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red930

technodan needs phone advice

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Well, it's time for a new phone. I'd like some help picking out a new one. Here are some criteria:

 

1. NO sliders. Period. I don't care about what people say or what your personal experience has been, I feel they'll easily fail within a year if used by me.

 

2. No Motorola phones. Why? Two reasons. First, because they developed the stupidest, most dumb-xxxx power plug of all time for their last series of phones (I had the V710, many others use it). The engineer that suggested it should have been shot in the stomach, then the execs that approved it dehanded and shot in the knees. Then slapped a couple times for good measure. The second (and considerably less important reason) is that I've had two Motorolas in the past (V710 and Razr V3C). Both worked very well for me (except for the worlds shittiest power charger plug that ever has, or ever will be, invented) but they both died on me very abruptly with no warnings at all.

 

Oh, and I'm more than certain the 'water damage stickers' turn red regardless of being in contact with actual water. I hate those dummies for suggesting I was stupid enough to throw it in a toilet or something.

 

Anyways, back to criteria.

 

3. I'm fine with flip phones, but they can't be so thick they won't fit in a pocket, as this is my method for carrying them. The V710 was perfect, not thick, not too thin. The Razr took a long time to get used to as I'd sometimes forget it was in there. This was (and is) somewhat unsettling. In any case, I think if we stay away from uber-cheap phones the saize won't be a huge issue.

 

4. I'd like to try Samsung. Not really a big deal, but everything else they've ever made is the .. If it turns out they don't have anything I like, screw 'em.

 

5. Has to be able to use the US Cellular network. Unlocked phones are okay too, but I need more information on those before I buy one. I really don't want to buy a phone for ~$150 to find that it's worthless. Can the SIM card from any of my current phones be used in new one?

 

6. Has to be durable. As I said above it's going to be in my pocket. A lot. I like the super-thin Samsungs but I'm afraid they'd break easily. I'm going to try to find somebody in town that handles them so I can do some stress tests and see if I can break the damn thing before I own one...

 

7. Has to be relatively affordable. Certainly no more than $200 online (note that sign on bonuses do not apply to me, I'm buying a phone straight up). I've seen some okay phones in the $70 range, I'm not sure I'd like to go less than that.

 

8. I don't really need any cool features besides those typical of a phone. A camera phone can go screw itself, they all suck compared to my actual camera and are unnecessary. Chances are whatever phone I get will have one, but whatever. MP3 playability will probably also come with it, but again, I have a dedicated MP3 player which undoubtedly will work much better. I have no intention of draining my phone battery listening to music just in time to have the danvan break down on me (not that it would, it's just an example). Anyways, here are some features though that I either need or would be sorta cool to have.

NEED:

  • A. A phone charge plug that isn't stupid as all xxxx.
    B. A phone that can actually make and receive calls.
    C. An alarm
    D. A removable battery
    E. Color screen (high resolution/high # of colors a plus)

WANT (kinda):

  • A. Internet connectivity. I assume this is only on PDA phones (which I don't want) but I figure if somebody knows about one, it's worth a shot.
     
    Thats it.

 

So, suggest away.

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hrmmm...since you aren't looking at other services, my brother (who is now the manager of T-Mobile in Boise, was the previous manager of both Sprint and Nextel *before Sprint bought them* in Boise, Verizon and PrimeCo in Dallas) wouldn't be able to give you good advice, as phones tend to work differently on different networks/services.

 

I love the Razr V2. Flawless phone, even though Sprint sucks total butt with service here. I've dropped it, beat it, hammered it (none on purpose mind you), got it really wet a couple of times, etc, and it's still flawless.

 

Samsung...makes some killer phones. My brother was choosing between a Samsung Blast (slider) and Moto Rizr (slider). We currnetly have a Stripe made by Samsung. I hate it, but it's a good, cheap, durable phone. Does camera, text, email (i think, dunno, probably not since it's the low-end model but we don't do email over cell anyway because it's dumb haha), bluetooth, all that jazz. Got it free with our service.

 

Best thing to do is go to the store of your carrier and see what models they offer to be used on their network. Then go home and google the piss out of all the models you found interesting.

 

Otherwise, I'd have you email my brother since he's been doing this probably longer than I've been doing this kind of computer stuff. While he isn't as big of a nerd as I am (he is, just not computers haha), I would consider him my equal and peer if his cellular experience/knowledge could be compared to my computer experience/knowledge.

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I'd seriously suggest a Nokia. After experience with Several Motorolas, I couldn't agree with you more! They suck anyway, but the user interface is slow and poorly designed/labeled. Every Nokia phone I've used or owned was quality... I even dropped one off a fair ground ride and put it back together and it worked flawlessly for 2 more years (until I accidentally left it in a taxi, called it and the cab driver picked it up and said it wasn't in the cab...:/) The user interfaces nokia use are great! There are even some fairly small PDA style nokias out now, and most of their newer ones double as an MP3 player.

 

The Nokia N series are great, have an N70, and while it's a little big by todays standards, it's still small enough to carry around in the pocket... and is cheap these days with the N91 out.

 

Internet connectivity/E-mail isn't limited to PDA style phones... I had a cheapo nokia a few years ago that would e-mail, you subscribe to all that through your provider. Almost all phones made in the last 5 years or so will send e-mail over a GSM/GPRS/3G internet connection.

 

Whatever you do, get a phone that isn't locked to one provider... better off buying a phone outright and being able to choose your own provider. Try using ebay.co.uk and finding a seller that will ship to the states, you'll find a better price for whatever phone you buy! Look for one that says Tri-band or Quad Band, as they'll work anywhere in the world. If you ever travel, whatever country you go to you can pick up a cheap pay-as-you-go sim card (why having an unlocked phone comes in handy) as it'll be cheaper than 'roaming' internationally with your service provider. A good place to hide the extras is under the battery of the phone, just not in the sim slot.

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Maddox likes the Nokia E70 (NSFW), but it may be more than what you're looking for.

 

Yeah I saw that a while ago. It's a bit much for my needs.

 

I guess what I meant by internet connectivity was the ability to connect to a wireless network (ie, in starbucks, libraries, my house) for free. I'm not going to pay for some slow-butt EDGE or similar network, there's no need for it.

 

I checked a couple stores in town and honest to god, US Cellular only has the stupidest phones ever. Half the popular ones aren't even available. I really wish they'd just say in-store "you can buy whatever phone you xxxxin want, then buy the chip from us and it'll work fine".

 

How damn hard can that be?

 

Anyways, I'll continue looking. I hate spending money on things I actually need. :(

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I looked at a few phones 2 years back, ran into the same problems. If they had all the features I wanted, there was no way it was going to last 6 months. I finally settled on the basic LG they usually throw in with any length contract. 2 years later it is still on the original battery, has been abused just about as bad as anything I have ever owned, I even managed to forget it in my pocket while racing and it fell out, bounced off the floorboards and exited my race car right on to the track on launch.

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Anybody know what I need to do to ensure an unlocked phone will work okay?

 

I mean, what do I have to do to get the SIM card and whatnot?

 

Right now the Samsung T509 seems okay I guess...kinda small. Some reviews say the battery life is horrid though.

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just look on ebay for onlocked phones. There are tons of them. And most will tell you what network they work on. If you go for a nokia they are easy to onlock yourself.

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just look on ebay for onlocked phones. There are tons of them. And most will tell you what network they work on. If you go for a nokia they are easy to unlock yourself.

 

Yeah, but is it as simple as taking the phone to my US Cellular dealer to have them activate it?

 

I thought there was a step in the middle somewhere.

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I would goto a US cellular dealer and ask them. Just say that you have a phone and would like to use it with there network. You would still have to sign a contract with them, and that is what matters to them. They dont make there money from the phones they sell, it frm the plans they sell. But I would still ask them before buying a phone. They may be able to tell you what phone will work with there network.

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