Smartphone Lite

T Mobile smart phoneThis year I became the happy owner of a smartphone. I found one that really works for me and maybe this idea could work for you, too.

What I Wanted

I wanted an android phone and didn’t want to start paying for monthly plans.  I’ve been happy enough with T-Mobile prepaid since I’m mostly home.  I only spend $100 or more per year on prepaid calls.  My desktop computer is my main internet tool and I usually take my laptop when I travel.  It didn’t make sense to start paying monthly charges just so I could upgrade to a smartphone.

What I Found

I found an entry-level phone, the LG Optimus T with Google, available for prepaid customers through the T-Mobile online store.  It was $100 a few weeks ago and is now $120.  It’s a refurbished phone with Wi-Fi capability and 3G speed.  Wi-Fi, which is all I can use without the data plan, actually runs faster than 3G and gives me the option to make calls using Wi-Fi when normal coverage is low.

I was able to buy the phone without a monthly plan, even for data.  So, I ended up just spending $100 to have a newer phone with some very nice features, like a good camera, swype, orientation sensing and voice recognition.

It’s a very good phone for the money and comes with the latest Android 2.2 (read more about this specific phone).  It’s affordable with a monthly plan, too, if you aren’t a prepaid customer like me and then you can use it as a mobile hot spot. (Read more about tethering.)  Since T-Mobile is promoting 4G right now, that could explain the low and affordable price for this 3G phone.

How This Works for Me

I’m a “lite user” for a mobile phone because people can reach me most of the time on our home landline.

When we travel, my husband has an iPhone so we can use his phone to check traffic conditions with Google Traffic, find restaurants, or whatever else we might want to do online.  Of course, most motels and airports now offer free internet access (but not always Wi-Fi).  When I’m at headquarters, or at Staff Training this summer, we’ll have Wi-Fi so I could access the internet with my phone if I wanted to.  That’s all the connection I need.

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