Strong opinions, weakly held

Mobile phones and service

I’m beginning to think that the day when your contract with your mobile phone provider ends should be celebrated like your birthday. As of December 5, I’m no longer on the hook with Cingular Wireless and I am free to get a new phone (along with a new contract) and perhaps a new provider. I’ve used a Sony Ericsson T616 for the past two years. It’s an OK phone, but I never seem to hear it ring, and the display is completely unusable outdoors.

Service from Cingular has been fine.

Of course, in the past two years, many phones cooler than the one I have became available. I’m particularly intrigued by the Motorola RAZR V3c. It’s smaller than my current phone, has a nicer camera built in, and offers a few other features that my phone does not. Unfortunately, Cingular only offers the older RAZR, which has a lesser camera and display. The newer RAZR is available from Verizon and from Alltel. Verizon sucks because they apparently put their own lame software on the phone and intentionally cripple Bluetooth. Alltel does not.

Also, a general comment on mobile phones. When I originally got my T610, I was in the market for a smart phone. I thought I’d be installing software, snapping pictures, surfing the Web, and generally living the mobile lifestyle. As it turns out, the two key features for me are the ability to make and receive calls and the ability to receive text messages. I use the phone mostly to talk to coworkers and to receive text alerts from servers. Everything else is secondary. I did take a few pictures with the phone, but not enough to get excited about, and I occasionally used it to retrieve sports scores, but that’s about it.

One feature that I do find indispensable is syncing up the phone with the computer via Bluetooth. I finally have a laptop that supports Bluetooth, and the ability to manage the list of phone numbers on my phone from my computer is deliriously wonderful. Everybody else probably already knew this, but it has been a revelation to me.

Anyway, I have two questions for readers. Is the RAZR V3c really the best reasonably affordable mobile phone right now? Will I regret dumping Cingular for Alltel? (Also, is the RAZR V3c significantly better than the Nokia 6102?)

Update: In answer to my own last question, the RAZR V3c has a nicer camera and is significantly thinner. Also, the Nokia 6102 doesn’t support Bluetooth.


  1. Does cingular allow you to take one of their SIMs and put it in an unlocked version of the Razr you want? (They won’t sell you an unlocked phone, but their SIMs do work in compatible ones.)

  2. I’m sure they would, but I don’t love Cingular enough to do that. Also, the newer RAZR is a CDMA phone (Verizon and Alltell support CDMA), and the older RAZR (which Cingular offers) is a GSM phone.

  3. The RAZR V3c and the Nokia 6102 are different devices. The V3c is well, a RAZR, it’s sleek, functional (1.3MP camera, MP3 player, video, Bluetooth) and the Nokia is a good “basic” phone. I use basic loosely because it’s a great phone, just not with the bells and whistles. If you want to know more read my reviews:

    http://www.mobiledia.com/reviews/motorola/razr-v3c/page1.html http://www.mobiledia.com/reviews/nokia/6102/page1.html

    My suggestion is if you can spare the extra $100 the V3c is well worth it. If you don’t need the extras, the 6102 is a fine choice.

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