Picking a cell phone

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The Silver Life - Picking a cell phone

Silver Surfers may need to consider acquisition of a cell phone in a different way from the general public.

In follow-up to my article on What to look for when choosing a smartphone of March 30, 2015, here’s some research which may help in your decision.

Way back in the mid 1980’s I purchased my first portable telephone. It mounted in my car and was terribly expensive to operate. I also saw other people carrying around a box about the size of a shoe box and their portable phone attached.

To say the least, the world we now live in and its cell phones have evolved at lightning speed. After the bulky things of the mid 80s, we got neat little flip phones, but today straight phones with touch screens have replaced those almost completely.

Now they are no longer cell phones but smartphones, and have indeed evolved over the years. Unfortunately, we, too, have changed over the years portable phones were evolving and while many of us use one form of cell phone or another, we have our own issues with diminished hearing, fading eyesight, difficulty striking the screen or button and others.

Because of that, we Silver Surfers may need to consider portable phones in a different way than the general public and the manufacturers.

There are a variety of features built in to phones available today including camera/video, emergency alert button (and other medical apps you find personally useful), hearing aid compatibility, speed dialing important contacts, flashlight, larger screen, higher volume, longer battery life, and so forth.

There are numerous telephones available for us and below are the ones that seem to be the most Silver Surfer friendly without bankrupting us (listed in alphabetical order and prices are approximate and in US dollars):

Apple Iphone 6+ – $650
BLU Advance – $100
DuraXV+ – $200
HTC one A9 – $300
LG Nexus 5X – $300

Of course, once you have purchased one of the phones, what is the best plan available?

This is well beyond my capacity to evaluate so I have relied on the good folks at Nerd Wallet to advise us. They have extensive research on this for Silver Surfers.

They recommend the following:

  • AT &T Go Phone Daily @$2 per day of use – For people who want a pay-as-you-go plan.
  • GreatCall WeTalk 200 @$14.99 per month – For people who want an easy-to-use emergency phone.
  • Republic Wireless Small @25.00 per month – For people who are mobile-savvy.
  • T-Mobile Basic Monthly @$30.00 per month – For people who are mobile-savvy.
  • T-Mobile Pay As You Go @$3.00 per month – For people who want a pay-as-you-go plan.

Much like anything else you purchase, the selection of a phone and plan is entirely up to your own unique preferences and abilities. By no means feel limited to the selections above. Perhaps you might ask your friends what they like about their phones and what they dislike. The salesperson should be ready to answer your questions and demonstrate the features of any device you are considering.

Also ask about classes they might offer on the use and care of your device. I also find the purchase of a cover to be helpful.

Whatever your choice, know that this device can be more than a convenience, it can preserve memories and save your life.

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Dennis F.
Dennis has lived or traveled in Australia, the United States and Asia. He is an Army veteran with a PhD in Child and Developmental Psychology. He currently lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina, USA, with his wife Nancy and two dogs. Dennis is keenly interested in antiques, particularly militaria and coins. He occupies his time researching and writing for The Silver Life and caretaking houses for the summer residents of the mountains.

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