Getting A "New" Phone


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I recently found out that the old phones my wife and I are using on Verizon will stop working sometime in the next year. My laptop is running on old tech also. Up till now, I have not even considered a smartphone, but now I'm thinking about it.

I have been looking at various brands of used smartphones, and have tentatively decided on Samsung Galaxy 4 or 5  https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Galaxy-S5-Verizon-Wireless/dp/B00IZ1XVAC/ref=dp_ob_title_wld#Ask. As I understand it, I could run my laptop from one of those phones' hot spot, thereby eliminating one "phone".

All I know about smartphones is what I've been reading in the last few days. Any info anyone could give would be appreciated. I will listen to other phone suggestions also, although I am pretty sure I like the Galaxys.

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I won't try to persuade you toward one brand or another. Although I use an Android phone for many tasks, I get pretty annoyed with them, too.

Buy an 'unlocked" phone if you can. It will be yours, and not full of the carrier's useless 'bloatware'.

Also, beware that smartphones are constantly spying on you, similar to Amazon Alexa or Google Home. I'm pretty sure the marketing features are still listening, even if you turn off all the voice activation stuff.

Apple is about the same.

Samsung is a good brand, but I happen to use an LG at the moment, and find it to be pretty nice, too.

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I am not a fan of these things and don't consider them "smart" at any level, but they are the reality.  

I have a mid range LG.  I think it was around 200 several years ago.  The selling point feature for me was a stylus.  I loathe trying to operate one of these things with my finger.  The stylus also allows some rudimentery free hand sketching which I have found somewhat useful when taking measurements of, say, a room.

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Another feature that drove my selection was that the battery could be removed by the user and hence easily replaced.

Assuming that you get one of these and that you also get a winter every year, they do make gloves with fabric in the finger tips that can activate the touch screen, which if you'll excuse the pun, are very handy when you're trying to answer the phone.

 

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My son swears by LG phones. I have been using a Samsung Convoy for 15 or 20 years. When one breaks I would get another used one for $20 and keep going.

The ones I'm looking at are unlocked. I had heard about the "spying on you" part of having one before and I don't like it. Does that mean I have to stop all my illegal activities? cheesy.gif.a495dd71870d405f9f99ed4d7defed24.gif

I did like the fact that the Galaxys have replaceable batteries. I also noticed the "works with gloves" feature.

 

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I think you can get brand new Motorola or LG phones for around $100-200...   Check out the Verizon "prepaid" phones... I think you can use those also with the verizon plans.

I'd be more inclined towards that option as they'll be newer phones with the latest version of Android and the speed and such is going to be similar to a 4-5 year old used premium phone like the galaxy S5.

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I want to say the Moto G6 is around $200. Pretty much no phones do the replaceable battery thing any more, but that's not really a big deal in practice. Review of the G6:

https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-budget-android-phone/

I agree with more current versions of Android, I'm pretty sure Samsung no longer does security patches for either the S4 or S5 https://security.samsungmobile.com/workScope.smsb

 

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It sounds like you don't do much more with your phone than I do - make phone calls and text a little.  I just got a Motorola G6 play for $200.  Actually my digital camera broke and since smart phones now have more pixels than my camera did I it will now be my camera as well.  I turned off all the apps that I don't need and one charge last about 3 days for me.  I bought the phone "unlocked" at Best Buy so I could choose my own carrier..  Found one ( actually my wife found one ) that gives me a couple hundred minutes a month (more than I will ever use) and a few MB of data just so the phone can update itself once in a while.  Try online at Twigby.com for a plan.  Really inexpensive - like $12 / month.  Chat (keyboard chat) with the representative, keep your old number.  They send you a sim card and take care of transferring your number for you.  Pretty simple even for me.  They bill your credit card each month.

The onlyi thing that they don't have yet is wifi calling but they are planning to have that soon.

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I really appreciate all the info so far. I might not be leaning as much toward a smartphone now. I have a couple more questions to make sure I'm understanding some things.

I've heard about Android in smartphones, but I don't have any idea what it is. If the phone I have now doesn't even have it, why should I want a newer version of it for security patches. Can't you just run an antivirus to keep the bugs out like you do on a computer?

Also, can a flip phone be used as a hot spot to run my laptop?

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11 minutes ago, freedhardwoods said:

Also, can a flip phone be used as a hot spot to run my laptop?

No, but they make dedicated hot spot devices so you don't have to use your cellphone. I think it might be more cost effective to go that way. There is a fee to use your phone as a hotspot and i think that fee is same no matter the route you get there. The dedicated devices might be cheaper hardware wise. I will warn you though that data through a hotspot either cell phone or dedicated will add up fast. So if you are going to do Verizon for internet i suggest talking to the sales guy if you can upgrade or downgrade the data plan easily. I don't know how that works I've never bought my own cell plan.... yeah yeah something four letters  millennials.

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Android is the operating system for the smartphone, just like iOS is the operating system for Apple's phones & tablets. Like Windows on your PC. "Smartphones" are essentially small computers with phones and cameras built in.

A flip phone is not likely to support use as a hotspot. Not being 'smart' they don't need internet access like Android and iPhones do.  But that is not for certain. There are many models that may support such.

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1 hour ago, Chestnut said:

There is a fee to use your phone as a hotspot and i think that fee is same no matter the route you get there. The dedicated devices might be cheaper hardware wise. I will warn you though that data through a hotspot either cell phone or dedicated will add up fast.

Verizon no longer charges a fee to use the hotspot feature, or at least not on our "Medium" 4gb data plan with my iPhone and my wife's iPhone. Probably wise to verify with the sales rep for your plan and device though.

I've used it a few times for work when traveling, and yes it does add up quick! Much faster than you'd think. If you are wanting to use a hotspot with any regular frequency, I'd consider the unlimited data plans.

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10 minutes ago, JohnG said:

Verizon no longer charges a fee to use the hotspot feature, or at least not on our "Medium" 4gb data plan with my iPhone and my wife's iPhone. Probably wise to verify with the sales rep for your plan and device though.

I've used it a few times for work when traveling, and yes it does add up quick! Much faster than you'd think. If you are wanting to use a hotspot with any regular frequency, I'd consider the unlimited data plans.

Well I'll be. Guess i learned how i'm going to get data when i'm traveling with Megan. Her family just upgraded to unlimited data. Thanks!

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With my plan data is data, whether or not you're using the phone as a hot spot. The phone company gave me a hot spot device (don't know if that's the right name) at work in case there is a phone line outage. Any data it uses just comes off my cell plan. In the 5 or 6 years I've had it it's never been used

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13 hours ago, JohnG said:

Verizon no longer charges a fee to use the hotspot feature, or at least not on our "Medium" 4gb data plan with my iPhone and my wife's iPhone. Probably wise to verify with the sales rep for your plan and device though.

I've used it a few times for work when traveling, and yes it does add up quick! Much faster than you'd think. If you are wanting to use a hotspot with any regular frequency, I'd consider the unlimited data plans.

Not sure about Verizon... but AT&T on their unlimited data plans actually has a limit of 15GB on the hotspot data.

Yep, checked... verizon has a limit as well.

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15 minutes ago, Minnesota Steve said:

Not sure about Verizon... but AT&T on their unlimited data plans actually has a limit of 15GB on the hotspot data.

Yep, checked... verizon has a limit as well.

Not a hard limit though. Caps the speed at 600 kbps. Which is slow but not the slowest internet I've ever had.

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18 hours ago, K Cooper said:

I like this guy. He and I are on the same level! 

Rats. I thought I was one of a kind.

 

I've been able to read your posts today, but didn't have time to respond. Thanks again for the help.

I am running my laptop on an ancient usb device that's held together with black tape on an old Verizon unlimited plan. When YouTube started getting popular, Verizon tried several times to get me to drop that plan, and I now remember they raised the price on me 2 or 3 times, but I wouldn't do it.

My wife writes the checks for the bills, and I tend to lose track of how much we're paying for a lot of things. When I started looking into my phone info, I found I'm paying $80/month to run my laptop internet, and I used 20 GB last month. After looking some more, I found what Verizon has listed as their top unlimited plan I could have for my phone.

Premium unlimited 4G LTE data (75GB)

Unlimited talk and text

Unlimited mobile hot spot (20GB at 4G LTE)

Some other stuff that I don't care about.

If I could get rid of the usb and use my phone as a hot spot I could save 50 or 60 dollars a month. I'm really starting to wish I could find a flip phone that would do the job.

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