If you don't want another "big monthly expense", you can rule out a smartphone or maybe even a cellphone entirely. My wife pays about $70 a month for her portion of our plan. My "dumb" feature phone only costs about $30 (we're on a Verizon shared plan, so I can't break it down precisely.) The dataplan is $40 a month and insurance on her phone works out to about $10/mo (and insuring a smartphone is a good idea, since replacing her Samsung Galaxy III is about $500.)
Originally Posted by phillysleuth
That said, I'd say Verizon is the best, especially out here in the burbs. But I don't recall ever having a problem in the city. It even works underground at Market East. I seem to recall AT&T being good too in the city when I had it years ago. Sprint is bad but T-Mobile is even worse...again, at least here in the burbs, with no coverage whatsoever in many areas.
As for the phone, well, my wife likes her Galaxy III, which is a smartphone, and the camera is good, but paying $50 a month ($1200 over a two-year contract) just so you have a nice camera is kinda steep; I could buy a nice point-and-shoot for the car, one for the office, and leave one at home and still only spend a fraction of that. Just sayin'. And it's been my experience that, regardless of what people say they use a smartphone for or believe what they'll do when they get one, 99% of what they do is play games or go on Facebook.
If you want a dumb phone, your best bet is probably calling Verizon what the cheapest plan they offer for someone who already has a phone but no service. If you find it reasonable, go buy a phone off of eBay, making sure it's intended for Verizon (or whatever carrier you choose.) Take it into a store and let them set it up. I had an LG Envy2, which goes for like $25-$35 now. The camera is marginal but it works.
If you believe people should work till they die to pay for a government worker to retire at 50, you're a Democrat. Otherwise, you're a Republican. All other differences between the parties are trivial.