Forum Thread

Can someone pls. recommend a basic cell phone?

BargainPhil 437 66 November 8, 2015 at 12:44 PM
My wife & I are elderly "dinosaurs" that are still using Kyocera flip phones. Live in a rural area of NW TN. where Verizon service has the best reception. We don't use data, or text, just basic telephone service, & we use Pageplus ($10 for 100 min., 120 days, with rollover). We would like to update our flip phones to something a bit more modern (my wife is tired of getting snickered at). Can someone pls. advise us as to what a good, inexpensive, Pageplus compatible, cell phone would be for our use/purposes? Any suggestions/advice will be appreciated. Thanks.

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#2
Quote from BargainPhil View Post :
My wife & I are elderly "dinosaurs" that are still using Kyocera flip phones. Live in a rural area of NW TN. where Verizon service has the best reception. We don't use data, or text, just basic telephone service, & we use Pageplus ($10 for 100 min., 120 days, with rollover). We would like to update our flip phones to something a bit more modern (my wife is tired of getting snickered at). Can someone pls. advise us as to what a good, inexpensive, Pageplus compatible, cell phone would be for our use/purposes? Any suggestions/advice will be appreciated. Thanks.
Wait so are you looking for an updated flip phone, or a basic smartphone that would be a good starter phone coming from a flip phone?
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simplicity is the ultimate sophistication
#3
Quote from BargainPhil View Post :
We would like to update our flip phones to something a bit more modern (my wife is tired of getting snickered at).
The market for flip phones isn't particularly strong. Even a brand new flip phone is likely based on a design 2-4 years old. How old are your current phones?

Verizon places restrictions on activating prepaid verizon phones on MVNO's like PagePlus. Often the phone has to be used for 6-12 months through verizon before it can be used on an MVNO. Phones that are under contract or reported stolen also can't be used.

You can buy a flip phone directly from verizon and pay retail for it without verizon service (it's not a prepaid phone so you should be able to activate it on pp):
http://www.verizonwireless.com/basic-phones/
The LG Revere 3 is $50

If you want a smart phone, your best bet is to buy used from swappa.com
PagePlus also sells smartphones directly on their website, but most of these phones are really crappy and run very old, outdated, insecure versions of android. The few phones they sell that might be worth buying are seriously overpriced. TracFone now owns pageplus and some people have reported activating tracfone/net10 branded CDMA phones on page plus. This is very YMMV and these phones have the same problems as the ones on the pageplus website.

A smart phone on a pay as you go pageplus plan can burn up your minutes if you aren't careful, but you can disable cellular data and rely on wifi instead. There was another thread a few days ago on phones for pp: http://slickdeals.net/f/8206435-help-finding-new-page-plus-phone-4glte?v=1
I posted a list of some specific smart phone models that are a better values in that thread.

If you want a smartphone or otherwise want to use your phone more, consider tracfone. Smartphones get triple minutes and each "minute" gives you 1 min on airtime, 1 sms, and 1mb of data. It's more than the $2.50/month you're currently paying, but not that much. $100 gets you 1 year of service 1200min/1200sms/1.2gb of data ($8.3/mo). 4 * $20 refills gets you a year of service and 720min/720sms/720mb of data ($6.75/mo). I think there will be some better subsidized low end smart phones for sale by tracfone by Q1 2016, but you're still better off buying a better used phone.

Tracfone uses a variety of carriers including verizon, at&t, t-mobile, and sprint. The easiest way to get the carrier you want is to BYOP, as that will either be VZW or AT&T. If you buy from their website, after you enter a zip code part of the URL will contain something like "market=GSM5SPRCO" which would be an area tracfone thinks is serviced by t-mobile (GSM5), sprint (SPR), and Verizon (CO); AT&T shows as GSM4. You may have to try different zip codes until you get what you want. The letter "G" after a phone model generally denotes GSM (att/tmo), the letter "C" denotes CDMA (vzw/sprint). If there's no letter it's more likely GSM, but you can look up the phone on gsm arena or phone scoop. If you aren't porting a phone number, the zip code will also determine your area code / phone number.
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Last edited by jkee November 12, 2015 at 11:43 AM
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#4
I wasn't very clear in my original post. Ero stated it better in that we want to go from the flip phones to a basic smartphone (non-flip phone). Our Kyoceras are about 4 yrs. old.
Jkee, You are totally correct about the phones being offered by Pageplus being overpriced for what you're getting. I see some "hot deals" on new phones here on Slick Deals but I'm not versed enough to know which ones meet my basic criteria & which ones don't.
Thanks to both of you for your comments & for any other suggestions you might have as to a specific brand & model that might best fit my needs.
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#5
Quote from BargainPhil View Post :
My wife & I are elderly "dinosaurs" that are still using Kyocera flip phones. Live in a rural area of NW TN. where Verizon service has the best reception. We don't use data, or text, just basic telephone service, & we use Pageplus ($10 for 100 min., 120 days, with rollover). We would like to update our flip phones to something a bit more modern (my wife is tired of getting snickered at). Can someone pls. advise us as to what a good, inexpensive, Pageplus compatible, cell phone would be for our use/purposes? Any suggestions/advice will be appreciated. Thanks.
My ranch "beater" phone is a Motorola Barrage, not more modern, but tough and a decent phone. I used to have that as my only cell phone, and the $30 per year total Pageplus you mentioned was more than I use. I got a smartphone in addition to that though so that I can look stuff up in town, and people text back and forth for setting up appointments for trucking etc., easier to type. Hard to beat the Tracfone plans for smartphones though (Tracfone and Pageplus are part of the same company, so is Straighttalk), and they do work on Verizon if you get the right ones. With Pageplus, a smartphone isn't too practical with the plans you mention, data, texts, etc. get deducted (if you'd use any). Of course, you can turn data off and just connect to wifi, but using anything like an actual smartphone will add up quickly, you'd have to switch plans if you did much. Not an issue if you figure not using much data. Best "deal" I see turns up on Slickdeals from time to time. This was at about $100 a few times so basically a free phone, don't know if it will repeat, was a similar price at QVC. The phone is very decent, newer version is higher. Got one for my 80+ year old aunt coming from a flip phone with no issues. http://www.ebay.com/itm/LG-Ultima...Sw34FVFEGN

One thing is software updates won't happen, so is a security issue. A cheap phone I see that comes up is the Moto E LTE. I don't think the prepaid LTE phones have a waiting period (someone correct me on that) like the older 3G ones (they had to be active for 6 months before moving to another carrier). Basically, I'd look for an LTE phone, if it were me. Then you can get an activation kit, if there's an issue with the phone, get a different LTE phone and just move over the SIM/activation card, no need to deal with Pageplus on switching phones then. New phone, has been less than $50. But, LTE phones need on the $30/month plan on Pageplus. Tracfone, they can go on the $100 per year (can sometimes get cheaper than that).
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#6
Quote from BargainPhil View Post :
Jkee, You are totally correct about the phones being offered by Pageplus being overpriced for what you're getting. I see some "hot deals" on new phones here on Slick Deals but I'm not versed enough to know which ones meet my basic criteria & which ones don't.
Thanks to both of you for your comments & for any other suggestions you might have as to a specific brand & model that might best fit my needs.
You need a Verizon CDMA phone that isn't prepaid or if it is, has been used with Verizon for 6 months. There may be some deals that show up in the next few weeks and there are likely to be some better options hopefully by Q1 2016. There are a few phones that function fully on 4G LTE GSM carriers and CDMA carriers including the 2015 Moto X Pure Edition, Nexus 6p, 5x, 6, 5. Overall there are more unlocked GSM phones and deals on unlocked GSM phones which use ATT/T-mobile

The bottom end for used smart phones I'd consider worth using is around $100. Mid-range phones are generally around $200-400 and high end phones are over $600 There's a list of some phones I'd consider in another thread I linked to above (but some may only be gsm). Something like the LG Lancet Android [verizonwireless.com] from verizon could be a decent budget option at $120 retail. Online (and probably in store) you can't purchase it without signing up for Verizon service, but with no contract you should be able to cancel it and then use it on page plus, but that potentially adds $50 (1 mo service) to the cost making that phone a less desirable option.

How much are you hoping to spend on a phone? How do you feel about new vs. used?
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Last edited by jkee November 8, 2015 at 04:36 PM
Joined Jun 2004
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#7
Jkee, I'd like to spend less than a $100 & used doesn't bother me. One of my biggest concerns is that I don't want a phone that is so complicated that an "old horse" like myself would never learn how to use it. The simpler the better would work well for me.
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#8
Quote from 1two3 View Post :
Best "deal" I see turns up on Slickdeals from time to time. This was at about $100 a few times so basically a free phone, don't know if it will repeat, was a similar price at QVC. ...http://www.ebay.com/itm/LG-Ultima...Sw34FVFEGN

One thing is software updates won't happen, so is a security issue. A cheap phone I see that comes up is the Moto E LTE. I don't think the prepaid LTE phones have a waiting period (someone correct me on that) like the older 3G ones (they had to be active for 6 months before moving to another carrier). Basically, I'd look for an LTE phone, if it were me. Then you can get an activation kit, if there's an issue with the phone, get a different LTE phone and just move over the SIM/activation card, no need to deal with Pageplus on switching phones then. New phone, has been less than $50. But, LTE phones need on the $30/month plan on Pageplus. Tracfone, they can go on the $100 per year (can sometimes get cheaper than that).
From a deal perspective, the hsn/qvc/ebay options that include minutes can be hard to beat. But none of these offerings quite cross the "worth owning" threshold for me. Any android phone running less than 5.1.1 has some major security issues. Tracfone has added some GSM android phones that have android 5.0, but the latest CDMA ones at the moment are on 4.4.4

You'll probably never find an official written policy, (heck the employees of tracfone/page plus may not even have access to one) that details what phones can and can't be activated on pageplus. I'm not sure if LTE devices are treated any differently. You could always try a prepaid 2015 Moto E and see if they'll let you activate it. If not, return it or sell it. The 2015 Moto E runs a more recent version of android and your better off with a verizon branded phone.

Some people on howard forums have reported some changes regarding the hsn/qvc/ebay bundles recently. The odds of getting a t-mobile sim over an att sim have gone up and it sounds like the bundled minutes have to be activated on the bundled phone now.

OP, if you care about the camera in the phone, something like a used 2014 Moto X or Droid Turbo is a better choice for around $180-220. "Elderly dinosaurs" may have grand kids they want to take pictures of.
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Last edited by jkee November 8, 2015 at 09:01 PM

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#9
Quote from jkee View Post :
You need a Verizon CDMA phone that isn't prepaid or if it is, has been used with Verizon for 6 months

As I said, that requirement is only 3G phones. I looked it up to verify, prepaid LTE phones are not locked, no 6 month requirement.

"We do not lock our 4G LTE Prepaid devices, and no code is needed to program them for use with another carrier."

Below that is the 3G section stating the 6 months on 3G only.

http://www.verizonwireless.com/ab...olicy.html

Not saying good phones, but past examples, Pageplus mentioned.
http://slickdeals.net/f/8103294-best-buy-verizon-prepaid-lg-transpyre-4-5-8gb-lte-band-4-13-49-99-again-working-on-postpaid-according-to-the-previous-deals?v=1&src=SiteSearch

http://slickdeals.net/f/8047593-motorola-moto-e-4-5-verizon-no-contract-smartphone-40-free-store-pick-up?src=SiteSearch

But also as I said, LTE phones on Pageplus require the $30 monthly plan minimum, won't work with the $10/4month.

Nothing wrong with spending more money of course, but prepaid will possibly get you cheaper new phones than post. Corners will be cut on them, but they work basically the same minus tweaks of course
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#10
Quote from jkee View Post :
From a deal perspective, the hsn/qvc/ebay options that include minutes can be heard to beat. But none of these offerings quite cross the "worth owning" threshold for me. Any android phone running less than 5.1.1 has some major security issues. Tracfone has added some GSM android phones that have android 5.0, but the latest CDMA ones at the moment are on 4.4.4

You'll probably never find an official written policy, (heck the employees of tracfone/page plus may not even have access to one) that details what phones can and can't be activated on pageplus. I'm not sure if LTE devices are treated any differently. You could always try a prepaid 2015 Moto E and see if they'll let you activate it. If not, return it or sell it. The 2015 Moto E runs a more recent version of android and your better off with a verizon branded phone.

Some people on howard forums have reported some changes regarding the hsn/qvc/ebay bundles recently. The odds of getting a t-mobile sim over an att sim have gone up and it sounds like the bundled minutes have to be activated on the bundled phone now.

OP, if you care about the camera in the phone, something like a used 2014 Moto X or Droid Turbo is a better choice for around $180-220. "Elderly dinosaurs" may have grand kids they want to take pictures of.
I know the security issues are a concern, mentioned, and didn't look what the newer LG on Tracfone uses for Android version, probably older 5.something. Not something that bothers me, I don't use much, not my main email on phone, doesn't matter. The LG Ultimate 2 has a very decent for what it is camera, my aunt uses hers, but she has a real camera, as do I, because phones don't compare (can't zoom for 1). My choice would be to move to something LTE though, so no more dealing with any of their customer support when switching phones, and the better updates.
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#11
Quote from 1two3 View Post :
"We do not lock our 4G LTE Prepaid devices, and no code is needed to program them for use with another carrier."

Below that is the 3G section stating the 6 months on 3G only.

http://www.verizonwireless.com/ab...olicy.html

But also as I said, LTE phones on Pageplus require the $30 monthly plan minimum, won't work with the $10/4month.
"Unlocking" can mean different things. Modern 4G CDMA phones can work on 3G GSM networks in the US and the world. While it's well known Verizon doesn't lock their 4G devices for GSM use, they may still impose limits on using them on MVNO's. Various discussions I've seen online on the subject aren't particularly authoritative. I don't currently use verizon or page plus.

Have you ever tried to put an LTE phone that wasn't purchased from page plus on a pay as you go plan? Do they only show the monthly plans as choices? I'm just curious, I'm weighing pros and cons of a number of different carriers and phone options as I advise a few relatives who are also finally taking the leap into smartphone land.
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#12
Quote from BargainPhil View Post :
Jkee, I'd like to spend less than a $100 & used doesn't bother me. One of my biggest concerns is that I don't want a phone that is so complicated that an "old horse" like myself would never learn how to use it. The simpler the better would work well for me.
The software on android phones is pretty similar. Some mfg's customize/modify the the os a bit more than others, but ease of use is a pretty even playing field. Some of the really low end phones have screens that are hard to read or touchscreen sensitivity issues.

Look around on howard forums to see what you can find about activating a vzw prepaid Moto E on PagePlus. If you've got a Fry's nearby pickup a 2015 Moto E for $29 or $39 if you can't get a promo code, attempt to activate it on PagePlus and if you can't just return the phone or sell it if there's a restocking fee. EDIT: No Fry's in TN. Look for BF VZW Moto E 2015 deals.
http://slickdeals.net/f/8223540-fry-s-moto-e-verizon-lte-smartphone-28-99-with-emailed-promo-code?v=1&src=SiteSearch
A refurb LG G3 can be had for $155 http://slickdeals.net/f/8175060-lg-g3-32gb-vs985-4g-lte-verizon-smartphone-seller-refurbished-155-free-shipping?v=1&src=SiteSearch

If you try a VZW prepaid Moto E, DO NOT turn the phone on with the VZW sim card still installed. Wait until you get the PP sim.
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Last edited by jkee November 8, 2015 at 06:53 PM
#13
Quote from BargainPhil View Post :
My wife & I are elderly "dinosaurs" that are still using Kyocera flip phones. Live in a rural area of NW TN. where Verizon service has the best reception. We don't use data, or text, just basic telephone service, & we use Pageplus ($10 for 100 min., 120 days, with rollover). We would like to update our flip phones to something a bit more modern (my wife is tired of getting snickered at). Can someone pls. advise us as to what a good, inexpensive, Pageplus compatible, cell phone would be for our use/purposes? Any suggestions/advice will be appreciated. Thanks.

I like the Moto G (1st edition) it's 3G and it will work on Page Plus or Selectel. You have to have a 3G phone to put on the cheaper plans with PagePlus. It's more expensive to have 4LTE phones on PagePlus and Selectel wireless so don't spend that money.

I purchased some prepaid Moto G's and waiting for the 6 months so Verizon will release them and I will put them on my Page Plus plan.
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Smilie
#14
Prepaid VZW phones on pp are very YMMV, see: http://www.howardforums.com/showt...wrong-here

Quote from wealthisachoice View Post :
I like the Moto G (1st edition) it's 3G and it will work on Page Plus or Selectel. You have to have a 3G phone to put on the cheaper plans with PagePlus. It's more expensive to have 4LTE phones on PagePlus and Selectel wireless so don't spend that money.
The 1st gen Moto G is stuck on 4.4.*, it didn't even get the lollipop update. Without being a pp customer, I don't see anything on the pp website / tos that would indicate LTE devices aren't allowed on the cheaper pay as you go plans. But, you're probably right and it's just another thing tracfone does that defies explanation.

If the ability to use some cellular data is appealing, tracfone is a good option for an additional $50-70/year.
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Last edited by jkee November 8, 2015 at 09:31 PM
#15
Quote from jkee View Post :
Prepaid VZW phones on pp are very YMMV, see: http://www.howardforums.com/showt...wrong-here


The 1st gen Moto G is stuck on 4.4.4, it didn't even get the lollipop update. Without being a pp customer, I don't see anything on the pp website / tos that would indicate LTE devices aren't allowed on the cheaper pay as you go plans. But, you're probably right and it's just another thing tracfone does that defies explanation.

If the ability to use some cellular data is appealing, tracfone is a good option for an addiotnal $50-70/year.

It's there after you click on the $10 plan
$10 Standard PIN

Please note: This is a 3G-only plan. You cannot activate a 4G device on this plan.

Standard PINs are dual-purpose. They can be used for basic Pay-As-You-Go cell phone service, or as cash that you can add to a monthly plan that allows you to use more minutes, messages and/or data than your monthly plan provides, or anything else not included in your monthly plan
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