What I want in a cell phone

I’m now on my third cell phone. The first one was a Nokia analog phone the size, relatively speaking, of a brick. I moved up to a digital phone with an AudioVox 4500 about three years ago (Catherine’s using it now), and finally moved to my current phone, a Nokia 3285, about a year ago.

I originally got a cell phone to let my clients contact me in an emergency — it replaced the pager I wore on my belt for the same purpose. It was cheaper than a pager, allowed for longer messages, and it worked in the US, which was a step up. I’ve come to use it, more and more, as an extension of my office phone, especially when I’m traveling.

I’d like to get a new phone, mostly because, as I’ve come to rely on my current one more and more, its weaknesses have become more and more glaring. What follows is a list of the qualities of my “ideal phone.” So far I’ve not found a phone/carrier to match all of these items; I welcome comments and suggestions from the readership on options.

  • Coverage across Prince Edward Island. Charlottetown is most important, of course, but I’d like to be able to be reached in Summerside, Cavendish and New London too.
  • Roaming coverage in Southern Ontario, Boston, and southern New Hampshire. These are the areas I travel to most frequently, and where a phone absolutely must work.
  • Small. I’m tired of big cell phones.
  • Works with Apple’s iSync to allow me to synchronize my phone book and calendar. It would be nice if the phone had Bluetooth, but I’m willing to sync with a USB cable. I need at least 500 entries in the phone book; I would prefer 1,000.
  • Usable as a modem with my Apple iBook. I don’t have a lot of use for this feature, but there are some times when it would be invaluable.
  • Available on a month-to-month plan. I don’t want to sign a contract for service.
  • Long battery life. Talk time, which I don’t use a lot of, is less important than standby time: I don’t like to have to worry about plugging in my phone at night, every night.

So far, the only phone that appears to qualify is the Motorola v60 from Aliant (warning: crazy website). Telus Mobility appears to offer the same phone. Rogers has weak Island coverage, and questionable coverage in southern New Hampshire. Fido has no coverage on the Island.

Anyone own a v60? I welcome comments from the field.


Rod's picture
Rod on October 4, 2003 - 15:36 Permalink

I have this phone: http://www.kyocera-wireless.co….

It has some drawbacks (keys suck, issues about area codes and automatic insertion) but nice stuff (it’s a converged device):

Palm OS (so sync with Mac)
Voice dialing
MP3 player (with stereo headphones)
Can be used as a modem
eMail via POP
Lots of other stuff

However, when on PEI this summer, like any other phone, 1X technology was not readily available in some areas (twin shores not far from Cavendish).

My 4th phone (I had a blackberry for about a month, didn’t like it).

Kevin's picture
Kevin on October 4, 2003 - 16:06 Permalink

As you know Pete, I have a SonyEricsson T68i which is all of that in the phone but the coverage is so poor on PEI for Rogers that I simply couldn’t recommend it. Worse, I’ve given several hours of effort to tracking down someone inside that company to whom it would be appropriate to ask the question, “How long until I can rely on your network around here?”

I would be completely happy with the situation if I could only just speak to such a person — many have said they were that person but couldn’t convince me of such with any portion of their expressed knowledge of their system; perhaps I’m just a bit jaded.

Anyway, if you do better finding out what their system is doing via this bloglog, I for one will be pleased to read it.

I would only need to confirm that the T68i will function as a modem (I think it will — it is Bluetooth) and then get a favourable coverage map from Rogers to lead me to say that any high-end GSM phone will make your problems disappear.

larry's picture
larry on February 19, 2004 - 15:21 Permalink

i need a samsung a620 how much is it and how can i get it by 01/03/2004 plz