A New Phone for (a belated) Christmas

I wrote about how I wanted to buy myself a new cell phone from Virgin Mobile for Christmas, but I can’t seem to settle on which phone I want and I keep changing the phone in that post.  I said I am not getting it for games, but here’s the thing, it doesn’t matter if I play games on it or not, if it can’t play games well, then what hope do I have for it running apps?  So I want a phone that is capable of running apps as well as well as it runs games because I don’t want to be in an app and suddenly the phone freezes up.

The phone I wanted in the beginning was on sale for $49, but after seeing a video review on YouTube for it, I decided that it wasn’t what I wanted.  They always say you get what you pay for, and for $50 you are probably getting a piece of crap.  The phone is normally $100, but still, if they show a game freezing in the review then that’s enough for me to say no.

I have been watching other reviews for other phones and even though they are good phones, none of them compare to the quality you get with the most expensive Android phone that they have.

The HTC EVO V 4G is on sale for $189 and takes 3D pictures and video, which is nice and all, but where else am I going to see those besides the phone?  I can’t print the 3D images and I can’t watch the videos on my 2D TV, so what’s the point?  Plus it only takes 5MP pictures.  The most expensive one takes 8MP pictures and it doesn’t have 3D.  So I would say screw the 3D, I don’t need it.

The HTC One V and the Samsung Galaxy Reverb are both good phones, the HTC One V is on sale for $100 and the Samsung Galaxy Reverb is on sale for $150, but again, not as good as the most expensive one which I now see is no longer as cheap as it was yesterday.  It is the Samsung Galaxy S II 4G.  I can’t afford that for a phone.  So my 2 choices are now down to the HTC One V and the Samsung Galaxy Reverb.

I still can’t afford anything until next month.  I have already set aside $40 and I will have more than $100 coming to me next month for blogging and tweeting which is at least 6 months worth, so it’s not a lot lol.  Whatever amount I have will determine which phone I get.  I want the HTC One V because it seems like a much better phone, even though it’s cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy Reverb.  Of course, neither of them are as good as the Galaxy S II, but if that is all I can afford, then that’s all I can afford.  I will probably most likely have to pay separately for the plan after I buy the phone, so whatever it is I can add $35 to the price.

The toughest part is that by the time I have the money for the phone, they won’t be on sale anymore so I will end up paying more for the phone.  I’ll probably end up checking Amazon and VirginMobileUSA.com every day to see if they have a sale and which one is worth getting.  Who knows, maybe by the time I have the money saved up, they might have new phones that are better than the 2 I’m torn between.

I don’t really need a new cell phone because I hardly ever use the one I have, so this isn’t a necessity, but I would like to have a new one because I feel like I’m stuck in the dark ages with the one I have, even though I’ve only had it for a year and a half lol.  It’s like having a black and white TV when everyone else has color, or having a Nintendo 64 when everyone else has PlayStation.  This is starting to sound like an Alanis Morissette song.  It’s like 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife lol.

My phone never has a good signal, so whenever I call anyone with it, I feel like I’m going to get cut off so that’s why I don’t like to use it.  I know it’s not the phones fault, but how do I know it’s not?  It’s a Samsung T401G from Net10.  I have had trouble downloading games for it because of the bad signal.  I have to wait until we go to a doctor’s appointment or to the mall to get a good enough signal just to download games, and forget about checking email because every time I try to do that, Gmail has to send me a new code which comes in a text so I have to leave the browser and read the text and try to remember the code so I can enter it when I go back to the browser.  It’s just a horrible phone lol.  I want a new phone because I feel if I had a better phone I might use it more.  I may not call people, but I will use the apps.

Another reason I want a smart phone is so that I can use Twitter and Facebook when we’re not home and I can’t get to a computer or I don’t want to be rude enough to take out my Chromebook.  It will be so much easier to pull my phone out and do a quick Facebook update or tweet and then put it back in my pocket.  It will also be so much easier and faster to tweet pictures that I have taken with my phone instead of having to upload pics to Picasa to edit before uploading to Facebook and Twitter.  It will take so many long steps out of the equation.  Also I can read email and respond right away, not that I get a lot of emails anymore since Facebook and Twitter came out, but still.

I will have to wait and see what happens in January before I can make a firm decision on whether I will get a new phone and which one it will be.  I hope it’s a good one and is 100 times better than the one I have.

Advertisements

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 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.

Amazon Wireless

amazonwirelessAmazon has added a new service to their website called Amazon Wireless.  This is kind of neat because you can choose your wireless company, which by the way they only have 2 so far which are AT&T and Verizon Wireless, then choose a phone then choose whether you want a new individual account or if you are already part of an existing individual account or family account.

Most of the phones are only a penny and so you basically get a free phone but when you click that you already have an existing account the price may go up to about $50-$75 or more depending on the phone.  I found that certain phones you still get for just a penny with an already existing plan.

I think that’s great that they will give you a free phone if you are upgrading your cell phone but not your plan because it just makes it easier to get a new phone.  I’m sure people don’t want to upgrade because they just can’t afford to so this makes it easier.

I didn’t see any iPhones listed but I did see Blackberry Curve and Blackberry Bold.  They also have some other well known companies like Samsung, LG, Motorola and Sony to name a few.

Now here is my question and I hope someone will find this via google blog search so they can answer.  I have a pre-paid cell phone with T-Mobile.  Of course they don’t offer T-Mobile yet but it says coming soon.  But when they do get T-Mobile I wonder if I can buy a new phone for my pre-paid plan with GPS and Mp3 capability.  I wonder if it would work.  I don’t need internet, I just want to be able to have the GPS and Mp3 along with being able to call people.

I currently have a Nokia 3390 cell phone pre-paid plan with T-Mobile that I’ve had since 2002.  The reason I got a pre-paid plan is for 2 reasons.  #1 being that a friend of ours in Hollywood was always driving to Malibu to visit her mom (this was 1997-1999, she passed away in 2000) and she couldn’t get reception and she was having nothing but problems but to be fair she knows that she didn’t have reception due to the mountains that she was driving through but she blamed it on the cell phone company anyway.  She insisted on getting out of her contract to go with another company and she had to pay big bucks to get out of it which was dumb because she had the same issue with another company lol.  So it’s for this very reason that Darrin forbade me, yes, I said forbade, from getting a contract.

Reason number 2 is that I have a little to no credit score since I never really established credit in my late teens.  No credit cards means bad credit score which means the cell phone companies will only give me a cell phone with the highest paid plan which makes absolutely no sense to me.  They should offer me their cheapest plan so they know they get their money every month.  Also, I’m on disability so I can’t really afford a monthly plan fee.  All I really can afford is the pre-paid because I only pay for minutes when I need them and I don’t use it that much to warrant buying a lot of minutes.

Darrin has taken over the phone though because he needs a phone at work so when he’s driving if he needs to make a call to AAA for a tow or whatever then he has a phone.  Also if he has to call 911 then he has a phone.  He usually uses it to call me at the house on his way home.  But he’s always asking me to go to map quest and tell him the directions that he writes down and I think it would be much easier if he had a GPS on the phone.

Sorry I rambled on but you have to know the full story of why I’m asking lol.  Thanks for your response in advance.