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Strong opinions, weakly held

Mobile phone update

The other day I posted about upgrading my mobile phone. I had originally decided to dump Cingular and go with Alltel so that I could get the latest Motorola RAZR, but I’ve had a change in thinking.

Currently, there are three RAZR models — the V3, the V3c, and the V3i. The V3 is the current generation GSM phone, offered by Cingular and T-Mobile for $99.99 (with a two year contract). The V3c is CDMA version of the RAZR, with some next generation features. It’s offered by Verizon and Alltel for $199.99 with a two year contract. Verizon installs their own (reportedly bad) software on the phone and cripples the Bluetooth support. The V3i is the next generation GSM RAZR. Neither T-Mobile or Cingular offer the phone yet, but it’s supposed to be released before the end of the year. My hunch, given that the V3c is already available and Cingular and T-Mobile have halved the price on the RAZR V3, is that the phone is ready and Cingular and T-Mobile are trying to clear out their RAZR V3 inventories before offering it. I suspect that after the Christmas rush, they’ll roll out the V3i. I haven’t read anything to this effect, it’s just conjecture on my part.

Anyway, my plan now is to wait for the V3i and stick with Cingular rather than switching to Alltel. This has nothing to do with the phones — rather it’s due to differences in calling plans. Cingular offers 450 minutes for $39.99 a month with 5000 night and weekend minutes, with no roaming charges nationwide and no long distance charges. Alltel offers 500 minutes a month with unlimited night and weekend minutes for $39.99 a month. And while their plan offers free long distance nationwide, their play says, “Free roaming near major cities.” I don’t travel all that much, but I still feel more comfortable knowing that I’ll never get dinged with a roaming charge.

I can stick with my current phone until I can get a V3i from Cingular, I think. (If you’re wondering why T-Mobile never enters into the calculation, it’s because they don’t offer service in my area.)

3 Comments

  1. How does Verizon cripple the Bluetooth? I’ll be getting a new phone next spring, am currently a Verizon customer, and was thinking of getting the Razr… so this is interesting to me.

  2. There’s a bit on how Verizon restricts Bluetooth here:

    http://www.engadget.com/entry/6314322665586311/

    For one thing, you won’t be able to sync your phone with your PC.

  3. Except that they haven’t crippled the bluetooth (much) on the V3c. Mine syncs with my powerbook just fine, and lets me grab pics off the phone, upload ringtones, etc.

    Then again, people are claiming it was a mistake on Verizon’s part and that future phones won’t support it. That’d be silly, considering the limited storage space on the phone, but who knows.

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