Cingular Go Phone – Pay as you Go Review

November 24, 2005 · 13 comments

in Reviews

I had to go down to Las Vegas for PubCon last week, and did not want to repeat SES San Jose – That was the first conference I went to EVER without a cell phone. Man did that suck.

Living in Canada, and traveling to the US for business limits the cell phone plans you can use. If I was to use a canadian provider I would get reamed when I am in the US, a US provider reams me when I am in Canada, not only that, Canadian cell phone companies want you to sign a three year contract to get a free phone…what a crock. Compare prepaid and traditional cell phone plans here.

My thought was to get a cheap pay as you go phone for conference in the US, and hack the phone (make it an unlocked gsm phone) so I could swap SIM cards and use it in Canada…

I did a bit of research and needed to find a prepaid GSM provider. I found a cool site called prepaid cell phone reviews, which listed various providers and phone options. After some reading I decided the cheapest option was to use Cingular Wireless GoPhone.

I decided to get a sony t290a, due to its price, and features:

I knew I could not ship it to Canada, so I sent it to my parents house, and was able to grab it before heading down to Vegas. So far the experience with cingular wireless gophone has been good. I had to recharge the card and maybe spent $10 that week while in vegas…that means no contract, no nothing, but airtime…pretty cheap to stay in touch with everyone. So figure the total cost was $63 with tax, and I can use it every time I am in the US…pretty sweet deal.

After returning to Canada, I found my plan would soon fail, since I get ZERO bars of reception on the phone. This means that Cingular has zero reception in Canada…so that sucks. The next step will e to break the locking on the phone and turn it into an Unlocked phone, which will allow me to place a SIM card in it, and make calls at a local canadian rate, as well as use the phone for emergencies and the like while living in Canada. I also plan to be in Barbados in a month or so, so It will be nice to get another card down there, and use the phone on their local network. The bottom line is unlocked GSM phones are bad ass, and the cell phone companies in the US and Canada are complete pricks for selling locked handsets.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 miguel 05.11.06 at 2:22 pm

do you have any more gophones other than the sony t290?

2 Werty 05.11.06 at 2:28 pm

Nope, that is the only one I have. I am still using it too. It is great for the price and the service is cheap. I never use a cell phone, but it is nice to have for the times when I need it.

3 Justine 06.04.06 at 7:54 pm

is there any other phone that you can get?

4 Marley 02.28.07 at 9:25 am

I am looking for a cheap phone that works in Canada(home) and U.S (winter). I thought Cingular pay as you go might be it. Thanks for the info. Any alternative out there for us?

5 jay 04.16.07 at 1:35 pm

Hey, I’m looking for a cheap replacement for a cingular phone I broke recently. I’m thinking about buying one of these cingular go phones. Do you think my existing cingular sim card will work in the go phone? Thanks.

6 hex 04.30.07 at 12:58 pm

I bought Nokia N95.. and its unlocked i use it in USA and Europe with SIM cards 🙂

7 Forbes McGregor 05.19.07 at 8:27 pm

I will be visiting BC for 2 weeks and need cheap phone for that time as my exisiting Philippine phone will not work on Canadian frequencies.Any suggestions?

8 smarty art 06.17.07 at 11:26 am

@ Jay

I’m a cingular contract customer and my normal phone bit the dust. I purchased one of the extremely cheap cingular go phone’s (motorola candybar style: $15 dollars) and stuck my contract sim card in there and the thing works great.

9 Tim McCarthy 08.15.07 at 7:22 pm

Any Go phone will work? My Samsung flip broke (cingular) and was told (by a cingular/AT&T person of all people), any go phone will work with my card…is he lying? Thanks

10 carrie lynn larson 09.02.07 at 5:51 pm

i am wondering about two things first does cingular canada have roll over minutes or do they expire my second is that iam right now with fido but would like to switch to a cellphone that does not have an expiry date for minutes could i just use my exsisting phone or do i have to buy a new one please let me know asap

11 Brian 11.25.07 at 9:37 pm

I use the go phone SIM in my razor. Lots more features. You can use any cingular phone with the go phone chip in it.

12 john brown 01.24.08 at 8:33 pm

GO PHONE is terrible in voice quality and dropped calls.
It does not have the same geographic coverage as the regular voice plans. I was stuck this weekend in OR where AT&T GO PHONE does NOT work but the regular AT&T voice plans work. When I bought AT&T GO PHONE I was not aware of this significant difference.

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