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Best Phone?


#1 Riyonuk   Perfectionist CAGiversary!   2448 Posts   Joined 12.6 Years Ago  

Posted 12 March 2008 - 01:38 AM

I'm in the market for my first phone, and am very unsure where to start. I'm looking for something more advanced than the normal phone, kinda like my friend John's blackberry. I think it's so cool. Should I get one? What about the iPhone?

What about service providers? I know with normal internet, your ISP is limited to wherever you live, but are phones different? I know I would probably have more options, Sprint, Verizon, etc. And what about Skype phones? If they exist, wouldn't they be free?

WTF is SMS? Unlocked Phones? Mobile to Mobile? And it cost's money to take pictures? Any phones that record videos?

I realize this is alot to answer, but I got to know :P

#2 rhymenoceros   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   267 Posts   Joined 10.5 Years Ago  

rhymenoceros

Posted 12 March 2008 - 04:21 AM

First I'll go into some personal history. I'm currently an AT&T and Verizon wireless customer. I've been an AT&T customer for about 4 months, previous to which I'd been on T-Mobile for about 4 years. I've been a Verizon customer for about a year now. I have the iPhone and also an LG enV.
Ok, so first off, Blackberry's aren't of much use to the typical young adult. It's more suited for business types and whatnot, plus with the added internet/data package you have to get for them, it can get pricy.
I've got the iPhone and well, for what it's worth, it's a decent phone. But it's far too much trouble to deal with the service and whatnot. AT&T's been nothing but trouble for me ever since I switched over in November. The minutes are different, they've charged me for unused data, and the texting packages are just so much trouble too. All in all, I've been very unhappy with it. Having said that, AT&T does have some nice phones if you're into that.
All the major providers aren't limited to regions, if I'm understanding your question. Your choices are probably gonna be AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon. Skype phones, as far as I know, do not exist.
SMS (short message service) is just another term for text messages. While MMS are multimedia messages, like picture or video messages.
Unlocked phones are basically phones that are not tied down to any one carrier. Most phones are locked to their specific carrier, like the iPhone being locked to AT&T. But most, if not all, unlocked phones are GSM phones, meaning they work with carriers that use SIM cards. AT&T and T-Mobile have GSM phones, so that all your data and whatnot will be stored on that small card. Verizon and Sprint are CDMA, so the information is tied to your phone rather than a card, I think.
Mobile to Mobile basically means that, if your plan supports it, any call to someone on the same carrier (Verizon to Verizon, AT&T to AT&T) is free.
It doesn't cost money to take pictures, it may cost money to send the pictures through text message if you don't have a text plan that covers.
And many phones do record video, some better than others.

So now that we have all that through with, let's get onto the phones and service. Of all the services, T-Mobile's service is the most affordable. They have decent coverage and work as advertised. AT&T is a little pricier, but not much. It's supposed to have better coverage, but after having been a T-mobile customer for 4 years and now AT&T for 4 months, I've found very little difference between the two, apart from the terrible billing problems. So, the extra I'm paying for AT&T is definitely not worth it, and in retrospect, I'd go to T-Mobile.
Sprint- I don't know too much about. My friend uses Sprint and she's happy enough with it. I've always thought it was more business oriented than anything, as you could tell by most of their phones.
Verizon is another service I'm using and it's been great. It's a bit more expensive, too, but I haven't had any problems with it at all. For that little extra, I think it's totally worth it.
The only thing is that Verizon is much more of a closed provider than say, AT&T and T-Mobile. What I mean is that, you're basically tied to whatever phone Verizon offers you. You can't change your mind on the phone and then go off and buy an unlocked phone and switch sim cards. Verizon locks down bluetooth transfers and if you want ringtones and whatnot, you have to buy them from Verizon itself.
With an unlocked phone, you can basically make your own ringtones, and just fiddle around and do more things with it. Though buying unlocked phones is costly, as well.
Anyway, I'm going round about, I think. So, I'll stop it at that and see if anything I said makes sense to you. Also, if you have any more questions, do ask away in here. I'm sure you'll find an answer.

Now onto phones. I'm gonna assume you're going with either T-mobile, AT&T or Verizon, so I'll focus on those phones. I'll stay away from Blackberries, and smartphones (i.e., phones using a Windows mobile OS) since I think they're unduly complicated for a first phone and you seem to be more into multimedia than anytihng else. So I'll suggest some multimedia phones for you.

AT&T
http://www.wireless...._sku=sku1130019
http://www.wireless...._sku=sku1190009
http://www.wireless...._sku=sku1150003

T-Mobile
http://www.t-mobile....4b-ec2cc238a4a9
Keep in mind that with a Sidekick, T-mobile requires you get a $20 data plan for the messaging and whatnot.
http://www.t-mobile....13-8e7329dc5da3
http://www.t-mobile....44-0a058792e71c
The RAZR2 is also offered by AT&T and Verizon, just so you know.

Verizon
http://www.verizonwi...gCompletedOrder=
http://www.verizonwi...gCompletedOrder=
http://www.verizonwi...gCompletedOrder=
http://www.verizonwi...gCompletedOrder=

Ok, so these are most of the phones I think you may like. But I don't know your preferences, so you may hate them too. In any case, you should always go to your local stores and check out the phones too, if any of them catch your eye. It's always nice to get a good feel for them and know what you want from them. So, hopefully this helps.

#3 milkham   Master Massaginist CAGiversary!   1325 Posts   Joined 14.5 Years Ago  

Posted 19 March 2008 - 09:33 AM

I've been a t-mobile customer since 2002 i think, never had any problems with them. I think i've only ever had to speak to customer service twice and that was because I had questions. Currently I'm using a blackberry pearl, you might want to check that out. it's a smartphone but its not much bigger than a closed motorola razr. the only downside is that since it doesn't have a full qwerty keyboard it might take some time before your thumbs learn to type on it. Should be very affordable now with new activation.

#4 eliter1   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   2934 Posts   Joined 11.0 Years Ago  

Posted 19 March 2008 - 09:53 AM

Service and your service provider is going to vary for everyone. For me AT&T works well and has some of the best coverage
around here (Santa Cruz, Ca.). As for a phone, you need to know how much you are willing to spend. Unlocked phones are more expensive but you can get some good deals from carriers sometimes. I got a Nokia N75 from AT&T. i know my way around cell phones so i unlocked it and i unbranded it. If price is not an issue, go for something like a Nokia N95 or Nokia N95 8GB. I personally would stay awya from an iphone. It doesn't have GPS or 3g. check out gsmarena.com for more cell phone options and reviews.

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#5 Koggit   almost sorry CAGiversary!   3886 Posts   Joined 14.4 Years Ago  

Posted 19 March 2008 - 04:39 PM

If AT&T has good coverage in your area (ask around locally) and you plan on getting a data plan, I'd say get an iPhone.

I have a Moto Q on Sprint. It's 3g, and supposedly Sprint's Seattle network is really fast, but it still takes longer for me to go online than friends who have iPhones just because of the phone sucking. You click something, it takes literally 10 to 15 seconds before the data bar moves... when the data's actually flowing it's pretty fast, but it just takes a while to establish a connection. My friends' iPhones establish right away, and even though the data flows slower, they usually get to the page faster, and they have the WHOLE page while I'm usualy in some gimped version that Windows Mobile 5 scaled to my phone. Only a couple sites work well. On iPhones, all the sites work well.

If you don't plan on having (or using) a data plan, then I'd recommend going with something else. Google Sprint SERO and see if you can still get SERO -- it'd be the cheapest, definitely. I pay $30/month for unlimited text and data, with 500 anytime minutes... most providers charge $60 or more for that.

#6 daminion   Bah CAGiversary!   2495 Posts   Joined 11.9 Years Ago  

Posted 19 March 2008 - 05:01 PM

Since it's your first phone ask yourself what you will do with your phone. Are you planning on sending many text messages? Is a camera really important to you? Or do you just want a solid phone to make calls with?

The bells & whistles of an iPhone or Blackberry are enticing, but they are only worth it if you actually use them.

IMHO a blackberry is best in a work environment, synced to a corporate exchange server. An iPhone is a nice phone to have for features, but it's expensive... and you are forced to go with AT&T. As an AT&T customer I have to say that the service sucks. Once my contract is up I'm gone.

I've had Sprint (2 years), Verizon (4 years) and Cingular/AT&T (4 years). Overall the absolute best voice quality and overall reliability is Verizon. But, they lock down their network and you cannot easily buy a new phone and just move your SIM card, or add your own ringtones. It (everything but moving your sim to a new phone) can be done, but it's not easy.

When I went with Cingular I wanted to create my own ringtones, and switch phones easily, but I took a huge hit in the quality of my calls and reception -- the primary use of my phone. And after about 6 months those novelties wore off.

If I were shopping today I'd be shopping for a verizon phone since their quality far exceeds anyone else.

#7 rdwd39   Banned Banned   290 Posts   Joined 11.4 Years Ago  

Posted 19 March 2008 - 09:24 PM

Since it's your first phone ask yourself what you will do with your phone. Are you planning on sending many text messages? Is a camera really important to you? Or do you just want a solid phone to make calls with?

The bells & whistles of an iPhone or Blackberry are enticing, but they are only worth it if you actually use them.

IMHO a blackberry is best in a work environment, synced to a corporate exchange server. An iPhone is a nice phone to have for features, but it's expensive... and you are forced to go with AT&T. As an AT&T customer I have to say that the service sucks. Once my contract is up I'm gone.

I've had Sprint (2 years), Verizon (4 years) and Cingular/AT&T (4 years). Overall the absolute best voice quality and overall reliability is Verizon. But, they lock down their network and you cannot easily buy a new phone and just move your SIM card, or add your own ringtones. It (everything but moving your sim to a new phone) can be done, but it's not easy.

When I went with Cingular I wanted to create my own ringtones, and switch phones easily, but I took a huge hit in the quality of my calls and reception -- the primary use of my phone. And after about 6 months those novelties wore off.

If I were shopping today I'd be shopping for a verizon phone since their quality far exceeds anyone else.


Actually moving phones on Verizon is incredibly easy. All you have to do is go to their website, create an online account if you do not already have one, and click the option that says activate phone. They ask for the serial number and it is activated within minutes. Sure moving a sim card over is pretty darn easy, but verizon's process is not as bad as it is made out to be. If you want to migrate your contacts, however, that does not happen when you activate a different phone. If you buy your phone in store, they will do a transfer for free or you can pay for the service if you bought a used phone from another source for $10.

#8 rhymenoceros   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   267 Posts   Joined 10.5 Years Ago  

rhymenoceros

Posted 20 March 2008 - 01:57 AM

If you sign up for Verizon's online account thingy, one of the perks is that you can backup your contact list and info online for easy porting, also.
And to clarify, Verizon doesn't use sim cards. Neither does Sprint.

#9 phear3d   NorAm = Fraud CAGiversary!   3971 Posts   Joined 12.2 Years Ago  

Posted 20 March 2008 - 02:02 AM

i have the Tmobile MDA Vario. awesome phone, got for free with a 2 yr contract through amazon. fully hackable, upgradable phone since its windows mobile. if youre tech savvy and loves the extra features like a mini computer, go for smartphones/windows mobile phones. i prefer the HTC's and the MDA's. also, the TMobile Wing is awesome. i'd look into the iphone as well since it can be used through tmobile but its expensive.

#10 sailorchrono   Boourns. CAGiversary!   501 Posts   Joined 14.7 Years Ago  

sailorchrono

Posted 20 March 2008 - 02:02 AM

I'd like to second Sprint's SERO plan. It's the best value of all the major providers, provided that Sprint has good coverage in your area. For that, I'd google to see the reviews for your area. Also, whatever you do DON'T GET A PALM. Terrible starter phone, and I sorely regret I got it. I had a Moto Q on Sprint as well, and while at the time I disliked it, getting a subsequent Palm made me appreciate all the more how great the Moto was compared to the Palm phone -_-

Oh <.< Sidekick was best phone I've ever used :3
I don't know what to put here :o

#11 Monstarr   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   294 Posts   Joined 10.6 Years Ago  

Posted 20 March 2008 - 02:25 AM

I was in the same boat as you. I was looking at the LG Shine and w580i because of the looks and music capabilities. They are on the at&t network which isnt shabby.

I went with T-Mobile and the Shadow. Got a 1 year contract and the phone for free after $50 MIR. Like stated above it runs windows mobile so I can connect it to my pc and customize it. It looks nice, plays music, and it is touted a a smart phone.

#12 Riyonuk   Perfectionist CAGiversary!   2448 Posts   Joined 12.6 Years Ago  

Posted 20 March 2008 - 02:43 AM

Heh, it seems I'm more concerned with looks and how it will impress people :P

#13 milkham   Master Massaginist CAGiversary!   1325 Posts   Joined 14.5 Years Ago  

Posted 20 March 2008 - 02:47 AM

Heh, it seems I'm more concerned with looks and how it will impress people :P


Well then, it sounds like you're buying an iPhone! I just ordered one myself.

#14 sailorchrono   Boourns. CAGiversary!   501 Posts   Joined 14.7 Years Ago  

sailorchrono

Posted 20 March 2008 - 02:48 AM

In that case, get an iphone, fool XD
Or import a nifty Japanese one? :P

DAMN, Milk beat me to it -_- Curse you! =P
I don't know what to put here :o

#15 Riyonuk   Perfectionist CAGiversary!   2448 Posts   Joined 12.6 Years Ago  

Posted 20 March 2008 - 02:51 AM

I always hear how these Japanese ones are so much more advanced, should I? Are they region free? I want clouds phone from advent children ^_^

#16 milkham   Master Massaginist CAGiversary!   1325 Posts   Joined 14.5 Years Ago  

Posted 20 March 2008 - 02:55 AM

I always hear how these Japanese ones are so much more advanced, should I? Are they region free? I want clouds phone from advent children ^_^


most japanese phones won't work here.

DAMN, Milk beat me to it -_- Curse you! =P


=P

#17 sailorchrono   Boourns. CAGiversary!   501 Posts   Joined 14.7 Years Ago  

sailorchrono

Posted 20 March 2008 - 02:56 AM

What happened to saving money for college? :P I wouldn't really recommend getting a Japanese phone because although they are more advanced than ours, not only will you pay an arm and leg for one, you might be SOL for features because they might not be compatible with whatever provider you're going with. And trust me, you're not going to get any help from your provider either. Honestly, for flash.. just get an iphone. I doubt too many of your peers will have one (unless you live where I do, and 2nd and 3rd graders have phones here.. god, I hate So Cal sometimes..).
I don't know what to put here :o

#18 Vinny   Bang, bang... pew... CAGiversary!   22353 Posts   Joined 13.8 Years Ago  

Posted 20 March 2008 - 03:01 AM

Look into Sprint Sero... check this topic on FW for more info on what's included with it. It's a good deal for $30. I don't use it as I'm on a shared family with Sprint- I have the Moto 9Qc, which is a pretty cool phone.
http://www.fatwallet...threadid=680568

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#19 milkham   Master Massaginist CAGiversary!   1325 Posts   Joined 14.5 Years Ago  

Posted 20 March 2008 - 03:04 AM

If you do go sprint, you might be tempted to go with that new palm centro or whatever the hell they call it. As a palm user from back in the palm III/palm V days (my last phone was a treo 650) I think you should avoid them. Their OS is positively ancient, though i still prefer it for most things over the windows phones, and even though its on an evdo data network the included browser is slow as hell. You can install third party browsers but man, it's polishing an old dry turd.

#20 tholly   R.I.P. HD-DVD CAGiversary!   1224 Posts   Joined 14.4 Years Ago  

Posted 20 March 2008 - 03:05 AM

iPhone

I just switched from Verizon (after being with them for 8+ years)....I love the iPhone. I don't know how I lived without it.

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#21 Riyonuk   Perfectionist CAGiversary!   2448 Posts   Joined 12.6 Years Ago  

Posted 20 March 2008 - 03:10 AM

But one thing is, although Blackberrys and iPhones are cool looking, when I see someone actually using them to call someone, they look so funny, cause there so bulky.

#22 milkham   Master Massaginist CAGiversary!   1325 Posts   Joined 14.5 Years Ago  

Posted 20 March 2008 - 03:17 AM

But one thing is, although Blackberrys and iPhones are cool looking, when I see someone actually using them to call someone, they look so funny, cause there so bulky.


the blackberry pearl is the same width and just slightly longer than a closed motorola razr

#23 Riyonuk   Perfectionist CAGiversary!   2448 Posts   Joined 12.6 Years Ago  

Posted 20 March 2008 - 03:18 AM

But the 2 letters to a key is just wrong, and the cam is weak. Plus pearl sounds so girl-ish.

#24 Panda Wizardry   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   2638 Posts   Joined 14.8 Years Ago  

Panda Wizardry

Posted 20 March 2008 - 02:35 PM

You could go with an iphone, then "fiddle" with it so that it works on T-Mobile.

#25 chex20   ....Marisa Miller CAGiversary!   320 Posts   Joined 12.4 Years Ago  

Posted 20 March 2008 - 02:52 PM

I have an iphone and let me tell you, it's pretty amazing. There's a ton of stuff on it and web surfing is on of the easiest to use. Also, come the new update (2.0) there will be even more stuff to do (the SDK). I also heard that Java will be coming to the iphone (better late than never).

And at $250 for an 8GB (at the ATT.com store, when available) is a steal. I use to have a blackberry, cool features and everything but just couldn't get use to it. Maybe I'm just biased, but the iphone has a lot to offer and will offer.

And as for GPS, there are 2 programs in the works that should be out shortly that will give turn by turn directions (but without voice)

#26 Riyonuk   Perfectionist CAGiversary!   2448 Posts   Joined 12.6 Years Ago  

Posted 20 March 2008 - 02:56 PM

Well the reason I find myself avoiding the iPhone is because, see at school, when people want to know the time or something, they just kinda pull there phone's halfway out of there pockets, and check. With the iPhone, don't you have to pull the entire thing, then touch the screen?

Also, I won't be using it for it's video and music capabilities, because I'm already getting a 160GB iPod. Someone here on CAG really really needs to do a review :P

#27 chex20   ....Marisa Miller CAGiversary!   320 Posts   Joined 12.4 Years Ago  

Posted 20 March 2008 - 03:28 PM

Well the reason I find myself avoiding the iPhone is because, see at school, when people want to know the time or something, they just kinda pull there phone's halfway out of there pockets, and check. With the iPhone, don't you have to pull the entire thing, then touch the screen?

Also, I won't be using it for it's video and music capabilities, because I'm already getting a 160GB iPod. Someone here on CAG really really needs to do a review :P


Actually, to me, its easier than my previous phones. All you have to do is click the button at the bottom and the time will show up at the top of the phone (or you can click the on button on the top right of the phone). The letters are pretty big. Great for me, because I have really bad vision. Then, if you really wanted to, then you can slide your finger across the touch display to turn the actual phone on. Another great feature is the instant silent button on the side, where you can push a button down to put the phone into silent mode (its above the volume controls).

I also didn't buy it for the music/video. I already have an 80gb ipod, a 8gb nano (free with my macbook pro purchase for back-to-school promo), and a 16gb ipod touch (got it when it first came out, and then later on I bought the iphone).

#28 Veronica Mars   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   2690 Posts   Joined 11.0 Years Ago  

Veronica Mars

Posted 20 March 2008 - 05:35 PM

I have the EnV.
I love that phone, especially since I'd rather txt then talk.
It goes for around 50-100 now :/

#29 Panda Wizardry   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   2638 Posts   Joined 14.8 Years Ago  

Panda Wizardry

Posted 20 March 2008 - 10:09 PM

My guess is that the OP wants a phone that will rival the iphone in the "cool" department, but doesn't want the iphone because too many people at school already have one. If that's the case then just wait a bit more and get this phone: http://www.gsmarena....ria_x1-2246.php

#30 Riyonuk   Perfectionist CAGiversary!   2448 Posts   Joined 12.6 Years Ago  

Posted 20 March 2008 - 10:19 PM

My guess is that the OP wants a phone that will rival the iphone in the "cool" department, but doesn't want the iphone because too many people at school already have one. If that's the case then just wait a bit more and get this phone: http://www.gsmarena....ria_x1-2246.php


Actually nobody in our school has an iPhone. Everyone has an iPod though ;)