Verizon capable phone + cheap data plan + useable web browser?
May 16, 2009 10:42 AM   Subscribe

Which phone (older and cheaper maybe?) has an affordable data plan and an acceptable web browser for use on the Verizon network?

I recently upgraded my phone to an LG Env2, with the V Cast V Pack, which gives me unlimited data usage for $15/month. I like the price, but the web browsing experience is painful.

Are there any older phones I could buy on Ebay maybe, which would have a cheap data plan and make web-browsing more enjoyable?

I'm not sure how the whole unlocked phone thing works with Verizon, but I assume there are some older phones which are capable of working on the network...right?

posted by pilibeen to Technology (5 answers total)
If possible, install opera mini. It's loads better than the default browser on my samsung phone.
posted by malp at 11:13 AM on May 16, 2009

Opera Mini isn't available on the EnV2, which is not a smartphone.

Any unlocked CDMA phone SHOULD work. The problem you're going to face is that if it doesn't have full HTML browsing, web pages are going to suck. You could get a PDA, but the PDA data plan is more expensive.
posted by polexxia at 12:01 PM on May 16, 2009

I don't think you're going to find an older, cheaper Verizon phone with a better web browsing experience. AFAIK, with a few exceptions (see below), all of them use the same OpenWave WAP browser. All of my LG phones have anyway.

Your best option would probably be to switch to a phone with a full HTML browser (but not necessarily a Blackberry or other smart phone). These phones have a better browsing experience without requiring a different data plan. The LG Voyager was the first one Verizon offered -- you could also look at the LG Dare, Motorola KRAVE, and LG Versa. There may be others too, since I just glanced through CNET's reviews.

Here's a previous thread on getting used phones on the Verizon network. Summary -- you'll have a difficult time getting any non-Verizon branded phone to work.

Also, I just found an article explaining how Verizon recently added the ability for any phone to view full HTML pages. I just tried it, and it looks much better than it used to. Though, since that article is from February, I suspect it's small comfort to you.
posted by natabat at 12:42 PM on May 16, 2009

I believe that there are a few phones for Verizon that have basic html capable browsers that you can use on the $15 a month VCast plan. AFIAK, the LG Voyager is one of these phones. I believe that the LG Dare is similar. I don't know if the Krave or Versa have html capable browsers but there were rumors before the phones came out that they would. Also note that these browsers make web pages bearable to look at, but I'm pretty sure they won't stream audio or video. I don't know if they handle Flash or Java, either.

This would be your cheapest option for a relatively cheap data plan with access to basic HTML.

There might be newer phones that have better browsers, but Verizon requires that you get a data plan if you get a smart phone. Data plans range from a fairly expensive per MB plan to a $49? a month unlimited (5GB cap) plan. I haven't priced these plans recently, so I can't be sure of the costs, but the last time I looked it was something like that.
posted by jefeweiss at 4:50 PM on May 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

Check out the original Alias from Samsung. It is decent for web browsing and you may find one cheap on eBay now that they came out with an Alias 2 this week.
posted by smoothhickory at 6:59 PM on May 16, 2009

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