Hi... I just joined and would like some suggestions. Sprint wants to give 2 months free service for renewing a 2 year contract with them (retension incentive, I guess). So taking advantage of this, I would also like to upgrade my 6 year old Samsung 400 phone to a faster, newer model. Looking thru all of Liza's Reviews, well most of them, I still can't decide which would be best.
The old phone is being used (connected right now) as a modem mostly for my laptop and getting connected in various places on the west coast with limited or marginal signal strength which is then boosted with an external Wilson Cell Phone Antenna. I would like to continue doing same without changing the old Service Plan which Sprint's Rep said I could do.
It would also be desirable to have a cell phone with camera, Bluetooth, external antenna port and GSM quad channel capability (for traveling to other countries). WiFi, EV-DO, amd GSM is not as important as being able to get connected in marginal signal receiving areas and tethered to the laptop via Bluetooth.
Does anyone have a suggestion which of these modern phones would fill this need?
Not many of Sprint's phones are dual CDMA and GSM (meaning they also have a SIM card slot and can do GSM abroad). Those that do are smartphones that cost more and have more expensive data plans. These models are the Samsung IP830w, BlackBerry 8830 and Samsung Ace. They don't always have quad bands enabled to prevent them from being used in the US on GSM networks (they have only the overseas 900 and 1800MHz GSM bands).
When you renew with a new 2 year plan, they sign you up for whatever currently offered voice and data plan you like. That means if you have a really old plan that no longer exists, they can't sign you up with that one again. So make sure you're getting a comparable plan at a price you like.
If you're tethering a great deal, you will probably find EVDO a fantastic upgrade-- it's way faster than 1xRTT. I'd suggest getting a phone that has this feature.
For reception, Motorola is generally king. The RAZR VE20 has very good reception and EVDO. Like all recent cell phones, it has a camera and Bluetooth.
-------------------- Lisa Gade Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview
Thanks for that response and your suggestions, Ed... I'll make certain that Sprint is going to renew my old Service Plan because its a lot less than what anyone is offering at the moment... only $29.95 for the 300 minute daytime voice (unlimited nights and weekends) plus $10 bucks for Unlimited, Anytime Data... plus tax comes to >$42 per month for the package... which they now longer offer...
and I'll check those phones out more carefully this time...
BTW, great reviewing jobs by your people... I wish I could find people like this... oh, that's right, I just did... thanks... JJJ...