phone envy.

Okay. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve chosen some poor phones in my life. Like our Uniden cordless phone which I just bought another rechargable battery for – the third one it’s had in over two years. At this point I’m thinking of building one myself. Or the Motorola V101 – when Sandy and I signed up for the Rogers Family Plan some 16 months ago now, we both got one of these. I thought it would be really useful to be able to easily write SMSes on the keyboard and use ICQ Mobile – and I was right, and I used ICQ Mobile a lot. But I soon learned that the 101 is horrible, absolutely horrible as a voice phone. Also, the interface is just crap. I don’t think Motorola learned how to make a decent cell phone menu until very recently. Sandy ditched hers in favour of a Motorola C332, but found it to be very quiet, and the battery seemingly held very little charge (might be defective). You might remember that I had to unlock that phone. She just switched again and bought a Sony Ericsson T226, which she loves. I think this one is a keeper for her.

Anyways, this story is about me, and I still have the V101. I barely use the SMS anymore because I’m no longer behind the evil firewall of doom at work, so I can use ICQ and MSN from my PC. The usefulness of having a QWERTY keyboard is almost gone. It’s pretty big for a phone, and the phone volume is bad, but better with the handsfree. I’m thinking of replacing the V101 with something else, but I’m not sure what. Spending money on a new one (which I would have to buy outright) wouldn’t seem to be worth it for the amount of time I use my phone. I could switch over to Sandy’s old C332 but there’s the lingering battery issue.

Ideally I’d like to have a phone that has IrDA or serial data cable capability – so it can communicate with either my PC or my Newton. The C332 only has a USB data cable, so that wouldn’t be useful for my USB-less Newton. Bluetooth would be future-proofing but those phones are still expensive. Right now I’m jonesing for the old days of my Nokia 5160 and data cable. Can anyone suggest to me a decent GSM phone with IrDA? It doesn’t have to be available new. IrOBEX and IrCOMM would be required though. Also, price is an issue.

I wish there was a huge matrix/table somewhere comparing all phones and their features…


3 replies

  1. Well, I’ve been out of it for awhile as far as phones go… I used to be “all up on it” but then I got off it when I got married and needed my money for other things. So I can’t tell you which handsets are the best or have feature X or Y. However, i can offer one key buying tip for the holiday season:
    Plenty of cell providers offer phones for free, or cheap — if you sign over your soul to them for X number of years. However, not all retailers are that concerned with enforcing the providers wishes. Here’s how to get the phone of your choice for free/cheap:
    Walk into a retailer, such as Future Shop, when they are busy (this is crucial) and lay down on a phone (meaning, go to a salesperson and tell them you want it without them having to do any work — obviously you’ll need to do your own research online, a good habit to get into anyway). Tell them you’re buying it for your significant other and you want the X number of years deal. They’ll say great, and then want to do the sign up for you. Tell them you’d need the credit information of your significant other, which you do not have with you. Assure them that you’ll sign up for the X number of years deal as soon as you give them the phone.
    If all goes well, and they’re too busy to care, they’ll ring it in on the X years deal, put fake information into the computer just to get you out of the store. Then, when you actually activate the phone, say nothing about the deal and tell them you paid full price. The phone provider and the retailer count on each other to make the system work — if you get around one, you’ve gotten around both.
    If it doesn’t work out for you the first time, get angry, tell the salesperson that you want the present to be a suprise, and you aren’t happy with the service. Walk away and come back later, or go to another store.
    It may seem a little sneaky, but no more sneaky then the itsy-bitsy fine print the Cell companies put on their “free phone!” ads. And it works — we got our phone for $30 on a 2 year deal, but only activated a 1 year plan…

  2. That’s sneaky, but then again, I am devious 😛

  3. Did you sell the Motorola V101?

    I’ll buy… how much?