Getting a phone the first day in Taiwan

I was thinking about getting a smart phone after I got out of the airport so I could use its GPS to find my apartment, contact my landlord, etc. I assumed Internet access using my phone would be broadly accessible in Taiwan.

I’ve heard getting a phone can be a pain and smart phone access to the Internet can be episodic. However, I imagine that the information about these issues changes pretty quickly. Does anyone have any advice/ current info on the subject?

It seems that most English teachers come in as visitors w/ no visa, so some of the requirements I’ve seen posted would be a pain for a lot of people. I’ve heard about Taiwanese giving better deals to people who speak Mandarin. Is this something I will be able to figure out not speaking Mandarin and new to the country, or is this going to be something that will take me days to figure out/ get sorted?

Oh, I don’t need a fancy smart phone. I just wanted the GPS/ email functionality plus the occasional search of a train schedule. Also, I don’t want to do a 2 year plan because I don’t know if I’ll be around that long.

Thanks.

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