Wednesday, October 22, 2008

MetroPCS Intros Screen-It: Caller ID With Name

On cell phones, Caller ID shows the phone number on an incoming call. If a person is in your address book, you get their name. Otherwise, it's just a number.

Contrast this to landlines, which have included name information on caller ID for a long time now.

MetroPCS is bringing landline-style caller ID with name to your cell phone. Pretty darned cool. The price is reminiscent of landline providers' offerings as well: $2 extra on $35-$45 plans, free on the top-end $50 plan.

So if you miss having a person's name show up on caller ID, you can now get the feature on an unlimited cellular plan. Very cool, though the extra charge for the feature reminds me of AT&T, Verizon etc., not a good thing.

Monday, October 20, 2008

CricKet PayGO UTStarCom 7126 Review...Coming Soon!

So what do I do with the ad money from this site? Buy phones with it, of course! The weekend before last, while in Texas, I picked one up for $60ish plus tax: the UTStarCom 7126 on CricKet's PayGO service. I'll post a review sooner or an overview, the phone is okay for a basic unit, however the network quality varies drastically depending on where you are, and the plans are very, very expensive if you use your phone at all, at least if you want anything more than local calling.

More info coming soon! I thought about getting the CricKet (CompCal) EZ, as that phone was $30 or $40 at the Wal-Mart where I bought the UTStarCom flip. However I've heard bad things about that phone, and wanted something that actually had a vibrate motor and a normal power connector.

At any rate, my eview for the $60 handset will be posted here.

Nokia 1606 on CricKet, MetroPCS

What's tri-band, CDMA and thoroughly average for a basic phone in features but worth paying a premium for? The Nokia 1606 of course. Available now from MetroPCS and CricKet, the 1606 doesn't have any special features like Bluetooth or an MP3 player. It does have a web browser though, and everyone knows that Nokia builds solid phones. It also has an external caller ID screen, mounted vertically a la some of Kyocera's products...which, of course, is better than having no external display, or just a bunch of indicators like the UTStarCom 7126.

The price? $119 on MetroPCS, $129 with $20 off online for CricKet. Expensive for a basic phone on those carriers, but it's a hgh-quality basic phone, so it may well be worth buying.

CricKet Intros JetSet

Sorry guys...I'm not dead though...hence the fllowing few posts:

CricKet has introduced the tri-band Samsung JetSet R550. It's a quite high-end phone, sporting stereo Bluetooth, a 2-megapixel camera (iPhone-resolution, mind you) and an mp3 player (to go along with the stereo Bluetooth). It can even record video. On the other hand, it says MicroSD is limited to 1GB cards (probably not true...I've put my 6GB card in comparable phone and had it work), there's a 2.5mm headset jack instead of 3.5mm (but it is a standard headset jack). But those are all the nits I can pick. The phone also has EvDO (most likely Rev. 0), and it may actually be the only tri-band phone to support the tech on CricKet (unsure about the R430 Messager). As icing on the cake, while the external display is typically small, both displays are color, and the internal screen is quite large, at 2.1" diagonally and 240x320 resolution-wise (on par with choose-your-high-end-regular-phone end even most Windows Mobile smartphones).

The price? $200, or $180 online, placing it in the same bracket as the "Razr Lite" v3s...which includes a much lower-end feature set in the same of shaving off only a tenth of an inch or two (the JetSet is reasonably thin, at 0.69"). The verdict: the JetSet is a very nice phone; if you want a full keyboard, get the Messager, if not, get this unit, if you're looking in the price range for a CricKet phone.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

MetroPCS Intros a ZTE Bar Phone

What's relatively thin, purple, $129 and new to MetroPCS? The ZTE C78 bar phone, of course. Yes, it's yet another phone from the Chinese company, but if you're buying on specs the phone's stereo Bluetooth with file transfer capability and ChatLINK pseudo-Push-To-Talk don't seem to disappoint. Until you find out that the phone looks like it doesn't include a memory card slot. Let's hope this description is a mistake on the part of MetroPCS's web team, but if it isn't, there is still 60MB of on-board memory to put your stuff. Still, with "real" music phones including 1GB or more of internal memory, or MicroSD expansion, 60MB is rather patheic. Then again, that's a decent amount for a phone that costs a mere $129 unsubsidized.

CricKet Intros Pay-by-Day "PAYGo" some places

The premise is simple, and can be seen on other providers, just not unlimited ones generally spaking: pay $X per day for services on days you use your phone. CricKet has now entered the field...and it looks very profitable for them. Available right now in select markets, their PAYGo plan is as follows, rate-wise, per-day, for unlimited features:

  1. $1: Local calling and calling features (Voicemail, Caller ID, Call Waiting)
  2. $2: $1 plan plus text\picture messaging
  3. $3: $2 plan plus international texting, long distance, mobile web, directory assistance

None of these plans are a particularly good deal (except maybe the $1 plan) if you use your phone most of, or all of, the month, however if you don't use your phone all the time, but ue it a lot on days when you do use the service, these plans are just the ticket.

Speaking of "select areas", looks like CricKet is adding a few more coverage areas soon. In addition to their new St. Louis and Las Vegas markets, Savannah, GA and Milwaukee, WI are in the works.

Pocket Lowers Phone Pricing

Looks like Pocket did an update to their website today: several of their phones are now a bit less expensive:
  • Audiovox 8615 - $59 ($10 discount)
  • Motorola Razr v3a - $169 ($30 discount)
  • Motorola Rokr z6m - $289 ($10 discount)
  • Motorola Razr v3m - $199 ($60 discount)
  • Motorola w315 - $69 ($30 discount)
  • Motorola w385 - $149 ($30 discount)
  • Kyocera KX16 Candid - $79 ($20 discount)
  • Kyocera Strobe - $149 ($30 discount)
  • LG 245 - $99 ($20 discount)
In short, a lot of Pocket's phones just got a bit more affordable. Especially the Razr v3m.