For a reliable phone that would be used for talk only, on an infrequent basis, what kind of phone would you recommend and where is the best place to buy one? Your website recommends 'the humble and end of life Nokia Symbian S60 platform' and '[any] modern Java MIDP 2.x feature phone operating system (or even Symbian S40) combined with a WiFi chipset is fine for personal communications usage with such solid offerings as the Samsung Ch@t line, the LG C series, some Alcatel OT handsets, and of course Nokia’s Asha line of phones.' Could you translate this into a couple of concrete phone suggestions?
I've not had quite the spare time to update and keep the site current as much as I'd like lately, so apologies for that, but I'll answer your question with a couple posts I made in this thread just a couple days ago on this very topic:
Most of the old Nokias with physical keyboards at this point have been left broken network-wise with any useful mobile data services due to the SSL POODLE vulnerability, there's maybe the e72/e73 at this point, and it's just not worth the price premium.
In a thread from September of last year you suggested these phones; from the URL I assume they meet the 3G GSM 850/1900MHz parameters you gave me above. Are they underpowered/obsolete/not ideal for my situation?
Those are getting harder to find, the prices aren't tracking lower, most of them are feature phones with many of them old enough to suffer from the same POODLE SSL issues that have bricked the older Nokias...
Of course, if you're just looking for a phone (which you are), and don't care about email, SMS text messaging, web browsing, and other networked creature comforts, and just want a straight up mobile phone that just makes phone calls, none of those quoted phones and their features would be worth anything to you and any old 3G capable clamshell or candybar feature phone will be plenty for your needs. A carrier unlocked ZTE Z222
can be really cheap, but the UI can be a little confusing and labyrinthine. There's also the factory unlocked Jethro SC628
, GOSO Big Button
, and Snapfon ezTWO
. Before you think I'm recommending those three latter candybar feature phones because they're senior phones and you're over 55, it's not so much that as there's not too many decent feature phones being made anymore at all... but the senior phones are getting the most love (which isn't much love at all) on 3G band support and simple user interfaces for feature phones.
For my area, it looks like TMobile and AT&T are the dominant providers. Would the Puretalk's $10 Senior AddVantage plan be a good phone plan option? (I'm over 55.) Do I have to do something to disable incoming texts, since I don't want to send/receive and pay for these?
Depends on how much you plan on actually using the phone. The Senior AddVantage plan is certainly one of the best bangs for the buck, and sub-$10/month PAYGO plans are getting rarer. However, if you don't plan on using more than 100 minutes a month (at screaming most), you might be better served with an H2O Wireless PAYGO plan at 5˘/minute
with their refills adding a minimum of 90 days airtime and unused balance rollover. That would still give you AT&T coverage that way, which would be the better network coverage wise if you're wanting non-911 "emergency" phone use. Alternately, there's also Truphone SIM which would charge you 9˘/minute outbound
, but give you free inbound calls, they're less rigid about airtime expiry (so long as you use the phone at least once every 45 days), and provides both AT&T and T-Mobile coverage.
Any of these providers should be able to disable SMS/MMS messaging on your account as well as mobile data, but you'll have to call in and talk to a support person to get that done.
Is there some kind of battery back up one can keep on continuous charge to have available in the event of a long-term power outtage?
All the linked phones should have the now standardized Micro-USB B connector for power charging (same as smartphones), and as they're not smartphones, battery life should be at least around a week for all of them. However, because they have a common power connector shared with smartphones, and smartphones are notorious for having short battery lives - and now more frequently non-user-replaceable batteries, a rich aftermarket of rechargeable portable battery phone chargers exist now. This one is one of many on Amazon
, just for example, and there are plenty of cheaper and
more expensive options if you look depending on what all you want it to do (solar, hand crank, flashlight, radio, etc.). This used to be my favorite go-to
before they discontinued it. Beyond that, you can get 12V USB car chargers down at Dollar Tree for a buck
as a third tier emergency charging method using your car battery.
Hope that helps! Any other questions, just ask.