New Samsung Galaxy S3 Phone with FreedomPop Service

phones

My new Samsung Galaxy S3 came a couple of days ago. I was going to activate it as a pre-paid phone with Sprint, but the Quick Start card that came with the phone was from FreedomPop. It said FreedomPop on the Nomorerack (now Choxi) website, and I dismissed that since I figured I would activate it with Sprint. Anyway, check out the difference from my old HTC One V (left) from Virgin Mobile compared to the new phone (right). Huge difference!

The sound quality was HORRIFIC when I made my first phone call to our landline lol. Well, first of all there wasn’t any sound at all. My partner could hear me just fine, but with a ton of static, but I couldn’t hear him at all. We hung up and tried again and it was still bad, but I figured out how to turn the mic volume down and suddenly he could hear me just fine, and no static. I called my aunt and it sounded like she picked up the phone, but there wasn’t anyone on the other line, and then the line was dead. I called her the next day and the timer was going, but I couldn’t hear anything. I figured perhaps she could hear me, I just couldn’t hear her, but when I called her on my Virgin Mobile cell phone which is still active for another month, she told me she could barely hear me at all on my new phone. She said it sounded garbled. Ugh!

By the way, my aunt has a Samsung Galaxy S2 and she told me that when she turns her head, no one can hear or understand her. This is supposed to be the crème de la crème of phones, so why do they suck for making phone calls?

Today I went to the FreedomPop website to get help. I found out that this is a common issue. Well shit, why is it that I always seem to get something that has a common issue? I installed Minecraft PE on the new phone and for some odd reason it wasn’t installing specific files, and guess what? It’s a common issue. So here I am with this awesome phone that I can’t make calls with.

Several people on the message boards on the FreedomPop website said that they could not make a phone call without wifi being turned on, so I thought what if that is my problem? What if I turned OFF the wifi on my phone and see what happens, so I called my Virgin mobile cell phone and it was perfect. I could hear myself on both phones. I can call my new cell phone from another phone and it works with WiFi turned on, but I can’t call out with it turned on. Well, that’s still not right that I have to remember to turn the WiFi off just to be able to make a phone call. Oh and by the way, it was garbled. I could hear myself perfectly fine on the Samsung speaker, but on the Virgin speaker, I could hear myself garbled from the Samsung mic. It’s also too low, and now I can’t find where the mic volume is lol. I can’t win!

I have a Bluetooth watch that I just bought last month and it seems to work with my new phone, but the call quality, not so much. I tried calling my Virgin mobile phone with it and I couldn’t hear anything. Ugh! Perhaps a Samsung bluetooth ear piece might work?

When I first activated the phone on my computer, it told me it was sending me a new phone. I can’t even remember what kind of phone it was, but I figured it was probably something they do for customers who want service, but don’t have a phone, but then again I did activate an actual phone, so I don’t know. I thought that perhaps it was a mistake, but then I got this today.

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If they actually do send me a new phone and it works, I would be curious to know if Choxi would give me a refund and allowed me to send their refurbished phone back to them. The point of me buying the Samsung Galaxy S3 was to get a kick ass phone with 16GB, not to get a phone that probably only has 1GB, then I’d be back to where I was before with my Virgin Mobile phone. I can forgive the Minecraft issue because I can just play that on my Nook HD+, but I need to be able to make phone calls, and if the Samsung one will just work as a phone, then I’d like to just use that and not a free phone from FreedomPop. I wonder if I can keep both and just use the new one for calls, but the Samsung one for apps and texting and data. I don’t know if they would allow me to have service on 2 phones though, so that’s a good question. I just don’t want to have to go back to a phone with 1GB lol. I bought this Samsung one for a reason dammit!

Ugh, I’m so beyond frustrated. Why does this always happen to me? Why is it that the thing (technology) I love the most, hates me the most? I will definitely be back if/when a new phone comes and I get to speak with someone over at FreedomPop about my issue.

Time for a new cell phone

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Call me an excited nerd, because I am so beyond freaking excited to be getting a new cell phone lol.

Today I woke up, got the mail and saw a flier on our screen door for “MetroPCS.” The ad was $29 for 4G phones, and in the picture are the Alcatel One Touch Fierce 2, LG Optimus L70 and Hydro Life by Kyocera. The small writing at the bottom of that side says:

“Phone Instant Rebate Offer: Limited time offer, while supplies last. Requires new line activation or a phone upgrade. Between February 11, 2015 and April 30, 2015 at participating MetroPCS stores purchase and Alcatel ONETOUCH Fierce 2 phone, an LG Optimus L70 phone, or a Kyocera Hydro LIFE phone and receive an instant $120 rebate off of regular price.”

Ok, I’ll bite… The other side of the flier says our best deal ever. $30. Unlimited data, talk, text on the nationwide T-mobile Network. So that means if I went to MetroPCS today and bought a $29 phone, I would say goodbye to Virgin Mobile. Well, I was ready to say goodbye to Virgin because all these years that I’ve had my HTC One V phone has been a living nightmare of only being able to actually access a website or use an app using the Sprint network about 10% of the time. Yes, 90% of the time I have tried using my phone has been a complete failure. I was so ready to leave Virgin and go back to T-Mobile, which used to be what I had when I was using my old Nokia 3390 phone.

I went to their website and typed in the LG Optimus L70 and found that it only has 1.3GB of hard drive space, meaning I would be right back to where I am with my HTC One V which is a 1GB phone, and what a nightmare that has been having to deal with constantly having to clear the cache every time an app wants to do an update. While I was at the MetroPCS website I noticed that they give you an instant $70 rebate, but then you have to fill out paperwork and wait for a $50 mail in rebate. So instead of only being able to pay $29 for a phone, I’m paying $79 and I have to wait, I’m guessing 3 months for the $50 rebate. So basically the flier lied to me, even in the small print. The website specifically saying “In store only” so that means that if I went in the store, I’d get screwed. I can see how the conversation would be, “but your flier specifically says I get a $120 instant rebate” then they make up some kind of excuse as to why I have to pay the $79 and wait for the $50 rebate. No! Screw that!

I remembered that Nomorerack had a sale on their Samsung Galaxy S3 Snapdragon MSM8960 for only $99 and it has 16GB hard drive installed, and I got free shipping. Yes, by me saying “got free shipping” that says that I did buy it lol. So that’s what you see in the image above. My HTC One V on the left and the new Samsung Galaxy SIII on the right. The phone I got says it is CDMA unlocked & refurbished. It’s unlocked meaning I can go to the Virgin Mobile website and add the serial number to swap phones. I’m not sure I will have to worry about any fees, I hope note, but if I do then life’s a bitch and then you die lol.

The thing I am most excited about is the front facing camera. I will finally be able to use some apps I haven’t been able to use because I didn’t have that camera. I’ll now be able to Skype with people who never want to Skype with me and I’ll now be able to take selfies without having to delete about 20 because I couldn’t find the button and ended up taking a blurry picture of my forehead.

What was wrong with my old HTC One V you ask? Well, what wasn’t wrong with it is the better question. It was constantly rebooting on its own. Whenever I would call someone, or that very rare occasion when someone called me, the speaker was so messed up that it sounded like Kanye West trying to sing with auto tune. It sounded horrible, just awful, and so did the phone calls. I couldn’t stand it, but at the same time, I was stuck with it because I didn’t have the money to upgrade to a better phone because they were always like $300 or more.

My HTC One V was nice to have for the first year or 2, but then it just started getting frustrating. I mean, literally, frustrating. I find myself going UGH every time I heard it reboot. There were times I left it at home because it was pointless to bring it anywhere since I could never get it to work right. Oh and don’t get me started on the apps constantly crashing. I have an app where I scan barcodes and have to submit my grocery list every time I go to the grocery store for points to buy prizes, but practically every time I go to use it, I have to reboot my phone and wait for it to allow me to load the app to use it. I do that so it is a fresh reboot, so I don’t have to worry about it rebooting or crashing, but it still does it anyway.

So thank you MetroPCS for your flier and thank you for being so dishonest in your advertising that you drove me to buying a new phone somewhere else and staying with Virgin Mobile.

Geek U8 Bluetooth Smart Watch

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Facebook has had some really interesting ads lately. One particular ad is for an Android app called Geek where they have hundreds of products at a huge discount. Take for instance this one particular watch that is a Bluetooth Smart Watch that connects to your iPhone and Android phone. I haven’t worn a watch in years because I don’t want to just wear any old watch, I want my watch to not only tell me the time, but also give me many options. I’ve been known to wear calculator watches as a teenager, but they weren’t just calculators, it also stored all of my contacts, like a little address book. Since I don’t need that feature because it is all in my smart phone, there really isn’t much reason to have that old kind of watch.

My partner bought a subscription to a couple of magazines, and they sent him a watch, which he didn’t like so he gave it away to someone, not me Sad smile. When I saw this Geek ad on Facebook, I saw the watch and that was when I knew this was my next watch. Of course I didn’t have the money or the courage to spend money I really don’t have, so I waited for it to go down in price. It was $24 when I bought it, and since I am trying to raise my credit score, I figured what the hell, go for it. It was normally $50.

It came yesterday and I nearly posted a long rant about how much I hate this watch. First of all, it took about 30 minutes to finally connect to my phone, even though the app they told me to install on my phone was already installed. Then I had an issue with it not turning on when I pressed the button on the right. I don’t know why it has been doing that to me, but it was apparently just a fluke because it’s no longer happening to me. Then last night I did the dishes, and totally forgot to take the watch off. It didn’t get too wet, but I guess it did get wet because it started glitching out on me. I would look at my watch and it would be in the dialer pressing random numbers, and then it would go into the calculator pressing random numbers. I would push the button on the right to shut off, and it would come back on. I thought for sure I had screwed it up, by today it is perfectly fine, as if nothing bad (water) had happened.

I personally like wearing this watch because my phone has some real issues. When I am speaking with someone on my phone, it sounds like they are using auto tune. Imagine having a conversation with your aunt and it sounds like Cher singing Do you believe in life after love? It’s not great, and I don’t understand why it is doing that. When I am using the smart watch to talk to someone, it is loud and clear, and no crazy sound issues. Plus it looks sort of cool that I’m talking to my watch like Dick Tracy lol.

Anyway, it was only $24 plus $3 shipping and it came all the way over here from Japan. It came a lot quicker than I was expecting, which I’m happy about because I hate waiting for packages lol. I highly recommend it if you are a huge technology geek or nerd lol. Expect problems at first, but know those kinks will work themselves out.

Here are some pictures. I don’t know why but it is always in military time, which is why I’m using the analog watch image. It would be awesome if I could have more options, but that’s ok.

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PlayStation 3 for Christmas

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I had my heart set on getting a brand new PlayStation 4 for Christmas, then my heart was broken at the realization that it just wasn’t realistic for me to buy with no money and not enough credit. I considered a PlayStation 3, but figured why go backwards? I know they still make/sell games for PS3, but it’s an older model and the newer one has way better graphics. For example, I watched a video that compared the graphics from the same game with PS3 and PS4. The rocks were flat in the PS3, but they were round and bumpy in PS4. But you know what? I’m not that freaking spoiled lol.

What made me decide that perhaps a PS3 is a better idea? The very fact that I was going through the PlayStation store looking for games for my PSP and realized that some of the games that I have already bought are also playable on the PS3. Not all, but some. The PS4 and the PS Vita are basically mates, so that means MY PSP and the PS3 would be mates, and that makes much more sense to buy a PS3. I mean, I don’t have any plans on upgrading to a PS Vita any time in the near present or future, so why buy a PS4 that my games won’t even work on?

The PlayStation 3 on Amazon bundled with The Hobbit is $280.00 with free shipping. I currently have $197 on my credit card, so I have $303 credit available. I am working on a $150 order on Etsy, so if that works out and I get that money, I will use that towards my credit card, plus I will add another $47 and then I will have $500 credit available. So why not then charge this PS3 bundle? Of course, by the time I get that $150, who knows if the price will still be the same. It might be higher, it might be lower, who knows. I don’t want to charge it until it is a done deal.

Another bonus of buying the PlayStation 3 is that they have a bigger selection and the games are cheaper because they are for the older system. I removed all of the games from my PS4 wish list and changed it to PS3 and added PS3 games.

So, my hopes are back up that I will get a brand spanking new PlayStation 3 system bundled with Lego Hobbit and 500GB storage. That would be so awesome! Keeping my eyes crossed!

No PS4 for Christmas

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Well, I am a bit sad and disappointed tonight. My dream of getting a PlayStation 4 for Christmas has been squashed. It’s at its lowest price, $399 with FREE shipping on Amazon for Black Friday, but unfortunately, there is no money for it. I highly doubt it will be this cheap for the rest of the month, but it wouldn’t matter anyway because we just don’t have the money for it. I was considering putting it on my credit card, but I don’t want to end up having to pay for the interest. The credit card that I have doesn’t charge interest for 3 months. I could pay $100 off every month, but as it is I already have $200 charged and my limit is only $500. It was a nice dream, but it will have to be put on hold for another time. Perhaps next Christmas.

black friday couponIf for some reason people feel like buying some of my jewelry and/or keychains in My Etsy Shop, then perhaps I might be able to buy it. I have a coupon code for Black Friday for 35% off which is TGIBlackFriday with a minimum purchase of $10. I will have a new holiday coupon available soon.

I have some really good quality items and they are not too expensive. Everything I make is made with love and most everything is custom-made, so it is made however you want it to be made. Think of me as the crafter version of Burger King. Have it YOUR way! It’s not made until you order it, unless it’s already made, and in that case it will be easier for me.

So help a fellow gamer out. All of my shop items make great stocking stuffers, and there is something for everyone. My stud earrings are plastic, so anyone can wear them because plastic is hypoallergenic. My hook earrings (dangle or hoops) are surgical steel hypoallergenic. I’ve tested them out on myself to make absolutely 100% sure they are safe for everyone. I have really bad metal allergies, so if it doesn’t make me break out, then I feel comfortable selling them.

So for now, I will just continue playing with my PSP games. There are still a few I want to buy. I have my PSP Wish List on Amazon and I found out that the digital download versions are cheaper, and I don’t even have to wait for them. For anyone wondering, if I have a PSP, why would I want a PS4? Well, the PSP is nice for playing with on the bicycle trainer and for trips, but I would also love to play the games on my TV. I’ve never owned a TV console. I mean, I had an Atari 2600 in my bedroom when I was 13 in 1983, but that technically was a loan from my parents, and I didn’t have it for very long. I would love to have my very own TV console gaming system to play games in higher definition and to be able to play games with other people. I don’t need it, it’s just something that I wanted because it’s a cool thing.

PS4 for Christmas

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My partner saw a commercial for Xbox One and asked if that’s what I want for Christmas. I told him I don’t want you to buy me an Xbox because they are way too expensive. He asked if I would play it and I said hell yes, but I don’t want you to buy it for me.

Up until that point it never even occurred to me that I might want a video game system for my TV. I mean, I’ve thought about it every now and then, but when I saw how expensive they were, the thoughts faded away. But now I can’t stop thinking about it.

This weekend is Black Friday and Cyber Monday. They are at least 23% off, but even still, they are way too expensive for me. The regular price of a PS4 is $520 and right now they are on sale for $400. That’s a lot of money to save, but $400 is also a lot of money to spend.

And I settled on PlayStation 4 because I already have PSP and they have much different selection than Xbox. For example Xbox doesn’t have Little Big Planet. I have some games that I love for my PSP that they don’t have anywhere else, like Jak and Daxter & Ratchet and Clank. It’s a brand, like Nintendo has Mario and Zelda and you can’t play those anywhere else. This particular game system has the Little Big Planet and Lego Batman 3. I mean don’t get me wrong, I would LOVE either Xbox One or PS4. I would be more than happy with either one of them.

Another reason I settled on the PS4 rather than Xbox One is because of the camera. I checked and the Xbox Kinect is $100 to $200. The PS4 camera is only $40. Huge difference in price. The only reason I would want the camera is so that I could use it for the dance games, which burn calories because it is cardio exercise. The Xbox One Kinect is more than just for exercise, in fact you can control your TV from what I understand, but I would probably never use that. In fact, if I did have that, every time I talked, Chip would ask me who I was talking to, so it’s better that I don’t have a game to talk to lol.

It’s a nice thing to think about, and I even created a Amazon wishlist for PS4, but I highly doubt I will ever be able to buy anything from that wishlist. Maybe one day, but probably not this day, or any time soon. If Santa “made” one for me, and it happened to be under the tree on Christmas morning, then I would be the happiest 44 year-old child the world has ever seen, but I highly doubt that would happen.

The Spark Activity Tracker

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Diet and exercise are very important to me. Since I have Scoliosis, I prefer cycling over any other form of cardio exercise that might hurt my back. I have a mountain bike on a bicycle trainer in our patio and I have a bicycle computer connected to the back wheel. I also use the Noom app on my Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ tablet to log my diet and exercise.

The Noom app added a new feature that allows you to connect your Google Fit account so it can copy all of the cardio information from your Google Fit tracker. I didn’t have a Google Fit tracker, so I went looking for one, however they are very expensive. I went looking for an alternative and found The Spark Activity Tracker from Spark People for only $29.95. It attaches to your shoe or your belt or wherever you want to attach it. It logs your steps and all of your cardio from walking, jogging, running, cycling, elliptical and even when you are just working or shopping. It comes with a USB Wireless Sync Point that allows The Spark to sync when you are in range of your computer where it is plugged in. Once it syncs up with your SparkPeople account, you can then see your progress. It shows daily steps, activity minutes, calories burned and distance covered.

imageUnfortunately The Spark doesn’t connect to the Noom app, but I will be able to use the information from SparkPeople to log my activity to Noom. Perhaps this will be more accurate since it is much newer than my bicycle computer. If The Spark is permanently attached to my shoe, I will never forget it, and the battery will last for a year, so no worries about having to keep it charged. I can also edit the steps in the Noom app so they are the same as in the SparkPeople website.

What I was not expecting was to receive a SparkPeople Exercise DVD that will give me complete weekly workouts for beginners, intermediate and advanced. I am considering buying some weights to go with these workouts. I watched a few of them and they aren’t bad either. I don’t have a lot of space in my bedroom, but I might have just enough to do these workouts.

I was curious to see if The Spark would know the difference between walking and riding my bicycle, and it knew exactly what I was doing because it logged 22 minutes on the bike as “Cycling”. Although, the 2nd day I used it, it logged it as general exercise. I had to reclassify it, and that also affected my steps on the SparkPeople website and app, which gave me more steps. A little strange that I had to do that, but that’s fine.

It’s also interesting how The Spark works. You tap it 5 times and it will show lights to show you how you are doing. If it only has 1 light on the top, you haven’t done anything yet, if it shows half, then you know you’ve still got a ways to go. If all the lights come on, and they blink, then you still have a few minutes of exercise to go. You know you’re finished when all the lights glow and they don’t blink. That’s when you can sigh and say I’m done! And if you meet your goal for the day, the week or the month, you get a trophy. The image at the top of this paragraph is my first trophy which says I met my goal of 6000 steps. I got the same trophy on my 2nd day using it. The trophies are a fun way to encourage you to meet all of your goals. Although, you don’t get an actual trophy, but if you do all of the work and eat right, you get a flat tummy, and isn’t that worth all the trophies in the world?

I was motivated by the Noom and SparkPeople apps, and I was motivated by my bicycle and the bicycle trainer, but even though I had all of those things, I wasn’t 100% motivated. I do feel that this Spark will light a spark under my ass and get me back to work so I can lose this weight. I hope it does.