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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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
I assume I could keep my phone number connected to my current dumb cell phone ?
Most likely yes, but not always.
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.