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Thread: Need easy to use smartphone for the wife.

  1. #1
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    Need easy to use smartphone for the wife.

    The wife is not tech savvy. She expects computers and the such to know what she wants without her having to learn how to do it. And after I show her 15 gazillion times how to do it, she still forgets every time.

    So... Am I stuck with an iPhone? I don't particularly care for most of the overpriced "i" products but I have no experience with the iPhone or any other smartphone.

    More info:
    I will probably have to go with Verizon because I have T-mobile with non-smartphones now and the reception is poor to non-existent in the area where I live but Verizon phones get a strong signal.

    I want to avoid paying text message fees (use internet based texting) and I've read that it is super easy with an Android phone but more complicated for an iPhone. I do NOT want complicated! But I have not researched this much.

    Phone use will be mostly voice calling and texting. I think she wants a smartphone just because other people have them. She will probably also use it to check email and for basic web surfing on weekends and on vacation. The only thing I will use a smartphone for is Pandora music streaming and maybe reading books.

    Wife is CHEAP when it comes to stuff like this. She has always gotten free or very low cost phones before. I'm fairly sure I can convince her to spend $99 on a smartphone (with contract). $199 for a phone would be a tough sell, but may be do-able if there is a clear reason.

    Thanks for any help!

  2. #2
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    Step 1: price out what it's going to cost for the life of the contract on the carrier of your choice. Most of them will not sell smartphones without a hefty data plan. Expect costs to be in the range of $60-90/month. Then compare it to what's being paid now. The difference between $99 and $199 for the handset will seem like chump change.

    Step 1b: also check other carriers that have acceptable reception in your area, plus their pre-paid plans that might allow smartphones, plus the MVNO "virtual" carriers such as Virgin Mobile or 7-Eleven's SpeakOut.

    Step 2: After the sticker shock, if she still wants a smartphone, come back and give us an update. :-)

    Best wishes.

  3. #3
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    Step 1: I found that amazon sells nearly all smartphones for a penny, except they don't sell iPhones. The Galaxy Nexus is one of the few phones that costs more ($99). That seems far better than the iPhone 4S 16GB for $199. This, and other iPhone issues, makes me want a non-iPhone and I think it would be easier to have the same phone as the wife. I still need to do more comparison shopping though. But I agree that handset cost will not be an issue.

    Step 1b: Wife likes a set, known bill. I haven't really looked into prepaid as I've always thought that was mostly for people with bad credit or problems with running up charges on regular plans. I'm definitely in noobsville about prepaid though.

    Step 2: I showed her the monthly cost for 3 lines with Sprint ($176 after her employer discount) and she did not flinch.

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    For simplicity I would go with an iPhone 4 or 4S. If anything happens to it you have iCloud to do a full restore with. iMessage will cut back on actual text messages sent. AppleCare tends to be very forgiving for broken iPhones I've had water and jailbroken ones replaced. You will also be able to search out issues somewhat easier since iOS is identical on the latest devices.

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    Another vote for the iPhone. iMessage will certainly help out a lot. If you go with VZW, it will be $30 for the data plan. That's all you need. I highly doubt she will go over 2GB so her bill will be consistent.

    Sent from my VZW Thunderbolt.

  6. #6
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    You should go by coverage and service first. You mention Verizon in your first post, Sprint in your second. Do you get employer discount at both?

    Any phone can be simple/cheap to use-you dont have to use everything. Most are self-evident; Android has "menu", short press to activate an item, long press for options. That is it.

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using HowardForums

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    My wife has an iPhone. She often complains things she can't install and update her apps because she keeps forgetting her iTunes password.
    I am @guamguy on Twitter.

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    Vote for Nokia lumia windows mobile. Super easy to use and big icons and no lag.

    Prepaid is for people who want to control costs. Credit rating has nothing to do here. Postpaid = you @ mercy of the bill. Prepaid = you have complete freedom without a contract and excessive billing.

    Sent from my Nexus One using HowardForums

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    To keep things on-topic (phone battle), I'll leave the carrier discussion alone.

    I'm getting a lot of people saying "just get the iPhone", and it sounds like the most common reason is that there are better phones, but they are not worth recommending because if the person does not like the phone it will be me who gets the blame. The iPhone is such an accepted standard that any problems are blamed on the phone and not the person who recommended it.

    The person in me who has been married for over 20 years says "just get her the iPhone" but the engineer in me says "get the best phone value".

    Am I wrong in thinking that the Galaxy Nexus is clearly a better phone for a cheaper price?

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    For the non-tech saavy, iPhone works surprisingly well. I gave my dad his first smartphone (an iPhone 4), and he has picked it up very quickly to my surprise. The iOS system seems very intuitive. Everything is pretty straight forward and easy to use, even for people new to the system. Blackberrys are also easy to use I think, and with physical keyboards, it allows it to be more useable.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MisterJJ View Post
    To keep things on-topic (phone battle), I'll leave the carrier discussion alone.

    I'm getting a lot of people saying "just get the iPhone", and it sounds like the most common reason is that there are better phones, but they are not worth recommending because if the person does not like the phone it will be me who gets the blame. The iPhone is such an accepted standard that any problems are blamed on the phone and not the person who recommended it.

    The person in me who has been married for over 20 years says "just get her the iPhone" but the engineer in me says "get the best phone value".

    Am I wrong in thinking that the Galaxy Nexus is clearly a better phone for a cheaper price?
    No you're not.

    Also especially I won't consider making any new phone contract that doesn't use LTE which the Galaxy Nexus has.

    If you're concerned with battery life the top most, get the Droid MAXX.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MisterJJ View Post
    To keep things on-topic (phone battle), I'll leave the carrier discussion alone.

    I'm getting a lot of people saying "just get the iPhone", and it sounds like the most common reason is that there are better phones, but they are not worth recommending because if the person does not like the phone it will be me who gets the blame. The iPhone is such an accepted standard that any problems are blamed on the phone and not the person who recommended it.

    The person in me who has been married for over 20 years says "just get her the iPhone" but the engineer in me says "get the best phone value".

    Am I wrong in thinking that the Galaxy Nexus is clearly a better phone for a cheaper price?
    That's kind of like saying I can get my grandparents the new porsche or the Cadillac though they cost about the same ones meant for the driver who wants comfort and luxury while the other is speed and luxury. She won't be missing out on much with the iPhone and would probably only use a quarter of the features on the nexus. In the end they are both good phones.

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    Great information guys. Thanks.

  14. #14
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    I agree with DrillBit. Don't invest (with a large cash payout or a long contract) in a handset that lacks LTE. If you decide on the iPhone, wait for the next version, which would pretty much have to support it.

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