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Old January 19th, 2013, 09:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What is a good transition phone?

I know (Sprint), BOOST (and Virgin) have some "feature" phones that are not actually smartphones but more than a phone that only makes and takes calls so... what would be a good phone for someone looking to "transition" from a basic "make and take calls" phone into a smartphone... what I mean is a basic feature phone that is more advanced yet not actually a smartphone if that is clear enough.

this person wants more than a basic make and take calls phone but they don't feel ready yet for an actual smartphone.

Suggestions?

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Old January 19th, 2013, 10:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If a "transition" phone is not a good idea then what would make a good "starter" or someone's "first" smartphone?
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Old January 19th, 2013, 12:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If money isn't a problem then just go straight to a smartphone. And even then there are some pretty cheap smartphones. There is no such thing as a "starter" smartphone. Android is Android no matter on what device. Of course this excludes differences in android versions and manufacturer's skins (Samsung Touchwiz, HTC Sense, etc). Even then, it mostly works out the same.

As for choosing a phone on Boost, stay away from the Samsung Galaxy Prevail if you can and anything Kyrocera. They're cheap but that shows too much in their design and software.
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Old January 19th, 2013, 04:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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What do you want out of a smartphone ? Reliability .. screen quality .. camera quality ?
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Old January 19th, 2013, 05:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I would just go straight to an android phone because (for Sprint) I would not recommend wasting a 2 year contract on a dumbphone/nonsmartphone.

As far as Boost, there are some good low cost smartphone on their website.

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what would be a good phone for someone looking to "transition" from a basic "make and take calls" phone into a smartphone... what I mean is a basic feature phone that is more advanced yet not actually a smartphone if that is clear enough
For what you are asking for, specifically, the LG Rumor Reflex on Sprint is probably what fits what you are looking for. (3G, GPS, non smartphone) However, I wouldn't waste a 2 year contract on this.
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Old January 19th, 2013, 06:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Not looking to do a contract anyway. And I have looked at the Reflex on the Boost Mobile site.

As for what "we" really want out of a phone... being it is at least half for business purposes... what a "phone" really "used" to be for... call quality. I know... who these days wants that? Well there are still some of us that do. Second would be easy texting and everything else after that. We have computers of all types so data isn't that big of a deal for a phone. Nice to have I guess but not an absolute need. Hard to find phones that seem to be good at everything without costing an arm and leg off contract. The more I read the more I find wrong with all phones. Freezing... poor call quality... poor battery life and more. Oh and we have real camera's too so not a big need there either. Mostly on the spot communication is the real need. Some just are not ready for a smartphone or think they aren't at least. Cost not really an issue but of course don't want to just throw it all around either. Looking at everyone and every phone right now from the $10 pay as you go to $500 phones with $70 per month plans and everything in between... all hopefully no contract. I'm older... contracts are not in my belief system.
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Old January 19th, 2013, 06:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Here is a good article on feature phones(CNET):

Back to cell phone basics: Buying a non-smartphone | Mobile - CNET News
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Old January 19th, 2013, 06:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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That was a good article tube517... thanks!

Three of the phones her collegue recommends are phones "we" are looking at... well two and a varient of one other. The entro... reflex and t139 (instead of the 159) Of course we have a list of smarphones too... all added as we do research. most of us still have old phones... after all they still get the job done... but some are having trouble with some button's not working right anymore or screens that are getting hard to read or batteries that are requiring charging more often all the time so time to upgrade at least somewhat. Personally my favorite phone I own is my old... very old... but very trusty and almost indestructible Nokia 6010. Came out I think in Dec 2003. Some of us still have flip phones too. a rare blackberry for a couple. All are different in their wants, needs and tastes... and everything is open right now... all carriers and all phones as well as all plans OFF CONTRACT until we narrow it down. Always good to get more experienced advice from the people here. Thanks!
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Old January 20th, 2013, 03:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
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You should choose what prepaid provider you want first. Then choose a phone and THEN worry about the particular problems there are with that phone. Then go to some forums about that particular phone and see what issues people are having and how they were solved. There will always be someone that bitches about something for everything.

I think just about everyone will tell you to go straight to a smartphone. It's not like we get paid to do this. You can always return the phone if it's not what you want. At the worst your out of whatever you paid for service and to activate. So don't worry about it too much. Smartphones are just as simple if not even easier than a feature phone.

If you don't think you'll use a lot of data then perhaps Straight Talk would be better for you? If either AT&t and T-mobile have good coverage then take advantage of Straight Talk's 45$ unlimited bring your own device plan. You can buy any unlocked GSM phone and use it on Straight Talk. When they ask what carrier the phone is from just tell them the carrier that has the better coverage for you and ST will send you a Sim card. Or buy a locked GSM phone to use on it's respective network under Straight Talk. Also, you buy a CDMA phone from Straight Talk to use the Sprint network.

Personally, I don't like Straight Talk because I think they're too deceptive to unknowing people. I also use more data then straight talk would like me too. So data is an issue with me. I actually switched from Virgin to Boost just because of Virgin's data cap. However, with Boost's now joining data cap game there's not much separating it from Virgin Mobile. Although Boost's Shrinkage program is nice if you plan to stay awhile.
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Old January 20th, 2013, 08:58 AM   #10 (permalink)
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As for carriers... let me just add that I'm in the greater metro Detroit area so all carrers are pretty strong here. Voice is pretty much four out of four across the board. Sprint's network comes in at three out of four for data while the rest get four out of four. Since voice is the primary concern then all are pretty much tied for networks. I do prefer prepaid and I do prefer NOT having anything to do with Verizon or AT&T or anyone else from the old Bell monopoly. Just my own personal issue.

my current "go to" phone is my very old but very trusty Nokia 6010 on Tmo's pay as you go. We have other phones among us... most of them now old... hence the readiness to upgrade.

We've looked at Straight Talk along with everyone else. I know they use others networks and for that I guess I could stand using AT&T's nework but I won't be an AT&T customer. Sounds crazy I know but it is what it is. My concern with Straight Talk and their other brands (tracfone, net10, etc) is support. Had tracfone long ago and support was non existent. Tmo has been good to me for many years. I like being able to walk into a local "store" and have them treat me well and get done what I need done and that has always been the case these past 8 or 9 years. We have local retail stores for everyone from Tmo to boost to virgin to metropcs to whoever else would have their own retail outlet. They are on almost every corner it seems. Not just dealers but I'm talking corporate stores.

So yes we have been studying carriers as well. Plans too. And that is why I came here because I know how many knowledgeable people hang out here and I knew I would get some great advice which I have and I greatly appreciate that and it WILL help us make our decisions.
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Old January 20th, 2013, 10:28 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RodBsr View Post
As for carriers... let me just add that I'm in the greater metro Detroit area so all carrers are pretty strong here. Voice is pretty much four out of four across the board. Sprint's network comes in at three out of four for data while the rest get four out of four. Since voice is the primary concern then all are pretty much tied for networks. I do prefer prepaid and I do prefer NOT having anything to do with Verizon or AT&T or anyone else from the old Bell monopoly. Just my own personal issue.
Well you just eliminated:
AT&T
Verizon
Net10
Straight Talk
TracFone,
Page Plus
C-Spire

And your left with:
Boost Mobile
Virgin Mobile
T-mobile
Ting
Cricket
MetroPCS
Simple Mobile

I kinda understand your issue with the old Bell monopoly. Anyway, the above are all I'm familiar with. Without going to AT&T, Verizon, and T-mobile most prepaid carriers are MVNO's. Here's a list List of United States mobile virtual network operators - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I've had T-mobile and the coverage was good and data was fast...except at my house. I probably would have stayed otherwise. Monthly 4G Prepaid Plans | Compare Prepaid Data Plans | T-Mobile
I, myself, would only consider the 60$ or 70$ plan. IF you go through your 4G data allotment your slammed down to boring old 2G. Which is not fun on a smartphone.

I don't recommend MetroPCS and Cricket because outside the city they don't perform to well. Simple Mobile runs on T-mobile but like Straight Talk there is a "hidden" data cap they don't share with customers. Ting appears to use the entire nationwide Sprint network, not just the Sprint owned native part. However, I think there are just better plans than Ting offers. If you talk less than 300 minutes a month then get the 35$ plan from Virgin Mobile. If you think you'll stay on the Sprint network for a year a half than choose Boost. For every 6 month's you pay on time Boost will reduce your bill by 5$. Eventually, you'll have unlimited everything for 40$.
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Old January 20th, 2013, 11:20 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Yep you are right. Pretty much paring it down to Tmo, Boost, Virgin and MetroPCS.

Since I always keep two phones (two different carriers) the fact MetroPCS isn't strong everywhere would not be as much of an issue for me.

Plans would have to have unlimited talk and text. Unlimited data if the price was right would be fine but limited data would probably be enough as well. In my office I have two wired phones and two computers and I spend more time in my office than I do out of it but that's just me and my situation. There are others involved.
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Old January 20th, 2013, 01:25 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I would pick between T-mobile or Boost. There's no reason to pay 55$ for unlimited everything on Virgin when Boost has it for the same price, plus the Shrinkage program. However, Virgin always seems to get the better phones.

Metro's home area is quite small. I'm guessing here but I imagine the extended home area is just another name for roaming. They probably reserve the right to boot you since you're costing them money.

Sprint and T-mobile always seem to be upgrading and expanding. There are rumors Virgin and Boost will be getting LTE sometime in Q1 if that's worth something to you.
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Old January 21st, 2013, 09:01 PM   #14 (permalink)
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If you're set on the non smartphone then you can look into the keyboard phones. The Rumor has already been suggested. Add to that the Seek and the Incognito. Nice feature phones without the smarts. If you feel bold then you can go for a cheap smartphone. Nothing too much but still enough to get your feet wet. I'd suggest the Prevail. Keep an eye out for sales. You can snag one for as little as 30... or even free if you start up a new account sometimes.
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