Tuesday, March 11, 2008

It's Refurb Time at Pocket! Plus, reliability stats

Yep, they're selling good ole refurbished phones. Also, I got a quick look at what seems to be the trend on reliability on various cell phone manufacturers, from what defective phones passed by this one Pocket kiosk...:)

In the front display, there were a few different phones available, all refurbished, selling for $50. The phones were the Kyocera Milan, the Audiovox 8615 and the Motorola v262, if memory serves me. There was also the LG vx3200 at $55. None of these phones had any warranty or insurance-ability, so far as I heard from the person behind the counter there, but then again $50 is the deductible on insurance anyway, heh. Better to use the insurance protecting the likes of the Motorola Rokr z6m ($300) or the Razr v3m ($260).Or maybe the rather junky, but certainly better looking and feeling than its precursor (the Strobe) Kyocera M1000 "Lingo", at $200. The Strobe, by the way, is now $190 at Pocket...I'll go for the Lingo any day vs. the Strobe, but I'd rather touch neither.

Also of note was the Kyocera K342, priced at $139 before rebate, $99 after. Why? Because it'll randomly crash, says the person behind the counter, who has one. Typical Kyocera stuff though, and in this case you get what you pay for: great features (like Bluetooth and dual color displays), poor reliability (evinced by the brand name on the phone).

Looking to the side of the kiosk we see a flier printed out in black and white. Pocket apparently bought a bunch of Kyoceras at fire-sale prices and now wants to sell 'em to consumers. The phones? The KX440 (which is kinda sorta okay), the KX424 (lame) and the KE414 (LAME!). These l'il guys are $69 new or $59 refurbished, looks like. I would go for the LG vx3200 at this point. Even when you count in what looks to be a Kyocera KX9c at $49.99 refurbished. I'll pass; that's the phone that, without a caller ID display, would happen to be the infamous Kyocera Oystr on Virgin Mobile. Spare me.

Oh and by the way, in case you were wondering where you could use your Pocket phone while roaming, it is on Verizon's towers, and theirs only. In short, do yourself a BIG favor and grab a Page Plus Cellular phone for next to nothing and use that. Your minutes will be about five times cheaper. Just forward to Page Plus when roaming and you're good to go, with airtime rates that make contracts a laugh (that's the point, right?) unless of course you miss features like unlimited text messaging or web access when you stray out of Pocket territory...

About the reliability stats, the quick rundown is that LGs and the high-end Motorolas are the most reliable phones, which is to be expected. Jumping to the low end (past some Audiovoxes and maybe a Kyocera or two, but probably not) are the Motorola v262 and, to an extent, the w315. At the bottom of the heap is the Kyocera K132, known on Virgin Mobile as the Marbl...except the Marbl is more reliable than the K132, which is an utter piece of junk as far as I, and anyone else, can tell, even though it looks cool.

Moral of the story on reliability? Buy the Kyocera K342 if you can stand your non-smartphone acting like it is running a beta test of Windows Mobile 6 with not enough memory available, in a word "crash". In a few more words "crash early and often". But hey, the phone is only $100 on an unlimited plan, with no contract, so whaddya expect? Or spare yourself and get an LG (on the low end) or a Motorola (on the high end). And always, ALWAYS, steer clear of the Kyocera K132 and such other nonsense, for the love of your sanity and your cell service.

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