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Barb Bliss

I need cellphone advice...

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I'm old school in more ways than one.  I've never been in a selfie, let alone take one.  Never sent a text.  While I like the security of having a cell phone (if you can call my clam a cell phone), I've tended to roll my eyes at people I considered addicted to their phones.  I kind of like my clam as it only runs me about $3 a month for pay as you go, and given I'm in front of a computer every work day, why spend a ton of money on something I haven't consider important.  But it's getting harder and harder to get by without a smart phone.  Tickets/deals/even medical reimbursement all require a stupid smart phone.  The straw that has broken this camel's back is a kickstarter game project that requires a smart phone to play it (Chronicles of Crime - check it out).  Ironically enough, it's the only kickstarter project I've backed that's been delivered on schedule (arrives today).  So, I'm looking for advice on cell phone makes/models that don't break the bank (as we all know ALL my disposable cash goes to @Konas), and aren't too "new fangled" for me to figure out how to use.

T-Mobile has an old lady plan (half off if you are "old in the tooth" - also have one for vets fyi) I'm leaning towards signing up for.  But is that deal really a deal?  I just don't know.  My neighbor, Mark, suggested Samsung.

  • What do I need to know about data plans, must haves/avoid like the plague
  • Makes to consider/avoid like the plague
  • Models to consider/avoid like the plague
  • Attachments/accessories to consider or must have

I'm planning on trying to get some sort of Black Friday / Holiday deal (if they exist).  Help me Obi wan.

p.s. Yes.  I'm feeling more and more like my mother, God rest her soul, every day.  She wanted her radio/appliances to have 2 settings: on and off.

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I personally have a Samsung and really like it.  I know people who really like the iphone, and others that really like the Google Pixel.

I know that Samsung has "dumber smart phones" that are the bare minimums which is what I started with before jumping into a full smartphone. I'm not entirely sure if I would recommend that route due primarily to not knowing how well they work with "now a days requirements". But I can't judge either way as I am certainly no expert. But they tend to be the cheapest of the phones. I actually still have my Samsung S6 (I think they are on 9 now) and its still going strong.

I highly recommend going to the physical store and trying out each of the different kinds of cell phones to see which fit your hands better. I tend to ignore the sales person trying to tell me one thing or another as they may or may not have your best interest in mind (some are really good, but others more are looking for commission).

I've seen some really good Black Friday Deals go by so that is definitely worth a look. We got my husband's Samsung S7 for $10 a month (full pay off in 2 years) much better than the $30 a month for 2 years that I see (with Verizon - which is not the cheapest of plans but has the best coverage in our area). Granted I have yet to see that deal come up again...

 

Edited by WxCougar
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I'm woth you Barb. I have been tempted to revert back to a flip phone but haven't had the gumption to do it yet. I don't do social media (FB, LinkedIn, Instagram, or other), but would lose my whatsapp family group.  Maybe someday I'll downgrade.

We use Verizon. It's not the cheapest, but the coverage is great by us. I was on Sprint ages ago, and we could drive down the road with Mrs. Zoxes Verizon phone and watch mine go in and out of service while hers held steady.  More recently, friends and family that dropped Verizon for other types of services quickly came back. But, we can't seem to get coverage at my in-laws house, despite being in a fairly metro area, so your experiences may vary.

I've got an android (Samsung) for personal and work makes me carry an iPhone. I prefer the android, but it's what I'm used to. I am due for an upgrade - This Samsung S6 is chugging a little bit.

Read the fine print on cloud storage. I firmly want to be in control of my data. From what little I know, the pixel relies heavily on cloud storage, and if so I would personally balk at that, but check it out for yourself. 

Since you paint minis, check the camera specs. All the pics I take are with this phone.  I use a different camera app to get more options for exposure levels, but my phone long ago surpassed our digital camera in quality.

 

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Thanks @Zoxe.  Can you explain this below like you were talking to my mother?

"Read the fine print on cloud storage. I firmly want to be in control of my data. From what little I know, the pixel relies heavily on cloud storage, and if so I would personally balk at that, but check it out for yourself. "

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3 hours ago, Barb Bliss said:

Thanks @Zoxe.  Can you explain this below like you were talking to my mother?

"Read the fine print on cloud storage. I firmly want to be in control of my data. From what little I know, the pixel relies heavily on cloud storage, and if so I would personally balk at that, but check it out for yourself. "

Sure. ?

Phones have onboard storage space. Your pictures, web bookmarks, games/apps, whatever goes there. When its full, cant take pictures. When it comes time to offload pics, I insert a cord and open the phone on my laptop.

The cloud storage option means that the phone company is transmitting your pictures and other data wirelessly thru their network behind the scenes and to a data server somewhere. The advantage is that the newest generation using this tech will never run out of space for pictures as long as it has a connection. 

The disadvantage is that I get queasy about where that data is going, how long it persists, or what it might be used for. And by default, be aware that a lot if this cloud capability is going to be turned on for new phones. I find that obnoxious and intrusive. I had to fight with this Samsung for 6mo to finally stop whatever was feeding the Verizon cloud.

This is just a lot of my own opinions about the "big data" economy that we currently live in that's now spilling into your nice little forum thread. Don't let my own misgivings and rampant paranoia spread to you.

But in particular, I see the new Pixel commercials advocating these features as a cornerstone of how their product now works and I think "oh hellllllllll no."

#grumpyoldman #frikkinmillenials

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7 minutes ago, Zoxe said:

Sure. ?

Phones have onboard storage space. Your pictures, web bookmarks, games/apps, whatever goes there. When its full, cant take pictures. When it comes time to offload pics, I insert a cord and open the phone on my laptop.

The cloud storage option means that the phone company is transmitting your pictures and other data wirelessly thru their network behind the scenes and to a data server somewhere. The advantage is that the newest generation using this tech will never run out of space for pictures as long as it has a connection. 

The disadvantage is that I get queasy about where that data is going, how long it persists, or what it might be used for. And by default, be aware that a lot if this cloud capability is going to be turned on for new phones. I find that obnoxious and intrusive. I had to fight with this Samsung for 6mo to finally stop whatever was feeding the Verizon cloud.

This is just a lot of my own opinions about the "big data" economy that we currently live in that's now spilling into your nice little forum thread. Don't let my own misgivings and rampant paranoia spread to you.

But in particular, I see the new Pixel commercials advocating these features as a cornerstone of how their product now works and I think "oh hellllllllll no."

#grumpyoldman #frikkinmillenials

I agree with everything you've said.  I assume that they charge you for the moving of the data you don't want moved.

#grumpyoldwoman #frikkinmillenials

Edited by Barb Bliss
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As a millenial, I just wanna say I'm paranoid about the cloud, too, hahaha. ? (But, I also used to work in big data... so maybe I just know too much...)

#oldmillenial 

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1 minute ago, Zoe said:

As a millenial, I just wanna say I'm paranoid about the cloud, too, hahaha. ? (But, I also used to work in big data... so maybe I just know too much...)

#oldmillenial 

I definitely know too much.  And admitting you have a problem is the first step.

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2 minutes ago, Barb Bliss said:

I agree with everything you've said.  I assume that they charge you for the moving of the data you don't want moved.

#grumpyoldwoman #frikkinmillenials

Depends. You can buy more "cloud space", but you used to get a little bit for free. I actually think Verizon went fully to charging for the cloud for picture storage. I used the cloud storage for pictures because 99% of my pictures are of the cats anyway and very rarely ever people so I didn't care. I don't like paying for that sort of thing so I opted out and now download my pictures to my computer for storage.

I think the only thing stored by cloud for me is my contacts and that isn't too hard to opt out of too. Or at least it used to be. I'm a few years behind on phones : ).

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I'm an Android phone person, so I've got a motorola - I always just go for the cheapest, oldest model that's still available/supported. We have Verizon. I picked the particular phone brand because it's known for its toughness and the boyfriend constantly drops his phone and is generally a bit.. maybe clumsy isn't the right word... but absent-minded. Not entirely spatially aware. Is that just a nice way of saying clumsy? Anyway, these things are built like bricks. Then I have him put the heavy duty Otterbox on there and that baby ain't shatterin' without getting a shotgun to the face.

I'm pretty sure mine's like @WxCougar said, because I know I was trying to find an efficient way at some point to transfer all my dog photos from my phone to my computer. I had to upload them one by one to the Google drive, but then that would get full, etc. I don't think I have the cloud storage for that enabled - only my contacts. And then I just use the charger cord it came with to connect to a computer to transfer my photos.

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3 minutes ago, Zoe said:

I'm an Android phone person, so I've got a motorola - I always just go for the cheapest, oldest model that's still available/supported. We have Verizon. I picked the particular phone brand because it's known for its toughness and the boyfriend constantly drops his phone and is generally a bit.. maybe clumsy isn't the right word... but absent-minded. Not entirely spatially aware. Is that just a nice way of saying clumsy? Anyway, these things are built like bricks. Then I have him put the heavy duty Otterbox on there and that baby ain't shatterin' without getting a shotgun to the face.

I'm pretty sure mine's like @WxCougar said, because I know I was trying to find an efficient way at some point to transfer all my dog photos from my phone to my computer. I had to upload them one by one to the Google drive, but then that would get full, etc. I don't think I have the cloud storage for that enabled - only my contacts. And then I just use the charger cord it came with to connect to a computer to transfer my photos.

Clumsy is a dominant gene in my pool.  How my Dish remote still works, I'll never know.  Pretty impressive given  how many times I've dropped it.  So toughness is a consideration.

Your other comment about charging would be a good topic point.  It's just a boat anchor if I can't easily keep it charged.

Another topic point could be music from phone sync'd to some speaker thingie via bluetooth?

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I know that iphones tend to have the best battery life.  I can make do with my Samsung but I have to charge it every night.

Iphones don't have earphone jacks anymore and they tend to have specialty everything.  Android (and other types) tend to be more universal and I do know the Samsung still has a earphone jack. This matters to me since I use a square (credit card payment device for bazaars).

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11 minutes ago, Barb Bliss said:

Clumsy is a dominant gene in my pool.  How my Dish remote still works, I'll never know.  Pretty impressive given  how many times I've dropped it.  So toughness is a consideration.

Your other comment about charging would be a good topic point.  It's just a boat anchor if I can't easily keep it charged.

Another topic point could be music from phone sync'd to some speaker thingie via bluetooth?

Oh yeah, the motorolas we have also have incredible battery - another thing Isaac occasionally forgets to do is charge his phone, so I get ones that can stand up for a day or two without charging. I can use my phone all day and still be at 70%ish by the end of the day. I can probably go without charging it for 3 days if I only do light usage.

I'm vehemently against iPhones but that's just me. Their battery probably won't be trustworthy after 2 years. ?

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5 minutes ago, Zoe said:

Oh yeah, the motorolas we have also have incredible battery - another thing Isaac occasionally forgets to do is charge his phone, so I get ones that can stand up for a day or two without charging. I can use my phone all day and still be at 70%ish by the end of the day. I can probably go without charging it for 3 days if I only do light usage.

I'm vehemently against iPhones but that's just me. Their battery probably won't be trustworthy after 2 years. ?

I hate the iphone with a passion too. I refuse to get into the Apple empire (I have no i devices or apple computers). But my mom's iphone is quite impressive with its battery, even after a few years.

I have never had a motorola and my husband''s last motorola was a while ago, but he liked it.

Samsung's "dumber smart phone" (I forget what they are called) have a better battery than the mainline ones but that likely has to do with what your phone is doing. I probably have several apps (like facebook, 2 different emails) that are sucking my battery down. Light use I could probably go two days but I use my phone quite a bit for communications (ie texts, message boards like here and so forth).

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Years ago I went cheap on cell phones. I got a flip phone that was TERRIBLE. So hard to use the apps or do about anything on it. One time my sister asked me why I didn't use it to set an alarm for the morning. I said, "It's too hard to do on my phone." My sister thought I was exaggerating and tried to set the alarm herself. Ten minutes later she gave up and tossed me the phone. "You're right. That's the worst phone I have ever seen."

After two years of frustration with it, I decided I was going to go for the best phone on the market and got an IPhone 4. Used it for quite a few years and finally upgraded to an iPhone 6 which is what I use now.  They are easy to use. Only takes me seconds to set an alarm on it. Downside is their expensive. But they are easy enough to use that when my mother needed a new phone, that is what I got her. She likes that she can play some games on it.

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Last week my iPhone 5 broke. I have had it for years and was very happy with it. I want to get another iPhone, but not the latest. I am happy getting one that is a few generations old. I buy most of my music through iTunes and almost every day go walking while using my phone to listen to music. So it would make things easier to get another iPhone.

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