What happens to my contacts when I change phones on Verizon?

I use Verizon for cell service and it’s been a long time since I switched phones. The website allows you to enter the ESN number of the new phone and switch service to it, but what happens to my contacts, text messages and other info? Do they get transferred to the new one automatically, or do I have to enter them all in?

I ask because I have a lousy phone, so I got a decent phone on Craigslist and then a better deal came up on a fancier phone with an mp3 player, so I have two different new phones I want to try, and it will be a pain to manually enter my info into both.

I’m asking this here because I figure I’ll get blasted as a n00b if I ask it in a cellphone forum.

I just went through the process with Verizon. When you go on the web to activate your phone, the first step is to check if your current phone has something called Backup Assistant. It’s a program that if you don’t have you can download and install on your current phone. It syncs your contacts to Verizon, and when you activate your new phone will sync them to it. For my phone, it also sent over the alarms I had set on my old phone.

My Wife just went from a very old pre sim card clam shell with no usb port to a new Droid. There was no way to do it on line.

I took both phones to a Verizon dealer and for $10 they where able to make the transfer. I think it’s pretty common. They didn’t even bat an eye.

I suspect that that is what you will have to do.

I recently upgraded phones with Verizon, but because my old phone was a holdover from Alltel the Backup Assistant option wasn’t available. I ended up using Bluetooth to share the contacts one-at-a-time from the old phone to the new. I have a few dozen contacts and it took maybe five minutes.

I believe that the brick-and-mortar cellphone stores (both those selling Verizon cellphones and those selling their competitors’ cellphones) tend to cite free-and-easy transfer of your contact/etc information from your old cellphone to your new one as one of the reasons to purchase your new cellphone from the brick-and-mortar store rather than online. Certainly they did those transfers for my wife and I when we replaced our old dumb cellphones with smartphones about six months ago. Note that the real reason why those brick-and-mortar stores want you to purchase your new cellphone from them is that they don’t make any money if you purchase your new cellphone online. :slight_smile:
Transferring contact information from an old smartphone to a new one should be a lot simpler process, and I can see that working regardless of where you purchase your new cellphone. Both my wife and now I have the contact information on our Android-based smartphones automatically synched to our gmail accounts, so presumably any new smartphone we purchased would automatically grab its contact information from those gmail accounts, effectively synching it up with our old smartphones.

What I worry about now that I have a smartphone is the transfer of my downloaded applications to any new phones - particularly those apps that weren’t free.

I’d concur. We have backup assistant on our Verizon phones and we can even edit the contacts list online. Per this link, it can be used as you desire.

IIRC, there was a fee for it, unless you set up your account for online billing etc. - which of course I had done anyway.