Thinking About a Smart Phone.

Updated on May 13, 2011
J.D. asks from Allen, TX
15 answers

OK Mom's - I'm thinking of caving in and getting a smart phone for each of my kids and myself. I have two older teens. We've been living with just basic phones and unlimited texting but I'm thinking that we wouldn't spend a whole lot more for smart phones and everyone seems to love them. Of course, the kids want IPhones. I'm open to anything and since I'm paying ... I get final say. We have Sprint now but our contracts are up in July. What do you ladies think about your service? Any good or bad experiences? Any suggestions of another kind of smart phone that you like better than the Iphone? How much are your bills each month? Thanks for your feedback!

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answers from Gainesville on

Well i had the pay as you go plan and had terrible service in my area calls were getting dropped all the time & I saw the iphone advertised for $49 so i oredered my self one and then a week later my fiance one and added him to my plan to get a family plan. I was a little annoyed that I went from everything all one price to paying for each thing I added- like unlimited texting is additional $20 each phone has to have its own data plan at $15 each. The internet is so much better! and I love the iphone itself..The service is generally better once you get used to it, I know where the bad signal for AT&T is in my area... My fiance thinks the sound when talking on the phone isn't that great. But after having my phone for 30 days i got my first bill $400!! yes you read that right- no I didn't have any overage costs- there was activation fees, prorated charges for when i had single user plan to full user, and then the charged me for themonth I used the phone And the next month, so 2 months at once! And I called and since i am a new client they are not willing to work with me on a payment plan. I am starting to think getting the iphone was the worst decision!!

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answers from Spokane on

Just a quick word of caution. My husband worked for AT&T for a while as phone tech support. He would come home at night astonished at how many people didn't know how quickly and easily their smart phone bill could skyrocket by add ons and applications. Almost daily he had frustrated parents demanding that AT&T take the blame for the $800+ bill that their teenager had racked up! If you go the smart phone route, make SURE your kids (and yourself) know how they work and what features cost extra, or how to block application downloads.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I'm with you. I have been looking over different plans and companies for the smart phones. I'm with T-Mobile right now and really like them. But my issue is that I don't want to sign a contract. I'm happy with the month-to-month. T-Mobile has some good phones (LG Optimus) for the month to month. Another company I am seriously looking at is Virgin. They are only $40 per month for unlimited web & text and 1200 minutes. They have the LG Optimus V which from the reviews I've read is a pretty good phone. Compatible to the I Phone - just uses the Android system. And I haven't heard anything bad about the Virgin network. Radio Shack was able to give me a lot of info.



answers from Dallas on

I have Sprint and have since '99. I have 3 lines, one for myself, one for my sister, and one for my kids. We all have unlimited internet, unlimited texts, and free minutes to any mobile on any network. I have blocks on the kids' phone and my sister's phone (her kids often use it) so that no games or paid text services can be downloaded. We have 1500 shared minutes, but since it's free for all mobile to mobile calls I very rarely go over that number-and I am in sales!

I pay $155 monthly including taxes and insurance fees. If you have 3 smart phones add $30 for data fees. Right now I am grandfathered and don't pay a data fee on my line, but if I change phones I will (they don't have smart phones). I also qualify for a discount. Look into Sprints discount offers. You may qualify for one of them and save yourself a few dollars.


answers from Chicago on

We have verizon -- 3 smartphones on the plan (1 for each me/hubby/au pair who lives with us). My husband and I have the work data plans at 44.99 a month and au pair's unlimited data plan is $29.99 a month. The additional 2 lines (we are on a family plan) are $10 extra month. We share 700 minutes and get free minutes to each other and all other verizon customers. You can put the Verizon iphones or blackberries (maybe the androids and stuff too- unsure as my work doesn't support those) on the smartphone plans and mix & match -- though sometimes they have buy one-get one deals. In total, we pay about $200 a month for the 3....but our data plans are more expensive than the family ones due to work (Enterprise) systems. I loved my blackberry but I am switching to the Iphone next week.


answers from St. Louis on

Smart phones need data lines. I have Tmobile and they are cheap compared to other companies. It is $40 a month per phone and that does not include the price of the phone. The $40 includes taxes, I think people are silly when they don't consider that there are over $10 in taxes on those lines.

My phone is an HTC and runs android apps, I think it is a lot better than the iPhone since you have access to more apps. My brother has an iPhone and will be going over to android this summer.

My oldest is the only one other tham me who has a smart phone but he pays for his data package. This is just me but I don't think kids need a smart phone unless they are willing to pay for it themselves.


answers from Jacksonville on

We have Droids and we love them. That said, it will be more. I know most plans make you carry some sort of data plan, around $30/month PER PHONE. Some will let you pay as you go but that will add up quickly. The data plan does cover texts/pictures/internet so it depends on what you're going to be using it primarily for. If you're just wanting a more modern phone you can find quite a few that are touch screen, have a keyboard for texting, nice camera, music player, but that don't require a data plan. The main difference is you cannot access any apps and anything internet related would be pay as you go (although you can add a internet plan, it adds up quick so if you're looking to have internet on the phones the data plan is prob the cheapest).


answers from Minneapolis on

We have had Sprint forever...we have never had another cell service...for like 15 years since we got that first big clunky cell phone with about 30 or 60 paid minutes in a plan! LOL

We have never had real issues with our service and never complain any more than anyone else does. We travel to remote mountain places for winter snowmobiling and alot of barely there towns across the country to get there from MN and we nearly always have service..and we travel with peeps who have Verizon, AT & T, we have always been happy, especially when they might ask to use ours to call home!

We (hubby, teen daughter and I) always have the same exact phone..makes things easier for us. We have had a few different smart phones for a few years. Right now we have Evo 4G phones. I got the first one right when they came out early last June (they came out on my birthday weekend and hubby managed to get me one!). Hubby and daughter got them later in the summer as they became available (there were long waiting lists).

After the other phones I had for years (including a short stint with a blackberry), I love love love this phone. I used to have to pop my battery out at least daily when they would freeze up on me. I think in the almost year I have had this one, I have popped the battery out for it being freaky maybe 3 times. Thats it, total in almost a year.

Biggest complaint, which is very common for large full screen smart phones...battery time. That was one of the few things I did like about my Blackberry. I could go a few days with a battery charge with my texting and phone use..but that was all I used the BB for. My EVO I use for photos and internet and 4 email accounts and all sorts of stuff.

I just love this phone. Go shop around..make a list of whats important to you..go handle with them..try friends phones if they will let you (we did some of that too...).

Good luck!


answers from Columbus on

Ok, I got a droid last summer and I am almost embarrassed to admit how much I love it!!! Just a few of the awesome uses:

I would have to print out mapquest directions when going to my son's baseball games (travel ball- travel all over central Ohio). I would still get lost a lot. Now, I don't even need the address, I can just type in the name of the ballpark and get turn by turn directions! Priceless!

I recently started back to work as a nurse after 12 years. A lot has changed. I can pull up the names of medications when my patients don't remember or look up diagnoses I'm not familiar with.

I can check my bank account before over-spending or transfer money quickly before I overdraw.

I use weatherbug ALL THE TIME! I'm always checking the weather since it's spot-on doppler radar.

I could go on and on. Our monthly plan is about $150 for two smart phones and one samsung intensity. We did have an issue with my daughter downloading apps that weren't free. It added up to about $8, so it wasn't tragic. My husband put a block on our account, so that we couldn't text out $ (great to keep add-ons from coming up, but a downer when I wanted to donate money to Japan with the Red Cross text). We have unlimited texting and a certain amount of talk minutes, that we aren't even close to using up.

Definitely get the insurance on the smart phones. The other phones can be purchased refurbished through your carrier (mine is Verizon) for about $100 or so. But, when my phone dropped in the toilet (GROSS, I know!!) I paid a deductible of $80some and had a new phone sent to me.

We love Verizon. They are extremely helpful- I've had to call the tech service with stupid questions and they always take plenty of time to answer.

Good luck!!



answers from Allentown on

Dh and I have Droids with Verizon. I resisted for so long, but caved when I found a Droid with slide out keyboard, lol. Now I'm in love.

Like another poster said, the navigation is fabulous.



answers from Dallas on

My husband has the iPhone with Verizon and loves it. We pay an extra $29.99 a month for the data plan that goes along with the smart phone. I have basic service and pay $.20 a text. I do text, but not as often. Our bills are right around $90 a month. I don't know with the family plan if you have to pay the $29.99 a month per phone. If so, than you are looking at an extra $90 a month added to your phone bill. With older teens, if they wanted smart phones, I would make them pay the difference.



answers from Roanoke on

My 17 year old has Verizon iPhone. She pays for it herself mostly (90$ a month) She loves it. It has a lot more perks than downfalls. I personally wouldn't get one, but just last night she was shopping at Hot Topic, and they wouldn't let her get her 15% discount without seeing her email sent to her about it. She just pulled it up on her phone and went on her way. Plus, she can easily keep track of her little sister with the Family Tracker (I can't, my phone only has call and text)
My boyfriend has a blackberry, and as an older person I like it more. I am not a fan of touch screen.


answers from Dallas on

We have ATT and my family all has IPhone. Daughter (16) is on my plan. We have unlimited texting, low minutes for calls, data plans etc. I have the new 4G and she has the 3Gs.

I pay roughly $195/month for the 2 of us. Hubby has 3Gs with unlimited texting and higher minutes and his bill is $170/month

We love our IPhones. We've had them ever since they came out with the original one a couple years ago.



answers from San Antonio on

Ok. I have the sprint EVO with the everything plan that is 69.00 base with the 10.00 add on for the andriod platfrom. My total bill is 92/mo. I ahve unlinited text, web and data with 450 min. My DH has an IPhone and his bill is 150 to 160/m and he does not have anything unlimited. Personally I think that Sprint is a better value. I have never had an issue with the service. DH IPhone has crappy reception and loses signal in our house. Since you already have sprint there are discounts and upgrades that you are eleigable for. DH is now regreting switching from Sprint to ATT but is stuck in a 2 year contact with an outrageous bill. Just know that ATT does not have a plan for the IPhone that has anything unlimited, you will pay heavily for overages especially if they text a lot. (DH found this out the hard way). Compare the options for Sprint against others that you are looking at and see what works best for your budget.



answers from Washington DC on

My hubby has a Driod, Verizon, and loves it. In fact he can't live without it. Be sure to get the insurance.
My daughter and I just have phones, they call people and receive calls, that's about it.
HUbby' is always on the Droid navigation, it is better than my Tom Tom. If we have a need, he looks things up right them and there. It has found more restaurants that are not McDonalds, thank goodness.
He sends pictures to his moms' email at the time he takes them. THis si a super bonus for grandma.
Our bill is $178 a month, roughly. WE have his Droid, with unlimited texts and a data package, and mine and my daughter's phones. Hubby gets reimbursed 17% because he uses his for work. We share 1400 minutes but rarely go over or even up to that. All calls between Verizon phones are free minutes.

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