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Questions about smartphones


indigomama
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I am smartphone illiterate. We currently have "dumb phones" and are on my inlaws account, and pay them a very small fee for our phones. We are on a tight budget, it would help my husband to have a smartphone. Some friends gave us two smartphones: an iphone 4 iphone 4s. My husband's idea was to use them with a plan from an online company that uses verizons cell towers.

 

However, they are AT&T phones and we can not use them with the company we had planned on. Someone mentioned, having them "unlocked" but I don't know what that means, and they said it might not work, anyways. Someone else else suggested selling them and trying to buy verizon compatible phones. But I don't know where is the best place to sell them. And then would it be better to buy new or try used again?

 

Can anyone give suggestions?Thanks

 

 

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Are you planning on going with a contract, or a month-to-month no contract plan?  If you sign up for a two year contract, you can usually get a decent smartphone for free or very cheap.  If you're looking to do one of the no contract deals, could you just try AT&T for a month and see if it works for you?

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Are you planning on going with a contract, or a month-to-month no contract plan?  If you sign up for a two year contract, you can usually get a decent smartphone for free or very cheap.  If you're looking to do one of the no contract deals, could you just try AT&T for a month and see if it works for you?

We were trying to go no contract, and the company DH wanted to go through was very well priced, package plan starting at $35. I don't think I can get AT& T at all here. There is no store in town, and when I went online it said they don't service this area.

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We were trying to go no contract, and the company DH wanted to go through was very well priced, package plan starting at $35. I don't think I can get AT& T at all here. There is no store in town, and when I went online it said they don't service this area.

 

Ah.  In that case, you'd probably be better off selling your phones and using the money to buy phones through Verizon.  You could try to unlock them, but the risk is that if you don't know what you're doing (and sometimes, even if you do) you can brick the phone and then you're basically screwed.  Some providers also let you trade in old smartphones toward the value of a new one, so you could contact Verizon and look into doing that.

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I thought that for the cheapest monthly plans, you had to buy the phone through them. That's where they make their money. So I bought an expensive iPhone to get a $30 month unlimited data plan with Virgin Mobile. But other than my own deal, this is not my area of expertise, so I could be wrong!

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I don't know, this was who we were going to go through. A friend of my husband went through them, with an already paid for phone.

 

But honestly, I don't understand any of it. I just know we are in a very limited area: Verizon, US cellular, and Viero are the companies who have actual stores in town. Does anyone know, does that mean I am then limited to only those providers?

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Check out ting.com. They use the Sprint network but are likely less than $35 a month. DS has his smartphone through them and he rarely has a bill over $18 (and this is a kid with heavy wi-fi and texting usage on his smartphone). You have to have a Sprint phone, but they have used options and you can sell the old phones to pay for the new used phone.

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The iPhone 4s was the first Apple phone with a chip that worked on multiple networks, but they are locked by the network provider so that they cannot be used on other networks. If the phone was bought from Apple, I have heard it might be able to be unlocked.

 

I haven't tried this, but here is an idea: see if you can use one of ATTs Go Phone plans. My ds uses one for a dumb phone that is $25/month, no contract, pay as you go, lots of talk minutes, unlimited text, no data. It might be worth asking if you could use this with your phone, since it is paid for. ATT has other plans, $2/day, only on days used, 10 cents/minute.

 

But then you would only be able to use the data part of the phone if you were on a wi- fi network, like at Starbucks. You would not be able to use it for navigation on the road.

 

You could also check T Mobile plans, as ATT phones work on their network, and they have some good plans.

 

Someone in another thread recommended WalMart. They have an amazing array of plans in one place, so it is easy to compare. The least expensive I could find was $45/ month prepaid with unlimited talk and text, plus some data.

 

It might be worth trying out one of the prepaid plans while you see if you like the phone. I still have my 4s and love it! You will also be able to see if ATT works in your area.

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