By: Revanche

I need a new phone

February 23, 2010

Speaking of yelling “Lifestyle inflation!” at people, I’ve directed that at myself lately, to little avail.  I should but cannot imagine going back to a regular phone.

iPhone’s latest antics are: not allowing me to pick up calls, freezing the screen on the call failure screen, refusing to clear it out even after I’ve stopped the call, and shutting down intermittently. Oh, yes, and refusing to accept calls at all, forcing people into voicemail hell, and then maybe informing me of new voicemails an hour or more later.

It’s ridiculous.  One major drawback with having an iPhone is that AT&T and Apple get to play the blame game and hang the responsibility for dropped calls on the other guy.  In the meantime, stuck in the middle, I feel like a orphan!

On the other hand, some of the functions – which are not limited to the iPhone – such as navigation, internet access, email access (I’m a junkie) are really very helpful in my recently nomadic lifestyle.  The navigation is an amazing key to travel independence, and I’m loathe to give it up for a regular phone.

My contract with AT&T is up this month, what shall I do?

Working on the following assumptions:
1.  I want another smartphone
2.  I don’t want to pay more than I’m paying now ($65/month)
3.  I’d prefer not to pay for the phone itself. If I must …. I think the ceiling is at $100.  i
4.  Trying to avoid as many one-time or recurring luxury fees as possible (activation, for one)
5.  My ideal plan includes:

  • ~1000 minutes/mo (friends are mainly on two different networks, family on yet a third.  They won’t all consolidate to make my life easier!) 
  • unlimited nights and weekends
  • ~300 texts/month
  • unlimited email, web browsing and a decent navigation/mapping service  
  • Even while I have concerns about privacy and security issues, it’d be nice to have the variety of options that the iPhone currently offers for things like banking, stock tickers, and tracking investment apps.  It’s not a requirement, though.

This isn’t going to be easy.  It may not even be possible. But it’s research time! 

Note: In light of my slenderized budget, even $65/month seems like a luxury but do bear in mind this is my connection to the world whether I’m at home or on the road (interviewing, meeting new people with whom I’ll develop professional relationships, being contacted for contract work, etc.)

10 Responses to “I need a new phone”

  1. tabitha says:

    Have you thought about an Android phone? I love mine (I have a Moment)

  2. L.A. Daze says:

    Your iPhone bill is $65/month? Mine is around $100. Hmmm maybe it’s time to go through my bill and see what I am being charged for. I can’t give you any advice…I love my iPhone and can’t imagine anything else. I’ve tried the Blackberry and I absolutely hated it.

  3. Sunflowers says:

    My dad has the Droid thru Verizon and seems happy with it. It has apps (though not as many as the iphone, but I’m sure it’ll get there eventually).

    Your iphone sounds defective though. Apple/AT&T isn’t willing to replace it? :\ Do you have a 3GS? I’ve noticed the dropped calls happen less frequently now…

  4. Abigail says:

    I know some Android users are really happy with theirs. So I would check out some of the other companies and see what can be had. I don’t know how much texting and such costs, but the deals are getting cheaper and cheaper.

    Also, if the majority of your minutes are spread across three friends, you could always jump ship to Verizon and go with the Choose 5 friends plan. That might save money.

    Hope you can find something that works.

  5. Karen says:

    Hmm, what you want it pretty much what I have and I pay almost $80…with a 15% discount, ancient promo plan but unlimited text.

  6. Oo let me know what you find. I like playing with iPhones, but the dropping call issues concern me.

  7. Revanche says:

    @Tabitha: I’ve only just started researching, I’ll take a look at the Moment. Anything you love about it in particular?

    @L.A.Daze: I have an OLD phone, one of the originals, so I’m still on the oldest, cheapest plan.

    @Sunflowers: No, it’s the 2G phone and they replaced it twice in the first six months of ownership. That was definitely huge red flags for me. But at that point, I was locked in.

    @Abigail: Thanks for the notes, I’ll be sure to look carefully at the Android phones. Lots of signs point to Verizon for service and flexibility but I’m not sure we can meet on price.

    @Karen: You’re totally burstin my bubble, lady. 🙂

    @WellHeeledBlog: I sense I know what answer you want me to find. 🙂

  8. Hi Revanche,

    Cool, we posted threads about phones at around the same time!
    have you tried calling in to AT&T to see if they can offer you anything more?
    I just posted a thread about how to negotiate your way to a better phone contract:
    http://youngandthrifty.ca/communications/step-by-step-guide-on-how-to-save-money-on-your-cell-phone-contract/

    I’m waiting for an iPhone too =)
    Data can be expensive, expect to pay for 1GB of data for it. They dont package the data as small as blackberries.

    Good luck!

  9. Lazy Man says:

    I’m a little late to the game, but I think Sprint and the Palm Pre hit almost all the major points you are looking for.

    I pay $65/mo. The pre is around $80 on Amazon right now. I only have 450 minutes, but all calls to mobile phones (on any carrier) don’t count towards that and nights (starting at 7PM) and weekends are free. It makes those minutes last.

    Unlimited web, email, texting, etc… Good bonuses like free turn by turn directions. The web browser is same technology as the iPhone, so everything (like banking) should work.

  10. Revanche says:

    @youngandthrify I got sidetracked but I will be calling them!

    @Lazy Man: Oh man, that is almost perfect! Thanks so much for chiming in … I had this whole series of research planned, but then life happened. 😛

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