What are the options for a simple CDMA phone?
May 28, 2012 2:12 PM   Subscribe

My wife wants a new cellphone but her needs are out-of-step with the market. She's looking for something very simple but the hard part is that we're on Verizon so it needs to be CDMA. Are there options?

Her needs are basically:
  • Handles calling, SMS, and has a camera.
  • Durable enough to last at least 2-3 years.
  • Good battery life.
  • No mechanical parts, or as minimal as possible (her last three phones were flip phones and she dislikes those because the hinge tends to wear out/break first).
  • Does not require a data plan.
  • Refurb or even a used phone is OK if it's in reasonable condition.
Unfortunately, we're on Verizon and they don't have anything that fits the bill. The best options that seem to fit her needs simple Nokia phone but the currently available ones are GSM only.

She's close enough to the end of her contract that switching to a new provider is a possibility and in that case I would most likely just buy her an unlocked phone.

Her current phone is an LG Accolade and prior to that she had an LG VX5600 and a Motorloa KRZR.

My questions are:
  1. Is there a CDMA phone we could buy that fits her needs?
  2. If not, what GSM phones should we consider?
posted by camcgee to Technology (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Verizon currently has the Samsung Brightside under their "basic phones" online. It's got a slider keyboard, so it does have a moving part, but unlike a flip she doesn't have to use it every time she makes a call, so... I googled the question of whether it requires a data plan and the always reliable Yahoo answers says it doesn't.

My brother and some of his family have non-internet phones, and I think they have this or a similar model, and seem to be having good luck with it.
posted by randomkeystrike at 2:29 PM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

If the Samsung Intensity II on Verizon is anything like its predecessor, it's the phone for your wife. My SO has been using the previous iteration for more than two years now. Although it has a slide-out qwerty keyboard, it's still quite durable. She has dropped it a few times (no case) with only some scratches to show for it. It also continues to go a long time without charging (a couple days, assuming mostly texting and little calling). Aside from the slide-out mechanism, I think the phone meets all your requirements.
posted by ddbeck at 2:38 PM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

The Nokia 6236i is the phone you are looking for. It works with Verizon, has the classic Nokia candybar design with no moving parts, the battery lasts a few days to a week, it does not require a data plan and it has a camera. The bad news is the camera is VGA so fairly low quality - good for sending picture messages but not much else. This is the last non-flip phone Nokia made for Verizon. If she needs a higher quality camera or a more modern phone the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic and related family have no moving parts and a 2.0 megapixel camera but they are GSM.

There is currently one Nokia 6236i on eBay but the price seems high. If you want a Nokai 5800 I have a few I could send to you for $6 shipping.
posted by ChrisHartley at 3:03 PM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've been looking for this as well. Amazon has phones for Verizon that Verizon doesn't carry, this "Adamant" phone looks pretty good and is getting good reviews.
posted by cosmac at 3:39 PM on May 28, 2012

I have a Samsung Intensity II on Verizon and I love it. I rarely use the QWERTY board on it, so there is really no reason to slide it out. I think the camera is decent quality,too.
posted by Isadorady at 5:45 PM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

I love my Samsung Convoy, which is an army-spec phone that has handled the high level of abuse I throw at it and has a ridiculously long battery life.
posted by vegartanipla at 7:54 PM on May 28, 2012

I use an LG Dare without a data plan on Verizon and I love it.
posted by aimedwander at 5:52 AM on May 29, 2012

(googles Samsung Intensity II)

Yeah, I think that's the model my brother's kids have, actually. It's survived them...
posted by randomkeystrike at 6:15 AM on May 29, 2012

Thanks for all of the answers ... ended up getting a the Intensity 2 and it's worked well.
posted by camcgee at 2:39 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

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