Looking for cheap dumb phone for use on 2 week trip to Canada (I have iPad for Wi-Fi so don't need data). We are landing on ferry from Portland ME to Nova Scotia so landing in Yarmouth. Thoughts?

I currently have a dumb Verizon phone that I cannot get on plan for time in Canada, I tried.

  • Do you really need a whole new phone? Are you sure you wouldn't just be better getting a Canadian pay-as-you-go sim (for which we have existing questions) and popping that into an existing phone? – Gagravarr Apr 27 '16 at 22:59
  • If their existing phone is carrier locked and can't be easily unlocked, then a new phone may be the easiest approach. – Zach Lipton Apr 27 '16 at 23:26
  • I have an old flip phone without sim so.... – Mary Ayres Apr 28 '16 at 3:29
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's about phone recommendations. – JonathanReez Apr 28 '16 at 18:34
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    @Dennis Asking what features a phone should have to work would be fine, but asking for a specific model or manufacturer is off-topic, especially because the information will be obsolete almost as soon as it is posted. – choster Apr 28 '16 at 23:19

There are more than a few prepaid service alternatives in Canada, none of which are (IMO) really good value but nearly all of which will sell you a dumb phone to use. For a particular example Koodoo Mobile sells a basic phone for C$96, including the SIM card and a C$20 service credit. The Mobile Shop, 104 Starrs Road, Yarmouth may sell this. Looking at Koodoo prepaid plans it appears that an additional C$20 will buy 500 minutes of incoming/Canada calls or 250 minutes of US calls for a total of C$116 plus tax. 7-Eleven Speakout sells the same phone for less but their rates for actually using the phone are worse. These phones will be locked to the carrier so you'll be tossing the phone in a drawer or selling it on eBay when your trip is done.

An alternative would be to buy a month of service from T-Mobile USA. The US$50 no-credit-check plan includes Canada roaming, unlimited calling to the US and Canada, 2GB of data (which you say you don't want, but could share with the tablet with the right phone) and a US number, which you could forward the Verizon phone to and get calls made to that number while in Canada too. You could buy this before your travel so you wouldn't need to worry about it later. The slightly more difficult problem is getting the right phone to use since this requires being able to read cell phone specs. You need a phone that supports 3G(/WCDMA/UMTS/HSPA) on bands 2, 4 and 5 (850/1700/1900) to work on both T-Mobile and the roaming carrier (Telus) they prefer in Canada, and while I used to see unlocked feature phones like this on Amazon for less than $50 I can no longer find one. If you do buy an unlocked phone it might be useful for future trips as well, though, so maybe you could splurge a bit?

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