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Old 04-01-2010, 06:07 PM   #1
Franca
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There might be some overlap here with the other cell phone thread going and if so, I apologize, but I was getting lost in it.

Up to now we have had fairly basic cell phones. I have taken the odd (very bad) photo with mine, and used it to listen to mp3s when our car's CD player died, but mostly it's just been a phone. However, our contracts have gone well past the two-year mark and it's time to review the options once again.

A number of friends and family members now have iPhones or other "smart" phones that they can use to browse the Web and collect email, as well as download music, games, and all sorts of things I probably don't need. But it got me thinking ... is this a good way to go for travelling? Sometimes we find ourselves without internet access for our laptops. Since we need phones anyway, would this be a useful backup internet plan? Cell providers even offer plans for temporary international service; we tried this last year (just for phone, not internet), and if this works as well for internet as well as it did for phone service it could be a life saver in Canada and Europe.

If so ... iPhone or Droid or some lesser "smart" phone? Can one still try out phones for 3 days before committing to make sure the cell coverage is decent? We wouldn't want to switch providers only to discover that coverage is even worse with the new provider than it is with the old one. Our neighborhood is in a Verizon dead zone and Verizon doesn't seem at all interested in plugging the gap, but we don't know if AT&T or other providers are any better. We truly despise AT&T but if it should turn out that their service (coverage, not customer) is best we may not have a choice but to go that route. If Verizon is the best we can do, then no iPhones ... at least not unless/until the rumors of iPhone availability with other providers prove to be true.

I hate phone shopping.

   
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:13 PM   #2
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franca: at least not unless/until the rumors of iPhone availability with other providers prove to be true.
I know squat about cell phones but there was an article in today's Washington Post by their tech reporter and he says any rumors of iPhone on anything other than AT&T are unfounded hope so his recommendation was...

Don't hold your breath or make a decision on a cell phone based on the possibility of getting an iPhone from anyone other than AT&T...'-}}

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Old 04-01-2010, 11:49 PM   #3
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Yeah, not holding my breath.

   
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Old 04-02-2010, 12:49 AM   #4
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In January last year I bought my second Sony Ericsson phone – one with an 8 megapixel camera in it, because it was the only non-phone thing I used in my previous SE. And I've hated it ever since. It won't connect to my Mac (the previous one did, and there was nothing in the specifications I saw before buying it that said it would not talk to my Mac. The phone was hard to set up, and connecting it to the PC was a pain. Had to have a special app, and connect in just the right order. It lost photos I thought I'd downloaded to the PC, I couldn't work out how to add new ringtones, so I was stuck with the default. This is all probably my fault, but nothing about it was intuitive.

About three weeks ago, out of my initial plan, I gave in and bought a new iPhone 32G S and love it. It connects happily to the Mac, I have added ringtones, it does 3G and WiFi seamlessly, and taking photos and uploading them to Facebook or the Mac is easy as. I haven't registered it on my Windows laptop, but as it syncs automatically with iTunes, I imagine that it is probably close to being as easy as with a Mac. I've added a few apps and use them (love the one that finds my closest library!).

Of course, here we aren't limited to a single provider, so I was able to negotiate a plan with my existing provider, which has reasonable coverage and service.

   
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Old 04-02-2010, 01:10 PM   #5
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Of course, here we aren't limited to a single provider, so I was able to negotiate a plan with my existing provider, which has reasonable coverage and service.
Thanks for the thorough iPhone review! I've just learned that it's possible (though not simple) to buy an "unlocked" iPhone. Seems they come from Australia. Will do more research but it probably requires jumping through more hoops than I'm interested in dealing with right now.

If I can determine that AT&T's cell service is better than Verizon's at our house I may go that route (if my husband doesn't veto the idea) but if Verizon is just as good then the iPhone will be out for now. My husband really doesn't want to have anything more to do with AT&T if he can help it and I don't care for them much either. Some people have had good customer service experiences with them, but we are not among them.

   
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:58 PM   #6
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If I can determine that AT&T's cell service is better than Verizon's at our house I may go that route...
I haven't checked in well over a year, but after some digging I did once find a coverage map at AT&T's site that let me drill down enough to see that there is (or was then) a 3G dead spot smack dab over my house. Go one house to either side and there was at least minimal coverage, but not my house. <sigh>

   
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Old 04-08-2010, 04:15 PM   #7
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I haven't checked in well over a year, but after some digging I did once find a coverage map at AT&T's site that let me drill down enough to see that there is (or was then) a 3G dead spot smack dab over my house. Go one house to either side and there was at least minimal coverage, but not my house. <sigh>
Same here ... stayed with Verizon. Got a new Droid! Steep learning curve, but I'll get there.

   
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