Author Topic: Mobile Phone Dilemma  (Read 5263 times)

Guardian

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Mobile Phone Dilemma
« on: February 11, 2013, 08:07:22 PM »
Hi all, I need some advice.

I'm trying to figure out what to do when it comes to mobile phones.

My current situation (ending). For the last 10 years I've had a "feature phone" (dumb phone, replaced every 2years) that has been paid for by my Engineer father. I am very grateful for this. However, he's now getting a company paid iPhone and is switching plans, thus I'm on my own.

After doing some research on these forums and around the web, I decided to go with Ting as they seem the most friendly, accessible, and cheapest (woo!). Last week I ordered my first smartphone from them: a Samsung Transform Ultra (refurbished) for $76 +tax = ~$81.

I like it, I like apps, I like games. Mainly I thought I could get away with using a No Data Plan (and 100minutes, 3000texts for a total of approx $25/month) from Ting and just use WiFi at my house, my girlfriend's house, and my college, (and anywhere else). So far it's been...rather lacking. I haven't started the service on the cell phone yet, as my current Verizon phone isn't disconnected until later this week. Today for example, I turned the phone on at school at 8am while I waited for a class to start, played some Angry Birds, and some Fruit Ninja, and then at 8:45am turned the phone off and went to class. (*Note, I have the screen set to low brightness, low backlit time, and I use Advanced Task Killer to turn off all the unneeded apps when I can, yes, I'm a total noob to smartphones but I was trying to save battery). I turned the phone on again at about 1pm and used it for about 30-35mins to surf the web with my girlfriend and then shut it off (battery down from 100% at 8am to about 60%). Lastly, I used it from 2:30pm to about 3:00pm to read a kindle book and then IT DIED. The battery gave ran outta juice. Not what I'm used to since I've been using my Verizon brick phone (battery lasts nearly a week).

What gives? What am I doing wrong?

Between the shitty battery life, the distraction of all the apps, the fear of hurting this (more) expensive technology and the fact that I don't really WANT to promote smartphones at colleges (too much distraction overall), I feel I should return the phone and get a "feature phone" and call it good, even though my monthly bill would be slightly higher (still no data plan but more texts and minutes). I was looking at Page Plus but am not very satisfied with their plans/prices/phones.

I apologize now for the wall of text..

What are your thoughts/opinions?

Sincerely,

-Jason

darkk2b2

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Re: Mobile Phone Dilemma
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2013, 08:40:04 PM »
I have a couple of ideas. First, are you actually turning the phone off? or just turning off the screen? I ask because you said you had dumb phones in the past and if you hit the power button on one of those it will turn off, but with a smart phone it will only turn off the screen. (You will need to hold the power button to turn it off) Ok, assuming you are turning it off, it might be your battery. you said that it is a refurb which means it might have an old battery in it, in which case buying a new battery should fix your problem. But on that same note, smartphones do use a lot of battery power, I have to charge mine every night. Next, it is generally believed that task killers actually hurt battery life because there is a reason those programs are running and when you shut them off the phone usually expends more resources to turn them back on again. Lastly, wifi can be a big drain on your system so it is usually better to turn off the wifi when not in use, such as playing games and reading books, that might give you a bit more battery.( also the android phones I have had usually have a place in the menu that tells you what has been using your battery the most)

Daley

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Re: Mobile Phone Dilemma
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2013, 08:40:31 PM »
What gives? What am I doing wrong?

It's a smartphone, this is what smartphones do.

I've had a couple lengthy posts on the topic here lately (condensed and expanded on here), and the points I've been arguing have been very similar to your experiences.

As for phone service, Ting is nice and CDMA MVNOs are very competitively priced, but overall, CDMA MVNOs are a bit of a PITA if you want to bring your own phone or you need to swap handsets.

My first question would be: why Verizon or CDMA coverage specifically for you, especially if you're starting fresh?

If there's no good reason for this, and either AT&T or T-Mobile coverage is good in your area, look into going with, GoSmart Mobile (T-Mo) or Airvoice (AT&T) instead at those levels of texting, as you'll only be out $30 a month (yeah, I know). If you're actually using that many texts though, you should consider ways of scaling back. For a technology created out of dead air time on the GSM network and originally provided for free, texting's an expensive habit.

Edit: I might mention, too, that if you go PagePlus, you might be able to bring your current Verizon handset with you. Just something to consider.

Also...
even though my monthly bill would be slightly higher (still no data plan but more texts and minutes).
...I don't follow this logic entirely. I'm feeling a little dense tonight.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2013, 08:47:19 PM by I.P. Daley »

Left

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Re: Mobile Phone Dilemma
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2013, 09:11:07 PM »
tmobile has a $30/monthly plan that includes 100 minutes/unlimited text and data that i really like if you don't talk a lot

what I use is an old htc touch pro 2, sprint considers it a feature phone so it costs $30/month as well. I heard the old palm pre/pixie are also feature phones for sprint but I can't confirm that

Guardian

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Re: Mobile Phone Dilemma
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2013, 09:27:59 PM »
I really appreciate the fast responses guys. One of many reasons I love this community!

To clarify some points:

> When I said "turn off my phone" I would power it down fully. Also if I was going to look at something else for a second WHILE using the phone, I'd turn the screen off. I did use the Advanced Task Killer app a lot though so maybe that also hurt the battery life, and the refurb could be the problem as well. I always have the phone in Airplane Mode unless I absolutely need the wifi at school/etc. Hope that helps to clarify.

> I don't mind at all which "carrier" I go with, (the only thing is that I've heard negatives for T-Mobile in my area, Phoenix, Arizona)

> My main usage is texting (mostly to my girlfriend (90%) who also has a feature phone, so no KiK or Google Voice from what I understand). I am most willing to downsize my texting usage and have spoken with all of my main 'recipients' about how they will probably get fewer messages from me.

> I have a laptop and live in a city with good internet connections in most of the areas I frequent, and I live within 2-3miles of my most frequented friends, thus between in person meetups and Skype I think I could manage if my phone wasn't top notch.

> I like having a phone that lasts a while battery-wise and that I don't have to worship (constantly clean, etc, I like to put it in my backpack and forget about it). That plus not wanting to have distractions is why I am leaning towards a "feature phone".

You guys are awesome - thank you again. Please keep up the information, it feels good!



Daley

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Re: Mobile Phone Dilemma
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2013, 10:41:13 PM »
> I don't mind at all which "carrier" I go with, (the only thing is that I've heard negatives for T-Mobile in my area, Phoenix, Arizona)

> My main usage is texting (mostly to my girlfriend (90%) who also has a feature phone, so no KiK or Google Voice from what I understand). I am most willing to downsize my texting usage and have spoken with all of my main 'recipients' about how they will probably get fewer messages from me.

From coverage maps, Phoenix looks like it should have quite decent T-Mobile reception.

As for feature phone alternatives to Kik, check out Nimbuzz. If you pick up a feature phone with (or even possibly without) WiFi and go Platinumtel and Nimbuzz combined with a little texting discipline, you might be able to shave your costs down to under $10-15 a month with their Real Paygo plan (10 a MB, no rounding up on usage). I know the article I linked you that I posted starts out talking about iPhones, but give it a read anyway... I think it'll be useful for you as it addresses the larger picture of phone shopping based on feature needs.

Done by Forty

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Re: Mobile Phone Dilemma
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2013, 11:08:48 PM »
We just switched to platinumtel and the coverage is good in the Valley so far. And we're only paying like 2 or 3 dollars a week.

marty998

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Re: Mobile Phone Dilemma
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2013, 12:30:37 AM »

> I like having a phone that lasts a while battery-wise and that I don't have to worship (constantly clean, etc, I like to put it in my backpack and forget about it). That plus not wanting to have distractions is why I am leaning towards a "feature phone".


You hate your current 'smart'phone and you're still umming and ahhring about it? (and asking us our thoughts?) That deserves a facepunch.

Throw the phone out and get the feature phone. Now. nuff said.

urover

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Re: Mobile Phone Dilemma
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2013, 03:51:27 AM »
Just get rid of the smart phone. For those used to the simplicity of a feature (or dumb) phone (such as myself), and their ease of use and maintenance, a smart phone can be too much to handle. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post links on this forum because this is my first post, but you might want to read this http://2frugal.wordpress.com/2012/12/25/why-i-choose-to-use-a-dumb-phone/.

NumberCruncher

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Re: Mobile Phone Dilemma
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2013, 06:52:04 AM »
I have Ting (and a smartphone), and I text through Google Voice. With Google Voice, you can text any number, not just other Google Voice #s. I have the 100 MB data plan, and if you just used data for texting, that should be enough for you. The trick is to make sure you don't let other apps sneak in background data use. The amount they charge for texts vs data is INSANE. A text message is like 160 bytes. 1 MB is 1048576 bytes. Theoretically (there's always going to be some amount of background data use) this means 1 MB is 6553 texts.

destron

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Re: Mobile Phone Dilemma
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2013, 07:21:42 AM »
Last week I ordered my first smartphone from them: a Samsung Transform Ultra (refurbished) for $76 +tax = ~$81.

...

The battery gave ran outta juice. Not what I'm used to since I've been using my Verizon brick phone (battery lasts nearly a week).

What gives? What am I doing wrong?

Smartphones typically need to be charged every day unless you use them very lightly. Doing a quick google search,t he phone you bought seems to have some serious complaints about its battery life in general. On top of that, you bought a refurbished phone which might have an old battery (battery life decreases over time).

You are in a predicament -- you can either try putting in a new battery (may not help you), but a battery pack case that attaches to the phone to give you extended life, buy a new phone, or deal with it.


Guardian

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Re: Mobile Phone Dilemma
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2013, 02:02:40 PM »
Alrighty!

First of all, thank you ALL for contributing. I've spent a bit of time doing research, reading every link on this forum and figuring myself and my habits out.

I have decided to change MYSELF before asking the world around me to change. Thus I'm going with PlatinumTel (PTEL) and their Real PAYGO plan (the cheapest I've found on any MVNO). This way, I will pay for every single unit I use, whether that's text or voice, and feel the pain when I use too much. I believe this will help me stay in line with where I want to be. The girlfriend (the person I communicate with most) and I have set up Skype and Nimbuzz accounts, given each other paper copies of our schedules, and I've found a used GSM phone that I can use (FREE) with PlatinumTel (once I get one of their $5 sim cards). Also, found a coupon code online for a free sim card and free $20 off your first month of service. Cha-ching!

Thank you all so far for your help, I hope this thread can help others that find themselves in "yikes, idk about smartphones, bro..." situation. I will probably post an update once I know how the service works.

Sincerely,

-Jason