SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.


» Welcome Guest
[ Log In :: Register ]

 

[ Track This Topic :: Email This Topic :: Print this topic ]

reply to topic new topic new poll
Topic: Smart Phone Virgin Needs Answers< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
Ben2World Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 25450
Joined: Jun. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 03 2013, 3:47 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

OK, so I finally bought a Nokia "feature" phone two years ago and upgraded my phone experience from 1950's to 2000 in one fell swoop.  Here's how I've been using my beloved Nokia:

1.  I purchased a T-Mobile pre-paid card.
2.  I keep the phone in the glove compartment of my car.
3.  I charge it once every couple of months.
4.  I use it sometimes when meeting up with friends or picking people up from the airport.

In other words, I almost never use it, but the few times I did, it was very nice and convenient to have.

Lately, I've been thinking of getting an Android smart phone --  so I can get web info and use Google maps when needed.  So, some questions:

1.  Are there prepaid plans for web usage similar to phone usage?  Or are the minutes one and the same (meaning my current T-Mobile prepaid minutes can be used for web surfing as well)?

2.  Can y'all recommend a cheap pre-owned smart phone (say a year old) that I should look into?  Once I narrowed down the models, I will look for jail broken ones on Ebay.  I do not want subsidized phones that come with one or two year plans.

3.  Can y'all recommend cheap prepaid cards for web use or combination web/phone use?  Cheap minutes are good, but minutes that last long or can be carried over will be even better.

4.  Finally, related to (3) -- since I have a bunch of minutes left on my current T Mobile prepaid card -- can I simply insert the SIM card into a Smart Phone?

5.  Anything else smart phone virgins need to know to ensure a fantastic first-time experience?

Thanks.


--------------
The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.  -- St. Augustine
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 2
Marmotstew Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 9299
Joined: May 2006
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 03 2013, 3:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Just get a contract,pay for the monthly data package, live with it for two years and then you can go month to month. There is no "just when I need the Internet" package. You always need the Internet.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 3
sarbar Search for posts by this member.
Hiker Trash
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 16756
Joined: Sep. 2004
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 03 2013, 3:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

T-Mobile has a monthly package that I use - with a Nokia Lumia smartphone. I own my phone though and it is unlocked. I bought a SIM card from them (under $10) and signed up online for their $30 a month deal, paid via credit card, no credit check or contract. I get UNLIMITED web and texting and 100 minutes talk time. Check it out.......

--------------
Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
Trail Cooking & Freezer Bag Cooking
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 4
High_Sierra_Fan Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 42714
Joined: Aug. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 03 2013, 3:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Voice and data run on separate systems but AFAIK they're sold as pairs, so to get data you have to sign up for voice first. T-Mobile does SIM cards for this:
http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/prepaid-phones/prepaid-sim-cards

My prepaid was an AT&T and by buying a larger amount I could get a year of life that would still rollover when I refilled before the expiration. T-Mobile might have similar.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 5
sarbar Search for posts by this member.
Hiker Trash
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 16756
Joined: Sep. 2004
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 03 2013, 3:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

PS: and when using a smartphone, you always need a data package. Wether or not your current SIM will work depends - call them.

--------------
Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
Trail Cooking & Freezer Bag Cooking
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 6
Ben2World Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 25450
Joined: Jun. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 03 2013, 4:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the quick responses...  Given that I will ONLY be using web/voice sparingly... would it make sense to first shop for the appropriate pre-paid card -- then buy a pre-owned and jail broken Android smart phone on Ebay --or similar?

--------------
The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.  -- St. Augustine
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 7
sarbar Search for posts by this member.
Hiker Trash
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 16756
Joined: Sep. 2004
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 03 2013, 5:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Why Android? Don't limit yourself - if you don't use many apps, then an Android is overkill. Honestly, I like my Windows phone, which is shocking as I always liked Apple products....I don't use a lot of apps though.

--------------
Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
Trail Cooking & Freezer Bag Cooking
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 8
High_Sierra_Fan Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 42714
Joined: Aug. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 03 2013, 5:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Granted the more common phone types are likelier to be available at cheaper prices, iPhone, Android, Nokia... all of whose older models will be available in the secondary market.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 9
eggs Search for posts by this member.
That's sofa King assume
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 4334
Joined: Nov. 2007
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 03 2013, 5:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Have a look at this sites offings

http://www.mysimplemobile.com/

I prefer android over iPhone, I've had both but that is a personal choice.


--------------
Eggs
Home of the egg
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 10
VAN Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 3296
Joined: Nov. 2006
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 04 2013, 8:08 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

T-mobile also has value plans, which are way down on the minute usage. We have unlimited data, no texting (use google voice for free) and 750 minutes to share a month between me and hubby. I think we pay $80-90 total for that.

I don't know if you have Metro PCS where you live, but my dad just got his first smart phone with unlimited data and minutes for $50 a month. The data will cost you about $30 anywhere.

We bought new Google Nexus phones off contract (a $$$), but we can leave t-mobile whenever we want. Though, I have been with them for so long, I used to be a Voicestream customer.

You should look into getting the My Touch 3 or 4 g. It was my previous phone, and my first smart phone, and it was really easy to use on the Android market, and with Tmobile. I know you can get a pre-paid plan.


--------------
"Long you live and high you fly. And smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry. And all you touch and all you see, is all your life will ever be." -Pink Floyd
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 11
treelinebackpacker Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 598
Joined: Aug. 2011
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 04 2013, 9:38 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Virgin mobile has Month-to-month No Contract plans starting at 35 bucks including unlimited data.
Definitely worth the dough. Uses the sprint network, and android phones are available.
I've used them for about...6 year now and I haven't had any regrets.
Online
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 12
Ben2World Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 25450
Joined: Jun. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 04 2013, 12:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks again for the info...

Are there prepaid cards for both voice and data that are "pay as you go" -- meaning no minimum fees monthly or otherwise for the times you don't use either?


--------------
The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.  -- St. Augustine
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 13
High_Sierra_Fan Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 42714
Joined: Aug. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 04 2013, 12:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

They often (always?) have an "expiration date", my AT&T voice GoPhone minutes could be extended by renewing before the current balance had expired. They also offered longer lives for larger amounts, $100 lasted a year, $25 three months etc. No monthly fees or whatnot, which is what prepaid is often about, simply the stated lifetime of the balance purchased.

For details maybe try the link I gave above on the T-Mobile cards themselves.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 14
JRinGeorgia Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 548
Joined: Jul. 2012
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 04 2013, 1:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(treelinebackpacker @ Jan. 04 2013, 9:38 am)
QUOTE
Uses the sprint network....I haven't had any regrets.

TLBP: Sprint used to have a terrible reputation for signal coverage, but that was a while ago since I kept up with it. How has your coverage experience been with them?


--------------
- JRinGeorgia
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 15
Ben2World Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 25450
Joined: Jun. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 04 2013, 5:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I found out that my T Mobile "prepaid card" will work for both voice and data.  Data is $1.99 per megabyte download.  Pray tell, how many "CNN news" type webpage viewing is that?  I imagine not many, but it might just work for my infrequent, "available for just in case" usage??

--------------
The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.  -- St. Augustine
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 16
High_Sierra_Fan Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 42714
Joined: Aug. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 04 2013, 6:10 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

5.2632 (190 KB per)

:)

52.63 glances at a map, with traffic showing.

15.38 glances at The Weather Channel and a look at their radar map (no rain in sight btw)

This is a tad rough as I only counted the download traffic and there's some upload traffic as well when the various stuff got called for.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 17
Ben2World Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 25450
Joined: Jun. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 04 2013, 6:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Expensive, but good enough for my infrequent use.  Curious, how did you figure that?

Now, all I need to do is find a good, solid 1 or 2 year old ATT / T-Mobile compatible smart phone at a cheap price.  :D


--------------
The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.  -- St. Augustine
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 18
High_Sierra_Fan Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 42714
Joined: Aug. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 04 2013, 6:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Ben2World @ Jan. 04 2013, 3:12 pm)
QUOTE
Expensive, but good enough for my infrequent use.  Curious, how did you figure that?

Now, all I need to do is find a good, solid 1 or 2 year old ATT / T-Mobile compatible smart phone at a cheap price.  :D

My various iPhones, and I expect most others, have a resettable counter for cellular usage (buried within the "Settings" menus). So I turned off my WiFi and reset the cellular statistic to zero: then launched SAFARI and typed in cnn.com and once it's front page had loaded closed SAFARI and went and looked at the usage numbers. Rinsed and repeated for the Apple traffic map (standard, not the sat image) and the Weather Channel.

Since going over limits is a problem they offer tracking tools. There's also an independent app (DataWiz) that tracks such where you can input your monthly (or whatever) limit and follow as you go along, with it having provision for being set to your expiration date
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 19
mtngrl Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 3887
Joined: Feb. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 08 2013, 11:26 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Check out Consumer Cellular.  No contract.  Upgrade or downgrade with just a phone call.  I got my first smart phone from them and only pay around $24 a month.  I hardly ever use it as a phone, but it's great when I travel and need to check my bank account, etc.

--------------
”Every tree was dripping and the creeks had swollen. It occurred to me that I had achieved a rare thing: I was living at the center of my heart’s geography. And I knew it.”- Bryce Andrews, Badluck Way
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 20
BrendanCarl Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 37
Joined: Apr. 2012
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 08 2013, 10:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm pretty sure you can get some amazing deals through your available upgrades through your service provider for some great Android phones. You can probably find one for free with the two year upgrade.

--------------
Camping Guru - Guides, Tips and Tricks, Trail and Hike Reviews, and Gear Reviews
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 21
Ben2World Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 25450
Joined: Jun. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 08 2013, 10:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks again!  I've been doing some research, and found an outfit called PTel that has pretty good rates as well.

--------------
The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.  -- St. Augustine
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
20 replies since Jan. 03 2013, 3:47 pm < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

[ Track This Topic :: Email This Topic :: Print this topic ]


 
reply to topic new topic new poll

» Quick Reply Smart Phone Virgin Needs Answers
iB Code Buttons
You are posting as:

Do you wish to enable your signature for this post?
Do you wish to enable emoticons for this post?
Track this topic
View All Emoticons
View iB Code



Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions