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Not too many people have heard about Speak-out wireless (prepaid) but I have been doing a lot of research on my next phone. I don't use the phone very much 1-2 times a day, plus a few texts. I just bought the phone which is a Nokia 5130. good decent phone. I was supprised though that I didn't have to give any info over the phone, not even my name. So far I really like the phone. It has MP3/radio/Bluetooth/internet/sim card & SD card.

I pay 25cents/min. The one big thing I noticed is the huge local calling area. I am in the GTA and I can call Toronto and all of the 905.
Out going texts are 10cents incoming is free. They do have an unlimited browsing which is 10/month. Cards expire after 365days even with 20 bucks. this is what sold me since I can go days without using the phone.

They use the Rogers network so I get service almost anywhere.

Perfect!
 

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One thing I can add is they have the best customer service I have had from phone company. They are a great addition to the cell phone market in canada
 

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Thanks for posting this. I am looking for a cell phone that I'll almost never use, so want to minimize costs. $25/year (min. voucher now I think) to have for my purpose is plenty fine. I think I'll check this out tomorrow.
 

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The only problem are the seemingly lack of 7-11's in the GTA (in my opinion) .Is this service also very similar to the PetroCan/Sunoco cell service?
 

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^ That is so funny, I was just going to post that "could be a problem", but went looking for a better list of 7-11 in Canada instead...which I didn't find. They really need to allow you to buy vouchers over the phone...but it seems they want to keep the whole process anonymous.

I am coming off a phone that was provided, and even though it was "free" I never really used it. Still, I can't decide if I should get a really cheap crappy phone I won't use, or a not-so-cheap less-crappy phone I won't use... :)
 

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7-11 and PetroCanada's mobile services are operated by the same MVNO/operator, namely Ztar Mobile.
 

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^ Which means? :)

Another "odd" thing is the only 7-11 near here is also a small PC station. [edit: as you more knowledgable guys probably guessed, it is in fact an Esso. I've gone there once a week for years and didn't even know the brands LOL. Further in my defense of ignorance, I can't read the signs because I go the wrong way up a road to get in there. :)] Will go there later today and see if they offer both services.

Apparently no 7-11s in Ottawa anymore, that is a prime location where I *would* likely use the cell and may need to top-up. One should remember that convenience stores (in general) are dropping like flies in Ontario these days, whereas PC gas stations are pretty steady. That 7-11 I mentioned just above has a prime location and seems busy whenever I go, even in the middle of the night (it's 24 hour). It will likely stay in business. I didn't even know it was a 7-11 until I checked when seeing this thread...

One thing that is cool though, is if you travel within Canada and need to call home. That counts as a local call, as long as the phone is registered to your home area code.

Just throwing out some thoughts. I'm figuring on amortising the phone cost over 3 years. The fact that PC vouchers are only good for 6 months [edit: guy at a PC said it's 120 days/4 months now...even worse] does seem to make it more expensive for very light users, vs being easy to find a place to get them (I presume).

Where I am coming from is I was surprised how much even the cheapest contracted plan is. I never saw a cell bill for years, so didn't care about the cost. I couldn't find anything less than a couple hundred $ a year. Thus I was glad to see this thread that provides an alternative for me for the short to medium term.

Edit: after all my gobbling, called and they said they are planning to offer online voucher sales, probably within a month, but "soon". I bet this has a lot to do with all the 7-11s closing already this year... Not quite as good as being able to do it by phone (presumably by the CS #), but it helps.

More edit: The cheapest phone has an unusable for me KB. The next up has the biggest/most usable KB. You could actually fairly easily text with it, though by no means optimal. The top phone also has a problematical KB for me. I am small too, no pudgy fingers, might work better for a female. Don't like the colour either, which also might work better for a female. :) Luckily the KB was a better excuse for rejecting. The middle phone config with the top phone features would have been quite acceptable...I'm going to have to wait for another phone offering, or see what the more knowledgable have done re swapping SIM with something from Rogers.
 

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I looked at Speak out for my daughter since I want to get her a PayGo with virtually unlimited text but they don't seem to have texting phones with the slide out keyboard.
 

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I think that's why their unlimited [edit: actually 2500/month] texting is so cheap (for PAYG): they know you won't be sending many with their phones. :)

You never know, they *may* just add a more texting-friendly phone to their lineup soon. Certainly would make it more attractive for teens, say. It looks like the 5130 has been there for quite a while, and though they've dropped the price, it's still a little pricey for its features IMO.

I guess people are just buying the cheapest SO phone and sticking the SIM in something better for texting from Rogers (they're promoting the Samsung HYPE for cheap now). They probably expect you to do that LOL, just putting an extra hoop (and $$) in the way.
 

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Swapping SO SIMs must be a popular thing. When I bought mine and asked for the cheapest phone, the sales person asked me if I was just swapping SIM card.

The cheapest phone is very cheap (I bought mine in March). So far service has been good, no problems with it at all. I am currently back on Rogers for the month (they offered $5 for free which will last me the month), but the low top ups that last a year is what I was looking for.
 

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I need some help here guys! I can't keep bugging the phone people at "work" as I no longer work there (as they say in Texas, "ah am retahrd"). We went through Bell so they have limited info for me at this stage anyway.

I guess I'll get the cheapest 7-11 phone and transfer the SIM. I am thinking that I can just go to Rogers and pick any phone, probably one under $200. True or false? That is the main point I'm not entirely sure of, otherwise the choice of phone is up to me. I don't want much, just something like I mentioned at the very end of post #8. I am entirely unskilled at this, so the SIM exchange has to be dead simple and probably not involve anything else. Thanks.
 

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OK, thanks. That's what I thought. I think I have read all of the stuff from the last few months in that SO forum. I wasn't necessarily considering buying a phone *from* Rogers, but some I looked at were ones locked to Rogers. I think they are surplus older models that Rogers never sold. Was just trying to keep the question simple. :)

One question I forgot: perhaps I need to get one of the SO phones that has data capability, if I want to use that SIM and get data with any other phone? The cheapest phone doesn't have data. I did read that SO CS will enable data if you ask though, it just won't be automatic like for the other two models...but I'm not sure of this.

And one thing I noticed: some of the GSM phones I looked at (ex Rogers IIRC) do not have EDGE data capability (they had some other scheme that I forget), though otherwise seem OK. I think I need to have that for SO data, correct? Thanks.

You know, after reading around some reviews and comments, the Nokia 5130 7-11 sells sounds not too bad in function after all. People seem to get by with the keyboard, so I guess I can, considering it's for extremely casual use. It just felt really slippery and non-tactile to me, not good with tight key spacing. I wonder if microSDHC cards work in it? I have a 4GB one, and apparently 4GB ones work even though they say 2GB max., but it says microSD in the 5130 specs (or are all 4GBs SDHC ones, meaning all 4GB should work?). The idea being that I might as well use it to play tunes if not so much for a phone.
 

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One question I forgot: perhaps I need to get one of the SO phones that has data capability, if I want to use that SIM and get data with any other phone? The cheapest phone doesn't have data. I did read that SO CS will enable data if you ask though, it just won't be automatic like for the other two models...but I'm not sure of this.
It is the SIM card, not the phone, that allows you to have data access, so it doesn't matter what phone you buy, i.e. AFAIK, every SO simcard has "data capability", regardless of whether the phone it is in has "data capability" or not. For accessing data using a SO Simcard, see this:

http://www.binarysearchtree.com/index.shtml (scroll down to third article)

I wonder if microSDHC cards work in it? I have a 4GB one, and apparently 4GB ones work even though they say 2GB max., but it says microSD in the 5130 specs (or are all 4GBs SDHC ones, meaning all 4GB should work?). The idea being that I might as well use it to play tunes if not so much for a phone.
SD cards (including micros) maxed out at 2GB, i.e. anything over 2 GBs is SDHC. Some older devices are not capable of reading SDHC, hence the 2 GB max.
 

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Thanks. So when people say a 4GB microSD card will work, they are by default actually referring to microSDHC...that's the part I wasn't sure of but now I know. :)

The difference is, if you buy the cheapest (non-data) SO phone, you have to call SO CS and tell them some story to get data using that SIM; the others get data capability automatically without human intervention when you register them. That's my interpretation of what I read on the SO forum, but of course I don't know yet. Also from what I read, it's almost like CS assumes you got the cheapest phone just to get the SIM for use in another data-capable phone...

After thinking about it, those surplus or refurb phones may not be worth it to me, even though they looked "new". I am mostly wary of the condition of the batteries in them, a couple I opened looked to have pretty cheap (certainly non-original quality) ones.* Just another potential expense to replace soon, along with having to buy a SO phone just to get the SIM...might as well make do with a SO phone offering. I am losing track of my objective, cheap temporary very occasional use, gotta get back on track... :) You know, "bottom-feeding" sure takes a lot more brainwork than just getting something "good" to start with LOL.

* Edit: forgot to mention, the phone that most interested me, in my price range, was the unlocked Motorola Q9H at $140, partly because I think they are new and complete, the boxes were sealed so I couldn't look inside = assumed complete. So if anybody knows that this wouldn't work with SO, I'd sure like to know by tomorrow LOL when I decide...it seems good to go to me (MUCH nicer than the 5130 for an extra $20, good KB and QWERTY). This model would make me feel less hard done by since it's lots closer to what I had at work, strictly psychological since I won't have the plan to go with it...

P.S. I haven't been able to register at the SO forum for whatever reason so far (does teksavvy think the PW email is spam?, I have *never* got a single spam since I've been with TSI). That's why I have to ask seemingly picky stuff here, but hopefully some of my Qs will be the same ones other SO newbs might have and I'm not getting too off-track with the discussion...
 

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OK, I made a decision, went with the Nokia 5130 available at 7-11. As somebody said way back, it's not too bad at all, seems fairly decent actually and I'm not the tiniest bit disappointed...I'm surprised LOL. The problem I had with the KB in the stores is not at all apparent, I can only asume those ones were really gummed up from snack-hands... I made it more complicated for myself by insisting on a blue 5130 (like Rogers sells), and I got the only one I could find by calling 7-11s within a ~45 minute driving radius (all the rest were red). Instruction manual is incredibly awful-looking and incomplete, there is allegedly more online but I haven't checked yet. Setting up the service is painless.

Covers for the USB and microSD are pretty fiddly. My 4GB microSDHC works, and I got a medium-speed 8GB (the 4GB is class 2 only) which I'll open up and try *if* I think the MP3 player is worth it, otherwise 4GB or even the stock 1GB would be more than adequate for me. I was told if you go over 4GB you better use a class 4 or better microSDHC in a phone like this; not exactly sure why, but I'm guessing the larger class 2 SDHCs are a little slower to access than regular SD, so since the phone is expecting SD you need to get a faster version of SDHC to make it reliable.

One store had an older display "cheapest" model, and it seemed miles ahead in ergonomics compared to the cheapest one now (Nokia 1661), though probably not in features. The 1661 feels lousy to me, and bear in mind it sells for only ~$15 in the UK with PAYG compared to $40-60 here, so that's what you're really getting (BTW they are not user-unlockable, so don't buy one from UK).
 

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Yes, this is what I did. Works well. I got a SO phone just for the SIM awhile back. I used the SIM in my unlocked HTC phone. Then SO came out with UL browsing for $/month.

So, I called SO to enable the data plan, and I indicated if it did not work, I would call them back to disable it. Right now I get UL browsing for $10/month. Not great but I'm not tied to Rogers either and its fast enough for what I use. I like SO for many reasons except that now 7-11 is not in Ottawa anymore. To work around this, I ask my cousin to pick up my top-ups in Toronto and email me the number.

So, until something comes along with a really compelling reason to require me to pay $50-60/month for a contract plan on a smartphone, I'm keeping to my cheap setup. :D
 

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I get the impression that VERY few SO people use the SO phones (i.e. what 7-11 sells). Well, at least the ones who comment on the service online. Very little knowledge-base, virtually none really; relevant because the phones come pre-configured and it *may* affect your intended use if you're going on the basis the phone is "raw" and "standard". Not a problem for the originally-intended userbase I'd say, basic phone use is simple. Now, if you want info on iPhones or even other smartphones with SO, that's another story: plenty. :)

I guess $10/month for data is pretty good. If you were using data with a 7-11 phone, $10 worth would be about all you could tolerate LOL. Personally, I wish they allowed extremely limited (by your wallet!) data access at their regular per-minute rate, for "emergency" use. The more I think about it, the more ridiculous it seems to me they *don't* allow it, if they could limit it to just their own "data-crippled" phones. True PAYG for data too.
 

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What is your take on Speakout 7-11 unlimited web browsing?

I am going Pay as you Go and I am looking for a decent rate, mainly for web browsing rather than voice.

What is your take on Speakout 7-11 unlimited web browsing?


Looking for people who use it and looking for your reviews on the service. Does it include unlimited website viewing like cnn.com and google news and ESPN? Does it also include unlimited app usage that connect to the internet?
 
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