like the iphone, but cheaper
January 18, 2010 2:09 PM   Subscribe

What relatively cheap mobile phone will help me enjoy a bit of digital life while i wait to replace my lost iPhone 6-8 months from now?

I lost my iPhone 3G, of which i was really happy. I need 8 months before i can get a new one (contract renewal) and i don't want to cash out the money for a new simlock free one - especially because i think during this year a new one might come out.

So - i am in the market for a phone that ideally has 3G (i still have my iphone unlimited data plan) and possibly wifi (nice but not necessary). I would like a nice keyboard (used to use a blackberry for work - love that keyboard but hate the way you surf the net with a bb). the iphone touch keyboard was also very nice.

basically what i want it to do is to call, text (yahoo) and be able to connect to the internet, with very good email capabilities (multiple accounts?) and good browsing experience.

if it could subscribe to podcasts and download them automatically at a scheduled time (i know, i am asking too much).

play music through a 3.5mm jack a plus...

the catch? 200$ max

anybody has suggestions?

uh by the way: now i am using a nokia N73 that i hate with all my hate-cells.
posted by madeinitaly to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Take a look at VirginMobile. There are phones and plans (some pay-as-you-go, some month-to-month) that may work for you. I use this service in a somewhat remote area and it is pretty good.
posted by fifilaru at 2:14 PM on January 18, 2010

It fits all your criteria except 3g (and really, 3g is hard because, for instance, any phone designed to work on t-mobile 3g won't work on at&t 3g. I can't say for european carriers, but this must be similar). A first generation iPhone, locked, will fit in your price range. For instance, this. You can unlock it, if need be, quite easily (I think? I've never done it though. But I assume apple has stopped trying to prevent the old models from being unlocked.).

I got a basically-new g1 for $220 but that was an incredible price. Plus, still no 3g (as far at at&t goes, see above).

If you're used to iPhone internet browsing, very little else will cut it. Same goes for a lot of things - app library, etc.
posted by R a c h e l at 2:17 PM on January 18, 2010

Response by poster: I forgot to add: i am in europe and i dont want another contract, just a simlock free phone to use with my current plan. Maybe 3g is hard... Then a good gprs one?
posted by madeinitaly at 2:26 PM on January 18, 2010

You should be able to find some used HTC phones for about that price. Check your local classifieds or eBay for something like the G1, like Rachel mentioned. You will get much more functionality for less money, and if you're planning to replace it within a year anyway, there's not much of a point in buying a new phone.
posted by Scarf Face at 2:34 PM on January 18, 2010

HTC dream (T-Mobile G1)? You can get those for $150-200 in the states unlocked.
posted by wongcorgi at 3:09 PM on January 18, 2010

I think you'd be happiest finding a used iPhone.
posted by 6550 at 3:10 PM on January 18, 2010

Best answer: I know you're using an older Nokia now, but I had a E71 and I absolutely loved it. Since price is a concern, you may want to check out it's little brother, the E63. They both cover everything you ask, including podcasts (note: E71 has a 2.5mm, E63 has 3.5mm).
posted by ConstantineXVI at 4:46 PM on January 18, 2010

PS: the latest beta of Opera Mobile (not to be confused with Mini) is an excellent update for the stock S60 browser.
posted by ConstantineXVI at 6:28 AM on January 19, 2010

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