Free iPhone! Now what?
December 2, 2010 5:07 PM   Subscribe

My girlfriend got a used iPhone for her birthday! Now what?

My girlfriend was given a used iPhone 3G for her birthday. She's now trying to decide what to do with it. She definitely wants to use it as her primary cell phone, but isn't sure if she should try to get a contract with AT&T or perhaps attempt to unlock it and use T-Mobile instead, etc. (or choose some other option of which we're not aware). She doesn't anticipate making a ton of calls or using a ton of data capacity, and she's very much interested in the cheapest possible option. She currently has a no-frills, non-smartphone contract with AT&T, but she's far from thrilled with their service/pricing.

What should she do? If it matters, she's in New York City.
posted by saladin to Technology (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: She can get the $15 dollars per month, 200mb data plan, if she doesn't plan on doing alot of data use.

Also you can get a google voice account / app (and phone number), and get unlimited free texting. Knock $5-$20 from your monthly bill easy
posted by stratastar at 5:23 PM on December 2, 2010

Best answer: See if she can add the data plan stratastar mentioned onto the current plan without extending the contract.

Contracts are only for subsidizing equipment so her contract completion date should not change.
posted by pants tent at 5:34 PM on December 2, 2010

Best answer: Definitely get the 200mb data plan and just have her turn on wifi and use that when she can (the data downloaded on wifi doesn't count). If she texts a lot, the unlimited plan is well worth it. i currently have the most basic plan (with the exception of the unlimited text) and pay $83/month. In terms of applications, tell her not to buy anything! There are plenty of applications available for FREE! My favorite, most productive apps are:

1) To Do Lite (lets you list anything you want - but it is limited)
2) Where (locates anything you want around your area and then maps it for you if you need to drive there)
3) Shazam (music recognizer)
4) HoursTracker (tracks and totals your hours and the wages you should get for work)
5) MyWireless (great ATT app to let you know what your usage is)
6) RMaker (makes ringtones from your selected iTunes music so you can have your own ring selection)
7) Pandora (free music with an account, best used if on wifi)
8) Flixster (informs you about movie times from theaters)
9) CheckPlease Lite (tip calculator)
10) OurGroceries (grocery lister + recipe notes)
11) Trapster (alerts you of any red-light cameras where you are driving)

I use my iPhone4 for everything and it can quickly become addicting in terms of its all-in-one use. The mention of the google voice account is a good one, however, you will not always get alerted that you received a voicemail or text, so dependency on it may be an issue. If you are not forward texts to the number (since that defeats the purpose in using LESS texts), the actual google voice app needs to be refreshed in order to be alerted that you have a new message or you have it have it on and open all the time (which is a battery hog).
posted by penguingrl at 5:50 PM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: All great answers folks, looks like AT&T is the way to go, at least for the time being. Thanks!
posted by saladin at 12:12 PM on December 3, 2010

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