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Which smartphone has a flexible, quick calendar function?

by rtmarvelli / September 6, 2010 4:02 AM PDT

I am in need of smartphone with a high quality calendar. For the absent-minded user like me to find a calendar useful, it really must be quick and flexible to program.

I have a very nice Samsung Eternity, but I found two problems that have given me reason to stop using the calendar. One is the time-consuming quantity of submenus that are required (some frustratingly hidden), and the other is that the phone rings while I am teaching class.

I primarily need a very good PDA/appointment reminder that:

1. is VERY quick and easy to set appointments with
2. will wake up the calendar alarm without also allowing the phone to ring
3. has flexibility for alarms to be set for several advance times

I am not sure about the PC syncing (Windows XP), since I have never tried it, but it sounds like a useful feature. These other desires are expendable & secondary: built-in GPS (to avoid the costly AT&T subscription), wi-fi, bluetooth, long battery life/replaceable battery, good camera, etc.

After web research, I think Palm, LG, and Android might have models that are easy to use, but I am becoming confused over all the smartphone choices.

Thanks for your suggestions,


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Short of a subsidized iPhone or BB...
by Pepe7 / September 7, 2010 9:05 AM PDT

...with some very useful business apps including what you require but requires a data plan, I'd also consider looking into a simple Nokia E63-2 unbranded/unlocked phone. It would not force you to purchase a data plan and has wifi, decent little camera, free Symbian apps, etc. If you need GPS, the next step up gives you free GPS (Ovi maps) on the Nokia E72 or E73. Look at Amazon, or Dell Small Business for these unlocked/unbranded handsets. Your problem is, most if not all smartphones require at least a few keyboard strokes or touchscreen movements/typing to enter an appointment. Bottom line is, it's only going to be so 'quick' <ahem>.

The main problem is you don't specify which carrier you intend on using necessarily (ATT perhaps?). Anyway, using unlocked/unbranded phones means either ATT or T-Mobile in the U.S., and requires the correct frequency bands. Would either of those work for you(?)

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"Which smartphone has a flexible, quick calendar function?"
by rtmarvelli / September 8, 2010 4:10 PM PDT

Hello Pepe,
Thanks for your suggestions. I may not understand how to work the forums, because your response seems to be starting midway through. Perhaps you could cut and paste it in again so I can see the first part? I use AT&T, but I can change any time. I believe that Nextel with boost will have better service for me.

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by Pepe7 / September 9, 2010 1:27 AM PDT

I didn't write my reply very well. There's nothing missing, it's just a poorly constructed sentence that continues from the subject line.

In summary, an elegant solution like you've indicated you're looking for requires $$$ and the two 'plug and play' options would be either an iPhone or Blackberry. If you want to avoid a data plan, neither would suffice unfortunately. I suggested an unlocked/unbranded Nokia E63-2 which you could use with your current ATT service but avoid a data plan & gain free wifi. The E72/E73 add GPS, again, with the free Nokia Ovi maps software that I mentioned earlier, and avoid a data plan. Neither the iPhone or BB let you do this. ATT wants to bleed us dry.

Are you certain you want to deal with Nextel technology since Sprint has owned them for quite a few years now(?) [Do you really need their goofy walkie talky service? ;]) Boost uses (at least some) Sprint CDMA service/network AFAIK, and you'd be limited to their pre-paid options. All around Sprint probably presents the strongest value if you have the coverage where you live and want post paid. The drawback is you cannot bring in your own handset like you could w/ ATT & GSM/UMTS technology.

I am confused when you stated that your 'phone rings during class'(?) Wouldn't you simply put it on vibrate or silent mode during such a time teaching your students(?) Or do you mean the calendar alarms/notifications cannt be muted as such? If you have questions regarding the eternity, pop over to for more specifics on how to configure your phone's notification options.

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Which smartphone has a flexible, quick calendar function?
by rtmarvelli / September 9, 2010 6:37 AM PDT
In reply to: Sorry

Thank you, again for your thoughtful suggestions.

I was looking at the wireless coverage for the Austin area and for the rural area where I live outside of Austin ( It looks like there is a tower a little closer to my place with Sprint, and they seem to have many towers in Austin. There are a lot of complaints about dropped calls with all the carriers, all around. I have an outdated AT&T plan with no contract and oodles of minutes which costs only $49.99/month (excluding fees and extras), but I dropped the data portion because I had to pay $10 + $15 each month for the GPS navigator subscription as well as a data plan. That's why I thought of purchasing an unlocked phone with built-in GPS. You say that I can avoid the data plan with Nokia. Does that mean that the GPS does not require online access? Can it locate my position without using data?

I was mistaken about boost. I do not need a pre-paid plan. I did not understand what boost meant.

I think Sprint, which Wikipedia says is moving toward CDMA, may not be compatible with the Nokia E72 phone. I think the Nokia would work fairly well with the AT&T service. Is that correct? I am a little lost in all the acronyms.

The issue about the phone ringing in class is that if I have the sound on for the appointment reminders, I can not turn it off for phone calls, as far as I can tell. I am too absent minded to be capable of turning the sound on and off all day.

Anyway, the most important feature I am looking for is the ease with which I can set appointments, hopefully eliminating 2/3 of the submenus. Are the Symbian apps streamlined?


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by Pepe7 / September 9, 2010 8:25 AM PDT

Having the maps loaded locally with a GPS radio/clear unobstructed sky gives you access to the same basic location info you get with a paid service. Just go ahead and google for information on 'free Nokia ovi maps'. It will give you the best sense of whether it's what you need. I believe they recently added turn by turn directions, also for free.

You are correct that Sprint, with CDMA/EVDO technology, would not be able to utilize those Nokia handsets since they are GSM/UMTS. My rationale is, if you don't have current reception problems it makes little sense to switch carriers- especially with a cheap plan you like.

FWIW, you can set nearly any handset to various volume levels, to vibrate or to off when calls are received. There will generally be less options for calendar/alarm tones. If it's not obvious in the user manual, let me take a peek and post back w/ a solution. The Samsung Eternity, right?

Keep in mind it is unlikely you would be able to reduce very many of the submenus on smartphone calendars. You will need to learn to adapt/adjust your expectations or find a different device for this purpose. There's generally just only going to be so much 'simplicity' in setting up such calendar/appt. functions.

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by rtmarvelli / September 9, 2010 9:44 AM PDT
In reply to: Yes

Thank you again. You are very kind to spend so much time on someone you have no relationship to or sales commission expected. Yes, it is Samsung Eternity.

I get close to no reception on my cell at home. I am paying the bill every month just to keep the rate plan.


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Another carrier?
by Pepe7 / September 9, 2010 1:23 PM PDT
In reply to: Yes

It's a tough call. If you don't mind keeping a landline, it's probably not much of an issue. Otherwise, it sounds like you might have to choose another carrier that suits your needs. My guess is Sprint post-paid would be very competetive with what you have now. It all boils down to which one gives you the coverage first and foremost.

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Thank you
by rtmarvelli / September 10, 2010 12:32 AM PDT
In reply to: Another carrier?

Thank you for your assistance. You have given me some good suggestions.

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What happened to the Nokia E71
by CynTD / December 28, 2010 12:27 PM PST
In reply to: Sorry

I've been following this forum for a couple months and have read almost everything here about using a smartphone without a data plan with AT&T. You used to recommend the Nokia E71 but lately I've noticed that you opt for the Nokia E72/E73. Is AT&T able to recognize the Nokia E71 now or is it just an outdated phone?

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yes, it's simply outdated...
by Pepe7 / January 3, 2011 4:36 AM PST

...but AFAIK ATT still won't force you to maintain a data plan for that handset.


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