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Thread: The Simplest Phone Experience Of All Time?

  1. #1
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    The Simplest Phone Experience Of All Time?

    Hello there PhoneGods!

    I'm writing to seek your advice as I try to go mobile.

    I'm looking for the simplest mobile phone experience possible. Less is more, that's my mantra. I need an emergency phone for driving and hiking, and probably won't use the phone for much else.

    I'm close to picking out a flip phone (maybe the Doro 7050?) because the only features I want are make/receive calls, and voice mail. No fancy smartphone for me.

    I could use some help selecting a connection provider. So far, it looks like pre-paid may be for me, as I'd prefer not to have an account with billing, mystery charges, credit checks, and so on.

    So far, every connection provider I research has tons of bitter complaint reviews, but I suppose that's the norm for all products today.

    I'm not at all clear on how I'd do pre-paid, buy the phone, connect it to the provider etc. The exact process, sorta mysterious...

    The main thing you need to know is that when it comes to mobile phones, I am Clueless Guy, and only barely have any idea what I'm doing, which doesn't stop me from having many opinions about the phone industry. :-)

    The simplest phone, the simplest plan, the least number of hassles and problems. Just a regular normal old fashioned simple pimple phone, that isn't tethered to a wall. How do I get there?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    First & foremost is coverage. Basically there are 4 carriers: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile & Sprint.

    Each has holes in coverage. You have to discern either through direct knowledge, friends, family, "experts" & strangers who has the best coverage in the places that are most critical & or convenient to you.

    Oh welcome to Hofo the best forum of its kind.
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    Keep in mind that when it comes to prepaid service carriers, customer service is not as advanced as post-paid and is minimal at best. I am not discouraging prepaid service. Keep in mind that if any issues come up, internet boards like this one are a good source of information/advice.

    Once you come up with a carrier that you feel may suit your needs and need help with deciding on a plan or phone, feel free to come back and ask questions. Best wishes to you.
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    Hi there, thanks much for your reply. Ok, coverage, here's what I know.

    My wife has an iPhone that connects with AT&T, and she reports she is usually able to connect without difficulty all over town, a college town built around a giant university. I spend a lot of time in a state park 4 miles from our house, on the edge of town. I could take her phone to the park one day and test the coverage. My wife has had other carriers at various times in the past, and best she can tell, they're all about the same in our area.

    This page suggests AT&T coverage includes our entire area (32606):
    att.com - maps - wireless-coverage.html (can't post real link yet)

    Ideally I would buy a phone that can access other carriers in case I have problems with AT&T, but the flip phones are cheap, and I don't care about a stable phone number, so perhaps this isn't an issue.

    My ideal shopping experience would be something like this. Go in to say, Walmart, buy a phone and a card with minutes. Pop card in to phone and start talking. When minutes run out, buy another card. I'm sorta adamant about not having an account where I have to diagnose mystery charges and crap like that, in keeping with my "less is more" ideology.

    Hope this helps you help me, and thanks again for that.

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    Keep in mind that when it comes to prepaid service carriers, customer service is not as advanced as post-paid and is minimal at best.
    Thanks for this information. I'm hoping to not need customer service. Given how little I'll use the phone, I have a low tolerance for problems.

    I'm not sure why support for one method of payment should be different than support for another method of payment, especially given that the pre-payer has already paid, whereas the post payer may or may not pay. I am not disputing your information in any way, just explaining that it's issues like this that inspire me to have as little to do with carriers as possible.

    As just one example selected at random, I thought the Consumer Cellular website was quite well done and considered going with them. Did some research, and found very many very unhappy people writing reviews. Point being, as best I can tell, nobody's customer service is all that great. That is my impression anyway, keeping in mind of course that I am Clueless Guy.

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    That's a good start. The beauty of prepaid is that you are not tied to a long term commitment and can switch providers at will. Att has it's own branded prepaid service but also offers service through Cricket Wireless. Make certain if you need a new phone to make certain it has LTE networks enabled. As far as a specific phone, I am certain you will get results


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    Clueless Guy has been puzzling over what LTE means, a term used on every cell phone sales site, but never actually explained.

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    If it helps, here's the flip phone I'm looking at at the moment.

    "Doro (7050TL) Flip Easy-to-Use Cell Phone for Seniors"

    I would post a link to it on Amazon, but don't yet have that ability.

    It doesn't specifically say "Easy-To-Use Cell Phone for Clueless People" but perhaps "seniors" is code for that. :-)

    I see one for sale by Tracfone, but not sure I want them as their website, support and forum are not inspiring. And, if I do want AT&T, no idea how to buy a Doro phone that works with them.

    It appears I'm rather confused about the relationship between phones and carriers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clueless Guy View Post
    Clueless Guy has been puzzling over what LTE means, a term used on every cell phone sales site, but never actually explained.
    LTE is the newer version of cellular networks that most providers are moving their customers to. LTE=Long Term Evolution and is a newer communication network. The prior network used by At&t is referred to as GSM and has not been shut down by them yet, most At&t devices support both networks. No need to memorize what they mean or do, just wanted to offer an explanation. The reason I mentioned LTE is that you don't want to buy a phone that may be unusable in just a couple of years.

    I realize that this can be difficult to understand fully. I encourage you to ask questions. My motto is that there is there is no such thing as a "stupid" question. Please feel free to ask questions.

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    The reason I mentioned LTE is that you don't want to buy a phone that may be unusable in just a couple of years.
    Ah, I see now, thanks. I don't really need to understand what LTE is, I just need to get LTE, and avoid GSM. This info proved useful immediately, as I just saw a Doro phone on the Walmart site, but it's GSM, so now I know to keep shopping.

    So let's get on to the stupid questions. :-)

    All the Doro flip phones I see online seem to be associated with some carrier. Tracfone sells them on Amazon, as does Consumer Cellular.

    Is that how buying a flip phone works? You buy the phone from whatever carrier you want to use?

    So for instance, I have no idea how to buy a Doro flip phone that works with AT&T. Best I can tell from some Google searches that's not possible. Sound right?

    I like the Doro, but Tracfone and Consumer Cellular seem to be crap, at least in my limited research.

    I seem to be stuck at this stage.

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    So I wrote the Doro company (doro.com) to see where their phones will work. If they reply, perhaps that will help.

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    No worries about having a phone with GSM, you just want to make sure that it also does support LTE networks. I am willing to bet there are several million users using GSM devices without LTE.

    Here is a link to the Doro website for the 7050 handset: https://www.doro.com/en/shop/mobile-...-phones/22101/. It does have both GSM and LTE which is good. It is better to have both networks available but don't buy a GSM only device.

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    Thanks, yes, I see the Doro phones on their website, and now see the specs list thanks to your post. I don't however see anything about what networks these phones will work on.

    I'm vaguely aware of the term "unlocked" which I take to mean a phone will work on any network. Do I have that right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by veriztd View Post
    ....It is better to have both networks available but don't buy a GSM only device.
    Simplistic flip fones that work on both GSM networks & at least one CDMA network can't be that common.

    Or is CDMA a nonstarter as long as it has LTE that is supported on VZW & or Sprint?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clueless Guy View Post
    ....I'm vaguely aware of the term "unlocked" which I take to mean a phone will work on any network. Do I have that right?
    No.

    Sorry too tired to put both my posts together.

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