Having cell phone problems of one kind or another is frustrating to say the least, especially when the problems affect business calls that should never be missed or lost. Problems like missed calls, dropped calls and battery problems have caused us to start looking into the possibility of buying a new smart phone, buying a replacement cell phone and/or changing our service provider. We have used Cingular/AT&T as our service provider for a few years and to say that the coverage is spotty and unreliable is putting it mildly, but is Verizon, T-Mobile or Sprint any better?
Calls drop when going from a 2G tower to a 3G tower and vice versa, and there are local areas we refer to as “dead zones” where we have no cell phone coverage at all. There are times when someone calls our cell phones but the phone doesn’t ring at all, where the call is immediately sent to voicemail and there is no message indicating we missed a call or have a new voicemail. Is that a AT&T coverage problem, a cell phone problem, or both?
Even though the contract for our cell phone plan doesn’t expire for a few more months, we’ve been told we can get an upgrade and new cell phone/smart phone now rather than waiting until our contract comes up for renewal, as long as we sign a new contract with AT&T. We don’t want or plan to sign a new one-year or two-year contract with AT&T because we’re seriously considering switching to another cell phone provider like Verizon, who reportedly has the best coverage in the U.S.
Smart Phones vs. Replacement Cell Phones
Should I buy a smart phone or just buy an inexpensive replacement cell phone to solve the problems? Do I really need a smart phone with all the expensive bells and whistles, or am I better off getting a cheap cell phone or PDA phone for voice calls, text messages and checking emails when necessary? Smart phones are very popular, with all the “cool” games and applications for the iPhone, and it seems like there is a new and improved version of the iPhone coming out every week.
Smart phones are very expensive when bought by themselves with no contract, unless you choose to sign a new contract, where you are then given a discount or rebate on the new phone. Our cell phone habits do not include playing games on our cell phones, so having those options mean nothing to us, neither do the variety of applications offered with the iPhone. We also have no interest in browsing the internet or shopping online with our cell phones, so paying for all of these extras and sticking to our financial goals do not add up to a smart purchase.
Blackberry users tell me to buy a Blackberry to replace my dumb cell phone, while iPhone users strongly recommend buying an iPhone instead, with both sides saying their cell phone is better than the other. How Blackberry users are able to text message with the tiny little buttons, especially women with long fingernails, is beyond me. iPhone users have told me the touchscreen keypad thingamajig gives them problems too, and the battery life for both the Blackberry or iPhone smart phones (or other PDA cell phones) has been a problem for some.
Reading a number of online reviews about the iPhone and Blackberry cell phones, comparing the prices of just buying a replacement cell phone without signing a new contract… versus getting a smart phone with a contracted plan, had me feeling very confused. Finding out how much it costs to buy a replacement cell phone without a contract, especially the smart phone variety, brought on immediate sticker shock.
AT&T HTC 8125 Smartphone Wizard Pocket PDA
Between cell phone battery problems, reviewing the pros and cons of smart phones, plus the cost of cell phone plans being offered for smart phones or similar PDA-type cell phones, my husband and I decided against purchasing a new expensive cell phone and opted to replace the battery in my Cingular/AT&T HTC 8125 Smartphone that has been sitting in a drawer. I don’t remember why I quit using the 8125 cell phone awhile back, but I never had any problems with it whatsoever, and I’m thrilled I still have it.
The Windows-based Cingular/T-Mobile 8125 Smartphone comes with built-in WiFi, Bluetooth, high-speed EDGE radio and the 8125’s QWERTY keyboard buttons are the perfect size for easy use when text messaging or emailing. I switched the SIM card from my cell phone that doesn’t work into the 8125 cell phone, but as soon as I turned it on, I found the battery would have to be replaced.
Since no local retailers carry the 8125 cell phone battery anymore, I ordered one online and it should arrive any day now. I’m still trying to find where I put the user manual and extra chargers for the 8125, but even if the manual doesn’t turn up, I know I can buy one online or download it if necessary.
Once I have the manual, I’m going to refresh my memory of everything this cell phone is capable of, because I know it does a lot more than I ever used it for previously and that needs to change. Here I had a smart phone sitting in a drawer and going to waste, while dealing with constant problems with a bad cell phone when I didn’t have to. Now that’s what I call a cheap cell phone that keeps us within our budget!