Help a cellphone novice buy a cellphone
October 16, 2009 12:22 PM   Subscribe

Hoping the hive mind can help me with a cellphone solution. I know nothing about cellphones and in years past have relied on the internet and a landline for my phone needs. I've used a combination of Google Voice (GrandCentral formerly), Vonage, and a cheap pay-as-you-go cellphone. I am now in a nomadic situation (US) where I do not have a reliable landline nor internet for the foreseeable future. It's time to get a real cellphone.

My ideal phone would include:

1. Easy use of Google Voice
2. Less than $100/month with at least 700 minutes and unlimited data or maybe wifi?
3. Can be in Europe for 3-4 months at a time (currently in US), and can either use the phone or put it on hold with minimum payment (like $10 month).
5. Importantly, can easily tether to my macbook so I can have some semblance of a wifi signal

Despite being cellphone ignorant, I am pretty good with technology, so I feel confident I'll be able to eventually navigate any phone suggested.

I've only looked into the iphone, and it just doesn't seem to be a good solution. Plus, I have a touch, so I don't feel too left out. :-)

I'm thinking Android, but am totally confused by the options, and OK, this is even more embarrassing, am not even sure the best place to buy one. Locked, unlocked, GSM .... argh! I've emerged from my cave and everyone is now speaking a strange language.
posted by cardamom to Technology (5 answers total)
If you want to use it in Europe, you'll need GSM (preferrably quad-band).

If you want to get a european SIM card to make cheap calls while you're there, you'll need it unlocked.

AT&T has a nationwide roaming plan, GSM phones, and the possibility of unlocks.

If you want to get unlimited free calling with Google Voice, try this.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:40 PM on October 16, 2009

Not exactly an answer but you might want to check out this link.
posted by Busmick at 12:42 PM on October 16, 2009

posted by Busmick at 12:42 PM on October 16, 2009

What don't you like about the iPhone? you can do all those things with it. Even better, if you jailbreak, you can do all those things really easily!
posted by CharlesV42 at 7:18 AM on October 17, 2009

Thank you for all your comments, even though short, this conversation has lead me to a decision. I LOVE the unlimited free calling with Google Voice trick. I just wonder how long it will last ...

After consideration, I'm going to hold out for the Motorola CLIQ, which I think I can get in a month. From what I've heard, T-Mobile is better with international, but I need to do more research.

No to the iPhone because: while phone itself is cheaper, monthly is more and because I'd rather not go through the hassle of jailbreaking when Android has a seamlessly integrated GV app (+ an app that allows tethering!).

Thanks again, everyone!
posted by cardamom at 4:35 PM on October 18, 2009

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