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First smartphone

Finally decided to ditch the landline and get a cell phone only plan. I’ve been on prepaid for a few years and it was extremely cost effective. But I wanted a smartphone. The question was which one and how much was I willing to pay? Not much. I looked at the 4 major carriers for many hours. What it really boils down to is that if you want to keep it simple, go with T-Mobile. $30/month for the voice and $10/month for the data. The trick is that there are not many phones that fall under this cheap data plan. The T-Mobile Tap and the Samsung Highlight were the only choices with decent touchscreens. I was on the verge of getting the Highlight when I discovered the Nokia 5230 Nuron was coming out this week. The more I looked at, the more I realized this was the phone for me.

The only bad thing is that it doesn’t have Wi-Fi. I agonized over this for quite awhile before deciding that I would rather have the 3G support. Granted it looks and feels like a toy with so much plastic, but it’s really good. I can’t imagine a better introduction to smartphones. Although I have yet to make a call (still waiting for the landline number to be ported), this phone and similar Nokia’s are supposed to have very good call quality. Don’t expect much from the camera. However, the virtual keyboard is great. For some reason, I had alot of trouble on the other phones in the store, but not with this one.

I refuse to pay $30/month for unlimited data, which is why I went with this. I don’t want unlimited data and I don’t want to fork out $30. Look at the iPad, with its $15/month for 250 MB. That is perfect for me, but there is nothing close to that for phones.

The only other option was to buy an unlocked Nokia 5800. The 5800 has Wi-Fi, but no T-Mobile 3G, only 2G. I could do 3G on ATT, but that is much more expensive. T-Mobile said the 5800 would probably be on the cheap data plan, but I’m not willing to take the chance. This will tide me over for a couple of years. Hopefully by then, we will have cheaper, non-unlimited data plans and the 4G rollout will be good. Or 3.5G is good enough for me.

Back to the Nokia, it does have one very strong selling point, and that is free Ovi Maps. On the phone. No data connection required. Maps for dozens of countries are available for free. That is awesome, since I really need this. Another cool feature is that since it is not touchscreen-only, there are buttons. And you can set the button to glow when there is a message, missed call, etc. Now I don’t have to keep pushing a button or unlocking the phone to see if I missed something. Happiness abounds.

BTW, if you are looking for a phone, I’d recommend Phone Scoop and Phone Arena for good search tools.

Categories: Electronics
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