I decided to upgrade my flip phone to a smart phone after many years and went looking for a plan that was cheap, which was the reason I never got a smart phone. There were a few, including some plans for just phone calls and texts, but for a little more I could get a data plan as well. I wound up with a service called Mint SIM. You pay for 3, 6, or 12 months in advance, so it is a prepaid plan, but calls and texts are unlimited and you get 2 GB of data. The price can be as low as $15 per month. For $20 a month you can get a plan with 5 GB of data. 2 GB may be tough to meet, but 5 GB should be more than enough. So we’ll see how it goes and I can upgrade at any time.
Once you sign up, they mail you a SIM card that you put in your phone. They can give you a new phone number or you can port your old number over. Their service runs on the T Mobile network which is actually pretty good in Atlanta, but doesn’t have as much rural coverage as Verizon.
I emailed Jeb to see if it would be okay to leave his plan or if we were under a contract at his Verizon account where my phone number lives. He said we were not under contract, so I ordered 3 months of service (at $15/month; actually $46 total with fees) which is discounted to get you to try it out. But you can also order a year at a time for the same price. The 3-month price for renewals is $23/month. 6-month rate is $18. The 1-month renewal is $35! So if Mint SIM works, the best thing is to order a year at a time up front.
Jeb was worried after reading some bad review about people porting their existing phone numbers to Mint SIM. He gave me the Verizon account information I needed to get my phone number ported over. Once I got the card from Mint SIM, I went to their website and entered the information. The only thing I messed up on was the PIN which I entered wrong even though he had actually given that to me, so after a couple of tries, I had ported my phone number and it was effective immediately.
The phone signal seems decent. It looked strong on US 78 out to Athens and at my house the signal seems to be decent, but gets down to maybe 33%. Looking at the phone right now it was at 33% then I picked it up and it was 50% and a few seconds later was maybe 80%, so I think it will work. Sometimes with Verizon I could barely talk on the phone because the signal was so weak.
I’m not crazy about a smartphone compared to a dumb phone for phone calls. Calling while I was driving I had to log in to the phone which isn’t easy to do without taking my attention off the road. The fingerprint reader would have been a good fix for that. Mom was the first person to call me and I missed her call because I didn’t know how to answer the phone. I pressed the blinking phone icon, but you have to slide over to the green phone to answer, which I didn’t know about. At least I didn’t have to log in first. I’m kind of thinking about not doing security at all, but Chrome has all my passwords and would let anyone into my email account. I maybe just need to figure out a better login that I can do while driving. I can make the phone stay unlocked at the house and stay logged in when I am carrying it around, so I will try that and see if it helps.