Fun With My New Phone

htconev Santa (or as I like him call him, me) gave me an awesome present for Christmas.  My first smart cell phone, a HTC ONE V Android from Virgin Mobile.  My previous phone was a Samsung T401G from Net10 which did absolutely nothing other than texting and making calls.  It did have games and internet, but they both sucked.

This new phone is better than my previous cell phones.  It’s not a high-end phone, but it is to me since I’ve never had a smart phone before.

cruiseSo far I have earned 11,067 Viggle points which I will keep earning and saving up to buy something very expensive.  They have a few cool items like a Kindle Fire, an iPod Touch and an Apple TV.  My partner doesn’t have internet on his TV and he has an iPhone, so perhaps he would appreciate the Apple TV.  I earned the 11K points in just 2 weeks, so can you imagine how many more I will earn by Christmas 2013?

They have one reward in there that is worth 4 million points which is a 4 or 5 night Caribbean, Europe or Bermuda cruise aboard a Royal Caribbean International ship.  Can you imagine winning a cruise just from watching TV?  I have never in my life been on a cruise and I have always wanted to.  I think it would be fun and I could take pictures and video with my new phone and post them daily lol.

I have many apps for losing weight which I haven’t really used because they are for cycling and walking and it’s been too cold (as you can see from the weather on the phone image above).  I will take advantage of them in the spring.  Actually, I may uninstall them because I found one that will do the work of all of them, it’s called Noom and it has a GPS and logs my walk, run, jog, cycling etc.  It’s free, but if I pay for it then it will do more.  One thing I love about it is that I can scan the bar code of the food (box, obviously) I eat so I don’t have to find it manually.  I also have a food scale to keep me honest lol.

There are reading apps like the Kindle and Nook apps as well as Aldiko, but I don’t think I will use it too often because it’s killer on the eyes.  I much prefer reading on my Nook WiFi when I do read because it’s e-ink.

I’ve been playing a few games like Megapolis and The Sims FreePlay and Tetris.  I like games that you play with your finger, but my fingers are too fat so I have a stylus to poke the screen with.

I love how it takes pictures and video.  Pictures are widescreen which is basically 4×6 which my other digital cameras never did.  Not that I ever have pictures developed, but if I did want to have a picture developed, I won’t lose anything when it converts the pic to 4×6.  I love that it has a flash which I also can use with video which again isn’t something my camcorder can do since I don’t have a flash for it.  I also love that I can take a picture and then post it directly to Facebook and Twitter without any steps.  Screenshots too.  I learned that just by pressing the power and the home button, it will take a screenshot which I can share in emails, Facebook and Twitter.

My last phone was okay for making calls, but this is perfect.  It has a speakerphone which only works by turning the phone upside down.  I don’t need to look at the screen while talking so that’s fine.  The 3G is great for internet.  My other phone had internet but it was a crap shoot.  It literally took 5 minutes to load a web page one time, and then it gave me a message that said there wasn’t enough memory, which means it didn’t really load the web page.  So I lost minutes and didn’t get anything in return.

My old phone is in good hands with someone I know.  It’s my partners late cousins life partner.  She had a cell phone, but she doesn’t have it anymore and she told me that this one is better than the other one anyway.  I feel sorry that she has to use it and not an Android, but it still works for phone calls and texting.  It’s not perfect, but it works.

I think I am too spoiled now lol.  I will get a ton more use out of this phone than my last which is a good thing.  I felt really guilty about buying it, but I don’t feel that way anymore.

Virgin Mobile

Virgin-Updated-Logo-300x300I bought my first cell phone in 2002 against my partners wishes because he didn’t think I needed a cell phone, which if truth be told I really didn’t.  I mean, I don’t go to work everyday and need to make important phone calls, in fact I really hate talking on the phone lol.  I will call people from time to time, but I don’t spend a lot of time on it.  The main reason I wanted one was because I was traveling to visit family on the Greyhound and Amtrak busses back then two or three times a year and I didn’t like having to use dirty pay phones when I got there to have them come get me.  It was also difficult making and receiving long distance phone calls on their home phones, so I needed my own cell phone to call home.

nokia 3390 The cell phone that I bought was with T-Mobile and it was the Nokia 3390 which was fine at the time.  I had that phone for maybe 8 years and I hadn’t really used it for the last 4, but I kept paying for it just in case I needed it.  I had Gold Rewards, so I only had to pay for 1 month, but got a whole year of time.  I forgot to buy another card for another year and lost the number and the phone was no longer valid.

samsung-T401G-net10-hero-lg My next phone, which I am still using is a Samsung T401G, which is a great phone for texting, but the internet sucks on it and my signal is so weak that it drops calls on me all the time.  I got a “Are you there?” thing going on.  I have it with Net10 so I don’t have Gold Rewards which means I have to buy a $20 card every month to keep it even though I never use it.  I would use it more if it had more features though.

That’s where I am at now.  I really want to buy a smart phone to keep up with the times.  I have been shopping around, but nobody has given me any really good prices.  My partner has an iPhone with Verizon and he pays more than $100/mo for his service and he is stuck in a 2 year contract with 1 more year to go.  I don’t like that their smart (Android) pre-paid phones are $50 a month.  Net10’s smart (Android) pre-paid phones are also $50 a month, but they won’t sell one to me through their website and they are too expensive in the stores.

That brings me to Virgin…

I saw a commercial for Virgin, and even though I have seen this commercial a million times, it never clicked until last night.  They have Android smart phones and you never have to sign a contract.  You get 300 minutes with unlimited data and unlimited texting for only $35 a month.  That’s $15 more than I pay for my Net10 phone.  They also have another plan which is the same, except you get 1200 minutes for $45 a month and then unlimited everything for $55 a month.  That’s not bad.  Although I would get the $35 plan since I never use my minutes, I just want to use the apps with the unlimited data and texting.

What I really want a smart phone for is for certain apps that will make me money.  Like Staree which pays you when you take a picture and share it on Facebook and Twitter.  Viggle also pays you (with gift cards) when you check in when you are watching TV.  I mean, it’s not a steady income, but anything helps.  Plus I would like to read Kindle ebooks that aren’t available for my Nook without needing to buy a Kindle.

I also want a smart phone so I can do Facebook and Twitter updates and check email when I am not at home and don’t have a computer nearby, like at the doctor’s office while I’m waiting for him to come in the room for example.  I would also like to be able to play certain games that are only available on cell phones too.  My Samsung T401G has games, but they are nearly impossible to play with the numpad.

htcevov-gallery-angle-3 So, this is my Christmas wish.  I want a new HTC EVO V 4G Prepaid Android Phone (Virgin Mobile) .  Right now, this phone is $249.99 but on sale for $189.99 on the Virgin website, but it is on sale for $199.99 on Amazon.  Of course I don’t have the money for it now, but I will put money in PayPal every month until I can afford it.  I’m always broke so it’s difficult to save any money, and paying this much money up front for something like this would break me for the rest of the month. It’s not easy to just make a decision to spend that much money when I really don’t need to lol.

I chose this phone because it looks like a good phone.  It has a front facing camera and a 3D camera for video and pictures in the back.  According to a review, it’s good for playing games.  Even though this isn’t my main focus, I’m not going to buy a phone that doesn’t want to play games, because if it doesn’t play games well, then how would I expect it to run apps very well?

If/when I do buy this phone, I will probably give my current phone away to someone who doesn’t have a cell phone.  I won’t be able to keep my phone number, but I haven’t really given it out to too many people anyway, so changing my number won’t be a real issue.

I really don’t need this, but I want it, and why shouldn’t I have something cool, eh?

Oh and by the way, this is my commentary on my experiences and my wish for a new phone.  I am not getting paid for this.  It’d be cool if I were (hint hint wink wink Virgin Mobile).

Update: This is edited.  Previously, I chose the Kycera Rise and then I decided on the HTC One V.  I then decided that I wanted to spend a bit more and buy the HTC EVO V 4G.

Obviously I don’t have the money for this phone, but like I said in the paragraph with the phone, I will have to save up the money for it because this is a good phone.  Who knows, maybe by the time I have the money saved, it will go down in price and I’ll actually be able to afford it.

My Net10 Phone Works

Two weeks ago I bitched that my Net10 phone was rubbish and I would like to give an update on that issue.

Last year I bought my Net10 cell phone because my old T-Mobile phone had been disconnected for a long time because I just never used it.  It was an old phone I bought in 2002 and it wasn’t working anyway so I just let my service lapse.  I bought my new Net10 phone so that I could ride my bicycle for exercise without worrying about not having the ability to call 911 if I had to.

On December 1st Darrin bought me a $25 phone card for my phone.  I normally buy the $20 cards because they only have 200 minutes and the $25 card is a monthly plan with 750 minutes that don’t roll over.  I don’t use my phone enough to need that many minutes, but it was a nice gift and I accepted it.  I just assumed that I would keep the $25 plan so I wouldn’t have to worry about buying a card every month, I could just let Net10 charge me automatically with the plan.  Bad idea.

On January 1st, Net10 was supposed to charge my debit card, but they didn’t and I was unaware until January 3rd.  I went to make a phone call and my service was deactivated.  I went to the Net10 website and clicked reactivate which brought me to the menu to buy time.  I started up the $15 plan which is 200 minutes that don’t roll over.  I figured, if I am going to do a plan, I might as well go with the cheapest since I don’t use my phone that often, but that didn’t work because my phone never activated.

I called Net10 and told them what happened and they told me to wait 1 to 24 hours for it to activate, but it never did so I called them on the 5th.  They walked me through the process of reactivating the phone by going into the code entry mode.  I punched all these numbers in and did everything the guy told me to.  We were on the phone for a little over an hour and he came to the conclusion that my phone was the issue.  He sent me a new phone and told me that it will come with an envelope to send my phone back to them.  I wasn’t happy about that because I lost all of the games that I had bought for my phone.

I had to wait until Monday when the FedEx guy delivered my new phone.  I activated it, but I thought I must have done it wrong because it didn’t activate.  I waited an hour but nothing so I called them and they told me to wait 1 to 24 hours.  If after 24 hours it doesn’t come on then call them back, and I did.  They told me to wait an hour and if it isn’t working call back, which I did and the woman told me to wait another hour and I said no, I want my phone on NOW!  Not in 1 hour, not in 24 hours, I want it on NOW!  She walked me through the code entry bull again and it changed my phone number.  Now all of a sudden my phone number was gone, but she told me it was ok, it will go back to my phone number, but it didn’t so she told me that I needed a new SIM card.  UGH!

I had to wait for my new SIM card to arrive, when it came I called Net10 to activate it and they told me 1 hour.  I called back in an hour saying it’s not working, so they said 1 hour.  What the hell is up with them and 1 hour?  I was sick to my stomach and Darrin had called and said he wanted to go to dinner.  I didn’t want to go because I was too upset to eat, but he wanted to go so we went.

Saturday I called them as soon as I got up and I was on hold for 2 1/2 hours.  I got so tired of waiting so I just hung up and watched Grimm on Hulu since I missed it because we went out to eat.  I called them back and was lucky that I only had to wait 10 minutes.  I spoke to a guy for 90 minutes and he kept telling me that I need to buy a new phone card.  I kept explaining to him that I paid $15 and that was all I was willing to pay because why the hell should I keep buying phone cards if my phone isn’t working?  He tried my debit card and despite the fact that my bank had $400 in it, the card declined so I gave him my master card number and that also declined.  He told me that I need to call the bank and I told him absolutely not.  2 different cards from 2 different banks are not going to just decline when I know both accounts have money in them.  The problem isn’t me, it’s you.  He wanted to hang up on me because he didn’t know what to do and I told him to connect me with a supervisor.

I talked to a supervisor for at least 30 minutes and she couldn’t figure it out so she connected me with a tech person.  Um… aren’t they all supposed to be tech people?  I talked to him for another 30 minutes and he told me that there was an error with my account.  He told me he was going to personally try to fix it and if he does by that night he would call me, if not he would call me the next day.

This morning I woke up and tried my phone and it was still not working.  I went to the Net10 website and saw that the new and old phone were in my account so I called that direct number and was connected immediately.  I asked them if I bought a new phone card and entered it, would my phone work?  They said sure, go for it, so I did and it didn’t.  I called back and gave the guy the whole story from the beginning and he walked me through the code entry mode BS again with 3 different codes.  I gave him my phone card code and viola, time appeared on my new phone.

My phone works and I have 30 days with 200 minutes.  That $15 card that I got never got put on my phone, but at this point I don’t really give a crap, I just want my phone to work and that’s all that matters.  My phone number is different, but I didn’t really give the number to too many people so it doesn’t matter.  All that matters is that my phone works and I will never do the plans again, I will just have to buy phone cards every month and deal with that.

I know what people are going to say, drop Net10… blah blah blah.  Look, I was already told on Google Plus that I should just drop Net10 and go with a reputable phone company, but what people don’t realize is, I can’t afford to pay a reputable phone company for their expensive prepaid service.  I hardly ever use my phone so I can’t afford to spend $50 or $100 a month for a phone I never use.  I can’t really afford $20 either, but that is the only way to keep my phone active.  As long as I keep up with buying phone cards, then I will be fine with what I have.

Now that is solved so I can go back to worrying about other things.

 

My Net10 Phone is Rubbish

I have had my Samsung T401G Net10 cell phone since last summer when I started riding my bike. I bought it through the Net10 website as a refurbished phone and I only paid $25 for it. I also got a free $25 phone card so technically I got the phone for free. I chose this one because it’s the one that Darrin had. I’ll admit that I was a little jealous because all of a sudden he had a better cell phone than I had, although now he has an iPhone…

I have had issues with my phone from the very beginning. When I activated it, I had to go through a process of typing codes in the phone through the prepaid menu. I wasn’t sure if the issues were because it was a refurbished phone, but I didn’t care because when it finally worked I was able to make phone calls, and that’s all that mattered.

I started out with the $25 750 minutes monthly plan, but they failed to charge my debit card every month so I was forced to buy phone cards instead.  I have had to add minutes every month from their website. I wanted to do it directly from the phone, but their menu doesn’t offer the cheaper $20 phone card. You have to buy the $30 and up. I didn’t want to do that so I had to do it on the website.

Darrin bought me a phone card in the beginning of December and it was the $25 plan again. When you go with their plan, they are supposed to automatically charge the debit or credit card that is in your account, but they failed to do so and my phone was deactivated. I tried to reactivate it by getting the $15 200 minute monthly plan, but it didn’t accept it for some reason so I had to call them.

I was on the phone with Net10 yesterday for 90 minutes. They walked me through a very tedious process of pressing codes in the prepaid menu like I had to do when I first got the phone, but that didn’t work. The operator I spoke with had reactivated the phone and added my minutes with the 30 days, but unfortunately my phone itself never reactivated. So he said that my phone was not working and that he would send me another one and then I’d have to return my faulty one back to them with a prepaid envelope.

When I asked him why they didn’t automatically charge my credit card for the monthly service on the first, he replied that it was the phones fault. Um, isn’t that the responsibility of the website, not the phone?  My plan was in their system, so they should have automatically charged my credit card $25 on the first of the month.  They didn’t and now it’s the phones fault?

It doesn’t matter, I am going to keep all of the minutes that are still on my phone from last months plan, get 200 minutes from the $15 I paid for the day before yesterday and then in another month I will just go back to the $25 750 minutes plan. If they don’t charge me automatically, I will just have to make sure that I am keeping up with it by going to the website.  It’s a schlep but what else can I do?

I noticed that they are now selling android phones, the LG Optimus Net and Q. The Q just has a slide-out keyboard and it’s about $20 more. I am not too happy with their service because I rarely have more than 2 or 3 bars and when I am downloading games, it always gets interrupted and I have to start over. Maybe because it’s a faulty phone though (that was said with a hint of sarcasm).

That’s another thing, I had spent a lot of my minutes buying games. I have 8 games that I paid for and now I will lose them because my new phone isn’t going to have them. I think I would be more pissed if I had paid for those with actual money, but considering I will be getting all of my minutes back from last month, I think I can either buy them again with my minutes, or just not worry about it because I never even played them.  If I had the android phone then I think it would be more worth my time playing games than it is with this crappy phone.

I will have to wait 3-5 days for my replacement phone so I will be out a phone until then.  It sucks, but there is nothing I can do about it.  I only ever use it for texting with Darrin so it doesn’t really matter because he can just email with his fancy schmancy iPhone 4S lol.

I want to upgrade to the LG Optimus Net this summer for my birthday because I can use my wi-fi to use the internet with it when I’m at home.  When I am out on the bike trail this summer, I will be able to make twitter and Facebook updates.  I couldn’t do that with my current phone because it didn’t store my long difficult passwords and I could never remember what they were to log in every time I wanted to update.  Also, an Android phone has apps like the WeReward app and the QR code scanner.  Not that I really need to scan QR codes, but it would be nice to have that option.

It’s funny, I rarely ever use my cell phone, but I am being tortured by not having it to play with.

Cycling Again

Last month I bought a new back wheel for my bicycle so that I could start getting exercise again.  The same exact day, Chips deceased cousins girlfriend bought a vintage 10-speed road bike because I told her I was getting my new wheel and that if she had a bike we could go bike riding together.  We rode exactly 2 times together last month.  I didn’t ride on my own though.

This month we rode once, yesterday and I told her that if this is going to work we are going to have to do this more often, like every day at least.  Since we are both out of shape then perhaps every other day until our leg muscles are more used to it.

I spent a long time figuring out the perfect route for bike riding and unfortunately she doesn’t like my route because it’s the same thing every time and she likes to take short cuts, which defeats the purpose of the ride.  My route has no heavy traffic to cross, all neighborhoods and when we are on the busy roads they have bike lanes.  I pride myself on my organization skills whether anyone likes it or not, typically nobody likes it but me.

My cell phone hasn’t worked in years and I really need to keep a cell phone with me at all times when I’m out on the bike trail so I bought a refurbished Samsung T401G from Net10 which is the same exact phone Darrin has, only I paid $25 for mine since it was refurbished and it comes with a $25 phone card.  Basically I got the phone for free hehe.  But it’s a very nice phone compared to what I would have gotten had I gotten the cheaper phone if I had gone to Sears to buy it today.

Even though we are going to ride every other day, I am going to ride every day if I can (as soon as my new phone arrives) because I have more weight to lose than she does and I am determined to lose it.

I will be suggesting an alternate route for her which is her car.  We were crossing such heavy traffic yesterday and it really freaked me out so if she wants to do this she can drive her bike there and I can meet her on the trail.  I think that is a good plan.  I get more exercise and she gets the amount of exercise she is satisfied with, it’s a win win for everyone involved.