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  1. #1
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    Default Need some smart phone smarts

    Finally breaking down and looking into smart phones. But the info I get is confusing.

    Looking into various plans we find unhelpful info from the providers.

    We'll probably buy our phones outright & go with a no contract plan.

    Cost is important.

    We don't text & probably won't.

    So, questions, in no particular order:

    1. Red Pocket Mobile: Any good? Are there a lot of dead zones or is there coverage pretty good? Their pamphlet mentions "unlimited MMS" What are MMS?

    2. 500 MB mobile web: Enough? $10 more ($60/mo.) for 2 GB. Is that worth it?

    3. Do you find coverage good (or bad) with your provider? Which ones have the best coverage & which are worst?

    4. Simple Mobile: Again, any good? What about Virgin, Boost, Cricket, Net 10, and all the others?

    5. Any gotchas from your provider?

    6. Good places to unlock a phone? Cost?

    7. Any advice?

    Thanks
    Last edited by Pilot; 04-27-2013 at 03:45 AM.

  2. #2
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    First
    These are all virtual providers which means they simply buy bandwith off of one of the major carriers. You need to find out which one to make your decision.

    If you don't text do you need a smart phone? If you feel you do, what are you using it for? Then you need to estimate how much data are you going to use?

    If it were me, I would get a straight talk phone from Walmart unlimited everything for I think 45 a month. Oh and one on Verizon.

    Depending on where you are and go the biggest downfall is that these brands can't roam on other networks.

    Hope this helps
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  3. #3
    Platinum Member Scotty Dive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pilot View Post
    Finally breaking down and looking into smart phones. But the info I get is confusing.

    Looking into various plans we find unhelpful info from the providers.

    We'll probably buy our phones outright & go with a no contract plan.

    Cost is important.

    We don't text & probably won't.

    So, questions, in no particular order:
    .
    1. Red Pocket Mobile: Any good? Are there a lot of dead zones or is there coverage pretty good? Their pamphlet mentions "unlimited MMS" What are MMS?

    2. 500 MB mobile web: Enough? $10 more ($60/mo.) for 2 GB. Is that worth it?

    3. Do you find coverage good (or bad) with your provider? Which ones have the best coverage & which are worst?

    4. Simple Mobile: Again, any good? What about Virgin, Boost, Cricket, Net 10, and all the others?

    5. Any gotchas from your provider?

    6. Good places to unlock a phone? Cost?

    7. Any advice?

    Thanks
    1. MMS is texting. Just means multimedia. You say you won't use it but you might be surprised. And others will text you and send you pictures via their phone (MMS). If you are selling something, you can send a picture immediately to the buyer and vice versa. shots of the kids or grand kids....same thing. No idea about red pocket. Your best bet is AT&T or verizon. Find out what the coverage is where you live, commute, work and travel. There is nothing more frustrating than lousy service and dropped calls.
    2. 90% of users use less than 500 megs per month. 97% use less than 2 gigs. Do you have wifi or access to wifi internet? Ask yourself what you will be using the phone for - Reading emails and reading the news- low mb usage. If you are downloading pictures, music, tv shows or movies = high mb's or gb's.
    3. Depends on your area. If you want your phone to perform you want to behind wifi or LTE. AT&T is the only carrier that will allow you to use data at the same time you are on a voice call it can be important to some people who do not want to hang up to get the picture, file or email you were on the phone just discussing.
    4. They buy onto the same networks as the larger carriers do. There is no way they can afford to build out these huge networks. AT&T spends 20 billion a YEAR to build and upgrade. I am sure Verizon does the same. T-Mobile and Sprint are trying but are behind.
    6. Carriers subsidize the high cost of the phones over a two year contract. Buying an unlocked phone makes you pay the cost of the phone up front.....costly, but you may be able to use that phone with another carrier IF the use the same network technology. Find out first.
    7. Advice - all phones text - some are designed to do this better than others - that is usually seen in a sliding key board versus an on screen one. Android devices are really nice and all carriers and almost all manufacturers use this operating system. Very customizable and lots of applications (apps are what makes the phone) IOs - iPhone is a very good device but is less customizable but is solid - no owners manual - just easy to use out of the box. However there are better, faster, larger etc. than an Iphone. Its a trade off. Lots of Apps for Ios. Stay away from Blackberry - they are really far behind and are dying on the vine - just like Palm did. There are lots of windows mobile phones but they have limited in the number of apps. Your best bet is the Android or iphone phones. Good Luck....
    Last edited by Scotty Dive; 04-27-2013 at 09:27 AM. Reason: added info and corrected grammar mistakes
    Thanks,

    Scotty Dive
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotty Dive View Post
    1. MMS is texting. Just means multimedia. You say you won't use it but you might be surprised. And others will text you and send you pictures via their phone (MMS). If you are selling something, you can send a picture immediately to the buyer and vice versa. shots of the kids or grand kids....same thing. No idea about red pocket. Your best bet is AT&T or verizon. Find out what the coverage is where you live, commute, work and travel. There is nothing more frustrating than lousy service and dropped calls.
    2. 90% of users use less than 500 megs per month. 97% use less than 2 gigs. Do you have wifi or access to wifi internet? Ask yourself what you will be using the phone for - Reading emails and reading the news- low mb usage. If you are downloading pictures, music, tv shows or movies = high mb's or gb's.
    3. Depends on your area. If you want your phone to perform you want to behind wifi or LTE. AT&T is the only carrier that will allow you to use data at the same time you are on a voice call it can be important to some people who do not want to hang up to get the picture, file or email you were on the phone just discussing.
    4. They buy onto the same networks as the larger carriers do. There is no way they can afford to build out these huge networks. AT&T spends 20 billion a YEAR to build and upgrade. I am sure Verizon does the same. T-Mobile and Sprint are trying but are behind.
    6. Carriers subsidize the high cost of the phones over a two year contract. Buying an unlocked phone makes you pay the cost of the phone up front.....costly, but you may be able to use that phone with another carrier IF the use the same network technology. Find out first.
    7. Advice - all phones text - some are designed to do this better than others - that is usually seen in a sliding key board versus an on screen one. Android devices are really nice and all carriers and almost all manufacturers use this operating system. Very customizable and lots of applications (apps are what makes the phone) IOs - iPhone is a very good device but is less customizable but is solid - no owners manual - just easy to use out of the box. However there are better, faster, larger etc. than an Iphone. Its a trade off. Lots of Apps for Ios. Stay away from Blackberry - they are really far behind and are dying on the vine - just like Palm did. There are lots of windows mobile phones but they have limited in the number of apps. Your best bet is the Android or iphone phones. Good Luck....
    Wow. So much info that is simply wrong.

    I.E. It depends on the technology in you area and the phone, not the carrier as to making calls and using data at the same time. T-mobile allows simultaneous voice and data with most phones across its entire network. Verizon does as well.

    And: Blackberry has some great new phones out with Keyboards that are seeing success. They aren't going anywhere soon.

    And so on....

    I recommended doing some more research before offering very outdated advice.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member Scotty Dive's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need some smart phone smarts

    Sailfast.....thanks for the opinion. I actually work in the industry - specifically mobility. Maybe you do too? In any event I guess it is a matter of opinion...but let me be clear. 1. I was only trying to assist.

    As for making calls and using data at the same time. It is a very common misunderstanding, but only with ATT can you use a data session AND a voice session at the same time. You cannot do that with any other carrier as far as I know. People think they can but they cannot.

    Blackberry does have a VERY loyal following and they have a new phone out, but it is not going to save them in my opinion. They have less than 3% of the market of new phone sales. There new device and OS maybe the best (its not btw) but it is probably too late for them. Most companies are abanding that platform and they are just not investing in it. You may be a loyal follwer and love their devices, but you cannot argue with the facts - they have lost a huge amount of share and going forward it will be Android, Ios, WM and BB - the Symbian os is now almost dead and there probably is only room for two OS's out there to capture any significant market share. They had it all but lost it. Developers write applications for IOS and Android first and then maybe BB....its a lot of development costs. It just makes sense. WM makes a great OS but it just can't compete with Android and ios because of lack of APP development. In my opinion, they may make a dent in the market, but there are certainly the underdog.

    Lets keep to the facts and help the original poster. If you disagree with my facts, then please post your sources so I can learn. I only have 18 years in the mobility business and am learning all of the time. I am always on the look out for new info - it makes me a better employee.
    Thanks,

    Scotty Dive
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Need some smart phone smarts

    Go here to narrow your search.

    GSMArena.com - GSM phone reviews, news, opinions, votes, manuals and more...

    I just bought an unlocked Samsung android from these guys, service was excellent.

    Negri Electronics: Shopping for High End Unlocked Wireless Devices, iPhone, BlackBerry, Samsung Galaxy, Tablets, Digital Camera and more

    Once you discover texting, you'll wonder how you did without it.

    Still the best phones for texting and email integration are the Blackberry's, handsdown.
    Tim.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotty Dive View Post
    Sailfast.....thanks for the opinion. I actually work in the industry - specifically mobility. Maybe you do too? In any event I guess it is a matter of opinion...but let me be clear. 1. I was only trying to assist.

    As for making calls and using data at the same time. It is a very common misunderstanding, but only with ATT can you use a data session AND a voice session at the same time. You cannot do that with any other carrier as far as I know. People think they can but they cannot.

    Blackberry does have a VERY loyal following and they have a new phone out, but it is not going to save them in my opinion. They have less than 3% of the market of ne phone sales. there new device and OS maybe the best but it is probably too late for them. You may be a loyal following and love their devices, but you cannot argue with the facts - they have lost a huge amount of share and going forward it will be Android, Ios, WM and BB - the Symbian os is now almost dead and there probably is only room for two OS's out there to capture any significant market share.
    You clearly must work for AT&T then or not actually work in wireless.

    If you actually worked in wireless you would know that Tmobile and Att use exactly the same basic technologies. Hence both have simultaneous voice and data.

    Simultaneous voice and data works on my personal Nexus 4 on T-mobile every day.

    That is just one of the easily verified facts that you got wrong.

    As for the blackberry, I'm not particularly a fan, but BB company will be around and sported for longer than the useful life of any phone purchased today. No reason not to get one if it works for you.

    Edit: so I see you edited your post to add more puffery... I will not do your research for you. 18 years in the industry... What does that mean? Been a att customer for 18 years? Hopefully you haven't been working selling phones for 18 years.

  8. #8
    Super Star Member k0ua's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need some smart phone smarts

    Opinions are like xxxxxxxxx everyone has one... BUT I have had 2 company provide Blackberry's over the years, and I hated them. The company decided to not provide phones to us anymore and I got a Motorola droid razr on Android, and I don't miss the old 'berry at all. If I felt that way about the Blackberry's, I bet lots'a other people felt the same way. I think the sales figures speak for themselves. Either stick with the Apple or the Android and you will be happy with either. I have heard that apple's have better resale value when you are done with them. There are tons of apps for either the Apple or the 'droid. Enough to keep anyone happy.

    James K0UA
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Need some smart phone smarts

    We have had good luck with TMobile and ATT. We switched to ATT because they had a better data plan than TMobile at the time. Both had good coverage for us. You need to make sure the service provider has the coverage you need. They should have coverage maps on their websites. Since we go to FLA frequently, have coverage on the roads we take is important. There might be a blind spot here are there but it does not last long.

    For good prices on smart phones check out NewEgg, Amazon, and Walmart. Yes Walmart. Carefully consider the cost of contract free phone vs buying a phone on contract. Radio Shack sells phones and plans but I don't know if they have good prices. They did not have good prices when we bought the Galaxy S years ago.

    When we bought our first smart phone, a Samsung Galaxy S, they were $200 then dropped to either $150 or $175 on Amazon. NewEgg had them for $50 and we had to switch to ATT. We just bought a dumb phone for one of the kids which locked us into a two year contract. What we wanted to do was to buy a new Galaxy S 3 for the wifey, turn off the data in her old phone and give it to the kid. ATT told the wifey she could do that but when she went to the store they said she could not but at that point she had bought the Galaxy S 3. Long story short, we returned the phone to ATT even though it cost us $30 and then went to Walmart where they had the phone for $40. Since we were locked into a contract with the dumb phone we got two new Galaxy S 3 phones for $110, $40 for each phone plus the $30 we had to pay for the restocking fee. So for a two year contract we have three brand new phones including the dumb phone. Amazon is selling an unlocked Galaxy S 3 for $276. Since we would be paying ATT in any case, the new phone costs us nothing. The only reason we would cancel ATT is if we had a financial disaster and the cell bill would be a who cares.

    We do not use much data away from a WiFi network. We have 200MB a month per phone and we seldom use more than 10-20% of the plan. We have used up the data on vacation but we just bought some gigabytes for the trip.

    It is funny you brought this up since we were going through this churn this week. The new phones arrived yesterday. I have to say, I did not want a new phone but since it was going to cost me $40 I bought a new one, and it sure is nice. The display is much better than the old phone and the battery life seems better. We have not had the phones long enough to directly compare our day to day usage but I think they phones will be much better than what we had and worth $110. The phones have some features that were not on the old phone and is important to me.

    Later,
    Dan

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Need some smart phone smarts

    Quote Originally Posted by k0ua View Post
    Opinions are like xxxxxxxxx everyone has one... BUT I have had 2 company provide Blackberry's over the years, and I hated them. The company decided to not provide phones to us anymore and I got a Motorola droid razr on Android, and I don't miss the old 'berry at all. If I felt that way about the Blackberry's, I bet lots'a other people felt the same way. I think the sales figures speak for themselves. Either stick with the Apple or the Android and you will be happy with either. I have heard that apple's have better resale value when you are done with them. There are tons of apps for either the Apple or the 'droid. Enough to keep anyone happy.

    James K0UA
    James makes a good point about resale if you buy an unlocked phone. Since our two sets off smart phones cost us either $50 or $65 a unit, I don't really give a rats behind about resale.

    The thing that does bother me with resale is that some of your data is on the phone vs a memory card. If you resale, you need to make sure that you really did remove any data that you consider private.

    Later,
    Dan

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