Help choosing a smart phone Please!

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Southern Belle
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Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:36 pm

Help choosing a smart phone Please!

Post by Southern Belle »

My husband and I just came off of a 2 year contract with Verizon and are now month to month. We have 2 basic phones and unlimitted talk and text for $100+tax. Unlimited is important to us since we have no land line or work provided cell phones. I have decided to get a smart phone while he is a true boglehead and will be staying with his basic phone.

Verizon said I could get a subsidized smart phone if we started a new 2 year contract :annoyed or to stay month to month :happy we would have to buy the smart phone outright. I am thinking of purchasing the iphone 4s since it's not the latest model and will be less expensive. When answering, please keep in mind that I am coming from a basic phone and have limited smart phone exposure. Here goes:

1) Is the Samsung Galaxy better or worse then a iphone 4s and Why?

2) Will I really be missing out on some must-have features going to the 4s rather then the 5s?

3) How much of a data package would I need? 2, 4, 8 gig etc

Thanks,
SB
Savvy
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Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 3:09 pm

Re: Help choosing a smart phone Please!

Post by Savvy »

Hello and welcome to the forum!

We use the Galaxy S2 and are very happy with the bigger screen. You can probably get for free with 2-year contract. We use Sprint. That said, however, I miss having a physical keyboard. I have never owned an iPhone and am not interested.
zottopix
Posts: 50
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:37 pm

Re: Help choosing a smart phone Please!

Post by zottopix »

I've owned 6 Samsung Galaxy smartphones......and have had problems with every one! Not sure if it's the phone or Android OS...but it's a litany of glitches....phone not ringing with calls, not being able to turn on Wifi in phone settings menu, apps crashing...on and on.....
I'd get the iphone if I had to do it over again. My family agrees!
chaz
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Re: Help choosing a smart phone Please!

Post by chaz »

Friends use an iPhone and like it. I'm happy with a dumb phone.
Chaz | | “Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." Woody Allen | | http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
TheGreyingDuke
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Re: Help choosing a smart phone Please!

Post by TheGreyingDuke »

Once you decide what phone you want (I am partial to Android but no real big difference for MOST users) go to PagePlus and you will be able to go month to month, for $55 for unlimited text and talk, 2gb of web. Buy that at Verizon and it will cost you $70 a month, same network.

TGD
"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race." H.G. Wells
Jonathan
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Re: Help choosing a smart phone Please!

Post by Jonathan »

Consider reviewing your old bills to see exactly how many minutes you're using, if you haven't already; you might not need unlimited minutes per se. I recently switched from an iPhone to a Tracfone-compatible LG 840G smart phone, per this thread: Is this the least expensive phone plan?. The phone was $40, and the minutes came out to about 7 cents each.
winglessangel31
Posts: 211
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Re: Help choosing a smart phone Please!

Post by winglessangel31 »

Southern Belle wrote:My husband and I just came off of a 2 year contract with Verizon and are now month to month. We have 2 basic phones and unlimitted talk and text for $100+tax. Unlimited is important to us since we have no land line or work provided cell phones. I have decided to get a smart phone while he is a true boglehead and will be staying with his basic phone.

Verizon said I could get a subsidized smart phone if we started a new 2 year contract :annoyed or to stay month to month :happy we would have to buy the smart phone outright. I am thinking of purchasing the iphone 4s since it's not the latest model and will be less expensive. When answering, please keep in mind that I am coming from a basic phone and have limited smart phone exposure. Here goes:

1) Is the Samsung Galaxy better or worse then a iphone 4s and Why?

2) Will I really be missing out on some must-have features going to the 4s rather then the 5s?

3) How much of a data package would I need? 2, 4, 8 gig etc

Thanks,
SB
0) Having a smartphone doesn't make you any less of a Boglehead. :) Also, I understand the hesitation of signing a 2-year contract, but if it makes financial sense for your usage, go ahead. :)

1) Are you limiting yourself to those options or are you open to others? This is a pretty funny ad that illustrates my opinion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z19vR1GldRI :P

2) Yes, but you could live with it, with patience and self-control. :P

3) 2GB/month for me, and I am a heavy user (email, apps, browsing; no videos) with pretty regular access to my laptop and the internet via the laptop.
btenny
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Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 6:47 pm

Re: Help choosing a smart phone Please!

Post by btenny »

The Iphone 3GS is free at ATT and probably also free at Verizon with a contract. It is great smart phone and very easy to use. My wife and daughter both have these and they work great. It is small and much lighter than most other phones and fits easily in a front pocket versus the larger Galaxy phones. The touch screen is fine for most people and the user interface is great.

As far as plans I suggest you get the minimum data you can buy. 100% of my wifes data needs are done via our home Wifi net and that is free. But we do not use the GPS features as we have hand held separate GPS and my wife is not one to surf on her phone. She cannot read the small text. So we don't need a lot of data via the network. We also have a good stand alone camera that I use so we don't take many pictures with the Iphone so the better 4G camera and better speed is not necessary for us....

Bill
bungalow10
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Location: Chicago North Shore

Re: Help choosing a smart phone Please!

Post by bungalow10 »

I'm partial to Android.

I'd get the 1GB plan. We share 4GB among three users, and we are pretty heavy users.
An elephant for a dime is only a good deal if you need an elephant and have a dime.
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Toons
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Re: Help choosing a smart phone Please!

Post by Toons »

My spouse & I both purchased Android smartphones from Walmart. Monthly cost through Walmart StraightTalk service is $45/month each(NO Contract) plus tax for unlimited talk, text, data(internet). I have the LG Optimus Showtime and spouse has the Samsung Proclaim. We are both are pleased with our phones .I like the no contract feature,coverage is superb. :happy

http://www.walmart.com/search/search-ng ... k&_tt=stra
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mike143
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Re: Help choosing a smart phone Please!

Post by mike143 »

For the smartphone your best bet is a iPhone on Straight Talk (AT&T) at $45 a month for unlimited everything.

For the dumb phone you might be better on one of the Page Plus (Verizon) plans.
Nothing is free, someone pays...You can't spend your way to financial freedom.
partner
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Re: Help choosing a smart phone Please!

Post by partner »

Jonathan wrote:Consider reviewing your old bills to see exactly how many minutes you're using, if you haven't already; you might not need unlimited minutes per se. I recently switched from an iPhone to a Tracfone-compatible LG 840G smart phone, per this thread: Is this the least expensive phone plan?. The phone was $40, and the minutes came out to about 7 cents each.


I am interested in the LG 840G and need to find out more about it. It is technically not a smartphone from what I find researching the web. It does not run Android OS. Can it run Apps? How many, which ones? Where do you get the Apps?
Thanks
Saving$
Posts: 2150
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 8:33 pm

Re: Help choosing a smart phone Please!

Post by Saving$ »

I was very concerned about the quantity of data I would use when I switched from Blackberry to Android. I use my phone ALL the time. I'm pleasantly surprised that my monthly data usage averages between 0.1 and 0.2 gigs per month.

There are two HUGE caveats to my data usage:
1. My provider is TMobile and I have a Tmo branded phone so it has Tmo wifi. What this means is that anytime I am home or at work, I am connected to the wifi network, and thus not using data against my monthly cap. I am in one of these two places most of the time, but certainly use the phone and it's data feature without 2nd thought when I am out and about.
2. The type of data I access when out and about is probably atypical. I sync work and personal email addresses to the phone, open the emails and their attachments, google things on the phone when out and about, and read a few online newspapers. I rarely (2-3 times/year) watch a video on the phone or play online games on the phone, both of which use alot of data.
Don46
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Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:53 pm

Re: Help choosing a smart phone Please!

Post by Don46 »

I have the iPhone 5 and I love it. It is like having a small computer in your pocket. My provider is ATT which seems to work fine in my area. The phone is available through other providers as well now.
Topic Author
Southern Belle
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:36 pm

Re: Help choosing a smart phone Please!

Post by Southern Belle »

winglessangel31 wrote:
0) Having a smartphone doesn't make you any less of a Boglehead. :) Also, I understand the hesitation of signing a 2-year contract, but if it makes financial sense for your usage, go ahead. :)
You are so right on this one. It is more the 2 year contract then owning a smart phone that gets the he is adverse to.

1) Are you limiting yourself to those options or are you open to others?
I am definitely open to other options - Those were just the 2 options I knew of when I wrote the post. :D
nwrolla
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Re: Help choosing a smart phone Please!

Post by nwrolla »

Go with the lowest data package you possibly can and utilize WIFI extensively, I connect my phone to wifi everywhere, work, school, relatives networks anywhere to save some data, I share a plan with 3 other phones and we manage to use under 1gb in data usage total, everyone is employing the same strategy of connecting to wifi in every place they visit regularly.
Topic Author
Southern Belle
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:36 pm

Re: Help choosing a smart phone Please!

Post by Southern Belle »

Thank you everyone for commenting on my 1st post. :happy

Please keep the comments coming. I have alot of learning to do in this area.
Jonathan
Posts: 406
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:36 pm

Re: Help choosing a smart phone Please!

Post by Jonathan »

partner wrote:
Jonathan wrote:Consider reviewing your old bills to see exactly how many minutes you're using, if you haven't already; you might not need unlimited minutes per se. I recently switched from an iPhone to a Tracfone-compatible LG 840G smart phone, per this thread: Is this the least expensive phone plan?. The phone was $40, and the minutes came out to about 7 cents each.


I am interested in the LG 840G and need to find out more about it. It is technically not a smartphone from what I find researching the web. It does not run Android OS. Can it run Apps? How many, which ones? Where do you get the Apps?
Thanks
It's a semi-smartphone ;). You can run Java apps on it. See this review of the phone (and the ensuing discussion) on Amazon for app tricks: webmania's review of LG 840G. Also: Installing Java Apps on LG 840G.
winglessangel31
Posts: 211
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:53 pm

Re: Help choosing a smart phone Please!

Post by winglessangel31 »

Southern Belle wrote:
winglessangel31 wrote:
0) Having a smartphone doesn't make you any less of a Boglehead. :) Also, I understand the hesitation of signing a 2-year contract, but if it makes financial sense for your usage, go ahead. :)
You are so right on this one. It is more the 2 year contract then owning a smart phone that gets the he is adverse to.

1) Are you limiting yourself to those options or are you open to others?
I am definitely open to other options - Those were just the 2 options I knew of when I wrote the post. :D
I recommend looking at Windows Phone options. :) New, spunky, fun, easy-to-use, and highly-rated. Check this out: http://reviews.cnet.com/smartphones/htc ... 54632.html :) other options: http://www.mobiletechreview.com/windows-phone.htm
snyder66
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Re: Help choosing a smart phone Please!

Post by snyder66 »

Iphone 5
ieee488
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Re: Help choosing a smart phone Please!

Post by ieee488 »

Before switching from Verizon to any other carrier you need to check what are the coverages for the carriers at the places you will be using the phone the most.

Virgin Mobile's $35/month is the cheapest unlimited plan. They are Sprint.
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