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View Full Version : Cell phone illiterate needs help


vikingshadow
11-21-2007, 02:56 PM
Doing some Christmas shopping and I was thinking of getting my daughter a new cell phone since for the last year she's had the crappy free thing I got when I signed her onto my plan.

Do I have to get her a phone from my provider (high dollar phones make me not want to buy one at all...) or can I get one from somewhere else? These so-called "unlocked" phones? All I would have to do is just switch the SIM card over, right?

Or is it possible to "unlock" a phone myself? Finally, what's the phone all the kids are in to these days?

Thanks for the help, fellers! :)

Critical
11-21-2007, 03:12 PM
If you have a carrier that uses SIM cards (i.e. AT&T or T-Mobile), and I assume you do, since you asked, yes, you can purchase an unlocked handset and swap the SIM over to it. The difference is that you are paying full MSRP, which can be anywhere from $49 to as much as you are willing to pay. You can pay to have a phone unlocked, but it's far easier (and faster, and probably cheaper in the long run) to buy it already unlocked. Sorry, can't help you with what's hot. I'm in the wrong demographic.

STRIKEFIRST
11-21-2007, 03:29 PM
blackberry pearl rocks...but i'm o l d

vikingshadow
11-21-2007, 03:36 PM
Hmmmm, might have to see about these unlocked phones, then. Ebay good, maybe?

So then it's a myth that you have to use the phones from your carrier, right? There aren't any penalties or such (how would they know if you were using a different phone?)

Paradox313
11-21-2007, 03:44 PM
Personally I love my Razr. Stupid name, but I don't use it more than Texting, and calling.

That's what I would get. I think I bought it for like $30 or something around there.

Hossy
11-21-2007, 03:47 PM
Vike... the sim card thing only works if its a company that uses sim cards, so if you have a company like Sprint or Verizon, your out of luck.

Ebay is a good place to look, but what kind of phone is she looking for? and what service do you have?

vikingshadow
11-21-2007, 04:05 PM
I have Cellone (AT&T just bought them out). I believe it uses the SIM cards because both our phones have them.

She doesn't know that I'm considering this, she just made mention about a month ago that she'd like a new phone. That was it.

I have a RAZR and I like it a lot, but then I only use it for calling - we don't have texting. I'm also not that hard on phones, and being that she's 15, I figure she'll be a bit rougher than me.

Any suggestions? I just looked on eBay, and I'd rather buy new as you never know what you get with used things, especially phones...

Critical
11-21-2007, 04:16 PM
I believe that both tigerdirect and newegg sell unlocked handsets, as do the Best Buys (in this area, probably not in yours). Just google unlocked handsets or something like that and you'll get millions of hits for stores that sell new unlocked handsets.

badlandsrox
11-21-2007, 06:40 PM
uhh... coulda sworn that i already said this but its been a long day, and i must not of, BUT

The LG Chocolate Flip (LG8600) is a really good phone (not sure if they have them in GSM, but im almost sure that they do), the camera on them isnt great by any stretch, but it also has a music player with 1 GB flash drive. One thing about them though, is that if you get a scratch on the front, it might mean replacing it if it is over one of the three touch buttons on the front, as it may continuosly read that it is being "pressed", although the front is fairly scratchproof, and the only scratch on mine is from falling out of my car doing 100 on a crushed gravel road,

calebh
11-21-2007, 11:08 PM
the only scratch on mine is from falling out of my car doing 100 on a crushed gravel road,
uhhh... i assume there's a story behind this?

but ya, the chocolate is a pretty "cool" phone. i have a phone made by samsung that's very simlar to the chocolate for quite a bit cheaper. i have no idea what it's called though.

of course, the iphone is always cool, but unlocking them is apparently a good way to turn them into pretty bricks. you're already on att, so that's not a problem, but the down-payment-on-a-car-sized price tag might be a turn off.

motorola has a blackberry-like phone that i've seen around. it's old enough that the price probably isn't super high anymore, but it's still cool and not outdated yet (except by the iphone) those blackberry thingys are kind of useless if you don't have a data plan, though.

big phones that do EVERYTHING are becoming popular, but the price tag is as big as the phone sometimes.

i'd say get the cheapest, smallest phone you can find. cell phones are supposed to be portable, and the do everything boxes some people are carrying around now are anything but. there's a tiny one that just came out. it's slightly larger than 2 clothespins side by side. but that's all i know about it. i don't even remember who makes it.

another really small one, the pantech c300, is a really small camera phone for cingular/att. $120. personally, i think that would be my choice

the cell phone market is confusing. good luck.

spray and pray
11-22-2007, 04:56 AM
Probably a LG chocolate, a RAZR, a KRAZR, or a juke.

vikingshadow
11-22-2007, 05:52 AM
i'd say get the cheapest, smallest phone you can find. cell phones are supposed to be portable, and the do everything boxes some people are carrying around now are anything but. there's a tiny one that just came out. it's slightly larger than 2 clothespins side by side. but that's all i know about it. i don't even remember who makes it.

That's what I'm wanting. Basically, a phone that can call people (and allow the user to hear decently on it), a camera and maybe the ability to play music. I don't have a text plan (I'm old and think that a phone is a PHONE and not a typewriter. You want email? Use the 1000.00 computer I have sitting at home, haha!) And we don't need any of the other frills - other than being somewhat cool so she doesn't get made fun of, and something that I can hopefully find for less than 100 bucks, and hopefully less than 70 bucks.

the cell phone market is confusing. good luck.

You got that right...:( Thanks!

calebh
11-22-2007, 12:54 PM
other than being somewhat cool so she doesn't get made fun of
i find it sad that you have to consider that... i mean it's good that you do (for your daughter), but sad... having a cool phone is nice. but not having one shouldn't be reason to get made fun of...

i found the one that's like 2 clothespins. it's called the samsung juke, but i think it's more expensive than what you're looking for.

Critical
11-22-2007, 05:29 PM
Juke is on Verizon, won't work with his sim card.

Vike, you're going to have to choose between cheap and cool.

vikingshadow
11-22-2007, 05:38 PM
I know, and I realize it's sad....however, that's apparently the way the world works when you're 15 and female. Nothing I can do about that except teach her not to do it to others herself - but that won't keep them from doing that to her so I'm going to help as much as possible. Girls are a different breed!

Yeah, I know I have to choose between the two, but I figure I can get major points with my daughter if I get a camera phone, and SUPER MAJOR points if it can play music, and HOLY CRAP OMG I'LL HAVE INTERESTING NOOKY WITH YOU TONIGHT points with the wife if I can get a super cool phone at a super low price! Gotta get those priorities in order! ;)

vikingshadow
11-23-2007, 06:43 AM
Ok, while the story is or may be interesting - this is a thread about helping me choose a phone and why. Let's keep the off topic stuff to another thread or the pm's. Thank you muchly!

Critical
11-23-2007, 05:47 PM
Here's one option, found via Amazon.com

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y189/jeffstory/B000SZRPKU-E250-blk-380.jpg

Samsung E250
- Thin (.55 inches thick)
- Slider form-factor (which is kinda in these days)
- VGA camera (about .3mp, nothing fancy, good enough to look at pics on the phone
- Bluetooth capable (wireless headsets, and, can stream music over bluetooth)
- 5hr talk/250hr standby (that's a good sized battery, she could forget to charge it and it should still last the next day)
- FM tuner
- Plays MP3 and AAC
- MicroSD card slot (biggest capacity out there is 4GB, this might only be able to handle a 2GB card though)

Price, don't faint okay, $163 at Amazon.(Here's the link) (http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-E250-Black-Unlocked-Warranty/dp/B000SZRPKU/ref=sr_1_60?ie=UTF8&s=wireless&qid=1195868043&sr=1-60) It's reasonably priced for an unlocked handset, has a good feature set, is a name brand, and should be just cool enough to prevent your daughter from having to kick any one's ass for making fun of her phone.

vikingshadow
11-23-2007, 09:20 PM
That one does look good. I'll add it to the (growing) list!

Update - she told my wife today that she'd really like a digital camera. Grrrrrrrr.....I told her mother to stop because I'm not made of money! Of course, my wife came back and told me it was my fault because of all the techie stuff I HAVE to have all the time...

So, she's either getting one or the other. NOT both. Now, I just have to decide which one!

The Pumper
11-23-2007, 09:22 PM
Well...solve that problem by getting a camera phone. Kill 2 birds with one stone. I've seen some phones with amazing picture quality. ;)

badlandsrox
11-23-2007, 09:49 PM
hmm, how does vike satisfy his daughters want for tech, and his wifes want for her daughters tech... all too get a little nooky from his wife? ... Stay tuned on KUSA, a Spyder.tv exclusive!


if going for the phone, watch out for the razr's with lots of glass on the front, and sliders (ive seen 3 slide right apart in the last month...), and if going for a camera, canons are really good.

VS3 Sniper
11-23-2007, 10:44 PM
i personally am not a big fan of the camera phones. I would say go for the camera they have come down a ton over the past few years.