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Kent German, CNET cell phone reviews editor Live!

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / February 11, 2008 3:05 AM PST

Ask the Editors Live: International phones & GSMA

Our next upcoming Ask the Editors Live chat begins at 11 a.m. Pacific Time (2 p.m. Eastern), Thursday, February 21.

Our special host for this event will be CNET cell phone editor Kent German, who is fresh back from the <a href="http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13970_7-9864035-78.html">GSMA Mobile World Congress</a> in Barcelona, Spain--where he was prowling the show floor and checking all the cool and exciting new happenings in the cell phone world. So if you have any questions about the latest and greatest cell phones that premiered at the show or would like to discuss how you can use a cell phone overseas, join us for this live event and hit up Kent with your questions. I'm sure he'll be happy to give you all the latest cell phone low-downs.

See you at the event!

Click here for upcoming Ask the Editors Live events and past transcripts of events.

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Welcome to my live chat!
by kentgerman CNET staff / February 21, 2008 2:58 AM PST

Hi everyone -

I'm now here to take your questions about the GSMA World Congress and the future of cell phones. I'll be here for the next hour so fire away!

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Stereo headsets and music phones
by KBurke02 / February 21, 2008 3:02 AM PST

Hi Kent! I have been told by different reps that the music quality on music phones depends on the device and not on the headset, and then others have told me the opposite. ZIf it helps, I am using the Moto RAZR 2 V9m for Alltel.

Also, do you get better music quality with a stereo Bluetooth headset than with a wired one?

Thanks!


Kris

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It's both
by kentgerman CNET staff / February 21, 2008 3:08 AM PST

It definitely depends on both, but the headset (or speakers) will make the most difference. Personally, I'd give the slight edge to a wired headset but Bluetooth models will be fine as well. Check out this top Bluetooth list for our favorite models.
http://reviews.cnet.com/best-bluetooth-headsets/

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Global Phone
by tschup0 / February 21, 2008 3:17 AM PST

I would like to get a new phone that would allow me to use globally when I travel to India and Eastern Europe on business. I enjoy some advanced features, but I don't want a dedicated smart phone, since this will mainly be a personal phone and I don't have a need for it. I rarely text so a full keyboard is not required.

Also, any recommendation of swapping SIMs in remote locations to having a global plan?

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It depends
by kentgerman CNET staff / February 21, 2008 3:21 AM PST
In reply to: Global Phone

It really depends on how you'll be using the phone abroad. If you think you'll be using a lot of e-mail and date features it's best to get a global plan. But if you will only be making, getting a local SIM can be cheaper. Also, think about where you'll be calling. If you will call the US a lot, and you use a local SIM, you'll be calling form a different number. Also, people calling you form the US will pay log distance charges.But if you'll be calling in those countries a local number can be better.

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Modu Mobile
by zbirdboy / February 21, 2008 3:18 AM PST

Hi Kent! I'm really excited about the ideas behind the Modu Mobile phones. However, I live in the US, so i'm going to have to wait. What do you think of these phones, and when will i be able to get my hands on them?

Thanks,

Zach

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You will have to wait
by kentgerman CNET staff / February 21, 2008 3:23 AM PST
In reply to: Modu Mobile

It seems promising. I do think it's a cool concept since it goes beyond just changing the look of your phone. If the it really comes top pass as Modu is promising--being able to chnage the "use" of your phone with each jacket--then it could be successful. I'm not too confident it will be with a U.WS, carrier anytime soon, but you might be able to use it unlocked.

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GPhone Rumors
by KBurke02 / February 21, 2008 3:19 AM PST

Any more rumors on who will be making this phone? Also, do you think the hype for this phone can rival or (GASP!) be higher than that of the iPhone?

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Not yet
by kentgerman CNET staff / February 21, 2008 3:26 AM PST
In reply to: GPhone Rumors

No manufacturer has committed to making a Google Android phone just yet. Several manufacturers are supporting the development group but we're still waiting for announcements. We still don;t have much carrier news yet but T-Mobile said they'll carry an Android phone by the end of the year . T-Mobile didn't say in which country it would offer it, though. And as to your last questions, I don't think anythign can rival the iPhone hype. Happy

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Should I wait
by GreyOcelot / February 21, 2008 3:22 AM PST

Should I wait to get T-mobile considering they are getting 3g soon does tha mean i should wait ?

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Doesn't matter
by kentgerman CNET staff / February 21, 2008 3:28 AM PST
In reply to: Should I wait

I don't think it really matters. If you really want to go to T-Mobile you might as well switch now as the carrier promises it will have 3G by this summer. Hopefully, it won't push it back even more. But if you're suing 3G with another carrier, I would wait.

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So where is the cell phone style trend headed?
by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / February 21, 2008 3:24 AM PST

At the GSMA show, did you notice more flip phone, candy bar style phones, or is everything leaning towards smart phones or multimedia phones with Qwerty keypads?

Also, anything at the show as far as features go that stood out--where you think the folks in the U.S. will be all envious about?

Thanks Kent!

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All types
by kentgerman CNET staff / February 21, 2008 3:30 AM PST

We saw a mixture on all types of phone designs (both flip and candy bar) but they're seemed to be less of an emphasis on slider phones than there is in the U.S. There were a few new QWERTY keyboard phones like the Sony Ericsson X1 but there big trend seems to be on touchscreens. The iPhone didn't start that trend but it has encouraged more manufacturers to go in that direction. And as far as the U.S. being envious, there was plenty for us to be jealous about.

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T Mobile
by KBurke02 / February 21, 2008 3:26 AM PST

I've heard a lot of good things about T-Mobile, including their customer service. However, it seems like they are mainly focused on major metropolitan areas. Do you think they have the resources and the technology to compete with Verizon, Sprint and AT&T nationwide sometime down the road?

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It will soon
by kentgerman CNET staff / February 21, 2008 3:33 AM PST
In reply to: T Mobile

They don't just yet. T-Mobile's rural coverage is still pretty slim when compared with its rivals. And of course, T-Mobile is the only major carrier to lack 3G service. So until they roll that out, it will lack the technical resources of other carriers. They offer a decent selection of phones, however, and from what I hear from T-Mobile customers, its customer service reputation is deserved.

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Will t-mobile ever get the iphone
by GreyOcelot / February 21, 2008 3:32 AM PST

I have heard rumours That they will. I am just curious as to whether or not there has been any news on that.

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Not in the US
by kentgerman CNET staff / February 21, 2008 3:34 AM PST

Not in the U.S. AT&T is said to have a five year lock on the iPhone in this country. T-Mobile does offer the iPhone in Germany, however, and by the end of the year it will bring the iPhone to Austria.

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Aviation Buff, eh?
by KBurke02 / February 21, 2008 3:35 AM PST

So I read your bio and I have listened to a couple podcasts and it seems like you're an aviation buff. Have you ever been to the AirVenture air show in Oshkosh WI? it seems like it'd be up your alley (sans the cell phone show of course)


I know this isn't a cellphone related question but I found it interesting since I am from Oshkosh!

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Yes I am
by kentgerman CNET staff / February 21, 2008 3:37 AM PST
In reply to: Aviation Buff, eh?

I am a huge aviation buff. I've never been to Oshkosh but I have family in Green Bay who want to take me there!

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Why is the US Market so limited
by KBurke02 / February 21, 2008 3:40 AM PST

I'll see if I can get you cheap tickets since I work for EAA every summer. Happy

Back ON TOPIC, why are there some many more "higher end phones" in EUrope than here? Is AT&T just not willing to pick many up? Is it because of all the CDMA carriers?

It has always puzzled me.

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a lot of reasons
by kentgerman CNET staff / February 21, 2008 3:43 AM PST

There are a lot of reasons, but one of the main ones is a "mobile culture" developed much quicker in Europe. More people adopted cell phones at a faster pace and they expected more out of them. Also, most European countries are smaller than the US with a more concentrated population. That made it easier to build out networks. And it doesn't hurt that they only use GSM and that EU governments mandated when 3G networks should be active.

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lg k700
by GreyOcelot / February 21, 2008 3:43 AM PST

I think it was the K700 how likely do you think it is that the U.S. Will get it And what carrier do you think is most likely to get it.

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A good chance I think
by kentgerman CNET staff / February 21, 2008 3:46 AM PST
In reply to: lg k700

There's a good chance we'll get that phone though I'm sure it will be with T-Mobile since AT&T would want to avoid any iPhone comparisons. The KF700 would need to be qudband though for the best US coverage. Keep your fingers crossed!

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InDenver
by SynTec / February 21, 2008 3:44 AM PST

Hi Kent,
I have the AT&T Tilt which is a great phone/PDA. Are there any smartphones on the horizon that will offer similiar features i.e, keyboard, stylus, pda funtions etc, that will be slimmer and just overall smaller while serving as a great device?

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Sony Ericsson X1
by kentgerman CNET staff / February 21, 2008 3:50 AM PST
In reply to: InDenver

Smart phone expert Bonnie Cha helped me with this one. If you want a touchscreen there's not much that's maller than the Tilt right now. But the new Sony Ericsson X1
(http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13970_7-9868707-78.html) that I mentioned earlier is a future option. If you don't care about a touchscreen there are plenty of options.

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Nokia N96
by jlinclk / February 21, 2008 3:50 AM PST

When will we see the Nokia N96 in the states?

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Unlocked soon
by kentgerman CNET staff / February 21, 2008 3:51 AM PST
In reply to: Nokia N96

As an unlocked phone it shouldn't take longer than the third quarter of this year. If you're hoping to see it offered by a US carrier then you'll wait a while I'm sure.

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AT&T SMART PHONES
by quad557 / February 21, 2008 3:52 AM PST

Hi Kent!

i have 2 questions!
i have this horrible luck getting a smartphone and then like 2 weeks later, a brand new cool phone comes out? do you know what new AT&T smart phones are coming out in the future, and if so what do you think is the perfect smart phone for AT&T?

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AT&T Tilt
by kentgerman CNET staff / February 21, 2008 3:57 AM PST
In reply to: AT&T SMART PHONES

Unfortunately, that's the nature of this business. Nothing stays constant so we're always going to see something new popping up, even if it is two weeks later. Right now we think the AT&T Tilt is the best smartphone for AT&T.

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Verizon Menu System
by KBurke02 / February 21, 2008 3:52 AM PST

Any sign they'll kick that God-awful menu style? I had one phone where it would let you customize it a bit but otherwise YUCK.

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