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Old 05-31-2023, 1:36 AM
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dC0m dC0m is offline
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Default Backup Smartphone?

Out of curiosity; does anyone keep a backup smartphone in case their main phone goes down?

Years ago (before I would trade in my old device for credit towards my new device), I would always keep an older phone as a backup in case of SHTF. In recent years, I've gotten lazy and traded in my old device for credit for my new device. Outside of 1 incident in the past 10 years, I never really had to fall back on my "back up smartphone"

Well, the time has come where my current phone's screen crapped out and it's at the service center getting replaced (with an ETA of 1+ weeks with the screen needing to be special-ordered). This "inconvenience" made me think about how I used to keep a backup phone for scenarios like this, and I'm starting to "prep" for the next SHTF (keep my current phone after it is repaired for a backup and pay for the next one outright when the time comes).

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Old 05-31-2023, 2:07 AM
sealocan sealocan is online now
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I like having a backup phone for emergencies even if it's just thrown in the glove compartment or underneath the seat of a vehicle, in case of emergencies. I've used them several times but actually only to call my own number to find my primary phone, when I couldn't find it because it had fallen behind the couch or bed, etc.

Years ago it was just a little Nokia flip phone that was on a tracfone prepaid card but when I felt that company dropped the ball when they switched to more modern cell phone systems I started just keeping the old phone instead of trading it in, and usually getting low money for it, as the backup phone.

And just like you I've realized when your primary phone dies unexpectedly it's a big hassle, even if you have somethings saved to Google cloud storage, or whatever storage you like, you'll still be missing other things like your text messages, apps that are logged into your accounts and possibly other things that the Google cloud doesn't save or that you don't want to save on the Google or any cloud storage.

If you have two Android phones you can basically copy all the apps (and use the two apps, both of the exact same time if you wanted to) and a lot of the data from one to the other so you have a second phone ready to go with all your contacts, images, forms that have you logged in and a lot of the other little things you might lose if your phone dies and you have to start from scratch.

This last time I decided to go with a different phone carrier company, thinking that if one carrier went down in an emergency or lost signal, weak or bad signals in a certain areas the backup phone would be with a different carrier and hopefully I could use it in all of those situations. None of that's happened yet though.

Mint Mobile was having a deal where they gave you 3 months free if you bought 3 months so I bought the cheapest data plan for $15 a month
"5GB data
per Month,
$15 per month,
Unlimited talk & text, Nationwide coverage
Uses 5G or 4G LTE, whichever is strongest"

So for $45 for 6 months of coverage I thought it was a good deal. I've since learned that their customer service is really low quality compared to even other basic phone carriers customer services.
The signal and the data work fine but the other thing I recently realized is that if I have to switch numbers from one carrier to the other one it'll be at least $25 to $30 to do each time I switch a number because they're not both on the same companies carrier.

So if my primary phone breaks and I want to use my secondary phone utilizing my primary telephone number (that everyone calls me on) I'll have to switch it over, fix the primary phone then switch it back. Not a big deal but it could have been avoided if I had stayed with the same carrier for both phones.

There might be some type of Google or other type of call forwarding I could have used to avoid the switch over the primary phone number though, I don't know.

Edited to add... I've asked a few phone experts in the last months what is currently the best most durable/unbreakable/reliable phone and both of them replied in the same way. ...

"They don't make them like they used to. None of the phone manufacturers are making them as durable as they used to be."
(Basically phones are now made with planned obsolescence in mind. Just like the Auto industry and many other industries maybe the phone makers realize people were keeping their old phones too long so they started doing things like killing batteries with updates / "battery gate"and got caught for that one and some other things like that so now they just make them in a way that they won't last even if you put on a strong screen protector and have them in a good phone case.)

Last edited by sealocan; 05-31-2023 at 2:25 AM..
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Old 05-31-2023, 5:34 AM
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Ya' really think cell phone towers and networks will stay up for ling when SHTF? Not a chance.

Get your amateure radio license. While not perfect, it will provide some communication in SHTF short of an EMP, and even with an EMP, some ham radios are likely to remain functional.
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Old 05-31-2023, 5:55 AM
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Easy to do on an iPhone, do it about once a week to back up any new contacts or pictures/videos. Just easy to connect a new phone as well and you have all the data from the old one.
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Old 05-31-2023, 10:32 AM
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Dan_Eastvale Dan_Eastvale is offline
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Don't have a backup cellular, but still do have a home landline with an 80s Red Ma Bell made digital desk phone

Also have my older Yaesu dual band Ham HT
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Old 05-31-2023, 12:07 PM
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We have 2 cellular, mine and daughters, also free landline using google voice VOIP. Cell coverage our area marginal, hence need for landline option.
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Old 05-31-2023, 4:37 PM
sigstroker sigstroker is offline
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I don't have a smart phone at all. And yet I've survived the last few years.
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Old 05-31-2023, 7:25 PM
Big Chudungus Big Chudungus is online now
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yeah, I got a cheap tablet that does phone, Samsung A7 Lite for IIRC $130 off Amazon.

Main reason was I wanted a big screen for my Drone, but found out DJI often doesn't work with Andriod, but I like having XXXL phone screen, in addition to my main Note 9.

Keep the A7 on cheap-o $10/month Telo. Has nice battery life and will play videos about 8hrs on full bright.

Combo of Sansung brand name, size, battery and phone feature and COST makes it a no brainer. If I lose or break it I'd buy another in a heartbeat and might buy another in case they stop selling those features at that price.

If you got budget I guess you should get both Android and Apple.

IMO cheap spare phone with service and spare power bank is #1 real world EDC bag item. $130 brand new and now beaten up means I'd be OK with loaning out the A7 to a stranger in a pinch. If you are in Get Home etc situation and maybe you met someone who lost or WTF their phone but they seem OK you might pass out a loaner so you can swap info out of sight, etc.
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Old 05-31-2023, 11:19 PM
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I have a T-Mobile Prepaid dumbphone as a backup. $3 a month and 10cents per minute voice and 10cents per text. I load it up with $100 and its good for a year. I don't see this plan available today although it might be buried someplace on the website.

OP, thanks for starting this thread. Reminded me to check my prepaid balance. I'm good for a few more months.

Working on the ham license.
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Old 06-02-2023, 7:10 AM
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You could get some sat phones if you have the coin or just some Garmin InReaches for two-way sms comms with your family. Anything cellular will be compromised in true SHTF.
There is no week nor day nor hour, when tyranny may not enter upon this country, if the people lose their supreme confidence in themselves -- and lose their roughness and spirit of defiance -- Tyranny may always enter -- there is no charm, no bar against it -- the only bar against it is a large resolute breed of men.

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Old 06-02-2023, 8:06 AM
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In answer to the original post's question, Yes.

I have a previously used phone that could be used by removing SIM card from daily use phone. Have always had a 'backup' phone for an oops moment by one of the family.

Also have a Mint account. That phone could be used as backup for my main phone. Phone was cheap, year rate is a little over $100. Signal is TMobile, which sucks in comparison to Verizon, but find two phones useful when traveling, especially in car. Mint phone handles navigation and SiriusXM music routed thru car speaker system. Verizon phone dedicated to phone calls and is Bluetooth connected to car as well.

Don't pocket carry the Mint phone. Backpack, fanny pack, hidden in car, etc.

Also have an old flip phone that could call 911 in a pinch if all else were stolen, dropped or damaged. Do I have a SAT phone? No. Do have VHF on the boat.

Overprepared? Outside of the Mint account, all else was accumulated via holding onto old equipment. Just prudent hoarding.
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Old 06-05-2023, 12:26 PM
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SilveradoColt21 SilveradoColt21 is offline
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I don't carry a backup phone nor do I have one, in terms of saving all of the contacts and stuff on there I just back it up to the cloud, but I guess if SHTF I'm done
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