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

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  • Hmmm,.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Thursday February 23, 2012 @06:53PM (#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.

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

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        No companies are appreciably different from each other when you eliminate what they are actually selling from consideration.
        • Uh... (Score:2, Insightful)

          by raehl ( 609729 )

          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

          • 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... (Score:5, Informative)

            by Zmobie ( 2478450 ) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @08:15PM (#39142431)

            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.

            This is actually very incorrect. No one offers true 4G, period. The FCC bumped the legal definition of it down significantly because of lobbying from the cell carriers so that they could advertise like they have "4G" when in fact they have improved 3G.

            Refer to this article (it is from last year, but I believe most of it is still true): []
            Another article (From this year about it): []
            And of course, Wikipedia awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! []

            So no, don't buy the cell phone companies' BS about them having "4G" when they are not hardly halfway to what the actual standard dictates.

          • Verizon has [...] the largest, fastest 3G/4G cellular data network.

            Largest, yes. Most reliable? Undoubtedly. Fastest? No. []

            Verizon's 4G is awesome. No doubt. But it's a real shock when you have to go back down to 3G.

            • by Sancho ( 17056 ) *

              Fastest depends upon where you are. I'm most often going to need my phone outside of big cities, where my AT&T signal shows an E, but my Verizon signal shows 3G. In those situations, Verizon is quite a bit faster.

              Speed is always going to vary based upon location, due to differences in the backhaul, wireless coverage, and saturation.

            • by raehl ( 609729 )

              Verizon iPhone 3G is not the same as Verizon 3G.

              I get MUCH faster transfers on Verizon 3G than the figures you cited using a 3G data modem.

      • by pavon ( 30274 ) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @07:45PM (#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.

        • by Belial6 ( 794905 ) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @08:00PM (#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?
          • by ynp7 ( 1786468 ) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @08:29PM (#39142565)

            It really depends on where you live. While I supposed there's some value in rating the different carriers by overall national performance, it doesn't really make sense to make your provider decisions based on national results since they may vary drastically in your local market.

            • > It really depends on where you live.

              This. This is the bottom line.

              It also changes over time. Years ago, Sprint had the best coverage at my remote transmitter sites. Now, Verizon does. Ergo, I am with Verizon, paying their (admittedly exorbitant) rates for the ability to make calls when I'm in the middle of nowhere.

              It also changes with conditions. When the tornadoes came through here (Alabama) on April 27th last year, everyone's coverage was horrible for several weeks. Verizon's coverage didn't fully re

          • T-Mobile gives me 2 MBit on bad days and as much as 5+ on good days. Is that now considered poor?

            In the US? Wow. On bad days, T-Mobile gives me 4Mbps and on good days (or good locations), 15Mbps. On a recent trip to the UK, I never saw more than 2Mbps and even at Heathrow airport, I only got 1Mbps, but mostly, I got EDGE or GPRS speeds.

            • by Sancho ( 17056 ) *

              In the US, in buildings, T-Mobile has almost always given me crappy signal. I understand that it's because they use frequencies which have worse penetration through construction materials.

              Their coverage is also pretty poor, so rural areas are out. Those two use cases cover 99% of my needs.

          • by pavon ( 30274 )

            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).

            Yeah, I have used both Verizon and T-Mobile (and know people who use AT&T). Verison support has always been awesome for me. The two times I have had billing problems (both caused by inept booth-monkeys), I was on hold for well under a minute, the very first person I talked to immediately fixed the problem without having to argue and they made it retroactive to the time I started the plan without me asking.

            Everytime I have called T-Mobile on the other hand I have been on hold for at least 5 minutes, the

        • Concerning data speed...

          4G LTE sucks. It kills battery like crazy and the 5 gig cap is ridiculous(Really? Insane LTE speed and a 5 gig cap?)

          HSDPA+ that both TMo and AT&T offer beat the hell out of EVDO by a goddamned mile and a half.

          TMo is certainly less evil though.

        • by Nethead ( 1563 )

          By service on T-Mobile do you mean customer service? If that's the case, then I have to strongly disagree. I have never had better customer service from any mobile carrier, period. They even let me kill a line eight months early without penalty because I've been a loyal customer. Everytime I've called I never have to wait on hold and I get someone that speaks in my local (Pacific Northwest) dialect.

          Coverage? Kinda sucky if you're out in the sticks, but they have full UMA support which offsets this a bi

          • by fdrebin ( 846000 )
            Have you talked to them lately? I had been pretty happy for a long time, then the other day I tried to change my phone number.

            It took 3 calls, 2 wrong changes (on their part) and the most rude, belligerent customer service I've ever had the displeasure of dealing with. I am always polite, so I didn't start it.

            I will however end it shortly.

            • by Nethead ( 1563 )

              No, I haven't had too. I hope you just had a fluke.

              Anyway, I know where they live (Factoria) and I have industry peers that I can contact if it gets too bad. (I use to work for Clearwire network engineering.)

              I'm kinda in a sweet spot with them. I have a 3G android phone and my plan is 2GB at 4G speeds then unlimited at 3G speeds. So from my point-of-view I have unlimited data. And like I said, the tethering and UMA are real deal makers for me.

      • Net10. Works, cheap, only used as needful. Mine is a Motorola 408g, cost $30, basic phone, good alarm clock also. Nickle per text, a dime a minute in or out for voice.

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      Is that free phone LG Cosmos 2? It's a smartphone.

    • by kfm03 ( 2450178 )
      29.95/month here. I use pageplus with a phone I bought off ebay. Almost any Verizon phone works on their network and I'm currently using a droid2. The plan has plenty of minutes (1200) and texts (2000) and data (100mb) and they keep increasing the limits. Best part is it uses the verizon network, so I didn't lose anything when I told them to screw off with their outrageous prices.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    You are an idiot and should not have a phone.

  • by demonlapin ( 527802 ) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @06:55PM (#39141645) Homepage Journal
    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.
    • by MoonBuggy ( 611105 ) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @07:05PM (#39141761) Journal

      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.

      • 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.
      • cheap android on eBay plus a prepaid SIM

        My prepaid carrier (a subsidiary of Sprint) doesn't use SIM cards, you insensitive clod!

      • I wanted to know if you could buy a SMART-PHONE, put a pre-paid SIM in in and use the phone for voice/SMS/MMS and use wifi for data? I was told by AT&T that this is impossible and that if you buy a smartphone you must have a data plan. However, if this is a settings feature, can data be turned off for cellular and enabled for WIFI? Since WIFI is now everywhere, I don't need to spend $100/mo on a data plan.

        If you could clarify this with specific examples, I would appreciate it since this is how I
        • by EdZep ( 114198 )

          I am doing exactly as you've described, with T-Mobile, prepaid. I'm hardly an expert, but recently got interested in a Blackberry with a better camera than my old throwback phone. When I discovered the BB model had wifi, and that it would work without a data plan, I was sold, and headed to ebay for a second-hand purchase.

    • by OAB_X ( 818333 )

      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).

    • by OAB_X ( 818333 )

      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.

    • by OAB_X ( 818333 )

      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.

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

  • by dougmc ( 70836 ) <> on Thursday February 23, 2012 @06:56PM (#39141655) Homepage

    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.

    • by ackthpt ( 218170 )

      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 communic

    • 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.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 23, 2012 @07:12PM (#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.

      • by no-body ( 127863 )

        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.

    • 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)

      • by mspohr ( 589790 )

        This works!
        I use T-Mobile pay as you go and put in $100 a year ago (Gold status good for a year of 10 cents a minute calls and texts). At the end of my first year I still had $34 credit so I added $10 and now have another full year to use my $47 balance (they give you bonus credit for Gold status).
        They used to have a nice "Day pass" feature for data at $1.49 for 24 hours (unlimited but throttled) but they discontinued that plan (upset me and a lot of other people). In it's place you can buy a $2/day (2G)

    • I'll chime in with the T-Mobile people. The biggest problem with T-Mobile is their coverage. However, you should easily be able to tell if it is going to be a problem for you. In my case, it isn't, but many coworkers that live in more rural areas have problems. I have a cheaper android phone, purchased unlocked from Newegg, with data turned off. I have the T-Mobile pay-as-you-go SIM-only plan. Buy the minutes $100 at a time, because then they don't expire for a year. Otherwise, it is generally 90 days. At
  • Used Android (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ranguvar ( 1924024 ) <> on Thursday February 23, 2012 @06:56PM (#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.

  • This. []
  • by damn_registrars ( 1103043 ) <> on Thursday February 23, 2012 @06:58PM (#39141675) Homepage Journal
    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.
    • by merick ( 1878106 )

      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.

  • 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 Sp

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      At this point, it's almost cheaper not to worry about no data. [...] will drop to $35 in a bit

      How so, if no data starts at $7 per month through Virgin Mobile, which shares a parent company with Boost?

  • by Gordonjcp ( 186804 ) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @07:01PM (#39141705) Homepage

    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...

  • cricket has a $35 a month plan that has unlimited minutes and texting.
    • by S810 ( 168676 )

      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!

  • by SethJohnson ( 112166 ) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @07:02PM (#39141727) Homepage Journal
    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.

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by yurtinus ( 1590157 )
      Let us know how that worked out for you...
    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      purchase your phone off Craigslist or eBay

      And watch it end up not working on Boost or Virgin because CDMA2000 carriers generally refuse to activate any phone not sold by the same carrier.

      If you show up with your own phone, you can demand that they deduct the built-in phone subsidy from your bill.

      And if they're not T-Mobile, they'll probably decline your demand. At least that's the impression I got when talking to a sales representative in an AT&T store. He sounded surprised that T-Mobile would even offer the Value Plan (then called "Even More Plus") that reduced the monthly bill for people who buy the phone up front.

  • by tknd ( 979052 ) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @07:09PM (#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: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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.

  • 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

  • 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. Yo

    • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

      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.

  • 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

  • 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.
    • $30-$50 per month, depending on how much you talk.

      I use my cell phone primarily to arrange rides to places where the city buses don't go or on days when the city buses do not run. I save most of my calls for a land line shared with the household because it has unmetered local calls and unmetered incoming calls. This means I talk less than 30 minutes per month on my cell phone. So I currently pay Virgin Mobile USA $7 per month. Switching to a smartphone would raise my monthly bill by 400 percent to $35 per month, which is the cheapest plan that Virgin allow

  • Ting (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hugh Pickens writes ( 1984118 ) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @07:37PM (#39142043) Homepage
    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 [].
    • by j-beda ( 85386 ) certainly seems like they have a sane billing system, which makes them practically unique.

  • 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...)

  • by kirkb ( 158552 ) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @08:01PM (#39142321) Homepage

    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.

    • by j-beda ( 85386 )

      In Canada, 7-11's "Speakout Wireless" (fan website at [] official website at [] ) is really great - the prepaid money lasts in your account for 12 months, and gets extended life to 12 months for each top-up, so you can have months of virtually zero usage without loosing credits. Incoming texts are free. Costs per minute are a bit high ($0.25), but since the credits do not disappear at the end of the month, you can actually get complete usage from eve

  • One word: PREPAID (Score:5, Informative)

    by Powercntrl ( 458442 ) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @08:14PM (#39142417)

    First, forget about 2-year-contracts and subsidized phones. Contracts exist to benefit the carriers by reducing churn. Why do them any favors? Subsidized phones end up costing more in the long run, once you factor in the higher monthly plan costs.

    These are pretty much the best deals going right now:

    Boost Mobile
    + Runs on Sprint's network. Unlimited everything. $55/mo for smartphones, plan goes down in price by $5 every 6 months, finally stopping at $40/mo.
    - Must use an approved phone, Sprint's network coverage and data speeds are *meh*

    Straight Talk
    + Runs on AT&T or T-Mobile's network (you pick when ordering). Unlimited* everything. $45/mo. Use any unlocked GSM, AT&T or T-Mobile phone. You can use an iPhone.
    - Outsourced tech support can be difficult to deal with if you run into a problem. *Unlimited means 2GB/mo of data, not what you think it means.

    Page Plus
    + Runs on Verizon's network. Unlimited Talk & Text, 500MB/mo. $55. Also have several less expensive plans, including a Talk & Text only plan for $39.95 Use any clean ESN Verizon phone. Great Verizon coverage.
    - Expensive data overages.

    If you're really hell bent on no data plan, Page Plus probably fits the bill. That being said, many of these plans are so inexpensive, you may want to reconsider if it's worth going on a no-data-diet just to save a few pennies each month.

  • consumer cellular. it works, they're really helpful on the phone, and it's cheap.
  • TracFone ( - Cheap, reliable and smartphones in their inventory.
  • Tracfone (Score:5, Informative)

    by yellowstone ( 62484 ) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @08:35PM (#39142601) Homepage Journal

    I have a Tracfone, and like it pretty well.

    • For US$20, I get 90 days + 120 minutes (+ usually a bonus 20 minutes). If you need more minutes, they're not that expensive.

    • You have your choice of phones. You can get a Smart Phone if you want, but you can also get a relatively primitive phone for US$20. I've got one of the cheaper ones. Supports texting (although I've only used that a little bit) and web browsing.

    • Best of all, it's pay-as-you-go, and so all it takes to "opt out" is to stop buying renewal time.

  • To the OP, ignore all the subjective "Company A has better coverage/speeds/widgets" since that varies by region and personal usage patterns. For basic usage, I agree just pick your carrier of choice. Then look at both pre-paid and postpaid options. Many would be surprised how WELL you get treated by pre-paid customer service and if it's the same network you normally use, you'd really never know the difference unless you roam outside the coverage area regularly.

    I've been happy with Boost myself for some t

  • I bought a samsung lowest end phone, an E1050 for only 15 euros. pretty unbelievable!, new and unlocked. it has a small color screen and only does voice + SMS. but what little "PDA" features there are are well done. the calendar is extremely accessible and lets you write plain text for a particular day. so I can put appointments and stuff there.

    I'm french so disregard my plan options.. but we had an oligopoly, till a fourth operator, "Free", lauched service about a month ago. it has two offers. the lower en

  • Seriously? No one has mentioned this yet? Straighttalk is from Tracfone\Walmart\Verizon\AT&T so all kinds of evil but the $31.68 (includes taxes) get 1000 minutes, 1000 texts and 1000MB of data. A refurbed phone can be purchased online for $35 which include the first month (phone costs $5, yes it is more for fancier phones). We went with the Verizon Models (for straightalk phones ending with a 'c' mean Verizon ie: 290C) and my wife couldn't be happier. It is prepay with no contract. I'm lucky that

  • The best thing you can do is to get an unlocked GSM phone. With an unlocked GSM phone, you can insert any SIM card from any carrier and then just start talking.

    I am personally a fan of Nokia's Maemo offerings (e.g. Nokia N9) because they are descended from internet tablets and are designed to operate without mobile data service. There are also unlocked Android phones (e.g. Google's Nexus line), which I am sure are fine if you are interested in Android. Even Apple now sells unlocked iPhones.

    As for service

  • There is not a single quality "feature phone" on the market, so simply purchase a quality smartphone and disable the cellular data in settings. We purchased my mum an htz Radar for exactly the same purpose. She uses no cellular data but does browse the web when in wifi range, and T-Mobile has not complained yet.
    • There are smartphones that I wouldn't refer to as "quality" that would work as well. I have a Huawei made Android phone. It was $100 new without contract. I don't have a dataplan and I find it delightful to use. I still find myself using it on Wifi pretty regularly. More than I ever expected.
  • I use Page Plus on their standard pay-as-you-go plan. Using a voip app and Google Voice whenever I have wifi, I use very few minutes. My minutes expire after 120 days, and the least I can add is $10, so it costs $30 per year. All you need is a Verizon android phone, and those can be found very cheaply if you get a used one. They also have other good plans for anyone for whom the standard plan isn't enough.

  • In the US... different strengths... PagePlus, good rates except for data, Verizon coverage, BYOD Boost/VM, unlimited plans w/data, Sprint network, no BYOD Ting, great pooled/family plans, hotspot included, Sprint network, no BYOD Tmobile, daily rates, GSM/SIMs, low yearly rates, BYOD StraightTalk, unlimited plans w/ data, AT&T Tmo, GSM/SIMs, BYOD For single, moderate use, just voice/text I'd first look at PagePlus because of BYOD and Verizon coverage.
  • by svick ( 1158077 ) on Friday February 24, 2012 @08:55AM (#39146101)

    I think the answer depends a lot on which country are we talking about. How could you forgot to mention something that important?

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger