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New Phone

I need a new cell phone. My current phone is almost four years old now and like all of its predecessors it has been dropped, smashed, soaked and abused beyond reason. Its once shiny features are pitted and scratched, but against all expectation, it still works.

Well, sort of. It doesn't like to charge any more. I've found a solution of sorts: plug it in and then give it several hard smacks on its battery with the palm of my hand. After two or three enthusiastic whacks, the charging indicator will light up and I know that, yes, I can use this yet another day at least. So far I have only had to do this in the privacy of my own home so it hasn't embarrassed me.. though my wife has given me some odd looks.

OK, I know I need a new phone. However, there are factors working against me. The first is cost. I have had this one long enough that I am eligible for free or reduced cost "upgrades", but chances are I'm not going to like the "free" units, so I know I'm going to shell out a few bucks at least.

Second is features. I'm not sure what the heck I want. I don't think I need an iPhone or an Android.. though I absolutely agree with Google that these ARE our future. But as I've said before, the current state of technology for phones is still far away from the do-it-all computer that I'd really like. Given that even the best is a weak imitation of my ideal, I revert back to basics: I need a cell phone, period. Don't need a camera, don't need the Internet.. well, that's not true, it is nice to be able to check my email when I'm out for long periods..

I did get as far as visiting a store. Unfortunately I ran into a young, gum snapping sales clerk.. no, she really wasn't snapping gum or even chewing it, and she wasn't unprofessional, but she was somewhat uninterested in helping an old geezer who didn't care about texting and mp3's. Maybe uninterested isn't quite the word I want: baffled is more like it. She had no idea what to suggest for me. I left unhappy.

I'm a bit frustrated, so I'll probably go on slapping this phone until it no longer responds. Then I'll have to do something, but I have no idea what.



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Tue Sep 23 13:07:39 2008: 4594   bruceg


What are your most desired secondary features (besides the phone part), Tony? I would say if it is email, then a blackberry might be a good choice. If it is web browsing, than an iPhone would be a good choice. I know I would love an iPhone, but not having a real keyboard would be annoying for me. But, after using some friends' iphones, I can see the allure. It really is a nice phone, and a great way to keep you busy if you are queued up in a line or waiting room. So many applications, games, brain teasers, etc.. Plus, it's Apple, so it's just done really well. Lot's of little details that most companies overlook. I just really wish Apple would give us a real keyboard. If they did that, than I would probably find a way to come up with the $$ to buy one, and would suffer the contract agreement with AT&T.

- Bruce Garlock



Tue Sep 23 13:29:27 2008: 4595   TonyLawrence

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The G1 "Dream" (T-Mobile's Android phone) might answer the keyboard thing - we'll know in an hour or so. But no doubt the monthly plan will be as expensive as the iPhone and that's far too rich for my blood.



Tue Sep 23 14:19:49 2008: 4596   anonymous


I recently upgraded my phone because I really wanted a full keyboard and the ability to check email, but didn't want to pay the monthly premium for a Blackberry. After reading a bunch of reviews I got a Nokia E71 and love it. I got an unlocked phone from Newegg ($420 delivered). I don't know if one you got from a carrier would support WiFi like the unlocked one. So far there seems to be a hotspot just about everywhere. I'm thinking about canceling the overpriced data part of my wireless plan.

Like you, I never used sms. Now, because it is so easy, I find myself texting a lot.

I would definitely recommend it.



Tue Sep 23 14:28:44 2008: 4597   TonyLawrence

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I don't need SMS. Most of my life is now in my office - I hardly ever go out for work anymore. I don't think I've been out on the road more than half a dozen times per month anytime this year and most months it is far less.

Actually, if all customers would send email instead of calling, I'd hardly ever need a phone at all. That's one reason I'm reluctant to spend much money on it - it's not the big part of my business life it was years back. Times have changed, at least for me: I'm not on the road much at all.






Tue Sep 23 14:40:56 2008: 4598   rbailin


Tony, if you truly are satisfied with your present 4 year old cellphone and it's just getting old, go over to eBay, search for the model number and get a new or gently used one at a steeply discounted price. Maybe by the time this replacement also breaks down, the new ones out then will finally have the features you're looking for.

--Bob



Tue Sep 23 14:51:26 2008: 4599   TonyLawrence

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Well, they aren't that cheap at eBay.. It looks like I get a better deal taking advantage of the discounts at AT&T.



Tue Sep 23 20:44:24 2008: 4602   anonymous


The iPhone is the first decent stab at a mini computer and a dam good one. Since I got one my iPhone my MBP stays at it's desk when at home. The iphone is so badly named. It's a great tool one you will soon realize is not a phone with a stupid camera and MP3 player added but a great mini computer that also makes calls







Wed Sep 24 16:37:53 2008: 4603   JonR


I'm happy with prepaid service from T-Mobile and Tracfone (I have both following a week-long T-Mobile outage due to an ice storm a couple of years ago; I carry a cell phone for emergencies, and that was not acceptable. Now I have backup). My Motorola M370 from Tracfone is as unintuitively set up as all the rest I've had, but I like it a lot in terms of actual performance.

Just a word about sales service. When one T-Mobile phone got lost (and then stolen!), I went to a T-Mobile kiosk in a shopping center for a replacement. I was at least 65 but the sales guy in his 20's was not only willing to spend all the time it took to find the best replacement, he recommended a less expensive phone than my first choice when I told him I needed decent volume level because of a hearing problem. It's so good to find sales people like that -- they may be increasingly rare, but they're still out there.







Wed Sep 24 17:24:47 2008: 4604   JonR


I'm happy with prepaid service from T-Mobile and Tracfone (I have both following a week-long T-Mobile outage due to an ice storm a couple of years ago; I carry a cell phone for emergencies, and that was not acceptable. Now I have backup). My Motorola M370 from Tracfone is as unintuitively set up as all the rest I've had, but I like it a lot in terms of actual performance.

Just a word about sales service. When one T-Mobile phone got lost (and then stolen!), I went to a T-Mobile kiosk in a shopping center for a replacement. I was at least 65 but the sales guy in his 20's was not only willing to spend all the time it took to find the best replacement, he recommended a less expensive phone than my first choice when I told him I needed decent volume level because of a hearing problem. It's so good to find sales people like that -- they may be increasingly rare, but they're still out there.







Wed Sep 24 18:25:20 2008: 4605   John


I completely understand your dilemma - mobile devices these days often try to jam as many features as possible onto one thing and the end result is a confusing, user-unfriendly mess.

For a simple phone, that makes calls and doesnt have an emphasis elsewhere, you will probably do well with something like the Motorola Razr or the Jitterbug. But when you choose something simple like this it will probably not be able to handle e-mails well, and you likely dont want the feature behemoth that is the blackberry (and the bills that come with it).

Enter the Peek. Once you have your phone out of the way, this new little device is perfect for email. It does email, and email only. I've had one for a little while now and love it. Its pretty cheap and very, very easy to use. The best part: no contract at all! They have it at www.getpeek.com and at Target. Pair this up with a dead simple phone and I think you've got what you're looking for.








Sun Sep 28 05:56:34 2008: 4611   Bob


I like my iphone.

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