Saturday, October 14, 2006

Cell Phone Complications

Why does everything with cell phones have to be so complicated?

Ever since I started at the new job, I've been eyeing up a Treo 700 or similar phone with a qwerty keyboard and a decent Internet browser on it so that I could better utilize the time I spend on the bus. Plus, for the last 4-5 months Linzy has been using one of our really old phones after she dropped her not-yet-a-year-old phone down the toilet at Target accidentally. Since the phone never really had great battery life and that hasn't gotten any better in the past three years, she could use a new phone too.

Except that we don't qualify for the $150 rebate on new phones until next June. Making getting new phones pretty dang expensive (especially when one is a Treo-level phone).

And of course, replacing a phone with our particular provider requires a new two-year commitment, which means that replacing only one of the phones would cause the end-dates of our contracts to be totally different.

But then Sprint raised the rates of text messaging and Internet usage, and was supposedly letting people out of their contracts without an early termination fee. That seemed like the perfect opportunity to either argue them into giving us $150 rebates for replacing our phones right now, or letting us out of the contract so we could go somewhere else and get rebates at that place.

Except that Sprint was obviously on to the whole 'material change to my contract' ploy now and so the best I could do was get them to make Linzy's account eligible for a $150 rebate right now.

That doesn't really solve any problems, since we would still end up with one phone having to be renewed for an additional 2-years, and then replace the other phone 8 months later. And at this point I'm not so sure I want to stay with Sprint, even if they are much cheaper then most of the other providers out there.

So in the end, I don't think we will do anything. Unless you count torturing myself by reading Engadget Mobile every day and seeing all the phones I won't be able to have as 'doing something'.


Bill Roehl said...

I have several friends with various Treos and they seem to like them just fine. I'm not all that impressed with their browsing compared to the Sidekick but the phone capabilities are apparently better.

The only real draw to using a sidekick would be the fact that the browsing is as close to real as you can find and the price is usually *very* inexpensive with new T-mobile service.

Treos are great if you're required to stick with your current providor or if you *need* service everywhere (something T-mobile is getting better at but doesn't even come close to the big mobile phone services).

Steve Eck said...

T-Mobile's (relatively) terrible coverage is the main reason why I would be hesitant to go with them. Their plans are certainly competitively priced, and I like some of the phones, but the coverage is a big question mark.

What's special about the sidekick's browser? The IE that was on the Windows Mobile 5 Treo had javascript 1.2, and didn't seem too bad. And blazer on the Tero 700p seemed fairly reasonable as well.

he problem with both seemed to be more with the small screen and pages with hard-coded wide widths (like my blog for example) rather then the browser itself.

Bill Roehl said...

What's special about the sidekick's browser?

It actually looks like the page you are browsing does on a regular browser (for the most part as it is a smaller version).

The Treos are generally WAP with graphics and thus not the actual page. Some sites, ones I use with ease on the Sidekick do not work at all on the Treos forcing people to use the WAP versions instead.

The Motorolla Q is especially awful at browsing with even Google not looking like itself :(