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Submission + - Where in the US can you get JUST a Cell Phone? 6

arakon writes: I am looking around for a cell phone for my technically challenged mother and all she wants is just a phone, and yet there seem to be no carriers in the US that carry a plain cell phone with good reception and battery life. All of them bundle camera's, pda's, mp3 players and a kitchen sink with a battery life of 2 hours, all for the low price of $350 or more...

Having looked around, the Motorola F3 is exactly what she wants but it doesn't seem to be available in the US. If we order it online will it work on US carriers? Are there any comparable products out there with a similar feature set and price range available for US networks? I appreciate the help.
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Where in the US can you get JUST a Cell Phone?

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  • If your current phone takes a sim chip, you might be able to use a pay as you go phone from Wal Mart. Sim locks [wikipedia.org] are the greatest impediment, but one person I know has done this and it worked. First you take your phone to your provider and ask them to program a sim chip for your phone if it does not already have one. Then you buy a pay as you go phone from WalMart and replace the sim chip. That way, you get a $20 phone that's just a phone, or a pay as you go brick.

    The best way to undo all of this is to

  • I just got a nokia 6030 to replace a monochrome nokia my mom has had for years. The only problem I noticed is the text is small so she's got to put on glasses to read it. The older one was better in this respect, but she uses the groups in the phonebook, so it is really a trade-off. Pay as you go have some nice basic phones. I recommend t-mobile since they don't have crazy hidden fees like verizon and cingular. I have heard decent things about virgin's rates, but I don't care for sprints network much so I
  • Jitterbug [jitterbug.com] has two phones that are about as basic as it gets. At $147 each, they're not the most inexpensive phones around, but the cheapest service plan is only $10/month.

    The coverage [jitterbug.com] seems very thorough, and everything about the phone seems genuinely user friendly.

  • Pawn shops, used electronics salesmen, e-bay etc.
    I don't think -any- of modern phones is 'just a phone', but lots of the older models are. Of course the batteries will be likely very dead in such a phone, so right together with the phone order a replacement battery from e-bay (there -are- batteries for old models available, for very reasonable price and often of capacities exceeding the original two times or more!).
  • The mobile phone companies make more money by people who used the other services - like sending texts and pictures or browsing the net. So of course they will push the phones that make it easy for you to have to pay them more money.

COMPASS [for the CDC-6000 series] is the sort of assembler one expects from a corporation whose president codes in octal. -- J.N. Gray