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Need a new phone... clueless about what to get

By pyromaster114 ยท 11 replies
Nov 2, 2009
  1. So my phone is messed up, it's battery dies all the time, it shuts off for no reason, etc.

    I need a new phone, but I don't know which phone to get, and I thought maybe someone here could point me in the right direction. I use AT&T as my carrier, and unfortunately can't change that right now.

    I currently have a Samsung A707.

    The following things, the phone must have:
    1) Bluetooth.
    2) 3G, and able to be linked to my laptop with Bluetooth so that I can use it as a modem and dial out to get internet access on the go. (Currently my phone has an unlimited data plan on it, so I just dial out using the number that the phone uses to get it's internet, and I don't get charged extra for tethering.)
    3) Play MP3s.
    4) Micro SD slot.
    5) Decent camera.
    6) Preferably have a POP3 email client.
    7) Preferably have voice dialing.
    8) I really REALLY would like it if the phone had a full qwerty keyboard.

    I was thinking about the Samsung BlackJack II, but wasn't sure if it was worth it.
    I was also looking at the Samsung Impression A877, but it's a bit pricey.

    Does anyone know if the Samsung BlackJack II's GPS navigation requires an additional service from AT&T? Or does it simply work like my car's navigation system, purely off the satellites and a map database?
  2. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,430   +185

    I don't use ATT so can't give you the exact answer you're looking for.. but can provide a couple comments

    1. When you use your phone as a modem do u use BT to your computer?
    > BT 2.0 (as i recall) is only 3 megabits/sec vs.
    > USB cable is like 480 Mbits
    So BT is fine for contacts and synchronization, etc. but you might find USB far better if you need a serious computer data session (vs. just a quick connect where speed is offset by convenience of no USB cable)

    2. If your phone is Nav capable, then it also just works off of GPS satellites and a map database. It's only a matter of whether Nav is a feature included in your ATT plan
  3. pyromaster114

    pyromaster114 TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 243

    I use bluetooth to connect the phone to the computer as the USB cable seems to be a ***** to get to work.
    Also, the phone's data connection is no where NEAR 3 Mbits/sec. It's like 120 Kbits per second.

    I asked a person at the AT&T store, which I know is about as reliable as asking a dog, cause they're trying to sell stuff, and they said that:
    1) If I get a smart phone, I WILL be charged more for data.
    Now wait a minute... I have unlimited data now, on my A707... for 15$ a month... why and how are they going to know if I take that sim card out and put it in say a Nokia E71x, to charge me 30$ a month for data? HOW would they even know?

    2) If I get a phone that supports GPS, I will have to pay 10$ a month more on my plan... but he did say something about a certain navigation feature was what was being charged for... so I would assume if you used a more standard one, it wouldn't cost money?

    Note: Officially chosen the Nokia E71x as the new phone unless someone can point me in a better direction. So if anyone has this phone, will they kindly inform me of if basic GPS navigation on this phone costs money added to your standard plan? (Assume unlimited data is already on the plan.)
    Also, does anyone know if AT&T will actually know if I switch my sim card to this phone and don't tell them, that I'm using a smart phone with the data connection?
  4. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,430   +185

    Oh yea, I completely forget to consider the phone's actual data connection speed!
    Duh! :eek:
  5. pyromaster114

    pyromaster114 TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 243

    Apparently, the Nokia E71 (not the E71x) will allow me to use the Nokia Maps application, as well as any other application that I can find for the phone without any addition to the plan.

    So I'm still wondering... how are they going to tell if I take the sim card out of my phone and put it in an unlocked nokia E71, and charge me more for a data connection?
  6. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,430   +185

    I'm going to guess that just like every other network device each phone has a unique MAC address or something similar (thus they can tell if the physical device on the other end has been changed)

    Also... if you check the phone info on your phone, you'll find info unique to the h/w which i'm sure they can request over their data network
  7. pyromaster114

    pyromaster114 TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 243

    On account of that I can't possibly afford the Nokia E71 or E71x and it's pricey data plan... would someone care to recommend another phone? (Not a smart phone, one that's fairly basic, plays MP3s, and has bluetooth?) (Also, if possible, a full keyboard... girlfriend texts me way too much :haha: )

    I realize that it's not going to end up having an email client on it that's compatible with Gmail if it's not a smart phone... but since AT&T is a giant **** about data plans, I'll just settle for getting out my computer or using the web browser to check my email :haha: )

    I'm looking at the Samsung SGH-A717 (pretty much just the later version of my phone... doesn't have Nav. capabilities, but that's fine, I have my Garmin Nuvi for that). Unfortunately it doesn't have a full keyboard... really wish it did...)
  8. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,115   +9

    i own the blackjack II and you can app unlock it to use the gps with google maps for free as long as you have unlimited data plan :) and i really like the blackjack II but it doesnt connect via bluetooth as far as i know but you can unlock it to use it via usb cable to use internet off it on your laptop.
  9. pyromaster114

    pyromaster114 TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 243

    The blackjack II counts as a smartphone though right? AT&T will jump down my throat and charge me 30$ instead of 15$ a month for my data plan... so not sure I can afford it...

    The initial cost of the phone isn't what will kill me, it's the cost of the plan... right now I'm having trouble paying bills and I only pay 15$ a month for data a month because I have a 'dumb' phone... now if this thing only had a POP3 email client, I'd just buy another one of these.
  10. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,115   +9

    yeah the data plan is 30 a month unfortunately
  11. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,115   +9

    i didnt realise you had the samsung sync god i hated that phone
  12. pyromaster114

    pyromaster114 TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 243

    Can you recommend a better phone? Possibly one with a full keyboard, but still doesn't count as a 'smart' phone?
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