Sent from my Verizon Flip Phone

Welcome to a new installment in the Mobile Freedom Project series. I just got the charger for my recently ebay-acquired LG VX 6100, a 6-year-old Verizon flip phone. Sure enough, the phone holds a charge, and I just switched over service from my Palm Pre and downgraded my service to $20/month.

[caption id="attachment_667" align="aligncenter" width="289" caption="LG VX6100 via eBay"][/caption]

Just as a reminder, I've been on a quest to live a carrierless life for almost a year now. I've tried a bunch of stuff, including a hacked Android G1 running SIPDroid, an iPhone running Skype on wifi, and iPalm, and most recently, a 3rd Gen iPod touch with Skype and Google Voice and an EVDO 3G card. This last combination has worked out so well that I've hardly touched my Palm Pre in the past 3 weeks, turning it on just twice, once to check voicemail, and again today to switch the service to the LG phone.

[caption id="attachment_682" align="alignleft" width="518" caption="Pick a phone, any phone..."][/caption]

The reason for the switch is that Verizon (and AT&T) require a data plan on all smart phones, in addition to basic voice features. This get expensive. Ah, whatever, just cancel the plan... Oh wait, the early termination fee for the Pre is $310. Three hundred and ten dollars. I knew this going into the contract, but it's still kinda shocking. Well, what about downgrading? Hmm... I talked to Verizon and they told me I could in fact downgrade my phone and keep my old number, without extending my contract. Awesome.

Long story short, I'm now paying $20/month for 50 minutes of voice a month. No text. No data. And after all, that's what the iPod data phone is for! (btw I had Verizon block incoming texts as well as web access, just in case Justin Beiber broadcasts my number on twitter and text messages jack up my bill.)

[caption id="attachment_669" align="alignleft" width="231" caption="The Dream Team"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_668" align="alignleft" width="231" caption="3rd gen iPod Touch with Skype and GV"][/caption]

Hopefully one of these days Google will support mobile safari calls through their recently launched Google Chat VOIP service. Until then, iPod touch + skype backgrounding + Google Voice SMS + backup flip phone are faring pretty darn well. Hold that thought, I'm getting a call...