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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: upside on October 24, 2013, 02:53:22 PM

Title: Phone Question
Post by: upside on October 24, 2013, 02:53:22 PM
My wife just began a job as a 4th grade teacher this year. Her principal and coworkers use email to communicate throughout the day. She is having trouble keeping up since she has an old flip phone with no email function. They do have wifi at the school, so I was thinking we could just get a phone that has the ability to use wifi and push email. If this is her only need, what phone would you recommend?
Title: Re: Phone Question
Post by: Daley on October 24, 2013, 04:01:33 PM
Depends. There's push email support with WiFi enabled phones on everything from JAVA MIDP (http://www.gsmarena.com/results.php3?sName=&idMaker=0&chkGSM850=selected&chkGSM1900=selected&idAvailability=0&YearAnnounced=0&nPriceLow=0&nPriceHigh=0&idCurrency=0&idFormFactor=0&idSIMType=0&idDualSIM=0&idQwerty=0&HeightMax=0&WidthMax=0&ThicknessMax=0&WeightMax=0&idOS=2&idOSVersion=0&idOSWhen=0&nminCPUMHz=0&nCPUCores=0&nminRAMMB=0&nminInternalStorageMB=0&idExpansionCard=0&idDisplay=0&nminDisplayX=0&nminDisplayY=0&nmaxDisplayX=0&nmaxDisplayY=0&fminDisplaySize=0&fmaxDisplaySize=0&nPixelDensity=0&idDisplayTech=0&idTouchscreen=0&idAccelerometer=0&idGyro=0&idCompass=0&id35mm=0&idCamera=0&idCameraFlash=0&idVideoRecorder=0&idSecondaryCamera=0&idGPS=0&bWLAN=1&idNFC=0&bEDGE=0&bGPRS=0&idBluetooth=0&bIR=0&bEmail=1&bWAP=0&bJava=0&idRadio=0&bMMS=0&idRingtones=0&sColor=&nBatteryCapacity=0&StandBy=0&TalkTime=0&sFreeText=push) (feature phones), to Symbian (http://www.gsmarena.com/results.php3?sName=&idMaker=0&chkGSM850=selected&chkGSM1900=selected&idAvailability=0&YearAnnounced=0&nPriceLow=0&nPriceHigh=0&idCurrency=0&idFormFactor=0&idSIMType=0&idDualSIM=0&idQwerty=0&HeightMax=0&WidthMax=0&ThicknessMax=0&WeightMax=0&idOS=3&idOSVersion=0&idOSWhen=0&nminCPUMHz=0&nCPUCores=0&nminRAMMB=0&nminInternalStorageMB=0&idExpansionCard=0&idDisplay=0&nminDisplayX=0&nminDisplayY=0&nmaxDisplayX=0&nmaxDisplayY=0&fminDisplaySize=0&fmaxDisplaySize=0&nPixelDensity=0&idDisplayTech=0&idTouchscreen=0&idAccelerometer=0&idGyro=0&idCompass=0&id35mm=0&idCamera=0&idCameraFlash=0&idVideoRecorder=0&idSecondaryCamera=0&idGPS=0&bWLAN=1&idNFC=0&bEDGE=0&bGPRS=0&idBluetooth=0&bIR=0&bEmail=1&bWAP=0&bJava=0&idRadio=0&bMMS=0&idRingtones=0&sColor=&nBatteryCapacity=0&StandBy=0&TalkTime=0&sFreeText=push), to Android (http://www.gsmarena.com/results.php3?sName=&idMaker=0&chkGSM850=selected&chkGSM1900=selected&idAvailability=0&YearAnnounced=0&nPriceLow=0&nPriceHigh=0&idCurrency=0&idFormFactor=0&idSIMType=0&idDualSIM=0&idQwerty=0&HeightMax=0&WidthMax=0&ThicknessMax=0&WeightMax=0&idOS=8&idOSVersion=231&idOSWhen=1&nminCPUMHz=0&nCPUCores=0&nminRAMMB=0&nminInternalStorageMB=0&idExpansionCard=0&idDisplay=0&nminDisplayX=0&nminDisplayY=0&nmaxDisplayX=0&nmaxDisplayY=0&fminDisplaySize=0&fmaxDisplaySize=0&nPixelDensity=0&idDisplayTech=0&idTouchscreen=0&idAccelerometer=0&idGyro=0&idCompass=0&id35mm=0&idCamera=0&idCameraFlash=0&idVideoRecorder=0&idSecondaryCamera=0&idGPS=0&bWLAN=1&idNFC=0&bEDGE=0&bGPRS=0&idBluetooth=0&bIR=0&bEmail=1&bWAP=0&bJava=0&idRadio=0&bMMS=0&idRingtones=0&sColor=&nBatteryCapacity=0&StandBy=0&TalkTime=0&sFreeText=push). It just depends on what features beyond that are desired. Keyboard? Form factor? Touchscreen?

Try out this tool (http://www.gsmarena.com/search.php3), keep your focus on GSM850/1900 devices, and stay away from Blackberry as Blackberry requires the additional cost of BIS which pretty much is impossible to find in the MVNO world. If you want BB functionality, Symbian S60 is the place to land, and my personal go-to, but it means keeping inside the GSM provider camp (AT&T, T-Mo and respective MVNOs). As such and on that front, it's really hard to go wrong with any Nokia if that's an option. If you need a CDMA carrier (Verizon, Sprint and their respective MVNOs), Virgin Mobile used to have a couple Blackberry models, but your only realistic and easy to find option will be an Android handset. Typically, one doesn't need push email if they only have set times to sit down and check their messages anyway, but it can be a nice convenience... though it just eats data. My wife quite enjoys her Nokia E63 (http://www.gsmarena.com/nokia_e63-2599.php) for what it's worth, and we picked it up in fine condition off Ebay for under $70.

Beyond that, thumb through the Superguide (https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/communications-tech-isps-voip-cell/) for ideas.
Title: Re: Phone Question
Post by: upside on October 24, 2013, 05:21:37 PM
Wow. Thanks. Awesome information.

Speaking of Nokia, would the phone in the link below need to be unlocked in order to use AirVoice or Lyca? Any opinion on the phone?

http://slickdeals.net/permadeal/104758/radioshack---att-nokia-lumia-520-4-gophone-prepaid-windows-8-smartphone
Title: Re: Phone Question
Post by: Daley on October 24, 2013, 05:57:31 PM
Wow. Thanks. Awesome information.

Speaking of Nokia, would the phone in the link below need to be unlocked in order to use AirVoice or Lyca? Any opinion on the phone?

http://slickdeals.net/permadeal/104758/radioshack---att-nokia-lumia-520-4-gophone-prepaid-windows-8-smartphone

AT&T GoPhones are sold carrier locked to AT&T. With prepaid devices, you need to have at minimum six months of active, paid service through AT&T's GoPhone service (https://www.att.com/deviceunlock/client/en_US/). It is currently illegal to carrier unlock handsets yourself in this country. I'm indifferent to the WP8 platform. It's Microsoft, and I'm a *nix neckbeard. That probably says enough.

That said, Airvoice SIM cards can still provide voice and text service with most AT&T carrier locked handsets, though data services like internet and MMS are obviously broken... and there are IMEI blacklists now that could be wielded to disable "stolen" handsets (read, read carrier subsidies), though AT&T or T-Mobile haven't gotten quite that nasty yet.

As for Lyca? They're a T-Mo MVNO, which means the SIM card simply won't work in that phone without carrier unlocking first. To the company specifically, they're still new in the US, their prices are a little self-destructive (not particularly sustainable long term), and their advertising is geared mostly towards niche tourists and transplant Europeans. I could be wrong, and I have been before, but this is not a formula that has bred long term success in an MVNO in this country. Best advice, stick with the known quantities with longer established business. You'll get better service, and will be far less likely to be left twisting in the wind one morning when they quietly close shop but leave the lights on.
Title: Re: Phone Question
Post by: m8547 on October 24, 2013, 06:10:48 PM
Maybe a used 2nd gen iPod Touch? It's like an iphone without the phone, or a mini iPad mini.  First gen would also work if you can find a good one, but I think they are known for some reliability issues. It looks like you can get a good 2nd gen for around $60 on Amazon.

Title: Re: Phone Question
Post by: upside on October 25, 2013, 11:54:21 AM
I.P.,

Really appreciate the info. Based on your advice and research I picked up a Nokia e63. Could you please point me in the direction of how I would go about making free voip calls using the e63?
Title: Re: Phone Question
Post by: Daley on October 25, 2013, 05:53:30 PM
I.P.,

Really appreciate the info. Based on your advice and research I picked up a Nokia e63. Could you please point me in the direction of how I would go about making free voip calls using the e63?

Glad to have helped.

As to your question, you don't. Free VoIP service is never worth the price paid. If you need/want to supplement with VoIP, pay for what you need. VOIP.ms has rates as low as a penny a minute. CallCentric has flat rate bundle plans. Drag a VoIP line in as a home phone.
Title: Re: Phone Question
Post by: dadof4 on October 25, 2013, 06:40:43 PM
Get a Pantech Burst. 1.5Ghz dual core, 16gb memory, Android 4.0, unlocked. It's still the best bang for the buck.
$95 in "mint" condition (you won't be able to tell it's not new). The price of a new one fluctuates a bit, currently at $140.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/PANTECH-P9070-BURST-UNLOCKED-MINT-CONDITION-4G-ANDROID-DUAL-5MP-CAM-PHONE-BLACK-/370912736094?pt=Cell_Phones&hash=item565c1f335e

I have one. DW has one. My dad has one. My sister has one. I bought 8 total of these for various family members. All but one were "mint" condition and worked flawlessly.

Mine uses Lyca, DW has a prepaid T-mobile account.