Seeking cell phone advice for non-savvy pensioner
July 30, 2013 9:09 AM   Subscribe

Advice please: (1) are there SIM only, pay-as-you-go cell options available in Canada (2) any recommendations for a solid, inexpensive, quad-band phone for a pensioner that probably won't use apps

Looking into this for my mum. She recently remarried, after being not so recently widowed. She is based in the UK, but now spends at least half the year with her Canadian husband. She has a 10 year old Nokia handset (pay as you go on a UK network), so basically no functioning cell phone while in Canada. This is inconvenient, so she'd like to get one.

Nearly all the advice she has had has been 'get an iPhone 4'. The thing is - she doesn't particularly want one. She almost certainly won't use apps to any significant extent, she might use email / IM lightly, and she doesn't like touchscreens. She's fairly locked into Google services (Gmail, Picasa and IM via hangouts; and her new husband has an Acer Android tablet that she can now just about find her way around), but fundamentally if given the choice between a simple phone and an smartphone at a similar price, I wouldn't be surprised if she chose the simple phone.

So - I've promised to help her out on two fronts:
1. Research and recommend a phone that meets her requirements (rather than someone else's wish list) - simple to use, long battery life, preferably non touch screen, works in Canada and UK with a simple SIM swap
2. Find her best option for a Canadian SIM deal - preferably pay as you go with credit that doesn't expire, or expires over a very long period (I can find a similar deal in the UK)

My instinct is that an older Blackberry might fit her phone needs pretty well. Failing that a low end Samsung Galaxy (though I haven't yet validated that both are definitely quad band). I'm very interested to hear recommendations on SIM-only cell deals in the Canadian market.

posted by bifter to Technology (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Something like this package looks ideal. The phone looks uncomplicated, and is close to a BB in configuration. It's a travel phone. It has slots for two SIM cards, so she won't even have to swap when she travels. It's all prepaid, so it won't be the most cost efficient option, but it will be easy to limit costs.
posted by bonehead at 9:21 AM on July 30, 2013

Best answer: 7 Eleven has a sim only pay as you go with a 365 day expiry.
posted by samhyland at 10:26 AM on July 30, 2013

Best answer: I'll second 7-11 as the way to go. I've been using their plan for years now. It's a super cheap way to go if you don't use a cell phone a lot. For a
posted by fimbulvetr at 1:31 PM on July 30, 2013

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