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Mobile phones drive me fucking crazy.

TerrorbyteTerrorbyte __BANNED USERS regular
edited January 2007 in Games and Technology
I didn't want to hijack the other phone thread you see on the front page, since the OP was looking for purchasing advice while I was just psycho-venting. So, I figured I'd start a thread to see if like-minded dudes wanted to bitch and moan along with me.

Background: I consider myself a reasonably technology-proficient dude. Like, If MacGuyver is a 10, I'm around 7 or so. Generally, I like the explorative nature of learning new things about consumer- and professional-level products and I'm quite curious by nature. Of course, this is all generally speaking, because I fucking shit the bed every time I come in contact with mobile phones.

The plans confuse me. The rates confuse me. The networks confuse me. The lock-in and branding drives me nuts (and confuses me to an extent). The phone features confuse me, as well as confound and disappoint me. It's like, I walk into a Cingular, T-Mobile or Verizon store and I feel like someone just jammed a BlackBerry up my ass.

Just a few weeks ago, I went in looking for a new phone and was all, "So, I'm looking for something that I can tether to my PowerBook as a modem via Bluetooth."

[blank stare]

"You know, to take advantage of that EVDO 3G bullshit you yap on about?"

[blank stare]

"Do you have a phone that isn't a $500 Windows Mobile device that I really don't need, but doesn't completely suck a dick, isn't hampered by your absolutely retarded standardized interface and isn't just a half-assed MP3 player masquerading as a decent mobile phone?"

[blank stare]

Verizon Dude: "Uh, you can do contacts."

The thing that sucks is that there isn't a phone that's right for me. I don't need an MP3 player. I have an iPod. I don't need a cameraphone. I have no less than 5 digital cameras that will all outclass it easily. I don't want a mobile fucking office suite, I just want to check my e-mail every one in a while. I don't want to use your half-assed data services and take it in the ass with highway-robbery-rape-murder rates, I just want to occasionally check the web for some crazy shit.

It really, really sucks being this frustrated with a potential purchase. It's like there's three segments and I don't fit into any of them:

1. Basic Phones: Not enough features.
2. Media-centric: Redundant features.
3. Business-centric: My e-mail is not worth $150 a month.

Fuck.

Terrorbyte on

Posts

  • ben0207ben0207 Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    I don't give a shit if I get jailed or whatever for this, so here goes:

    DO YOU EVER SHUT THE FUCK UP WHINING? EVEN FOR JUST 10 MINUTES?

    ben0207 on
  • TerrorbyteTerrorbyte __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2007
    It's the Internet. Of course not.

    Terrorbyte on
  • stigweardstigweard Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    I feel the same way. Where I live, there are three major and one minor provider and the only one with a decent selection of phones is overloaded and unreliable. We are behind the times in North America and have to suck it up and compromise. Pick a few phones that have the minimum functionality you need and just ignore the extraneous features. Don't rely on the opinions of the reps either. More of them are hired for their appearance than their technical knowledge. Once you have a few in mind, research them on places like howardforums and see how they work on the providers you have available. Be sure to verify the bt features you want to use aren't purposely gimped by the carrier (ala verizon and telus).

    stigweard on
  • TerrorbyteTerrorbyte __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2007
    stigweard wrote:
    Once you have a few in mind, research them on places like howardforums and see how they work on the providers you have available. Be sure to verify the bt features you want to use aren't purposely gimped by the carrier (ala verizon and telus).

    Yeah, my contract ending with Verizon kind of caught me by surprise and I figured I'd test the waters before doing, like, serious research. I've heard of the tethering in some of the HTC Windows Mobile devices, but the practicality of something that big and powerful just doesn't fit with my usage pattern. Same with the BlackBerry Pearl or whatever. I was hoping there'd be a nice, comfortable mid-range that had the Bluetooth/3G functionality I was looking for. Instead, I got bombarded with 500 shitty MP3 phones.

    I don't think I'm going to stick with Verizon. I think that a slower mobile broadband network with their GSM competitors would be worth it for the greater unlocked phone selection. I have my eye on the SE M600, but it's an uphill battle to justify the price to myself.

    If the iPod Phone is a bust or fails to materialize, I think I'm just going to wait until we get the mobile telecom chips implanted into our brains.

    Terrorbyte on
  • apotheosapotheos Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited January 2007
    ben0207 wrote:
    I don't give a shit if I get jailed or whatever for this, so here goes:

    DO YOU EVER SHUT THE FUCK UP WHINING? EVEN FOR JUST 10 MINUTES?

    I should jail you for bad grammar. Shut the fuck up whining? I guess you mean "stop whining and shut the fuck up". Anyway. I don't mind this thread. Continue. But stop bitching about the meta stuff.

    Also, I will never again live without a Blackberry. It is absolutely fucking brilliant, and along with the email and messaging the unlimited data plan means Gamerankings access in any store, or IMDB access in blockbuster, etc. Its like sex in my pocket without the stains.

    apotheos on


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  • FrogFrog Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    I got the Blackjack with Cingular for $82 bucks after $100 rebate and 2-Year contract renewal. All I can say is that I love the phone, does everything I want it to do and far, far more. Only drawback is the battery life, it lasts one day before needing to be charged, and does not come with a car charger out of the box. It does come with a second battery though, which rocks. Try calling up Cingular and seeing what sort of deal they can work out for you.

    Frog on
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  • cr0wcr0w Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2007
    I'm incredibly resistant to even having a cell phone. I wouldn't have one if I didn't absolutely need it in case of emergency. I use it for maybe 15 minutes a month, I have no need for all the bells and whistles on them, and I honestly would be happy without it.

    cr0w on
  • TerrorbyteTerrorbyte __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2007
    apotheos wrote:
    Also, I will never again live without a Blackberry. It is absolutely fucking brilliant, and along with the email and messaging the unlimited data plan means Gamerankings access in any store, or IMDB access in blockbuster, etc. Its like sex in my pocket without the stains.

    The mobile data access is a really, really, really sexy feature to me, but I guess I was dissuaded by the really business-centric status of the thing. I guess you really don't find the personal utility of the thing until you start using it routinely. How is the battery life on your model?
    Only drawback is the battery life, it lasts one day before needing to be charged

    Ouch. I guess that thinness required some compromises, but the second battery was might kind of Cingular.

    Terrorbyte on
  • AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist The Skies of HiigaraRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    I just picked up a new cell phone. It's cool, I guess, although it's a bit smaller than I preferred. I got it for two reasons:

    1) It's free.

    2) It uses Bluetooth.

    I agree that the camera feature is redundant, but there are times when it could be nice. but most of my gripes are easily with the plans/activation BS. there's a reason pay as you go and prepaid phones are so popular -- people don't want to think about when they can call, how they can call, and so on.

    Is it because the networks can't handle the traffic? Is that it? If so, just SAY SO!

    I think Alltel's on the right path. Pick 5 people, you get to call 'em for free. Beyond that, you are under regular scrutiny. See, that would work for me.

    Athenor on
    He/Him | "A boat is always safest in the harbor, but that’s not why we build boats." | "If you run, you gain one. If you move forward, you gain two." - Suletta Mercury, G-Witch
  • TerrorbyteTerrorbyte __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2007
    Pick 5 people, you get to call 'em for free.

    I think T-Mobile had something similar. This was really attractive, though you get less overall minutes (it's like digital three card monty) - my Mom and my girlfriend pretty much horde at least 80% of my overall minutes every month.

    I'm very wary of the "gotchas" in the service plans, though. Verizon was particularly bad about letting you track you minutes - they'd dump in all your free minutes with the minutes that counted against your service plan, thus making a simple audit of minutes used a fucking calculus final exam problem.

    Terrorbyte on
  • stigweardstigweard Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    I would imagine they are like the other carriers; if you want better information, you have to pay 3-5$/mo for detailed billing. They gouge so far on everything, it is a wonder they can get away with the extra service access fee they charge on top of the rate plans.

    stigweard on
  • PikaPuffPikaPuff Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    apotheos wrote:
    Also, I will never again live without a Blackberry.
    It's like $80/month. I've been away for cell phones for a long time, but that feels expensive.

    PikaPuff on
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  • apotheosapotheos Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited January 2007
    PikaPuff wrote:
    apotheos wrote:
    Also, I will never again live without a Blackberry.
    It's like $80/month. I've been away for cell phones for a long time, but that feels expensive.
    Well Ill be honest. My work pays for mine. However, if they didn't or I moved jobs I'd pony up the dollars in a second.

    I don't know what model the other guy has but mine is an 8700 series and it lasts 3 or 4 days.

    apotheos on


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  • RohaqRohaq UKRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Just one thing about cameras on phones; they are really useful in some situations, such as if you're in a car accident; you have a camera on you that can take pictures of the damage caused at the scene of the accident, without needing to keep a separate camera in the car.

    Also, there are times when carrying a standalone camera is unwieldy, such as if you go out on the town with your friends. In this case, having a camera in my phone means I can quickly take snaps of my friend getting very drunk and getting off with this strange looking girl, then review the picture the next day and holycrapitsaguy. Dude, you're straight and you got off with another guy!

    We still haven't let him live that one down :D

    Back to the topic; having a camera on the phone is more useful than you think, even if you won't use it very much.

    Also, I have a T-Mobile MDA Vario, it's a PocketPC phone, lacks 3G, but it only costs me £20 a month and give me £60 to spend on national calls and texts.

    Rohaq on
  • AresProphetAresProphet Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Oh man. Tethering. The moment you even think about tethering your phone to your laptop, cell phone companies get dollar signs in their eyes.

    To my knowledge both Cingular and Verizon require data plans of either $59 or $79 in order to tether a phone. T-Mobile will let you do it for something like $29 but they don't have a 3G network. Sprint might let you do it for cheapish, but I left them before they rolled out EV-DO so I'm not sure. They have some kickass plans these days, though.

    As a bonus, Verizon cripples Bluetooth on their phones and may not let you tether with it. I know OBEX is disabled, I'm not sure about the profile that supports tethering. If you want to tether over Bluetooth, you probably need to switch carriers.

    Find whatever calling plan works for you, and tack on the tethered data plan for a lot of money. Your options for carriers are either Cingular or Sprint, and Cingular's tethering plans are outrageously expensive. It's currently $59.99 in some markets, but in most 3G markets it's been bumped up to $79.99. Yeah. $79 US dollars. Per month.

    As far as equipment goes, man you're in for a headache. First you're going to want a Bluetooth 2.0 device; 1.2 is supposed to work just fine, but better safe than sorry. Second, you'll need not only the phone but the appropriate software. Motorola has their Mobile Phone Tools (it's like $29) that works very nicely, but any Motorola you can tether doesn't have EV-DO or UMTS. So that's out. On Cingular, Sony Ericssons have a very nice set of PC tools you can download for free on their website, but they too lack 3G.

    Unless you go with a Windows Mobile device, you're going to be stuck with an LG or Samsung, most likely. And their PC software is such utter shit that it may not even be worth the effort.

    Windows Mobile 5.0 devices do support tethering, and I'm sure Microsoft provides everything you need to get it to work on a PC, but you said PowerBook so I don't know about that.

    Save yourself the hassle and don't go into stores and ask about tethering. In three years of selling phones I don't think I've had a dozen people even ask about it, maybe half of those were serious about doing it, and none of them ended up buying a plan to do it. They mostly just stick with aircards. The salesman in a store doesn't know anything about that shit, because it never comes up. Try www.howardforums.com and see if anyone over there has advice.

    I don't know if your PowerBook has a PCMCIA slot, but if it does an aircard will be a hundred times easier to set up and use.

    If you can settle for not using your laptop on a carrier's network for internet, then do look at some of the PDA devices. Dunno what Verizon's offering other than the Q (mixed reviews on that one) but you can't go wrong with a Blackberry. The 7100 series is a little slimmer, doesn't do camera or multimedia, and makes internetting and emailing stupidly easy. Cingular has a Blackberry plan that's only $30 a month, which is reasonable for unlimited data.

    AresProphet on
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