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More cell phone stuff

I must confess ironic amusement that two out of the only three people who responded to my previous request for advice in my first cell phone post didn't have cell phones at the time they posted (though I was very grateful for the insightful info they provided). I can only assume the rest of you (many of whom I know for a fact have cell service) were too busy yakking on said devices to respond with useful commentary. ;)

After some research on the issue, I think I'm going to wait a little bit on Bluetooth. Although measures can be taken to make it more secure, Bluetooth 2.0 is going to be better, and since it's not a need, just a "that'd be cool" thing, I'll probably opt to wait for the next generation.

I'm also finding it a bit difficult to find an inexpensive Bluetooth phone. I don't need the phone to make tea for me, but it seems like if they have that one feature, they have a zillion other options that jack up the price. Also, since it looks more and more like we'll be going with Verizon (have evaluated it, Sprint, Cingular, T-Mobile, and Alltel, so far), the one Bluetooth-enabled phone they offer is the Motorola v710, which is about $300. Considering I can get an entire new PC for under $500, I'm not impressed.

So, I'll wait for the technology to come around a bit. My husband just introduced me to PhoneScoop, which has proven to be a pretty useful site for research. I had no idea that so many other countries, particularly Europe, were so far ahead of the US in cell phone usage/tech.

I've tested many phones in the last week, and right now, I think the LG VX-6100 is the front-runner. I like the raised buttons and clear visibility of the keypad, the ease of menu navigation, the voice memo option, the fact that they bothered to put a sliding cover over the camera lens so it won't get damaged so easily, the speaker phone option, and the fact that it feels solid: so many phones out there feel so fragile! The Motorolas in particular seemed to have this hinge feel . . . the only way I can describe the sensation is to say that it felt like they were lubricated with almost-dry wax. It was odd.

I'm still not entirely convinced I need a cell phone, but the rest of my family seems so darned relieved at the idea of my getting one that I'm willing to capitulate. Haven't purchased yet, though. Still researching.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 19th, 2004 06:09 am (UTC)
I'm still not convinced I need a cell phone
That one time, you're stranded on the highway, 10 miles from the nearest phone, at 2 am, in the rain, while the radio mentions a recent prison break, and "something that looks like a barbed saucer in the sky over the highway", you'll be sooooooooooo glad you have a phone. :) Trust me, I know. Just a few days after getting my phone, I broke down on the interstate. In the pouring rain. It was nice to be able to call my dad to come tow my home without too much worry.

Other countries are so far ahead of us cause of the landline issues. In most other countries, you pay for every call you make from your house phone. Kinda like a pay-phone. Since cell phones had basically the same payment structure, and were portable, almost everyone dropped their land lines and just went with cell phones. With such a huge customer base (and the review to go with it), cell companies blossomed in those areas.
Nov. 19th, 2004 01:03 pm (UTC)
I didn't offer advice because you seemed to be building the purchase into another one of your towering requirements documents. Long experience has taught me just to stay out of the way once you get going. ;)

If you really want it, my best advice is to resist the urge to get a do-everything phone. I have a base model Samsung that does far more than I need it to. The camera phones take, typically, 250x250 or less images of miserable quality and aren't, imho, worth the additional money. Of the 'standard features most phones have today - color, ring tones, wallpaper, etc - most are briefly amusing and then you lose interest. Theresa and I went through a brief downloading flurry of ring tones and I created a couple of custom wallpapers, and then that was it. I still have the same ring and the same images I settled on within two weeks of getting the phone.

The only surprisingly useful feature of the new phones is internet access. While not particularly useful for messaging/email - the new phones can do it, just very inelegantly - the internet access to news, stock quotes, etc, is frequently useful for staving off boredom. I was able to announce to my van pool that Scott Peterson had been busted, for example. Not critical by any measure, but occasionally entertaining.

So, my best advice, which I am already prepared to learn you've ignored, is to forget your complicated feature list and buy a basic $50-70 phone. The main thing you'll do with it, anyway, is talk on it, and even the cheapest ones do that.
Nov. 19th, 2004 01:17 pm (UTC)
*dies laughing!*

You are just too funny! Love ya much. :)

*blinks innocently* I resemble those remarks. I'm afraid there's corroborating evidence. This past Sunday I really got serious about finding a phone after playing with my MiL's LG. Right there at their house, I started searching the web and examining things. About 15 minutes into the process, I was being a polite girl, and said "Well, I can do this at another time. Surely it must be boring for y'all to watch me compare and contrast different phones."

Judy said: "Actually, it's interesting seeing what's out there, so we can have an idea of what to get next."

DAVID (aka Smartypants Husband), zings in with: "No, you don't understand. She's gone into Research Mode. She'll be at this for hours."


You're saying I get bees in my bonnet? A little OCD? Wha-aat? :) :) :)

So, what plan are y'all on? Do you like 'em? Hate 'em?
Nov. 19th, 2004 01:53 pm (UTC)
Hours? Hell, *years*. I'd bet good money you could put your hands on the feature list for that Jeep Cherokee that has existed only in your mind since 1992.

You know, it's occurred to me that, once you've made up your mind, you never change it, you could just wait several years and get your phone for free. Theresa and I just donated 4 Nokia 5100s to the Klingons at DragonCon this year; wait until 2009 and they'll have whatever phone you want :)

And incidentally, you might want to dust off the specs for that Macintosh media station you designed in 1990 and have clung to ever since, because my acquaintance plantyhamchunk is looking for a loving home for elderly Apple hardware.

ObStraightAnswer: we're on a shared-minute Cingular plan, 600 peak, 5000 n&w. Calls to other Cingular phones count as n&w regardless of time of call. We've never gone over, and accumulate rollover like mad. I also have the 1M/month internet/paging thing. Comes to $110/month for both phones. Coverage is generally excellent; Theresa has some gripes but I believe they have to do with number-portablility snafus. I've been with Cingular since they were Bellsouth and have been generally pleased.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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