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Thread: Need advice on cheap phone just used for voice and texting.

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    Veteran Member Treedbear's Avatar
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    Need advice on cheap phone just used for voice and texting.

    I hardly use my cell phone but need to have one. Several years ago I had my land line number transferred to an AT&T GoPhone which cost about $40 and required that I make an annual deposit of $100 into my account that gets charged about 20 cents a minute for all voice and something less for texting. So that's about $8/month, which saved me money compared to my land line, and I always have money left in there when I need to ante up again. So now the world is going crazy with 5G and my old phone doesn't meet the minimum requirements, which I understand from talking to the AT&T rep is some version or 4G. I don't want to be charged for data. I just want a user friendly phone, preferably a flip phone, for voice and texting and which I can bring to the AT&T store and have them swap the SIM cards. The guy at the store had one phone available called an AT&T Cingular Flip IV that's priced at $62 and I can keep the same plan as I have with the GoPhone. Only problem with it seems to be an issue with the user interface. One reviewer says there's a very thin ring for scrolling up/down/left/right which you need a sharp fingernail to press. Also it requires more clicks to select simple functions than is usually the case. So I'm looking for alternatives, and I'm being blown away with what people are willing to pay for phones these days. Apparently low cost phones are anything less than $500. That borders on mania if you ask me. I have my phone and my computer and I still use an old fashioned digital camera that just takes pictures. I've scanned the internet and it's hard to find anyone offering advice for my niche. Can anyone point me in the right direction with the basic requirements I need to look for in terms of what's going to be compatible with my needs? Thanks so much.

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    the baby-eater
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    I have been using Consumer Cellular for 4 years. Unlimited voice and data for a simple flip phone is $25 a month. Limit voice to around 300 minutes and its $20. Govt taxes and fees are around $5.

    Customer service has been great. My flip phone was about $30. Call them up to sign up and thy will send you an activated phone. You own the phone.

    No contract cancel any time.

    You can get them at Target if one is close.

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    Contributor skepticalbip's Avatar
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    Need advice on cheap phone just used for voice and texting.
    It sounds like you have about as much use for telephones as I do. I am on the same ATT go-phone plan as you... $100/year. About a year ago my flip phone was destroyed when I capsized my sail boat - electronics and salt water aren't very compatible. I bought a replacement at Walmart (~$40 to $45 if I remember correctly) that looks very much like the one bigfield linked to except it has an ATT logo rather than the Alcatel logo. The sym-card could not be swapped (so I lost the stored numbers) because they had changed but it does operate with 4G.

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    Veteran Member Treedbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skepticalbip View Post
    Need advice on cheap phone just used for voice and texting.
    It sounds like you have about as much use for telephones as I do. I am on the same ATT go-phone plan as you... $100/year. About a year ago my flip phone was destroyed when I capsized my sail boat - electronics and salt water aren't very compatible. I bought a replacement at Walmart (~$40 to $45 if I remember correctly) that looks very much like the one bigfield linked to except it has an ATT logo rather than the Alcatel logo. The sym-card could not be swapped (so I lost the stored numbers) because they had changed but it does operate with 4G.
    That might be the way to go. I'm leery of ordering one on Amazon because there's so many gotcha's like whether it's "unlocked" or whatever. Everything has some complicated contract attached to it. But I imagine Walmart has an easy return policy if it turns out it won't work with AT&T's service (whose store is across the street). How easy is it to use? I mean as far as navigating menu's and such? It looks a lot like the one AT&T offered me. So you still just pay the $100/yr and no data charges?

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    Contributor skepticalbip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treedbear View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skepticalbip View Post
    Need advice on cheap phone just used for voice and texting.
    It sounds like you have about as much use for telephones as I do. I am on the same ATT go-phone plan as you... $100/year. About a year ago my flip phone was destroyed when I capsized my sail boat - electronics and salt water aren't very compatible. I bought a replacement at Walmart (~$40 to $45 if I remember correctly) that looks very much like the one bigfield linked to except it has an ATT logo rather than the Alcatel logo. The sym-card could not be swapped (so I lost the stored numbers) because they had changed but it does operate with 4G.
    That might be the way to go. I'm leery of ordering one on Amazon because there's so many gotcha's like whether it's "unlocked" or whatever. Everything has some complicated contract attached to it. But I imagine Walmart has an easy return policy if it turns out it won't work with AT&T's service (whose store is across the street). How easy is it to use? I mean as far as navigating menu's and such? It looks a lot like the one AT&T offered me. So you still just pay the $100/yr and no data charges?
    Operation and navigation through the menus are pretty much the same as the one I had for years before dunking it in the ocean. It does have one menu for frequently called numbers that took me a while to figure out how to set up though. Walmart didn't have anyone available to switch my old service and number to the new phone (the sym-card not being able to be swapped) so I took it down the street to the ATT store and they set it up with my old go-phone service. So the service (including the credit for unused time) was transferred to the new phone.

    There was no change in the go-phone service plan, still $100/year with no data charges.

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    Veteran Member Treedbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skepticalbip View Post
    ...

    There was no change in the go-phone service plan, still $100/year with no data charges.
    Nice! Thanks!

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    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Yeah, modern "phones" aren't really phones at all, they're pocket computers.

    My phone I use for a huge number of different purposes, but only very rarely as a device for talking to people.

    I would certainly agree that that purpose is better served by an inexpensive single purpose device.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Yeah, modern "phones" aren't really phones at all, they're pocket computers.

    My phone I use for a huge number of different purposes, but only very rarely as a device for talking to people.

    I would certainly agree that that purpose is better served by an inexpensive single purpose device.
    Separate devices mean more things to carry. I'd prefer one general-purpose device.

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    Contributor skepticalbip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Yeah, modern "phones" aren't really phones at all, they're pocket computers.

    My phone I use for a huge number of different purposes, but only very rarely as a device for talking to people.

    I would certainly agree that that purpose is better served by an inexpensive single purpose device.
    Separate devices mean more things to carry. I'd prefer one general-purpose device.
    I only carry one device, the one I have a use for. Apparently Treedbear has found that he doesn't need the functions of a computer and internet service when away from home either but needs a phone.

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