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Thread: Which Android OS Phone For Hot Spot Use?

  1. #1
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    Which Android OS Phone For Hot Spot Use?

    First, if this is in the wrong section, then please move it!!

    I've never owned a smartphone and thought I never would until I got to reading some stuff about SIM card swapping to get cheaper internet data service by using a smartphone as a data Hot Spot. The SIMs I've found that I'd like to try are on Tmobile and AT&T so I would need an Unlocked GSM smartphone with 4G Data and Hot Spot capabilities.

    After looking around on fleabay I found several $50 manufacturer refurbished Android OS phones but the problem is, when you look at the specs for them nothing is usually mentioned about 4G?? 2G and 3G are mentioned in most specs but a lot of them don't mention anything about 4G data??

    So, can someone "enlighten" me on this because I found this phone for under $50 and was thinking about buying it?

    BLU Studio J1 (8GB) 4.0" Android 6.0, 4G Dual SIM Unlocked Phone White GSM S050Q

    Oh, and I'm not interested in anything apple.

    Thanks

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    Older phones might not have 4G so that might be why they did not mention it.

    Almost all newer phones have 4G.

    Unlocked phones often cost more than locked phones.

    Also check the carriers that you want because sometimes they have cheap or free phones if you sign up. Even if you have an unlocked phone that would work if you can get a free phone you might as well take it.

    Amazon is also a good place to look for unlocked phones.

    The carrier plan also has to offer hotspot for it to work. Not all carriers offer hotspot.

    The phone you mention says it has 4G so that one is 4G.

    That phone you mention has android 6. I would probable try and get a phone no older than android 6 or higher.

  3. #3
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    Yeah well, that line I posted with 4G in it came from the fleabay vendors ad. Here is a link to a "credible" source for specs on that phone and note that 4G isn't mentioned ANYWHERE in this ad and spec.

    The wouldn't let me post the link, so here's copy and paste from the Office Depot website:

    Description

    If you need a device that can help you stay on track, this smartphone is a great choice. With a built-in calendar, an easy-to-use Android operating system and wireless Internet connectivity, you can manage your busy lifestyle.

    Wireless-N (802.11n) technology is capable of accessing the Internet without cables. Bluetooth® 4.0 technology syncs to speakers and more.
    Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS provides helpful features that are easy to use.
    Works with your existing 3G network (data plan sold separately).
    8GB of internal memory stores songs, games and more. Expandable up to 64GB with a microSD™ card (sold separately).
    Allows multimedia and e-mail messaging.
    5.0-megapixel camera offers a LED flash, touch focus and face detection for stunning photos and video. 2.0-megapixel front-facing camera features an LED flash for selfies.
    4" capacitive touch-screen LCD with IPS technology for clear, 480 x 800 resolution.
    Speakerphone lets you have a conversation when your hands are tied.
    Calendar provides simple planning space.
    Up to 13 hours of talk time and up to 400 hours of standby time. Battery life will vary depending on the product configuration, product model, applications loaded on the product, power management setting of the product, and the product features used by the customer. As with all batteries, the maximum capacity of this battery will decrease with time and usage.
    Backed by the manufacturer's 1-year limited warranty.


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    Look at the link below for the specs to your example phone and expand network section.

    It shows HSPA which is similar to 4G but not the same so it does not have 4G so I would not get this phone if you want 4G.

    So most likely the reason the phones you are looking at do not say 4G is because they do not have 4G.

    https://www.gsmarena.com/blu_studio_j1-8735.php



    The moto e4 below has 4G and is a good budget unlocked phone from what I heard. It is $123.99 at bestbuy.

    Motorola - Moto E4 4G LTE with 16GB Memory Cell Phone (Unlocked) - Fine Gold

    https://www.bestbuy.com/site/motorol...E&gclsrc=aw.ds



    I would recommend looking at the carriers you want to use and see what phones they have on their website and that might give you an idea what phones would work good.

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    Thanks but too much money for that Moto phone! $50 is about my limit for something that I've never done and not sure is going to work like I need it to. $130 would almost pay my electric bill for a month!

    Had one of those $5 unlimited 3G deals that stopped working back in July and I sure do miss it. I'm 73, retired since 2006 and while retirement is good, the pay IS NOT! THAT is the reason I was looking for another way to get cheap internet.

    And FYI, that $5 plan was what my darling Wife was using before it quit. Since it stopped working our monthly internet usage is topping 22GB a month! She is a web master and uses a LOT of data working with the websites she has up.

    RE: The 4G thingie? I was looking for that because I've read where 3G is going to be phased out next year so I don't want to buy something that has no future, if you know what I mean.

    Thanks again for the reply!!

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    I don't understand exactly what you are doing.

    You say you had a $5 plan and after it stopped working your wife used 22 GB. How can you use 22 GB after the plan stopped working?

    You say you never had a smartphone so why not just use whatever you have now until 3G is shut down.

    I am not familiar with your $5 plan. I never heard of Internet that cheap.

    I have unlimited Internet with hotspot using boost $35 3 GB plan.

    There are likely cheaper phones, that was just a suggestion. I think they had refurbished on that website too. You can also look for used. Whatever phone you get make sure it has the bands you need for your carrier.

    What I would do is look for phones that work for the carrier you want to use.

    3G might be shut down and technology is always changing. Now 5G will be out soon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brad4cell View Post
    I don't understand exactly what you are doing.
    You never heard of SIM swaping for cheap internet service? I'd post a link, but, they won't let me. Ebay vendors sell SIM cards at discount rates that are only good for 30 days. Then you buy another at discount rate for another 30 days...................etc.

    You say you had a $5 plan and after it stopped working your wife used 22 GB. How can you use 22 GB after the plan stopped working?
    We had 2 internet services then. She had one and I had one. Hers is the one that quit so now we are both on one connection and 22GB a month seems to be the norm. Just was much better when she had a connection by herself!!

    You say you never had a smartphone so why not just use whatever you have now until 3G is shut down.
    What I have now is a Consumer Cellular Doro 626 FLIP PHONE with voice only, no text or data at $20 a month unlimited. If I do get around to doing this smartphone thingie, it will only be used as a Hot Spot and I'll probably never make a phone call on it.

    I am not familiar with your $5 plan. I never heard of Internet that cheap.
    Those were available on Ebay for 3 or 4 years, until they stopped working back in July.

    I have unlimited Internet with hotspot using boost $35 3 GB plan.
    Yeah, I've got 4g internet service with Sprint using a Franklin R850 but it works much better having 2 services here, ie, hers and mine.

    There are likely cheaper phones, that was just a suggestion. I think they had refurbished on that website too. You can also look for used. Whatever phone you get make sure it has the bands you need for your carrier.

    What I would do is look for phones that work for the carrier you want to use.

    3G might be shut down and technology is always changing. Now 5G will be out soon.
    Where I live and at 73 years old, I may not live long enough to ever see 5G. I think we were one of the last places in the country to get 4G.

    As far as the smartphone goes, I guess I just need to contact the providers to see if they support HSPA for 4G.

    Thanks again..............................
    Last edited by Popasmurf; 10-21-2018 at 03:33 PM. Reason: Changed to be more polite and less snarky

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    Thanks now I have a better idea of your situation.

    I heard people getting preloaded sims on ebay but I never did it myself. I have been on virgin and now boost for internet so I never tried the sim cards.

    Another thing that might work is an LTE modem instead of a phone with hotspot; however, I tend to prefer the phone with hotspot myself.

    You mention you are paying $20 a month for voice only. I have one idea that is to find a smartphone plan that for $20 will also give you hotspot and drop your voice only plan. This way you can get unlimited hotspot at no extra cost than you are already paying for voice only.

    Here is one idea that might work but there might be better deals out there. Mintmobile.com has a plan for $15 a month that has 2 GB LTE and then throttled to 2G and has unlimited hotspot. You have to pay 1 year at a time to get that price. It uses t-mobile network. I have not tried mintmobile but I was thinking about getting it myself so I think it would work.

    https://www.mintmobile.com/plans/

    If you used mint mobile you might be able to get rid of your 4g internet service with Sprint using a Franklin R850 but not sure how much that cost.

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    Funny you mention mintmobile.com cuz it was already on my list before I even posted this thread. ;-) I just had to get my head around the HSPA speed thingie.

    Ennywho, I'm probably doing to buy that phone I've been looking at. It's only $45 shipped with a 1 year warranty and the guy has sold 22 of them and feedback on those seems to be OK.

    Ennywho, thanks for your replies and I'll try to remember to come back and post how this works out.

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    You might want to check out the phones on the mint mobile website.

    Here is one I found. Looking at the mint mobile website the cheapest phone they have is Alcatel IdealXcite 5.0 LTE for $59.

    https://phones.mintmobile.com/phones...047.1539823769

    I found the same phone on amazon for 55.85.

    This phone says it has 4G LTE. It also has Android 7.0. It is unlocked. Reviews are 4 star with 98 reviews.

    Alcatel Ideal Xcite 4G LTE Unlocked 5044R 5 inch 8GB Usa Latin & Caribbean Bands Android 7.0 IdealXcite

    https://www.amazon.com/Alcatel-Unloc.../dp/B0747WWP4D

    Because mint mobile offers this phone and mint mobile uses tmobile network I assume this phone works OK on the tmobile network.

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    There is a bit to understand about hotspotting a phone. It can be a bit convoluted.

    An unlocked phone just means that it is not locked to a particular carrier for service. It does not mean that the hotspot app on the phone is unlocked.

    Carrier branded phones generally have the hotspot app locked so that it can only be used with that carrier's plans that include hotspotting. Many carrier plans do not include hotspotting or limited hotspotting, especially the inexpensive plans.

    Phones that are not carrier branded generally have the hotspot app unlocked. Most, if not all, Blu phones are not carrier branded.

    4G is a nearly meaningless term. What you want is LTE or 4G-LTE. "4G" HSPA works and can be fast enough, but is being phased out. AT&T still runs it on most of their network. HSPA on T-Mo can be hit or miss if they have it on their cells. I would pass on that Blu phone, or any phone without LTE.

    To find a phone to hotspot with you need to identify which carriers have signal where you want to use it. After that, determine what carrier or MVNO plan you want to use. I do not know of any inexpensive plans that allow large amounts of data or hotspotting in the tens of GB range.

    You can usually get away with some hotspotting on plans that do not technically include it in something like a few tens or hundreds of MB. Tens of GB will likely get you terminated. It is easy for the carriers to tell if you are hotspotting.

    Let us know about those things and we can share what we know.

    Black Friday is coming soon. There will likely be some phone deals, like at Best Buy. I got a nice Maven 3 last Black Friday for $8. If you plan to add more than a few apps to a phone, 8 GB storage is not enough.

    I know what you mean about "the pay" in retirement and 5G fixed wireless coming to where I live. We have cable and FIOS in the area. This area would not be a hot prospect for carriers to deploy fixed wireless.

    Good luck

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    My current phone boost lg tribute hd I am using with boost I got from bestbuy.com for $20 on black friday.

    However, I tried to get the maven 3 for $8 black friday but was not fast enough and they were sold out so you sometimes have to move fast if you want a black friday phone. I think it was sold out in just a few hours.

    If bestbuy has another cheap phone I will try and buy it this black friday just to use with no service. I normally look for something under $20 with the newest OS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brad4cell View Post
    My current phone boost lg tribute hd I am using with boost I got from bestbuy.com for $20 on black friday.

    However, I tried to get the maven 3 for $8 black friday but was not fast enough and they were sold out so you sometimes have to move fast if you want a black friday phone. I think it was sold out in just a few hours.
    Yeah, I ordered mine at 7 am from bed. I think the $8 deal was for in store pick up only. The year before I got a Phoenix 2 for $30. That is a nice phone and can do hotspotting with the Settings Database Editor app.

    If bestbuy has another cheap phone I will try and buy it this black friday just to use with no service. I normally look for something under $20 with the newest OS.
    I use the Phoenix around the house on Wifi like a micro tablet. I do have Freedompop service on it since it only cost $1 back then. The Maven-3, I use in the car for GPS. With only 8 GB storage and a lot of uninstallable junk apps it isn't useful for much else.

    Where else is a good place to look for Black Friday cellphone deals? B&H? We will have to see how Prepaid Phone News handles BF deals this year since Dennis departed.

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    Checked on that phone link up the page from Mint Mobile about whether that phone was UNLOCKED or not and here is their reply:

    Thank you for contacting Phones.mintmobile.com Customer Support.

    I'd be more than happy to assist you today!

    We do not guarantee any of our phones to be unlocked. All of the phones listed on our website are compatible with Mint Mobile.

    Thank you,
    Mia Jones
    Phones.mintmobile.com Customer Support
    So they just lost a sale!!

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    The same model from Amazon says it is unlocked so it should be unlocked for sure if you buy from Amazon. From what I can tell it seems like it would be a good unlocked phone for GSM only.

    I saw a new plan from unreal mobile that sounds like it might work even better for you. It sounds like it has 1 GB LTE and then unlimited 2G with hotspot for $10 a month. Sound like they have sprint or at&t networks available. Sounds like you must use voip for calls. Check out the details to make sure of everything it has because I am not sure because I just heard of it.

    They are talking about unreal mobile in the link below so you can ask questions there if you have any about how it work.

    https://howardforums.com/showthread....le-Thread-2018

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