Monday, December 22, 2008

Pocket Intros New Phones in San Antonio & Northeast

Looks like Pocket's expansion into a few cities in the Northeast is off to a good start. Funny how good ideas that have proven themselves get funding when they want to expeand, even when that expansion is in a totally different area, using AWS spectrum intead of PCS. Granted, AWS limits phone selection, but I'm sure people with a new, unlimited, inexpensive option for cellular service won't mind. Oh, and to keep costs low, Pocket uses ultracheap notification to deliver bill notifications: text messaging. Who knew?

Over the past few days, Pocket has added a TON to their phone lineup, for a total of five AWS phones and fifteen phones that'll work on Pcoket's PCS-powered Texas network. The new ones, most of which have been seen on CricKet, MetroPCS or even Sprint, are below (prices after rebates):

Kyocera S2410 ($99) - AWS Bluetooth external-display flip (so far exclusive to Pocket)
UTStarCom 7126 ($99) - AWS, Northeast only, Bluetooth flip (different indicator layout than CricKet)
Kyocera S4000 Mako ($119) - AWS, Northeast only, Bluetooth VGA-camera dual-color-screen flip
Kyocera E1100 Neo ($129) - AWS, NE only, Bluetooth 1.3MP-camera flip
Motorola Razr v3s ($199) - AWS, NE only, Motorola v3a workalike
Samsung R500 ($199) - Previously seen on Alltel and CricKet, 1.3MP Bluetooth MP3 external-screen flip
ZTE C88 ($119) - Bluetooth VGA-camera external-screen flip (so far exclusive to Pocket)
LG 260 ($199) - Better known as the Rumor (Sprint) or Scoop (Alltel), 1.3MP Bluetooth MP3 messaging phone
LG 5400a ($69) - Old phone but decent, color dual-screen flip

Holy new phone launches Batman!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

MetroPCS Messager and MyShot Discounts

If you're planning on buying a MetroPCS phone before January 10th, take a serious look at the Samsung MyShot and/or the Messager. The reason: you get cash back for buying. If you buy one phone, you get a $25 Visa gift card back. Two or three phones net you a $50 gift card. Four phones get you a free fifth phone, after a mail-in rebate. The MyShot and Messager are higher on the price scale, at $139 and $199, respectively, however if you want to outfit a family with the phones, the end price of $111 or $159 sounds a bit more attractive...

Smart PCS: Unlimited In Georgia

On the heels of CricKet's acquisition of Georgia telco Hargray's wireless assets, there's a new unlimited player on the field in the form of Smart PCS. Currently, coverage is limited to a small area around Dalton and Chatsworth, however expansion to the Cleveland area will happen soon enough.

The phone selection ranges from a $29.99 Nokia 6015i (great reception for people who just use their phone for talking and a little bit of texting) to the Razr v3c ($160), Krzr k1m ($180) and the Rokr z6m ($280). Prices are after mail-in or instant rebates, by the way.

But wait...Smart PCS is also currently selling a smartphone: the HTC 6800 aka Titan aka Sprint Mogul, the same phone that I'm using on my current Sprint contract (I need unlimited data, and I need it cross-country, hence my choice of cellular service). The price: $345, not bad for a non-contract PDA phone (contract pricing from other carriers run around $300). Granted, the 6800 is now a generation behind the curve, with the new HTC Touch Pro now available on Sprint, Verizon and Alltel. but still, quite impressive for an unlimited carrier, seeing as how on most similar providers you have to hack and mod your way to a smartphone on their networks.

The plan structure is similar to that of Pocket or MetroPCS:
$25 - Local calling and caller ID (long distance $5/month extra, text messaging at an extra cost)
$35 - $25 plus long distance, texting, web, voicemail, all plan upgrades available ($25 has limited upgrade potential)
$45 - $35 plus picture messaging/MMS, call waiting, 3-way calling, text messaging to Mexico
$55 - $45 plus unlimited directory assistance (otherwise $1.25 per call), call forwarding, extended coverage area (?)

Family plans are even better: $30 per line for two or three lines, $25 per line for four lines. The family plan includes unlimited local, long distance and text messaging, plus a free month of service if you sign up before the end of the year. Sounds a lot like MetroPCS's offering, except better.

Phone insurance is $5.99 per month, on the high end of things but still reasonable.

Overall, coverage is limited right now, but it's great to see another unlimited provider popping up in the U.S. Plus, their website is easy to navigate and their phone selection is solid and varied. Seems like a win to me.

If you have had any experience with this company, post in the comments. Inquiring minds want to know...

MetroPCS Gets A Byline

PhoneScoop has caught wind of a Samsung announcement of a new phone for MetroPCS: the r310 Byline. The best way to describe this phone is as a ChatLink-enabled, dual-color-display clamshell version of the r210 Spex. As such, I'm guessing the price will be in the $100 range. So if you don't want a camera in your phone, but you do want a decent-quality flip, this phone is MetroPCS's answer to your desires.

UPDATE: As I predicted, the Byline is now available, at $99.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Flash Pocket Phones

If you want a way to get a cell phone from another carrier on to Pocket Communications, here's an example of a discussion on how:

There are plenty more, just look for 'em. It's typical of small, unlimited-use carriers to do this (MetroPCS has a similar program in fact). So if you want to hold onto your smartphone and switch to Pocket Communications, you can do so, and have been able to do so for quite some time.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008