Skip to comments.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.
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.
I use a Motorola DynaTAC 8000X. It's a little heavier than some of the newer phones, but it works great.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
It just returns the ESN or MEID. You can find it on the sticker under your battery.
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:
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.
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?
I'm sorry that yours won't unlock your car, but my husband and I just tried it and it did work on mine.
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.
With cell phone companies it isn't the one you like the most, it's the one you hate the least.
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.
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.
mark for later
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
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*
Give me a bigger screen, more battery
power, add more memory, but stop
thinking that *small* is the only
factor in a phones "coolness".
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.
Just let me know your place of business, and I'll make sure not to come into it at all.
Motorola Razr or LG VX5300
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.
You can get them here
I want it!
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?
I sorta agree. My old Nokia had better reception in dicey areas and had a dual battery charger.
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.
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.
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
(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.
Great advice I'm sure, but I think you meant to post to someone else.