I agree that talk quality has gone way down, and it also has to do with the network. It can vary as far as signal. I use only prepaid phones, 2 on the Sprint network and 3 on Verizon. Prepaid may not work for you if you do a whole lot of talking, but the fact is that the older phones have much better call quality. My best call quality has been on the LG 225 (Sprint). Verizon used to be the best network in my home location, but it failed a few years ago and only recently came back up to par. I also got an LG Rumor (Sprint), which is horrible to talk on because of the phone itself - the person you are listening to fades because of how you hold the phone and the location of the speaker. It is a good texting phone. Now that Verizon is working better at home, I use an LG 8300 at home and a Droid Eris when out and about - the Droid drops calls at home, but the LG 8300 is very good for phone calls. The Droid gets a good signal elsewhere and has a fabulous camera and all the smartphone features. The LG Clout is what my husband uses, and it is an upgrade to the 8300. It works fine for him everywhere, and he does not do anything but talk on a cell phone. I actually used only the LG 225 for business calls at home until Verizon recovered. If you don't have to have the latest and greatest status phones (or even if you do, like an Android on Verizon), and you would want to try prepaid, you could shop eBay for no-contract Verizon phones and put one on PagePlus Cellular. Sprint prepaid can be had through STi Mobile, PlatinumTel and other resellers, but you have to get the phones from the resellers.