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Old 05-04-2012, 12:25 PM
 
1,232 posts, read 2,753,676 times
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Hi all. I'm going nuts looking at phones/plans for my 12 year old daughter. For myself, I just use a Blackberry paid for by my employer for all my phone needs. It's not a plan I can add her to.

I got rid of the landline and gave my daughter an older Blackberry of mine (a Pearl), with $100 of TMobile prepaid on it, for her to use as a phone. She has an iPod Touch (wifi gadget) that she uses for texting, music and apps a lot. She doesn't like the old Blackberry because of the weird keyboard and clunky interface (compared to the iPod), so consequently she rarely charges it or carries it. But I need her to charge and carry a phone, so I'd like to get her something that suits her better for he birthday later this month.

She would love an iPhone but I don't really think she needs a smartphone and I don't want to get into $90/month phone bills with data plans. She doesn't talk much but might text a lot. Her prepaid TMobile phone has over $50 left on it, so maybe I should just get a newer TMobile phone, with QWERTY and touch screen, and stay on prepaid. I'm a Costco member so could go through them, if it's better. I don't mind a 2-year contract but if prepaid is best for her since she uses it so lightly, I'd do that. She's smart with gadgets and doesn't really need super simple but something friendlier than the old Blackberry Pearl. I don't really want to shell out $200+ for a phone but if it's the best way and avoids high monthly bills, it's ok.

Thanks for any ideas!
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:40 PM
 
Location: 92037
4,631 posts, read 9,049,383 times
Reputation: 1946
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReadyFreddy View Post
Hi all. I'm going nuts looking at phones/plans for my 12 year old daughter. For myself, I just use a Blackberry paid for by my employer for all my phone needs. It's not a plan I can add her to.

I got rid of the landline and gave my daughter an older Blackberry of mine (a Pearl), with $100 of TMobile prepaid on it, for her to use as a phone. She has an iPod Touch (wifi gadget) that she uses for texting, music and apps a lot. She doesn't like the old Blackberry because of the weird keyboard and clunky interface (compared to the iPod), so consequently she rarely charges it or carries it. But I need her to charge and carry a phone, so I'd like to get her something that suits her better for he birthday later this month.

She would love an iPhone but I don't really think she needs a smartphone and I don't want to get into $90/month phone bills with data plans. She doesn't talk much but might text a lot. Her prepaid TMobile phone has over $50 left on it, so maybe I should just get a newer TMobile phone, with QWERTY and touch screen, and stay on prepaid. I'm a Costco member so could go through them, if it's better. I don't mind a 2-year contract but if prepaid is best for her since she uses it so lightly, I'd do that. She's smart with gadgets and doesn't really need super simple but something friendlier than the old Blackberry Pearl. I don't really want to shell out $200+ for a phone but if it's the best way and avoids high monthly bills, it's ok.

Thanks for any ideas!
Avoid any phones with a SIM card and stick with a month to month plan like Cricket, MetroPCS, Virgin etc.
This will allow you to shut off when needed instead of just taking the phone if need be and no contracts.

Phones are not $200 unless you are getting a smartphone.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:53 PM
 
1,232 posts, read 2,753,676 times
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So you're saying buy an 'unlocked' phone? Where's a good place? Costco or the phone stores won't sell those, right? Amazon?

That would mean the $50+ leftover prepaid TMobile time is left on the old Blackberry, right?

Thanks.
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Old 05-04-2012, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Ohio
161 posts, read 436,749 times
Reputation: 210
I don't think he's telling you to buy "unlocked".
Month to month plans from Cricket, Virgin, Boost, etc. usually charge a flat rate of less than $50 per month. Some of those companies also offer some decent android phones at reasonable prices.

Last edited by Mick St John; 05-04-2012 at 01:25 PM..
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Old 05-04-2012, 01:29 PM
 
Location: 92037
4,631 posts, read 9,049,383 times
Reputation: 1946
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReadyFreddy View Post
So you're saying buy an 'unlocked' phone? Where's a good place? Costco or the phone stores won't sell those, right? Amazon?

That would mean the $50+ leftover prepaid TMobile time is left on the old Blackberry, right?

Thanks.
Unlocked only applies to SIM card type phones running on a GSM/WCDMA/LTE network. In the US the two majors are T-Mo and AT&T.

It doesnt sound like you are aware of other cellular companies in your area besides the big providers.
In that case, its best advised for you to go into a T-Mo store and see what pre-paid plans they have and get a basic phone. I know kids are smart these days at 12, but I would refrain from getting anything that would enable them to do more than they really need hte phone for (getting in touch with you or texting)
Just my $.02 as someone that runs a company in this industry.
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:06 PM
 
1,232 posts, read 2,753,676 times
Reputation: 662
Thanks. I stopped in a nearby Cricket store and talked to them. They've had the best deal so far. $85ish for a smart phone (ZTE Score x500), $55/month unlimited everything. No SIM card.

I wonder if I could sell the Blackberry Pearl with the $50+ left on it? Probably can't sell the minutes, huh, just the phone?

I wouldn't be sheltering her by giving her a data-less phone. The kid lives on her laptop and iPod, both with wireless internet. It might be nice to have a smart phone when the two of us are out and about. My Blackberry Curve is but it's not very user friendly or fast. Maybe they're all that way.

I'll stop in T-Mobile today and see what they have to offer. And check at Costco next week.

Any thoughts on that ZTE Score, as a phone? Thanks!
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:15 PM
 
Location: 92037
4,631 posts, read 9,049,383 times
Reputation: 1946
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReadyFreddy View Post
Thanks. I stopped in a nearby Cricket store and talked to them. They've had the best deal so far. $85ish for a smart phone (ZTE Score x500), $55/month unlimited everything. No SIM card.

I wonder if I could sell the Blackberry Pearl with the $50+ left on it? Probably can't sell the minutes, huh, just the phone?

I wouldn't be sheltering her by giving her a data-less phone. The kid lives on her laptop and iPod, both with wireless internet. It might be nice to have a smart phone when the two of us are out and about. My Blackberry Curve is but it's not very user friendly or fast. Maybe they're all that way.

I'll stop in T-Mobile today and see what they have to offer. And check at Costco next week.

Any thoughts on that ZTE Score, as a phone? Thanks!
ZTE should be 'ok' but nothing groun breaking by any means. Did you try it in the store? That should give you the best feel. Cricket are a good provider and has good standards for the arena they cater to.

Well you cant sell the pre paid minutes if they had already been applied to the phone number in your Blackberry. But you can sell the Blackberry on craigslist I am sure. Just be sure to take the SIM card out and the memory card (microSD).
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:12 PM
 
1,232 posts, read 2,753,676 times
Reputation: 662
Thanks. I didn't try the phone but the guy showed me a live one, just him clicking around in it. Looked iPhone-ish to me. But I'm a Blackberry user. Seemed nice enough.

It looks like Best Buy sells it for $40. The most common complaint seems to be battery life.

I found it odd that he said he could knock $15 off the $89 price, $30 if I was on food stamps or other public assistance. Seems kinda like discriminatory pricing... if you can pay more, you will have to. I'm all for breaking down the digital divide but I don't know if smart phones are really a basic need...

Last edited by ReadyFreddy; 05-04-2012 at 03:28 PM..
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:47 PM
 
Location: 92037
4,631 posts, read 9,049,383 times
Reputation: 1946
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReadyFreddy View Post
Thanks. I didn't try the phone but the guy showed me a live one, just him clicking around in it. Looked iPhone-ish to me. But I'm a Blackberry user. Seemed nice enough.

It looks like Best Buy sells it for $40. The most common complaint seems to be battery life.

I found it odd that he said he could knock $15 off the $89 price, $30 if I was on food stamps or other public assistance. Seems kinda like discriminatory pricing... if you can pay more, you will have to. I'm all for breaking down the digital divide but I don't know if smart phones are really a basic need...
Yes well their bread and butter is that crowd. Many times but not always folks that have poor credit, no bank accounts or are on some welfare programs. Its also for people that could care less about having a latest and greatest smart phone and just need something for convenience rather than necessity.

This doesnt make their service any less worthy. Its just the times we are in and why these types of cell business are really raking it in.

Last edited by shmoov_groovzsd; 05-04-2012 at 04:08 PM..
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
5,517 posts, read 9,157,578 times
Reputation: 2542
No 12 year old needs any phone, just my opinion.
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