Cheapest mobile email/IM?
July 19, 2008 5:19 PM   Subscribe

Fiance and I need a cheap method of keeping in touch via email and/or instant message -- mobile-ly.

Were considering getting a pair of Sidekicks, but we'd be open to a better solution. We literally only want to converse with each other, so, keep that in mind.

Fiance has T-Mobile, if that makes a difference. Would prefer a full QWERTY keyboard. Prepaid a plus.

Thanks so much.
posted by aleahey to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

2 phones on a family plan, both with keypads (on t-mobil since she's already on it). Get a text messaging plan as well. Don't get the data plans or something like that, unless you want to add on like an additional $20-$40.

Good luck.
posted by hal_c_on at 6:17 PM on July 19, 2008

I can't think of a cheap QWERTY other than the Blackberry. The Bold has full QWERTY but the cheapy Pearls have a QWERTY layout with three letters per key. You can send SMS on Blackberry with T-mobile pre-pay in the US. I don't *think* they do pre-pay data plans but I haven't looked in a long time.

Huh. I just checked Ebay. Pearls are seemingly not cheap in the US. Odd, I can get one for €30 on pre-pay here.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:20 PM on July 19, 2008

How about two dashes (excellent phones, wifi, etc). With the email only add on seen here. You can use it to check your gmail or any other email with web based support and its only 10 bucks a month. So much better than text messaging in my opinion.
posted by jourman2 at 6:26 PM on July 19, 2008

*sorry meant to say "any other email service with POP support".
posted by jourman2 at 6:27 PM on July 19, 2008

Thanks guys, would much prefer IM or Email to text messaging, if possible.

Thanks again.
posted by aleahey at 6:39 PM on July 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

It's probably not as 'hip' as a Blackberry or Sidekick, but I would definitely recommend checking out Virgin Mobile phones and plans. The phones and rates are much cheaper than anything else I've found. They have pretty good Sidekick knockoff - called the Wild Card, with unlimited text messaging for $20/mo with no contract, and cheaper still even if you go with a month-to-month plan. Some phones offer mobile IM and mail also (usually AIM-based iirc)

When you factor in the price of the phone, not to mention the minimums most of the larger carriers charge, it's worth a look at least.

I am in no way associated with Virgin Mobile at all. My husband and I have been using Virgin Mobile for the same basic thing you mention (keeping in touch with each other almost exclusively) for over 2 years, and they've worked out well for us.

Good luck!
posted by zalary at 7:50 PM on July 19, 2008

Maybe explain what the problem is with text messaging? That's what people use for this, so the alternatives are slim.
posted by smackfu at 8:49 PM on July 19, 2008

Its not that there is anything wrong with text messaging, per se, we just prefer the format of an IM or an email. You can look back over what has been said thus far in the conversation, etc.

Basically, don't like having to open a new message every time we think of something new to say. We want an active window that updates as new messages are received/sent.
posted by aleahey at 8:51 PM on July 19, 2008

as an addendum, since I didn't realize you were looking more for IM than text when I first replied:

Info on Virgin Mobile's IM service (Yahoo and AIM)
posted by zalary at 9:44 PM on July 19, 2008

You do realize a lot of phones do "threaded text messaging" which is exactly what you describe, right?
posted by DMan at 9:49 PM on July 19, 2008

No, I didn't Dman. Which ones?
posted by aleahey at 10:54 PM on July 19, 2008

Phones running Windows Mobile 6.1 support threaded text messaging. For example, my T-Mobile Dash (HTC Excalibur).
posted by roomwithaview at 10:52 AM on July 20, 2008

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