Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Phone Dilemma

As some of you may know, Chelsea and I have moved. One of the things affected by this move is our wireless phone service. So far we haven't done anything about it. Currently, we have Utah phone numbers and we haven't been under any kind of contract for about 2 1/2 years. In that time we've just been using whatever phones we could scrounge from our friends and family. We're a long way from cutting edge in this respect. It's nice not to have a contract hanging over our heads, but I've been with T-mobile for more than six years and Chelsea has been with them for more than eight. It's not something we like to mess with.

Well the time has come to do some messing. We are tired of having the wireless equivalent of a 1988 Buick. We want some new phones, but I am dealing with some serious restrictions when it comes to the phone I select for myself. For Chelsea it's pretty easy--something cool looking that works as a phone. Easy enough. But you see, I can't have a camera on the phone, and it can't be considered a smartphone, if I want to take it to work with me. When was the last time you saw a phone without a camera on it at the wireless store? They are becoming an endangered species. I've found a few, but they are usually prepaid phones that are compatible with my network. The advantage of these is that they don't lock you into a new contract, but the con is that you have a limited selection of phones.

I don't really need a selection, though. I want a Blackberry Curve. I've wanted one for a long time now. So you see, the Blackberry has two strikes against it (smartphone and camera) for taking it to work--or does it. The rumor mill at work has been producing some very nice bits that tend to make one think that within the next year we might be able to work a deal where we could bring personal smartphones to work. This younger generation of engineers that they are hiring by the bus load has the desire to own smartphones and bring them to work. The outgoing generation was essentially indifferent to it, but now the cry is raising from the ranks.

Now, if it turns out that the planets aren't aligned for me to have a Blackberry right now, then I guess I'll figure out a way to live without. But if I'm buying the phone to be able to take to work then I'll still have to live with the very limited selection, and if I have to buy the dumbest phone in the store, I sure as crap don't want to get stuck in a contract for it.

At the same time, Chelsea needs a new phone, so we have to do something soon.

So, should I get the Blackberry in hopes that they will see the light at work, or should I just live with the stupid phone. What do you think?


At 8:17 AM, Blogger Packrat said...

Hi - I'm blog stalking - a progression from Janssen thru Chelsea to you. (If you would like me not to read your blog, please say so. I'll stop and not be offended.)

My husband has a new Motorola with "no bells and whistles." Seem to work better than my fancy Samsung. His is pretty, too, without being girly. They are available.

My advice would be to steer away from Trac phones. Everyone here (Central Idaho) has had nothing but problems with the company - lost minutes, no range, and especially no customer service.

As to waiting for the government...
The change could happen tomorrow or never. (The security measures only work for honest people anyway, so I guess the only argument against picture phones is that it reduces temptation.)

For thought, you don't actually have to answer me. Just how important is this Blackberry? Do you really need it, or is it just a toy? If all you need is a way to tell Chelsea you are going to be late getting home or call to say hi to your family, a plain old every day cell phone will get the job done for a heck of a lot less money. (Don't get me wrong - I would love a new iPhone or such!)

Side note: our cell phone company always has some sales promotion for phone upgrades. Ask about upgrading when you go shopping.

So I guess what I'm saying is that it if you need new phones, you need phones. Don't wait. Your new friends and neighbors might be tired of calling you long distance.

At 10:22 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

Ugh that's a tough scenario! I can understand the security issue but at the same time it sucks! Because I have a guy much like you who wants something new and cool to carry around I can see why you want to get the Blackberry Curve. The smart phones and anything with the camera is naturally going to be much more fun to use than the alternative.

That being said, I don't know that there's a good solution! I guess when it comes down to it, how much is it going to bug you to not be able to take your nice new phone with you to work (which we spend half of our life at!)? And is it worth it to you? Answer those questions and you may be closer to an answer...

At 1:12 PM, Blogger Ashley said...

Why cant you have cameras and other such devices at work? I am confused.

At 3:03 PM, Blogger Tom said...

It's a security thing. I can't have anything that can take a picture, record audio or video, or connect to a computer in any way. Even cd's burned at home aren't allowed, no matter what's on it. Most electronic devices today have at least one of those capabilities.


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