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Old 08-06-2004, 03:09 PM   #1
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Default Need a Cell Phone

Ok guys, believe it or not, there are some of us out here without a cell phone... I have told society NO for a good long while now, but out of necessity, i will have to break down and buy a phone.

I'm in Michigan- where i've been told Nextel and Sprint are the only decent services for coverage.

I need the bare minimum- I could care less about games, taking pics, or having a calender. All i want to do is be able to call. The "free phone" that is usually advertised will do the job i'm sure- unless you have a nice one you want to sell...

I want good battery life, and minimal chance for breakage- do flip phones break easier?

I'd like there to be no roaming charges, no long distance charges, free nights and weekends, and I have no idea how many minutes a week, but it won't be much.

I have a couple friends with Nextel'*, and the two way would be handy.

Don't wanna spend more than $40- unless its like voice mail that is a dollar more...

So, what can you recommend- OR, what would you say does NOT fit my criteria?

Thanks guys, you're the experts!!

jeff
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Old 08-06-2004, 03:13 PM   #2
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Go with nextel.

No. 1 Free incoming calls
2. 59.00 package for 500 mins and free nights and weekends and unlimited nationwide chirp
3 beautiful battery life on phones
4 phone will not get hot until after 2 hours on the phone. (Don't ask)
5 get most of the phones like the i30 i55 i60 for cheap
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Old 08-06-2004, 04:26 PM   #3
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If reliability is your # 1 concern, go with Verizon. I get mine through work so I have no idea how much it costs, but it has worked every where (I do lots and lots of driving all over...big cities to the sticks). I highly recommend them. Worth at least considering for your needs.
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Old 08-06-2004, 04:53 PM   #4
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for being in Michigan I have to recommend Alltel. I live in Michigan too and my dad has Nextel, I have Alltel. He sometimes doesn't get a signal in the middle of big towns, where with Alltel I have a signal NO matter where I go! At my house I have almost a full signal (12 miles from nearest town) and with the Nextel, my dad can't get a signal until he is about 5 or 6 miles toward town. No matter where we go, I always have a better signal than my dad, or any of my friends with Nextel have. I have the Alltel plan where I have 700 minutes/month, voice mail, caller ID, free night/weekend minutes, unliminted mobile to mobile, all for $35 a month. It'* a great plan! Whatever you do, just don't go with Nextel when you live in Michigan.. Nextel=NO TEL in most parts of michigan.

Oh, and with Alltel, you have NO roaming charge whatsoever if you're in Michigan. anywhere in Michigan is considered local calling.
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Old 08-06-2004, 07:13 PM   #5
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I'm surprised to hear that Nextel isn't working for you. If you live in the southern half of the LP, I was under the impression that Nextel worked well. I know from experience that Nextel doesn't work so well in the UP. Nextel has a lot of really nice features though, but they come at a pretty heafty price. If you are looking for a plan under 40, you might have a hard time finding one from them-you'd have to check. I too would suggest AllTel (I had it at one time, but don't right now). It seems to have more all over coverage (including some coverage in UP and northern LP, if that matters at all to you). You might also want to look into T-Mobile, I've never known anyone who has it but was suprised to have it pick up my phone as I was traveling in southern Michigan. Just some factoids to think about.
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Old 08-06-2004, 09:48 PM   #6
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I have Nextel and Cingular. Both are provided thru my employer. The Nextel signal is hit and miss, except along major roads. The phone is an i-50sx. Battery life usually lasts thru a shift and typically, if I have signal, its in use. I use the 2 way, phone and have a tether cord to connect my work laptop to the server.

The Cingular is a Nokia, battery life is several days with normal use, however I can have full antenna signal and still not get half of what people are trying to say.
I have no idea what either plan costs, I just use them as I'm told and havent yet been griped at LOL.

I am like you, with previous plans I have had, the sales people always wanted to push me towards these camera/nintendo/xbox/PDA/DVD, whatever else comes with some of these phones, then look at me kinda strange when I ask "how does the phone itself perform during phone call?" Usually there is a long silence, followed by some stammering, then a question like " well EVERYONE has the optional Jenn Aire microwave on thier handsets, why dont YOU want one?"

I have always had good luck with Nokia handsets. Hope this helps
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Old 08-06-2004, 10:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crzydmnd72
I have always had good luck with Nokia handsets.
I second that, for an opinion on the actual phone. Both of mine have been Nokias, and I've only had one problem (with both of them)-once I've had them for a year, the begin to occasionally turn off at random, which, of course, annoys the heck out of me. But that'* either something you deal with, or a new battery will fix it. As far as call clearity goes, I think these phones are at least average if not better. I have played with some Motorola phones, and it is my opinion that the Nokia interface is easier to use, even if it is less flashy.
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Old 08-06-2004, 10:53 PM   #8
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I have found that certain phones work beter on certain networks. For instance, years ago I worked for a Bell Atlantic/Verizon agent and the phone to go with was the Motorola. Several times when a new Nokia model came out, it was discontinued for performance issues. Now that I work for Cingular, Nokia is top dog.

Just like there is no "best" food, there is no best carrier. It all depends on on your individual travel patterns, usage habits and needed features. Look for the service techs/installers in the local retail stores. See what they have strapped to their hips. This is a pretty good indication of what is working. Typically, if you ask them their opinion on the right phone, you'll get a straight answer instead of being pointed to the one with the highest sales spiffs.
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Old 08-07-2004, 12:56 AM   #9
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Thanks for the replies! I knew you guys were the experts

Its weird you say Nextel doesn't work so great in MI. My couple of friends with them are in GR, a little further north, and K-Zoo- and they say they have yet to not have a signal at any time.

I'll look into AllTel- hadn't considered them.

thanks for the battery life answers too. Would anyone recommend getting a phone used or off ebay or anything?

Thanks everyone!

jeff
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Old 08-07-2004, 01:27 AM   #10
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I don't think there'* anything wrong with buying a phone used, but understand that you may have to replace the battery (usually the first component to wear out if it'* always on the charger). Although, if you CAN get a "free" phone with a new contract, then that would be even better.

Does U.*. Cellular have a network up in MI? Around here, they beat everyone HANDS DOWN with number of minutes for the buck. I currently get 900 mins for $40/month (free LD, free nights/weekends), and am about to resign for another 2 yrs on a promotion that will give me 1000 mins for $44.90/month (free INCOMING!, free LD, free nights/weekends). Blows the competition out of the water around here in IL, where the competitors are Nextel, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Cingular.

P.*. When I do upgrade I'll be replacing two of my three phones, so I'll have a couple for sale... Audiovox CDM-9150X, PM if interested.
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