2 - Basic and Smart Phones
The iPhone SE, 6S, 6S Plus, 6, 6 Plus, and 5S are available from Consumer Cellular. There is a down payment (as low as $35 for the iPhone 5S up to $150 for the 6S Plus), and the additional payments are spread out over 24 months.
You can choose from two flip phone, one standard and one with large button designed for seniors.
The so-called Consumer Cellular 101 is the latest in their long line of basic flip phones. This un-branded model replaces the Envoy which in turn replaced the Motorola WX416 which in turn replaced the Motorola WX345 flip phone at the same $35 price.
This is a basic phone, but it still
includes a 2.0 megapixel camera and mp3 music player. You can access the mobile web at 3G speeds, though the
screen is still a little small. It is available in red and black.
The Doro Phoneasy 626 is the latest successor to the Doro 410. This is an easy-to-use phone with large buttons. it is also available in two colors. If you're interested in the red version, you may want to consider the Jitterbug phone as well.
The top smartphone with a 5.5 is available from $150 . Available in the versions with 16GB, 64GB and 128GB internal storage memory, basically, they can do whatever you want. The cost of these phones are $700, $750 and $900 depending on which version you choose, with the down payment at $150, $200 or $350. The rest is finance with $25 monthly payments in addition to the plan cost.
These phones have the latest "A9" processor which makes them the fastest available.
The 6S has a slightly smaller 4.7 inch screen but otherwise the same features as the Plus model. Its starting price is a little lower along with a lower down payment making it more affordable initially.
The recent iPhone SE has a smaller 4 inch screen, but it actually has the same A9 processor as the flagship iPhone 6S. It is available with either 16GB or 64GB of storage and costs $400 or $500 respectively with the option of paying a $50 down payment and spreading the rest with 14 or 18 monthly payments of $25 in addition to your plan costs.
The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are also available in the 16GB, 64GB and 128GB versions. The iPhone 6 16GB is available for $50 down plus 24 payments of $25 for a total cost of $650. The 6 Plus 16GB is available with a $150 down payment plus additional payments for a total cost of $750.
The only significant difference between the two models is the size of the screen. The 6 has a 4.7 inch screen, while the 6 Plus has a 5.5 inch screen.
You can also get earlier models such as the 5S,for slightly lower costs. If you sign onto a payment plan, I would recommend the new models as they will not be as out-dated in two years.
The Doro 826 is an easy to use smartphone designed for seniors. This means that it comes with a separate easy to use interface similar to the Jitterbug smartphone.
The 826 has a 5 inch screen with 8MP/2MP rear and front cameras. It is a 4G LTE phone for fast data access though you need to have the plan to match. If you're mostly on Wi-Fi, this feature is not as important.
Like the other Doro phone, this has an emergency call button that you can access without going through the phone menu.
Judging from the most recent reviews on the site, most people are now giving this phone 3 out of 5 stars. Not bad.
A latest version of the Moto G is an 4G LTE phone with a 5 inch screen and 13 MP/5MP rear and front cameras. It has a relatively fast 1.4 GHz quadcore processor, 8GB internal storage and 1GB RAM.
The Pop 3 is a 4G LTE device that features a 5.5 inch screen with 5MP/2MP rear and front cameras. It has 8GB storage and 1GB RAM.
The Huawei Vision 3 LTE is an affordable smartphone available with this
plan. Most of its features are still pretty good. It has a 5 inch screen and 5MP/2MP rear and front cameras.
Initially introduced as a low-cost but high quality phone, this version of the Moto e features 5MP/0.3 MP rear and front cameras to go with its 4.5 inch screen. It is a 4G LTE phone.
You can install their own Usage App on these Android phones, so that you can manage your account from the phone itself. If you receive a usage alert, you can upgrade your account from the phone itself (or limit your usage until the end of the billing period).
The ZTE Mobile Hotspot lets you use a Connect data plan to connect all your devices - laptops, iPads and other tablets etc. So if you're in an area without WiFi you can still be connected. While there are many other options in this area, if you're already a Consumer Cellular customer or plan to be one, then this is quite convenient.
The Ascend Mate 2 has a big 6.1 inch screen and very good features for its price - $100 plus six monthly payments of $25 (for a total of $250). This phone has a 5 MP front-facing camera along with a 13 MP rear-facing camera.
Android 4.0 phone with 4.3 inch touchscreen. It has a 5 MP camera capable of taking 1080p video.
Android phone with 3.7-inch touchscreen. This is designed to be a rugged phone suitable for outdoor active use. So it fits in perfectly with their ideal customer - a active baby boomer or otherwise mature person. If that's you, that's great. Otherwise, it's still a decent handset with a 1.4 GHz processor and 5 MP camera with LED flash (a nice feature).
The Motorola EX430 has a QWERTY keyboard. The phone is not only good for
texting but also
has a real email client. You can take some good photos with the 2
megapixel camera, listen to music on the mp3 music player, and catch
your favorite FM radio shows. A nearly-identical EX431g is available from Tracfone.
The Doro Phoneasy 410 easy to use phone had large buttons, and emergency button, simple menu, large screen with easy to read fonts and an FM radio.
Basic flip phones replaced by the WX416
QWERTY keyboard phones replaced by the Motorola EX430
Basic touchscreen phone now replaced by the Huawei 8652 smart phone.
You can use your phone for up to 30 minutes or 30 days (45 days and minutes for AARP members) and still send it all back and get a refund for everything.
You can now get a SIM card that you can use with an unlocked GSM phone. This means you're no longer limited to choosing from the phones they currently offer. The SIM card is free if you purchase online, and there's no activation fee. You can also get it for $10 at Radio Shack and get that $10 credited back after you activate the card on your phone.
The SIM card kit comes with complete instructions. You can also watch this video here.
There used to be a $35 activation fee which made the prices of the phones seem cheaper. These fees have been removed. This makes the phone prices seem higher, but now the entire cost of your phone purchase is refundable if you cancel. Earlier, the activation fee was non-refundable.
In addition to the basic rate plans, there are add-on packages for text messages and web surfing.
Text messages normally cost 10 cents each to send or receive, though you can also decline to activate text messages if you’re sure you don’t want them.
Do you think you will send more than a text message a day? Perhaps you receive them from (just as an example) a teenage relative? Then you may want to get a Connect! package.
The Connect! Lite package offers 300 text message and 30 MB of data for $2.50 a month. This amounts to less than a cent per text message and lets you check the web briefly a few times a week or view about 5 minutes of video.
For $10 a month you get 3000 messages and 500MB of data.
Starting at $20, the Connect! packages all give you unlimited texts and varying amounts of data from 1.5GB to 4GB for $40 per month. These larger packages are great if you use your smartphone on the go a lot rather than in areas where you have access to WiFi.
If you’re someone who checks the web a lot from their phone, try the $20 a month package to see if it works for you. If you tend to wait until you’re in front of your computer, sign up for the least expensive package and see how it goes.
You can check out any website you want, but how well you can view it will depend on the phone. If you get a smart phone instead, your web experience will be great, but you will use more data.
After your surfing session, you can check how much data you've used on most phones. On the basic phones, you can go to the Recent calls section and scroll down until you get to the GPRS counter to check how many bytes you've used. On the Android phones, you can download their Usage App mentioned above.
These data plans aren't really designed for videos and other streaming media. For that, you can use the WiFi capability on your smart phone to connect it to the wireless network in your house or the hotspot at your local coffee shop.
Once you go over your allotment, it costs 1 cent per kilobyte, which can add up pretty fast.
If you find that you do go over, call their support.
Prepaid Plans › Consumer Cellular
There are a couple of different groups of seniors and baby boomers that cell phone companies target. While Consumer Cellular seem to be targeting the active seniors who want affordable, no-hassle cell phones, other companies focus a little more on safety or cost.
The GreatCall company focuses theri cell phones and services on staying safe and connected with easy to use phone.
The Jitterbug line of flip phones come with a large button keypad, a simplified interface and a LOUD ringer and volume control. There is now also a touchscreen version.
Tracfone has brought out a couple of senior value phones. The main attraction of these phones is the lower cost of the phone and of the plan.
However, their latest Alcatel model with flashlight actually compares pretty well with the other handsets.