Cell phone for Mac - help! Advice please!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by gotohamish, Sep 24, 2003.

  1. gotohamish macrumors 65816

    gotohamish

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2001
    Location:
    BKLN
    #1
    Hi

    I'm coming to the states for a long holiday next month, and want to get a cell phone when I'm there.

    Virgin Mobile Pay-as-you-go makes sense, as I won't have a billing address in the US etc, and I don't want the hassle of a monthly fee. I know calls are usually more expensive, but it's way cheaper than using my UK phone. The problem with Virgin is the phones look a bit poor. Plus I want something to work with iSync.

    Any ideas? Do other companies do Pay-as-you-go? I'd really like a Sony-Ericsson phone if possible.

    I appreciate all your help!
     
  2. tomf87 macrumors 65816

    tomf87

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2003
    #2
    One of the companies in our area, Cincinnati Bell Wireless, does something similar. It is a monthly fee, however, there are no contracts.

    They use the AT&T network, so maybe you can find something with AT&T wireless.

    http://www.attws.com/
     
  3. gotohamish thread starter macrumors 65816

    gotohamish

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    #3
    Thanks! AT&T do a pre-paid option and it says you can use your existing phone and just buy a starter kit. It says the phone must be Digital Multinetwork compatible. I have a UK S-E T68i and it works on Tri-Band in the US, sometimes picking up AT&T - I suppose this means I'm covered?

    Anyone know?

    H
     
  4. Abraxsis macrumors 6502

    Abraxsis

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    Sep 23, 2003
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    Kentucky
    #4
    your phone should work fine if its TDMA (triband). But if it is a combo GSM/TDMA phone Id go with one of the prepaid GSM service providers like T-mobile. If you arent going to a larger city then TDMA (ie AT&T) would be your best bet. Unfortuanatly we in the states are WAY behind the time when it comes to cellular technology. We even have AMPS in some places still ... ewww.
     
  5. gotohamish thread starter macrumors 65816

    gotohamish

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    #5
    Well, it's a T68 that is Tri-band, and has GPS and GPRS. Will that be a problem?

    I'll mainly be in NYC/Boston/Washington.
     
  6. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

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    #6
    -AT&T offers full tri-band GSM (tri band means the 900 1800 and 1900mhz bands) here in the states under the mLife branding. SonyEricssons work well with this. Be aware though S/E's are known for poor reception. If you are used to this, that's fine, but it cause me to go with another phone (Nokia 3650).

    I too have need for interfacing with iSync.

    I think you can pay-as-you go with mLife.
     
  7. gotohamish thread starter macrumors 65816

    gotohamish

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    #7
    Isn't mLife internet on your phone? I'm not interested in WAP or GPRS. I just want to phone/txt.
     
  8. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

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    #8
    -gotohamish

    Not explicitly. mLife is the whole GSM/GPRS package. The branding for the GPRS internet aspect is a subset of mLife called mMode.

    Additionally, if you have a Mac with BlueTooth, you can use the Address Book to compose and send SMS and all sorts of goodies through your cel. (thanks eVolcre)
     
  9. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #9
    I have a T68i with AT&T in Boston. I get great (or at least decent) reception everywhere I've been except at home in northern Rhode Island. Even here in my dorm surrounded by steel and/or concrete, I have 3/5 and data The Bluetooth works well, and is very very handy, especially if you get Salling Clicker (one of the best shareware apps I've ever used.)

    Oh and if you aren't using Bluetooth, make sure you turn it off on the phone, it cuts my standby time from 147hrs to 18hrs (!).
     
  10. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

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    #10
    -Counterfit

    There is a middle compromise. Se what happens to your standby time if you leave BlueTooth on, but turn off Discoverability. BT in passive mode is a teensy draw wherease discoverability actually involves transmissions.
     
  11. gotohamish thread starter macrumors 65816

    gotohamish

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    #11
    Thanks - I found that out the hard way too! I get great reception with the T68i here in the UK, and did when in NYC recently too.
     
  12. gotohamish thread starter macrumors 65816

    gotohamish

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    #12
    I see, so I wouldn't want mLife if I don't want GPRS then?
     
  13. FelixDerKater macrumors 68000

    FelixDerKater

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2002
    #13
    I would go with a SE T610 or T616, depending on your provider. I have a T616 I bought through Cingular, which I use with T-Mobile. It works great. Nokia phones will most likely have better reception, but you can't beat the features of the T610 series.
     
  14. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #14
    I suspected as much, but I only use it in bed and when syncing, although S.C.'s features for receiving and making calls certainly makes it worthwhile to leave on when my phone is plugged in while at my desk...
     
  15. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #15
    AT&T sells the T68i, so it should work from a hardware standpoint. Reception on AT&T's GSM network has been spotty, however, especially in NY. But it's certainly better than nothing.

    Also, AT&T wireless offers a GoPhone plan--that's probably what you want to look into.
     
  16. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

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    #16
    -gotohamish

    I think you're making it a bigger deal than it has to be. With AT&T, mMode comes included with mLife - but you only incur charges on the mMode GPRS side if you actually use it.

    So just don't use it :D
     
  17. gotohamish thread starter macrumors 65816

    gotohamish

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    #17
    Sounds good - thanks for your help!
     
  18. gotohamish thread starter macrumors 65816

    gotohamish

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    #18
    Thanks for that! I'm used to British mobile reception, which is everywhere apart from moors and mountain ranges. I guess we're spoilt!

    Cheers for the hardware info too!

    H
     

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