Replies
 
 

 
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