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Help pick my new phone!


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#1 of 23 OFFLINE   Eric_L

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Posted February 08 2008 - 12:00 PM

Alas! My 2 year contract with Stinkulair is nearly over. Two years of shoddy customer service and a horrid first generation razr near an end! I had been a customer of the same company over twelve years - so when they asked me to sign a 2 yr contract I thought nothing of it. I'm smarter and more experienced now. So it is with glee and excitement that I am shopping for my new carrier and phone. Things have changed much in two years - but many of the newer features mean nothing to me. My primary wants are; 1) Call people. duh! 2) Take photos. Even crappy ones will do. It is my backup camera for emergencies only. 3) New idea - calendar. My wife and I will each have one. With three kids in three schools and three scout orgaizations, plus our own lives - we need to stay organized. I figure we can use a calendar which we could sync together (good) or access online (better) and avoid overbooking. 4) minor want - web browsing. Not really important, but could be a convenience. My web browser at work has become bogged down with an over-ambitious firewall and a seperate browser could help productivity. Things that matter slightly less than a rats ass: MP3, video content (WTF - I have a 120" screen for that!), email, games, recording video, text messaging, video messaging, etc. I could go into the store and ask - but I have difficulty trusting a salesperson who's still finishing puberty. So I thought I'd run it past ya'll. Here is what I'm considering so far - but I am open to suggestion; Verizon LG Voyager. It does almost everything. It costs alot. I like the screen - big enough to actually read the calendar and the text buttons convenient enough to actually use it. It does everything but wifi - but with the high-speed 3g it may not be needed - so long as I have the unlimited plan.... I can afford it but I don't want to bleed cash for no good reason. T-Mobile Wing. {Elmer Fudd font on} "Wing-wing-wing.... Haywhoa?" - {Elmer fudd font off} OK, bad humor aside this looks also like it could do the trick. Not sure - but it looks like the memory is better but the web browsing not so much. Still alot of money.... AT&T Iphone. Fun and sexy. No internet away from home except in select wifi areas. Still have to deal with Stinkulair. Too bad - looks fun. Any other ideas? I have thirty days to decide... and counting. I realize that cell providors require a min. 1 yr contract from any new customer. So be it. Verizon at least has a 30 day free look. I'd love to hear your feedback, responses and experiences. Thanks

#2 of 23 OFFLINE   Blu

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Posted February 09 2008 - 01:14 AM

I have never had a cell phone until recently, January 29th to be exact, and I chose an iphone. I am thrilled with it! I love the touch screen features and I have to say that it is very tough. I dropped it from chest high (not on purpose) and it landed face down on the very hard cement floor and not even a scratch! I love the calendar feature! I love the web surfing! I love it a lot more when it is around a wifi spot but it still works if I have good signal. It won't be long before third party apps will be available now and that will really make for a lot more uses! It is just out and out fun to use and I'm happy I got one now!

#3 of 23 OFFLINE   Joseph Bolus

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Posted February 09 2008 - 02:34 AM


I think you're confusing the iPhone with the iPod Touch. The iPhone uses the AT&T EDGE network to connect to the internet when it's not near a Wi-Fi hotspot. The EDGE Network is slow compared to Wi-Fi, but it usually gets the job done.

Speaking of Calendars, Google provides a custom interface of their on-line Calendar application for the iPhone.

Check it out:
Google calendar receives an iPhone makeover - The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)
Joseph
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#4 of 23 OFFLINE   BrianW

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Posted February 09 2008 - 02:53 AM

I've enjoyed having my Sidekick II (T-Mobile) for the past four years. The PIM (calendar, to-do list, notes, contacts) and email functions are available on the web from any computer. In fact, when I got my phone, I entered all my contact information on my home computer so I could do it using my big keyboard. As I entered the contact information on the computer, it almost instantly appeared on my phone. It has a camera (640x480 - adequate for emergencies, but that's it). It has instant messaging. For email, you're given a T-Mobile address, but you can also connect it to your regular POP3 or imap mail server. The web surfing is brilliantly implemented in a thin-client fashion. This means that another powerful server somewhere is doing all the heavy lifting of fetching the web pages. It then reduces the pictures to a size and color palette that the Sidekick screen can handle (pictures are always fit to width), and does some minor reformatting so fonts are readable, and so that stuff doesn't get pushed off the screen. This design drastically minimizes the data that's sent over the air, making web surfing a MUCH faster experience. So when you download a Hubble Telescope image from NASA, you're downloading a reduced-resolution image that's optimized for your screen, not the actual 23MB image (which would take forever) and then reducing it on the phone. And it has some great applications available. I've loaded the following on mine: * Periodic chart of the elements -- Handy for my own purposes, but great for winning bar bets, too. * Unit Conversion Calculator -- Includes units you've never even heard of for length, currency (configurable), speed, volume, temperature, weight, numerical base, metric prefix, time, date, area, energy, power, force, and pressure. * Graphing Calculator -- Now you'll know just what that sinusoidal repleneration suppression equation really looks like. * RSS news reader -- It allows only 5 news feeds, but it's great to have. * Fitness Tracker -- Stores your exercises, weights used, calories burned, and tracks your progress in your fitness routine. * Sidesheet -- A small spreadsheet program. I use it to track my car's mileage and to do comparison shopping when evaluating different quantities at different prices. * Weather Underground -- This is MUCH more than just weather forcasting in your area. I have a weather station at home that updates my phone (through a web site), so the temperature, rainfall amounts, and conditions it shows on my phone are the temperature, rainfall amounts, and conditions at my house! That's really cool! Plus, it gives standard forecasts for your zipcode, weather alerts (with a configurable ring tone), and radar data, just like any other weather service. The radar image is nice because it contains crosshairs to indicate the location of your house (or office, or cardboard box), and the radar map can be configured to be much larger than the screen so you can scroll around to see the detail. The radar map is also animated, so you can gauge speed and direction of a storm. There are also many games available, but I can't load all that many due to the limited memory of my old phone mode. (A new Sidekick will fare much better.) Best of all, the Sidekick has a really nice keyboard. I think the iPhone is cool, but without a real qwerty keyboard, it's just not worth my consideration. DISCLAIMER - My sidekick model is discontinued, so ymmv. I don't know which of these applications are available on the new models, but I know that some of the new models have things mine doesn't have, like a lot more memory, and mp3 capability. Do you have a price limit?
-Brian
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#5 of 23 OFFLINE   Eric_L

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Posted February 09 2008 - 03:51 AM

the new sidekick.. (LX i think) is supposed to have a better screen and all the same functionality. Sounds interesting... The reviews I saw said it is a good beginners model. Not sure what distinguishes it for beginners... re I phone. At&t = stinkulair. I can't stand the thought of continuing with them for another year... Also - most of the time when I would use it I am not in a wireless area.

#6 of 23 OFFLINE   Dennis*G

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Posted February 09 2008 - 09:23 AM

can't talk about any fancy phone, but I have Verizon and love the coverage I get everywhere I have gone so far as compared to to Cingulars coverage I had before, and if I had the money, I would love a Voyager

#7 of 23 OFFLINE   Buzz Foster

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Posted February 09 2008 - 02:42 PM

Avoid the Palm phones. Never thought I'd say that, but my Treo 700p is nothing but trouble, and there has been no innovation in the palm family for several years, now. Mine reboots spontaneously, drops the SMS chat logs, won't hold a bluetooth connection to my Jawbone, and has a dated Blazer browser with no video support.
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#8 of 23 OFFLINE   Marque D

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Posted February 09 2008 - 02:59 PM

For less than $200 I picked up

T-Mobile Dash ($99 after rebate)
Posted Image
Motorola HT820 (~$35 on ebay)
Posted Image
4GB microSD card (~$43 at Office Depot)
Posted Image

The Dash has Wi-Fi and Office Mobile which lets me edit documents. It can run a little slow every now and again but I love it. Sometimes I hang up the phone on accident while talking and the volume control is stupid and useless. You have to add a data package which is $20. Also currently it doesn't support youtube mobile.

#9 of 23 OFFLINE   Eric_L

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Posted February 10 2008 - 05:30 AM

Today my wife and I took a look at a few different phones. We decided that we really don't like the Voyager unless the vibration mode can be disabled. The touch screen was a bit clunky. Had to press hard and there was no 'momentum' when you tried to scroll fast. That alone was not a problem but the constant vibration each time we touched it was enough to kill it as an option.

She liked the Env but I understand that internet capabilities are limited - which knocks out our idea of calendar sharing.

We then went over to Tmobile and looked at the Sidekick DX, Sidekick Slide and the Wing. The only dealer is a mall kiosk, so the functionality of these was off. I had played with a friends DX and expected my wife to really like it. I was a bit surprized for her to tell me she liked the Slide and the Wing most. I think that she feels the rotating screen is flimsy.

Brian W - you seem pretty knowledgeable about your phone; I notice that the T-mobile offers access to other email servers like AOL, earthlink, yahoo, etc. as well as corporate servers like Lotus Notes. With a public server like yahoo do you know if it would be possible to link/sync the Sidekicks calendar to my Yahoo or Google calendar?

At the end of it all my wife said that she really likes her Itouch and that if the Iphone is half as good she would like it most of all... grrr. I notice that Iphones have to by sync'd through Itunes - the only thing I've ever sync'd is my Itouch. I don't see the calendar anywhere on Itunes. Would I have to Sync everything the same as my wife's phone to get the same calendar or could we be selective about what get's sync'd?

#10 of 23 OFFLINE   Eric_L

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Posted February 10 2008 - 07:03 AM

Can you or anyone tell me how EDGE compares to 3G? (and dial up for more familiar comparison) I used a Sidekick on EDGE and an LG Voyager on 3G and didn't really notice much difference - though it was a few days apart, not side by side.

#11 of 23 OFFLINE   Blu

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Posted February 10 2008 - 08:01 AM

Eric if you posted your iphone questions on the Apple/Mac board I bet you would get some very good answers. I asked if I should even buy an iphone there and got plenty of good advice!

#12 of 23 OFFLINE   Joseph Bolus

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Posted February 10 2008 - 08:30 AM

In my area EDGE is variable. At times it's *very* responsive (about twice as fast as dialup); at other times it can't even seem to bring up the Google front page. I will say that over the past two weeks it has improved to the point that I haven't been all that upset with the response time. Regarding the calendar sync: If you and your wife want to share the calendar, I think the Google calendar is the way to go. The iPhone will also sync with Outlook in an office environment.
Joseph
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#13 of 23 OFFLINE   Dennis Nicholls

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Posted February 10 2008 - 10:28 AM

Why don't you talk to Mike Frezon?Posted Image
I'm sure he can point you to a place where you can get something cool like this.
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#14 of 23 OFFLINE   Eric_L

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Posted February 10 2008 - 12:35 PM

thanks for pointing me there. It was an interesting read. I'm becoming more and more resigned to the fact that I'm going to be with AT&T another couple years. The killer part is that I bought her an Itouch 16m for Christmas. A week after Christmas I was kicking myself for not thinking of the Iphone. My primary reason? - She never remembers to charge her phone or carry it with her. I figured with the Iphone maybe that'd change. (I was wrong. her lifeless Itouch is sitting next to me on her nightstand not recharging right now) Which leads me to think... If I go with the Iphone I have to find a fashionable way for her to carry it and *not* set id down somewhere and forget it. Men get the cool belt-clip thingys. What can women use? Purse is useless - it hasn't left her car in three years...

#15 of 23 OFFLINE   Matt Stryker

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Posted February 10 2008 - 01:24 PM


an older lady in our neighborhood loves to clip her flip phone over her thong strap and walk around with it - i certainly don't recommend that. I think belt clip/holster might be the way to go, unless she likes stuff hanging around her neck. If she really does travel as light as you say, I would maybe start erring more towards a lighter smaller phone with less in the way of gadgets.

If you really hate AT&T, you can always buy an unlocked iPhone(or unlock one yourself) and use it on T-mobile or any other GSM carrier. People on the apple forums I'm sure would be able to explain exactly how to do it.

As for the Wing, there is evidently a way to get them from Tmo for $99 after rebates - check this thread at FatWallet for details:

HOT!!! Tmobile WING $99 AR ($50) 1yr contract - usually $349 - free activation/shipping

#16 of 23 OFFLINE   Joseph Bolus

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Posted February 10 2008 - 11:03 PM

Errrr ... I would *really* be cautious about unlocking your iPhone for several reasons. First of all, most of the software "unlock" methodologies work by reverting the iPhone's system software back to an earlier state. So you immediately lose all the cool new features supported by the current version (1.1.3). * You will also lose the AT&T-supported "Visual Voicemail" functionality. * All the new Apple-sanctioned "native applications" will also require 1.1.3 and above. So you will not be able to run all the cool new specialty applications on an unlocked phone. (It's rumored that there may soon be a flash-enabled Firefox browser available for the iPhone. It will, of course, require the latest iPhone system software.) * Lastly, anytime you "sync" your iPhone via iTunes you may receive a software upgrade which could "brick" the phone (render it useless) until a new methodology is developed to unlock it again. BOTTOM LINE: It's just not worth the hassle!
Joseph
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#17 of 23 OFFLINE   Blu

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Posted February 10 2008 - 11:50 PM

Joseph I've struggled with the idea of jailbreaking my iphone to use the themes and customize my desktop but for all of those reasons you mentioned I don't. It is just too much of a hassle right now and I'm betting that the third party apps will allow me to customize after they are available.

#18 of 23 OFFLINE   Eric Samonte

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Posted February 11 2008 - 04:20 AM

I'm using an AT&T 8525 right now. I think its counterpart in TMobile is the Wing. I needed a PDA/ Phone so that's the main reason I got it. Its a nice hefty device with Windows Mobile 6 on it complete with Mobile Office. It is now packed with several hundred dollars worth of medical books, software and the like. I can also personalize it with themes and wallpapers as well as put in my own rightone from just about any MP3 out there. U do however have to chop them up or it takes up too much space. It has a 2 MP camera and can do video as well. A full qwerty keyboard is available and it has Wifi. I don't subscribe to the data plan as I don't use it to browse at all. It is going to be too much if only a calendar is what u wanted. My son wanted one like mine but I felt it was too expensive for his needs. We just got him a Blackjack II which costs about a third of what mine was. One thing about the LG Voyager...I spoke with someone who's been using it for several months now. She says it always locks up that u have to "reboot" every so often. Bummer.

#19 of 23 OFFLINE   Eric_L

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Posted February 12 2008 - 02:10 PM

thanks matt - that wing for $99 certainly is worth considering over the iphone for $400 - especially when I'm looking at getting a pair. I understand that on 2/26/08 Apple is rumored to be announcing a reduction in price for the iphone. Kills my idea for a valentines day present. If the price is closer I'm still leaning towards the iphone... 3rd party apps are coming, but also the interface seems more appealing. Many of my clients are also gadget freaks too... I am sending my wife to at&t to make a few calls. I have heard that the Iphone can be awkward to talk on - not to mention the 'face grease' that can get all over the screen... I'd still like to know if it is possible to turn off the screen vibrations with the Voyager. I've gone to ask at circuit city twice now only to be ignored by the people in the phone area...

#20 of 23 OFFLINE   Matt Stryker

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Posted February 13 2008 - 06:23 AM

eric - reading over at howardforums, it looks like VibeTouch is disabled in the silent or vibrate profiles, but no one has asked if it can be turned off for other profiles. A post asking the question over there might clear things up, and there might a "seem edit" (phone hack) to permanently shut it down.




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