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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » 1st Cell Phone

   
Author Topic: 1st Cell Phone
dem
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The back story.

I am 42 and I have never had a cell phone. I really don't want to get one, but my new job makes it necessary. I am looking for advice on what to get (phone) and types of plans. I am pretty much set on Verizon, as their service is much better than any other in my rural location. Also, the technology side isn't a problem (taught tech classes for the last 10 years) in picking a phone.

My dream would actual be a tablet that you could use as a phone (even if it needed attachments). I know that they have them in Europe, but I don't think it is available here.

Phone...needs to be android or ios for the specific app I will need for work. Screen size is important for the app I will be using.

Plans...I really can't see using more that the 450 minutes a month. I really don't like talking on the phone as it is. Also, the in network minutes are free and a vast majority of my co-worker and some family/friends are on verizon. Am I deluding myself?
1000 texts instead of unlimited ($10 vs $20)
2GB data

Would love any advice or comments?

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TomDavidson
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Many tablets can be used as a phone (with headset), but you'll need to either find an unlocked one or ask your local carrier which ones they're willing to subsidize.
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xtownaga
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I got a Verizon iPhone 4s when they came out about a month ago, and I've had a very positive experience. It's my first smart phone. I'll mention a few things that came to mind while reading your post, but in the interest of fairness I should mention here that I haven't really used an android phone, so while I can imagine and have heard some things that apple does better, I can't confirm any of this from personal experience.

Since you mentioned screen size, this seems worth passing along. Bigger isn't necessarily better with a handheld device when the larger screen forces you to use two hands to access the whole screen. It's not a huge deal, but little details like this can have a larger effect on user experience than you might expect.

On a similar note, the screen resolution on (recent) iPhones is actually higher than what you get on a lot of larger android phones, which will give you more functional screen real estate (assuming your eyesight is good enough to take advantage of it). It's also very bright and clear, even in direct sunlight (many android phones probably are too).

As far as plans go, my experience has been that they'll always let you change to a more expensive plan if you need more later, but you may have more trouble going to a less expensive one if you find you're using less than you'd thought. If you don't think you'll use more than the cheapest plans, get them and monitor your use over a few months.

Another potential option that comes to mind since you say you'd really prefer a tablet is to get an iPad with 3G service (and a data plan) and a simple non-smart phone. The problem here is that if you have spotty 3G coverage in your area, the iPad doesn't have a 2G radio for use when you have no 3G signal, which any cellphone would. You may be able to find an android based tablet with both, but based on your post it looks like they're not available in the US. For that matter, depending on exactly what you need to do you might be able to get a simple cellphone and a laptop with internet connectivity though a cellular network (built in to the laptop or via a USB dongle).

Overall I'm entirely happy with my iPhone, and would strongly recommend one. My impression from what I've read is that most android phones, while very functional and entirely usable, are missing a bit of polish in both hardware design and UI consistency/functionality that Apple has always done well and that adds up to a nontrivially better experience.

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TomDavidson
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lem, does your local carrier subsidize the Galaxy Tab?
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lem
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I am not dem. [Smile] Close name tho. I got a Verizon brick with unlimited calls and texts, but I suck at texting because I have to use T9.

I had a smartphone for a while, but I lost it. I did not have a protection plan, and I owned it less then a year, so they wanted me to buy a new one at full price. I changed carriers, got an old flip phone, and dropped the data plan.

I am so happy. It is nice not being tethered to my email and people realizing I only have just a phone.

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Aros
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The Samsung Galaxy S (or S2) phones are probably what you're looking for. They're essentially small tablets, a little bigger than the iPhone. You can upgrade to a full size tablet, but it's kind of awkward to carry one around as your primary device.
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Mial
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Thanks for sharing, Aros. Samsung Galaxy phones are very popular; was keeping an eye on them when I was research stock investing.
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dem
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Thanks for the tips.

I don't know if they support the Tab...but I will check...

Honestly...the full size galaxy tablet might be the way to go with me. I really kind of despise talking on the phone, so the awkwardness wouldn't bother me (plus it would help for my friends and colleagues to know that I am still not available 24/7 on my cell phone).

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Pegasus
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Posting from my Galaxy S android. Very capable and good size/resolution screen for most needs.

Highly recommend the OtterBox brand of phone case, they are quite rugged. My phone has gone flying onto the pavement many times and never a problem.

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Kwea
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I love my Epic, which is the Galaxy S for Sprint. It's great.
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Pegasus
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Samsung Galaxy Tab for $200 on http://deals.woot.com/sellout
today...

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