Big Easy phoneSome of our readers have never owned a cell phone. To be talked into one, they want a super long battery life, no contract, caller ID, and a reasonable monthly cost. For all that, we think TracFones are probably the way to go.

These are cell phones you can buy in grocery stores and Radio Shacks for very little money. (We bought one for $10 at a supermarket.) Their web site shows many different kinds, but we kind of like “The Big Easy” for seniors who have never had a cell phone before. It has big buttons and 16 days of stand-by life before it needs a recharge. It costs $40 and you can get a cheap monthly rate, adding minutes when you need them. Service runs around $10 a month. One caution is that their customer service is weird. When we called, the woman we talked to was unfamiliar with TracFone offerings, had never heard of The Big Easy phone and was, in short, totally unhelpful.

Besides the Jitterbug, a well-known cell phone designed for seniors, we have a no-contract Android smart phone from T-Mobile. The phone was expensive but the monthly rate is only $30 for unlimited web usage and 100 minutes of talk time. We’re no longer in our teen years, so we’ve never used a whole 100 minutes.

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