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Of phones, and smartness (Or: Help me pick a smartphone/carrier)

RaggaholicRaggaholic Registered User regular
edited January 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
Alright, about a month or two ago, I ended my phone service with Sprint. I was with them for around three years and just got a little fed up with a few things. I stayed on because they promised me a deal on a phone that they wouldn't later honor. Stupid move on my part, but I canceled my service over it. Now, I'm in the market for a new phone.

I've been working on my JD/MBA for the past few years and I've been surrounded by smartphones. At first I didn't care, then I was a little envious, then I saw just how productive they were. I started giving them casual looks a while back, and the phone Sprint promised a deal on was the Treo 750w. I've really had my mind set on them for a while, but the problem is I don't know nearly enough about them.

So I turn to you, the minds of H/A. What phone would you recommend? I'm open to all of the networks, even if it means going back to the evil empire of Sprint. I'd like a phone that has bluetooth, wifi (if possible), something on the 3G network (if possible), something that can handle 3rd party applications kind of easily, and something that can edit MS Office documents. The camera, style, touchscreen, mp3 capabilities aren't really that important to me. I expect that I'll probably have to spend $300-$400, although I'd love to pay less.

So H/A, what do you recommend?

Raggaholic on

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    KMFurDMKMFurDM Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited January 2008
    http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-phone-service/cell-phone-details/?device=AT%26T+Tilt(TM)&q_sku=sku1060009

    I don't use AT&T...but if I wanted 3G, it's the only option. My phone (very similar to the Tilt) is 3G capable but T-Mobile is dragging their feet.

    KMFurDM on
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    enderwiggin13enderwiggin13 Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    I have the AT&T Tilt and couldn't be happier. I think it's a full blown PDA and not a true smartphone. I think a smartphone is a phone with some added productivity tools whereas a PDA is a productivity tool with added phone features.

    Anyways, as to the phone, it's running Windows Mobile 6, has MS Office, has a 3rd party app for most anything, runs bluetooth, wifi, 3G (check the coverage in your area first). I much prefer the Windows Mobile to the PalmOS, it just feels more comfortable to me - also more customizable. The screen is one of the biggest I've seen on any PDA, but it's still not that big of a phone. It's got a full qwerty keyboard that slides out, and the screen tilts up at an angle when the keyboard is out for a more comfortable viewing angle. Of all the phones I tried, this one had the most comfortable keyboard.

    Customizations I've gotten mostly came from: http://forum.xda-developers.com/index.php
    At least, that's a good place to start if you want to do any of that.

    The Tilt is $299 w/ a new contract at AT&T, but I got it through Amazon for $199 and it looks like they even have a $50 rebate now: http://www.amazon.com/AT-T-Tilt-Smartphone/dp/B000UWDU5K
    I was a bit worried about signing up through Amazon, but it gave me no problems and they give you all the info needed to activate the phone.

    The basic voice service (450 minutes a month, 5000 anytime minutes a month) is $39.99 and unlimited data (w/ 1500 texts) is $39.99. You should also check to see if your school or business has a discount cause I was able to get a decent discount on my monthly bill this way: https://www.wireless.att.com/business/authenticate/

    This is all what I think of the phone, but what you need to do is visit the store (AT&T or otherwise), pick up the phones, see what they feel like and how they work. Don't use the crappy ones they have tethered to the wall, I asked to see a full model of the Tilt, cause it's hard to get a feeling of how it works or how much it weighs when tied to the wall.

    enderwiggin13 on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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    RaggaholicRaggaholic Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    I have the AT&T Tilt and couldn't be happier. I think it's a full blown PDA and not a true smartphone. I think a smartphone is a phone with some added productivity tools whereas a PDA is a productivity tool with added phone features.
    I've been looking at the Tilt and I'm liking what I'm seeing. From what I understand, it can be unlocked and used on a T-Mobile network as well. I've found a few places online with some deep discounts on it very similar to your Amazon one.
    You should also check to see if your school or business has a discount cause I was able to get a decent discount on my monthly bill this way: https://www.wireless.att.com/business/authenticate/
    This is gangbusters. I've found that if I go with it, I'm eligible for an 8% discount. Thanks a lot.

    UPDATE: Unbelievable timing on this, but I just found out that I'm eligible to get a prize (contest at work) and one of the prizes is a Samsung Blackjack I. I've been reading some reviews of it and I see it's an older phone without a lot of things that seem standard on Smartphones now. But... I wouldn't have to worry about signing a contract or paying anything out of pocket (well, activation maybe). Is it worth it?

    Raggaholic on
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    GihgehlsGihgehls Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Hot damn do I ever love my iPhone.

    Gihgehls on
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    RaggaholicRaggaholic Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Gihgehls wrote: »
    Hot damn do I ever love my iPhone.
    I'd like a phone that has bluetooth, wifi (if possible), something on the 3G network (if possible), something that can handle 3rd party applications kind of easily, and something that can edit MS Office documents. The camera, style, touchscreen, mp3 capabilities aren't really that important to me.

    The iPhone doesn't do anything that I'm looking to have done. I'm glad you like it, though.

    Raggaholic on
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    starmanbrandstarmanbrand Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    I'll second the tilt. my girlfriend has one and only uses it for standard things, but I love dicking around with it, and she loves its functionality.

    Also, I've only used AT&T as far as cellphones go and I have never had a problem with service or anything. The only place I am out of service is when I go somewhere I know I will be. I usually have higher service than anyone else I am with. I live in Southern California, so ymmv.

    starmanbrand on
    camo_sig2.png
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    DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
    edited January 2008
    I owned the predecessor to the tilt (8525) and switched to a Blackberry. Couldn't be happier.

    Unknown User on
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    enderwiggin13enderwiggin13 Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Raggaholic wrote: »
    UPDATE: Unbelievable timing on this, but I just found out that I'm eligible to get a prize (contest at work) and one of the prizes is a Samsung Blackjack I. I've been reading some reviews of it and I see it's an older phone without a lot of things that seem standard on Smartphones now. But... I wouldn't have to worry about signing a contract or paying anything out of pocket (well, activation maybe). Is it worth it?

    I know you'll have to pay an activation, but I'm not sure about a contract. I looked at the Blackjack and personally it wasn't for me. It's a little more akin to a Blackberry but I didn't like the navigation/control or screen size. The Blackjack II was a little better, but I still preferred the Tilt. Also, is it running WM5 or WM6? I've never used WM5, but I hear that 6 is leaps and bounds above 5. Really it's all up to what you're comfortable with, hit up an AT&T store and play with the Blackjack to see if its comfortable for you.

    I can tell you my opinions, but you'll never really know what you like until you hold the phones yourself and try them out.

    enderwiggin13 on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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    DeicistDeicist Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    I used to have a Windows mobile based phone (the XDA Trion) but recently moved to a Nokia N95 '8GB' and couldn't be happier. Admittedly I don't have much call for typing on the move, but it can deal with word docs easily enough. Also, it's much snazzier than Windows mobile devices tend to be.

    Deicist on
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    RaggaholicRaggaholic Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    robothero wrote: »
    I owned the predecessor to the tilt (8525) and switched to a Blackberry. Couldn't be happier.
    Which Blackberry do you have?

    Raggaholic on
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    DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
    edited January 2008
    the new Curve, with the GPS

    Unknown User on
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    CreepyCreepy Tucson, AzRegistered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Tallus wrote: »
    I used to have a Windows mobile based phone (the XDA Trion) but recently moved to a Nokia N95 '8GB' and couldn't be happier. Admittedly I don't have much call for typing on the move, but it can deal with word docs easily enough. Also, it's much snazzier than Windows mobile devices tend to be.

    It'd better be nice for $700. Holy shit. I'd cry like a baby when I eventually dropped that thing on the pavement.

    Looking at an HTC wing from T-mobile. I didn't think of the Amazon angle (thanks!) so it looks like I can get one for $150. I'd go 3g but At&T and Verizon's data plans for smartphones are ungodly expensive. (i.e. I want unlimited internet AND a cellphone bill under $100/month and ideally under $60)

    Currently have a Verizon VX9800 and it's ok but I miss being able to load programs,dick with the phone in general etc & Verizon doesn't make that easy. Also, the antiquated Openwave browser on it sucks. I hear they may be upgrading to the Telus browser they're shipping on the Voyager but I bet that won't be anytime soon.

    T-mobile's coverage ain't so hot (but getting better) in AZ but they have very reasonable unlimited internet plans.

    Creepy on
    Live: Broichan

    PSN: Broichan
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    GihgehlsGihgehls Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Raggaholic wrote: »
    Gihgehls wrote: »
    Hot damn do I ever love my iPhone.
    I'd like a phone that has bluetooth, wifi (if possible), something on the 3G network (if possible), something that can handle 3rd party applications kind of easily, and something that can edit MS Office documents. The camera, style, touchscreen, mp3 capabilities aren't really that important to me.

    The iPhone doesn't do anything that I'm looking to have done. I'm glad you like it, though.

    That's funny, because mine does all of those things. And I love it. But I guess the iPhone isn't for everyone.

    Gihgehls on
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    SeptusSeptus Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    robothero wrote: »
    I owned the predecessor to the tilt (8525) and switched to a Blackberry. Couldn't be happier.

    Any specific reasons?

    I never tried the 8525, but I did try it's cousin the Sprint Mogul, and with about 10 minutes of use, I thought the UI was utter trash. Now, maybe WM6 is much better, maybe Opera would be much better than IE on the phone, but I couldn't stand it. I do, however, love having a touchscreen and the form factor of the slide-out keyboard.

    I still really want an iPhone, but I already have a Zune so the most that I can really justify is getting something for email and browsing. Email is easy, but I've not seen a phone besides the iPhone that satisfied me for browsing. Also, it's a cheap data plan.

    Septus on
    PSN: Kurahoshi1
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    RaggaholicRaggaholic Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Gihgehls wrote: »
    That's funny, because mine does all of those things. And I love it. But I guess the iPhone isn't for everyone.
    Can your iPhone edit Office documents? Is it on a 3G network? Can it run third party applications? Maybe there are different models out there, but my sister has one and hers can't do any of those things.

    Raggaholic on
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    GihgehlsGihgehls Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Hey dude, I'm not trying to force an iPhone down your throat. Everyone has different tastes and desires. I just wanted to make sure you weren't flat-out dismissing it because of what you may have heard.

    My iPhone can run 3rd party software which can indeed edit Office documents. This is because it is jailbroken, a process which took me all of 5 minutes to complete. It isn't on 3G, since that isn't "possible" (your words, when you asked for advice.) It does indeed have bluetooth, it does indeed have wifi. If you aren't comfortable with the idea of jailbreaking, the wait for the official SDK will be extremely short. The SDK will be out in February. Around that time is when your sister is going to have bitchin software on her phone.

    Does your computer edit Office documents? It doesn't, not until you install software to do it. Same goes for the iPhone. I haven't owned a windows mobile device in years, so I don't know what software comes with it.

    Gihgehls on
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    RaggaholicRaggaholic Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Gihgehls wrote: »
    Hey dude, I'm not trying to force an iPhone down your throat. Everyone has different tastes and desires. I just wanted to make sure you weren't flat-out dismissing it because of what you may have heard.
    No, you're trying to make sure everyone knows you have an iphone and how cool it makes you. That's it. Everyone else's posts are informative. Yours is "I love my iPhone." No mention of capabilities. No mention of what I asked about. If you couldn't tell from the first post, I'm trying to get a phone for productivity, not so I can try and impress girls at the mall. I don't know what computer you're running, but I didn't have to "crack" my PC to install office.

    Maybe this just isn't the thread for you, so run along.

    Alright, I'm leaning heavily towards the Tilt (but not opposed to hearing about others) and will be heading to an AT&T store to handle one. Anyone know how the GPS works on there? I've heard they have a pay plan, but I've also heard that it works for free with Google. Anyone have any info on that?

    Raggaholic on
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    DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Check out the Moto Q Global. I think it does everything specified in the OP.

    The Opera browser gives you some web page rendering options that Mobile IE lacks. They are still shit compared to Safari though.

    Djeet on
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    enderwiggin13enderwiggin13 Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Raggaholic wrote: »
    Anyone know how the GPS works on there? I've heard they have a pay plan, but I've also heard that it works for free with Google. Anyone have any info on that?

    There is supposed to be some pay-per-month service you can get through AT&T, but you're paying for the software, not the GPS itself. The GPS is included and works with the Mobile Google Maps program (and others) for free. This is not a full featured GPS device-like product - it doesn't call out directions to you - although you can buy TomTom for Windows Mobile if you want something like that. Mobile Google Maps is just like your regular Google Maps but there is an "Enable GPS" option that will show you on the map and allow you to search for directions to and from your current GPS location.

    I have a fairly good internal compass/map, so I don't use it often, but I have used it a handful of times to find detours around traffic or accidents in areas I'm less familiar with.


    I also thought I should mention that the least handy aspect of the Tilt, strangely enough, is the phone. It has an onscreen keypad (although you can slide it open and use the keyboard) and in situations where you have to enter numbers while on a call (like providing a tracking number to FedEx), the screen has turned off. It is helpful to have the screen turn off while talking, so your face doesn't accidentally hit a button, and all you have to do to bring the keypad up is quickly press the power button (i think it requires you to hold the power button for 4 or 5 secs to power down, so you won't accidentally do that). I think there are some voice dial apps out there and you can pay extra for PTT (push to talk), but I use the software on there 90% of the time and only use the phone about 10% of the time so this isn't a problem for me. The one thing I found handy was a customization I installed - I think it's a stock app for the HTC touch - that allows me to map my most frequently dialed contacts to a couple quick access buttons that are large enough for me to hit with my fingers.

    There are enough customization options out there to achieve most things you could want to do though (like remapping the PTT button to do something useful. My friend has a Tilt also, and while they look identical hardware-wise, they look completely dissimilar software-wise. If I can figure out how to grab a screenshot I'll post one for you to see.

    Default look
    t.gif

    Mine
    tilt.jpg

    enderwiggin13 on
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    RaggaholicRaggaholic Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Djeet wrote: »
    Check out the Moto Q Global. I think it does everything specified in the OP.

    The Opera browser gives you some web page rendering options that Mobile IE lacks. They are still shit compared to Safari though.
    I just did some checking on the Moto Q Global and I have to admit, I'm impressed. The only issue is I really don't need a world phone, as I don't see myself leaving the country for any amount of time in the next couple of years. Is the Global just a regular Q with world phone capabilities?

    Raggaholic on
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    DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Raggaholic wrote: »
    The only issue is I really don't need a world phone, as I don't see myself leaving the country for any amount of time in the next couple of years.

    It still works fine in the U.S.... silly :P
    Raggaholic wrote: »
    Is the Global just a regular Q with world phone capabilities?

    I'm not sure, sorry. I never really played with the non-global version. I was just looking at new devices as those are the ones the carriers push on you (and thus offer the best concessions on).

    Djeet on
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    RaggaholicRaggaholic Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Djeet wrote: »
    Raggaholic wrote: »
    The only issue is I really don't need a world phone, as I don't see myself leaving the country for any amount of time in the next couple of years.

    It still works fine in the U.S.... silly :P
    Ha, of course I know that. I know that some phones don't work overseas (mine didn't when I went to Portugal) and I assumed this was one of the big draws. I ask about the difference because the Q Global is substantially higher in price than the regular Q, so I was wondering if I could save a buck or two and just get the regular one.

    Raggaholic on
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    GihgehlsGihgehls Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    The global Q has a new processor and extra ram. Also instead of the normal IE, it comes with Opera Mobile. They also took out the mobile Office in favor of Documents to Go. They also added GPS. You also get a sharper two-megapixel camera. It's bulky, but the internet on it is faster even than using Wifi at my office, and the call quality is superb.

    Gihgehls on
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    fallaxdracofallaxdraco Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    I use a palm Centro with sprint SERO. $100 for the phone after a $50 rebate, and $30 a month, total, for 500 minutes and unlimited text and data. The Centro does almost everything a Treo755 does, and after I got used to the keyboard I can type as fast as some friends of mine do on their rumor and env. I did a lot of research and there is NO other way to get this much for so little money, so if cost is a concern this is what I'd recommend. However, if you want a top of the line smartphone that would work through SERO, I'd get an HTC Mogul or Touch.

    http://reviews.cnet.com/smartphones/palm-centro-red-sprint/4505-6452_7-32624745.html
    http://www.fatwallet.com/t/18/680568/

    fallaxdraco on
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