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Advice requested on buying one's first cell phone

Posted on 02/26/2007 6:24:40 PM PST by jla

I'll be purchasing from Verizon.
What are the best brands of cell phones?
Do the speaker phones one can get as an additional option have good sound quality?
What exactly is bluetooth?
I want good audio, reliability, and I'd also like text messaging, maybe Internet access too, and photo taking feature on the phone.

I've never had a cell phone, I've thought them frivolous. But now I see the advantages of owning one.

Thank you.


TOPICS: Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: cellphone; dont; dontbuy; dontbuynow; wait; waituntil; waituntilthey; workthebugsout
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To: jla
Downside of Verizon: They want a 2-year contract. I think some other carriers are going this direction too. Other than that they are not too bad to deal with. But keep an eye on your bill.

You should decide if you will just be making calls in your 'local calling area' (your state and perhaps some adjacent states) or if you possibly will use the phone when you travel around the country. It is possible to switch plans, although this will sometimes restart the clock on the 2 years.

Verizon has some plans where you can add phones for other family members for a small additional charge. Family members can then talk to each other with basically unlimited minutes.

To prevent bill shock: don't go over your allocated minutes and avoid roaming.

51 posted on 02/26/2007 7:29:21 PM PST by wideminded
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To: Babu

I use a Motorola DynaTAC 8000X. It's a little heavier than some of the newer phones, but it works great.

52 posted on 02/26/2007 7:30:53 PM PST by FreedomCalls (It's a joke, people!)
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To: pjd
Bluetooth is much more than a wireless headset. I use it to connect my Palm TX to my GPRS phone for mobile Internet access. (The Palm has a much easier to use Internet interface than phones do.) I also use Bluetooth to transfer data between my phone and PC and Palm.

You have become a cyborg! Some day they will activate the signal that turns all Bluetooth wearers into electronic zombies. If you feel your arms involuntarily rising straight out in front of you, try to rip the thing out of your ear before it's too late.

53 posted on 02/26/2007 7:32:38 PM PST by Puddleglum
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+


54 posted on 02/26/2007 7:33:11 PM PST by presently no screen name
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To: TChad

You've not said where you live and how you will use your phone. Not all phones work well in all parts of the city/country.

Given that your new to cell phones and cell service, here's my suggestions:

Get a Motorola V325i Tri-mode phone. This will do everything you want (as you mentioned above) and is probably the BEST phone in it's class. Being a tri-mode phone means it will operate on both DIGITAL cell networks and older ANALOG nets. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT because some phones are DIGITAL only. If you travel, even by car, it's common find areas that will not support digital only phones.

Motorola is tops for sound quality and overall product. And you can probably get the V325i for free or a very good price. Don't take a V325, get the newer model V325i as it supports BLUETOOTH.


55 posted on 02/26/2007 7:34:24 PM PST by Jambe ( Save the Cows ! -- Eat a Vegan !!!)
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To: jla

On a per-minute basis, the prepaid phones are hideously expensive. I've tried a few different plans for my kids so they could call in an emergency. It ended up being far more expensive than if I just got them a regular cell phone.


56 posted on 02/26/2007 7:35:18 PM PST by Fairview ( Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.)
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To: radiohead

I too am a Virgin Mobile user.
And as radiohead said, i have a
"prepaid" contract too. I am rarely
away from a land line or broadband
so i don't use it much, other than
when traveling, playing a game while
waiting somewhere, or during blackouts.
So, the $20 every 3 months works good
for me, and i have automatic top off,
so that when i *do* go below $5 in my
acct, It will automatically charge my
credit card $20 more, and give me a
new 3 month mandatory top off date.

I is a comfort knowing i can get in
touch with help on the road, or
call someone to let them know i have
arrived, and am waiting for them
outside, so i don't have to go in
to get them.

And as i have only found one actual "dead spot"
in my city, where i can't make a call
from, i am quite happy with my Virgin
Mpobile coverage. And at roughly $12 a
month, i am way ahead of what Verizon
wants to charge me for their "better coverage".

Whatever phone you choose. be sure you
check the area of coverage the provider
offers you. You can all the bells and whistles of the cutting edge, but if you don't got signal..all you got is an expensiver piece of hand jewelry.

Me, I *am looking at the newer phones
that offer real time TV, for less that ideal
circumstances, or *power failures*, but until a
company starts offering *loacl broadcast
channels, multicast from local cell towers,
i'll probably pass.

Don't get me wrong, i like how they have
CNN, FNC, ESPN etc..(With they'd have added
TVLand, & Spike) but if i'm watching TV on a Smartphone/cellphone, it's because i'm stuck
somewhere or there is a power failure...
In wich case...thjw Weather Channel does't
cut it on local weather bulletins. I
need/want the local Big 3, with their doppler
radars, and road closure reports.


57 posted on 02/26/2007 7:36:30 PM PST by NickatNite2003 (From the Man from Hope" to the wife who snarls "Abandon All Hope!")
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To: Hilltop

Dunno about Bluetooth, but my best experience has been with local/regional providers... Burned by Suncom, burned by Cingular, burned by Alltel, but here in KY we have a very good, very responsive company with excellent rates--Bluegrass Cellular. I have other than the activation month, not had a single month where I been slammed with overages, and that was due to a lot of extra phone calls relating to a move. I have few areas that I can't get signal with them, and in my job too many areas that Cingular and Alltell didn't have coverage. I can only assume other areas have similar regional outfits, I'd go with them... If in your area the national companies are the best thing, take my advice, if you consider Lets Talk, DON'T... Much of the charges that burned me with cingular were related to my dealings with them...


58 posted on 02/26/2007 7:38:06 PM PST by Schwaeky (Welcome to America--Now speak English or LEAVE!)
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To: Keeper of the Turf
The *#06# (serial number) code doesn't work for me. It dials Verizon and the nice lady tells me to try again.

It just returns the ESN or MEID. You can find it on the sticker under your battery.

59 posted on 02/26/2007 7:40:09 PM PST by FreedomCalls (It's a joke, people!)
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To: jla
I would suggest the Verizon phone I have:

Palm Treo 700w / 700wx (CDMA)

The fast internet connection makes FReeping on the go a breeze.

If you want way too much information on cell phones, go to where the people selling you the phone go:

PhoneScoop

 

60 posted on 02/26/2007 7:47:12 PM PST by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
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To: FreedomCalls

Thanks


61 posted on 02/26/2007 7:47:46 PM PST by Keeper of the Turf (Fore!!!)
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I have Cingular for 8 years and never have had a problem with them but they can be pricey. When I went to Mexico (1300 mile trip) there very few areas the I didn't have service.

I got to agree about the Bluetooth headset, I used mine once and put it away. But the Bluetooth that connects to the PC is very cool.

FWIW I chose the Samsung D807, so far so good.


62 posted on 02/26/2007 7:51:05 PM PST by Current Occupant (IF YOU ABANDON CONSERVATIVE PRINCIPLES, ARE YOU STILL A CONSERVATIVE?!)
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To: FreedomCalls
Wow! The Motorola "brick", affectionately named because you could talk on it, pound nails with it, what have you ... That looks like the 2nd and slimmer brick. I had both the first thicker one, and the one in your pic. Great phones!

That was in the days when few had cell phones, and so you could use them on flights. I found by experimenting, that as I was coming into a metro area, they would start working as the plane descended, about the time we hit 10,000 ft and below ...

They work great for you because you have 3 watts of power as opposed to what, about 1/2 watt with todays pocket warmers?

63 posted on 02/26/2007 8:08:27 PM PST by Babu
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To: Babu; HuntsvilleTxVeteran

I'm sorry that yours won't unlock your car, but my husband and I just tried it and it did work on mine.

Thanks HuntsvilleTxVeteran!


64 posted on 02/26/2007 8:09:20 PM PST by SelmaLee
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To: wideminded
Downside of Verizon: They want a 2-year contract.

All the carriers want 1 or 2 yr contracts to sell you a new phone at a discount. You can avoid that and go month to month if you like, by either buying your phones used on ebay, or as I have for many years, find a local cell phone repair/trade-in guy, and buy a phone from him.

65 posted on 02/26/2007 8:14:43 PM PST by Babu
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To: HuntsvilleTxVeteran
According to snopes.com, most of that is not correct.

- 112 is the European equivalent of 911, so that only works if you are in Europe.

- Cell phones do not transmit the electronic signals needed to operate a remote for a car.

- There are codes for power saver modes in many phones, the code listed is not one of them.

- #06# brings up a serial number on one brand of phone (Ericsson?) which is not useful if the phone is stolen, the carrier is better with the phone number.

- Free 411 service is by subscription paid by the businesses included, so it is not the same as the phone company's directory assistance.
66 posted on 02/26/2007 8:14:53 PM PST by RebelBanker (May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.)
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To: garyhope

With cell phone companies it isn't the one you like the most, it's the one you hate the least.


67 posted on 02/26/2007 8:18:37 PM PST by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: jla
Just don't purchase the Verizon maintenance plan. They tell you they will replace a lost or stolen phone with a new one. But you'll just get a refurbished one.
68 posted on 02/26/2007 8:19:01 PM PST by CaptainK (...please make it stop. Shake a can of pennies at it.)
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To: jla

Ask what is free with your plan. They will try to sell you features and services you don't need. They are always happy to upgrade you later on services, so start light.

Their free phone will probably be an LG, which is serviceable. All of them probably have a speakerphone option; a headset is better for handsfree operation, and you might be able to get a universal one much cheaper at WalMart.


69 posted on 02/26/2007 8:37:26 PM PST by PAR35
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To: jla

One further point. If you plan to use it in Europe or Asia, DON'T get a Verizon. Go with AT&T or TMobile. Otherwise, Verizon is fine.


70 posted on 02/26/2007 8:41:46 PM PST by PAR35
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mark for later


71 posted on 02/26/2007 8:44:40 PM PST by Titan Magroyne ("Y'know, I've always thought of politics as show business for ugly people." Jay Leno:Al Gore 11/29)
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To: Babu

(Personal Rant)

Well you know, I am all for more conveinient,
and easier luggable "stuff"...But i think
that the "cool factor" in making phones
ever smaller, has just gone way beyond
rediculous.

I would happily carry around a
much (relatively) bigger cellphone,
if i could get one that had a *4"
screen and a battery that held twice
the charge. They are just getting *too*
small.

Give me a bigger screen, more battery
power, add more memory, but stop
thinking that *small* is the only
factor in a phones "coolness".

Geeez!

(End rant)


72 posted on 02/26/2007 8:46:36 PM PST by NickatNite2003 (From the Man from Hope" to the wife who snarls "Abandon All Hope!")
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To: jla

I just got a RAZR with the Bluetooth headset thingy packaged in. If you are going with a contract, they're pretty much two years now. I got mine at Wal-Mart; they had the best deal on the phone.

Anyhow, I like the phone and the Verizon service. I live in a very rural area, but the service works as well as one could realistically expect.

I also like the headset more than I thought I would. It's very nice for using on a long phone call.


73 posted on 02/26/2007 8:46:39 PM PST by B Knotts (Newt '08! FReepmail me to get on the Newt '08 Ping List)
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To: nonliberal

Just let me know your place of business, and I'll make sure not to come into it at all.


74 posted on 02/26/2007 8:48:19 PM PST by Richard Kimball (Why yes, I do have a stupid picture for any occasion)
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To: HuntsvilleTxVeteran

http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/household/cellphones.asp


75 posted on 02/26/2007 8:49:45 PM PST by cowtowney
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To: jla

Motorola Razr or LG VX5300


76 posted on 02/26/2007 8:54:25 PM PST by cowtowney
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To: B Knotts
I've got a Motorola RAZR, and really like it. It has a lot of flashy features that might be unecessary, but the call quality is great with it, and I really like taking the photos of my friends and family and storing them with their phone numbers. It might seem silly, but it helps me recognize people when they call.

If I wasn't going to get a RAZR, I'd just get the cheapest flip phone. I like being able to cover the keypad without having to lock it. On my old phone, which wasn't a flip phone, I accidentally dialed my pastor while chewing out a cadet. It was kind of embarassing.

77 posted on 02/26/2007 8:55:07 PM PST by Richard Kimball (Why yes, I do have a stupid picture for any occasion)
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To: FreedomCalls
I'm gonna get me one of these!

You can get them here

Mark

78 posted on 02/26/2007 9:07:29 PM PST by MarkL (When Kaylee says "No power in the `verse can stop me," it's cute. When River says it, it's scary!)
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To: MarkL

I want it!


79 posted on 02/26/2007 9:53:45 PM PST by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: listenhillary
I'll have to wait until tomorrow. Wherever I try to use the regular remote in the house, I can still unlock my truck so the test would be invalid.
80 posted on 02/26/2007 10:36:57 PM PST by RedCell ("...thou shalt kill thine enemy before he killeth you by any means available" - Dick Marcinko)
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To: PAR35

Thanks, why do you say this? I do go to Europe and I am currently with Verizon.

Who do you recommend for traveling in Europe and what kind of phone?

Thanks.


81 posted on 02/27/2007 6:16:49 AM PST by garyhope (It's World War IV, right here, right now courtesy of Islam.)
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To: NickatNite2003

I sorta agree. My old Nokia had better reception in dicey areas and had a dual battery charger.


82 posted on 02/27/2007 6:22:24 AM PST by garyhope (It's World War IV, right here, right now courtesy of Islam.)
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To: jla
I've never had a cell phone, I've thought them frivolous.

I think they are too. Since I never get any calls at home, there's nothing to make me think I'll get calls when I'm away from home.......

Last week I drove out in the country (well, not really country as we know it anymore) to a real small lake to do some ice fishing. When I got out there, there was a kid and his truck off the side of the road stuck in the snow. He asked me if I had a cell phone so he could tall AAA towing because his had just gone dead. I guess he was out of range or whatever those phones do when they die. Anyway, I told him that his bad luck was continuing because the only guy to come along who could possibly help him was me and I had no phone.......LOL!

Fortunately, another truck drove by and stopped and pulled the kid out with a rescue strap.

83 posted on 02/27/2007 6:36:10 AM PST by Hot Tabasco
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To: garyhope
The reason is that Verizon and Sprint use a superior cell phone technology referred to as CDMA.  In Europe and Asia (Except China which is using primarily CDMA), the governments mandated an inferior cell phone technology known as GSM.  ATT used to use another variant but when they bought Cingular, they are now GSM.

What GSM phones give you is the ability to change the SIM card in the phone so that you can adapt to the local providers when traveling in Europe.  The phone itself has to be purchased "unlocked" from the carrier which is usually much more expensive.

Verizon and Sprint both offer GSM rental phones for travel and thus you can use the minutes available in your plan.

 

84 posted on 02/27/2007 7:24:04 AM PST by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
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To: garyhope; Incorrigible

I would agree with the bulk of what Incorrigible said in his reply - that's the reason I suggested Verizon wouldn't be the best choice if you travel to Europe.

I would differ on a couple of points. While Verizon does offer rentals to use in Europe, they are expensive. (It isn't just a matter of using your minutes. Figure on at least $4.00 per day and about $1.50 a minute.) (I think Sprint may be a little more, but I had need to price the service). http://www.vzwrentinternational.com/international_coverage_and_rates.aspx
http://www.vzwrentinternational.com/international_cell_phone.aspx
(The phone is $3.99 a day, but you know how cell phone companies are about hidden charges and fees).

The second point I'd question is the assertation that CMDA is better than GSM. They are different, but unless you are selling one or the other, I wouldn't consider one better or worse.

Final note - I've been a Verizon subscriber since they bought my old cell phone supplier several years ago. I've never had any problem with them or their equipment except for a dead spot in the Atlanta area where I never could get the phone to work. If I change, it will be to go with a GSM supplier.


85 posted on 02/27/2007 3:47:57 PM PST by PAR35
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To: Jambe

Great advice I'm sure, but I think you meant to post to someone else.


86 posted on 02/27/2007 7:47:34 PM PST by TChad
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To: jla
What exactly is bluetooth?


87 posted on 02/27/2007 7:50:49 PM PST by Revolting cat! (We all need someone we can bleed on...)
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