Author Topic: Left my phone at home - feels nice  (Read 5142 times)

dizzean

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Left my phone at home - feels nice
« on: April 15, 2013, 10:24:31 AM »
I'm still in the process of shaking my $150 a month cell phone plan for both my wife and myself.

I think today will be a good exercise for me as I have left my phone at home.  I work in IT so I have all day access to my Facebook, E-mail and a phone, so I am still pretty well connected.

I have already noticed a nagging feeling to grab my phone and distract myself with random crap on it, it feels really nice to not have it.

It makes me wonder if I could get away with just a dumb phone or an iPhone with Google Voice.

icefr

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Re: Left my phone at home - feels nice
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2013, 03:22:03 PM »
Woohoo! I debated going down to a dumbphone, but I really enjoy having my phone around for wifi purposes and I was able to switch to Ting without needing to buy a new phone.

I was paying ~$85/month (with taxes) with Sprint and April may only cost me $20+taxes with Ting. March was $29+taxes and February $32+taxes. I'll use up the last of my credits this month, but even paying $30ish per month is a pretty good improvement. I don't really miss the data at all!

dizzean

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Re: Left my phone at home - feels nice
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2013, 04:04:27 PM »
Woohoo! I debated going down to a dumbphone, but I really enjoy having my phone around for wifi purposes and I was able to switch to Ting without needing to buy a new phone.

I was paying ~$85/month (with taxes) with Sprint and April may only cost me $20+taxes with Ting. March was $29+taxes and February $32+taxes. I'll use up the last of my credits this month, but even paying $30ish per month is a pretty good improvement. I don't really miss the data at all!

The only "excuse" I have for keeping data is that I am a complete idiot in the car when it comes to directions so I rely on GPS/Google Navigation a whole lot.

Daley

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Re: Left my phone at home - feels nice
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2013, 04:11:01 PM »
The only "excuse" I have for keeping data is that I am a complete idiot in the car when it comes to directions so I rely on GPS/Google Navigation a whole lot.

Then it's a good thing Google Maps on Android can go offline now, or there's Sygic for iOS, or offline GPS units or print maps, or, or, or, huh? ;)

dizzean

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Re: Left my phone at home - feels nice
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2013, 04:38:25 PM »
The only "excuse" I have for keeping data is that I am a complete idiot in the car when it comes to directions so I rely on GPS/Google Navigation a whole lot.

Then it's a good thing Google Maps on Android can go offline now, or there's Sygic for iOS, or offline GPS units or print maps, or, or, or, huh? ;)

Hey I.P. Daley, checked out your blog the other day..good stuff..

Will it "go offline" on the iPhone?

My wife just got a job where she can bike to work and I am in the process of getting one, once I get that our cell phone bills are the next thing to get mustachian on! 

Right now I use the maps more for an to the minute traffic checker as I basically have only one way to get to work for my 17 mile commute and on a normal day it can take me 20 - 25 minutes but the moment there is a lick of snow or rain (happens in MN) my commute can jump to 90 to 120 mins!

Once I can find a job (I have a lead that might come to fruition soon) that I can bike commute to I am getting rid of the 2nd car as well as the huge phone bill!

Daley

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Re: Left my phone at home - feels nice
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2013, 04:45:01 PM »
Will it "go offline" on the iPhone?

For Google Maps? Not that I'm aware. For Sygic GPS Navigation (the link I'd tossed in)? Very yes. They also have a real-time traffic module for an additional $15/year, and the data reduction using the Sygic software versus Google Maps would probably break even or go in your favor depending on frequency of use and how you're paying for your data.

Best of luck with the set goals and changes, and thanks for the kind words!

dizzean

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Re: Left my phone at home - feels nice
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2013, 04:55:34 PM »
Will it "go offline" on the iPhone?

e Sygic software versus Google Maps would probably break even or go in your favor depending on frequency of use and how you're paying for your data.

Not really sure what that statement means?  I pay $150 for two iPhones with Sprint right now unlimited texting/data (only use 3g in our area) and essentially unlimited minutes.

icefr

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Re: Left my phone at home - feels nice
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2013, 05:21:34 PM »
The only "excuse" I have for keeping data is that I am a complete idiot in the car when it comes to directions so I rely on GPS/Google Navigation a whole lot.

I'm pretty terrible at directions too, but I can usually stick to a route, so I just do the directions thing on my Google Maps app while I'm still on wifi and then don't navigate away until I get to my destination. If you usually drive with your SO, you could keep data on one phone and evaluate how things go. Having the map cached offline helps a lot too.

Daley

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Re: Left my phone at home - feels nice
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2013, 07:52:13 PM »
Will it "go offline" on the iPhone?

e Sygic software versus Google Maps would probably break even or go in your favor depending on frequency of use and how you're paying for your data.

Not really sure what that statement means?  I pay $150 for two iPhones with Sprint right now unlimited texting/data (only use 3g in our area) and essentially unlimited minutes.

If you go with a new phone provider where you're paying per MB of data, you could possibly use far more than $15 worth of data in a year using Google Maps for traffic updates than what offline maps with just live traffic info pushed to them would use.

MC

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Re: Left my phone at home - feels nice
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2013, 09:14:55 PM »
I'm no expert on the different phone options, but the subject of the thread rang true to me. This past Christmas I dropped my phone and it died. I am fortunate that my company pays for mine. Because it was the holiday break, I hadto go 3 weeks before it could be replaced.

I admit to being a smartphone junkie and constantly checking things. I was surprised to find myself relaxed and not twitching every 15 minutes to check Twitter or sports scores. I can't say I'm less of a junkie now, but I do try and unplug for a hour here and there now. It can be relaxing, and a good reminder that there are more important things. Not to mention the fact that we're so accustomed to Googling something to help solve a problem or settle a debate that it's nice to not have all the answers.

No sage advice here, just commentary.  Back to your regularly scheduled broadcast...

Left

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Re: Left my phone at home - feels nice
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2013, 04:45:32 AM »
IP do you know if the live traffic is pushed through data? or some other way by chance (sms)?

I use a "dumb phone" on sprint, it's the htc touch pro 2... it's old, but i don't consider it dumb. I like it for the streaming music/gps when I travel, or walk/hike/bike. Anyways since it's a dumb phone to sprint, they charge me dumb phone price. I keep a prepaid tmobile sim card in it incase I end up somewhere with no sprint service but has tmobile, minutes are good for a year now and only cost $10 to roll minutes another year.

tmobile has a nice $30/month plan if you dont use many minutes, or unlimited if you voip. Still more than prepaid, but probably the best it'll get for a post paid with unlimited text/data on a "large" national network. If I was wanting a newer phone, I'd drop my sero plan for tmobile but I've had good experience with sprint and I don't mind having an old phone.

Daley

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Re: Left my phone at home - feels nice
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2013, 09:57:40 AM »
IP do you know if the live traffic is pushed through data? or some other way by chance (sms)?

It's still using a data connection, just far less data as the maps are already locally loaded. It's basically the same deal as with regular GPS units that have Bluetooth connectivity to load traffic data.

tmobile has a nice $30/month plan if you dont use many minutes, or unlimited if you voip. Still more than prepaid, but probably the best it'll get for a post paid with unlimited text/data on a "large" national network. If I was wanting a newer phone, I'd drop my sero plan for tmobile but I've had good experience with sprint and I don't mind having an old phone.

Actually, you'd be surprised what's available for the $30-35/month price point these days in the wireless GSM market. The really old $30 SERO plan was pretty sweet back in the day, but given the phone you have and you haven't mentioned what you're currently paying per month or specific plan you're on... have a couple alternatives to take a look at and possibly consider:

https://www.gosmartmobile.com/compare-prepaid-cell-phone-plans (T-Mo coverage)
https://www.airvoicewireless.com/plans-2/ (AT&T coverage)

You'd lose the CDMA+GSM coverage as it stands currently, but the cool thing about the fact that it's a CDMA phone is that if you deactivate Sprint and you turn off the GSM service, you still have access to the ARN on the entire CDMA network, which you can keep a calling card active for about $10 a year as well (CDMA coverage has more rural penetration than GSM). Don't know enough about your situation to say if any of this might be an actual positive upgrade from your current setup, but it's certainly worth pointing out anyway.

Left

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Re: Left my phone at home - feels nice
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2013, 10:25:09 AM »
hm I didn't know about the ARN network... have you used this? Asking because it looks suspicious, their page is covered all over with broken links https://prepaid.americanroaming.com/

yes I am on the old $30/month sero (used to be $20 but they took away discounts). I use about 700-800mb/month, and at that amount, the $30 price point wins out for me. I stream radio while I bike/walk (I listen to talk shows/news so it isn't something I can build a library for). The $10 ARN is something that I'll look into but since it uses CDMA, I'll most likely stick with tmobile for the GSM so I have 2 networks to try. I drive through areas of rural Kansas and GSM doesn't seem to do well there. And there's a few dead spots on sprint that tmobile covers. Somehow areas near Sprint headquarters seem to drop all sprint calls when you pass by. Google voice makes it easy to integrate both numbers too so I can use either one and people wouldn't even know.

But for family, 3 sero plans for a little under $100 seems to win out but I haven't rechecked the math in about 2 years. I use the most data, while 2nd line needs unlimited text (over 1,500 texts/month, no idea how but it is), and 3rd line talks a lot (the free nights/weekends covers most, but the 500 daytime minutes is great). None of us really need smarter phones that we got since we don't want to pay more than we already are. Sure there are other $30/month plans for the texting and data but not the minutes, and we rather not break up the phone bills for the same end price but different phones. Even the $10/month prepaid plans would end up costing close to the $30 price point.

Daley

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Re: Left my phone at home - feels nice
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2013, 11:01:44 AM »
hm I didn't know about the ARN network... have you used this? Asking because it looks suspicious, their page is covered all over with broken links https://prepaid.americanroaming.com/

yes I am on the old $30/month sero (used to be $20 but they took away discounts). I use about 700-800mb/month, and at that amount, the $30 price point wins out for me. I stream radio while I bike/walk (I listen to talk shows/news so it isn't something I can build a library for). The $10 ARN is something that I'll look into but since it uses CDMA, I'll most likely stick with tmobile for the GSM so I have 2 networks to try. I drive through areas of rural Kansas and GSM doesn't seem to do well there. And there's a few dead spots on sprint that tmobile covers. Somehow areas near Sprint headquarters seem to drop all sprint calls when you pass by. Google voice makes it easy to integrate both numbers too so I can use either one and people wouldn't even know.

But for family, 3 sero plans for a little under $100 seems to win out but I haven't rechecked the math in about 2 years. I use the most data, while 2nd line needs unlimited text (over 1,500 texts/month, no idea how but it is), and 3rd line talks a lot (the free nights/weekends covers most, but the 500 daytime minutes is great). None of us really need smarter phones that we got since we don't want to pay more than we already are. Sure there are other $30/month plans for the texting and data but not the minutes, and we rather not break up the phone bills for the same end price but different phones. Even the $10/month prepaid plans would end up costing close to the $30 price point.

Actually, ARN is very legitimate... they just don't keep after their website as well as they probably should. After all, they make way more money with on-the-spot calls through the network from people roaming than their prepaid calling cards. The thing with ARN to remember is that it's outbound only, though.

On the CDMA end, Kansas and Nebraska are mostly Verizon territory, IIRC. One of the other things with the old SERO plans was that it was Sprint network only (I think), much like a prepaid MVNO, which is why you're needing the T-Mo card to roam for service in spots.

You're right though, breaking things up with individual prepaid carriers only to pay nearly the same amount isn't a useful idea. Instead, since you're already with Sprint and could just take the handsets over, you might want to look into Ting. You should get Verizon roaming for voice and text out in Kansas (no data), and 1000 minutes, 2000 texts and 1GB of data split between three handsets is only $68+tax a month... plus you get the added benefit of only (mostly) paying for what you use and rationing/monitoring usage for individuals. Get your use down on any of those fronts, you'll save more: pre-downloaded podcasts and live FM radio to decrease data usage, SMS alternatives like Kik, Nimbuzz and Google Voice to reduce text usage (though texting is dirt cheap on Ting), using a VoIP based home phone... you get the idea.