Thursday, February 24, 2011
I have had the same cell phone, the Samsung Sync, model SGH-A707, for the last 5 or 6 years. I don't use the phone all that much. I prefer to talk to people face to face, and if I need to communicate with people I know from YouTube or elsewhere online, I use email, Twitter or Facebook. The Samsung Sync has been a reliable phone and still does everything I need - the calls are clear, it can text, it has an old but working browser - but the battery doesn't hold a charge as well as it once did.
Since I don't use my cell much, I switched from my AT&T contract to AT&T's Go Phone plan last summer. I was paying $39.99 a month for 450 rollover minutes and I used maybe 250 minutes a month. After I went to prepaid with the Go Phone branch of AT&T, I paid $25 for 100 minutes at 25 cents a minute, and which expired in 3 months if not used. I used the phone even less and managed to keep my $25 top offs to once every few months. I was able to use less minutes because I put Long Distance back on my landline, at $9 a month. That was on top of the Complete Choice package of features. With taxes, it came to about $50 a month for my landline.
$39.99 for 450 minutes, and add the minimum 200 MB data plan for $15. Drop the landline to save $50 and add $55 plus taxes for the new cell phone - pretty close to meeting my goal of getting a new phone without blowing up my phone bill. (That $55 did not include any texting plan, but I don't text often so that wasn't a problem.)
After liking and almost getting the Motorola Bravo which I could get for free from AT&T with a new 2 year contract, I found the HTC Inspire 4G. For just $99 from AT&T or $59 from Walmart (plus an activation fee) I could get a top of the line device sporting a 1 GHz processor and a 4.3 inch hi rez display. Here's a nice review of the HTC Inspire 4G phone by PhoneDog.
While looking into the HTC Inspire 4G, I also noticed a lot of buzz for the first dual core phone, the Motorola Atrix. Maybe I should pay $199 for this sweet phone! But wait - I wouldn't use the phone much and besides, there were even cooler phones coming out later this year; I would not be able to have the latest and greatest device for long and it was madness to pursue that path. I had to recall that the other half of my goal was to get a handle on my phone budget. Paying $200 + tax so I could pay $55 + tax a month was not going to do that, even with dropping my $50 a month landline.
Last night I saw an ad for Virgin Mobile. Their Beyond Talk plans had unlimited text, email, data and web starting at only $25 a month with 300 "anytime" minutes. Nice!!! Some family members who live close to me have Sprint, which is the network that Virgin Moblie uses, and they have not had any problems with their service. I'm happy with AT&T, but look at these prices! And you do not have to sign a contract, it's a pay as you go plan!
Now to see if Virgin Mobile has a nice phone. First on the page is the LG Optimus V. This is a mid range device with a 600 MHz processor, but some online say it also has a graphics processor making it a form of a dual processor phone - and the reviews say it is fairly fast. But there is a problem, look:
Out of Stock! Hmm, this must be a popular phone! I called my old employer, Radio Shack, and they had 2 in stock! Okay, but is this a decent phone? It runs Android 2.2 just like the others I looked at. The screen is 3.2 inches but only 320 by 480 resolution. Just a 3 MP camera; the AT&T phones were 8 MP. It did have Wi-Fi, bluetooth, GPS, and I could get all the same apps from Google's Android Market. Here is what Sydney Arnold of PhoneDog has to say about the LG Optimus V.
I bought the LG Optimus V from Radio Shack today for $149 plus $25 for my first month, plus tax of course. Now I'll go from $50+ a month to $25 with No Contract! So far, I like the phone. It has a YouTube app! I was able to watch a few videos with no lag, and they loaded within a few seconds. I haven't tried Twitroid yet, the installed Twitter app, which Sydney tweets is better than Twitter's app. I did try Google Maps which, thanks to the GPS, knew exactly where I was at, and the map came up with my location pinned at the center of the page. I was able to zoom in and out fairly smoothly.
As soon as I post this, I'm off to the Android Market to try that addicting game everyone is talking about - Angry Birds! The free version is out now and the ad free paid version is coming soon. Read the buzz about Angry Birds, and watch this video which has 20 Million views in the last 20 days! I'll update you on my thoughts on my new LG Optimus V in the future. If you care to comment on this phone or any other, please do! Thanks!
Angry Birds Cinematic Trailer
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