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Thread: Street prices for cell Phones

  1. #1
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Street prices for cell Phones

    Rummaging through the drawers for the next trip we have only one old Nokia with a tired battery..

    Before I rummage the local refurb joints, what is a simple cell (not smart phone) going for in Nica today?

    Do they still glue in the SIM card in effect locking you to Movistar or Claro?

    Simple GSM sets can be bought here for $39 and $49 (Moto razer which was a real good performer in its time)

    Thankie for any info..
    Last edited by bill_bly_ca; 07-06-2014 at 06:26 PM.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Street prices for cell Phones

    You can get a new phone directly from Claro, or for less from an alternative vendor,, no contract, for $12 to $25. This is not a smart phone. Maybe more at the airport, but I don't know.
    I've seen new phones that were clearly POS for $8.



    I have been bringing these:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...X:eRTM:US:1123

    down, everyone wants a smart phone, work on Claro or MoviStar, just stick in your chip or buy a new chip for less than $5. The vendor has plenty of the phones, just click on their contact and send a message.

    They look brand new but take 7 - 10 days to arrive from China. I try to standardize, since I'm the first one they turn to for tech support. Yaritza picks up her emails as she walks or rides by my house from my WiFi, wouldn't surprise me if she has found other access points around town. She is one of the few people I know who always has saldo.


    Verizon Droids two or three years old can be unlocked for $20 - $25 (in Estelí, might be cheaper in Managua), but only for MoviStar. They are very common on EBAY, VG's can be had for $50 (but then you have the unlock, and only MoviStar, so at this point the Chinese refurb looks attractive). A variety of other phones will unlock for Claro, the Verizon has a problem with the ESN.

    Biggest use for the smartphones (other than talking) is showing photos. Printed photos are at a premium, and the humidity makes it hard to keep them nice. Easier to pull out the phone and swipe through the photo library. It's amazing how clever and innovative the Nicas can be when motivated. My old Droid --(Verizon contract phone)-- I gave her had a good sized memory chip as well; we had it unlocked and bought a MoviStar chip for it.

    I now have a Samsung Galaxy S4 which is on a Verizon contract in the US, and when I get to NicaLand I just have to change chips to be on my unlimited Claro talk ($18 /month). This trip I left my Verizon chip at the house, and found I really didn't miss the phone that much. I'll have to pay a penalty, but am thinking of dumping the Verizon contract, and just picking up burners when I return to the US. I more and more use the MagicJack that I keep with my laptop. I have a small handset (less than $10, less than a pound) and I can use that for US calls from any point I have WiFi, including Mexico when I drive down. Nica calls too, if I buy some international time. Not as convenient, need both laptop AND WiFi, but It's a LOT less than roaming and works very well most of the time. I spent about $100 on roaming on my last trip through Mexico. Most restaurants, coffee shops, along the toll roads,, etc have WiFi that you can use to keep in touch.

    At the Condega house I have a Vonage modem which offers a lot of features, but am thinking of replacing that with a MagicJack. We have a MagicJack at the house in the US, and the Vonage and MagicJack cost nothing to use. I get emailed voice mails when I miss a Vonage call, but with all the US taxes the service runs almost $15 /month, compared to a flat $29 /year for MagicJack.

    I'd be very interested to hear how others have put all these pieces together.
    Last edited by KeyWestPirate; 07-06-2014 at 06:30 PM.

  3. #3
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Street prices for cell Phones

    Actually forgot youngest son has a LG Android 2.3 phone .. Since he is coming with us, we will use that one and take to old Nokia, maybe a replacement battery can be found for cheap in the Marcado..
    ==================================================
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  4. #4
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Street prices for cell Phones

    I bought a new phone last week, cheapest one available, $17. Looks like they stopped glueing the chips in like they used to on the cheap phones. This phone can hold 2 SIM cards. No camera, I would have spent a few more $ to have one, I wasn't paying attention and there was not much of a selection anyway.

    I would be surprised if your family does not have a few laying around, even the youngest neighbor kids around me have phones, usually just to listen to radio.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

  5. #5
    Viejo del Foro Just Plain John Wayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Street prices for cell Phones

    I bought a cheapie, it has a camera but the photos suck; they are so small I can't use the photos at all for any work purposes they are so small "Thumbnails" I think they are called and if you try and zoom in on one it gets blurry as all get out...

    But I can hear the ring tone good and it is in the National colors... Rojo y Negro
    To be called a "Has Been" I must surmise, is much Greater than to be called a "Nevah Been"... JW...



  6. #6
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Street prices for cell Phones

    Bill I saw a sign saying 2 Claro SIM cards for 50 cords, so guess Moviestar would be about the same. I just saw a sign for a deal on a Moviestar phone for 350 cords and that included 275 cords of Saldo, so you are getting the phone for less than $3. Wanted to stop and see if the chip was glued in but rain was starting and getting harder.

    I got a new phone recently, has 2 slots for SIM cards does anyone know if the Moviestar chip will work in it for the 2nd SIM card.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

  7. #7

    Default Re: Street prices for cell Phones

    Once the word gets out that you can get phones cheapER, the line will form around the block

    One thing Nica's are serious about is,,,, their phone! They may live in a plank house with half inch cracks between the spaces, and a mud floor, but they want a cutting edge phone.

    One thing that fascinates me is the effort Nicas will put into something when they are motivated.

    This is the new phone de jure in Condega, ignore my previous post below. . . .I've been upgraded

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/400629924881...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT


    This is more than a week's pay for Melvin, my mason. But, it's what he wants. He independently picked it out.
    He's a hard worker, he works by the project, and his price is fair, he's just unusually diligent. Both he and his helper take very short breaks, and are back at it. He's by far my best paid worker, he and his helper together make about $35 /day. My foreman only gets $8.50 /day.

    His stuff is straight, square, level. This guy could make a fortune in the US. He's got an uncle somewhere in New York, but he has no interest in going to the US himself.

  8. #8
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Street prices for cell Phones

    The phone obsession amazes me. Like you say some will happily pay a week or months income for a phone.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

  9. #9
    Viejo del Foro Just Plain John Wayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Street prices for cell Phones

    Quote Originally Posted by cookshow View Post
    The phone obsession amazes me. Like you say some will happily pay a week or months income for a phone.
    Eiether that or find a way to steal it.... Well a few folks anyway not all...
    To be called a "Has Been" I must surmise, is much Greater than to be called a "Nevah Been"... JW...



  10. #10

    Default Re: Street prices for cell Phones

    i bought a blackberry style cheap phone (not a real blackberry...just that style of phone). I hate texting on phones with just the numbers, it takes to long, so i have to have the individual letters. The phone was 25 bucks. Movistar is currently running a promotion that with some of their phones, you buy the phone and they give you that same amount back in saldo, so its like getting the phone free. No clue how long that saldo lasts for though, they always get you there.
    The cheapest phone they had was about 12 bucks, for just your standard cheapo.

    ive never seen anyone glue in the sim card. In fact, ive never even seen them put in their own sim card. They just hand over the little plastic piece with it inside and help the next customer.
    Movistar's is 50 cords, and i think claro is 100 last i checked but they put that on as saldo. Though there are always people walking around the market selling SIM's for 25 or 30. Also depends on what kind of SIM though, if you have a new iphone and need a nanoSIM, those are 100 from movistar, etc.


    I have never used Vonage or Magicjack or anything. I just use the internet to make calls. There are tons of programs that will let you call phone numbers, skype is 2 cents a minute. google is 1.5, with a few cent connection fee, or if the other person has wifi you can just call them for free. cause im a cheapskate. No one i know back in the states has a landline anyway at this point. And if im ever in a bind, movistar gives me the 30 minutes for 60 cords deal. Which isnt ideal for talking every day, but i dont call anyone on the phone anyone, but at least i know i have it in an emergency.

  11. #11
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Street prices for cell Phones

    So we got the old Samsung flip phone unlocked from Bell for $12 - It was a dumpster (e-waste) win at work, so it is a $12 phone for us. None of the conventional email - Pay $8 - Get code - Enter code. Places worked before we left..

    2 hours quoted - Took 6 hours.... At the Masaya Market.

    Movistar has a "More than $7, it will double it, by EZtop...

    The internet was more of an adventure - But it is working and my ZTE 636 that was locked to Movistar is now working on Claro (Put that bit on the thread on that USB modem)

    For phone there is an old Android phone my youngest son had that is working well...

    BIL was telling me how his iPhone dissapeared within 2 days of coming here.. Now he has a cheap Chinese phone.. Left in a cab once .. Called it, driver answered, driver returned it for C$100... Looks like the cheap Chinese phone is the answer.

    We could not find a charger for the old Nokia relic we brought.. May try again today.. Funny the scrunched nose looks it got.. I guess gringo's are synonymous with smart phones and I broke that notion..
    ==================================================
    Dude !!!.... Its a Canal !!! Can you Dig it ??

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