Finally ready for a Smartphone - how can I get the best plan and price.

I’ve been avoiding getting a smartphone. My flip phone with prepaid minutes has served me well. But I guess its time to join the rest of herd. :slight_smile:

The reviews on the new iPhone SE look very good. Small and pocket sized. It would be nice being able to watch video when I’m stuck waiting to see someone. I have no interest in games at all. I would like a good appointment book/calendar scheduler. Are spreadsheet apps available for these phones? Spreadsheets would be useful tracking expenses, mileage and maintenance on my van etc. I’d use more spreadsheets if they were carried in my pocket. A word processor too. Just for very short docs. Can these files be moved to my pc as needed?

Where do I start? I see Best Buy is taking preorders. iPhone SE comes out March 31. my choices are 64GB or 16GB I’m considering the 64GB since I’d like to load some movies and tv shows on it.
Best Buy plans

should I just buy the phone and get it activated elsewhere? Or Go with one Best Buys package deals? AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint?

CNet has a good article on the pros and cons of AT&T Next

I need to read it, think about it and read three more times. :wink: Theres a lot of details to consider.

How much data, talk time and texts do you need?

Puppy Wireless can give you 300 minutes of talk and 300 texts and and 300 megabytes of data for $20 per month. As with any smartphone, you can use all the WiFi you want, it’s just mobile (cellular) data that counts towards your 300 megabyte limit. I have no affiliation with them, I’m just cheap.

AFAIK any smartphone should be able to do spreadsheets and word processing, although they are a bit tedious with the small screen and on-screen keyboard. I really dislike the on-screen keyboard more than the small screen. There is no tactile feedback so typos abound.

If you want maximum flexibility, I would suggest an Android phone like a Samsung Galaxy S5. If you want maximum user-friendliness, iPhone.

I would have gotten a smartphone several years ago. The contracts and the confusing rate plans have always scared me off. Theres so many ways these phones can cost a bunch of money every month. Doesn’t help that some phones only works with certain carriers. Making it risky to consider a used one.

I’ll research the rate plans this weekend.

Just a note 16GB is functionally obsolete for all but the very few (Apple is known for these things). (The iOS takes about half to start with).

Thank you for the heads up. 64GB then is what I’ll plan to get.

It’s simpler than it looks. My advice is to figure out which carrier(s) have solid coverage in the areas you use most, because if you’re in one company’s dead spot, your experience is going to be poor.

As far as plans go, it’s generally going to be the case that the major carriers will all have comparable plans at about the same rates, with the possible exception of T-Mobile offering a cheaper option but with the risk of a spottier network. Setting aside prepaid options, the major carriers will all offer unlimited talk and text. Most of them will try to steer you into a default amount of data, and you can usually save a little by stepping down one tier from there (say, from 2 gig per month to 1 gig). Many people swear by their prepaid plans, but I think that’s too much guesswork for a new user.

Apple vs. Android is just like Apple vs. PC used to be. Pick your preference. You can get the same apps from either. As with anything, you can save a bit by buying last year’s models, and as a first-time user, you might not have any reason to feel like you’re missing out on anything.

I found this thread searching the very same subject - I am in the same boat, I’ve been finally convinced to jump the family from tracfone cheapies to apple Iphone6s

Now thought that 16gb would be plenty enough after a lifetime of plain texting but no, it will have to be the 64.

At&T has a BOGO offer for iphone6s and Plus 16GB, basically a monthly refund of your monthly payment. one would pay more for the upgraded device.

Now what of insurance? GOcare, apple care? nada care?
Or what about security, and will some of us oldsters need to take a tutorial class to find out how to operate the freaking phone?

A buddy of mine has the “iPhone forever” plan, which is kinda cool. He is with Sprint, but other carriers have similar offers. He said he pays some fixed amount each month and gets a new iPhone every year.

So did you take the plunge and get yourself one of them shiny new flip phones?

Just hop on the couch and spend a good half hour searching the phone through the directories and apps is about all you need to do.

You can have a smartphone on a budget if you’re willing use WiFi most of the time, and limit your Internet/talk/texts. “MVNO” carriers lease time on big carrier towers and have cheaper/more flexible plans. I am using Puppy Wireless with my Verizon Samsung Galaxy S4. For $20 a month I get 300 min talk, 300 texts, and 300 Megabytes of mobile data. 98% of my activity is on WiFi at work or home anyway, which is free (after the cost of the Internet I already have.) When I am away from home/work and want to look something up online I turn mobile data on, do my search, then turn mobile data off. I don’t think I’ve used more than 100MB of my 300MB mobile data allowance that way.

I would suggest Boost Mobile but I don’t know if you’re cool enough. How much gold jewelry would you say you wear on a typical day?

I have been very tempted to move over to Project Fi by Google. The catch is that it works with only 2 models of smartphones that they sell. But recently they dropped the price on one of the models to $199 if you sign up with them. No contracts.

Check out their plans. They pay you back for data you don’t use…at the same rate they charge you if you go over. The reviews are very very good

thank you for posting ashtayk. Project Fi sounds exactly like what I need. I checked coverage and they offer 4G in my city. Most of the bigger towns in my state are 4G or 3G. It drops to 2G in the very rural parts of the state. But I rarely leave the city anyways.

I won’t be a heavy data user. The roll over data is a great deal for me.

the sale of the discounted phone ends April 7. So I need to decide pretty quick.

I’ve been on Project Fi since November, and I’m really enjoying it. Definitely check out their coverage map, though. My monthly bill is hovering around $35 for unlimited talk and text, and around 1 GB of data. I really love the flexible data plan, which got me to rethink my data usage somewhat. It’s also nice to know that I can go over as much as I want and only get charged for what I use.

Another benefit is that the Project Fi phones require the dual-band radio and are unlocked if purchased from Google or Project Fi. This means that you can transfer to most if not all major US carriers without changing phones, if you decide that Fi isn’t working out.

The Nexus 6 is also frequently available on sale for $250-300. I think it’s more powerful than the 5X, but not as nice as the 6P, and it’s the largest of the three phones that work on Fi.

Regardless of phone, I like “Bring your own phone”, prepaid, no contract plans. T-Mobile/Walmart has a $35 plan with 100 min of call time. StraightTalk and Cricket (both use AT&T towers) have unlimited plans for ~$50. All three have 5GB of 4G/LTE high speed data then 2G.

I use T-Mobile and my wife StraightTalk. We will probably switch to Cricket since they discount for a second line and for autopay. (An obscure difference is that StraightTalk does not support Visual VoiceMail.)

You can have mine for free. Hate the blasted thing. Guess I’m just too old. I want my red Princess phone back, and the AT&T that used to have real people answer the phone and a repair person who actually came to your home if your phone wasn’t working.

Oh … and stay off my lawn.:rolleyes:

If you decide on Android over Apple, consider the Moto X Pure. Unlocked, works on all carriers, available with 16, 32, or 64 GB versions, and has a slot for a SD card for up to 128GB more memory. Since carriers are getting away from contracts, having a phone that you can use with any carrier is attractive.