My smartphone issues

At the dawn of another two-year contract agreement, I’ve realized that the time is finally here to trade in my well-loved (and broken-down) cell phone for a smartphone. Yes, I’m moving on up! Unfortunately, a lot of choices, uncertain post-undergraduate plans, and a small budget are giving me a lot of headaches. After weighing the options, and researching as much as possible online, I’m still hopelessly lost.

So, this is when I need a little advice…

Device choice?
I know a lot of people love their BlackBerrys – and I would happily join their ranks. But is it really the best smartphone? Are there other devices which could provide similar functionality for a smaller price? Should I buy online through Amazon, or through the provider?

What are must-have features?
I honestly don’t know how many of these features compare. Essentially, what features do I need and which phone will give me the most for the least amount of money?

Should I trade providers?
I’m currently with Verizon, and their coverage in my area is pretty good. But their smartphone plans are the most expensive and I don’t know how the coverage is in other areas. Is AT&T’s coverage improving? What about Sprint and T-Mobile?

Any and all suggestions are welcome! Help!

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7 comments about "My smartphone issues".
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  1. Lisa Sommer from Michigan Nonprofit Association , March 4, 2008 at 9:57 p.m.

    Ugh I JUST went through this same decision and purchased a smartphone this weekend. It took me about 2 months to decide it was time for the "upgrade" from a cell phone. I bought the Motorola Q and have Verizon service. So far I'm happy, but it's only been a few days. We will see! Good luck!

  2. Tobey Miller from Advanced Direct , March 10, 2008 at 8:30 a.m.

    I was with AT&T before they became Cingular and was very happy with their coverage. I would assume it has only improved. Most of my friends and family are on Verizon and with the IN calling feature, I barely use my regular minutes. I did not want a contract so I bought a Chocolate phone from them and was able to get their EasyPay calling plan which they don't offer anymore but it's as close to a contract-type calling plan as you can get. I bought my phone from the vendor because, although you can get a great deal on ebay, you can't get a free replacement if something goes wrong and my screen went gonzo after 3 months. Verizon replaced my phone, no problem. My brother bought a BlackBerry from Verizon (with contract) and he lives up in the STICKS! He gets great coverage and has been really happy with his device. I found I didn't really need as sophisticated device as a Blackberry so long as my phone had a calendar and decent options for contact information and voice commands (which the Chocolate does), I was OK. Good luck in your search. It's not an easy one but I'll say this, as far as customer service goes, Verizon has topped them all for me.

  3. Brian Gardner from Advertising Vehicles , March 10, 2008 at 8:40 a.m.


    I went through this agonizing process a few months ago. Actually, my decision was more carrier-related as opposed to phone/device-related. I'd been with Verizon & carried a Palm Treo 650 for a couple of years. The service was outstanding, and I loved the phone. Of course, I longed for greener pastures, and I was lured away to Sprint with a ridiculous employee discount plan. I know pay $50 less per month (my wife & I have 3 phones & a silly amount of services), and I swithced to the HTC Mogul. My wife upgraded to a Motorola Q. It was actually a pain in the backside for a few months, and the service was spotty. I must say, however, that Sprint's service has gotten surprisingly, unexplainably, as good as Verizon's (better than???). They're supposed to be crashing and burning, but I'm actually enjoying the service.

    Regarding the phone(s), I've learned to love my Mogul, although I wish it were a one-handed device, so I could use it more easily while driving...did I type that??? My wife LOVES here's sturdy, easy to use and dependable. So I hope that confuses you a little more. I think rates are better with Sprint, but I often hear others complain about their service.

    Regardless of the carrier, GET A SMARTPHONE! You won't regret it. The email feature alone is worth the cost. The mobile web is pretty darned cool too.


  4. Melanie White , March 10, 2008 at 8:48 a.m.

    I bought my Motorola Q about a year ago through Alltel. I don't mind the phone if I could get a good one. I'm going on my third phone through them. For some reason there is a bad batch of these out there. Through Alltel you want to be for certain what your options are with the plan also. They made comment that some of the phones functions were going to be supported and have now decided against that. My advice is ask lots of questions and there is a website out there where you can play with various phones and there functions before buying. I believe it is, but can't be sure. Good Luck!

  5. Andy Havens from OCLC , March 10, 2008 at 9:06 a.m.

    I'd make the choice based on a couple issues:

    1. If you will be using your wireless data plan a lot, be prepared to cough up the dough, period. AT&T's plan looks cheaper on the monthly payment, but you end up paying more if you go over your data allotment. I made the decision to go with Verizons $40/month all-you-cal-eat because that way I don't have to think about it.

    2. If you have good access to WiFi where you work and live, and that's mostly what you need for Web access, pick a phone with WiFi connection and try it without a data plan for a couple months; you can always go back and add one.

    3. If you are OK with a tiny little keyboard, then the Blackberry-style is find. I actually do a lot of email on the go, and so got a my Verizon Pocket PC because the little slide-out keyboard is big enough that I can actually thumb-type, as opposed to poke-poke-poke with one finger, which is what I have to do on the smaller, condensed key-board models.

    5. Web browsing options are going to be better on a Mobile PC as opposed to Blackberry. Not bad on the BB, but there are more browser options, plug-ins, etc. on the Mobile PC platform. If you'll be doing a bunch of Web surfing, I'd recommend Mobile PC over Blackberry.

    6. Same on other software -- book readers, games, utilities -- there's more out there on the Mobile PC platform.

    Hope that helps.

  6. Aldo Bender from SmartSystems Media Group , March 10, 2008 at 9:26 a.m.

    It's quite simple. Do AT&T and spend real money on a smart phone, don't do it on the cheap! I use the Nokia E90 which is an expensive phone with a real keyboard and big screen but I have NEVER had any issues with it. You really do get what you pay for, maybe wait for the 3g iPhone...

  7. Amado c Salinas ii from Trinity Tech Media, Inc. , March 10, 2008 at 9:59 a.m.


    Before you leap into the high cost Smart-Phone package.
    Optd-in for a FREE Uronimo Mobile account. Your current device does have the ability to view MMS & Video ( PUSH & PULL)

    Upgarde your current mobile plan to include unlimited SMS/MMS/WEB access. ( about a 20 USD upgrade from your carrier).

    Then log in and use Uronimo to get, send, create unlimited (SMS/MMS/Video/Music/Images & FullMotion Video ability)
    Blast out you Cool Media Rich MMS & Videos to all your OPTD in contact numbers.
    ** send yourself a quick MMS/Video Test to your current mobile phone **

    PLUS a FREE Mobi page ( think of it as Mobile MySpace or Mobile U-Tube on STEROIDS)

    Visit my mobi page via your mobile device (public access) ( I have made my videos public )

    our application works on over 90% of mobile devices with no application needed to download to view and use.

    Call me if you have questions

    Amado C. Salinas II
    V.P Sales