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Old 11-17-2010, 01:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Xerxys' guide to getting a cell phone.

Getting a cell phone? Wanna know what all the Hype is about? Here is something people in the USA should read before getting a cell phone.

I get this question a lot. What kind of cell phone should I get? What are the cool kids using? What do YOU recommend? What the hell is 3G? How do I switch networks with my current phone? What is "Jailbreak"?

So, here it is. A comprehensive guide to getting yourself a tool that won't bug you.

First most important thing to consider is how much money your going to spend each month. Personally, I don't believe in spending $99.99 a month on a cell phone plan but to each his own. Once you have your budgetary constraints outlined, you can proceed to the next step.

What do you use your cell phone for? A cell phone has many uses. Primarily a communication device but lately a mini yellow pages in your pocket. So, are you going to be a data intensive user because your like Martian and wikipedias everything someone says; just someone who wants to be able to send chain text messages (Of which, I will find you and smash your phone into the wall if you send me chain forwarded text messages!) or do you want to simply make phone calls and leave it at that. I think, though, the more important factor to consider is, do you travel a lot? Where do you travel to? Just the US or all over?

For people who travel about the US should consider getting service with the Sprint network. They have excellent coverage all over the US. So, truck drivers, forest gump cross country runner types (looks at crompsin) get sprint. I mean, sure, their customer service sucks large monkey ass but their service is stellar. unfortunately, sprint is expensive. If you live in a house or work in an office that is a deadzone then they'll charge you extra to get an AIRAVE. That's a little router like device that turns any internet connection into a mini cell phone tower. Not only is it expensive, but you can't take it outside the US.

Globe trotters should consider getting service from T-Mobile. They have this nifty service inbuilt for everyone who has an android phone equipped with Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) or simply put, wi-fi calling. That means if you are anywhere within a wi-fi service, like maybe a McDonalds in Canada, you'll simply use your regular minutes instead of getting roaming charges tacked onto your bill. T-mobile is also cost friendly. I currently am without a contract with them and LOVE it!!

Construction workers or for someone who just started a landscaping company, I would also advice them to get on with sprint. Instead of the conventional walkie-talkie, sprint acquired the NEXTEL company that has this Integrated Digital Enhanced Network (iDEN) service. A phone and a radio, meaning if you are anywhere in the US, we could still play pretend commando "**beep beep** I'm approaching the target awaiting further instructions, OVER!**beep beep**" "**beep beep** Copy that, execute target at will OVER!**beep beep**"

If you are starting an engineering company, and you have x amount of workers you might want to consider getting the blackberry brand of smart phones. They are built especially for syncronization with private corporate servers. This means that emails, callendars, agendas, instructions, word documents, etc etc etc are transmitted along an exceptionally secure channel to all your employees in the field.

AT&T and Verizon have EXCELLENT coverage! EXCELLENT customer service! EXCELLENT collections service. Thats about it. They're expensive, very expensive. Kinda like apple products. The only reason you would choose these two carriers is because of the phones they offer, which is also a foolish thing to do. Make no mistake about it, that phone that was shipped to you with an invoice of $0.00 doesn't actually cost zero dollars and zero zero cents. You will pay for it dearly when something goes wrong and you want to end your service for any reason but need to pay $200.00 early termination fee. That and even if you stick it out for the two years, you'll wind up paying the full price for the phone AND the cellular services provided. So what should you do? Reading this guide is a first step to cellular enlightment.

Do you like a phone so much that you just gotta have it? Pay full price. Don't wanna pay full price? There are many ways to getting something below retail sticker price. Craigslist is one, ebay is another, friend of a frustrated friend can also work too. A two year contract is a LONG time to own one phone. Electronics are only usually meant to last one year and if you have something as sophisticated as an iPhone that you carry in your pocket and utilize everyday then your bound to drop it a couple of times. That and the battery performance decaying after a while. Any number of things can go wrong, but you have to stick with the service because you don't want to pay the ETF. If you are jonsing for a new phone simply because it's "new, trendy and shiny" then consider this HTC releases a another version of their superior computing prowess every quarter. Are you going to want another trendy phone four months down the line? Will you afford it with a 2 year contract tacked under your belt?

What are the differences between carriers and why can't you simply just take one phone from one carrier to another? Well, many phones purchased from a carrier are locked to that carrier only. You can call your carrier and ask for the unlock code so that you can use it on another carrier IF they are on the same mobile telephony system. The most common telephony system in the US is the CDMA network. Sprint and Verizon are currently on the CDMA network, so are other little companies like virgin mobile, CricKet, US Cellular but you realize I don't pay much attention to them. This is because I travel too much and I don't want there to be a chance that I might not have coverage because I picked a cheap carrier. AT&T and T-Mobile are both n the GSM network. GSM is the most populart standard used in the world. It is cheap to maintain and if your phone has been unlocked, you can go to Paris, purchase a SIM card and BOOM, you've got service.

Besides voice and text messaging system, internet connectivity has become a big part of cell phone coverage. Internet speeds vary by the kind of service you have as well as phone. So, what are the differences between all these big words being thrown around like 3G, 4G etc etc etc? The "G" stands for "generation". Like you know how every five minutes theres a newer, faster computer than the one you saw which was better than the one you bought 10 minutes ago? Yeah, that also happens every year with cell phone carriers ability to deliver internet to you as optimally as possible. They constantly one up each other in a desparate bid to confuse the layman with technical jargon until he says "dammit, just gimme the phone so'z I kin git back home!". So, it starts from radio telephones to 1G-4G. 4G being the fastest.

There are many types of smart phones and many of them have different purposes. The main purpose for a smart phone is data versatility. Data meaning more complicated than text messages. If you want to look up the phone number to your favourite chinese restuarant so you can make a pre-order, you can use your phone if you have subscribed to data services from your wireless provider. So, like a penis, everyone who has a smartphone likes comparing theirs to others. Smart phones are optimized to function best with their corresponding carriers. Like an iPhone for example which is currently on AT&T can be "unlocked" to work with other GSM carriers around the world. But if you pruchase an iPhone that was once on AT&T and try to use it on another carrier, you'll wind up loosing some functionality like 3G service for example. Simply put, an AT&T 3GS iPhone will not have 3G on T-Mobile. It'll look, feel and work fine but short of that, you'll not be able to use the complete internet speeds offered by T-mobile.

The cool kids are now using Android phones. Android is not a brand of phone. Android is an operating system you use to interact with the phone. The same way you either have windows XP/vista/7 or macintosh running on your computer, people decided, "Let's stick it to the man!" and developed a "Free" operating system for computers like Linux. Same thing for cell phones. What happenned was, everything was different. If you had a Samsung phone and wanted a motorolla, you'd need NASA and congress approval to switch over your contacts and forgo the sweet sext messages you saved for later. With Android, all you need is a computer and a cable to connect the phone to your computer and you can transfer everything. Yay for sexting!

So, whats all the hype for iPhones? Nothing really, they're just very pretty!

Last edited by Xerxys; 11-17-2010 at 01:18 PM..
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I am happy with my iPhone 3GS. It can do anything and everything I ever wanted it to do and more, the thing is GORGEOUS, and it syncs with my Mac and my PC flawlessly. I don't even have dropped calls and slow 3G coverage.
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Old 06-13-2011, 06:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I love my virgin mobile phone unlimited everything for $60 a month. But I am concerned as they were just bought out by Sprint. I've heard a lot of complaints about Sprint. Anyone out there in the same predicament? Have you heard anything about how the takeover will change our services?
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I love my MyTouch4G.
Web access, wi-fi hotspot capabilities, camera, camcorder, calculator, datebook, flashlight, angry birds..... it even makes phone calls!
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Old 06-17-2011, 06:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My current mobile is a basic straight talk model that does phone calls and not much else. I chose it for the initial price, no contract, and low monthly bill. No complaints so far.
I am considering buying an Android phone at some point with another contract. My biggest 'must have' would be that it works through my wi-fi connection at home as I live in a complete dead zone for cell signals.
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Old 06-17-2011, 07:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm sorry man but I got as far as T-Mobile being cheap, Sprint charging for a booster, and AT&T having "excellent customer service" before suddenly developing a severe case of the screaming whafucks.

Down here in Orlando T-Mobile is at least $60-80 more expensive than sprint, AT&T is legendary for having the worst customer service there is pretty much, sprint will give you a free booster if your house is in a dead spot, and AT&T/Verizon are both far and away more expensive than sprint for any plan that will be using a lot of data (as an example two iphones are at $200+ per month while two droids on sprint with a lot more optionals is $130 tops).

I don't know where you live man but it sounds like bizarro world of AT&T has good customer service there.

I don't know
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Old 06-18-2011, 03:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I will be getting an iPhone 5 when it comes out on the Verizon network.
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Old 06-20-2011, 01:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I will be getting an iPhone 5 when it comes out on the Verizon network.
The iPhone5 won't be LTE, why get that when you can get an Android LTE phone that will be much much faster?
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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If you go by empirical factors the iphones are very nearly strictly worse but you've got to factor in the reality distortion field and effect of a status symbol.
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