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Cheap Small Light Basic Cell Phone Needed

Old 08-23-19, 06:15 PM
  #1  
zandoval 
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Cheap Small Light Basic Cell Phone Needed

Was digging around one of my junk drawers and came across my old Samsung flip phone and my trusty Nokia Candy Bar. Wow... Small, light weight. Just what I need but they are no longer capable of our modern day cell networks.


I am always reluctant to stow my not so smart, smart phone cause really... I cant afford to mess it up any more than it already is. One more fall or drop and its gonna be toast.


In central Texas phones usually have to be on the AT&T network if your ridding rural and not close to a major Highway. Signal strength is also important.


I started searching and found a few disposa phones that might do. Some costing less than 10$ a month. Rather than rehash or resurrect the dead I'm wondering if someone has already figured it out.


So what are you'se guys using out there for a small light weight throw around dumb emergency cell phones when your ridding?


(Oh... Also... Remember any cell phone with or without service can still connect when calling 911 but you gotta let them know exactly where you are when you call.)
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Old 08-23-19, 07:09 PM
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I think I saw a couple basic cellphones in Walmart's prepaid section. Mint Wireless costs about $15 per month but there are other carriers too.
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Old 08-23-19, 07:15 PM
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One of the grocery stores I shop at has a rack of phones starting at ten bucks. Buy a card off the same rack for prepaid minutes; no contract, no monthly payment.

Seriously; check your local grocers and drugstores, Target, Wally World. Probably convenience stores, even. An AT&T store might still offer dirt-cheap refurbs.
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Old 08-23-19, 09:15 PM
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Tracfone
I bounce around with my phone service to get the cheapest deal around because I really don't use it much, Tracfone is my can't find some crazy deal fall back. There is always some sort of deal where you buy some ok phone and you get a year of service with so many hours/txt/data for super cheap.
https://www.qvc.com/Tracfone-LG-Prem...RpoWg0&irgwc=1
Just the first really cheap one that popped up on slickdeals.net
I never run out of mins or txt and I'm not a big data user but another gig is $10. Tracfone buys their mins from all the big guys and which one you actually use ATT or Verizon, Sprint, whatever is just based on the phone you are using. That phone is a CDMA phone so it is a Verizon but mine is a GSM and is on ATT.
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Old 08-24-19, 01:10 AM
  #5  
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For awhile I used an old iPhone 4s a friend gave me when he upgraded. Since Verizon unlocked all those older phones years ago I switched to a FreedomPop account that cost $50 a year for unlimited talk/text and 1 GB data per month. Because it's VOIP some of that data was needed for talk and text. But it was still enough for my modest needs. And it includes reasonably accurate voicemail to text translation, so I don't actually need to check my voicemail to see who called and whether to call back.

That particular account has been on AT&T for a couple of years, same coverage as any AT&T service. You can buy the SIM and plan info at Best Buy and other stores, then activate online. Works with any compatible unlocked phone.

But eventually I needed more data and more convenient cell service. The VOIP type service with FreedomPop was glitchy with the old iPhone. So I got a Moto E4 and used it with Verizon until it was eligible to be unlocked. Since then it's been on Mint Mobile which uses T-Mobile service. It's not perfect but good for what it costs, around $25/month with unlimited talk/text and 3 GB data per month. My only real gripe is voicemails are often delayed up to 30 minutes, and the voicemails aren't date/time stamped, and there's no voice to text translation. But it gets the same coverage as T-Mobile and good data speed.

I think the Moto E4 has been discontinued but the E4+ and E5 are among the best values in Android phones. Reasonably fast processors and features for the money. Some include sensors that can be used as fingerprint ID and/or scrolling. Had mine for over 18 months, no complaints for the money -- $50 plus a 3-month commitment to Verizon, after which they unlocked the phone and I switched to a cheaper service.

If I upgraded it would mainly be for more memory. Turns out 16 GB internal isn't quite enough for all the apps I run. And while there's a media card slot with a 16 GB card I added, it's of limited use. It's only useful for storing photos and videos and a few apps. But the apps run sluggishly from the added card, and the OS can't recognize it as a seamless storage device, so I need to go through a kludge method of transferring photos/videos back and forth. So a 32 or 64 GB device would better suit me since I take lots of photos and videos, and use lots of resource intensive apps, but no games.
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Old 08-24-19, 10:13 AM
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WOW... Think I'm going to talk to some of the people around my favourite biking route. I live in an, at one time, small town, Bastrop Tx that's 35 miles east of Austin Tx. The only reason allot of people out here use AT&T is because when you get more than a few miles form the main HWY signal strength drops or is lost with the other carriers.

I'm after a small cheap phone that can message when I'm on the back roads.

Oddly I talked to a rancher last month that was working his fence along a beautiful back road I take next to the State Park. He pulled out an old beat up Nokia to receive a call. After asking about it he said yep... This is the only one that works out here and continued about his business. (at least he did'nt pull out a Brick)

I'm sure these things change depending on what part of the world your ridding in. I heard Verison is the better carrier on the East Coast.

I'm not a crazy rider but once I bent a front wheel in a rut on the back roads. A local drove me to the HWY so I could make a call.

Out in the Pan Handel of Texas people still use GSM networks.

Things of course are changing. 4GLTE and soon 5G... Seems the more Gs the less distance you can be from a signal tower...

It seems that TracFone: Uses AT&T on most Motorola phones, T-Mobile on most LG phones, Verizon Wireless or U.S. Cellular on most phones without SIM cards, as well as Sprint. I'm gonna check it out an post my results.
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Last edited by zandoval; 08-24-19 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 08-24-19, 10:33 PM
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Once you get your phone, you can head over to a cell phone forum and ask for new bike recommendations.
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Old 08-25-19, 12:33 AM
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This might be my next phone.

I hear they are popular with inmates.
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Old 08-25-19, 03:02 PM
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I saw a comically small smartphone on Amazon. Like 2.5" or something. I think it's got battery for standby for only about 4-6 hours.

If your network uses SIM cards, just toss yours into the phone before the ride. Considering the battery life, you'd need to keep it turned off unless you need it.

Main advantage is this is a phone that can access maps, email, and social media. I've been in a situation where I was somewhere without my phone. I had my wife's number but she wasn't answering. Had I had access to a smart phone I could have looked at an email with directions or found someone on social media who knew where to meet.

The disadvantage other than the battery is a crap camera.

You can also buy Zoolander flip phones on Amazon for cheap.
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Old 08-27-19, 10:15 AM
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Att mvno

These are MVNO which use the att signal which would work on your phone. Chose the best prices one based on usage.

Here are the MVNOs powered by AT&T.
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Old 08-27-19, 10:17 AM
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Verizon MVNO

here are the MVNOs that are powered by Verizon.
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Old 08-27-19, 11:40 AM
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Timely subject. Just yesterday I ordered another Nokia Windows phone. The Nokia 521 running windows 8.1 that has been use for 7 years has a bad battery and a cracked case. It fits into the seat pack very nicely as it is small. Runs on T Mobile. Got another Nokia, but it is a 950 so larger than the 521, but runs Windows 10 and will just fit in the seat pack.
Chose Windows phone because the operations are simple and easy to see, plus reconditioned it was only 55 dollars. Should be good for a few years bouncing around in the seat pack.
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Old 08-27-19, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Once you get your phone, you can head over to a cell phone forum and ask for new bike recommendations.
You won BF on Sunday.
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Old 08-27-19, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
Timely subject. Just yesterday I ordered another Nokia Windows phone....
Chose Windows phone because the operations are simple and easy to see, plus reconditioned it was only 55 dollars. Should be good for a few years bouncing around in the seat pack.
Agree; I have and enjoy a Windows 10 phone, but Microsoft advises me that support and upgrades for Windows Mobile will cease before the end of the year. Whatever that means...

Does that mean that the device will become bricked, or still functional, but increasingly insecure and unable to run current websites and 'apps'?

If the latter, I a still should be fine as do not conduct any financial transactions through any portable device (for those who do... seriously?), nor do I use any time-wasting vanity apps such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc.

The only residual concern is that insecurities in obsolete Windows devices will allow bad actors access to my emails, contacts, and my Cloud storage.

For security reasons, Android is obviously not an option, or so says my IT director pal.
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Old 08-27-19, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
4g lte killed off all the good, small flip and candy phones.

i have a Alcatel flip phone 4G...big heavy, drain battery fast, klunky interface. it sux bad compared ti my old Nokia 2G.

priblm is that no carrier use 2G/3G signal anymore. thus you are forced to use 4G signal.


they cram so much unnecessay feature into these 4G flip phone that it becomes cumbersome to navigate the menus. and its feels like a brick in the pocket.

i read theres a simple phone revival in Europe and in Asua. hope it makes it here soob.
Will those old phones still work for 911 service? I only ask because I carry one of my old nearly-indestructable Nokia cell phones in my glove compartment for emergency use only. When I turn it on, it shows that it has signal from a tower, but I haven't tried calling 911 with it because, as an ex-911 dispatcher I don't want to do that unless I have an actual emergency. I suppose I could call the sheriff's department first, since that's where the call should go, but with my luck the call would go elsewhere.
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Old 08-27-19, 03:44 PM
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Windows 8.1 has not been supported in a number of years, I believe since 2015, yet the 8.1 phone I have still makes calls and sends texts. Sure other apps don't work on it, however I do not use my phone for anything other than calls and text. Period. I understand the risks of financial transactions online, and on a phone it is adding to the exposure. Hopefully Win10 phones will still work for the next 4 years, just like the 8.1 I have now that it is replacing.
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Old 08-31-19, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
Will those old phones still work for 911 service? I only ask because I carry one of my old nearly-indestructable Nokia cell phones in my glove compartment for emergency use only. When I turn it on, it shows that it has signal from a tower, but I haven't tried calling 911 with it because, as an ex-911 dispatcher I don't want to do that unless I have an actual emergency. I suppose I could call the sheriff's department first, since that's where the call should go, but with my luck the call would go elsewhere.
Dial 112 (which is more universal internationally than 911 or 999)

As long as your handset can access a cellular signal it can call 112, don't even need a SIM or paid up account.
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Old 09-09-19, 11:44 AM
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If you have StraightTalk service, or use it for a few months, you can go to their "shop phones" section and find cheap low spec smartphones for free or $10 or $20 depending on how low your standards are. The catch is that you buy one month's service with it. Since my wife uses StraightTalk I just buy a service card that way every once in awhile instead of online, and get the phone along with it.

BTW get a Google Voice number, set up Hangouts and install Hangouts Dialer, and you have free wifi-only phone service.
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Old 09-09-19, 11:56 AM
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Thanks.
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Old 09-11-19, 09:19 AM
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