Author Topic: Cheap Phones  (Read 5030 times)


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Cheap Phones
« on: December 12, 2013, 08:59:42 PM »
MMM is awash in cheap ideas from phone plans.  Airvoice and other MNVOs, Republic Wireless, etc.  They all seem like decent ideas except I have a cheap phone plan I like with ATT.  What I want is a cheap phone that can accept my mini (not micro) ATT SIM card.

The ATT site shows its cheapest non-contract phone as $170.99.  The Samsung a157 GoPhone is just over $20.  Does anyone have any advice about a decent ATT phone for cheap?  I remember and liked the old Nokia candy bar phones but can't seem to find any of them for a decent price.  Am I looking in the wrong places?



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Re: Cheap Phones
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2013, 09:30:53 PM »
It's actually a topic that's gotten some discussion over in the Superguide over the years (as well as shopping for what you need, not what you want) for what it's worth... but it's not in the core seven posts.

2FF mini SIM is pretty standard with feature phones and even most older smartphones. 2FF SIM cards can also be cut down to 3FF micro easily either manually or with a cheap punch, and can be easily adapted back up to 2FF size with plastic adapters from Noosy as well.

Technically, AT&T GoPhones can and will work with AT&T postpaid accounts, you just chuck your active SIM card into the phone. These days, you might have trouble getting AT&T to carrier unlock GoPhones on the postpaid end, however.

The best phone is a carrier unlocked one so you don't necessarily have to stick with AT&T specifically and can potentially go to cheaper GSM MVNO options if desired. Plenty of feature phones are available new, used and refurbished on Amazon and Ebay, including various trusty rusty Nokia candy bar beaters and some reasonably priced IP67 rated Samsung feature phones. If you're looking for specific features with a handset, try here. The thing to remember is that US GSM bands (AT&T) are 850/1900. You can find a whole range of phones from $25 to $250 in this category, with features ranging from IP67 ruggedization to two SIM card slots to giant old people buttons and interfaces. There's no shortage.

I've got a short list of reasonably decent phones spreading the gamut from basic feature phones to smartphones over at the Shopping Hut which is my Amazon Referral Program set up to help support the Superguide and Technical Meshugana, and their further research, expansion and availability. Use it or don't, no skin off my nose... it's just there if you find it handy.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 09:35:12 PM by I.P. Daley »


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Re: Cheap Phones
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2013, 03:50:57 AM »
I'm still using one of those Nokia candy bar phones, and we've had good luck over the years replacing my husband's on eBay I think it was three bar phone replacements -- he kept breaking the keypads.

Most recently (about a month ago) we finally replaced his with an old Samsung Rugby from eBay in hopes that he would take longer to break a "rugged" phone. He's since discovered that its terrifically fancy, even has a camera and all. ;)

We're AT&T, same SIM card you're describing (ours are so old they still have Cingular printed on them).

If you want new, not used, though, go with IP's list. You'll know it works and support more info later with the referral. :-)


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Re: Cheap Phones
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2013, 05:37:39 AM »


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Re: Cheap Phones
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2013, 10:04:00 AM »
Thanks for the link to the guide, I.P.    Have you had decent experience with buying refurbished phones?

Also, looking at your referral page I see the GT-E1205L Keystone 2 which looks better than the GoPhone I mentioned saw on Amazon for the price I like ($20).  Does that support AT&T spectrum?  I assume it does since it's dual band.


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Re: Cheap Phones
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2013, 10:30:34 AM »
hm... correct me if I'm wrong, but is there a reason you CAN'T buy a "smart" phone and use your current sim? I mean if you like the plan and all, no reason to change it, but being a sim card, you shouldn't be restricted to phone type. You may not get the data plan with it, but voice/text should still work. Smartphone would give you FM radio/camera/gps/wifi (depending on phone) which work without data.

Or did you want older phone for the battery life?

edit: Since you are looking online, and if refurbish doesn't bother you, you could get decent phones (even older ones that are same price as flip phones) like old blackberry/2nd gen android/iphone.

edit: I'd try craigslist and cap the max price to $20, and min price to $2 (to get rid of junk that isn't priced). And if phone looks good and works, then it probably is good. Most people don't bother stealing old phones like these so you don't normally need to worry about it being blacklisted
« Last Edit: December 14, 2013, 10:37:17 AM by eyem »


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Re: Cheap Phones
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2013, 11:49:31 AM »
They all seem like decent ideas except I have a cheap phone plan I like with ATT.  What I want is a cheap phone that can accept my mini (not micro) ATT SIM card.

Can't you just walk into an AT&T store and ask to swap your mini-SIM for a regular one that's compatible with whatever cheap phone you want?

If I were looking for a not-a-smartphone, I'd get a Motorola F3. Unfortunately, at this point they're so old that they cost more now than they did when they were new!