Friday, January 23, 2009

CricKet Clearance and Boost iDEN Go-Live

Out with the old and in with the new seems to be the theme today...okay, yesterday unless you're in Hawaii, but you get my drift...

First, CricKet has redone their website, making it a bit more picture-oriented and, in my opinion, clearer and more bold. They've shuffled things around a bit, but everything is still easy to find, just arranged a little differently. One new section: Clearance. If you want "cheap" Bluetooth car kits and headset s(cheap is relative, I suppose), that's the place to go. Or if you want a $90 Motorola w315.

Second, Boost Mobile has officially rolled out their iDEN unlimited plan: $50 per month for talk, messaging, web and walkie-talkie with no extra fees or limitations (unless you count iDEN's total lack of roaming ability in the U.S., and limited roaming in Canada and Mexico). To celebrate, they also rolled out a new iDEN phone, the very-much-meh i290.

Looking for the CDMA unlimited plans? They're gone. As I said, out with the old, in with the new. A pity, too; iDEN data speeds are a creeping crawl compared with Sprint/Verizon 2.5G, and anyone's 3G...

Friday, January 16, 2009

MetroPCS Goes Melo

MetroPCS now has the Kyocera Melo S1300 on their site, available for $79. Spec-wise, nothing special. Just your typical long, wide, thin and light bar phone. You do get speakerphone and a decent-sized screen, with web access (1x, no EvDO...but MetroPCS doesn't have EvDO anyway), picture messaging and a fair amount of internal memory (29 MB to be exact). No Bluetooth or camera, though. Personally, I'd get the Nokia 1606 (available for the same price) or, if I wanted a bar phone, the Motorola VE240 ($20 more), but choice is always good, right?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Boost Mobile Intros iDEN Unlimited January 22st

Boost Mobile today announced the details of their iDEN-based (chunky walkie talkie phones) unlimited plan. Not much to say here, but that's because it's rather awesome:

Unlimited talk
Unlimited messaging
Unlimited web
Unlimited walkie-talkie
$50 per month

No contracts, taxes or junk fees.

I'm assuming this plan will be usable on any Boost Mobile or Nextel iDEN phone. Not that it gives you a wide brand selection, but I have heard rumors about an iDEN messaging phone. Retro? A bit...web speeds will likely not venture above 20 kbps in most areas. But if you want unlimited everything on a nationwide that's probably a lot better than, say, T-Mobile's...this is it. Just realize that if you go iDEN your phone standby battery life will be about three days, real-world battery life closer to one-and-a-half, and said phone will be on the large side compared with CDMA and GSM models.

Sppeaking of CDMA, it sounds like Boost Mobile will be phasing out their area-limited CDMA plans, which you couldn't get in some areas (I'm thinking due to varying levels of network load across the country). I'm personally a little sad to see them could get a Motorola KRZR (decent phone) on an unlimited talktext/web plan with Sprint's network and EvDO data. But Boost Mobile started as iDEN, and by pushing the dimmer switch on CDMA unlimited plans they're getting back to their roots.

Also, Virgin Mobile, also on Sprint's (entire, no "travel charges") CDMA network, has a few decent phones (the Audiovox...uh...UTSTarCom...uh...PCD Shuttle, which has EvDO) and they hae unlimited talk and messaging, and nearly-unlimited-for-a-non-smartphone (50 MB) data plans. It's just more expensive to go CDMA than iDEN... $100 for Talk + Messaging + Web, $50 fo 200 anytime + 500 nights/weekends + Messaging + Web.

But I digress...the point is that, if you can stand using iDEN, and want unlimited service that's reasonably close to nationwide, Boost Mobile's new plan, coming in a week, fits the bill.