Thursday, October 12, 2006

Ideal Cellphone specs

For the last few years, both my wife and I have been using a Sony Ericsson T637 cellphone. I originally selected it for its buil-tin Bluetooth, synchronization with MacOS X addressbook and iCal .
We got both phones as discounted rate with AT&T wireless when signing up for a 1 year contract. I am fine with the 1 year cellphone plan handcufs. That was until Cingular bought AT&T wireless. Automatically, our plans were transfered, as if nothing happened. Only the logo on the bill had changed. (I heard rumors that all AT&T contracts were void, and you could walk away without the cancelation penalty. I don't know if this was true or not.)

After the 1 year contract expired, I was on the look out for new contract. Cingular had been offering roll-over family plans, where unused minutes will automatically "roll-over" (accumulate). The catch: my cellphone was a locked phone. Locked for AT&T Wireless. Not Cingular. Thus, if I wanted Cingular to put me on another 1-year handcuf, I also needed to change my two perfectly functional phones. Cingular apparently doesn't care too much about the old AT&T Wireless customers, or they must feel their offering is superior enough that they can be a bit arrogant. So, I was putting out my wrists to slap me on another set of contract handcufs, and basically, they told me, "Don't forget to check out the handcufs (new cellphones) from the competitors first". That's exactly what I am doing.

Here is a list of my phone and plan requirements:
  1. Good antena reception
  2. Good sound quality
  3. Easy to use: one, two clicks to read SMS messages; or to add a contact
  4. Small enough to fit in my pocket (until now, I have preferred the bar-style cellphone over the flip phones)
  5. Cheap add-on handsfree headset (wired is ok)
  6. Optional: Easy synchronization with MacOS X (addressbook)
  7. Free incoming SMS
I'm basically looking for a mobile PHONE (and not a gadget).

  1. The phone doesn't need to work all over the world
  2. I do not care for AOL instant messenger or MySpace support
  3. I do not care for a built-in digital camera or camcorder
  4. Cellphones with screensavers should be forbidden by law, for environmental reasons
Any good suggestions or recommendations? Virgin mobile looks like a cost effective alternative.

Update (10/12/2006): I found a couple of interesting related articles from Om Malik
  1. LinuxPhone - Mobile DIY
  2. 10 Things that are wrong with telecoms

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