Help me buy a phone!

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Greencardman, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. Greencardman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #1
    Ok, folks, here's the scoop. My contract with Sprint runs out in a month or two, and I get to chose what phone and carrier I want next. My phone just broke, literally, the flip phone came apart at the hinge and separated. Luckily I had my really old Samsung 8500 lying around to get me through.

    The problem is, everytime I go into a cell phone store, I get royally p'od and annoyed by the salepeople, because they don't understand what I want, or they're trying to sell me something I don't need. So I was browsing the "post a picture of your cell phone" thread, and it hit me, there are a bunch of cell phone crazy people here on MacRumors who know what they are talking about, and can help me narrow things down! To that end, I am requesting some help. (Info: I'm in NJ/NYC and on a PC)

    So, here's what I'm currently thinking. I'll probably stay with Sprint or switch to Cingular, with T-Mobile or Verizon down the list, but not likely. I like the coverage I have gotten with Sprint so far, and a lot of my friends have Cingular, so their plans are attractive. But don't bug me about that, what I really care about is the phone, here are my requirements:

    I want to be able to browse the web without using a data plan. Can you believe up until yesterday, I thought this was impossible? Thats what you get from asking questions entirely at cell phone stores. Apparently, companies make phones that can connect to WiFi at hotspots and browse the web independently of a cell phone plan. This is a requirement. I want to be able to check my Gmail, but thats about it. If I can read attachments, thats a bonus, but not neccessary.

    Ahhh, I hear you say, this is too easy, which brings me to requirement number 2. I don't want a PDA. I don't want a brick in my pocket. I really dislike the extrawide PDA/Smartphones that are out there. This will be my only phone, so I will be using it to talk to people, not to do business on, it has to be comfortable enough to spend hours talking on. If you know of a new PDA thats very small, I suppose you can include it on the list. (Plus i never really liked those little pens, are they better now?)

    Third, it would be nice if it had a keyboard. Its not an absolute must, but I have never been a texter, and it takes me ages to write anything with the numbers.

    Fourth, the usual gadgets, I don't really care for. I had a camera phone, but I never used it, because I didn't pay for Sprint's data plan to send them anywhere, so they always stayed on my phone. I realized a camera was just a silly thing that sells phones but that I don't really use. If it has one, and there is a way to get pictures off my phone without messaging them, great, but if it just adds weight, no thanks.

    Same with an MP3 player, can someone explain them to me? I have a iPod Shuffle, and I don't really need one on my phone, although carrying one gadget would be nice. Will it work with iTunes? I see a lot of phones that say they support AAC, does that mean my regular tunes but not my purchased tunes, or none? Freaking phone websites never explain enough.

    Bonus
    I know a lot of smartphones let you do other stuff, like store data, and work on documents, sync your outlook calendar (I'm on a PC by the way), but its not totally neccessary. I don't have bluetooth, but I do think I have an infared port. If it comes with it, nice, if not, thats ok.

    So, does this sound like a phone you phonophiles (is that right) know of? If it is, let me know. I'm not a total sludge, so I have done a bit of research, and I've come up with the Nokia 9300 (I really like Candybar shaped flip phones)

    Maybe the Samsung Blackjack, or possibly the Cingular Pocket PC, but thats looks sort of big.

    What do you guys think? Anything I'm missing, are there other Gems out there? Thanks for your help guys and girls.
     
  2. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #2
    Cingular is absolute crap. I switched from them to T-Mobile last week and couldn't be happier. T-Mo is awesome.
     
  3. Greencardman thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #3
    I read on other forums that they both are not that great in NYC. T-Mobile gets service, but its intermittent, and Cingular doesn't work inside buildings. What kind of phone do you have? Does anyone have a sidekick?
     
  4. psychofreak Retired

    psychofreak

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #4
    Wait 6 days. If apple bring out a phone it just might be perfect.
     
  5. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #5
    My sister lived in NYC for a few years with T-Mobile and absolutely loved it. When I was up there for a week back when I had Cingular, I could hardly get a signal anywhere, inside or out. It's not saying much for Cingular's service when Manhattan, possibly the most densely populated place in this country, has piss poor service


    I have a Blackberry Pearl with TMo
     
  6. Felldownthewell macrumors 65816

    Felldownthewell

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Location:
    Portland
    #6
    Here in Portland, T-mobile has very little coverage. My friend on t-mobile only has service in downtown; anywhere else he loses it. Cingular and verizon have excellent coverage everywhere.

    I have the blackjack from Cingular, and it is great, but it does not have WIFI, it uses 3g data, but that is extremely expensive if you don't get a plan t go with it.

    I would suggest the T-mobile Dash, which has wifi and a keyboard, if T-mobile has good service in your area.
     
  7. Greencardman thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #7
    Hmmm.. does anyone here have a Dash with WiFi? How does it work? Does anyone actually have a WiFi phone, and if so, which one?
     
  8. question fear macrumors 68020

    question fear

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    The "Garden" state
    #8
    Ok, let's see:

    1) Wifi in the phone: You're probably going to have to look to a smartphone or a reasonably intelligent phone (like a Nokia symbian series) because most non-smartphones don't have wifi. Having said that, if you really don't want a contract then a Nokia phone might be a good step. You'll pay 300-400 for the phone but it will work on either T-Mo or Cingy and you will not have to sign an extended 2 yr contract with either of them. You can easily do a year of voice-only plan.

    2) Gmail has a java client that allows you to check your gmail through the phone's internet connection. I don't see why this wouldn't work over wifi as well. I believe though i am not positive, it also allows you to view attachments.

    I think your ideal phone is this one: I am a fancy phone. Click me. Pricey, but contains everything you're looking for: wifi, a flip out qwerty board but has the form factor and size/feel of a real phone.
     
  9. Greencardman thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #9
    Wow! That is a sweet phone! Whats up with the Nokia website then, it doesn't show the phone with the keyboard? I would never had suspected it was a keyboard phone from the pictures they have on their site, I had to look it up elsewhere to get a good look. Are there other Nokia or Ericsson phones like this? I like it.
     
  10. question fear macrumors 68020

    question fear

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    The "Garden" state
    #10
    I think there's a previous version that nokia made, but I don't know the details.

    Nothing quite as cool design-wise as the E70, which I really think is a brilliantly pretty design.

    There is the verizon EnV phone that has a hidden qwerty but that's only on verizon and no wifi.
     
  11. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #11
    Well Cingular data plan is pretty much crap if you want to access the web at any time. Sprint Data plan is really not that bad of one and over all I think it is pretty nice.

    I will say you are limiting yourself to much by you list of features that you do not want. Almost all phones today have a camra in them and they add next to no weight and it not worth turning down a good phone just because it has one.

    I would say look for a phone that has the features you want and is the right size/weight for you. If it has extra features (camera, mp3 player and so on) you just will never use them and it is not a big deal. Hell on the mp3 player part I would say it is a very nice feature to have not for playing mp3 to listen to but for a way for you to put your own ring tones on your phone for free. that is what I do. I refuse to buy a ring tone instead I take itunes and cut it down to the 22 secs of the song I want and compress its quility down to 64kps single channel and then upload it to my phone. Free ring tone of exactly what I want. I use a website to load them up to and then download them. Here the link for the free up loader it will work with any phone and carrier but if your phone has blue tooth you can use that to put files on it as well.

    The phone I have is a Sony Ericsson z525 from Cingular. Yeah it has a camera on it and a pretty crappy one at that and you can use blue tooth to get it off the phone. It also has a mp3 player on it that you never will use and the phone memory is only 12mb so there not enough space in there any how but then again I use the mp3 for ring tones so not a big deal. The most useless feature to me is the PTT on it since I do not have that on my plan and it does not bother me because the phone has everything I do want which for me is a flip phone, and it is the right size and weight and has all the important features I want on it. The extra stuff is at most a bonus
     
  12. phungy macrumors 68020

    phungy

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2006
    Location:
    FL/NY/TX
    #12
    +1 for T-Mo. I also switched from Cingular (before they merged) and have been happy with their service since.
     
  13. question fear macrumors 68020

    question fear

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    The "Garden" state
    #13
    One more idea, although I know you are not interested in data plans: google SERO plans, they are Sprint Employee Referral Plans. Supposedly they are cheaper than normal sprint plans, and all it takes is a sprint employee email address. There's instructions on various sites on how to contact employees for the referral. Just something to consider. They start at something like 30.00/mo and are 65% off list price.
     
  14. Sutekidane macrumors 6502a

    Sutekidane

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    #14
    Been a member with T-Mobile since before they bought out Aerial. From 2000 or so. Not one single complaint.
     
  15. Greencardman thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #15
    Its not that I'll ignore phones with cameras and mp3 players, its just that they're not important. Paying for a data plan just irks me. Hence the wifi requirement, which would make pictures and mp3's more useful. I honestly don't understand phone company data plans, why do they think I would want to pay for some silly tv clip or song or V-cast crap this or that, I don't have that great a need for connectivity. Hence, the idea of paying $15-$20 a month extra to check my gmail really annoys me. I'd rather spend the money over two years on a nice smart phone that lets me do a lot of things.

    Speaking of which, that Nokia E70 has really got me hooked. It seems small, yet does exactly what I want. Does anyone have one? Has anyone used Symbian OS, whats it like? I've never actually read much about it, but apparently you can download separate applications and use them on your phone (hopefully you can download them over the wifi connection).

    I think i might go into the Nokia store in NYC and play around with it a bit. It says it works on GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/1800/1900 MHz. What carriers does that mean?
     
  16. Mammoth macrumors 6502a

    Mammoth

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #16
    It means it'll work with any GSM (The kind with SIM card) carrier in the world.
     
  17. Danger! Will macrumors regular

    Danger! Will

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona USA
    #17
    IF you're contract is up and you don't want to pay for a data plan sprint has a RETENTION department that may be able to give you features for free. In addition to that you can ask for a loyalty discount or corp. discount. Recently due to the material change in contract for sprint increasing text msgs and data rates many users have gotten free text messaging and free n/w starting at 7 if you don't already have them. Retention can help get you the free power vision plan on the account. To reach retention phone sprint cs and say you want to cancel.
     
  18. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #18
    Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8100/4.2.0 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/100)

    As far as data plans go, I have a BlackBerry from TMo and pay 20 bucks (cheaper than all other carriers) for my data plan. That is unlimited internet and email on my phone, plus I can tether my phone to my Mac and access the internet through the phone which is handy when no wifi is available. If you ask me, its worth it.
     
  19. Felldownthewell macrumors 65816

    Felldownthewell

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Location:
    Portland
    #19
    Not true.

    I'm on Cingular's smartphone connect plan which has unlimited data and e-mail for $20 a month. (Not that I'm a cingy fanboi, but I thought I'd say something for fairness's sake :p )

    Anyway, I think the Nokia is a good option, although Sony Ericsson does make a wifi phone, the P990, it is extremely expensive and only has GSM 900/1800/1900, which means it will work here, just not very well, however you will have excellent reception on Europe! (The most prevalent GSM band here is GSM 850). HTC, the maker of the Dash is one of the more highly regarded of cell phone makers, I would say among the ranks of Sony Ericsson. Nokia is also up there, but I have used the predecessor to the E70 and I couldn't stand the keyboard, however if you are just using it for light texting/e-mail it shouldn't be too much of a problem, but you may want to try to find a store that has one in stock that you could try out before you buy it.

    There have been quite a few votes for T-mobile, and their customer service is awesome (when my cousin's phone got stolen the day after their entire 5 person family had bought phones, they gave him a new one for free, and when my grandpa was in the hospital and my grandma had to use her cellphone all the time instead of her home phone and went $450 over, they took off all the overage charges) I urge you to look up reviews of the service quality before you go with them, as their coverage in Oregon is awful.
     
  20. garybUK Guest

    garybUK

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    #20
  21. shecky Guest

    shecky

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Location:
    Obviously you're not a golfer.
    #21
    is that a legacy plan? i don't see it on their site

    http://www.t-mobile.com/shop/plans/default.aspx?plancategory=7#Internet+Only
     
  22. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #22
    Oh, I thought their plans were like 30 bucks or something

    You have to add a Blackberry to your cart, choose a voice plan, and then under Extra Services is the $20 Blackberry Unlimited Addon plan. The ones on that page you linked to look like they're plans if you just want a Blackberry with no voice
     
  23. Greencardman thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #23
    Hmmm.. is there any way to get the carrier to help pay for the phone if they don't sell it, like they subsidize phones when you sign up for a new contract?
     
  24. shecky Guest

    shecky

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Location:
    Obviously you're not a golfer.
    #24
    ahhh... they do offer on that page a 1000 minutes + unlimited internet for $59, but right now i have the 600 minute + unlimited nights and weekends for $39, so adding $20 to that makes a better deal for me. i was worried i would only be able to go for the 1000 minute option. schweet.
     
  25. lexus macrumors 68000

    lexus

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    Location:
    Depends Greatly On The Weather
    #25
    If you want a simple yet unbreakable phone get a Vertu.
     

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