Newb to cell phones... wife wants something cheap & simple

Lumpus

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 2, 2005
Messages
376
Ok, we admit it... we're just about the last people left in this country without a cell phone!

Our AT&T landline service is getting increasingly intolerable. The bill gets higher and the service (and sound quality) gets worse. Our line goes dead or crackly after every rainstorm, and despite paying extra for Inline Service, they keep insisting there is no actual trouble with our line, despite us having no actual dialtone for days on end! We want to fire AT&T and never give them another dime in our lifetimes!

Anyway... looking for something cheap and fairly stupid, just to migrate our landline over to. No Apple anything... don't care about aps, just a phone that rings and can take messages. Something slightly better quality than those pay-as-you-go disposables they sell at the grocery store to seniors. Maybe some older model (unlocked) used??

Also, what decent provider has a cheap no-frills data plan that we can migrate an existing phone # to?
 
Last edited:

auntjemima

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Messages
7,793
I purchased the cheapest Samsung phone I could for my parents who are in the same boat as you. Home phone with country wide long distance was more expensive than the phone and plan I got them. It was a Samsung a11. Was $250 to buy it out, but then no term contract. Does everything you expect from a cell phone.
 

Nobu

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
5,916
I got a moto g6 for $90 after tax on amazon that I'm pretty happy with (other than the glass back...). They may not have that one anymore, but if you look around on wearhouse deals I'm sure you could find one or two similar deals.
 

FSCDiablo

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 3, 2003
Messages
287
I had an iphone 2 many years ago for work, then went 10+ years without a cell phone myself. I finally gave in a couple years ago. Motorola phones have been good for me as well and not terribly expensive. I don't do much on phones besides call/text and surf when away from PC.

I've been using Red Pocket mobile lately and it's been great so far, cheap, works, and online support was nice when I needed them. I've used Mint and had t-mobile before that. Red pocket makes it easy to swap to any network for same prices with just a 5 dollar charge to get a new SIM card. I get the 500 min+500 text+500MB LTE data plan for $10 a month and never come close to using it up, YMMV. Come to think of it, I really should just buy the annual plan to drop it to $8.25 a month. You might want to google around a bit to find whether ATT/Tmobile/Verizon/Sprint has the nearest towers to you to find the best in your area. If you don't want ATT then it's probably Verizon>Tmobile>Sprint.

https://www.redpocket.com/plans

Feel free to PM if you have any questions.
 

Lumpus

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 2, 2005
Messages
376
Oh, and next stupid query... is calling Canada or Europe separate extra changes or does this just count as normal minutes?
/wife decided she doesn't want used/refurbed phone - so that probably means picking a provider first :/
 

FSCDiablo

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 3, 2003
Messages
287
You'll need to check international calling availability on any plan you're looking into.

For example: Check https://www.redpocket.com/plans there is a link on the page for "Free international calls to 80+ countries" which details which countries and whether they are land/mobile lines. Some MVNO's do not provide any free international calls on some plans.
 

vegeta535

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 19, 2013
Messages
6,323
Ok, we admit it... we're just about the last people left in this country without a cell phone!

Our AT&T landline service is getting increasingly intolerable. The bill gets higher and the service (and sound quality) gets worse. Our line goes dead or crackly after every rainstorm, and despite paying extra for Inline Service, they keep insisting there is no actual trouble with our line, despite us having no actual dialtone for days on end! We want to fire AT&T and never give them another dime in our lifetimes!

Anyway... looking for something cheap and fairly stupid, just to migrate our landline over to. No Apple anything... don't care about aps, just a phone that rings and can take messages. Something slightly better quality than those pay-as-you-go disposables they sell at the grocery store to seniors. Maybe some older model (unlocked) used??

Also, what decent provider has a cheap no-frills data plan that we can migrate an existing phone # to?
Your line to the pole needs to be fixed. I had the same issue long ago and would take out my internet since I was on DSL then. Verizon reused to do anything also since their line test didn't detect a issue at anytime and wouldn't send a tech out to look at it. It wasn't I swapped phone companies til something got done. Tech came out to do a switch over and saw a problem. Went up the pole and swapped out a burnt connector and my issues went away.
 

cybereality

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 22, 2008
Messages
7,054
Last edited:

T4rd

Fully [H]
Joined
Apr 8, 2009
Messages
18,560
FYI, they make home phone sets now that connect to your cell phone via BT when you're home and act as a normal land line phone system where you can have multiple handsets around the house like before the cell phone days. I haven't personally tried any of those sets though, but have always been curious to get some so I don't have to keep my cell nearby and miss a call and also for the intercom function that I missed from those sets (that Google Home/Nest and Alexa devices have also replaced these days).
 

Aurelius

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 22, 2003
Messages
3,198
Ok, we admit it... we're just about the last people left in this country without a cell phone!

Our AT&T landline service is getting increasingly intolerable. The bill gets higher and the service (and sound quality) gets worse. Our line goes dead or crackly after every rainstorm, and despite paying extra for Inline Service, they keep insisting there is no actual trouble with our line, despite us having no actual dialtone for days on end! We want to fire AT&T and never give them another dime in our lifetimes!

Anyway... looking for something cheap and fairly stupid, just to migrate our landline over to. No Apple anything... don't care about aps, just a phone that rings and can take messages. Something slightly better quality than those pay-as-you-go disposables they sell at the grocery store to seniors. Maybe some older model (unlocked) used??

Also, what decent provider has a cheap no-frills data plan that we can migrate an existing phone # to?
What's your budget?

If it were me, I'd be tempted by the Pixel 4a. It's more mid-range than budget at $349, but it has great cameras, a good screen, responsiveness and strong long-term support (for Android, anyway; Apple is much better here). If not that, the latest Moto G models would do the trick.
 

Lumpus

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 2, 2005
Messages
376
I think atm she's leaning toward going Consumer Cellular with the Galaxy A20 @ $160
 

viper_0307

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 8, 2016
Messages
233
I moved two lines AT&T post paid for Mint Mobile, may be thinking about Ultra. With Mint, I am on 8GB/month plan and prepay 12 months.

You probably don't hear much about phones by UMIDIGI or Oukitel. I ended up with a UMIDIGI S5 Pro (about $245) in July and most recently an Oukitel C21 (about $110; launch price was $90). Both use a Mediatek processor.
 

kirbyrj

Fully [H]
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
28,100
If you have good internet, you could always just use a VOIP line. Maybe something like Ooma? or an Obi box with Google Voice.
 

SmokeRngs

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - April 2008
Joined
Aug 9, 2001
Messages
17,058
You really can’t beat a 2020 Motorola G power on sale right now for 160. It’s a lot of phone for that price and fully unlocked for any carrier in the US. Also has the newest version of Android.
Motorola G Power link
This is what my parents, my son and I have. Haven't had any problems with them and they do everything we need which based on your comments should more than handle what you want to do with the phones. I'm not a heavy phone user unless I'm using it as a book reader a lot but I finally charged my phone the other day for the first time in nine days. That was with light usage. With heavy usage I don't think I've gone anything less than three days before charging and I normally charge my phone when it gets about 30%.
 

Supersnake

Gawd
Joined
Dec 23, 2007
Messages
936
Anyway... looking for something cheap and fairly stupid, just to migrate our landline over to. No Apple anything... don't care about aps, just a phone that rings and can take messages. Something slightly better quality than those pay-as-you-go disposables they sell at the grocery store to seniors. Maybe some older model (unlocked) used??

You really can’t beat a 2020 Motorola G power on sale right now for 160. It’s a lot of phone for that price and fully unlocked for any carrier in the US. Also has the newest version of Android.
Motorola G Power link

The Moto G Power is the phone I bought for my girl friend, and she never stops complimenting it, especially it's long endurance 5,000 mAh battery. It's far from a "something cheap and fairly stupid phone Lumpus" :p
It has Android 10 (and on the list for Android 11), zero bloat, all the stock Android apps, and surprisingly loud volume dual speakers, making it a very smart buy.
You wrote that you don't care about apps, just a phone that rings and takes messages. Well, that phone has the Google Phone app which is a joy to use, and the Google Messages app just like the Google Pixels use. And did I mention that it being a Motorola phone comes with carrier supported VoLTE (high quality voice transmissions) enabled right out of the box.
 
Last edited:

Gorilla

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Sep 14, 2007
Messages
6,438
You really can’t beat a 2020 Motorola G power on sale right now for 160. It’s a lot of phone for that price and fully unlocked for any carrier in the US. Also has the newest version of Android.
Motorola G Power link

Yup, I got that phone for my mom a few weeks ago when her old g4 started to lose battery capacity. It's stupid that a budget phone has a bigger battery than most flagships.

My only complaint is that it took me a while to figure out how to restore the on screen home and back buttons. I'm sure the navigation circle thing works but my mom didn't appreciate it.
 

veronaz

n00b
Joined
Oct 28, 2020
Messages
4
You really can’t beat a 2020 Motorola G power on sale right now for 160. It’s a lot of phone for that price and fully unlocked for any carrier in the US. Also has the newest version of Android.
Motorola G Power link
Oh wow that is a pretty good deal. I was going to suggest a Samsung A10e but that looks underpowered compared to that Moto.
 

LukeTbk

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 10, 2020
Messages
1,094
just a phone that rings and can take messages.
Wouldn't a $40 flip phone be a winner here ?

Suggestion over $100, talk about picture quality with mention of Android and what not seem overkill.
 

Gorilla

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Sep 14, 2007
Messages
6,438
Wouldn't a $40 flip phone be a winner here ?

Suggestion over $100, talk about picture quality with mention of Android and what not seem overkill.

The OP hasn't really clarified what he wants. He said rings and takes messages but also asked about data plans which suggests interest in a smartphone.
 

Lumpus

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 2, 2005
Messages
376
OP has never owned a cell phone before and barely knows the difference between what he thinks he wants vs what he needs.
/still trying to figure it all out... it's a continuing process of 'mission creep' too as the wife can (and often does) change her mind on a dime ;)
//Op was maybe prefering a flip phone... until wife suddenly starting discussing texting with her sister in Canada
 

marshac

American Hero
Joined
Mar 25, 2003
Messages
2,543
Many carriers are in the process of transitioning to VoLTE, so support for older flip phones that don't support this is coming to a close shortly - rather than saying "I don't need that fancy stuff" and looking ONLY at flip phones, perhaps look at cheap smartphones which at least will continue to work for you through next year. If you're pulling in a number from ATT, there's likely some great promotions out there where you could get a midrange phone for free. Check out TMo as their prices are fairly competitive.
 

/dev/null

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Mar 31, 2001
Messages
15,190
Oh, and next stupid query... is calling Canada or Europe separate extra changes or does this just count as normal minutes?
/wife decided she doesn't want used/refurbed phone - so that probably means picking a provider first :/
My wife calls her famiy in Brazil constantly. We got her a special plan with lycamobile that includes this, so if you need this look around. For texting, have them get Telegram, Whatsapp, Google Talk, or some other program & ignore SMS. It's ancient and costs more, esp internationally.
 
Top