Help me pick a phone

On Saturday, I mentioned that the iPhone wasn’t what I was looking for. But I really do want to replace my phone before it dies completely, so I visited the AT&T store this afternoon to look at the alternatives.

All I really need is Bluetooth (to work with the car) and voice. Quad-band is a nice-to-have, but not completely vital. I don’t care if I get a camera or not, and I’m not a texter. Clearly, I’m also not in the target market for phones these days. Every phone I looked at had a camera, a keyboard, or both; most also did music, and all of them had a prominent Cingular (err, AT&T) media button, which, if you don’t have a data plan, costs at least five cents every time you hit it by accident.

The only phone, in fact, that really made much of an impression on me was the iPhone. And since it comes with a mandatory unlimited data plan, the danger is gone (and there’s no Cingular button anyway). But it would be nice if it ran on a faster network than EDGE….

Your advice is eagerly solicited.

7 thoughts on “Help me pick a phone”

  1. We rarely have been in the “right” market for what the phones are offering. The cameras on phones just don’t work well. Color me a jaded photographer, but 1.3 MP doesn’t cut it unless you’re back in the 90’s. If I want to listen to music, I’ll grab my ipod, my laptop or get in the car! What I’d love to see is a phone that just is a phone. Remember those? Right, they were bricks that looked like walkie-talkies!

    What I have looked for is a phone that does what I need it to do, and will get the hell outta my way for the other things. If it is too hard to do the things I want, or too hard NOT to do the things I don’t want to (i.e. that Cingular button) I tend to bail on the phone.

    Haven’t found a marketer or engineer that makes one of those yet. Also haven’t found a phone salesperson who wants to sell me said phone. They don’t make money off us fuddy-duddy types, so they don’t want to deal with us.

    We don’t have AT&T so, our selections are a bit different than yours. But…

    Everyone I know who has purchased a RAZR has been happy. Just make sure to get a cover for it in case you drop or sit on it.

  2. I’m planning to get a data plan, so I can use the phone to connect to the internet when the DSL line is being flaky. Of course, we’ll use it with the laptop some, too.

  3. Don’t get a Nokia e70.

    I have one. Mostly enjoy it, but find it has some annoying deficiencies:
    – the fold out keyboard is not a US keyboard. It’s not a European keyboard either. Most alpha keys are where you expect them. Non-alpha keys are all over the place.
    – it seems memory constrained. Open the web browser and browse a few pages and you’ll start getting out of memory errors. The Gmail client works fine most of the time though so it may be the web browser app.
    – There’s some weird silos of information, like you can’t search in Notes (little notecards) nor copy text from the individual notes for email.
    – The SMS application seems slow.

    On the plus side:
    – the wifi support is great, with -G bands supported as well as WPA and WPA2
    – the J2ME support is great, Gmail and Google maps run well under it
    – battery life has been quite good (up to five days standby, maybe 2-3 days of active use)

    There are some midrange Nokias which don’t have phones, just have a standard numeric keypad, but also have bluetooth.

    Actually, come to think of it, if you’re on this coast at all (or even if you’re not) I think I have a Nokia 6810i which has bluetooth support but otherwise is a pre-camera, pre-gprs-surfing-etc phone. It’s currently in one of 300 boxes from our move but if it interests you let me know.

  4. A mutual friend of ours REALLY likes her BlackJack that she got through AT&T. As I recall, it also supports international calling as needed for the frequent trips she makes out of the country.

  5. What I wouldn’t do for an operational cell phone of any sort!
    We’re at the end of Week One in India (shabbat shalom, by the way), and I’m told that
    my phone will work internationally, beginning on Saturday evening (Bangalore time).

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