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Question: smartphone plans?

September 3rd, 2021 at 03:08 am

I've been using a basically "dumb" cell phone on a prepaid plan with Tracfone for over a decade.  In the past few years, I've coupled the dumb-phone with an iPod Touch, which has allowed me to access various apps as long as I am connected to WiFi.

I have been thinking of a while now of upgrading to a "real" cell phone and a monthly service plan, rather than the prepaid phone that I have now.  I got a kick in the pants about doing this today when Tracfone messaged me that my phone is no longer supported on their networks and that I can expect to start seeing my calls dropped or unable to go through progressively more often.

I need the phone for my job (especially once we are out and about more; we still have 2/3s of our client meetings over Zoom), but I've never researched cell phone plans.  Since I'm used to the iPod Touch, I'm planning to go with an iPhone, but I'd be curious to hear about what cell service plans people have and like and especially *why* you like --or dislike-- your plan.

It's just me, so I won't get any benefit from any family plan.

Any thoughts you care to share are appreciated!

4 Responses to “Question: smartphone plans?”

  1. MonkeyMama Says:

    We've been with Ting for a decade? It's very pay-as-you-go, though they may have more unlimited plans now. They had a big shake up a while ago, I think we went unlimited data/text but only pay for data we use. We may have been Grandfathered, you will have to see what they offer today. But it's super affordable and they use Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon networks. Will generally assign you what is strongest in your area, but you could pick and choose in the past (maybe still can).

    I think the other thing is you have to decide if you are a high data user. We personally stick to wifi as much as possible (mostly home and work) and just aren't big data users. If you want to livestream movies while out and about... I honestly don't know what people use data for. We don't use it, I don't know what other people do. The high data users can give you their tips.

    I am looking it up right now. We pay $10/month (per phone) for unlimited data and texts. It's $5 for 1,000 megabytes. Most the time we just pay the $10/each and maybe split $5 or $10 of data 5 ways. When our kids are grown, we may go wild and crazy and get a couple of unlimited lines. But I am focused on mega cheap while paying for so many people.

  2. CB in the City Says:

    I got a similar message from Straight Talk. I actually have a fairly new smartphone that I don't think they knew about, but anyway I have to go get a new sim card from Walmart. I have been satisfied with Straight Talk, but now that they are migrating to the 5G network I don't know if they are an inexpensive option anymore (because of the phone you would need).

  3. Dido Says:

    CB, I'm pretty sure that even if they add 5G capability, your 4G phone will still work! They tend to do things so that they will be downwardly compatable--at least up to a point. Sounds as though your new phone will work, at least with the new SIM card. My old cellphone dates from January 2013, so that's more than 8 years where it worked.

  4. Dido Says:

    MM, thanks for the info. I'm pretty sure that I won't be a high data user for the most part. Since the pandemic, I spend virtually all of my time at either my home or my office (1 mile away). Since getting vaccinated, I might eat at a restaurant with outdoor service and I go grocery shopping, etc, but that's it. At some point in the future (post-pandemic levels of COVID and after my senior kitty is gone), I will travel again, but except for occasional spikes, I'll still spend most of my time at home or at work. So I'll start with a low-data plan and see how much/little I use. Thinking about Consumer Cellular as they have an AARP discount and are supposed to have good customer service, but I'm still checking it out.

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