Smartphone on a prepaid plan, is it possible?
February 17, 2008 9:07 PM   Subscribe

Seeing the answers to previous questions has made me want to get a smartphone so that I don't have to carry both a PDA and a cellphone. The problem: I have T mobile's prepaid plan. How do I find a phone with good organization features that is compatible with my plan?

None of the phone's Tmobile is selling seem to fit what I want which is the ability to set up a calendar on it with recurring events and programmable alarms to alert me, and preferably a to do list. A lot of phones seem to have these features included as an after thought (my current phone included), but they are very poorly implemented.

All of the smart phone's I've seen recommended to other people seem to fit what I'd like, but I don't know which if any of them would be compatible with my prepaid plan. I don't care about internet, email, or access to T mobile's t-zones.

All I want is a decent PDA that can make calls and send text messages using my current prepaid plan. Looking to spend under $200.
posted by vegetableagony to Technology (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The dash would work, I don't like it's battery life though. You'd have to find it second hand on craigslist or ebay. I'm fond the nokia e-series, they would work, but you'd likely have to spend more than 200 dollars to get a e series phone. Also try looking for an N-series phone too.
posted by bigmusic at 9:15 PM on February 17, 2008

Best answer: Oh, and any phone would work on the t-moble prepaid network as long as it's /unlocked/ and takes a sim card.
posted by bigmusic at 9:16 PM on February 17, 2008

An unlocked Treo 650 (new ones available for under $200), while old-style, will work perfectly for what you want. An unlocked 680 (the current version) is just above your price point...Used for either of these unlocked phones would definitely be below $200.
posted by birdsquared at 9:21 PM on February 17, 2008

Best answer: Currently rocking the Treo 680, unlocked and using the SIM from a crappy TMobile to Go phone I bought at Target. New they are about $400 but I just saw one go for $240 on ebay. Organizer functions are great. Texting function is fine. Phone is OK - kind of low volume (but you can buy VolumeCare 3rd party app to help that)
posted by Askr at 10:10 PM on February 17, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks all of you! I had been hoping to get a treo but I couldn't figure which if any of them will work.
posted by vegetableagony at 12:17 AM on February 18, 2008

i'd suggest nokia Eseries
preferably the Nokia e61i which should be around 250 Dollar, and is truly awsome.
posted by kall at 1:01 AM on February 18, 2008

Thanks all of you! I had been hoping to get a treo but I couldn't figure which if any of them will work.

As it was stated above any unlocked gsm phone that is unlocked should work. Personally, I have the Blackberry 8100 (Pearl). This phone is amazing, It's been dropped, washed, and otherwise abused and it still works with no complaints. I highly recommend getting one.
posted by iasdf1234 at 5:57 AM on February 18, 2008

Here's a different thought all together....

1. I am very pro smart phone. I've been hooked since the first treo,
and I've had every one since (palm and windows, gsm and cdma)
as well as Moto Q's, Blackberry's, Sony Ericsson P800 and P900,
a Helio Ocean... you get the point.

Right now I carry a Treo 755p (sprint), and a Blackberry Curve (tmobile,
because they allow tethering to your laptop for free!), and an unlocked
iphone for when I travel (I travel over seas very often) and I buy sims
where ever I go.

So, why do I say all that?

Because I want you to know I love smart phones, but...

I'm going to suggest maybe you don't need one.

A true smart phone has the ability to do many, many things that most
users (including myself) never use.

If all you want is a calendar with reoccurring appointments, alarms, etc.

You can set that up all online with Google Calendar,,,, etc.

Those are great resources, and all free!

Then you can set your calendar up online, and each of those will text message
you your appointments for free!

Just remember to have a plan that won't eat you alive for text messages.
There are pre paid plans that offer unlimited text, so that would be a good way to go.

Then you don't have to worry about:

1. The expense of a smart phone.

2. The problems, most of the freeze here and there, and generally have more problems than your normal cell phone.

3. Carrying around a big device.

Now if you want the full keyboard most smart phones have, there are many options
today that have a full keyboard too.

So, that may be a solution for you.

Good luck.

- TM

PS - Here are some links for you:

(RTM is the probably the most popular online organizer site, it's free, and it
integrates very easily with Google Calendar)

PPS - For your phone, I'd try ebay or craigslist and just look for unlocked gsm
phones. Then if you want the full keyboard, add to your search qwerty.
posted by everylist at 9:37 PM on June 16, 2008

Response by poster: everylist has an interesting idea. I don't think it'll work for me, since the cost of text messages on my current plan would end up making his method far more expensive for me.

I got an unlocked Tmobile dash, which was pretty cheap and has been working well for me, although it is inconveniently large and a bit more buggy than when I have used a plain cell phone in the past.
posted by vegetableagony at 7:13 AM on June 17, 2008

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