Phones

General discussion

best phone and plan for a college student

by maczors / March 21, 2011 11:52 AM PDT

I'm loosing my mind and I don't know which cellphone is the best for me, Im a colllege student who needs a smartphone for checking emails, and do some web surfing, right now I got a curve 8520 which is horrendous is always freezing, I want a faster cellphone which can record HD video, good browsing and no freezes,also a good mp3 player because I don't own an ipod.

I was thinking of the iphone because the variety of the accessories the phone has(like fm connectors to your car) but im worried to exceed the data plans and also the voice plans are so expensive, I barely use like 80 mb monthly on my bb, but I know that will change with an iphone, does the android uses less data?

Note: I'l be on campus most of the time, so there's wi fi there and on my house

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Do the legwork
by Pepe7 / March 22, 2011 1:30 AM PDT

"Best" is relative to ones situation.

First you should find out which provider has the coverage you need on campus. If you can restrict yourself mostly to wifi, you might even be able to stick with a $15/month data plan (200MB) if you went w/ an iPhone.

OTOH, you could likely save a little money with T-Mobile or another discount carrier that had decent smartphones. Pop in a store and check out some of the latest Android handsets just to get a sense of what you can expect. Coverage is king, however.

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:)
by maczors / March 22, 2011 6:43 AM PDT
In reply to: Do the legwork

I got a couple of friends with T-mobile and sometime is a pain try to have a decent call without dropped call, AT&T is by far the best carrier I've been I had never experienced dropped calls and I have good coverage, and yeah I think Im able to survive with the 200 mb data plan on the iphone, but the voice plan is cheaper on a droid, but what's holding me back from the atrix is the lack of accessories to hook up with my car or protect it, I'l just wait till the next iphone and see if it is worth it or change to droid, thank you !!!

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Atrix options
by nathan_duke2 / March 24, 2011 10:07 AM PDT
In reply to: :)

The voice plan is identical for either the android or the iPhone devices. With the atrix we offer a car dock which has a lot of useful features, it also comes with an auxiliary cable to play music through your car stereo. If you don't have an auxiliary input with your car, we also offer car bluetooths such as the jabra cruiser which will access your car stereo wirelessly. There is also an otter box available for the atrix which is about as much protection as you can get for any phone. Thats not a bad idea though to wait for the new iPhone and then decide then

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I second Pepe7
by fondy / March 24, 2011 4:46 AM PDT

Pepe7 is absolutely correct. Don't commit to anything until you're sure that you can live with the coverage area and quality of service. Most carriers will give you 30 days before you're committed to an early termination fee.

If you're not opposed to carrying multiple gadgets, you can try my method. I got a MiFi personal hotspot from Verizon, a prepaid phone and an iPod touch. They were offering the MiFi with 1, 3, or 5GB plans when I got mine, but that may have just been a temporary promo. It's not as convenient as having everything in one device but I'm saving about $40/mo. over the cost of an iPhone.

Good luck, and FWIW, my wife has the 8530 (Verizon's version of the 8520) and I despise it!

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Nice end run; steps on how to enable free calling on Touch
by Pepe7 / March 24, 2011 7:05 AM PDT
In reply to: I second Pepe7

It's a great workaround, since with a touch you get 90% of what you would get on an iPhone. Even better if you want to save $$.

FWIW, I have also discovered how easy it is to set up a free VoIP 'softphone' using an iPod Touch, free Talkatone app & a Google Voice account. Works like a charm so far.

How to do this:

-Sign up for Google/Gmail/Google Voice
-Click on the 'Call Phone' green telephone icon on the lower left corner of the Gmail interface. A box will pop up with dialpad on the lower right corner. A box will be visible to download/install the Google voice chat software on your PC. Double click on the link and follow the prompts to install.

-Once the voice chat software has been installed, you need to go into Google Voice and set up forwarding to GChat.
-Once inside Google Voice, click on the sprocket icon in the upper right hand corner.
-Click on 'Voice Settings'. Now make sure that the only boxed which is checked is Google Chat.
-Now turn on your iPod Touch and download the Talkatone app from the app store. It will ask you to login to your Google account on the Talkatone interface. Make sure you are logged out of the previous gmail session on your PC, btw.

-You should now be able to dial out over wifi and receive calls via your Google Voice number that forwards to the iPod touch.

More details on how to configure it all @ blog.talkatone.com

Enjoy.

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AT&T plans
by nathan_duke2 / March 24, 2011 10:03 AM PDT

I'm currently a rep with AT&T, so maybe I can help you out on your options if you stick with us. Your plan will stay the same whether you have an android phone or an iPhone. Our cheapest individual voice plan is 450 min for 39.99. But if you have unlimited texting you can take advantage of our new unlimited calling to any cell phone regardless of who the carrier is. As for data plan, the 200 mb would work of you're able to stay on wifi all the time, but if you choose that one make sure any apps you download you're on wifi first. Same if you want to use pandora or something similar. The 2 gb plan is 10 dollars more but it's very very difficult to exceed that plan especially you're using wifi. And if you do exceed it it's only a 10 dollar charge. As far as phones, you would prob want to stick with either the iPhone 4, HTC Inspire, or Motorola Atrix. Those will do all the things you were looking for. The iPhone is easier to use, but the android devices are more customizable. That comes down to preference. Hope that helps

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A Good Smartphone to look at :
by ricksathome / March 24, 2011 11:13 AM PDT

Hi maczors, Phones are a hard to choose. I`m a fan of the "NOKIA N8" Smartphone. I have & recommend the "N8". The NOKIA is fast on-line, has an inbuilt FM radio, is an MP3 player, plays & records HD video (which U can connect to your HD TV,to watch), has a 12mpix camera(built in flash) and is fully touch screen. The Nokia N8 has all the standard stuff,Organiser, SMS, MMS, Email, internet, hands free speaker, notes (both typed and voice recording for lectures.), expandable memory with the small SD cards, bluetooth, WIFI, FM transmitter (one thing this can be used for is listening to the music you`ve stored on the n8 can be listened to in you car by just tuning into the FM signal on an FM car or any FM radio),it has heaps of "apps" & Games etc, take a look on the internet at OVI by nokia. Lets just say I love my Nokia " N8 ". I think it`s a GREAT all round smartphone and P.I.M.

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A more realistic option
by millsfactor / March 24, 2011 3:13 PM PDT

An ipod should never be suggested as a solution, nor carrying around multiple devices unless you want to fill up all your pockets. An ipod may have 90% of the features but 90% of the time you won't have access to wifi. Other than a blackberry device since there aren't any devices that are improved beyond the 8520 for the curve family I would suggest an iphone or android device. Verizon has a great variety of options but since you're in college I would go with Sprint at first for the lower price and because they are the only ones that have a true 30 day money back guarantee. If that doesn't work then I would suggest a Verizon android device or iphone. Personally I can't stand iphones and AT&T for there refusal to offer an open system. Android is supposed to be but AT&T has restrictions on their devices where you can't install anything outside the Android Marketplace.

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Sorry but...
by fondy / March 24, 2011 9:36 PM PDT

...I have wifi coverage 100% of the time. As long as I have the MiFi I get coverage anywhere my cheap cell phone gets a signal.
But you are right, it's not very convenient having to carry around multiple devices and make sure they're all charged. My solution isn't for everyone. It works for me because it saves me a substantial bit of money, plus I don't have to worry about being completely dead in the water if my high-dollar Jesusphone should fail. The downside of having everything in one device is once that battery's gone, the whole show is over, potentially leaving you completely unreachable.

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I forgot to mention
by millsfactor / March 24, 2011 3:18 PM PDT

My old phone was a Blackberry 8530 and I think I averaged around 80MB a month too however you can't use this as a guideline since any Android device or iphone won't compare. You are almost guaranteed to use 5-10x more data after purchasing one of the aforementioned devices.

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Try Sprint
by PhotoGrl13 / April 6, 2011 3:29 AM PDT

I think Sprint is a great service. I don't have reception problems and my plan isn't expensive. I have the HTC EVO. I got the phone for $199.99 online and my plan is an Everything Data plan which has unlimited text, data and mobile to mobile calling. Monthly I pay about $65. I did get a 23% discount on my monthly bill through studentrate, a student discount website. I also got a $50 service credit, $30 rebate, $125 service credit and free shipping. I'm all for Sprint as a student I can't afford to pay much more.

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student
by Alofa21 / September 10, 2012 2:58 PM PDT
In reply to: Try Sprint

Im new to studentrate but because of that I'm seriously considering Sprint also because of where I'm located. My current phone and most others don't get signal besides Sprint and Verizon. How long did you have to wait for the discount to kick in?

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Check with your university first before using studentrate
by Pepe7 / September 11, 2012 12:39 AM PDT
In reply to: student

A large number of college and universities already have discounts on monthly service/certain handsets with the large cellular carriers. Sometimes it can be upwards of 20% per month, which is better than you can do via studentrate. You will have to contact human resources or general services/purchasing at the academic institution that you will be attending.

Sometimes it can take one or two billing cycles for the discount to kick in, FWIW. And it can almost always be applied even in the middle of a contract, or out of contract as long as you are in good standing on a post-paid plan. Pre-paid won't be discounted.

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best phone for students
by AccessoryGeeks / April 19, 2011 2:44 AM PDT

I am also a college student and a part time worker.

I have At&t data plan with 200MB for $15/month.

I barely use all 200MB, but I think I went over once when I upgraded all my Apps on accident w/o WiFi.

I would recommend this plan with either the iPhone or a different service provider if you don't get the iPhone because there are many better service provider's than At&t.

My phone with the data plans have saved me at school, with many emailing opportunities and retrieving forgotten files. Data plans just open up more opportunities.

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