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The 411: Read the fine print

Every two weeks, Nicole Lee answers your questions about cell phones and their accessories.

Welcome to the 411, my Q&A column answering all your questions about cell phones and cell phone accessories. I receive plenty of questions about these subjects via e-mail, so I figured many of you might have the same questions, too. At times, I might solicit answers from readers if I'm stumped. Send your questions and comments to me at nicole.lee@cnet.com. If you prefer to remain anonymous, let me know in the e-mail.

Palm Pre may be more expensive to existing customers
Palm Pre may be more expensive to existing customers. Corinne Schulze/CNET

Hi, I currently have a samsung Instinct with Sprint and I qualify for an upgrade in July. I was looking at upgrading to the Palm Pre, but I was wondering if you have any idea how much it would cost to buy the Pre as an upgrade, because all Sprint is advertising is the $199 with the $100 mail-in-rebate for new customers getting a two-year contract. Thanks - Xavier, via e-mail

As is the situation with the recently announced iPhone 3G S, existing customers frequently don't get to take advantage of the low prices designed to cater to new subscribers. If you want to know if you qualify for the $199 price, you'll need to check with Sprint to see if you are eligible. According to the Palm Pre fine print, existing customers in good standing, who have kept the same device for 22 consecutive months, may be eligible. Also, the $100 mail-in rebate offer lasts only until July 11, 2009. Try signing into sprint.com/upgrade to check your eligibility.

I need your opinion on whether to buy the LG enV Touch or the BlackBerry. BlackBerry is free, Touch is $150, however, the BlackBerry is over 100 more a year in service fees. Using it for MP3, phone and e-mail. Will not be texting. - TC, via e-mail

LG enV Touch may have additional monthly costs associated with it.
LG enV Touch may have additional monthly costs associated with it. Corinne Schulze/CNET

That's really smart of you to note the overall cost of the phone, not just the initial price. However, the enV Touch might also cost you a bit more each month if you opt for the $3 a month Visual Voice Mail or the $10 a month for corporate e-mail. It's also not as good as the BlackBerry when it comes to e-mail in general. For MP3 playback, though, I would opt for the enV Touch, simply because of the V Cast Music access. It also has great call quality. So, if your priority is e-mail, I would go for the BlackBerry, but if it's not, then the enV Touch will do just fine.

Hello Nicole; I am going to be doing an upgrade with Verizon in a couple of months (July). I had a Voyager, which I liked very much (although a little large), and had the visual voice mail and city I.D., but my wife has that one now and I have an LG Dare, which is very quirky, and does not have visual voice mail or city I.D. (even with the latest software updates). Do you know if the new enV Touch has these two features, City I.D. and visual voice mail? I mainly text and use the Internet, any other suggestions with Verizon? I don't wish to change carriers, although I would love an iPhone. I very much enjoy your video reviews!! Thanks!! - Jon, via e-mail

The LG enV Touch does indeed have Visual Voice Mail and City I.D. support, so you're in luck there.