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Cheap and reliable cell phone and plan


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#1 detectiveconan16

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 12:41 PM

I'm looking for a cell phone plan that is rather cheap but useful in a pinch. I don't talk much on the phone, so I can't imagine using 250 minutes in 30 days. I'm looking at plans and they want me to pay month by month with minutes rather than just the minutes itself.

I'm thinking of getting those $10 Samsung phones advertised in this week's Best Buy and Staples ads, but the plans they're connected to seem to turn me off. I could lean toward the $15 cards, but I'm not sure how many minutes that gives, as the ATT site omits it from their "GoPhone plans." If I go this route the phone and plan can cost me $35ish at first, with $25 every month after that.

Other plans want $40, either for a phone, plan or both.. What should I do?

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#2 GBAstar

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 01:02 PM

I got my first smart phone the other day via deal on SD.

While it is most likely considered an "entry" smart phone I got the HTC One V for $49.99 (MSRP is $149.99). IMHO I'm not sure I'd need much more power; it streams netflix, HBO Go, ESPN, etc. Basically it does all the things my android HP TouchPad does (albeit a smaller screen).

Their basic prepaid plan through Virgin Mobile is $35 for 300 minutes but it also includes unlimited texting and data. While like you I don't make many calls I also have a VoIP phone at home that has unlimited local and long distance calling.

If you don't text or have a smart phone another good choice is PayLo which is also through Virgin Mobile.

#3 yourlefthand

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 01:04 PM

Are you looking for data or just voice?

#4 skiizim

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 01:07 PM

I'm still rocking a phone similar to this one, I've been telling myself I need a new phone but I don't want a new contract.

#5 detectiveconan16

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 03:00 PM

Just voice.

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#6 Link2999

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 04:48 PM

GoPhones are crap. Virgin Mobile offers some pretty cool phones, but spotty service. I own an Optimus V and am paying $25/m since I'm grandfathered into the plan. I'm planning on getting a Nexus 4 and then switching to T-Mobile prepaid soon though as I've only heard great things about their service. Here's their $30/m plan:

http://www.walmart.c...e-Card/15443357

It says that you need a phone bought from Walmart, but you really just need an unlocked phone & a T-Mobile Sim:

http://prepaid-phone...-Activation-Kit


Edit: If you're looking for just voice, Tracfones are are the best way to go. They don't have Android and seem a little out-dated, but they're reliable and the service has great coverage.

#7 Katsumi

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 06:49 PM

I picked up a Samsung Galaxy Captivate on ebay for ~150 last year and paired it with ATT's gophone service. I have to pay per minute, but I just purchased a texting plan which is really all I use. You can't use data without their $25 monthly plan, but I find that everywhere I need data, I have wifi available. ATT has the best coverage in my area.

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#8 donut

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 06:59 PM

I've had the tracfone for over a year and am satisfied.
Not fancy but $100 for a year - phone plus 1400 minutes (came with 1400 minutes which I will not use in the year and will roll over if I stay with Tracfone)

Bought it at hsn and they have the same deal (3rd in the top row)
http://www.hsn.com/s...-ec0373_xc.aspx

hsn is great as you actually have a return window if you are not satisfied (unheard of with prepaid cell phones)


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#9 detectiveconan16

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 10:04 PM

Tracphones are pretty cheap at $8 this week. But I'm gawking at the plans. $20 for 60 minutes?! Sure it lasts 3 months, but jeez.

Suppose I want 100min for 10.00, would I go the ATT route? Or should I just do Boostmobile or something?

The Virgin Mobile one really looks interesting. $35ish for phone and monthly plan. I'm not sure if I will use all 400 minutes. I would like to text sometimes, and I wish they would deduct it from the minutes instead.

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#10 yourlefthand

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 11:20 PM

If tmobile coverage is good in your area you might look at them. If you buy a $100 top up card you get a year of service and 1000 minutes. You can use any gsm phone, which isn't an option with tracfone.

#11 m6oo

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 01:38 PM

Tracphones are pretty cheap at $8 this week. But I'm gawking at the plans. $20 for 60 minutes?! Sure it lasts 3 months, but jeez.


Make sure you get a "triple minutes for life" phone. That will up it to 60min/month if you buy 60 min cards. Also, there are always codes for bonus minutes (usually ~20 bonus mins per 60min card redeemed) available here:

http://www.preprepai...acfonebonus.php

That takes you up to 67min/month with rollover from months you don't talk much....for only $7/month.

Still not enough?

Oh, and get a phone with a QWERTY kb so you can text easily (at only .3min/msg)

#12 detectiveconan16

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 02:01 PM

Really? That seems quite interesting. Thanks.

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