Help a luddite buy a cell phone - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

Welcome to Miataturbo.net   Members
 


Insert BS here A place to discuss anything you want

Reply
 
 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12-14-2013, 11:20 AM   #1
Elite Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (21)
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 5,689
Total Cats: 560
Default Help a luddite buy a cell phone

I have never had a cell. I have resisted, because I refuse to be always on call. I have a phone at my desk at work, and one at home. Other that that, you can't reach me, which is exactly how I like it.

But the all-in-one package from Time Warner (cable, phone, internet) is getting out of hand. Yet another rate increase; we're spending close to $200 a month for all three. And that doesn't include premium channels, either.

So in order to cut the cord, I need an alternative phone service. Since the local landlines suck (one reason I switched), going back to one isn't very reasonable. The other alternative is a cell.

I know next to nothing about them. I do NOT want any Apple products. Sorry, but I just don't buy into the "pay more for the same thing" mindset. I do think I want a smart phone, and suggestions for different provider plans will be gratefully accepted. I certainly do not need the latest whiz-bang gadget out there, but I also don't want to start out too far behind the curve.

Also, when online shopping for plans, I run into the quandary as to how much to get, minutes/data wise. What is a typical middle aged male using for data per month?

Suggestions? Products or providers to avoid? Pitfalls to watch out for? Buy online or go to BestBuy/RadioShack/Walmart to get one and sign up for a plan?
rleete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2013, 11:30 AM   #2
Slowest Progress Ever
iTrader: (26)
 
thirdgen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: The coal ridden hills of Pennsylvania
Posts: 5,812
Total Cats: 187
Default

I have an iPhone 4s and I hate it. I have hated it since the year and a half that I've owned it. I recommend a Galaxy S4.
thirdgen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2013, 11:39 AM   #3
Elite Member
iTrader: (8)
 
bahurd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,132
Total Cats: 145
Default

I have an HTC One and use T-Mobile (fam plan) for both my wife and I. Happy with phone + service + cost.

While it's very hard to do, and all of the coverage maps lie unless you actually drill down to the lowest level, you need to check coverage I.E. data speed in the places you'll use it.

If you don't want a cell phone then go to the BasicTalk VOIP service.... $9.99/month and damn fine quality.

I have an HTC Sensation 4G that I can sell you uber cheap and I'll load whatever the latest Android flavor on it (prob 4.3). I just have it sitting in a drawer as a backup. PM me if interested.
bahurd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2013, 01:11 PM   #4
Cpt. Slow
iTrader: (25)
 
curly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon City, OR
Posts: 12,110
Total Cats: 518
Default

iPhone isn't that expensive...I've never had to touch it software/hardware wise, and it's no more expensive than any other smart phone. $199 for the newest and greatest 5s (although some [not apple] are starting at $299) and $99 for a (barely) downgraded 5c. Very user friendly.

That being said the features are getting a little boring, and in terms of smart watches, OSs, remote controls, cameras, etc, they're falling being the times. It'll most likely be the last apple phone I buy. imessaging is really nice, but I think others have them. Uses wifi to send texts, not data/messaging plans. Something to consider for you.

If you avoid using data when not on your home or work wifi, I'd think a minimal data plan is fine. If you start listening to pandora or streaming a video on data, it'll really increase your data usage. Browsing A forum isn't too bad. I'm spoiled with unlimited data though from AT&T.
curly is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2013, 01:43 PM   #5
mkturbo.com
iTrader: (24)
 
shuiend's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Charleston SC
Posts: 13,780
Total Cats: 1,106
Default

You need to goto the local Verizon and AT&T store and spend about an hour in each playing with different phones. This way you can get a feel of what the differences are between brands on operating systems on them.
shuiend is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2013, 02:49 PM   #6
Elite Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (21)
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 5,689
Total Cats: 560
Default

Anyone use Ting? Suggested by a friend, and seems pretty decent.
rleete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2013, 02:51 PM   #7
y8s
2 Props,3 Dildos,& 1 Cat
iTrader: (8)
 
y8s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Fake Virginia
Posts: 19,038
Total Cats: 407
Default

just go to ting.com and get the best phone you can for the money (htc one). you pay 500 up front but come out ahead in 6 months i bet.
y8s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2013, 03:11 PM   #8
Elite Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (21)
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 5,689
Total Cats: 560
Default

Looking at phones on CL. Lots of them say "clean". How do I know that is the case before I buy?
rleete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2013, 03:42 PM   #9
Elite Member
iTrader: (5)
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Canton, Ga
Posts: 1,707
Total Cats: 19
Default

Just get this one.. and then activate on t-mobile unlimited everything for $60/month. Works on ATT as well.

https://play.google.com/store/device...s_5_black_32gb
Stealth97 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2013, 05:39 PM   #10
Junior Member
iTrader: (5)
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 402
Total Cats: 21
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth97 View Post
Just get this one.. and then activate on t-mobile unlimited everything for $60/month. Works on ATT as well.

https://play.google.com/store/device...s_5_black_32gb
I would say almost this exact same thing. The phone may seem a little more expensive to begin with, but you get great options as far as plans go.

First I would recommend that phone. Second I would recommend you get a free simcard from T Mobile with one of these plans, preferable the $30 plan to test out the reception for where you live/work/etc.

http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/p...FWUV7AodxmsA3Q

Then I would could call up Time Warner and tell them to go **** themselves. I recently cut my TimeWarner bill from over $100 to $14.95+tax. I bought my own modem and now just have the most basic cable internet, 2Mb DL/1Mb UL and it works just fine for watching Netflix, streaming football and ABC/CBS/whatever .com station for shows.

Worst case scenario, you hate the whole cell phone experience, you're out $30 for the month of cell service and you sell the phone to someone for a few bucks less than you bought it. Also if T Mobile doesn't work for you, AT&T offers pre or post paid options that will probably have better overall reception and will work perfectly with the nexus 5.
slmhofy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2013, 05:43 PM   #11
Free Moustache Rides
iTrader: (8)
 
matthewdesigns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Colorado Springs
Posts: 1,656
Total Cats: 49
Default

I'm on Cricket, using an HTC V One. Low end of the spectrum smartphone that I bought on sale for $90 through Cricket. My service is $55/mo for unlimited talk, text, and data. No contract, and autopaying your bill saves $5/mo. I've been on their service for about 2 years and see no reason to change over to another service. The only place I don't have cell service is up in the high country here in CO, where a lot of other carriers don't have coverage either.

My gf is on it, too, but does not like smartphones. Her basic flip phone was $25 new, and is $35/mo for service.
matthewdesigns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2013, 05:57 PM   #12
Junior Member
iTrader: (5)
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 402
Total Cats: 21
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rleete View Post
Looking at phones on CL. Lots of them say "clean". How do I know that is the case before I buy?
"Clean" mostly only refers to either Verizon or Sprint Phones. On those carriers, lost or stolen phones can be marked as such and will not have a clean ESN. Those phones will then not be able to be activated on the carrier it was marked dirty for. Also almost all phones in the US are carrier locked. So if you by chance bought a phone on CL originally used on T mobile and tried to activate it on ATT, there's a chance it wouldn't work without some hacking. Same thing with pretty much all carriers and phones.

Just another reason why buying the Nexus 5 would be a good idea. Works out of box on ATT, T Mobile, and the newer Sprint frequencies.

But if you live in BFE and end up needing Verizon, good luck finding a cheap plan.
slmhofy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2013, 06:13 PM   #13
Junior Member
iTrader: (3)
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 163
Total Cats: -7
Default

if you get an android based phone you can run shadowdash ms on it and datalog as well as have gauges. of course you'll have to get the serial to bluetooth adapter.

As for plans.. I'm moving to virgin mobile once my verizon contact runs out. Prepaid Unlimited Cell Phones - No Contract Phones & Plans | Virgin Mobile (they are piggybacking off sprints network)
foxyroadster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2013, 06:42 PM   #14
Senior Member
iTrader: (15)
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Las Cruces, NM
Posts: 1,404
Total Cats: 263
Default

I ditched our land line and have Vonage for the home phone. Vonage is great for international calling. I use Virgin mobile for my phone $35 for 300 minutes and unlimited text and data. I have Ting for the wife's phone. Ting.com is a pay as you use service provider. Buy a (Sprint-compatible) used Samsung Galaxy S3 or S4, register on Ting, profit.
99mx5 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2013, 08:38 PM   #15
Crumple Zone Tester
iTrader: (7)
 
mgeoffriau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Jackson, MS
Posts: 7,656
Total Cats: 447
Default

Big fan of T-Mobile prepaid here. Wife has a Nexus 4 and is on the $30 a month plan for unlimited data and 100 minutes of talk. Just keep a some extra cash on your T-Mobile account and it will automatically deduct at $0.10 a minute. Just make sure you get good coverage in your area.

Also have an Obi box for free home phone use through Google Voice, but that's going away in May of 2014 (the free Google Voice hookup, not Obi). Still, it's not hard to find a good VOIP provider for a couple bucks a month.
mgeoffriau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2013, 11:50 PM   #16
Elite Member
iTrader: (12)
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Longs, SC
Posts: 2,583
Total Cats: 13
Default

I honestly do this professionally.

1. How many talk minutes to you use on average per month? Round up.

2. Are you looking for more then one device? If so question #1 for every additional line.

3. Generally I asked about your location but being that I am from Buffalo and I know Rochester pretty well I can say AT&T and Verizon should both serve you fine, T-mobile IDK about and Sprint probably not.

From my experience most people use less then 2gb of data per month. Obviously that changed significantly if you plan on using your phone for Netflix or Hulu.
icantthink4155 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2013, 10:11 AM   #17
Elite Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (21)
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 5,689
Total Cats: 560
Default

Friend offered me a HTC EVO for 60 bucks, with charger, case and holster. Only works on Virgin, which uses the Sprint network. Will not work on Ting, which also uses the Sprint network. Dammit, I want to use Ting. But $35 a month for unlimited data from Virgin is tempting.

My problem right now is not having any idea how much data I'd need. Texting: 0. Minutes: less than 50 a month. Data: no clue.

Oh, and while that Nexus 5 looks nice, I'm not paying $400 for my first phone. Maybe as an upgrade, but I need some experience first.
rleete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2013, 10:35 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,119
Total Cats: 33
Default

Ive done the iphone thing. They ARE user friendly, but they get boring. AND, they are extremely fragile. I broke 3 of them... but i am rough as hell on phones. Ive had nothing but HTC phones with Gorilla glass ever since, and they are pretty tough. Havent broken one yet. (knock on wood) AND, they never cease to amaze me. They are JUST as user friendly, but Are VERY powerful, the newer ones are anyways, you would be amazed at what these things can do. My current phone is the HTC DNA, Has a SnapDragon Quad Core, and of course, gorilla glass. lol (I DONT like however the fact that THIS phone doesnt have expandable memory, or a removable battery...) Dont get the DNA. lol
Im picking up the Galaxy Note 3 in 2 weeks though. My first SmartPhone outside of the HTC family.
supercooper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2013, 01:08 PM   #19
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: finger lakes NY
Posts: 444
Total Cats: 17
Default

I'm using Virgin (in the Rochester area; live in Naples, work in Victor.) Actually, I've been on the Sprint network for years. It works fine....

And $35/month is nice.
DaveC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2013, 10:34 AM   #20
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Burlington, VT
Posts: 419
Total Cats: 0
Default Pick the network 1st, then the phone...

There are some great suggestions in this thread. I would frame the decision as follows:

1. If you just want a land line, drop everything but internet from TW and use a VOIP product. This assumes your TW Internet is stable and relatively low latency. I use OOMA here, primarily because the wired phone service was so unreliable. The mountains of Colorado are brutal on outdoor wiring. Another decent VOIP solution is to pair Google Voice (free) with a OBI 100:

Amazon.com : OBi100 VoIP Telephone Adapter and Voice Service Bridge : Electronics Amazon.com : OBi100 VoIP Telephone Adapter and Voice Service Bridge : Electronics

2. If you still want to go Cell, look at the providers network at your house. At my home, any of the GSM based services won't fly (Tmobile and ATT) due to mountains between me and the towers. Once you have a carrier, the advice about which phone above is solid. Personally, I refuse to pay the Apple tax anymore, and I think the Google Nexus devices directly from Google are the best value.

Good luck, and let us know what you decide and how it works out!
jbresee is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need help - Stock Balancer and Fastforward overlay pulleys Frank_and_Beans Supercharger Discussion 13 09-12-2016 09:17 PM
My solution for Oiltemp and Oilpressure input into Megasuirt (MS3) Zaphod MEGAsquirt 41 01-24-2016 01:25 PM
WTB Bellhousing Bolts patsmx5 WTB 1 10-01-2015 10:43 AM
Any pnp megasquirt for 2001 Big_gumby WTB 0 09-30-2015 04:34 PM


Tags
apple sucks, old man, timewarner sucks more

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:53 PM.