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Why I don't bother with a Smartphone

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Why I don't bother with a Smartphone

#1 Post by RealBlackStuff » Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:53 pm

My wife (who has an iPhone) insists that I have an always working phone with me when I leave the house.
But more often than not, that phone remains on a kitchen shelf at home.

A few days ago I got an annual (the whole of 2018) overview of my mobile/cell phone use.
Phone Company [XYZ] wrote:Here’s a look back at your usage from the previous year. By keeping tabs on how much you’re using, we can work together
to make sure you’re always getting the service that’s right for your needs.

6
MINUTES THIS YEAR
[XYZ] customers used more than 946 million minutes in 2018. That’s enough to spend three minutes talking to every single person in the United States!
What important people did you use most of your 6 minutes catching up with?

0
TEXTS THIS YEAR
Last year, our customers sent 363 million texts. With an average text being about 7 words, they would have filled around 25,000 novels.

0 MB
DATA THIS YEAR
In 2018, our average customer used enough data to send more than 5,000 emails or make 1,500 Facebook posts.

$14.43
AVERAGE BILL
Here’s what you paid on average for your service each month during the past year.
Our low monthly rates are just one of the many reasons [XYZ] has the most loyal customers in wireless!
I'm retired and nowadays I spend most of my time at home, where we have a landline phone.
In my working years I drove about 60,000 miles a year, nowadays it's less than 4,000 miles!

Question for you: which Phone Company am I with?
And is there perhaps a cheaper solution?

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Re: Why I don't bother with a Smartphone

#2 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:34 pm

Which is that phone you had again? I remember vaguely a white and red phone that did nothing more than make phone calls.
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Re: Why I don't bother with a Smartphone

#3 Post by RealBlackStuff » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:02 pm

Correct it's this red Doro EasyPhone 626.
A piece of crap, that you have to hold EXACTLY over your ear opening, otherwise you won't hear a thing!
Before I had a much better Pantech Breeze C520 but that was only 2G, which is no longer supported.

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Re: Why I don't bother with a Smartphone

#4 Post by exTPfan » Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:27 pm

CONSUMER CELLULAR

I used 115 minutes; 0 texts; 13MB data; av bill $15.96.

So you win.

I have a smartphone because I could never remember how to make the nonsmartphone work.
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Re: Why I don't bother with a Smartphone

#5 Post by shawross » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:48 pm

I use my smartphone to give me an internet connection via wifi hotspot. But I also get all calls in Aus free and free sms I don't have a landline. I can call international free through Line app. I am a light user for calls and use the loud speaker option so I don't have to hold it against my head.

I pay $26 AUD /month and I get 40 GB of data which is usable anywhere in Aus.

You need to add up what you pay for landline, internet and smartphone access to gauge your overall bill.
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Re: Why I don't bother with a Smartphone

#6 Post by pianowizard » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:58 pm

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:53 pm
And is there perhaps a cheaper solution?
Yes, FreedomPop has a free plan that includes, per month, 200 minutes of phone calls, 500 SMS messages, and 500MB data. I have had two smartphones on FreedomPop for just over 3 years and never had problems with data usage, although I haven't done enough texting or talking to know how reliable those are. If you are seriously considering switching to FreedomPop, I would be happy to use these phones to make a few phone calls and send/receive a few texts over the next couple weeks to check.
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Re: Why I don't bother with a Smartphone

#7 Post by MikalE » Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:17 pm

I use an average of 20 minutes a month. I don't text, and wi-fi is free at work, and of course at home.

I have used up to a half a gig per month in the past.
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Re: Why I don't bother with a Smartphone

#8 Post by TPFanatic » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:21 pm

I have an old 2014 smartphone, LG F6 D500. When the buttons on it broke in the rain, I bought the replacement F6 for $23 on eBay. No need to drop hundreds on a new smartphone every year when the cheap old one does the job. I use it primarily for calling and text.

I do pay monthly for data tho. :?
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Re: Why I don't bother with a Smartphone

#9 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:25 pm

I have a Google Pixel. I want a headphone jack...I want a small screen...and I want it to be affordable. I bought it 2 years after release....no way I'm paying 800$ for it. After this...I still havent found another phone I like. When it dies or the battery runs dead, I'll probably replace the battery or just buy another one. Until the phone manufacturers get the 1100$ jackless bezeless phablet idea out of their butt, I'm not buying another phone.
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Re: Why I don't bother with a Smartphone

#10 Post by dr_st » Thu Feb 14, 2019 2:45 am

Of course, if you are the kind of person who hardly ever uses a cellphone at all, not even for calls and texts, a smartphone won't improve your life in any way.

I have had a cellphone since Y2K, and have gotten used to using it as a phone, before smartphones came around. Having so many computers, I felt I haven't needed a smartphone for a long time, and haven't bothered with one till I got one for (almost) free from my workplace about 3.5 years ago. At that point I decided it would be a good opportunity to get into the world of smartphones, and also Android app programming. Both turned out to be extremely pleasant experiences, and now it would be impossible for me to go back.

WhatsApp, Telegram and similar messengers are much better alternatives to SMS/MMS (and often to e-mail); the ability to get onto the internet for something quick on the go is also quite handy at times. I don't typically use the GPS (or even turn it on), but once or twice that came out very valuable as well.

Since I got this phone I broke it completely twice from drops on concrete - first time it was replaced thanks to the workplaces' extended service contract; the second time it was already past the contract's expiration date, but I was so used to the phone and liked it, that I just grabbed a refurb of the same model, rather than spending a lot of $$$ on a new model and then spending time to adapt to it.

The phone is the Asus Zenfone 2, BTW.
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Re: Why I don't bother with a Smartphone

#11 Post by GrifterGuru » Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:42 am

I did, form november 2011, use smatphones. I had my first "mobile" (cell) in 1998.

Starting with an LG android (Nov 2011), through an iPhone 3Gs (Feb 2012) and onto a brand-new iPhone 4s (Gift from Mrs) in (June 2012).

Never have liked smart phones, never will like them. Occasionally useful, most of the time a pain. It's akin to having a tracking device on you 24/7.

After 7 years, I switched back to the Ericsson GA628 I have had since 1998 in November last year and suddenly I once again enjoy peace and quite, I am able to enjoy travel again and engage in conversations with people on trains/buses et-al because I don't have my head buried in a micro-computer called a phone anymore. Neither do I have stupid "pop" music as a ringtone, not that I ever did, even if I had that option.

Whats even better is my battery does not drain very fast so lasts longer, the calls are a lot clearer, I can dial a number, talk to someone and when the call is finished, the phone goes back onto my belt, or in my pocket. If needs be, I can even switch the battery for a fully charged one should I need to, not that I do.

Replacement costs if the phone was damaged? next to nothing!
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Re: Why I don't bother with a Smartphone

#12 Post by RealBlackStuff » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:35 am

pianowizard wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:58 pm
Yes, FreedomPop has a free plan that includes, per month, 200 minutes of phone calls, 500 SMS messages, and 500MB data.
Thanks for this!
I went onto their website https://www.freedompop.com/ to look around.
Initially you can check availability in your area, after which they want you to buy one of their cell phones, if you like it.
I had no interest in that, so I just left an email address and then switched off.
This morning, instead of buying a cell phone, they offered to just buy a SIM-card for $0.01 incl. free shipping!
Too good to be true?
This El Cheapo offer comes with some free trials for 14 days, but you can (supposedly) change "back" to free use at any time.
And there's the "dirty": apparently shipping can take up to 10 days after you order, and you cannot change or cancel your account-plan until you have received AND activated your new SIM-card!
This last bit of info comes via email AFTER you have bought your $0.01 SIM-card (I paid for mine with PayPal).
I'll wait for that SIM card with Argus eyes and immediately change back/cancel any and all "free trials" as soon as I have activated that card.
Will keep you informed how things go.

Worth the $0.01 gamble!

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Re: Why I don't bother with a Smartphone

#13 Post by pianowizard » Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:18 pm

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:35 am
Worth the $0.01 gamble!
Certainly. FreedomPop makes money through: 1) selling refurbished old phones for more than what they're worth; 2) users who actually pay for those non-free phone plans; and 3) people who use the free plans but accidentally exceed their monthly quota, and get charged something like 2 cents per MB over the quota. I am in category #3 and to avoid accidentally using too much data, I have set a monthly data limit on both of my phones that are on FreedomPop's free plans. Since you use your cell phone so infrequently, I don't think you need to worry about this.
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Re: Why I don't bother with a Smartphone

#14 Post by jdrou » Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:16 pm

I have an Alcatel (382G?) non-smart phone on TracFone. Started with something like 1200 minutes 3 years ago and still have 1000+ left. I just buy a $50 '365 service days' card every year (involves a bit of a trick: on TracFone site you put a small airtime card in your cart then it will offer to add the 365 card; you accept that then remove the airtime card). I bought this to replace my landline phone; most of my actual phone use is on a smartphone that my company pays for.
My mom & stepdad have also been using TracFone for even longer, now with smartphones though.
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Re: Why I don't bother with a Smartphone

#15 Post by RealBlackStuff » Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:53 am

(Lack of) Progress report:
I received the SIM-card already on 02/19/2019.
I tried the card in a Doro 626, an LG B470 and a Samsung Galaxy 'S' Captivate SGH-i897 (leftover from our daughter).
All three are unlocked.
I found out that you need an Android or iPhone for this FreedomPop.
The Doro and LG both are neither, but the Samsung turned out to be an Android phone, hurray!
Until I realized that it had Android 2.2 Froyo, rather old apparently.
Messed around with it for almost 2 days, but couldn't get the Android software updated.
Guess that phone was too old (from 2010).

My wife uses an iPhone 5 and there FreedomPop worked perfectly.
So for $64 (eBay) I bought a similar, unlocked iPhone 5s for myself.
Should be here in a few days.
Do a bit more testing and if everything is OK, I will also order such a SIM-card for my wife.
Current cell phone bills:
$175.- total of my own annual cellphone bills ($14.43 / month)
$300.- total of my wife annual cellphone bills ($25.00 / month)

Then it's time to cancel both our phone contracts from Consumer Cellular!
OLD: $475,- per year Consumer Cellular
NEW: $000,- per year FreedomPop.

Wow, what a find! Thank you again, pianowizard!

BTW, if anyone knows of a similar option in Ireland, please let me know!

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Re: Why I don't bother with a Smartphone

#16 Post by pianowizard » Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:18 am

Congratulations! Now, to ensure that you will never accidentally use too much data, go to your phone's settings and specify a monthly data limit.

I wasn't too optimistic when recommending FreedomPop to you because you seem to be in a fairly rural area. You may still want to try it for another week or so before canceling your current phone plans.
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Re: Why I don't bother with a Smartphone

#17 Post by madicetea » Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:57 pm

Huh, interesting. Will do some reading.
Last edited by madicetea on Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:24 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Why I don't bother with a Smartphone

#18 Post by skx » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:35 pm

I have to say I cannot imagine a life without a smartphone anymore. I travel extensively since the last 5 years, it can be my only personal device to connect to the overseas world for extensive periods of time. BUT this doesnt mean I spent 1000 eur on a device like the millennial hipsters. I right now use a Lineage OS flashed Xiaomi Mi A1 (tissot) device which I bought for 180eur. Badass 5,5 inch screen, double sim, 64gb internal storage and 4gb of ram. Value for money wise a steal if you can flash lineage yourself. Would not trust the stock chinese android rom though :mrgreen:
Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:25 pm
I have a Google Pixel. I want a headphone jack...I want a small screen...and I want it to be affordable. I bought it 2 years after release....no way I'm paying 800$ for it. After this...I still havent found another phone I like. When it dies or the battery runs dead, I'll probably replace the battery or just buy another one. Until the phone manufacturers get the 1100$ jackless bezeless phablet idea out of their [censored], I'm not buying another phone.
It seems we almost are similar user types :mrgreen: Look into Xiaomi, these do have the headphone jacks :lol:
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Re: Why I don't bother with a Smartphone

#19 Post by RealBlackStuff » Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:49 am

(The Final) Progress Report:
As it turned out, my wife has an iPhone 6s (not 5 as previously noted).
I bought an unlocked iPhone 5s on eBay for $64.- for my FreedomPop use.
But when it arrived, it turned out that this iPhone was NOT unlocked.
Returned it for full refund.
Found another iPhone 5s on eBay, this time for $63.-
But when it arrived, it turned out to be WAY better than advertised!
Instead of an iPhone 5s from 2013, it turned out to be an iPhone SE from 2016, with 32GB memory!
It also came with an air vent mount for use in the car.
And of course this time it really was unlocked and removed from the iCloud as well.
So, long story short, FreedomPop worked OOTB after installation of the App, and my daughter set up web-messaging and Skype, which also goes free to other iPhone users.
So the whole family is now on iPhone!
The SIM-card from FreedomPop is a GSM-based LTE 4G, that 'latches on' to AT&T.
I got the phone on March 4, and have since made already 3 calls!
It still usually sits on a shelf at home, forgotten and/or ignored, mostly unused.
The End.

PS: I told an UNtruth in the original title - I had to switch to a Smartphone to avoid any phone bill.

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Re: Why I don't bother with a Smartphone

#20 Post by DucatiThumper » Mon May 13, 2019 2:39 pm

I have cell service with Google Fi. $20 for unlimited calls and texts. Pay per data used. Im always around WiFi so it works best for me.

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