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  1. #1
    The cat says Merry Xmas Pamestique's Avatar
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    Help an old fuddy duddy buy a smartphone

    OK my cell phone is just one step up from an analog phone. Buying a new phone is intimidating and I hate all the new technology stuff, it's way over my head (I also drive a 14 year old car so that ought to tell you something).

    I am thinking of the DROID 2. Big step in the smartphone market, especially for me.

    Here are my questions:

    Is it better to buy the phone online from Verizon or in a store? Is there some way to negotiate a better deal? Note I use Verizon now and have for many years but have been off a plan for 6 years (my phone is that old).

    If I buy it online, I assume I also pick a TALK plan and a DATA plan. I don't need a big plan for either since I am a light user. I figure the basic talk plan and then the $29.99 data plan.

    Any thoughts between the Droid X or Droid 2? What's the diffence between 3G hot spot and wi-fi or is it the same? (yes I am that stupid and don't know).

    Does anyone have a Droid? Will it be hard for me to figure out how to use it? Does it work basically like a computer?

    Appreciate some advice. My head is spinning after leaving the Verizon website.
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  2. #2
    I... Don't care. nekohime's Avatar
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    Sometimes it's cheaper to buy online if they have specials, but often the salespeople in the store can give you deals depending on your job, or if you use a credit union, etc. If you can go in the store and actually play with the phone for a while, it will probably help, and the salespeople can steer you toward a phone with all the features you need. Just don't give in to the pressure to buy the latest, shiniest, most expensive phone if you don't want it.

    3G uses the cellular phone network; wi-fi hot spot uses your regular wi-fi router. You get charged for using 3G but not wi-fi.
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  3. #3
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    My present phone is a smartphone and my first.

    I never used all the features of my old phones, so I gave up on having the latest and greatest...and settled for the HTC Eris. It was cheap, beginner-friendly and best of all, compact unlike some of the pocket bricks out now. I've enjoyed the few apps I've tried (all free), used the GPS function and even loaded some songs and videos onto it. It's set to function as a drive when plugged into a USB port (pops up a window just like a thumbdrive) and loading it is a simple drag and drop. The phone is smart enough to find the files when the correct app is opened. Pretty neat stuff.
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  4. #4
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    First off, go into the store and see which feels better in your hand. The Droid X is big. Really big. And I've heard that it tends to be on the quiet side.

    Next, call up Verizon, see what deals they can work out. Check online, check the store. Go with the best one.

    The Droid X can turn itself into a wi-fi hotspot on the 3g network so you can link your computers to the net. Does that make a little more sense?
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  5. #5
    Fax Transport Specialist black_box's Avatar
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    I'm also looking/researching. Are there many phones that will do voice and/or data over WLAN? I have crappy reception (AT&T) at work and at home with my current phone.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Do you absolutely need a voice capable pocket PC? I got a "dumb" smartphone, and after my contract is up (and I'm even looking at refurbed replacement phones now), I'm going back to a more basic phone.

    I need a phone to be a phone. All the other goodies are nice, but they also drain the battery at an alarming rate. If I wanted to be tethered to a wall socket all of the time, I'd just take my laptop everywhere and use a VoIP service.
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  7. #7
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    Do you need a smart phone? I chose a ruggedized phone because it better suits my needs. Impact and moisture resistance is more important to me then web access and touch screen.
    Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're probably right

  8. #8
    GATC
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    Do you absolutely need a voice capable pocket PC? I got a "dumb" smartphone, and after my contract is up (and I'm even looking at refurbed replacement phones now), I'm going back to a more basic phone.

    I need a phone to be a phone. All the other goodies are nice, but they also drain the battery at an alarming rate. If I wanted to be tethered to a wall socket all of the time, I'd just take my laptop everywhere and use a VoIP service.
    We started using a netbook for skype. Bigger than a cell, but works outside North America unlike most verizon phones. We spent about a dollar on about an hour of skype-ing from Europe to the US over a period of a week or so. skype-to-skype is free though, however many continents are involved.

    I found out my work laptop has a microphone so I can use it for skype voice calls too.

    A lot of places have free wifi.

    I am thinking bottom dollar bottom size voice phone will be my next option.

  9. #9
    Senior Member gman26's Avatar
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    I got rid of my iPhone and switched to the HTC EVO 4G; Android phones are great.
    Go to Verizon and get a Droid X, great phone, excellent carrier.

  10. #10
    The cat says Merry Xmas Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Danw View Post
    Do you need a smart phone? I chose a ruggedized phone because it better suits my needs. Impact and moisture resistance is more important to me then web access and touch screen.
    Tough decision for me. Up until now I thought I did not. I also just needed a phone to be a phone (I don't even want the camera feature - and still don't). But lately, with all my travelling and current network of friends I would like the capacity to connect to my personal email address since I am unable to get yahoo mail at work.

    My concern of course is the phone charge. Right now I have a basic plan, very cheap. I don't talk much on my cell phone as it is. I also don't text. With the Droid 2 (not the "X" - yes the "X" is too big in many ways for me) I can get the basic phone service but also have to sign up for a $29.99 data plan. Is that worth it?

    I am a Verizon customer - I really like their service - across the country I generally have no problems. I've heard their smartphone coverage and service is also good.

    I don't really want to buy a notebook or laptop. I have to buy a new CPU here shortly as it is. I just need to replace my old phone cuase frankly it's getting old. All of your advice is really helpful - thanks (keep it ocming).
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  11. #11
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    If your carrier is cingular or at&t, you can still get the last gen. iPhone for about a hundred dollars. I got one, I'm happy with it so far. It's much better than spending four times that much for the new one with the faulty antenna.

  12. #12
    Senior Member colombo357's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samantha sugah View Post
    If your carrier is cingular or at&t, you can still get the last gen. iPhone for about a hundred dollars. I got one, I'm happy with it so far. It's much better than spending four times that much for the new one with the faulty antenna.
    You spend over $2400 over the course of 2 years for the voice and data plan. The added cost of the upgraded a phone is minimal and worth the money.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member colombo357's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamestique View Post
    Any thoughts between the Droid X or Droid 2? What's the diffence between 3G hot spot and wi-fi or is it the same? (yes I am that stupid and don't know).

    Does anyone have a Droid? Will it be hard for me to figure out how to use it? Does it work basically like a computer?

    Appreciate some advice. My head is spinning after leaving the Verizon website.
    I got the Droid when it came out last year. Excellent phone. Droid 2 is even better. Slideout keypad of both droid phones makes it so you can type without half your screen being covered up with the on-screen keypad.
    "I just googled triple crank set and i see what your saying. this bike has 9 of those "cranksets".
    "They are showing [the TDF of Versus] at 5 different times in the day. It doesn't say which one is the live one."

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamestique View Post
    My concern of course is the phone charge. Right now I have a basic plan, very cheap. I don't talk much on my cell phone as it is. I also don't text. With the Droid 2 (not the "X" - yes the "X" is too big in many ways for me) I can get the basic phone service but also have to sign up for a $29.99 data plan. Is that worth it?
    I have had a phone that uses cellular broadband for about 4 years (2 contracts) from Verizon, and I wound up never signing up for a data plan. I just pay per megabyte. On a heavy use month, like once a year, I charge up as much as $15 in data. So with that in mind, I am not keen on diving into a new contract with a new smartphone with a mandatory minimum data charge.

    We have a family plan; if we could get 2 smartphones on it and just pay the single $30/month data plan (like we pay for a single voice plan shared between the phones) it would be pretty easy sell to my very 'frugal' wife. But I don't think that's possible.

  15. #15
    Scan Me DallasSoxFan's Avatar
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    To me, there are two choices:

    1. Get an iphone or evo, or the latest and greatest. The iPhone is a fun experience, it really is. I get one free through work
    2. Go to eBay and get a used, unlocked blackberry curve. Bullet-proof, stable phone. Battery life is insanity compared to any other smart phone. I need to charge my iPhone at 5PM (1 month old). My wife charges her blackberry once a week without ever having a battery indicator. Then you aren't tied to a contract and can pick whichever carrier isn't making you miserable at the time.

  16. #16
    The cat says Merry Xmas Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
    I have had a phone that uses cellular broadband for about 4 years (2 contracts) from Verizon, and I wound up never signing up for a data plan. I just pay per megabyte. On a heavy use month, like once a year, I charge up as much as $15 in data. So with that in mind, I am not keen on diving into a new contract with a new smartphone with a mandatory minimum data charge.

    .

    Hardy: My buddy and I just had this discussion - my ignorance about all this is amazing I am sad to say. He said I should not have to purchase a data plan at all - with the Droid 2's wifi, I should be able to use the phone where ever there is wifi conductivity. I really don't understand that - I explained it's not like I can be by a Starbucks all day. Most likely I will be using the internet function either at work or on travel (in business offices) and can't guarantee a wi-fi connection.

    That I think is my real question - if I purchase the Droid 2 will have need the data plan? Will it operate without? I like the thought of paying for use since I am a light user.

    Oh well, looks like will have to stop by a Verizon store - I hate the stores. Young whippersnappers just assumed you know all this stuff and they seem impatiently when asked questions...
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  17. #17
    The cat says Merry Xmas Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DallasSoxFan View Post
    . Then you aren't tied to a contract and can pick whichever carrier isn't making you miserable at the time.

    Like i said, I am a Verizon customer. I have been happy with their service and see no reason to change. Obviously I thought of the iPhone at one time but that meant going with A T & T (ugh - never!) and I've heard the iPhone has issues. Droid gets much better reviews... and its a Verizon product. A win-win!
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  18. #18
    Caustic Soccer Mom apclassic9's Avatar
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    check out the smartphone education center on the verizonwireless.com website - it gives you a pretty good smart phone education. after going through all that, I settled on buying my 2 boys the LG Ally - pretty much does everything the Motorola & HTC droids do, except the Skype stuff. But the question really boils down to: do you really need all this? I have a smart phone (verizon LG enV-Touch)- it calls, it texts, it has a camera & video, and I can go on-line with it, check my e-mails, etc., for a verizon $9.99/month unlimited data plan - as opposed to the more expensive $29.99 plans you need for droids. Definately go to a Verizon store and play with all the phones, but 1st make a list of what you really want to do with your phone.... the screens are really too small to do much internet stuff on. If you want to talk, text, message & simple stuff like that, stay away from the droids - way too expensive!

    The droids also EAT battery time when you actually use them for anything but regular phone stuff, so it's not like you can actually zip around using aps all day without plugging the sucker in - it will go dead.

    It will also go dead when you have it in your shirt pocket and bend over & drop it into a puddle.... but that's another story.
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  19. #19
    Riding Heaven's Highways on the grand tour ModoVincere's Avatar
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    Pam....why do you need a smart phone?
    Is this just a want? Usually the monthly charge for the smart phones are quite a bit more then would be with a std cell phone and some sort of limited data plan.
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  20. #20
    GATC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamestique View Post
    That I think is my real question - if I purchase the Droid 2 will have need the data plan? Will it operate without? I like the thought of paying for use since I am a light user.
    I believe all cell 'providers' (pushers) now require you commit to a dataplan for x years to get the subsidized purchase price. I think there were enough people doing what I have been doing that they saw it as a free ride (though I paid) and they have closed that loophole.

    I believe once your contract is up you can drop the dataplan and, if they don't let you pay per byte, try to subsist off wifi.

    Free Wifi is pretty easy to find. I can't say I'd be ready to live off of it (like that office hunter/gatherer in the dilbert strip who dresses only in postit pages and calls fake meetings and lives of the donuts people bring to them)

    I am pretty much where you are. I have a situation that I think needs to change but I don't know what to do, whether get a smartphone and all that entails or just a bottomline speaking type phone and use something else that gets wifi for all the rest.

    With free wifi you can use skype to turn an ipod touch into a phone.

    If there were a non-mac ipod touch I would look hard at it.

  21. #21
    Senior Member noise boy's Avatar
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    I have a Verizon Motorola Droid. I would highly recommend it, I previously had a blackberry curve, and a Motorola Q. The wifi feature in the droid sucks the battery down pretty fast, personally I never use it, since the data is unlimited at 29.99 per month. As far as learning how to use the phone goes, it is pretty intuitive once you get the handle on what it's looking for as far as input goes. Also I would recommend the slide out keyboard type droid, otherwise you lose half the screen everytime you want to type something.

  22. #22
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    What about Boost Mobile and a Motorola il ?
    The fone is expensive up front but 50.00 a month, unlimited everything-no contract
    seems pretty enticing.

    Thats what we are doing when our T-Mobile B'Berry contract runs out shortly.
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  23. #23
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    I looked into getting a droid a couple months ago and it seems that the data plan is required. As of Nov 2009 there is simply no way to use a driod on verizon without a data plan.

    EDIT: I may be wrong. I found this post that describes how to use a droid on the verizon network without the data plan.
    Last edited by annc; 08-17-10 at 08:59 AM.

  24. #24
    The cat says Merry Xmas Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apclassic9 View Post
    check out the smartphone education center on the verizonwireless.com website - ... I have a smart phone (verizon LG enV-Touch)- it calls, it texts, it has a camera & video, and I can go on-line with it, check my e-mails, etc., for a verizon $9.99/month unlimited data plan - as opposed to the more expensive $29.99 plans you need for droids.

    .
    Actually the LG enV-Touch was my first choice until the Droid came out... now I'm thinking I should just stay with my first choice. The more I think about it the more I think you are right about the price and function - I don't need all that. Thanks for the heads up on the "education center" I will definitely check that out.

    And Modo as always you have wise advice... it probably is a "want" v a need. I am so slow to swtich technology I thought the Droid would be a "leg up" but it is expensive and I would rather save money. I am really just looking for the best way to check personal email during the day.
    Last edited by Pamestique; 08-17-10 at 02:02 PM.
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    T-Mobile might have some decent smartphones. However, I do recommend avoiding Motorola and going with HTC in general for Android stuff. Mainly because HTC offers dumps of the devices to modders so even if your phone can't officially run the latest version of Android, some modder has a custom ROM that can be installed that will. Motorola is very developer hostile to the point where they tell people explicitly to not buy their devices if they want any ability to customize.

    This is just my own personal experience. Had I known how hostile to developers and modders Motorola has turned out to be, I would have never bought a Motorola Cliq.

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