Best dumbphone options in Ontario
August 2, 2018 4:17 PM   Subscribe

I want to ditch my smartphone and downshift to a dumbphone. I live in Ontario. Is there one option that’s obviously better? I’m coming at this from a position of zero knowledge.

I don’t want something to supplement my iPhone, I want a replacement. I only need it to call and text. I want to live a life where I don’t have the internet in my pocket at all times. I’ve looked at Rogers and Bell and Fido and their options all seem similar. Is there one that’s an obviously better choice? Or would they all be pretty much the same? Or is there another phone I could buy that isn’t offered by the major telecoms that would work in Ontario. Assume that I don’t know what 2G etc means (because I don’t).
posted by fso to Technology (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I spent a couple of months researching (because I'm like that) for more-or-less your question. The answer, for me, was a SIM card and prepaid time with 365-day expiry (monthly plans also available) from Speakout Wireless/7 Eleven, plus a refurbished Sony Ericsson Elm from Aliexpress.

I get very poor reception when I'm at my sister's place in rural Alberta, but other than that it has been fine. It's on the Roger's network, I think. Oh, and I haven't figured out how to get pictures working for texting. No emojis, just text and old-fashioned smilies :-).

YMMV. The prepaid route, with its 365-day expiry, is best for people who don't talk or text very much on their cellphone. You can buy $100 of time and have it last for 4-8 months if you don't talk much.
posted by clawsoon at 4:57 PM on August 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

I’ve thought about doing this by keeping my same iphone but deleting the apps and turning off the internet data. Does the temptation of reloading them stop you from wanting to do that?
posted by umbú at 9:37 PM on August 2, 2018 [2 favorites]

I'll add: I've been using Speakout Wireless for almost a decade, and the refurbished phone for 3 years.
posted by clawsoon at 4:00 AM on August 3, 2018

(One factor that led me to the Sony Ericsson Elm: It has conversation view for texting. In older phones, all your texts end up in a jumble in your Inbox. That might be another thing to consider.)
posted by clawsoon at 4:09 AM on August 3, 2018

I have the Nokia 3310 with a SIM Card from Mint Mobile and it works well. I get a lot of compliments on the phone too.

Downside I've found is that it doesn't work with group texts (I can see the messages have been sent to a group but not what they say, so I then just follow up with my friends).
posted by tooloudinhere at 5:03 AM on August 3, 2018

Just buy an unlocked flip phone at best buy, staples, costco etc. They should be able to tell you if it will work on your providers network. Also buy a simm and call your provider to register the device.
I don't believe there is much difference in phone features.
We use telus and I have a LG dumb phone and my wife has a smartphone.
posted by canoehead at 10:20 AM on August 3, 2018

I used the Kyocera DuraXV+ before I returned to smartphone life, and, had I stayed on dumphones, I would've stayed with it. It is an excellent dumbphone. If you can find it or whatever the current version of it is, I think you'd be happy.
posted by WCityMike at 11:25 AM on August 3, 2018

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