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Which Phone would make a good "transition" phone?


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  1. RodBsr

    RodBsr Active Member

    I know (Sprint, Boost) and VIRGIN have some "feature" phones that are not actually smartphones but they are 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?

    Thanks!

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  2. mogelijk

    mogelijk Well-Known Member

    My personal recommendation is to just get a smartphone. I don't think a "transition" phone really does any favors. My experience with those types of phones is, to use features beyond the basic phone, are actually more difficult (less intuitive) than learning Android. Plus, they will still have a similar learning curve, again, when the eventually switch from a transition phone to a smartphone.

    While Android and other smartphones can look daunting when someone first starts looking, they are fairly easy to learn to use. Once people have learned to use smartphones and are using them, they tend to be glad they made the switch (and often regret having waited so long).
    trekleech and RodBsr like this.
  3. RodBsr

    RodBsr Active Member

    Thanks mogeljk. Then I guess that begs the question... what makes a good "starter" smartphone for a first timer?
  4. LoganH

    LoganH Well-Known Member

    You could try the LG Rumor Touch as more of an advanced basic phone however they don't sell it anymore so you would have to go on Amazon and do some digging. But you might as well just go ahead and get a smartphone as mentioned in 2 posts above me, I would recommend the Galaxy Reverb or if you have 4G towers in your area then go ahead with the EVO V.
  5. keisukehonda

    keisukehonda Well-Known Member

    You can get the HTC EVO V right now from VM's website for $150, which is ridiculously cheap considering it used to cost $300. The Kyocera Rise is also available for $80, though I'd recommend getting the EVO V as its the most phone/$$$. Buying a "lower end" phone may initially seem like a good idea, but it may cost you more money in the long run as you'll be rushing to upgrade once you realized that the cheap phone lacks memory/screen resolution/power/speed.
  6. mogelijk

    mogelijk Well-Known Member

    I suppose some of it has to do with how much you are willing to spend. There are a few possibilities, each with advantages and disadvantages.

    The least expensive I'd likely consider is the Optimus Elite, which is selling for roughly $90 on the VM website right now. It is a relatively basic phone but with enough power and memory to be a good starter phone.

    In think the One V could be good, though it is a bit more at $120 currently on VM's site. For the money, it has some advantages over the Elite. One key factor is how the person would feel about having a built in battery; for some, not being able to replace the battery is a deal breaker.

    In some ways I don't like the Evo V as a first phone. While it is a good deal at $150 (VM's site and at Walmart), the separate band for Wimax could be confusing to a new smartphone user (though would improve their user experience with better speeds). It also has the 3D, which while many people like it, is an extra item that would subtly increase the learning curve. There is also the radio issue that some Evo's are having, which has caused issues sending/receiving text messages.

    I think for a first smartphone, they'd be better off with a 3G phone. I'd go with one of 3G phones and then upgrade, when they are wanting a better smartphone, to an LTE phone, which should be available in a couple of months.

    Last, I'll agree that the Galaxy Reverb seems to be a good phone, though it is the most expensive of the 3G phones at $160 currently on the VM website. From what I've seen, people seem to have fewer problems with this phone than most of the other VM phones.

    Of course, what phones people like tend to be based on personal preference. Another issue to take into account is what size phone they feel most comfortable with. While I'm getting comfortable with larger phones (larger than 4 inch screen), some people prefer smaller phones because they fit more comfortably in their hand. Others prefer the larger screens for readability. So much with how a phone feels in your hand and how it looks is personal preference.

    Ultimately, what will be a good first smartphone is likely to be based on personal preference.
  7. RodBsr

    RodBsr Active Member

    Well cost is not much of an issue. But at the same time I don't want to just "throw it all around" out there either. We are looking at everything right now. From $10 phones on pay as you go to $500 phones on $70 per month off contract plans and everything in between. Not really thinking iPhones are worth the extra cost so not really looking at them although some we know have them and love them. I don't feel their extra cost are worth it... sorry to iPhone folks.

    As for advantages and disadvantages... the more I read about all phones the more I find there just isn't any phones that seemingly are good at everything. Our main concern is... believe it or not in these days and times... actual call quality with good texting coming in second. In other words on the spot communication. We have computers of all kinds and real camera's so not that much of a need with those things. Nice to have everything I know but the most important to me is actual call quality. But again I read and read and see so many faults... poor call quality... poor battery life... poor texting... it's always something with each phone I look at... even the most expensive phones.

    Contracts are not in my belief system by the way. Yes I'm older.

    I have looked at the Reverb, Elite and One V and all are in the running. Glad you all are confiming my thinking... that greatly helps me so thank you all very much. I greatly appreciate all the input... not being a big techie type myself.
  8. LoganH

    LoganH Well-Known Member

    If it helps you any the call quality on my EVO V is really good and the call quality could also be dependent upon the coverage you have in your area. Like for instance I'm in a metro area so I get full bars usually and that might have something to do with the quality.

    Also HTC has pushed an update to the EVO V which fixes all texting issues that the phone used to have.
  9. Ranhead

    Ranhead Well-Known Member

    I've only had a smart phone since June, and have only tried two phones (LG Elite and EVO V). What I have noticed with these two phones:


    1. The Elite is nice sized and runs really well - but the screen is not the greatest.

    2. The Evo V is a bit big, runs great and has a nice big clear and bright screen. (My Evo makes my wife's 4s screen look crappy ..... much to her dismay - hehe.)


    The very first thing I noticed with a smart phone is REALLY bad battery life compared to a "dumb" phone. I have to charge them daily instead of twice a week. The exception is getting a big old Laza battery for the EVO V. I can get 3.5 days on a charge, but that makes the phone even bigger.

    I also recommend rooting your phone and installing the Harmonia ROM to start with. The Elite is extremely easy to root. The EVO V a bit more work, but there is a video to help out. Rooting and flashing a ROM will generally improve the battery life and performance of your phone. Plus rooting gives you access to things like WiFi Tether, backup software and add blocking software.
  10. mogelijk

    mogelijk Well-Known Member

    With this answer, I'll tell you that IMO the absolute best phone you can get is the Nexus 4 from the Google Play store, at least if they ever get back in stock. Jellybean is nicer than other Android versions -- while it is very similar to Ice Cream Sandwich, it runs much smoother. It has the additional advantage of being a clean, stock Android with no bloatware added. You also get Android updates as Google releases them. It is also a "3G" phone but gets 4G speeds because of HSPA+.

    Of course, the other side of that coin is that the phone doesn't work on Virgin Mobile. Instead, I'd recommend either T-Mobile Monthly -- they have a $30/month plan that gives 100 minutes (if you go over, additional minutes are 10 cents each) with 5GB of un-throttled data. If you need more minutes or T-Mobile is lacking in coverage in your area, then I'd probably suggest Straight Talk for $45/month with unlimited talk and about 2 GB of data using AT&T's network.
  11. RodBsr

    RodBsr Active Member

    I have read up on the Nexus and have looked at Tmo plans and that is on the table. I have seen the nexus has trouble staying in stock but maybe that will slow down eventually.

    I've looked at Straight Talk. My concern with them is support. None of us are very technical so support is also something we think about. I've read a lot about how poor ST support is. Of course I know most will say that is industry wide but I've always had great support at my local Tmo retail store and I'm a little hesitant about moving away from a local place I can actually walk into for help.

    by the way I'm in the greater metro Detroit area so everyone has pretty good coverage here except I see in ratings Sprint's network lags behind a bit. Others get four out of four while Sprint's network gets three out of four however this is for data... all get four out of four for voice. And metropcs is strong here too. All have retail outlets everywhere... almost on every corner it seems.

    I'm not a fan of Verizon or AT&T... or anything that used to be a part of the old Bell monopoly. If something uses that network... well I guess I could deal with that much. But I won't be a direct Verizon or AT&T customer. That narrows things a bit. And again with ST (along with tracfone and net10) support... that sort of puts them near or at the bottom of our list. Again... cost will not be the determining factor... service and support is more important.

    Thanks to all for the very good input. I knew I could count on the people here for that! I'm learning and narrowing our lists!
  12. RodBsr

    RodBsr Active Member

    I guess I should add my current go to phone is a very old but very trusty Nokia 6010 on Tmo pay as you go. I have had metropcs in the past when their coverage was pretty poor but the phone and service were good. Support... not so much. I've also used tracfone where service was fine but support was non existent. Others involved have everything from iPhones to flip phones all from various carriers. Most phones are old now hence our readiness to spend some money.
  13. mogelijk

    mogelijk Well-Known Member

    One suggestion on the Nexus is to go and see one in a T-Mobile store. T-Mobile sells the Nexus 4, when it is in stock, and hopefully they still have a demo you can play with.

    Since you say support is important to you, I might recommend staying with T-Mobile. Virgin Mobile support is very hit and miss. Much of their phone support is outsourced to Asia, so it can sometimes be hard to understand their English. Additionally, some are not well trained and, worse, try to bluff their way through phone calls -- sometimes giving incorrect information in the process. By contrast, the few times I've needed to deal with T-Mobile support I've had a good experience. My experience seems to be rather consistent with what I have read on this forum.

    Hope this helps, and feel free to ask if you need more help.
    RodBsr likes this.
  14. aurora40

    aurora40 Well-Known Member

    If you want a basic phone where the main phone stuff "just works", but has some more connectivity features than a flip phone, get an Optimus V. It's small, easy to use, and has reasonable battery life. They are pretty old now, but they were quite popular and so are probably easy to find used in good shape. For many people (me included), this was their first foray into smartphones, sort of the gateway-phone if you will.

    Otherwise, the PayLo phones are exactly what you are asking about:
    Virgin Mobile | Compare No Contract Android-Powered and Feature Phones
    RodBsr likes this.
  15. Ranhead

    Ranhead Well-Known Member

    When price really isn't an issue, I don't think a V is a good choice. Yeah they were a nice phone in their day, but now they are dated. I don't even think you can buy a new one anymore.

    If you have good T-Mobile coverage, Nexus is the way to go ... IMO. I would if I could, but I'm too rural for T-Mobile. Virgin Mobile is cheap and slow .... much like me :D. So I went with an EVO V.
  16. aurora40

    aurora40 Well-Known Member

    How is cost not an issue on a starter phone? If it's no issue, and an easy to use phone is wanted, an iPhone is the obvious answer. Except the OP already said that's too much money.

    And unlike an Evo V, the Optimus works out of the box as a normal phone. It doesn't throw resource errors or the like. You can call and text with it reliably. And it adds in some extras like email and web browsing that feature phones don't have (or have crappy implementations of).

    The Optimus V isn't a good smart phone. But it's a good phone phone, and the OP was asking about non-smartphones and the like.
  17. RodBsr

    RodBsr Active Member

    What I said...

    "Well cost is not much of an issue. But at the same time I don't want to just "throw it all around" out there either. We are looking at everything right now. From $10 phones on pay as you go to $500 phones on $70 per month off contract plans and everything in between. Not really thinking iPhones are worth the extra cost so not really looking at them although some we know have them and love them. I don't feel their extra cost are worth it... sorry to iPhone folks.

    Could I buy iPhones? Yes, but I don't think they are worth the extra cost.
    Ranhead likes this.
  18. RodBsr

    RodBsr Active Member

    Also some do want smartphones while others just want old fashioned make and take calls phones.
  19. aurora40

    aurora40 Well-Known Member

    Sorry if you think I misquoted you, or insulted your ability to spend money. I guess I have no idea what you are asking. If you are considering a $500 feature phone, I've got nothing relevant to share as I can't fathom that.
  20. RodBsr

    RodBsr Active Member

    The $500 phones of course would not be feature phones. Again as I've said "we" are "looking" at "everything" right now but MY main need is talk and for that a good basic or feature phone would fill the bill. Some want a smartphone for their own use but for work it would not be needed.

    I'm probably either not giving enough info or I'm giving too much and confusing people... I'm sure I'm at fault here... not others but I'm learning a lot and that's a good thing! Thanks to all for your contributions.
  21. RodBsr

    RodBsr Active Member

    reminder... my posting is NOT just about me but several people involved with me. And several phones.
  22. riggerman0421

    riggerman0421 Well-Known Member

    Actually, the Evo has an ota update that fixes all the issues. My wife just bought one and it works great. No problems with texting, which she does a lot, calling, web browsing, MMS or anything. Its a great phone that works great right out of the box. Oh, and she is getting 18-22 hours of battery life, so no problems getting a full days use ona single charge.
  23. mistichunter

    mistichunter Well-Known Member

    if u want good date speed. and good battery life get the evo 3d.

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