Teach me about cell phones

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Triumph, Jan 10, 2003.

  1. Triumph

    Triumph Lifer

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    Sigh, I guess I'll have to bite the bullet and join the cell phone mob. I've put it off for long enough. I don't really know much about these things, what is a good provider, what is a good cell phone, etc. So I guess I'll just list what I need:

    1. I travel alot for work, all over the country.
    2. I don't use a ton of long distance, maybe 2-300 a month. No way I could use 2000 minutes.
    3. No internet or fancy screens needed.
    4. Seems like most of my friend's cell phones sound like crap. I can barely recognize them sometimes. I'd like a phone or a service that sounds halfway decent.
    5. I MUST HAVE A FLIP PHONE!!! There's nothing I hate more than talking into a microphone located somewhere around my cheek. I'll gladly pay for it, I'm not going to settle for a crappy phone just because it's free.

    What is a good length for a contract? Cancellation fees? Any other hidden fees? Roaming charges? I would like to get something by monday. Can I just walk into the Sprint store and walk out with a phone?
     
  2. dabuddha

    dabuddha Lifer

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    if you travel alot, i highly recommend AT&T
    i've had nothing but good service with them
     
  3. Doodoo

    Doodoo Golden Member

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    Depends on where u are. If you live in a major city and are traveling to major cities id suggest sprint. I had them but i switched to verizon because i get a better signal with verizon here in the suburbs. Yep u can jus walk in and walk out with a phone. Usually requires a 1 yr contract.
     
  4. Reel

    Reel Diamond Member

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    I have sprint and I'm not going to presume to tell you about other companies since I have personally never used them.

    1. With their typical plans, you can use your phone anywhere on their network with no roaming fee.
    2. With their typical plans, any of your minutes include long distance at no extra charge.
    3. Don't pay for it if you don't want it.
    4. Search around for suggestions on cell phones. I have an older Samsung A400 that performs pretty well but the 500 is supposed to be pretty bad. I have heard good things about the Sanyo's recently though and my brother has not been too disappointed with his. Also, it is expected that you can try them out in the store so use them to call a friend and see how it sounds.
    5. The Samsung phones from sprint are flip-phones and I believe the LG's are too.

    Contracts are typically 1 year but sometimes you can get additional perks if you jump in for another year. If you talk to them in the store, there are usually ways around such things as activation fees. When I first got my phone from them 3 or 4 years, I signed up for a business account and they waived activation. They are willing to work with you typically. Roaming, I addressed above: You don't pay for calls made anywhere on the sprint network. They have maps in the store showing you where that means (major cities, interestates, and some not-so-major cities).

    If you go to the store, you can walk out with a phone that works same day assuming they have the one you choose in-stock. If you are feeling particularly ferengi-ish, look up sprint in the hot deals forum and read up on the retention plans. If you threaten to cancel, they often offer you a better plan for less money as explained in that thread.
     
  5. neovan

    neovan Diamond Member

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  6. Yossarian

    Yossarian Lifer

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    I was just thinking today that if someone made a cell phone that was just like the old style Star Trek communicator, I would buy it instantly.
     
  7. Triumph

    Triumph Lifer

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    You and me both!
     
  8. Don Vito Corleone

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    I have used Sprint and Verizon and strongly prefer Verizon for their superior service and VASTLY better customer support. I know in at least some locations they are now selling the gorgeous little Motorola V60 for $49 after rebate - my mom just bought one in Minnesota. Tough to beat that deal.
     
  9. EngenZerO

    EngenZerO Diamond Member

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    www.howardchui.com

    your cellular phone resource. they have a great bbs that deals with all the providers, issues, and equipment for Canada and US. do some grade A research before you buy, with the nfo you gave I recommend

    Verizon - V60i (if not sold out) Nationwide America Plan 400 mins free n/w and 1000m2m.
     
  10. Soybomb

    Soybomb Diamond Member

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  11. Ryan

    Ryan Lifer

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  12. TrueBlueLS

    TrueBlueLS Platinum Member

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    SprintPCS is only good for their phones. The service on the other hand sucks horribly.
     
  13. Triumph

    Triumph Lifer

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    Why is the service so important? What services do they provide? I mean, am I going to have to call and bitch all the time because something isn't working?
     
  14. TrueBlueLS

    TrueBlueLS Platinum Member

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    Service = call quality

    I have a lot of dropped phone calls and poor reception. I've complained to SprintPCS because I'm in the dead center of their Detroit network, but all they can say is have it tested for RF interference.
     
  15. Triumph

    Triumph Lifer

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    Ahh, gotcha. More input from others would be great, though!

     
  16. NutBucket

    NutBucket Lifer

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    Any service will vary depending on location. Overall I think Verizon is the least problematic. I've had Sprint for 2.5 years now (Los Angeles area) and its great. I've taken it to San Fran and lots of place inbetween with no problems placing and receiving calls. There are known problem areas. Apparently Sprint is very weak in metro Chicago area. Phones make a large difference also. Sanyos easily have the best reception of all the phones Sprint offers. I went from a StarTAC to a Sanyo 5300 and all the areas that used to give me problems are fine. YMMV.
     
  17. Ryan

    Ryan Lifer

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    Honestly, I have never had a problem with Cingular :p
     
  18. NutBucket

    NutBucket Lifer

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    'Cause you don't use it in Los Angeles or San Fran. Sucks big ***** in both areas. Lots of busy signals.
     
  19. KK

    KK Lifer

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    I got this phone, the N200 that is, and like the portability of it. As far as the service, I live kinda in a dead spot, about 35+ miles east southeast of Atlanta, and Sprint is the only carrier that works decent for me in my house. I also have Cingular which with my old phone would not get a signal anywhere in the house. I got a new phone last week from them and I can now get the signal inside the house, just not as strong as Sprint. If I go up the road a mile, I have no sprint service but the cingular has a very strong signal. But in most of the area, cingular has better overall reception as sprints service is spotty.

    KK

     
  20. Triumph

    Triumph Lifer

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    Ok, I guess there's not any real bad service, just bad service for particular areas. Sprint may be good in area A, while Verizon is good in area B?
     
  21. Undeniable

    Undeniable Banned

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    just so you know, that is possibly the worst phone ever made by Samsung....I know, I have 3 different models, n200, n100, n400 and from what many Sprint employees say, it was a nightmare having to deal with that phone.
     
  22. Undeniable

    Undeniable Banned

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    exactly....Get the Samsung N400 if you're going Sprint, just dont let what happened to mine happen to yours
     
  23. Triumph

    Triumph Lifer

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    more input needed.
     
  24. Angrymarshmello

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    - 1. I travel alot for work, all over the country.
    - 2. I don't use a ton of long distance, maybe 2-300 a month. No way I could use 2000 minutes.

    Pretty much all carriers with LD included start out at $29.99 a month. Sprint has a deal right now - 300 anytime, unlimited night and weekend minutes (nights constitute Monday - Thursday, 9pm-7am, weekends constitute Friday, 9pm - Monday 7am). Anytime would be used during weekdays, so that may/may not be enough for you. (It's the only plan in that price range with unlimited N&W iirc) Long distance is included in all calls. Most providers have a plan for a home rate (local/state) and a national rate (long distance to any of the 50 states).

    - 3. No internet or fancy screens needed.

    PCS Vision and M-Life (among others) are usually like $5 extra a month depending on how much you want, since you don't want it I won't go into details. Most regular plans now include some sort of wireless web access if your phone supports it though

    - 4. Seems like most of my friend's cell phones sound like crap. I can barely recognize them sometimes. I'd like a phone or a service that sounds halfway decent.

    Dependent highly on the service in that area and the person's ability to speak clearly and loudly into the phone. My Sprint phone right now - my mom complains she sometimes has a hard time hearing me, but when I traveled to Houston last summer she said my phone sounded crystal clear. I'd figure the DFW area would be bigger and encompass more people, but I guess not. Also, how clearly the person is heard depends on how loud they talk and where they are. (It'll be hard hearing anyone if that person is outside on a windy day regardless of phone) Since you travel a lot it's basically a crapshoot - you're going to get $hitty service/calls in one area, crystal clear (almost like a hard line) calls in another, regardless of the provider. (T-Mobile currently has the least coverage out of all the major providers of cell phone service - Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, Cingular - if you travel to the boonies or semi-secluded areas, ie out of major cities a lot you should not consider T-Mobile)

    - 5. I MUST HAVE A FLIP PHONE!!! There's nothing I hate more than talking into a microphone located somewhere around my cheek. I'll gladly pay for it, I'm not going to settle for a crappy phone just because it's free.

    Most providers don't give away phones anymore - there's usually some sort of standardized rebate for one provider. (Sprint is like $75 or $150 depending on how many years you sign up for) Regarding flip phones - Sprint without a doubt has the most variety and selection for flip phones. I think T-Mobile is second, dunno about Verizon, AT&T and Cingular a distant fourth. (Only one I can think of off hand is the Motorla V60, since AT&T and Cingular's phones are mostly provided for by Nokia, Verizon & T-Mobile are serviced by Samsung also iirc)

    A good length of contract ideally is 1 year - that way if you dislike it you can change at the end of the year instead of being fubared into that service for X amot of years. Most if not all providers have cancellation fees - Sprint is $150, everyone else's I don't know. Hidden fees - there's usually a one-time setup fee to start your service, ($20 - $40 depending on provider) taxes and crap (if you have a $29.99 plan add on a good $5-10 in taxes and other crappy fees, not by the service provider though) phone change fee, (if you decide to switch to a different phone sometimes they charge you to switch it - Sprint used to charge $35, don't know if they still do or not), that's all I can think of right now. Roaming - usually like $.05 - .20 a minute, not an issue in big cities but an issue if you go to the boonies/out of large cities a lot. And yes, you can walk into a Sprint store/Best Buy, buy a phone and they'll activate one for you on the spot.

    Hope that helps somewhat
     
  25. Dragnov

    Dragnov Diamond Member

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    1. Make sure to get a NATIONAL plan w/ NO roaming, and most importantly free long distance NATIONWIDE. This will cover you throughout the entire US and give you long distance no matter where you are located. Lots of plans say "free long distance" but it is only for the local/region area that you bought it from. Shady tactic that you must note.

    2. The most popular plan is a $29.99 plan for any service. the $19.99 plans are way too little. It's better to have MORE than less, because going over will kill you in charges. Also, you can start higher and then use it for a month or two and see how many minutes you actually use. If you dont need that many and use less than the plan lower, then you can get it changed on contract.

    3. Thats all in the plan. Most phones will support it no matter what... the more expensive, themore features. Same goes w/ plans..

    4. Certain phones have poor voice quality. But for the most part now, they are all pretty much good quality.

    5. I am a flip phone fan also and it is the only type I look at. Personally I prefer Samsung phones, Motorola being second.

    YMMV with service. It all depends on where you are. Verizon works great in LA but it may suck in some east coast city. Who knows. The coverage map does not tell all, that does not guarantee service there. But if the area is not even highlighted int he coverage map, you WILL get nothing. Team Mobile is far too small at this moment so I would avoid it since you say you travel all over.

    Contracts will be a year. 2 years if you want more options/minutes, and a bigger discount on your phone. Cancellation fees are brutal, you have liek 15 days trial.

    Yes, you can walk into any store and come out the same day w/ a working phone (well it will need to be charged).