Low-cost smart phone plans

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blackomen
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Re: Low-cost smart phone plans

Post by blackomen » Sun Dec 06, 2015 10:27 pm

I use T-Mobile's $30/mo plan with 100 minutes and 5 GB of LTE data per month (in the US.)  This works on any modern unlocked smartphone.

You may need a Skype unlimited account (for about $3/mo) if you make a lot of calls.  I tend to use Skype to make all of my outgoing calls and save my 100 minutes solely for incoming calls.
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Re: Low-cost smart phone plans

Post by foglifter » Sun Dec 06, 2015 11:34 pm

blackomen wrote: I use T-Mobile's $30/mo plan with 100 minutes and 5 GB of LTE data per month (in the US.)  This works on any modern unlocked smartphone.

You may need a Skype unlimited account (for about $3/mo) if you make a lot of calls.  I tend to use Skype to make all of my outgoing calls and save my 100 minutes solely for incoming calls.

+1. T-Mobile rocks! I was with Verizon for 12 years until I finally switched to t-Mobile 2 years ago. I'm glad they disturbed the US wireless market which, unlike the rest of the world, was ridden with contracts, bad plan structures and high fees for years. T-Mo has been adding customers at a crazy rate for the last couple years. You can bring ANY unlocked GSM phone and use it with T-Mobile. I have a family plan and with taxes it comes to $33 per line. Unlike MNVOs T-Mobile gives you worldwide coverage and data roaming, no roaming fees, unlimited music/video streaming from all major services (Pandora, Spotify, etc.). I believe the latest change in their "uncarrier revolution" is adding data rollover to the next month and bumping the default 1GB of data allowance to 2GB. I was in Europe and Mexico lately and didn't even care about WiFi - I always used mobile connection from whatever local provider my phone connected to. It was fun getting a text message from T-Mo saying "Welcome to <counry name>, free unlimited Web and text, calls $0.20/min" every morning as our ship arrived at a port. Google Hangouts worked like a charm - calls to US were FREE (unlike Skype).


As to phone selection, I used to use cheap smartphones and got tired of sluggish performance and lack of memory. I used to buy Samsung Galaxy line, but they stubbornly refuse to sell compact models in the US. I understand that they're trying to make money selling those huge bricks on the most lucrative market but I'd appreciate having a choice - I'm one of the smaller group of consumers who prefer the phones that can be comfortably used with one hand. I bought Sony Xperia Z3 Compact at the Sony store (they matched the Amazon price). It's an international unlocked version free from provider's crapware. It supports ALL LTE bands and will work in any country.


A side note: Sony's marketing could be better - I don't understand why these great phones aren't available anywhere except Sony and Amazon.
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Re: Low-cost smart phone plans

Post by blackomen » Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:20 pm

foglifter wrote:
blackomen wrote: I use T-Mobile's $30/mo plan with 100 minutes and 5 GB of LTE data per month (in the US.)  This works on any modern unlocked smartphone.

You may need a Skype unlimited account (for about $3/mo) if you make a lot of calls.  I tend to use Skype to make all of my outgoing calls and save my 100 minutes solely for incoming calls.

+1. T-Mobile rocks! I was with Verizon for 12 years until I finally switched to t-Mobile 2 years ago. I'm glad they disturbed the US wireless market which, unlike the rest of the world, was ridden with contracts, bad plan structures and high fees for years. T-Mo has been adding customers at a crazy rate for the last couple years. You can bring ANY unlocked GSM phone and use it with T-Mobile. I have a family plan and with taxes it comes to $33 per line. Unlike MNVOs T-Mobile gives you worldwide coverage and data roaming, no roaming fees, unlimited music/video streaming from all major services (Pandora, Spotify, etc.). I believe the latest change in their "uncarrier revolution" is adding data rollover to the next month and bumping the default 1GB of data allowance to 2GB. I was in Europe and Mexico lately and didn't even care about WiFi - I always used mobile connection from whatever local provider my phone connected to. It was fun getting a text message from T-Mo saying "Welcome to <counry name>, free unlimited Web and text, calls $0.20/min" every morning as our ship arrived at a port. Google Hangouts worked like a charm - calls to US were FREE (unlike Skype).


As to phone selection, I used to use cheap smartphones and got tired of sluggish performance and lack of memory. I used to buy Samsung Galaxy line, but they stubbornly refuse to sell compact models in the US. I understand that they're trying to make money selling those huge bricks on the most lucrative market but I'd appreciate having a choice - I'm one of the smaller group of consumers who prefer the phones that can be comfortably used with one hand. I bought Sony Xperia Z3 Compact at the Sony store (they matched the Amazon price). It's an international unlocked version free from provider's crapware. It supports ALL LTE bands and will work in any country.


A side note: Sony's marketing could be better - I don't understand why these great phones aren't available anywhere except Sony and Amazon.
I got the 2013 Nexus 5 which wasn't a cheap phone back then but I figured Google will continue to roll out updates for it so I figured it's a decent long-term "investment".  It was running Android 4.4 when I first got it and now has been updated to 6.0.

My wife, on the other hand, uses a 2nd gen unlocked Moto G which was about $200 at the time, one of the cheapest unlocked phones I've found that'll run Android 5.0.
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Re: Low-cost smart phone plans

Post by Cortopassi » Tue Dec 08, 2015 3:15 pm

We use Republic Wireless.  $10/month per phone, unlimited calls/texts, data only when on wifi.  Wifi is pretty much everywhere except a car.  Service has been working great for >1 year.

I got the Moto g phones on sale at $99.  ~$36/month with tax for 3 phones.

https://republicwireless.com/phones/
But what do I know?
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Re: Low-cost smart phone plans

Post by murphy_p_t » Tue Dec 08, 2015 11:39 pm

freedompop...totally free data 500 MB / month...use wifi and google talk for unlimited free calling, texts...i bought a used samsung siii through groupon, already installed with the freedompop software...couldn't be more happy...no more phone bills!
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Re: Low-cost smart phone plans

Post by Pointedstick » Wed Dec 09, 2015 10:36 am

murphy_p_t wrote: freedompop...totally free data 500 MB / month...use wifi and google talk for unlimited free calling, texts...i bought a used samsung siii through groupon, already installed with the freedompop software...couldn't be more happy...no more phone bills!
Does GPS/maps/navigation work transparently on your phone while it's connected through a FreedomPop device?
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Re: Low-cost smart phone plans

Post by murphy_p_t » Wed Dec 09, 2015 1:05 pm

yes...i've used google maps on road.

for extensive use, you may need to purchase more data...

the default setting on my phone was to add more data, automatically billed to credit card...i naturally disabled this.
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Re: Low-cost smart phone plans

Post by Pointedstick » Wed Dec 09, 2015 1:07 pm

Brilliant. FreedomPop seems perfect for the high-data use case of GPS navigation.
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Re: Low-cost smart phone plans

Post by murphy_p_t » Wed Dec 09, 2015 6:06 pm

i should clarify that my freedompop device is a samsung phone...its a second hand phone (sprint network) that came pre-configured with freedom pop...freedompop works over the sprint network (or wifi)
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Re: Low-cost smart phone plans

Post by vnatale » Thu Jan 23, 2020 8:26 pm

What is everyone's update on this?

In June 2018 I finally broke down and not only bought a phone (I'd bought several prior) but actually activated it (a first!).

My choice was Google Fi and bought a $200 Motorola phone. The plan costs $25 (all in) a month for unlimited text / phone and $10 month per GB of data (and would be only $2 if you used only .2 GB) that month.

I went with it because you can make calls over WiFi. I tried to go with Ting a year or two prior but the only place I could get service on my property was my driveway, which was not practical. And, in my office, I was frequently seeing people either go into the entrance vestibule or outside to make calls. Using WiFi my calls are fine in my office.

I've never paid for any data as I will only use data if I have WiFi access.

Today while I was eating out I put out my phone and my iPad mini on the table. I looked at the two of them. I put the phone on top of the iPad mini. Looking at them, in comparison, the phone represented a low information device compared to the iPad mini (and its larger cousin, the full iPad). And, it's infinitesimal information compared to being at this or any other computer.

https://fi.google.com

Since I started with it they now offer plans for three people.

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Re: Low-cost smart phone plans

Post by InsuranceGuy » Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:17 pm

We use Mint for the kids lines. $15/month (if you prepay for the year) for unlimited talk/text and 3GB 4G data though I believe it is unlimited 3G/2G after the fast 3GB.
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Re: Low-cost smart phone plans

Post by ochotona » Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:43 am

We use Mint also. It's fine. Motorola (Lenovo) phones
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