So Which Phone Did I Purchase?

All of your comments were immensely helpful. 

I also asked about phones on Facebook groups I'm in, and I got a lot of feedback from there as well. 

So for my first smart phone I got a Samsung Galaxy J3. If I'd had lots of money, I would maybe have gone for the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. 

Seems it just came out. So I don't have much feedback online about it yet. It was under $200. And by switching to Verizon, the price got knocked down to $109.99. I also purchased a phone charger, a tempered glass display protector to protect the front, and a red (of course) case. 

This brought the total of my first month's coverage (since I pre-pay for a month in advance), the phone and the rest to $266.32.

My plan: I have unlimited talk and text, and you get 3 GB instead of 2 GB automatically with auto-pay. 

If you go on auto-pay, you also pay $5 less per month. I go with any way I can save within reason. 

I have most of my bills on auto-pay and my bank pays it before it's due every month. I am just more comfortable knowing that my bills are paid on time. And it has helped me build my credit after the divorce.

I asked the guy helping me at Verizon why so many people pay over $700 for a phone. He said that many think the newest thing out there is what they just have to have, so they get it. 

But, he added, (and this is his opinion) that there really isn't that much difference in phones anymore in terms of technology, so they aren't really getting all that much paying more.

I have no idea. I just bought my first smart phone, after all.

I may change my mind, and need something else later. But I'm on a budget, and just cannot see spending that kind of money when I'm at home most of the time and using my laptop. 

I can take photos and finally join the ranks of Instagram users. 

I don't have to type out a text. (I don't want "text claw") I can just speak into the phone, and it will write a text for me. A BIG plus for me. I have arthritis in my hands and fingers. 

If I couldn't do this, I just wouldn't text at all. (Still haven't yet).

I don't play games or stream video or music or anything like that. This is because if bloggers are trying to make money, then they need to stay abreast of current technology.

And so I can get on Instagram, which will avail me of more financial opportunities via sponsors, etc. 

It is for protection when I'm out alone; a way to keep me from getting lost via a voice giving me directions. 

I also find myself standing in line at stores behind people using coupons on their phones to get cheaper prices, so I will love that.

No telling what all I will be able to do once I figure this thing out.

The battery can be taken out. It is unlocked. And I'm free to switch anything any time I want. I'm not locked into anything.

I simply don't want to go into debt over a phone. I have finally, over 4 years time, got my credit rating up to a decent number after the divorce. I have worked hard to get there. 

I don't like debt hanging over my head. And I sure don't like paying interest on credit cards. 

I left a marriage with my credit completely ruined. I clawed my way back up the credit scale. Slowly but surely.

So that was my choice. 

I can switch later if it doesn't fit my needs.

Once again, all your suggestions helped me to figure out the phone lingo and determine a lot of factors. Someone told me not to order sight unseen online, as I should hold it in my hand first. Great idea. So I did followed that advice. 

I listened to all your comments and it sure helped when I started going to stores to check things out. 

See below for links to info and reviews that helped me when trying to understand plans and phones.

1. Consumer Reports Best Phone Plans For Your Family July 2016

2. 10 Best Smart Phones So Far April 2016

3. Save Hundreds On Your Cell Phone With One Simple Trick (2015)

4. 10 Best Smart Phones In The US (written 10 days ago)

5. How To Save Money On Your Cell Phone Plan (June 2016)

6. Comparing Wireless Carrier Plans (February 2016)

7. Can You Really Get A Smart Phone For Free? (March 2016)


  1. I think you made a great choice, Brenda. You are so smart to do so much research. It's all very confusing and I'm fortunate that I don't have to figure it all out by myself. We tried to get rid of our landline but it was actually going to make our monthly bill increase since we have it bundled with our cable and internet - crazy, huh? I think you will enjoy the convenience of your cell phone and having it for safety reasons will be comforting. Thanks for sharing the links. I'm going to check out some of them because the amount we are paying per month is way too much in my opinion!

  2. Good for you, I got my first smart phone about 2 years ago, and upgraded about a year ago when hubby got a new phone. I took his old one. I am still not sure how to use everything, but I do like it.

  3. Good choice Brenda! I think you will enjoy the phone once you learn how to work it. I am very happy I got a smart phone a few years ago.

  4. You beat me! I have been looking to move from my flip to a smart phone and have visited the store twice. I am thinking Monday may be the day. Sounds like you made the right choice!

  5. Brenda, go to YouTube for lots of informational videos on your phone and how to use it...

  6. Great choice, you will be happy with Verizon. I have the same plan, investigated getting something cheaper then decided I was happy with Verizon and if it ain't broke don't fix it! Enjoy your phone! Gina

  7. I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and I LOVE IT! You are just going to love your phone and all that it can do!

  8. If you figure out Instagram, please post a tutorial for us other old ladies! I've had Twitter and Instagram for months and can't understand why I receive the ones I do not how to look for other stuff. I'm glad you got your phone, you really need it in your line of work.

  9. Congratulations. I think you will be very happy that you now have a smart phone. Let us know when you get on Instagram so we can friend each other. I used to have unlimited data on my phone, but I found I was mainly using my phone hooked up to wifi in my home and elsewhere so I really didn't need all that data. I cut back and it saved me $10 a month. I also have my bills and rent automatically deducted from my bank account each month. It's great to not have to worry about them and I now have excellent credit. xo Laura

  10. Good for you! You will love Instagram, it's the happy, nice social media :) I haven't had a single negative comment and can't remember seeing them on any of my friends' accounts either. It's fun and easy to use, and I know you will love having a beautiful, inspiring feed to scroll through! Come find me when you're on, @andreaopulentcottage

  11. Welcome to the smart phone world! I couldn't live without mine! I love it and use it more than my computer. I have the Apple iPhone 6. I want a bigger size phone next time though. I use mine like a computer and would like a bigger screen. I've never had a Samsung so don't know anything about that. My husband does the research for our phones and stays on top of all that for me so I don't really even think about it. Glad you finally have one. You will wish you had gotten it sooner after you see how great it is!

  12. Been with Verizon many years and am well pleased. Customer service is great. You can call them online or go into any store and they are always ready to help you. Very polite and always helpful in explaining things on your level. Enjoy your phone!

  13. Great! I love my Samsung. Be sure and use your wireless for data at home when you're on isntagram. And be sure to tell us your IG account number so we can follow along. I love IG, and the people who I have met though that have been wonderful. Its been a great positive place for me, for my business, and mostly for my pleasure!

  14. Good choice. What is your monythly fee?

  15. I think you will end up really liking this phone! The J3 was a good choice if you couldn't afford a S6 or S7. You can google J3 reviews - just read one that said it's a decent beginner phone; good for those who don't plan on having it more than 2 years. Maybe yours will last even longer if you don't use it too much. Love Instagram - it will be nice to see you on there.

  16. Congratulations! I have the Galaxy 6. I used to have the 2 or 3? I can honestly say that there is nothing I can do now that I couldn't do before. I love it and while they keep trying to push me into the 7, I see no need. Can't wait to see you on Instagram! You are going to love all the pretty pictures!! :-)

  17. I have the Galaxy S5. I would prefer an iPhone so I can sync to my iPad and Mac, but until my contract is up I'm sticking with the Samsung.

    See you on IG!

  18. Happy happy for you! Come find me on Instagram my friend!

  19. Congrats! Sounds like you got a great phone for a great deal! I have been able to keep my plan at the low end because, like you, I don't use it for a ton of applications. I take pictures, I text and I use it as a GPS. Oh -- I also use it as a PHONE. :) I cancelled my land line which saved me $40 a month. I look forward to following you on Instagram.

  20. Sounds like a great phone and deal and enjoy !! :)

  21. I was the last out of my friends to do email and the last to have a smart phone so I so understand not wanting to do certain things BUT when we bite the bullet and change our mind more power to us and our flexibility and vision to change! ;) You will love Instagram .... you can view and reply from your computer (not just your phone) and it is another way to share with a beautiful community. I am "imagerybykimberly" on there.... I can't wait to follow you there!! love to you dear Brenda. xoxoxo

  22. Yaaay, so glad to hear you navigated thru all that boring terminology and got a good deal! I'm pretty sure you're enjoying your new phone.


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