Friday, March 14, 2008

Boost Mobile Gets the KRZR

At $250, this phone is nearly twice the price of the next-highest-end phone, the Motorola w385, and over double the price of the entry level c290, but it may well be worth it. With this entrant, Boost Unlimited is now in the running with carriers like MetroPCS, Pocket and CricKet in terms of phone specs on the high end. Granted, MetroPCS and CricKet have units from Samsung for $180-$200 that are on par feature-wise with the KRZR, but, looked at from another perspective, the rouch equivalent in terms of style and substance would be the Rokr slider z6m, which is a good bit newer but also $300 or thereabouts. Don't even talk about the Razrs on each carrier...they're now the stripped-down "a" versions that don't even start to compare with the KRZR in terms of features offered.

One more thing: though you pay for the privilege of having such a network (to the tune of $10 extra per month, or thereabouts), that extra chunk of change also gives you an honest-to-goodness EvDO-capable phone on a high-grade, nationwide EvDO network! So for $5 per month you're getting the fastest web access available on non-contract service that I know of...the fastest, at least, for a network that covers anybody (the unlimiteds' small networks, and AT&T's small network, don't count here). As usual, Sprint's attention to data shines through. While the service admittedly isn't the higher-speed Revision A EvDO that is now rolled out on both Verizon and Sprint, there's only one phone that can take advantage of that service anyhow (I have that phone, the HTC Mogul on Sprint) and Verizon themselves put off Rev. A as unnecessary for a phone-based experience.

In short, with this higher-end phone you're getting a LOT more features, allowing for everything from MP3 playing (with a $20 MicroSD card that replaces a $70 iPod shuffle, and then some) to decently high-res picture taking and video capture, to high-speed web surfing...pretty nice for an unlimited-carrier phone (except when compared to the Razr2 on CricKet, which incidentally costs $380!). This is at a point where the other unlimited carriers have discontinued the KRZR (which sold for roughly the same price when it was available, sometimes even more) in favor of cheaper (albeit newer) phones. Granted, Sprint itself is offering the KRZR for $80 with contract, $230 without ($20 LESS than the Boost Mobile price) but this is a full contract-grade phone, complete with snazzy looks and tons of features, and I'm very glad to see it going unlimited with Boost.

Now can Boost Unlimited please go national!?! There's this little provider called CricKet who has the monopoly on cheap unlimited up in Colorado, and Sprint's network beats CricKet's any day of the week... :)

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