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Thread: Flip phone upgrade help needed

  1. #1
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    Flip phone upgrade help needed

    So my dad needs to replace mom's 2G flip phone. I guess AT&T is dropping 2G by 12.31. It's on the $25/3-month plan. (Is this a current or grandfathered plan?) He wants to get her another flip phone. Mom's hard of hearing and uses a hearing aid, doesn't need anything except good volume and speakerphone.

    I think AT&T might be offering a free replacement via a mailing but it's not registered online. It was originally purchased from RadioShack and gets topped off via refill cards, and I don't know the account pin (or if there even is one; Can I create one online now?). I'm guessing that's how you get the free phone offer.

    I'm also assuming a 3G phone is suitable for after 12.31? If so, a quick search and I find Best Buy has the ZTE Z223 ($10) and the AT&T store has an LG B470(?)($50). The LG promotes its senior-friendly features but not sure if it's really better than the ZTE. I'm thinking it might be simpler all around to just buy the ZTE for $10 unless getting the LG for free is worth trying to get in an AT&T retail store. It might not be one of the models offered but I have no idea. In either case, it's just swapping the sim card in the new phone, right? Thoughts? Thanks.

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    Just go to your nearest dollar general store and buy an AT&T gophone and just switch sim in the new phone. The phone will be 3G or newer so no worries.

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    Yeah, that's my Best Buy option with the ZTE Z223 and what my gut inclination is. Anyone have first hand knowledge with this phone? Mainly concerned with sound volume. Mom's current flip phone is pretty good in that respect. I imagine newer phones are not as good due to mfg's cost cutting. Discovered the same thing when shopping for cordless phones for her earlier this year.

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    Forgot to ask, do I have to worry about powering up the phone with the provided sim card in (like w/smartphone) or does it come separately?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AnciusD View Post
    So my dad needs to replace mom's 2G flip phone. I guess AT&T is dropping 2G by 12.31. It's on the $25/3-month plan. (Is this a current or grandfathered plan?) He wants to get her another flip phone. Mom's hard of hearing and uses a hearing aid, doesn't need anything except good volume and speakerphone.

    I think AT&T might be offering a free replacement via a mailing but it's not registered online. It was originally purchased from RadioShack and gets topped off via refill cards, and I don't know the account pin (or if there even is one; Can I create one online now?). I'm guessing that's how you get the free phone offer.

    I'm also assuming a 3G phone is suitable for after 12.31? If so, a quick search and I find Best Buy has the ZTE Z223 ($10) and the AT&T store has an LG B470(?)($50). The LG promotes its senior-friendly features but not sure if it's really better than the ZTE. I'm thinking it might be simpler all around to just buy the ZTE for $10 unless getting the LG for free is worth trying to get in an AT&T retail store. It might not be one of the models offered but I have no idea. In either case, it's just swapping the sim card in the new phone, right? Thoughts? Thanks.
    What you described is not a service plan. It is simply a method to add funds to your account. Service plans included thirty-day plans of various composition, pay-by-the-minute and pay-by-the-day.
    Earl F. Parrish

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    Quote Originally Posted by AnciusD View Post
    Forgot to ask, do I have to worry about powering up the phone with the provided sim card in (like w/smartphone) or does it come separately?
    Look before powering the phone
    the sim may be already installed.

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    AnciusD

    My elderly dad uses the ZTE Z223 on the GoPhone $25/3month service. He also wears a hearing aid and has no problems with it. Those phones are frequently on sale at Best Buy for $7.50 and I purchased 2 for him so he has a spare. They are really cheap but do the job. Just pop the sim out of the old phone and place it in the new phone and the phone will power up with the current info and balance. Very simple.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AnciusD View Post
    Yeah, that's my Best Buy option with the ZTE Z223 and what my gut inclination is. Anyone have first hand knowledge with this phone? Mainly concerned with sound volume. Mom's current flip phone is pretty good in that respect. I imagine newer phones are not as good due to mfg's cost cutting. Discovered the same thing when shopping for cordless phones for her earlier this year.
    I too worry about this. I purchased a Z222 for my grandmother back in 2011 and the ear piece volume was extremely low in a mildly noisy environment she couldn't hear me. I then went out and got the Samsung A157 which is an extremely bare bones flip phone but it's earpiece volume was significantly better and had noise cancellation. It's now getting time to replace the Samsung but I'm not sure what to get.

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    Quote Originally Posted by october262 View Post
    Look before powering the phone
    the sim may be already installed.
    Yeah, I just wondered what to expect.

    Quote Originally Posted by jagator View Post
    AnciusD

    My elderly dad uses the ZTE Z223 on the GoPhone $25/3month service. He also wears a hearing aid and has no problems with it. Those phones are frequently on sale at Best Buy for $7.50 and I purchased 2 for him so he has a spare. They are really cheap but do the job. Just pop the sim out of the old phone and place it in the new phone and the phone will power up with the current info and balance. Very simple.
    That's what I figured, but wanted to be sure I didn't miss something obvious. Sounds like you have the same plan my mom's on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim-of-NC View Post
    I too worry about this. I purchased a Z222 for my grandmother back in 2011 and the ear piece volume was extremely low in a mildly noisy environment she couldn't hear me. I then went out and got the Samsung A157 which is an extremely bare bones flip phone but it's earpiece volume was significantly better and had noise cancellation. It's now getting time to replace the Samsung but I'm not sure what to get.
    I snapped a pic of the manual while I was there. My mom's phone is a Samsung A167. Apparently, it's better than my dad's retired flip phone. I got him a smartphone a few years ago (LG F3), and just recently a second to play with (LG Tribute 2) or switch if he liked it.

    I'll probably spend the $10 and get the Z223. Seems the simplest and quickest solution. If mom doesn't like it, I'll look for something else. Reviews about the battery life don't seem too good but I guess it's basic cost cutting.

    Thanks for all the helpful responses.

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    Just to close the loop and tie up loose ends. My first real hands on using a flip phone (and AT&T) so maybe obvious stuff for most of you.

    With the Z223, the sim is installed but not the battery. As suggested, a simply swapping the sim card in was all that was needed, not some of the jack-apery hoop jumping that AT&T website suggests and some others may have encountered (Best Buy user comments). I was surprised that I couldn't set up contacts in the address book w/o first installing the sim. Thought I'd put some family contacts in before I brought the phone to my parents but I guess it's not possible, only calling 911 was allowed.

    The speakerphone volume on the Z223 seems quite sufficiently loud, very glad for that and relieved. Hasn't encountered the mom test yet, though.

    One minor glitch, for some reason when I put the sim card into the Z223 it offered to move the contacts (stored on the sim?) over but not all the contacts from the original phone transferred to the new one. Can contacts be stored elsewhere, on the actual physical phone? Not a biggie just odd, to me.

    I did set up the AT&T online account, to see what I could see. The first time default pw is the last 4 digits of the phone number. Requested a temp 4 digit pw sent to the phone and then created a new one after that.

    Battery life does seem short at first glance. It's only has a 900mAh battery.

    The plan my mother has is the $1/day and .10/minute. $1 is only for day you actually use the phone (for calls?). Accidentally, I incurred data charges when I accessed the web.

    Well, I learned something out of all this; hope this helps anyone else in the same boat.

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    The LG b470 is the best AT&T cell phone for seniors in your case as it has a volume enhanced mode specially designed for seniors but if the price is a problem, go for the ZTE Z223.

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    >One minor glitch, for some reason when I put the sim card into the Z223 it offered to move the
    >contacts (stored on the sim?) over but not all the contacts from the original phone transferred
    >to the new one. Can contacts be stored elsewhere, on the actual physical phone?
    >Not a biggie just odd, to me.

    There are two things at work here, three actually. First, SIM cards have a small
    amount of memory ... maybe as little as 200 contacts. Second, a contact in the
    phone with several lines of information may occupy three or four contacts on the
    SIM card. Third, some phone information may be on the SIM and some on the
    phone. I think there are a few more possibilities.

    Regards, FJ

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontierjustice View Post
    >One minor glitch, for some reason when I put the sim card into the Z223 it offered to move the
    >contacts (stored on the sim?) over but not all the contacts from the original phone transferred
    >to the new one. Can contacts be stored elsewhere, on the actual physical phone?
    >Not a biggie just odd, to me.

    There are two things at work here, three actually. First, SIM cards have a small
    amount of memory ... maybe as little as 200 contacts. Second, a contact in the
    phone with several lines of information may occupy three or four contacts on the
    SIM card. Third, some phone information may be on the SIM and some on the
    phone. I think there are a few more possibilities.

    Regards, FJ
    I presumed it was your #3. But didn't know it was as option. I was moving the same old SIM from one flipper to another. Samsung a167->ZTE 223.
    Could be possibility #4: due to different brand/version of OS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dastin11 View Post
    The LG b470 is the best AT&T cell phone for seniors in your case as it has a volume enhanced mode specially designed for seniors but if the price is a problem, go for the ZTE Z223.
    Yeah, the LG caught my eye for that reason. I got the ZTE for $10 on sale and the volume is fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AnciusD View Post
    Yeah, the LG caught my eye for that reason. I got the ZTE for $10 on sale and the volume is fine.
    For AT&T customers who are searching for cell phones for seniors, it's better to get a compatible GSM phone that is specially designed for senior citizens and at least offers the emergency call feature. If you're looking for a flip design phone you can check something like the Jethro SC213v2.

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