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Ask Slashdot: Best Mobile Phone Solution With No Data Plan?

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the old-ways-are-best dept.

Communications 294

New submitter clorkster writes "I am looking to upgrade my mobile phone. I have always bought the cheapest possible phone with the least features since I only use it to make calls and text. Further, I am opposed to paying for internet access twice and my home access is certainly more important and necessary. I am now running into the issue that my phone is too archaic to receive text messages from newer smart phones (they somehow become picture messages). Any thoughts on a good smart phone without data plan or an almost smart phone solution?"

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Hmmm,.... (5, Interesting)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141621)

Like you, I am a cheap mother fucker. I went with Verizon and took the free phone they gave me. Recieves text fine from all my friends who spen $100+ a month on their phone. Me? Not that moch.

Re:Hmmm,.... (2)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141689)

None of these cellphone companies are appreciably different from the others, especially if you eliminate data plans from consideration.

Re:Hmmm,.... (3, Insightful)

DeathFromSomewhere (940915) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141765)

No companies are appreciably different from each other when you eliminate what they are actually selling from consideration.

Uh... (2, Insightful)

raehl (609729) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141979)

No companies are appreciably different from each other when you eliminate what they are actually selling from consideration.

For the submitter, they are selling telephone and text service. And in that regard, they really are not appreciably different. A call or text placed on Verizon or AT&T or T-Mobile or Sprint is essentially the same product.

They ARE different when it comes to data. AT&T and T-Mobile don't offer real 4G. Sprint doesn't cap data use or throttle you. Verizon has real 4G and the largest, fastest 3G/4G cellular data network.

Do you pay a lot of attention to what brand of sugar or salt you buy? Probably not - because salt is salt. The same for phone calls and texts.

Re:Uh... (1)

DeathFromSomewhere (940915) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142037)

I can make any two things the same if I ignore everything that makes them different.

Do you pay a lot of attention to what brand of sugar or salt you buy? Probably not - because salt is salt.

Ask the same question to a Jew.

Re:Uh... (3, Informative)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142295)

I'm guessing you're referring to "Kosher Salt" as if a Jew can't have non-kosher salt.

The term "kosher salt" derives not from its being made in accordance with the guidelines for kosher foods as written in the Torah (nearly all salt is kosher, including ordinary table salt), but rather due to its use in making meats kosher by removing surface blood.

From - []

They are definately different. (5, Informative)

pavon (30274) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142151)

T-Mobile contract free plans are way less expensive that Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint. They also let you use any phone you want and won't force a data plan on you just because you have a smartphone. Of course this has tradeoffs. With the companies I have dealt with I would rate them as such:

Coverage: Excellent
Reliability: Excellent
Data Speed: Excellent
Service: Average
Price: Expensive

Coverage: Good
Reliability: Poor
Data Speed: Good
Service: Poor
Price: Expensive

Coverage: Good
Reliability: Good
Data Speed: Poor
Service: Poor
Price: Cheap

In my opinion both Verizon and T-Mobile are good values for what you get (they just target different markets), while AT&T is worst of both worlds, and should be avoided. Haven't dealt with Sprint or the other smaller carriers.

Re:They are definately different. (3, Informative)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142297)

Have you used T-Mobile? Their service is far and above better than AT&T and Verizon (who I would rate as poor for service). Their data speeds are very good also. Am I out of the loop and Verizon/AT&T offering 10MBit lines? T-Mobile gives me 2 MBit on bad days and as much as 5+ on good days. Is that now considered poor?

No PHONE For YOU! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39141623)

You are an idiot and should not have a phone.

Re:No PHONE For YOU! (0)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141687)

In Soviet Russia phone plans for YOU!

Re:No PHONE For YOU! (4, Insightful)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141987)

My god, you have no idea how dumb that sounds. Russian Reversals lose all of their value when they involve waiting for some good or service because, quite simply... that's not how it was. You can't make fun of Yakov Smirnoff's bad joke telling if you try to deliver something that actually contradicts his routine. Observe an actual joke made at the time in the actual Soviet Union:

A: "I want to sign into the queue for a car. How long is it?"
B: "Ten years from today exactly."
A: "Morning or evening?"
B: "Why does it matter?"
A: "A plumber is due in the morning."

For making this obscenely lame quip, I hereby sentence you to reading this list of real Soviet jokes [] and watching this actual clip of Yakov's routine [] , and this much more painful and effective parody [] of Yakov. Thank you. Good night. You are done mutilating limp-wristed Family Guy jokes on the Internet.

Re:No PHONE For YOU! (4, Funny)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142125)

On overcritical Slashdot, pants pour hot grits down you!

Re:No PHONE For YOU! (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142175)

I was waiting for that. Really. (Now, back to playing with sharks and the frickin' laser beams strapped to their heads...)

Re:No PHONE For YOU! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39142167)

They were making Yakov jokes here before Family Guy started.

Re:No PHONE For YOU! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39142241)

...yes, but they weren't that bad. Usually.

RE:almost-smart-phone (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39141631)

I've had decent luck with my samsung evergreen. It was only a $40 upgrade when the last phone's not rock solid, but for calls and text only it's fine.

MMS is the only issue? (5, Informative)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141645)

If MMS is your only issue, why not just get something like a RAZR? It's cheap, it can receive MMS, and it's not a smartphone so nobody is going to try to force a data plan on you.

Re:MMS is the only issue? (5, Informative)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141761)

Came here to say just that - it's entirely possible that the OP isn't aware of the specifics of mobile message protocols, though, and thus didn't realise it was an option. The problem is that some phones send large amounts of text as MMS (multimedia messaging) rather than SMS (short message service - standard text messaging) - not a picture message per se, but a more flexible data format. That said, it does get on my nerves since it breaks back compatibility and often happens silently, although thus far I've only seen it on messages longer than three standard SMS messages; it's almost always something that can be disabled in settings, but obviously that's up to the users, so you can't rely on it.

As you said, for cheap and basic, just get any MMS capable phone (of which there are many, from around $30 upwards) and throw a prepaid SIM in there. OTOH there are decent reasons to want a 'basic' smartphone even without data - cheap android on eBay plus a prepaid SIM is probably the best bet there. Turn off mobile data in the settings and it shouldn't be an issue.

Re:MMS is the only issue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39142061)

If the OP gets a smartphone it will probably end up requiring a data plan. When I gave my sister my old iPhone AT&T detected she was using it and they notified her that using a smartphone without a data plan was not allowed. She would automatically be signed up for a data plan even though she did not want one. I believe Verizon has the same policy.

Re:MMS is the only issue? (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142191)

T-Mobile doesn't have this policy. It is one of the major reasons I use them.

Re:MMS is the only issue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39142323)

I'm using a orginal iPhone. It's one of the few phone that has a hack allowing the IMEI to be changed, so I gave it the number from my old RAZR. No data and I still get a smartphone. I know it's not up to date, but it browses the web and checks email while on wifi, which is good enough for me.

Re:MMS is the only issue? (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142359)

My parents use mine and my wife's old iPhones on AT&T without data (and the phones show up on the website as iPhones), so I think they may have changed that.

Re:MMS is the only issue? (1)

yurtinus (1590157) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142213)

Every message I got from my sister when she first got her new iPhone 4s was as an MMS - she had to fiddle with some settings to get it to switch back to SMS.

Re:MMS is the only issue? (1)

OAB_X (818333) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142047)

If MMS is the only issue, you need new friends. Any decent feature phone lets you reject said MMS messages from being downloaded (and therefore you from not being charged).

Re:MMS is the only issue? (2)

OAB_X (818333) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142071)

MMS is an abhorrent waste of time that despite I get free unlimited MMS messages, have never sent one. I will not inflict that pain and suffering on another person in that way.

They truly are a vile creation only popular with people whos age (or acts like their age) starts with a '1' followed by some small number.

Re:MMS is the only issue? (1)

OAB_X (818333) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142087)

Oh, and +1 to the RAZR, it's a great phone which I owned for 3+ years easily. They are cheap, in plentiful supply, and do everything that you (the OP) wants.

Some of the less expensive text-only nokias will work too. As a bonus, they cannot receive picture messaging, preventing you from even needing to consider a plan with one.

Re:MMS is the only issue? (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142221)

With me, I'd just tell my friends to stop sending me crap on the phone and send email instead like civilized people.

Stop being so cheap and get with the times. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39141647)

Stop being so cheap and get with the times. In the US you can get a 3G Android phone for $150 or so with a pre-paid plan for $35/month from Virgin Mobile USA. Certainly you can do better elsewhere in the world.
Having the internet available on the go is worth the extra few dollars a month.

Re:Stop being so cheap and get with the times. (1)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142387)

strongly agree. i have the $35/mo. virgin mobile plan and i certainly can't complain for the price. here's a hint though: for the love of god, don't buy the motorola triumph like i did. although its features are strong on paper, the software is a pile of shit, even for android. foremost: the media volume occasionally attenuates for no apparent reason, and the android soft buttons will frequently stop working until you lock/unlock the screen. i won't even bother listing the bugs here; it would take too long. just google for "motorola triumph flaws" or similar. get the lg instead.

T-Mobile Pay as you go (4, Informative)

dougmc (70836) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141655)

I got one of the T-Mobile LG Optimus T android phones for about $100 (it was on sale, probably $150 now) and use pay as you go with them.

If I buy my minutes $100 at a time, I pay $0.10/minute, $0.10/text message and $0.25/picture message.

I don't use my phone that much, so I average around $10/month with this setup, and I have a capable phone that can use WiFi and run apps and such with it.

Re:T-Mobile Pay as you go (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141739)

Largely happy with T-Mobile on the Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) plan. I but time when I need it. They do have a data plan you can buy for a day, week or month as needed, which I'll got to when I can scrape up enough (read: stop spending $1,000/mo. on GoGos Crazy Bones) to buy a smart-er phone. Have a little problem with text spam, which they won't filter for PAYG and the usual Mexican Lottery scam calls, same as I get on all phones, but not a major problem. As I'm not dependant upon my phone for all my communications and entertainment, I can stretch my time out to as low as $5/mo. (which leaves more money for Crazy Bones.)

Re:T-Mobile Pay as you go (1)

shine (1502) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141945)

I live in Kentucky and am happy with T-Mobile also. I bought a prepaid Motorola phone.When you buy $100 in minutes, the 1000 minutes last for one year or until used up. Phone calls are ten cents per minute and texting is ten cents per text. I got tired of the Motorola flip phone and bought a unlocked Nexus S from Amazon for $404. The phone I got was an ATT model GT-I9020A but since I don't have a data plan, it doesn't matter. But for T-Mo I could have gotten a GT-I9020T. All I really need is a GSM phone. I plugged in the sim from the Motorola and the Nexus worked like a charm. I have wifi at home and a lot of place I frequent have it also, so I almost always have the internet available. If you buy a smartphone from T-Mo, they will insist on a data plan.

ATT has a similar prepaid plan but texting on that is $.20 per text. I text infrequently, so the cost is not really important.

I am happy with the Nexus S but other phones would do as well.

Re:T-Mobile Pay as you go (2)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142051)

and another good thing with T-Mobile if you drop $100 on airtime you get instant "gold" status so
1 you get like 15% more time for a given dollar amount (not counting the $100 to become a Gold Account)
2 any card has a 1 year clock on it

Re:T-Mobile Pay as you go (2)

wonderboss (952111) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141799)

I bought a brand new, unlocked Samsung GSM phone on ebay. $30.
No camera.
I also buy minutes a $100 at a time. Those minutes seem to last
about a year.

Re:T-Mobile Pay as you go (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39141839)

Indeed. T-Mobile has the best pay-as-you-go plans of any provider.

I rarely use my phone for cell phone stuff but use it a lot on wifi and as a portable computer (it's a G2). With T--mo PAYG (gold) my minutes last a year, I can pay for data as needed, and I can use a top-shelf phone. I pay about $20 per year (yes, per year) to keep my phone active. It's awesome.

I was really worried with the AT&T deal because I know they would have killed T-Mobile's awesome pay-as-you-go plans.

Re:T-Mobile Pay as you go (1)

no-body (127863) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142041)

T-Mobile is good but...

Their minutes expire at one point and you have to buy more so you don't loose your money.
Cheapest is the 1000 minutes/$100 for one year - gets you gold status and something like 15 % extra.
If you buy less, charges/minute are higher and expire earlier.

Re:T-Mobile $10/year (2)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141999)

It is also important to mention that if you do not use your phone much, you can get by with as little as $10 per year in refills once you get the Gold Rewards status (after purchasing $100 worth of refills)

Re:T-Mobile Pay as you go (1)

human spam filter (994463) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142287)

+1 You can save additional money by having a phone that supports SIP (or skype) and make calls using WIFI whenever it is available.

Used Android (5, Informative)

Ranguvar (1924024) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141657)

Get a used Android, especially from a buddy, and get a plan from Cricket, PagePlus, or similar.

A friend gave me his old Droid Incredible and now I use it with PagePlus on their prepaid cards -- they offer monthly plans too, but it comes to about $7/mo. if I go prepaid, as little as I use it.

You don't need a data plan to enjoy a smartphone.

DIY solution (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141661)

This. []

Re:DIY solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39141777)

This. []

$99 for that? Just buy a cheap smartphone and get a free touch screen and Android.

Re:DIY solution (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39141981)

What about This [] ?

iPod touch (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39141667)

iPod touch with Skype. Of course you'll need access to wi-fi...

Re:iPod touch (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142063)

I've been using Clear's Wi-Max service for about a week now. Nobody'll ever claim that it's as well covered as a cellular phone would be, but where I live it's actually working out surprisingly well.

How about a used blackberry? (3, Informative)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141675)

I'm on my second used blackberry now, and they've been great for me. I'm on a GSM network, so I was able to make it my phone just by putting my SIM card into it. Being as I made the switch without going to the carrier's store, they couldn't force me into a new contract either.

As a bonus I bought a used blackberry with built-in wifi, so anytime I have wifi access I have internet access on my phone without having to pay the carrier for it. Granted, this may be slightly more difficult to do on a non-GSM network, and you didn't specify who your carrier is.

Re:How about a used blackberry? (2)

merick (1878106) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142039)

I recently did the same thing as the OP. I bought a used Blackberry and got on the T-Mobile network. I have voice/text (SMS/MMS) and no data plan. Fit my needs perfectly.

Get a used iPhone and unlock it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39141679)

Get a used iPhone and unlock it

Re:Get a used iPhone and unlock it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39142153)

Thankfully no-one has modded you up, but that is a TERRIBLE idea.

One that is begging to be modded down.

Re:Get a used iPhone and unlock it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39142227)

Thankfully no-one has modded you up either, smart-ass.

No Contract/Free Data (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39141683)

I use Virgin mobile and pay $26/month for 300 minutes and 'unlimited' data and texts and no contract. Hard to get a contract cheaper than that even without data. It starts at something like $35 a month and they drop it a bit each month you keep paying.

Boost Mobile? (1)

edremy (36408) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141685)

At this point, it's almost cheaper not to worry about no data. My wife's plan with Boost started at $50/month for unlimited(*) everything including voice/data/text, and that goes down $5 every six months. (It's about $40/mo now, will drop to $35 in a bit) She has a Samsung Prevail, which is a decent low end smartphone, although there is a selection of flip phones if you want. She's a lot like you but I couldn't find an unlimited talk plan any other place that wasn't absurdly expensive.

It's based on Sprint's network, so it's decent but you'll want to check coverage. (* Unlimited within throttled caps, but good enough for light-medium use. Don't expect to use it for Netflix)

Verizon 3G phone on Page Plus (1)

JoeSchmoe007 (1036128) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141691)

Someone else already mentioned 3G Android phone. I recommend [] (prepaid Verizon reseller). They have monthly plans and pay-as-you go plans. I use $80 card that gives you 2000 minutes and lasts a year. Data on this plan is $1/MB but it is still viable if you use rarely and limit background data usage with Droidwall app (your phone needs to be rooted)

buy unlocked phones that ones at the cell store (0)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141695)

buy unlocked phones that ones at the cell store and best buy come with 2 year lock in + 2 year data plan.

Blame the others... (-1, Troll)

thechemic (1329333) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141699)

Your old "archaic" phone doesn't have any issues receiving text messages. The reason that you sometimes receive a text as an MMS (picture message) is because iPhone users send group texts. When they "reply to all" the iPhone IMPROPERLY sends the reply as an MMS rather an individual SMS (text) messages to each recipient. Because your perceived issue is actually due to your iPhone-using friends, purchasing a new phone will not solve this problem. You should instead rag on all of your friends and let them know how much their crappy iPhone inconveniences you. Continue on with this snarky campaign until the iPhone is dead: like it's creator.

Re:Blame the others... (0)

thechemic (1329333) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142149)

Wow... first time I won the troll award. Awesome! Even though I'm a troll, my post was rather informative. ; )

Single supplier... (2)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141705)

Get your ADSL and mobile from the same supplier. It's much cheaper that way.

No-one pays for data these days anyway. You probably end up paying extra to get a contract without data...

STI Mobile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39141711)

Their cheapest plan ends up effectively costing about $3.50/month plus usage. Your usage amount will directly determine if it is actually cheaper for you than a flat-rate plan from elsewhere.

cricket (2)

sgt.nachos (2578699) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141717)

cricket has a $35 a month plan that has unlimited minutes and texting.

Re:cricket (1)

S810 (168676) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141883)

I had Cricket for years and they are in all 50 states now. I got the Sanyo Droid from them and only paid $50 per month but they have $25 / Month plans for standard phones with unlimited talk and text (including LD).

Since I moved to CA I switched to VZ and have a Droid X2 which I love, buying my wife the Razor MAXX tomorrow... WooHoo!

Consumer Cellular (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39141721)

CC works on ATT network. Get their cheapest phone or bring your own (can be used one, from one of your friends who always want to have the latest one). You can pay as low as $25 for voice and bunch of bunch of text messages. There is a $35 fee for activating with them but after that it is "no contract no problems"... Their data plans don't offer much but that's not what you asked for...

buy independent of wireless provider (4, Insightful)

SethJohnson (112166) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141727)

While on this topic, I thought I should encourage you to purchase your phone off Craigslist or eBay. If you're trying to save money, do NOT buy it from your wireless provider. If you show up with your own phone, you can demand that they deduct the built-in phone subsidy from your bill. Since you're trying to skim by on a cheapie phone/plan combo, no need for them to keep charging you $5 per month as if they had given you a phone.


Pre-Paid (1)

jsm18 (1317959) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141729)

I use an LG Optimus-T on T-Mobile prepaid service. The phone itself cost me $100 and the service runs about $7/mo, but I use very few minutes/texts in a month. If your usage is higher, there are options for that as well. I have WiFi at home and work, so I rarely feel the need for cellular data. In a pinch, I can drop by a Starbucks or McDonalds and get connected there.

Free (0)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141797)

In France, such things are free, with unlimited calls and texts.
You only have to pay if you want 3G or other type of data.

Only in America (1)

negge (1392513) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141805)

In most places, what one would do in a situation like this is to simply buy the phone of choice, either straight up or on a two year contract, but simply choose not to get a data plan.

Re:Only in America (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39142199)

You know this would be expensive right? A good smartphone without a subsidy costs $500-$700. If they let you sign a two year contract without the data plan, the subsidy wouldn't be as big. You'd have to sign a contract and still pay $400 for the phone, instead of $200 or less.

tmobile prepaid (2)

tknd (979052) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141807)

Best deals I've seen are tmobile prepaid [] . For example they have an unlimited data/text (up to 5gb at 4g speed) and 100 minutes for $30 a month.

Then I would actually buy an android smartphone used or new (tmobile will sell you a sim card for $2 or $6), and install google voice. Now you can have free calling within the US.

Re:tmobile prepaid (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39142011)

For example they have an unlimited data/text (up to 5gb at 4g speed) and 100 minutes for $30 a month.

This is a definition of unlimited with which I was previously unfamiliar.

Re:tmobile prepaid (1)

Quadrature (524139) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142129)

Then I would actually buy an android smartphone used or new (tmobile will sell you a sim card for $2 or $6), and install google voice. Now you can have free calling within the US.

Not quite. Google Voice doesn't do VOIP so it actually uses your cell minutes to make calls.

Straight Talk + LG Optimus Q (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39141817)

If you can get service in your area this is the best thing I have found. Problem is it uses Sprint so coverage sucks really bad, at least in my area.

Tracfone (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39141821)

Tracfone has semi-smart phones and you pay for minutes as you go--no plan.

Re:Tracfone (3, Informative)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141943)

Tracfone is the cheapest by far. I was with them for years until I needed a smartphone with data. Get a phone with triple minutes and buy the biggest cards and you can get 4.4 cents per minute (texts are .3 minutes to send or receive).

Re:Tracfone (2)

Deep Esophagus (686515) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141995)

Yes! My wife and I each have a tracfone, and between the two of us it's costing us *maybe* $10 a month, at the very most.

Prepaid T-Mobile? (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141825)

When using a temporary phone that was just there for emergencies when I was on vacation [1], I use a $14 low end Nokia [2] that is on T-Mobile, which I added minutes to. So far, that is the best solution.

To boot, if one needs another number, even though one eats the cost of minutes on cards, the phone goes in the donation box, and 5 minutes and $14 later, one has a new number and device to talk on. No calling to change the number or anything.

[1]: I use a separate phone because there are people who think an "emergency" is not a true emergency, so I just use a phone whose number is only known to cow-orkers and family when on a true getaway.

[2]: It boggles the mind when the cheap Nokia phones have one of the better UIs out there.

The Issue At Hand (2)

excelblue (739986) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141829)

Those MMS text-messages are most likely to be the Group MMS messages that originate from iPhones when you do a group text. To the best of my knowledge, only iPhones support those; they do not even work on Android devices unless you have an app to handle them (very surprisingly, no good ones exist).

As for the data plan: smartphones can easily function over WiFi on a regular voice plan. However, you may find it useful to have data on-the-go: i.e. receiving picture messages, email anywhere, navigation, etc. You're basically paying for internet while you're not within range of any WiFi access point you can use.

For a cheap plan, look into something prepaid. I currently use T-Mobile's 200MB Monthly4G (actually HSPDA+, at the top end of 3G) service and pay $50/mo. I get unmetered talk and text, plus 200MB of uncapped data. No contract involved. Other companies to look at include Page Plus Cellular, H2O Wireless, and SimpleMobile.

Re:The Issue At Hand (1)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142141)

200MB of uncapped data.

I get unlimited uncapped data until I reach the cap point.

I believe you mean you get 200MB of unthrottled data.

ting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39141837)

pay for what you use...

Cheapest I have found. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39141849) - $80 / +2,000 with a 1 year expiration. Keep rolling over your unused minutes for $30 / +100 minutes for 4 months at a time.

Careful... (0)

multiben (1916126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141851)

This is not really an answer to your question but.... Smart phones are here to stay. By avoiding them you need to be careful that you are not putting yourself behind in terms of keeping up with technological know-how. Over the years I have watched various friends and family decide that the world is perfect the way it is and refuse to adopt new technology. Until suddenly, say, the analog TV signal is turned off or they can no longer rent VHS casettes or their mobile phone no longer receives internet. Before long they have all become angry luddites.

I'm not suggesting you should adopt every technology that comes along, but if I were you I would consider a good second hand, unlocked smart phone (of any flavour) with a small data plan. It shouldn't cost you much more than the other options you're looking at and it may surprise you just how useful they are.

had the same issue (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141877) a phone from ebay or whatever.
Put your sim card in it.
VOILA, smartphone without data plan.

NOTE: we discovered that T Mobile actually detects your sim in a smartphone and auto-dumps you into a data plan at some stupid +$40/month or whatever. Go into your phone and turn off the data connection. Then, be SURE to call T-Mobile and immediately make sure that they take the data plan OFF your account. Then you can have a smart phone (that works just fine in wifi areas...which is nearly everywhere. When not in wifi, you can text and use the phone. Works great.

ZTE Blade / Orange San Fransico (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39141881)

Low price, pretty decent touch screen, excellent rom support, Good list of feature (except camera).

I've put gingerbread on mine and never looked back. If you're in the UK GiffGaff are a nice little company with some excellent PAYG tariffs.

(free £5 credit for new members and people who refer them

Nokia C5-03 (1)

WebSorcerer (889656) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141901)

I just purchased one of these as my first smart phone. It cost ~$150 from Newegg [] . I have a basic AT&T phone plan with no extras. The phone comes with several apps and GPS.

I slipped in the SIM card, and it worked right off the bat. It connected to my home network (encrypted with hidden name) easily, and connected to the Internet without problems.

I had an older Nokia phone, and the Nokia OVI Suite software (free) connected to it, and I synced my contacts with my computer. Then I connected the new one, and uploaded the contacts.

My AT&T plan does not include connection to the Internet, so I will need a Hot Spot for access when away from home.

Overall, for the price, it is a bargain.

Prepaid Page Plus Celllular (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39141905)

Verizon reseller 80 dollars get u 2k minutes they last a year, can be renewed, 5 cent texts, 1 dollar a mb, but the deal gets worse as u buy smaller ammounts of credit.

Blackberry/iphone with no data plan (1)

Lampman31415 (1165229) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141925)

I had some old dumb phone that drowned in a river. Someone I knew felt sorry for me and gave me her old blackberry 8110. before I put my sim card in I made sure that ATT had blocked all the data signals. now I can call and listen to MP3s and text on this keyboard which I personally find great. Also the rest of my family is cheap and my father and brother both have iphone 4 without the data since it is blocked on the family plan. they just use the wifi at home or anywhere else and use it as a camera/music playing phone with a great screen. (but they had to cut the sim card themselves which was a bit risky)

If you don't like contracts... (2)

runeghost (2509522) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141947)

As someone who hates mobile contracts with a passion, I've been quite happy with Virgin Mobile. $30-$50 per month, depending on how much you talk. You pick your phone (from a moderately limited selection) and then pick your plan. I found dealing with them easy and hassle-free, compared with other providers I've had in the past.

Re:If you don't like contracts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39142281)


Nokia C1 while you still can (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39141957)

The C1 is the simplest, cheapest phone up here (eh) for pre-paid plans. $50 bought outright. Fido basic service is $10 month. Little less if you buy a year's worth.

However Nokia is getting out of the bottom-end phone market. The C1 is the last of a long line of great, simple, cheap phones from them. Any month now it'll become unavailable, with no replacement.

It'll run Opera and all that noise, but with a basic pre-paid plan you don't have to worry about any of those options going live.

Only 'downside' if it matters to you is the camera is a joke: 0.3 megapixels. Okay if you have to make a quick record shot of something, but that's all.

Will mention with good headphones it's not a bad radio and mp3 player. Also good bedside alarm, etc etc etc. It's no smartphone, but it is a tiny computer with a load of good mature apps. I'm considering buying a spare so I can put off getting a smartphone even longer.

And you live in....? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39142001)

You forgot to specify where you live.

I suppose it's therefore Default City in Defaultshire, Defaultyn, so you would be most interested to get an Mobilfon ER78 from TeleMobiFunk, who give the best non-data rates and most functionality.

family plans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39142031)

individual plans are rip offs. join a family plan. for att / verizon it's 9.99 for your extra line and you share your minutes. so i pay only 12 or 13 (after taxes) a month and share 3000 minutes with my neighbors.

seriously are dumb questions like these what slashdot has come to?

Ting (4, Informative)

Hugh Pickens writes (1984118) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142043)

Buy the phone up front.

Pay for your minutes [] .

You don't have to buy data or text messages unless you want to.

No contract.

You can quit any time.

up to 20 phones per account at $6 per phone per month.

Good selection of Android phones [] .

Uses the Sprint network.

Check it out [] .

Definitely T-mobile (1)

Captain Irreverence (761516) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142045)

In addition to their Pay-As-You-Go [] plans, T-mobile also has what they call their Monthy 4G Prepaid [] have to provide your own phone (or purchase one of their no-contract phones [] ), but for $30 you get 1500 minutes a month for talk/text, and 30 mb for data, which is enough for basic email and occasional web browsing (if your phone supports those things; my Samsung t259 [] flip phone does, which can definitely come in handy at times).

And no, I don't work for T-mobile.

Any "full price" phone on prepaid voice-only plans (1)

Anonymous Freak (16973) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142085)

You can pay $650 for an iPhone 4S unlocked and contract-free, then pay AT&T or T-Mobile 10 cents a minute for voice (or do one of the fixed number of minutes plans for slightly cheaper, even up to unlimited minutes,) without adding a data plan. ($375 for an iPhone 3GS, $650 for Droid Razr Maxx, etc...)

used smartphone + cheep plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39142093)

One option that you might want to consider is to get a used but still working smartphone and then get a cheep plan that doesn't include data. This way, assuming you have wifi at home, you can actually use all the feature when within wifi reach, elsewhere you still have a lot of features, minus internet access.
When friends of mine come to visit from overseas i lent them my old iphone with the $2/day AT&T plan. I bet there are even cheeper plans from other companies. (it has to be AT&T for my old iphone to work but you just need to get a used smartphone that will work with the company you want to use).

AT&T HTC Freestyle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39142115)

It's through (hack spit) AT&T but it's not terrible. It was the only phone they offered that a) wasn't a smartphone with a dataplan to match and b) had a media player that wasn't the AT&T piece of shit on the other feature phones. It runs Sense, so it *looks* like a HTC Android interface (no Android at all on this thing, though) and it's got Java, should you need it. The music player was my big deal, though. I got one of the other feature phones that only had the AT&T music store player on it and I had to send it back.

Buy a loom (1)

atari2600a (1892574) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142193)

...then destroy it. Next you'll need to devise a system of abacus' & smoke signals.

16$ all in (ex. phone) (1, Informative)

stvn (674703) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142275)

I got myself a midrange smartphone (motorola defy 250$), went looking for the cheapest sim only plan (3$/month for 60minutes talk) and an unlimited dataplan (13$/month). Since I have unlimited data I don't use text (whatsapp, gtalk, facebook messenger, etc whatever floats your boat) and I hardly use voice as well; skype or even better tethering and video skype on my laptop (the defy doesn't have a front facing camera). In my case having internet on my phone means that I can reduce on all other phone costs (talk and text), so I don't feel it is paying internet twice. I have now (albeit a bit slower than at home) unlimited internet everywhere I go. If your country does not provide such a service upgrade your country (if debian based try: sudo apt-get update 21st-century)

Why is pre-paid data so much cheaper in China? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39142311)

On a trip to China I got a pre-paid SIM from one of the big mobile telcos there. It was so cheap in comparison to the US that I never gave a second thought about how much I was using. How did it get that way?

smartphones without data plan (4, Interesting)

kirkb (158552) | more than 2 years ago | (#39142321)

I'm in Canada where cellular choices generally suck, so I won't try give you any advice about carriers and phone brands. But I will say that having a cheap smartphone with no data plan actually works out pretty good. I picked up a couple ~$150 android phones for my kids when they started high school, and put them on inexpensive no-contract, no-data plans. There's so much free WiFi out there nowadays (homes, school, restaurants) that not having cellular data is no big deal.

And the nice thing about giving my kids smartphones is that they can do so much more than dumbphones and featurephones can: lists, reminders, etc.

$45/mo, Unlimited Everything, Any GSM Phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39142369) []

Any phone you want, on AT&T's network (which is decent these days) at a price you can't beat.

Even if you don't want the data part of the "Unlimited Everything", it's still a great deal. The upside is, if you buy an unlocked iPhone or Android, the data will be there, should you ever need or want it.

I doubt the fact that they supposedly throttle or kick for being a data glutton wouldn't concern the OP, given his requirements.

Is Slashdot now Howardforums? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39142399)

First, the OP didn't even say what country he is in. (I assume USA)
Second, there are entire websites such as devoted to cell phone questions; why devote a slashdot posting to what's really a forum posting or even an FAQ in a wiki?

FWIW, the OP should look into prepaid plans such as Pageplus so that he can only pay for what he needs.

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