Procuring smartphone plans for the budget-minded shopper

Procuring smartphone plans for the budget-minded shopper

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My frugal sister will get her first smartphone when her flip telephone runs out of minutes.

Which will take some time. She would not make many calls on it. Within the meantime, her associates maintain saying: “What?” The sound high quality is dreadful.

I instructed the Pixel 4a for $349 with Google Fi cell service for $20 a month for limitless speak and textual content, not counting no matter knowledge you utilize. However a good friend’s deal could also be higher. She went with Client Mobile’s iPhone SE for $250. Client Mobile is understood for its pleasant tech help, particularly for senior residents. The month-to-month value is decrease than Google’s Fi service when you use greater than 500 megabytes of knowledge per thirty days.

At Client Mobile, limitless voice and limitless texts with 500 megabytes of knowledge is $25 a month. When you go over the info restrict — by browsing the net if you’re away from a Wi-Fi connection — they solely cost an additional $5, even when you use three gigabytes value. Three gigabytes of knowledge with limitless speak and textual content on Google Fi would value $50. That is $20 greater than the Client Mobile deal.

After I go to my sister subsequent week in California, I am going to hand her my Pixel 3a telephone so she will be able to evaluate it to her husband’s iPhone. She’s leaning towards the iPhone. It is a good suggestion to get the identical sort of telephone as your beloved or good friend, to allow them to present you the ropes. I am going to at all times remorse getting my 90-something aunt an iPad when all her associates had computer systems. She by no means did learn to work it.

For budget-minded people who hardly ever use a telephone out of vary of Wi-Fi, it is arduous to beat TracFone’s $30 Android smartphones, such because the LG Insurgent four with a $125-a-year service plan. It presents 1,500 name minutes, 1,500 texts and 1.5 gigabytes of knowledge. When you unfold it out evenly, that is about two hours of speaking a month, 125 texts a month and 125 megabytes of knowledge a month. To flee the voice and textual content limits, use a free app like Sign or WhatsApp if you’re in vary of Wi-Fi. However in my expertise, TracFone would not supply good tech help.


A reader wrote to say he tried clicking on the hyperlink in what I believed was a pretend AOL message. Nothing dangerous occurred. He was proper, I used to be flawed.

My earlier suspicions got here from Googling it. I additionally examined the hyperlink itself. The textual content in a hyperlink is commonly simply ornament; it does not imply that is the place you are going. After I hovered over the hyperlink and regarded on the backside of my pc display the place the actual handle was displayed, it regarded phony. I ought to have tried clicking on it anyway. I’ve the free extension Malwarebytes Browser Guard, so I’d have gotten a warning if it had been pretend.

AOL would really like all customers to both obtain their new iOS or Android app, or to click on one of many hyperlinks of their message to get third-party apps, similar to Gmail, in sync with their new sign-in procedures. Those that go to AOL’s web site as an alternative of utilizing an app do not have to fret about this.


One of many earliest video games I ever performed on a pc was pinball. It is nonetheless enjoyable. So I eagerly turned to Stern Pinball’s new Star Trek sport. It is $5 from

Stern is the most important producer of arcade-quality pinball machines on the planet, going again to the early 1930s. It additionally makes pc video games. The brand new Star Trek pinball I performed was enjoyable, with chatter about alien civilizations. I do not assume it beats the previous Microsoft Pinball for Home windows 98, which a good friend of mine performs in Home windows 10, but it surely’s good.

The obtain at mentioned it might take 55 minutes — unprecedented! However making an attempt it once more later, it was zip fast, for causes recognized solely to the gremlins who hang-out these items. Moreover the Star Trek sport, I performed Stern’s free pinball sport, Final Motion Hero, named after the Arnold Schwarzenegger film. It is a good factor I purchased the $20 Logitech sport pad to play it with. A mouse simply would not minimize it.


Google’s free app Arts and Tradition has a brand new function: It permits you to step right into a well-known portray, by tapping “Artwork Filters.” You want a telephone that has augmented actuality to make it work. I used my Pixel 3a. Vermeer’s “Lady with a Pearl Earring” put a headdress on my head. Frida Kahlo’s “Self-Portrait with Monkey,” put a monkey on my shoulder. I snapped an image of myself and saved it. However the app’s hyperlinks to the world’s finest artwork museums are higher than these augmented actuality filters. No augmented actuality required. No app required both. Simply go to in your pc or telephone.


I’ve simply learn the umpteenth tech columnist saying I ought to go to to learn the way quick my web connection is. I doubt they’ve really gone to the positioning for the reason that final Ice Age. It isn’t working anymore. Now it takes you to the Chrome Net Retailer to put in Protected Search, which warns that it may well learn all of your knowledge on the web sites you go to, heh heh. Does that embody the financial institution password I simply typed in?

As an alternative of Velocity Check, simply Google “What’s My Web Velocity?” Moreover supplying you with exact numbers, it should let you know in case your velocity is sweet, dangerous or detached.

Pleasure Schwabach will be reached by e-mail at [email protected]

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