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Uncle Jim Phone

G6 on Craiglist, otherwise a Samsung J3 from corner Brainwave store was a good price for a small phone for $50.

Tello Voicemail Setup Instructions

Please follow the below activation steps which you will also find under the “Device Activation” section of our Help Center (

  1. Carrier Wipe: - Backup your device - Disable Wi-Fi and enable data (some LTE devices do not require this) - Open the dialer - Dial ##72786# - Enter your Master Subsidy Lock (000000)* if prompted. - Touch “OK”, the phone will restart. - If the steps above did not work please do this dial *#*#72786#*#*
  2. Might help to completely shut down the phone.
  3. Profile Update: - Disable Wi-Fi and enable data (some LTE devices do not require this) - Touch the “Application” icon - Touch “Settings” - Touch “System Update” (depending on the device the System Update option may be in the About Phone menu or on the More tab) - Touch “Update Profile”. The device will restart when complete.
  4. PRL Update: - Disable Wi-Fi and enable data (some LTE devices do not require this) - Touch the “Application” icon - Touch “Settings” - Touch “System updates“ (depending on the device the System Update option may be in the 'About Phone' menu or on the 'More' tab) - Touch “Update PRL”. Wait for the PRL update to complete, then touch “OK”. Your device may restart after the PRL update. If not, please restart your device. Once your device restarts, your services should be enabled. Please try those steps and get back to us if there are any problems.

Stop charging at 80%

Need to root:

  • Maybe do the adb method?

Then set:


Samsung Galaxy J3 Eclipse

Whatever was cheapest and worked from used cell phone shop down the street. Brainwave PC. 6-month basically no questions asked warranty with good free support for $100 - $60 (street price) = $40. Cheap, done! Receipt is in email. They said it should work in Japan, we'll find out.

  • Doesn't work with Sprint for cheap MVNO service, despite having Verizon and CDMA modem.

LG V10

Going with LG V10 from Glenn.

Got a boot loop after a few weeks :-/. Maybe need to restore the bootloader? I feel like it's a hardware issue though, since it worked occasionally.

Very likely hardware issue. Trying to re-sell for parts.


Smartphones are really handy as maps, but the size and dumbness and non-desirability of flip phones is interesting. And they're really cheap, last a long time, and you can transfer contacts on/off of them using bluetooth pretty easily!

Features of smartphone I want are offline maps that are searchable, camera and flash that last longer than 60 seconds.

  • Can't do live directions on current phone despite trying a bunch. Worth future frustration to fix.


  • SD card slot is nice.
  • S7 is pretty cheap and works with 4GB of ram, except amoled has burn in issues. J7 prime is cheap too, but unreliable??


  • Assistive Touch & WaveUp
  • Ynab Classic
  • Shortcut Image (widget)
  • Windy Maps, Offline Maps, Survival Manual
  • Sensors Multitool
  • Easy Voice Recorder

Google Maps

Recent update seems to be taking all my battery (preventing sleep and keeping gps on) even though it's quite disabled and doesn't have access to location. Hmm….

  • Thought about installing Lineage OS, but it looks like you need to build it and flash it (don't have a totally functioning power button)
  • Really only care when I'm out and about hiking or trying to get somewhere.
  • Just keep a few backup usb batteries around or buy a new battery eventually. Lame.

Keeping a backup of a good version on Dropbox. Dropbox/phone/10.4.2 from December 2018.

Edit Gmail Auto-complete Contacts


Using Tello for now. 1c per text and call, 2c per MB.


Tello, Twigby, or Unreal mobile all seem like good options. $10/month for unlimited calling and texting, and less ($5/month with Tello) if you use under 100 minutes. Great!

  • Twigby combines Sprint and Verizon towers, but also doesn't like my IMEI for some reason.
  • Probably don't need great coverage though

Tried out FreedomPop Free but while it does work, it just feels scammy and potentially unreliable and uses up battery more (data-only voip). Well worth $5-10 / mo on Tello to me.

  • It did eventually start receiving calls after waiting a few hours.
  • However it'd be potentially good for a GPS tracker? Not sure.
  • Next time, pay $10 to top up in order to downgrade without paying $20.

Can check for more info (whether it uses VoIP calling or “2g” calling) with BestMVNO:

  • Might want to try Xfinity Mobile. Free calls and texts through verizon's towers, only pay for the data over 100MB that you use. Sounds like free to me!
  • Currently with h2o wireless…
    • In order to transfer a number, you must have a new unused sim card
    • Have to call support number. No in person
      • Wait times for anything requiring manager is ~35 minutes. But, they did give me my $10.
    • We'll see on how coverage is!
    • Good coverage, but to refill you need to F5, maybe Ctrl+F5 on the ordering page for the denomination drop down to show up
    • About $10 of usage a month, vs. Google Fi or maybe even H2O itself, which is $20 for unlimited.

H2O Wireless

How to set up APN settings:

Be sure to disable background data when you're trying to read MMS messages.

Google Fi

$20 / month for unlimited voice and texts. $10/GB w/ rollover data. Can do cell phone call in 170+ countries for $.20/minute and don't need to change SIM cards. Texting is always free. Wifi calling is free generally and included.

Pretty good deal, maybe. Europe now has free roaming mandated, and it somehow works. So maybe don't need Fi.

Comparison App

Hacky comparison thing for now: Sorta similar to


Pass around a in dict, and pass out an 'out' dict (cost, plan picture, plan name).

  • Try to group the plan into one bundle so you can compare across providers easier. Just put them all out there and see what happens UI-wise
  • Call FreedomPop, what are stipulations on BYOD? can you use a new prepaid Sprint phone? Do calls go through Sprint 3g data, or do they actually route through voice call? How reliable is texting without 3g service? It'd be nice to trial it out for $20 and a month to return / resell a Sprint phone.
  • Talk with Tigard guy about all this. Cheap Android phone with rear LED would be great…
  • Use an app for car dashcam. DailyRoads Voyager (stops and saves recording on large acceleration), then CaroO Free, then AutoGuard Dash Cam
  • ZTE Maven fits GSM bill for $50 new (, but I can get a Nexus 5 for $100 on a good day too.
    • Nexus 5 isn't necessarily faster even though CPU has higher frequency. However, has more RAM. Wait, why does 1 second of speed matter?
    • Maven is fine for gdb. However, might have lots of annoying extra apps and the speaker might not be that good.
  • FreedomPop is similar to RingPlus. Both run on Sprint VoIP it seems.

Page Plus Cellular

  • Ask them for sure, can I use 4G device on pay as you go plan. What changes when I change to different 4g device?

Scrape Page Plus usage with Python Mechanize.

  • Currently on $80 that lasts 1 year with Genius WirelessBatMobile Wireless (no charge fee!) CallingMart that's good for a whole year since I don't call or text very much! Another option for more usage is the $12 Plan. Must call customer service to renew monthly plan if you are on track to go over early. Otherwise you can go over at $.05/minute (not so bad)


  • Wirefly Comparison WhistleOut comparison both don't include Page Plus. Maybe they don't get paid back so they don't compare?!?! Boooo
  • For some reason right now I want a smartphone?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!?! I'm tired. GPS + caching maps is nice, that's about all I need. TracFone seems like another good option.
  • What I have now with GoPhone is pretty good actually for the number of texts that I send. I buy a 1000 text bundle for $10 and then keep it up with 200 text messages for $5 a month ($.025 each), can't beat it! Also $.10 a minute is decent. Yay!
    • However, next step would be to cut out the text messaging using a phone app, but then they'd need to use my phone number. Hmm….I think $5 a month for sanity is an okay price to spend.
  • Talkatone looks to be a great app for using Google Voice to call people over your phone's wifi connection (as google voice doesn't offer this kinda critical feature).
  • Would like to stay with an iPhone for now, but we'll see.

Typically, MVNO's don't charge extra for voice roaming, but do charge for data roaming.

Company Network Review
Straight Talk Don't care Smartphones require $45 plan for data. Nope!
Page Plus Verizon Pretty cheap plans, including $12 a month and pay-as-you-go
Looks like any CDMA except iPhone?!
GoPhone(AT&T) AT&T Not sure yet. Plans $.20c for texting…or $2 a day unlimited. Supports an iPhone (1,2)
Republic Wireless ??? Cheap ($10/month for unlimited non-data), but force you to buy new phone for their service
US Mobile AT&T Looks good for low and high usage!
Ting ??? GSM or Sprint CDMA, your choice
H2O Wireless AT&T Similar rates as Page Plus, but with removable sim card. woot

Apps, offline maps. open source too!

Google maps was using Google location history in Settings → Location → at bottom

everyday/cellphone.txt · Last modified: 2020/08/30 09:52 by admin