Help me spend a few hundred bucks on a new smartphone!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by wsteineker, May 7, 2008.

  1. wsteineker macrumors 6502a

    wsteineker

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2001
    Location:
    Montgomery, AL
    #1
    I apologize in advance for the long post, but here's the deal. I'm considering switching from Verizon to Sprint, primarily due to the massive amount of money I'm spending with the Big Red V every month. I currently have a BlackBerry 8830 and carry 900 anytime minutes, unlimited text messaging and unlimited BlackBerry email and data (BIS). All that for the low price of $119 per month before taxes and fees. I’ve been with Verizon for five years, but now Sprint is one of my company's clients and they've allowed us to take advantage of the Sprint Employee Referral Offer (SERO). Through this plan I can get 1250 minutes, unlimited text, picture and video messaging, unlimited email and unlimited data for $49 a month. That's a difference of $840 a year. I don't see how I can stay with Verizon for that kind of money. I called them to see what they could do for me and they basically just gave me instructions on how to port out. Real classy, Verizon.

    So anyway, here's my issue. I need a smartphone for work. Like I said, I'm currently using a BlackBerry 8830. It's my second smartphone. The first was the disaster that Motorola thrust upon us in the form of the Q. What a nightmare! The Blackberry is everything that the Q was not. It's pretty quick, very stable, has great battery life and it always gets my email. That said, I'm frustrated with the terrible browser (busted formatting, semi-unreadable fonts, pathetic Java/JavaScript support, no Flash) and the way that it actually handles my email. I get the quick push (which I love) because i route all of my email through RIM's servers, but it's stripped of anything other than plain text. There's no rich text support, half of my attachments never arrive and embedded documents and images are stripped entirely. BlackBerries also only maintain one inbox on the device, no matter how many accounts you're pulling through BIS. My company doesn't maintain a BES server, so I have to forward from my Outlook to BIS and get the push from there. I do the same thing with my personal Gmail account. This creates a problem, as I can also only have one reply-to address and neither of my inboxes is maintained in real time. I still have to delete unneeded mail and reorganize my folders every day, which I HATE!

    All that said, I love the BlackBerry (at least compared to the Q) but I'm open to change. Sprint will throw me the cheap love on any smartphone EXCEPT a BlackBerry. I'd have to pay $30 in addition to the $49 in order to have BIS support. And I'd still be stuck with the issues I just described. When you sum it up $79, while still a good deal compared to $119 and something I'd be willing to consider, just doesn't ecxcite me like $49 does.

    So what I'd like to know is which of the below smartphones you folks would recommend. I use my devices primarily for phone calls, text, email and web access. I'd like a camera but I've gotten used to not having one. I need to be able to get email from my Exchange server at work (preferably with an Exchange Direct Push) and my personal Gmail account (preferably with true IMAP support). I don't care if they come to the same inbox so long as I can just respond to emails from the address to which they're sent. I'd also like a browser that doesn't suck. The BlackBerry browser is bad, but IE Mobile is HORRIBLE. Good call quality is a must, as is the ability to at least view MS Office attachments. Creating and editing attachments would also be very nice. Threaded text conversations (a la the BlackBerry) would be fantastic. And it goes without saying that I need to be able to sync to my 10.5.2 MacBook as easily as possible.

    I know I've said a lot about what I'd like in terms of what the 8830 offers, but that's just because it's the device that showed me those features. I know they've got to exist on other platforms. Listed below are my options from Sprint (BlackBerries not included). Give them a look and let me know what you'd recommend. If that's a BlackBerry then so be it. I just want to explore all of my options. One last thing. My contract's not up until September 28, but the $175 isn't exactly going to slow me down due to the fact that I'll more than break even on the cheaper Sprint plan by the time September rolls around. That said, if any of you know of some upcoming model that I shold wait on I'd be glad to hear that suggestion, too. Let me know what you think!

    http://www.palm.com/us/products/smartphones/centro/
    http://www.palm.com/us/products/smartphones/treo755p/
    http://www.palm.com/us/products/smartphones/treo700w/
    http://direct.motorola.com/ens/MotoQ9c/q-home.asp?Country=USA&language=ENS&productid=30729
    http://www.samsung.com/us/consumer/detail/detail.do?group=mobilephones&type=mobilephones&subtype=sprint&model_cd=SPH-I325DLASPR
    http://www.htctouch.com/
     
  2. LotusLord macrumors 6502

    LotusLord

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Location:
    The Capital of the Land of Cheese and Beer
    #3
    The Treo 755p and the Centro are both highly recommended. If you want more advice or have any specific questions regarding Palm branded devices, I have to plug the site I'm a mod at, Treonauts.

    I'm a former 650 user and now a 750(windows mobile) user. If you were willing to wait a few months I'd say go with the supposed 800w if you want Windows Mobile.

    The one problem you may have is with the browser. Blazer is not that great in my opinion.

    Syncing Palm OS with OS X is easier with MissingSync, according to most Mac users I know.
     
  3. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #4
    Wait until June. You'd have to be an idiot/"need" one not to!
     
  4. LotusLord macrumors 6502

    LotusLord

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Location:
    The Capital of the Land of Cheese and Beer
    #5
    Maybe I'm missing something but the OP said he's going to Sprint. Unlocked or not an iPhone won't be working with Sprint.
     
  5. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #6
    people just see the word "smartphone" and automatically say "iphone" around here! ;)
     
  6. jackiecanev2 macrumors 65816

    jackiecanev2

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    #7
    It's a different interface and usability than the blackberry, but the ppc6800 (mogul) is pretty sweet. I had one before getting an iphone, and with the right apps, its pretty handy. Large touch screen, slide-out keyboard. Wonderful for lots of texting and browsing.

    Definately my favorite out of having used: ppc6700, 700wx, motoQ, and blackberry pearl.
     
  7. earnjam macrumors 6502a

    earnjam

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #8
    Maybe I'm missing something, but I didn't say he would be using it with sprint.
     
  8. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #9
    But did you read the OP's post? Any options for the OP to get 1250 minutes/month, unlimited messaging, and data services for $49/month on AT&T or any other GSM service? I'm not aware of one. That's even cheaper by a fair amount ($15/mo) than what I have on T-Mobile. And the OP quite clearly said cost was a big driver....

    Is that very new 3G HTC/Touch ... Diamond or something like that... an option for Sprint yet?
     
  9. wsteineker thread starter macrumors 6502a

    wsteineker

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2001
    Location:
    Montgomery, AL
    #10
    Sorry for the thread neglect. I've been sick since Wednesday night. Anyway, lots of good feedback here. As to the iPhone question, well of course I'd love one! That said, AT&T can't get close to that Sprint plan's cost and cost is my number one reason for wanting to leave Verizon in the first place.

    Thanks for the link to Treonauts, Lotus Lord. That site is a goldmine! It actually lead me to the following revision in my initial request for help...

    So I've narrowed it down to the Samsung Ace (WM6 Standard), Treo 700wx (WM5 Pro) or the Treo 755p (Palm OS 5.4.9). The other phones no longer exist for the purposes of this demonstration. Touch doesn't have a physical keyboard (my thumbs are like bratwursts), Centro keyboard is WAY too small and the Q9c is, by all accounts, a turd. ;)

    Treonauts lead me to another interesting possibility, though. The Treo 800w looks likely to launch in June or July. It's a WM6 (possibly 6.1) Pro device, same 320x320 touchscreen as the other Treos, EVDO Rev. A, 802.11G, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, GPS, Mini USB instead of the accursed proprietary sync connector, MicroSD expansion, 256MB ROM/128MB RAM and a 2 megapixel camera. Form factor is said to be Treo sized with Centro curves. Not the greatest specs on the planet but a heck of an upgrade from all of the other options, I'd say. You kids think that might be worth holding out on for a month or two?
     
  10. wsteineker thread starter macrumors 6502a

    wsteineker

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2001
    Location:
    Montgomery, AL
    #11
    One more thing...

    It's DEFINITELY going to be a Sprint purchase, so please feel free to make any recommendations from that ecosystem. Thanks!
     
  11. LotusLord macrumors 6502

    LotusLord

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Location:
    The Capital of the Land of Cheese and Beer
    #12
    We can't say for sure if it'll be out that soon. Sprint or Palm may delay the release until Q3. However, if you can wait, the 800w is going to be a great device (likely what I'll upgrade to if and when I switch to Sprint). I'd steer clear of the 700wx; no way to officially upgrade to WM6, which is really a needed change over WM5, IMO.

    The 755p is a great little device as well.

    While I haven't used the Ace, I personally can't go back to a non touch screen device.
     
  12. ChrisK018 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #14
    Isn't Sprint's market position kind of wavering. In the past few years my impression is that they've really fallen off.
     
  13. BigHungry04 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #15
    I actually support the Treos and Blackberries for Sprint. I personally use a BlackBerry 8800 with AT&T. Sprint's service is terrible, and I wouldn't recommend a treo to my worst enemy. The blackberries from Sprint aren't that bad, but they encounter an error that we can hardly ever fix: error 1012. There is a Simply Everything Blackberry plan for $99 that gives you unlimited everything with the exception of Phone as a modem and BES access, but since your company isn't using a BES, that won't be needed. Also with the blackberry when you compose a message, scroll to the top and there will be an option that says send using and then just press the space bar until the desired e-mail account is listed and it will send from that address. Also you can attempt to use OWA with your work e-mail, which would allow you to delete messages from your device and then it will delete from your inbox. Also with BIS, there should be an icon for each of your e-mail addresses that are in BIS, just click on those icons if you need to see which e-mail address you've received your e-mail in.
     

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