Recommend me a good Cell Phone Plan (USA)

Well, my contract with Sprint runs out the end of December, and I really think I could do better elsewhere, but I have no idea what carrier is cheaper/better now-a-days. This isn’t exactly something you can ask the local cell phone provider rep, as they are likely a bit biased in the decision.
Here’s what I want:
2 lines on the same plan
About 700-ish minutes per month.
I only call the same 4 people regularly. Some plans let you name common numbers, right?
Free nights if possible
Free phones if possible
I will drop my phone, so durability is nice.
I don’t want text-messages. Being unable to receive them would be a bonus.
I don’t want a camera.
I’d prefer my phone not ‘flip open’, and instead be one solid piece so it doesn’t break.

This is in Michigan, FWIW. Thanks for any honest advice.

Hm, if you’re sure you won’t be calling more than the same 4 people that often, I believe T-Mobile’s cheapest “Family MyFaves” (you know, the one w/ free calling to any 5 numbers, including land lines) is $69.99/mo and comes with 2 lines. At that point, minutes don’t really matter. (For me, my only deviation from the same 4-5 people are calls to, say, my credit card issuers, the bank, and things of that sort.)

Verizon is $69.99 for 2 lines as well, and they offer free in-network (i.e., calling other Verizon Wireless customers) calling, so if your friends are also on Verizon, that could come in handy.

Both should have free nights (I know for sure that VW does), and I’m sure there are a bunch of cheapie, non-clamshell phones for each.

Of course, coverage is king, and I know Verizon, at least, as a 1-month trial, during which you’re free to cancel if your reception is crap.

I’ve been happy with T-Mobile, but I’m in Oregon. You might try going to a place like Best Buy, where their cellphone department sells 3 or 4 different carriers. That way you can compare plans without a biased Sprint or AT&T rep pushing you. There’s probably also local shops that sell more than one carrier if you want to avoid a big box store.

Fast Eddie and I have T-Mobile with free nights and weekends, and 1000 shared minutes per month for $79.99. My phone was free; we upgraded his to a camera phone for around $15.00.

I would (obviously) recommend T-mobile. Gozu had all the info correct. $69.99 gets you 2 lines with 700 minuets and unlimited nights and weekends. You will also get the Fav 5. Unlimited inbound and outbound from any number land line or cell from any carrier (no 800-900 or international numbers) I have seen people cut their min usage by 60%

If you are worried about coverage you can go to and check the coverage in your area. If you want to send me an e-mail I can look up a live updated coverage map and give you the exact coverage where you live or work.

I’m a fan of Alltel myself…not sure if it’s in Michigan or not. They have the “MyCircle” plan which lets you set the “free” numbers. Has free nights and weekends. No clue about what kind of phones they have today.

Personally, I’ve always thought they had better coverage/signals than Sprint (at least here) but I may be biased. I just don’t seem to get as many dropped calls (none, actually) as my friends who have Sprint.

I just went to Consumer Reports’ website and they have posted a brand-new article on cell phones and carriers. It’ll be the January 2008 issue, which may not yet be out in dead-tree form. Looks like Alltel and Verizon got decent scores. I’d ask around to find out what other folks in your area have used, and what problems they’ve had with connectivity.

We’re Verizon users and have been for years; they lead the ratings in our area (Washington DC) and we’ve always been very satisfied with the service.

Cnet is a decent source for reviews of the phones themselves. I upgraded to a LG-ENV this summer as a result and have been pleased, though its reviews at Consumer Reports were so-so.

stay away from the motorola razor - when I worked for a cellphone company, we had many many probs with this phone. Stay away from the sliders - they’re just as bad and not very durable.

There arent too many non-flip phones available anymore.

Your email and PMs are turned off, so I’m bumping this instead. I want to upgrade my phone (currently with t-mobile) for something I can use for work to check email, get one the web, etc. I really like the Wing after playing with it in the store, since it has a nice big keyboard that seems easy to use. How has this unit been for you? Good? Bad? Reliable? The local store manager I talked to seemed actually afraid of phones and new technology, so I wasn’t confident taking her word for anything.

I’m sorry I didn’t know I had my e-mail disabled. I believe I had corrected that. Feel free to e-mail me if this doesn’t answer your questions.

The wing isn’t a bad phone and the only time I really see it come back are when people don’t understand what they are getting in to. I would only suggest the Wing for people who want to use things like excel or word or power point.

If all you’re trying for is net and e-mail I would probably suggest the Black berry Curve. It has a big screen and a nice sized keyboard. If you don’t want to go the BB route then you might want to think about the sidekick. It’s a great internet tool, and works perfect with IM. There are 2 new Sidekicks available the LX and the Slide, I can’t say anything bad about any of my products (no really *I can’t say anything bad * about anything) but I can tell you that none of my friends own a Sidekick slide. :wink:

Really what I’m saying is the wing is great device for people who need a palm top computer but can get kind of cumbersome. If you’re looking for specific usage I would pass and go with one of the others.