Low cost alternatives to your nonuseable 2G/3G flip phone

phones

Unless you have been living in a cave, you have heard that on July 1, 2022, the last company in the United States to still be using 2G/3G networks is shutting down their networks in order to reuse those frequencies for 5G technology.

Can I buy a flip phone that can run on 4G or 5G?

Yes.  TracFones can run on 4G LTE.  That was the only phone that had a price listed with (still available for purchase).  Price $19.00

So I decided to look at Walmart.  Talk about taking advantage of people …

Most of Walmart’s 4G LTE Flip Phones sell for $65.00 (low end) to as much as $300 for a rugged flip phone.  You can get a pretty good smart phone or tablet for that amount of money.  Geez.  The average is $100.

When I looked at Target, there was one that sold for $19.00.  Nokia Tracfone (prepaid).  It includes 5MP rear camera and 3.8 hours of battery life.

So let’s look at some tablets.  Maybe you will start using that cash slots website you keep hearing about.

How much would a tablet that can be a phone cost?

If you are a senior (or any person with “bad” vision), another option to consider is a tablet.  Tablets can run in size froim 7” to 12”.  Large smartphones can be as large as 6.67”.  But take into consideration that those are screen measurements.  So a Xiaomi Redmi phone that has a screen that goes from edge to edge is going to physically a lot smaller than a 7” tablet that has an edge around the screen that is not the screen.

Anyway, tablets can ran as low as $100 with a high end of the “low price” range being $300.

Compare that to the upper end of a Samsung Tab S8+ 5G 12.4” tablet with 128GB storage; 13 MP camera; S pen; and a 10090 mAh battery.   Cost is $1100.

If your looking for a tablet to assentially be a phone with maybe a bit more, you do not need to spend any more than $300.  So the question becomes, what do you get for $100 compared to $300?  And is namebrand worth it?  We will take a look at both namebrand and non-namebrand features.

Features to look for

The following list is taking into account a person moving from a flip phone to a tablet.

  1. Size of 7” to 10”.  If you want small holding, go with 7”.  If you want a bigger screen, go with 10”.
  2. Camera.  Every grandparent wants to take pictures of the grandkids.  With an 8MP camera, you can print out an A4 size picture of the grandkids.  In terms of viewing videos, an 8MP camera is more than enough for HD video (what most Netflix videos are).  Some tablets may have 13 MP, but anything more than that most people will not notice any difference.
  3. Android 9.0 or above.  Anything below Android 9.0 will not be worth it.
  4. 4GB or higher memory.
  5. 64GB or higher memory.
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Samsung

Samsung is a namebrand, and if you were buying a wifi only tablet, I would definitely recommend this tablet.  But given the above requirements (the minimum I would recommend in a tablet phone), the cost would be around $400.  For myself personally, that is more than I am willing to spend.

Vastking Kingpad M10

VASTKING KingPad M10; 10”; Android 11; 4G LTE; Phone calls; 2k resolution; 4GB RAM; 128 GB storage; Wifi; 13 MP rear camera.  Cost is $219.

You can even attach a keyboard to this tablet to have a mobile computer.  Although some people are complaining that this tablet does not work in the 4G LTE network in the US, so check with your cellular carrier before buying.  AliExpress gives exact details of which networks 4G LTE tablets work with, but Amazon does not publish that information.

Vastking Kingpad K10

VASTKING KingPad K10; 10” Android 10 (not the most recent, but still pretty recent); 4G LTE; 4GB RAM; 64 GB Storage; Keyboard and Stylus included in the price; 13 MP rear camera (Print out pictures of grandkids);  8 MP front camera (great for video calls with the grandkids);  Cost is $209  Works with 4G FDD: B2+B4+B5+B7+B17, but check with your cellular company before buying.  Not all cellular companies support the same networks. Cost $209.

Although the Android version is 10.0, it is still considered very recent.

Don’t forget the cover

A lot of companies sell tablets and have a “case” that comes with it.  But if you plan to have the grandkids staying with you, and they get into your tablet, if you do not have a good case, you can say “goodbye” to brand new tablet.

I always hear from so many people … “oh, I don’t have to worry about the tablet breaking, because my kids are careful.”  Then you talk to them 6 months later and they will tell you that the tablet is not usable due to a broken screen.  Meanwhile, I have owned my two tablets, one for 6 years and one for 8 eights, and zero issues with the screen breaking.  How did I manage that?  I refused to buy a tablet without buying a shock proof case at the same time.

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A shockproof case is a case where you can take the tablet in the case, throw it across the room, and the table will just bounce.  Our tablets have survived:

  • being thrown across the room.
  • being dropped from the top bunk onto a tile floor.
  • being stepped on.

With 90% of the “cases” out there, given those conditions, the tablet would be damaged beyond use.

Although, when you go outside of Samsung or other more popular name brands, when searching for a case, you will need to look for a generic case.  So you will need to size, and the location of the front and rear cameras.

Can I go cheaper?

I personally would not recommend it.  If your plan is that your tablet is going to be your phone, then your options are limited.  Or you could just move into the large phone area, in which case I would recommned look at Xioami Redmi note 10 (or above). For a Xiaomi Redmi 10 4G LTE; 50 MP camera; 4GB memory and 64GB harddisk space.  Cost is $190.

Summary

So the price difference is not that much.  The main differences between the cell phone and the tablet is that the cell phone is smaller and the camera is a much better quality.

The advantage of the tablet is the larger screen, so when you are doing video calls with the grandkids, you will really be able to see them.

The advantage of the phone is that it is smaller (a phone).

In terms of general picture taking, both the tablet and the Redmi phones are fine.

But if you are talking about taking pictures of text, so you can enlarge the text for reading and talking aloud, the higher MP of an actual camera may be what you want.

But many products have a QR code on the package, so you just scan the QR code and it will bring you to a page with the details of the product.  But not all products currently provide that feature.

Bottom llne is that when entering the range of tablets and smart phones, going below $200 and you are just asking for trouble.

 

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