Cheap minimalistic CDMA phone?
August 19, 2010 4:41 PM   Subscribe

What is a cheap, minimalistic CDMA mobile phone (something along the lines of the Blue Chip VX1)? The interwebs haven't turned up anything for me, really.

I'm looking to go prepaid for my first phone, but I'd rather have something like this that the usually crappy offerings. The major providers in my area are Verizon and U.S. Cellular, both CDMA as far as I know.

I have seen the MOTOFONE online, but it sounds a little... too minimalistic.
posted by nrobertson to Technology (5 answers total)
Any old Nokia off eBay?
posted by mdonley at 4:45 PM on August 19, 2010

Verizon and US Cellular both require branded phones - they are not as interchangeable as GSM phones where an unlocked T-Mobile phone works on AT&T, etc. I'm with mdonley that your best bet is an old Nokia off ebay. I have a 6015i on Verizon and while it is a bit bulky it will probably never die. If you are going pre-paid I would encourage you to look at Page Plus - they re-sell Verizon's network at a much better price (for voice and sms) than Verizon.

I spent some time years ago looking for a tiny CDMA phone to replace the Panasonic GD-55 I used overseas but they don't appear to exist. CDMA requires higher power levels and so the batteries are normally larger, requiring a larger phone body. There is a Nokia 6236i on Ebay ending in a few minutes - I believe it is the lightest CDMA candy bar phone Nokia made. If you don't mind spending $200 you could get a Nokia Twist - probably the smallest CDMA phone available.
posted by ChrisHartley at 5:11 PM on August 19, 2010

I recently discovered the Motofone, too, and it seems like it'd be the perfect phone for me (the minimalism is really appealing to me), although a quick word of warning on it. There are apparently two models, the F3 and the F3c. The F3c is necessary for CDMA networks ... and I don't think it actually exists. From the poking around online I've been doing over the last few days, it seems like they maybe sell them internationally (India, perhaps?), but never sold them in the US. They're nowhere on eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, or anywhere else.

It seems like Target and Wal-Mart both have pre-paid phones that are pretty basic, but I'm not sure if that pricing strategy makes sense for you.
posted by Alt F4 at 5:18 AM on August 26, 2010

Another word of warning on the Motofone - in addition to the F3c not being available, the F3 got really harsh reviews from people I've talked to about it. I wish it wasn't so, I would love a strange minimalist phone.
posted by ChrisHartley at 7:44 AM on August 26, 2010

Thanks for the info, MeFites. Guess I'll have to settle for a compact flip or candy bar if/when I get one. Don't think I'll be ponying up for a Twist.
posted by nrobertson at 5:53 PM on September 15, 2010

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