Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
Communications Handhelds Hardware

Where In the US Can You Get Just a Cell Phone? 505

arakon writes "I am looking around for a cell phone for my technically challenged mother and all she wants is just a phone, and yet there seem to be no carriers in the US that carry a plain cell phone with good reception and battery life. All of them bundle cameras, PDAs, MP3 players, and a kitchen sink with a battery life of 2 hours, all for the low price of $350 or more... Having looked around, the Motorola F3 is exactly what she wants but it doesn't seem to be available in the US. If we order it online will it work on US carriers? Are there any comparable products out there with a similar feature set and price range available for US networks?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Where In the US Can You Get Just a Cell Phone?

Comments Filter:
  • Jitterbug (Score:5, Informative)

    by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @05:18PM (#19893139) Homepage
    Don't know anything about them, but check out JitterBug...saw a commercial on TV...have never even ben to the website though, so no guaruntees(sp) []
    • Re:Jitterbug (Score:4, Informative)

      by Abalamahalamatandra ( 639919 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @05:47PM (#19893617)
      Yep, my folks (pushing 70) have one and like it. You can get one with predefined buttons even, much like the Firefly-type kid's phones, and can talk to an operator if you need to call someone else. Probably a good fit for her, unless she plans to call a lot - the Jitterbug plans seem somewhat pricey.
    • by billstewart ( 78916 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @06:04PM (#19893853) Journal
      My mom has limited vision, and while she has good hand dexterity, she couldn't read the little menus on her previous cell phone to know which button to push. We got her a Jitterbug last year, and she's been using it a lot. The screen's pretty big and bright, and instead of using the space to display lots of tiny menus for lots of useless features, it's big numbers with minimal menus (like "Bob - Dial?".) Sometimes you need to scroll through a few more choices than other phones, but they're all Yes/No, and you can voicedial or just call the operator to get connected if you don't want to dial. It's not the *same* kind of simplicity as the iPhone (:-), but it's really good.

      It's designed for older people with varying limitations - one model has number-pad buttons and yes/no, while the other just has three fat buttons for operator/towtruck/911. They're both a bit clunky, because they're designed for people who care more about making it easy to push the big buttons than about having the phone be really small. I don't know how the battery life is - my mom hasn't had problems with it, so I suspect standby time is pretty good, but she doesn't talk on the phone much. One advantage of a larger phone is that there's room for a larger battery.

      It might or might not be the right phone for your mom - does she want a phone that's small, or is clunky ok? Does she want GSM so she can use it anywhere in the world, or is having one US-only carrier ok? Does she want a "simple" phone because it's harder to use fancier phones, or does she really just want a *cheap* phone that works ok and can ignore menu items she doesn't use? There are lots of choices for cheap - getting a used unlocked GSM phone may be a good choice, or getting whatever rate plan is the best price for the amount of calling she'll do and includes a zero-price phone.

      • by Richthofen80 ( 412488 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @06:28PM (#19894143) Homepage
        You make good points in the last paragraph, about used phones. When I first got a Digital/Analog handset in 1997, I had one of the classic Nokia 5100 models. It had an LCD display with big numbers. It had a long battery life and was incredibly rugged. It had big, tactile buttons and a strong backlight. It might be exactly what an older person needs. Most older people don't use the address book, instead they have most numbers memorized (or for older women, they carry a phone number journal in their purse). My mom, whose not quite as old (50s), always ended up getting the last-years model phone because it was easier to use (less features) and cheaper.

        I, on the other hand, am willing to live with a small learning curve if it means the device is sleek and glyph-erific like my iPhone
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          OOOPS...I just checked with "Jitterbug" You CANNOT just purchase the phone: You've got to purchase their service as well and from what I could see on thier website, the pricing did not seem very competitive. They basically piggy-back on existing carriers to provide their service, so they're never going to be able to compete by price point. So we are back to square one...Where can you just find an UNLOCKED PHONE? Seems to me like theree is quite a huge market for unlocked phones. Are there any companies t
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by geekoid ( 135745 )
            Currently, many of the large companies are unsure how having unlocked phones will impact there current business practice of getting you to sign a contract. Since a contract is general as good as money in the bank they can book it as potential revenue and their budgeting is easier to do.
            So the companies are afraid of change.
            I do believe it will happen. If they don't fill the market, someone will.
            I hope it is Steve Jobs plan to change the industries way of thinking with future iPhone negotiations. It general
      • by Brickwall ( 985910 ) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @03:03AM (#19897899)
        I have a fairly new Nokia which came with a lot of bells and whistles - camera, MP3, FM radio - which I don't use. Since I'd been with the same carrier for three years, they offered me the phone for free if I signed on for another two years. My big beef is even though the screen is quite large, you can't adjust the font size, and the font is just too small for my aging eyes to read. I only need glasses to read small print, so using the phone often means fumbling in my jacket for my glasses' case, putting them on, and then doing whatever it was I wanted. I would gladly give up the MP3 and radio and camera if they would just let me make the font 12 pts instead of 8.
    • I want one of those! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by massysett ( 910130 )
      Jitterbug! Looks like just the ticket.

      * No camera. I do not want something that takes crappy photos. If I want a camera I will buy a camera. Putting a camera in a phone is about as good an idea as putting a phone in a camera.

      * Few buttons. Cell phones have too many buttons.

      * Simple. Too many cell phones try to be cool rather than useful.

      * Simple menus. My phone has too many menu choices full of crap that I do not use, and figuring out how to do simple things like add a name to the phone list is too hard.

  • Get thee to eBay (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kadin2048 ( 468275 ) * <slashdot.kadin@x[ ].net ['oxy' in gap]> on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @05:19PM (#19893149) Homepage Journal
    Honestly your best bet is probably to purchase a used GSM phone from eBay. There are quite a few of them out there, so you'll have choices. One that was very popular and manufactured for a while (or that uses a battery that's still in production) would definitely be the best.

    Then just take it and get a basic plan at T-Mobile or Cingular (AT&T). Pop in the SIM and go.

    What you want isn't a brand-new, basic phone like the Motorola one; what you want is a phone from about three or four years ago. It'll be a lot cheaper, too -- and if something happens to it, no problem, just get a new one.
    • Re:Get thee to eBay (Score:4, Informative)

      by wytcld ( 179112 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @05:32PM (#19893395) Homepage
      If you're buying a used phone, get a new battery right away. Phone batteries fade off rapidly after a couple of years, in how long they'll hold a charge.

      For a new phone, Tracfone sells simple, modern models cheap. You have to prebuy a block of minutes, which end up costing 40 cents if within a few counties of home, and 80 cents beyond that - but there are no other charges. The difference between Tracfone and Virgin is that Virgin's home network is Sprint, and if you're not in range of a Sprint tower it won't work (or so I'm told). The Tracfones don't care whose network they're on.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by russ1337 ( 938915 )
        I've gone with tracfone and think they're fine.

        See this link [] for a Motorola 170 for $99 ready to go.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        My wife and I had Tracfones (nice Nokia models) when I was enemployed a few years ago, and they worked very well. I usually bought a 1-year activation card during one of their double-minutes bonus specials.

        Its reception was a **LOT** better than the POS Cingular (excuse me, AT&T) phone I have now (which doesn't get any service at home unless I'm on the 2nd floor).
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jandrese ( 485 )
      You might have to buy a new battery though, so take that into consideration; look online for people who sell batteries for whatever phone you're considering to see how much they cost and how many are in stock. Batteries don't last forever, and while some phones are still in pretty good shape after 3 or 4 years, many others are basically shot and will barely last a few hours on battery. Most cell phone batteries can be bought new for a reasonable amount, but some are expensive and difficult to find.
    • Get thee to 7-11 FFS (Score:5, Informative)

      by mashade ( 912744 ) <mshade.mshade@org> on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @05:42PM (#19893555) Homepage
      Forget eBay, the submitter just wants to be told what to do...

      Even 7-11 and WalMart have pre-paid bare-bones cell phones these days! Did this really have to be asked? I know there's a big movement on ./ for simple, long lasting phones (and I'm sympathetic to the idea myself) but honestly, it isn't hard to find a simple cheap phone.

    • Honestly your best bet is probably to purchase a used GSM phone from eBay.

      No need to purchase a used one. You can buy new ones for under $100 on eBay. I bought a Motorola Razr V3, new in the box, with quite a few accessories, for $85 plus shipping.

      I was making a trip to Brazil, where I wanted to buy a SIM and pre-purchase about 2 hours of talk-time so that I'd have a local phone to call (and be called by) my client without paying $3.00/minute for international roaming.

      Cingular/AT&T refused to r

    • Something to consider if you get just do end up getting just a phone, you'll have a tough time getting just a sim card.

      I've been unable to get just a sim card from any phone company in my area. The only solution I've been offered from phone companies in my area is to buy various no-contract phones, pull the card and throw the phone away or sell it. It's a bunch of crap, I know they have stacks of cards back there, they just don't have a "process" in place to sell me one.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by sumdumass ( 711423 )
        They are wanting to sell you a phone. Complain to the FCC or local utilities commission. Start locally first (usually state), You will be surprised at what is possible even though they said it couldn't be done when someone who regulates their ability to operate in the area asks for a reason why it is that way.

        I'm not big on big government, But dammit, use what is already there before someone demands something more. I have seen people get $400 cell phone bills erased when they got screwed and followed that a
  • Nokia 1100 (Score:4, Informative)

    by Nightspirit ( 846159 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @05:19PM (#19893155)
    • I have both a 1100 and a 1110i. I bought the 1110i because the 1100 is such a great simple phone and thought the 1110i might be too.

      The 1110i is a confused lump of shit in comparison to the 1100. Nokia have added more features than the phone layout can handle, making it far more complicated to use than the 1100.

    • Nokia 6100 (Score:2, Interesting)

      by lisnter ( 572152 )
      Probably the best phone I ever had. It's several years old now but I found this on eBay though price seems a bit high for such an old device. SM-Mobile-Phone_W0QQitemZ160139013240QQihZ006QQcat egoryZ64355QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem []

      I loved that phone and would still use one if I didn't need a Smartphone to keep track of my contacts and schedule (I got tired of carrying two devices around everyplace). The 6100 has the best interface, it's small and r

      After my Siemens C56 died I went looking for "Just a phone." I saw this at Target. I couldn't find adequate unlocking instructions so I just bought an unlocked version on eBay dropped in my sim card and it's been great for the last 2 years.

      It's just a good basic phone. B&W display. Buttons are easy enough to press. It's survived numerous drunk evenings.

      It's the phone I recommend to anyone looking for "just a phone"
  • by winkydink ( 650484 ) * <> on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @05:19PM (#19893161) Homepage Journal
    The US uses 850MHz & 1900Mhz for GSM, most of the rest of the world uses 900Mhz & 1800Mhz. The F3 uses the latter 2 frequencies and won't work in the US.

    Assuming you are a Cingular/T-Mobile customer, you can just buy an unlocked GSM phone (remember to check to make sure it works with US frequencies) and stick your SIM card in it.

    For a cheap, dependable model, may I suggest the Sony Ericsson T637? Yes, it has some of those features you don't want. But you can get one as cheap as the aforementioned F3.

    Good luck!
    • Same problem for Canada. I actually bought an F3 for those trips I am planning to take to other continents, but for Canada (and US) I found that Motorola L2 is a very good plain phone, no camera, and it uses USB to charge the battery, which is much better than the normal Motorola port.
      I got one from tigerdirect [] it is unlocked and the docs are in German.

      The problems with this phone are that the shortcut button on the right side cannot be reassigned from browser function to anything else. I don't want a bro
  • VirginMobile (Score:5, Informative)

    by YrWrstNtmr ( 564987 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @05:20PM (#19893189)
    $30 phone, pay as you go. Not terribly expensive. I probably spend $10-$12/month on it.
    • I had great luck and very inexpensive bills when I used this phone.

    • I have used both Virgin Mobile and T-Mobile pay-as-you-go phones.

      I prefer the Virgin mobile setup - they have better phones (I reccomend the clamshell type so it will not get turned on in-purse) and the cheap ones have few features. I fyou are willing to tie a credit card to the account the service costs as little as $15 every three(!) months, with unused dollars rolling over, not sure how long for. It's $.25 cents the first minute and $.10 thereafter.

      T-Mobile is best if you prepay for a year of service,
  • If they have coverage in your area, Alltel has basic phones and pretty good pay-by-the-minute rates if you are an infrequent user ($0.15/minute but no monthly charges, and no minute expiration dates). That's my wife's emergency cell phone. For $80 we got a basic no-frills phone, $20 worth of minutes that never expire (the only service charge is $4 a month if you don't use it ... I call her once a month to make sure that doesn't happen).
  • I have a prepaid cellphone from Cingular (now AT&T), since I don't actually use it very often. It's simple, easy to use, and best of all, cheap: I pay $25 every three months for it. The phone itself cost $30, but there was a free phone that you could choose with the service as well, if I recall correctly. []
  • At least on AT&T, you can put your standard rate plan card in a cheap ($20) prepaid phone and toss the prepaid starter card. I did this after my old phone went for a swim while I was still under contract, waiting for the iPhone. Easy as pie, the phone isn't so great but its a cheap and simple solution.
  • by neoshroom ( 324937 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @05:21PM (#19893207)
    Q: Where In the US Can You Get Just a Cell Phone?

    A: A Cell Phone Store. []
  • by sillivalley ( 411349 ) <{ten.tsacmoc} {ta} {yellavillis}> on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @05:21PM (#19893209)
    Virgin Mobile, phones available at Target or Best Buy, starting at around $20 for a phone that doesn't have a camera, mp3 player, or corkscrew. Just a phone.

    Prepaid plans, pay-as-you-go, or monthly plans.

    • Virgin Mobile, phones available at Target or Best Buy, starting at around $20 for a phone that doesn't have a camera, mp3 player, or corkscrew. Just a phone.

      You'll find Virgin Mobile at the neighborhood RiteAid.

    • Yep and Boost mobile phones which are also feature-poor and cheap. Something tells me submitter is either an ad or didnt look too hard and just wanted to bitch and moan.
  • You can get a phone that's just a phone for $20. If you set up 'auto top-up', which charges your credit card every 3 months or whenever you're getting low on credit, it comes out to $5 a month if you don't call much. As long as you keep topping up your accumulated credit doesn't expire. Great if you want a phone for emergencies and such.
  • Their is some legislation by Google and skype to implement the carterphone which allows access to their networks.

    Prepaid phones don't allow rollover minutes.
  • by milamber3 ( 173273 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @05:24PM (#19893265)
    Or did you just want to get a post on slashdot? I went to and found multiple "just cell phone" phones. The LG VX3400, Verizon Wireless PN-300, Nokia 2366i, and more. That took all of 2 minutes, dont you think you could have done the same thing?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @06:01PM (#19893797)
      I hear with Verizon you can get 27 free phones of any model, you just have to ask them about the new "Till death do us part" contract deal.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        You didn't read the small print did you? The contract doesn't end with your death, and there's something about your eternal soul in there.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Jim Hall ( 2985 )

      I was about to post, mentioning the Motorola phone I have (it's just a phone, no frills, decent speaker.) It was one of the free phones you could pick when you got a plan. But T-Mobile's web site no longer lists my phone.

      But I also found several "just phones" on T-Mobile's web site: Samsung t219 or Samsung t209 or Nokia 6030 all look good (and are free when you sign up.) The Motorola V195s is pretty close to the model I have, and is just a phone ($20).

      After that, I figured the guy can do his own rese

    • Did YOU really look? (Score:2, Informative)

      by subl33t ( 739983 )
      From []:
      "The VX3400 showcases useful features including voice memo recorder, personal organizer, EZ Tip calculator, ..."

      Doesn't sound like 'just a cell phone' to me.

      That search took all of 2 minutes, now you and all the imbeciles who modded you insightful can go take some reading comprehension classes or something.
  • Someone's bound to have pointed this out already, but every cellphone store sells stripped-down phones that are free with contract. Yes, they might have just a few extra features beyond just "phone" (like contacts), but they won't get in the way of "dial a number and press 'send'" operation.
  • Look on eBay. Gent an an unlocked Nokia 3120b. A simple, small phone. []

    The buttons are easy to press, even for my sausage finger. It still has a simple "Ring" named ring tone that most new phones are lacking. Great battery life. A simple calendar you can attach notes to. A countdown timer, think parking meters. Easily availble for under forty dollars on eBay. I also picked up a spare.
    It is a GSM phone.
  • I can pop down to my local 7-11 and pick up a pay-as-you-go cell phone for under $50. I'll bet Walmart carries them, too.
  • by rob1980 ( 941751 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @05:29PM (#19893355)
    Just get a cheapo phone with a contract from some provider, and tell your mom if she sees something she doesn't understand on the screen then just tap the red (power) button 2 or 3 times until she gets back to the main menu. Speaking from personal experience, it may be a little easier to do that than to limit yourself to phones that are tougher to find.
  • There were umpteen millions of StarTACs out there you can probably dig up, and they were great simple phones. I still have one as a backup. Any old Nextel will also do the trick. Man, I do miss the i1000plus. I could go five days without needing to charge it.
  • Bay.
  • Nokia 6030. Small, yet the buttons are easy to work with. Great reception. Great battery life. Simple. Free with a new plan.

    Here. []

  • I don't know much about this company, but their phones and services are geared toward older people who just want a plain phone to make occasional calls. []

  • Last week I bought a T-Mobile pay-as-you-go phone for £10 ($20). No contract, and the call credit doesn't expire (which is good, because I can go a couple of months without making a call). It would even play MP3s if it were Mac-compatible - it isn't, but that's hardly a problem because I also own a thing called an 'iPod'. It's small, so far hasn't needed recharging in five days, and does the job perfectly adequately.

    I can't believe that the US - supposedly the land of consumer choice - doesn't offe
    • Last week I bought a T-Mobile pay-as-you-go phone for £10 ($20).
      UK pounds, unsubsidised pay-as-you-go, new phone for £10?

      That is cheap if I understand you right; I'd expect the cheapest phone to cost £20 or so, maybe I haven't been paying attention to the market recently.
    • I just bought a pay-as-you-go no contract no expire phone from virgin mobile for US$20. It came with a US$20 minute card so it is a free, no contract phone. Kyocera Oystr, which I actually like. You have to add at least $20 every 3 months but the minutes don't expire, so it turns out to be perfect for someone like me who uses a cellphone rarely. I can store up minutes and use them up when I travel or go through a bad part of life where I need to talk on a mobile phone lots.
  • Motorola V195 (Score:3, Informative)

    by mparker762 ( 315146 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @05:42PM (#19893547) Homepage
    Great battery life - talk time of 8 hrs or standby time of 2+ weeks. Don't know about the talk time, but I *do* get the specced standby time. Get it for $20 with the cheap ($30/mo) T-Mobile plan, or with their pre-pay plan for $40 (includes a $25 refill card).
  • Thank you! (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by Mr_Silver ( 213637 )

    I, for one, am extremely grateful that this question has been posted to Slashdot.

    The next time someone moans "oh, I just want a phone that does talking and texting - why do no phones do this any more?", I can point them to here and hopefully shut another Slashdot phone whinger up.

    Then the rest of us can get back to enjoying our phones with Bluetooth, Java, IM, GPS, camera, web-browsing, calendar, PC synchronisation and MP3 playback.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Dogtanian ( 588974 )

      Then the rest of us can get back to enjoying our phones with Bluetooth, Java, IM, GPS, camera, web-browsing, calendar, PC synchronisation and MP3 playback.
      How basic!... don't you know that the latest phones all include a Teasmade [] and a trouser press [] as standard?
  • The Motorola C139 is a dual-band GSM phone that will fully utilize the t-mobile and cingular US networks. It can be found new for under $20 unlocked. It's as bargain as phones get and has nice battery life to boot. sp?globalObjectId=119 []
  • Trakfone? (Score:3, Informative)

    by vtcodger ( 957785 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @05:43PM (#19893573)
    If your mom will only use the phone a few times a month, you can get a Tracfone for about $20 or $30 at Radio Shack or just about any drugstore. Airtime is expensive 20-40 cents a minute (twice that when roaming). Coverage seems good. I've raised a signal in some really remote parts of the Great Basin. Adding time is a royal PITA, (you have to enter code into the phone) but it was easier the last time I tried it than it used to be. You need to add time occasionally to keep the phone active. My cost works out to about $10 a month. I only use it on occasional trips, and it's fine for that.
  • by Mal Reynolds ( 676267 ) <Michael_stev80@h ... m ['ail' in gap]> on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @05:44PM (#19893581)
    If your mom won't use her cell phone more than 1 to 2 hours per month, she does not need a cell phone plan, she needs a pre-paid cell phone.

    I've researched this for some relatives of mine, I decided on T Mobile's pre-paid plan. It's called "T Mobile To Go". T Mobile pre-paid plans don't have any monthly charges and only require 1 purchase per year to retain unused minutes. For those who make seldom use of a cell phone, it offers an aggregated monthly rate of $12 per month or less.

    T Mobile always has deals for pre-paid phones. Often you'll be able to get a basic phone and 1 year (1100 minutes) of service for less than $130. You can purchase online or at one of their stores. []

    Most pre-paid cellular plans charge a monthly fee by burning minutes whether the phone is used or not. T Mobile's pre-plan doesn't do this. And under T Mobile, once a customer has purchased $100 worth of minutes, those minutes won't expire for 1 year. More importantly, after that initial $100 purchase, any future minutes purchased will not expire for a year from the date of last purchase.

    So to keep a T Mobile pre-paid account active, one only needs purchase another cheap, $10 card before the year expires. All existing minutes will be carried over. (after having purchased those initial $100 of minutes)

    I'm not huge fan of T-Mobile, they have issues just like the rest of the carriers. But their pre-paid plan is superior to any of the others I've researched.

    For someone who uses less than 100 minutes per month, the aggregated monthly cost of a pre-paid T Mobile phone can be less than $12 per month, even less after the first year.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by soupforare ( 542403 )
      I'll second this.
      Get an old brickphone like the Nokia 3595 and a tmobile prepaid card (you can find both on ebay for very cheap) and she'll be golden.

  • Within 30 seconds of reading your whiny post, I specced out $39.99 monthly plan +$35 sign up fee from Verizon Wireless with a basic phone (not even a camera) that is free with a 2 year contract.
  • I carry a Plain Old Cell Phone from Sprint, a Sanyo-built Sprint-labeled model, and got one for my tech-challenged mom. I didn't want one with a camera, as I can't carry a camera model into some worksites I visit.
  • Since you are looking for a non-technical person I would recommend the Jitterbug. My mom and I got my dad one for Christmas last year and it works very well. They preprogram numbers in for you and you can call their operators and have them add or delete numbers without having to navigate the menus on the phone. The phone also has a more holdable shape since it is wide at the bottom and narrow at the top with a bit of an oval to it.

    If you are looking for a decent quality general cell phone I'd recommend

  • I'm to replace the phone system at my office. The company wants "basic-basic-basic." The expectation is Nortel. When you ask people what kind of phone system they have and they don't know? 99% of the time it's because they never have a problem with it and because it's a Nortel and to them that's what "office phone" means.

    But when I am out shopping for phone systems, I get people exclaiming "feature! feature! function! gadget!" The company I work for does NOT want that. They want to answer the phone wh
  • I have been fairly pleased with my Samsung SGH-T209. It is a phone. It does have a stopwatch and calculator as well, but for the price (extend our contract with T-mobile) it is nice. I too don't want a Swiss Army knife device, my phone is for emergencies.
  • I have a Morotola C139 [] and pay $25 a quarter with rollover minutes.
  • (checks submitter's name) No, it was somebody else. Which is totally weird, because that's EXACTLY the situation that I'm dealing with -- a technologically challenged mother who wants "JUST a cell phone, not a camera, not an MP3 player, just a cell phone."

    The solution I'm in the process of trying is to get an old GSM phone. Actually when I explained the situation, TWO of my co-workers came to me, offering to GIVE me old ones of theirs. One of them had previously been on a Rogers pay-as-you-go plan, and t
  • Try the Motorola v195s. No camera. Long battery life. T-Mobile [they allow one year contracts and are less inclined to hand over your data to feds].
  • The Motorola L2 might be close to what you want. No camera, no mp3 player. It does do bluetooth and USB synching to a few simple PDA apps, but you can safely ignore those. And it's cheap; I got mine deeply discounted as part of my Cingular renewal, but I believe the list price was around $150.
  • Since much of the subject here is about importing, is there any luck in using a Japanese-market phone in the US/Canada (I'm in Canada)? I'm up for a contract renewal and a new phone. A friend came back from Japan last year and showed me the phone she used. Its still 2 years ahead on what's in the market here. The battery lasted longer, the camera had awesome res, and LED flashlight and tons of bells.

    Someone mentionned GPS/e911 service as one hindrance. Any other pitfalls or reasons I could not use it?
  • So buy your mother a fantastic phone, tell her to live without playing MP3s or taking lots of happy snaps, and problem solved. She really only needs to be able to get back to the root menu and use the handful of features she wants. As for battery life...well I typically get 4-5 days out of a charge of my Nokia N70, but that's with quite light phone use, and the only features I use regularly besides phone and SMS are calendar alarms. Hell I have a demo version of Doom installed and that chews battery, but wh
  • You can find several inexpensive unlocked GSM phones at []

    They are a reputable dealer as per a couple of well-known cellphone forums (you might want to poke around the forums a little, and maybe even ask the question there): [] []

    As stated in the title, I have no affiliation with any of these sites.
  • I just went to the verizon wireless website and see tons of phones that are $9.99 when you sign up. I don't know if they have a camera or mp3 player on them, but who cares if they do?
  • Jitterbug [], "the phone for boomers and beyond", is exactly that. They offer two models, Dumb and Dumber. The Dumb model has a big numeric keypad. They couldn't resist putting in a display, though. The Dumber model has no numeric keys, just three huge buttons: "Operator", "Tow" (or some other preselected legend), and "911". The phone produces a "comforting dial tone".

    They couldn't resist including menus, arrow keys, voicemail, a phone book, and a recent call list, either. But not GPS tracking, which mi

  • My folks have one of these phones. It's a compact mini phone capable of handling SMS texts, a phonebook,
    speed dialing, voice mail, alarms and ring tones.

    The commands are no less complex than any other phone. The manual is still around 14 pages long
    (8 pages to one A4 sheet of paper). The only difference is the price/maintenance . Maybe this is due to
    the display. Also over here, it's a pay-as-you-go card with a top up card.

    I think this phone would benefit with a colour display - being able to choose black on
  • Clarification (Score:4, Informative)

    by arakon ( 97351 ) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @12:33AM (#19897145) Homepage
    Should have thought to put this in the ORignal post,
    A. She already has a plan, options involving getting a new plan to get another crappy free phone like she already has is not an option.

    B. She is replacing a POS sony Ericcson flip-phone that has horrible reception, sometimes it never rings then it will buzz telling her she has voice-mail...

    C. She uses the phone for work, she's in the medical field and is on call a lot, so the phone does get regular use. No they didn't give her a phone from work that isn't the question. Just need a good GSM phone that doesn't cost 300+ dollars to buy unlocked and is ready to use.

    No I'd never heard of any services called jitterbug or anything like that. I do not live in the US, my mom does. I've noticed that a lot of google searches tend to come back with results based on your region you are searching from...

    But I'm sure this will be ignored and the flamers will continue...

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972