Need a Cell Phone and plan, any suggestions?

Travis D

Second Unit
Joined
Feb 15, 2001
Messages
369
Well, I being the last human being in America without one, I'm finally making the plunge. But somehow it feels much harder than when I got into HT. It feels like you could either get a good deal or royally f*cked.
I'd like to know where I could see comparisons of different phones, but mainly plans. Most monthly or even pay-by-minute plans look outragious to me. Or it could be I'm a tight ass. Also if any of you have made the leap into cellular land, tell me what you got and why you got it for that price. I just don't want to be paying more for a cell phone than my cable tv. It's just a cell phone for God's sakes.
 

Carl Johnson

Effects Supervisor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 6, 1999
Messages
2,260
Real Name
Carl III
What plan to get depends entirely on how you plan to use it. My Sprint PCS plan is $34.99 and it includes 200 anytime minutes, 1000 night and weekend minutes, free long distance and coast to coast converage, no extra charge. Since I got the cell and a cable modem I never use the land line phone to the point that when I move in a couple of months I probably won't even have one installed.
 

Travis D

Second Unit
Joined
Feb 15, 2001
Messages
369
I may go the pre-paid route since it will only be used to tell my dad where I'm going if need be, but all the pre-paid things I've looked at have expiration dates on them which is bullshit if you ask me. Is there any pre-paid route that lets me use my minutes anytime? No expiration?
 

Kirk Gunn

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 16, 1999
Messages
1,609
Thanks Carl - that Sprint plan looks pretty good for my wife. She's a flight attendant so needs the Long Distance provisions. May have to "up" that 200 anytime minutes though !
 

Denward

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 26, 2001
Messages
552
I use my phone sparingly and I love the $20 plan from Voicestream. It's looks like it's available in Alabama. 60 anytime minutes. 500 weekend minutes. Includes vmail, caller id, message service (I've set up ebay to send me mail on my phone when I'm outbid or I've won something).
No matter who your carrier is, I would highly recommend getting a small phone that you won't mind hanging on your belt. I've got one of the Nokia 82xx phones in a little plastic holster I bought cheap on ebay. The phone is much more useful now that I actually carry it around with me. If the phone is a hassle to carry around, you won't keep it with you and what's the use in that? Before Powertel was bought out by Voicestream, Powertel gave me a big credit ($75-$100 IIRC) toward a phone upgrade after being with them for 18 months and if I signed a new 2 year commitment. They never publicized this upgrade policy but I was sure glad they had one.
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[Edited last by Denward on November 11, 2001 at 08:22 AM]
 

KeithH

Lead Actor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2000
Messages
9,413
Travis, I live in Delaware and am using VoiceStream. I have their Northeast plan, which covers Maine to Nortern Virginia and goes west out to the Pennsylvania-Ohio border. The version I have gives me 600 "Whenever Minutes" per month, plus I got in on a promotion that gives me 2000 weekend minutes per month. This plan is only $40 a month, and I got a Nokia 5100 Series phone for only $20. A carrying case, home charger, and car charger were free. As with any provider, I had to sign a one-year contract. You should be able to get a similar plan through VoiceStream, assuming they offer service in your part of the country. I don't know if all providers are national.
I've noticed that the Nokia 5100 Series phone has been replaced by the 3900 Series, which looks a bit nicer. That's a relatively inexpensive phone to consider. In any event, check out VoiceStream. I have found their rates to be favorable in comparison to Cingular Wireless (was with them before VoiceStream) and Verizon.
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My:
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KeithH: Saving the Home Theater World Before Bedtime
 

Alex Spindler

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2000
Messages
3,971
Well, I recently made the plunge myself. I picked up a Kyocera 6035 Smartphone so that I killed a cell phone and Palm pilot birds with one stone. I killed my land line a few weeks later.
Should you want a Palm pilot and a phone, you could do a lot worse. I absolutely love it. And it's much cheaper than buying both. Samsung recently release a color Palm/phone combo, but it's about $100 more and a slightly lower talk time (4 hours to 5)
As for plans, mine are a little bit skewed because I get a company discount. I would suggest just checking your last phone bill to determine your long distance usage. Then try and estimate your local usage. Then add 20% due to the increase in communication that going mobile invariably adds (for better or worse depends on who calls you) and that should be the plan. My total bill is no different from my (now disconnected) landline, so I'm only out the hardware cost (which has been made up for already by having a Palm pilot).
 

GordonL

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 14, 2000
Messages
771
The most important thing to look for is coverage area. If the provider doesn't work in the areas you frequent, it defeats the purpose of having a cell phone. As far as pricing, they all have various plans so it shouldn't be a problem finding the right one to fit your budget. If you pick a provider strictly on price, you may find problems with coverage.
 

Chad Isaacs

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 20, 2000
Messages
757
I just got a verizon wireless cell.Not sure of the model number but the phone was $29.99,my plan is 350 anytime minutes,3000 night and weekend.it has caller id,voicemail,call fowarding,three way calling and a hand full of other things i never use.It is $35 a month.If you order online you save $35 by not haing to pay for activation.
I am pretty happy with the phone.The calling area is 99.9% of the u.s.a
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Chad's DVDs
 

Jay H

Producer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 22, 1999
Messages
5,654
Location
Pittsfield, MA
Real Name
Jay
Yes, definitely check your coverage area, you need to have a provider that's going to be adequate in the majority of your travelling locations, especially when you have to decide between a "local" plan or a "nationwide" plan. Different providers have different defitions and ranges. I just got a pre-paid cell phone from ATT Free2Go plan, I've decided on the "local" plan and $25 per 90 days. A few months ago, they used to have 6 month plans but I think everybody has gone down to 90 days or shorter at least from what I researched. You do NOT lose your minutes if you renew before the 90 days are up and supposedly the phone will remind you of that. The ATT plan works out to $8.33 per month and offers 71 minutes for 90 days so it is definitely a low usage/emergency phone. The nationwide ATT plan is about 31 minutes but there is no roaming charge, unlike the local ATT plan where there is. But since I'm going to be using mostly when I bike commute, I hardly take it anywhere... And you get the usual digital stuff like caller ID, voice mail, etc.. etc.. The startup kit contains a Nokia 5165, with a $25 calling card and a rebate for another free $25 card, all for $99. It's cheaper than the $20 post-pay plans IF you do not plan to use it that much, you typically don't get any of the free minutes all the post-pay plans advertise and typically the up-front cost is more.
Jay
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HUGBEES!
Certified HTF bike nut and mayor of
Obscuria.
 

Henry Carmona

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 7, 2000
Messages
1,299
Location
San Antonio
Real Name
Henry Carmona
Verizon and Voice Stream have awesome plans, but they suck here in my area. Dropped calls are frequent with them.
I have Sprint PCS and love it, just wish it offered more minutes per dollar.
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"Charlie don't surf."
 

Dave L

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 20, 2000
Messages
101
Just got one myself, a Nokia 8260, I think, slips into my pocket. I use ATT Wireless because of the area coverage and the reliability of ATT when I'm out of area.
If you go to Amazon and input your zip code, they do a comparison for you of the various plans available in your area. They also had an immediate discount on the phone and a mail-in rebate on top of that.
 

RobertR

Executive Producer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 19, 1998
Messages
10,665
I'm curious. If you're on a nationwide plan with free long distance, and someone who is normally local to you calls you on the cell when you're out of state, what and to who is the charge?
 

Holadem

Lead Actor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2000
Messages
8,967
RobertR, I believe what you are describing as "nationwide plan with free long distance" is called, "Nationwide Long Distance" with Sprint. That means that you can call and receive from anywhere to anywhere in the country at no extra charge, which is what I have.
That is different from simply "free long distance", which means you can call anywhere in the country for free, but only from your home area.
I haven't seen anything that beats my plan yet for the price: $50, 400 anytime, 1600 nights & week end and most important free nationwide long distance (it is great to be able to call anywhere in the country on the fly, on the street etc...), plus all the usual goodies.
--
Holadem
 

Stephen L

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 3, 2001
Messages
358
I have AT&T service , no complaints here.My only gripe comes from the Ericsson 289 I had with it , many problems.My wife has a Nokia 8260 and has had nothing but great service , I switched to the Nokia 5165 with better results myself.I liked the Ericsson menu but had problems sending & receiving calls.
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Steve
 

Ryan Wright

Screenwriter
Joined
Jul 30, 2000
Messages
1,875
I have Sprint PCS. They always talk about clear and what not. However, I was ONE block from where my wife worked and I called her on my phone. The phone hung up twice on me. One friggin' block. How many blocks? one.
The distance between two cellular phones doesn't matter in terms of quality/connectivity. Phones can't communicate directly with each other (except for NexTel DirectConnect phones that have a 2 way radio built in), they can only communicate with a "cell". You could be 5 feet away from the person you're calling but if you're too far away from the nearest cell site, you'll have problems with the call.
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-Ryan (http://www.ryanwright.com )
Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes.
That way, when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and you'll have their shoes.
 

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