Need wireless phone advice

My father’s birthday is coming up, and he’d like to get himself a new phone. I’m doing the research to recommend a phone for him. I could use some advice. Here are the requirements:

The absolutely non-negotiable parts:

  • Pay-as-you-go voice/text and data plans. He makes a call on his cell phone about once every six months, maybe less. His only use for text is to occasionally send a message to his grandchildren, who generally never pick up on rings but will respond immediately to text.
  • QWERTY keyboard. His current non-smartphone uses a standard keypad for text entry, and he can’t stand it.

The potentially-optional parts:

  • Wi-fi access, to make it easier to download audiobooks, because…
  • The only app-related activity he’d do with the phone is listen to audiobooks from This means the phone has to run iTunes or Audible’s app, since all of Audible’s books are DRM-protected.

That last bullet point requires a smartphone running iOS, Android, Windows Phone, or a Blackberry. The pay-as-you-go requirement appears to limit it to Android phones from T-mobile, using their GoPhone plan. (I know about the trick to get a GoPhone plan working on an iPhone, but I think that’s too much of a hassle for him.)

So my first question is: Are my above conclusions correct?

My next question is, which of AT&T’s phones to get? I see two likely candidates:

myTouch Q. It’s relatively inexpensive, but it gets medium reviews. The best I could say for it is that my father has low expectations, so this might satisfy him.

Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G. Full-featured but pricey. Of course, all smartphones are going to cost a lot up front in exchange for a pay-as-you-go plan.

Any recommendations?

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