As of this coming October 1, Katie and I will have served our sentence in hell and will be jumping ship from Nextel/Sprint to either Cingular or Verizon.
We enjoyed Nextel in the early months. However, there remains very little justification to stay with them. Too many things happened that have soured us on the whole experience. For example:
- We thought we might save some cash by using the walkie-talkie feature ("Direct Connect") to talk to some of our Nextel-enabled family and friends and, to be honest, we've only ever really used it with each other.
- We get very few minutes during prime hours and run out of them quite quickly requiring Katie and I to talk to each other on Direct Connect, which is annoying as hell. I've become one of those people that sits there talking out loud on his phone holding it like a child holds a tin-can phone.
- That chirp. Damn that horrifically ear-shattering chirp that lets you know a DC call is coming in.
- The battery life is practically non-existent. We've needed to charge these things on a daily basis since the starting gate. And replacement batteries are expensive as hell. One Nextel rep I spoke with said that it takes a lot of battery power to connect and stay connected to their network. My ass.
- The selection of phones is minimal and the only one or two decent ones cost upwards of $300. And those couple phones pale in comparison to the features and useability of well over half of the phones that are offered by just about any other service out there.
So, the one thing we know for sure is that we are leaving Nextel come October. They keep sending us promos for free minutes if we resign. I just throw them away immediately. Nothing is changing our minds about this decision.
Oh wait, actually there is one other thing we do know for sure... Katie is getting a RAZR phone. She has loved them since they were first released on the public about a month or two after we first signed up for Nextel. She always said that if we had known that phone would soon be released, we may have stuck with Cingular -- which is where we were before -- just so she could get one.
I, on the other hand, am unsure of what phone I want to get. In all honesty, I hate cellphones (I hate phones in general). They are a nuisance that I'd just as well live without. However, since I've had one for so many years and it's become the primary source of communication between Katie and I when we're not physically together, I kinda have to have one. So I want one that's going to make me enjoy the experience. Is such a demand possible to meet?
As nifty as Cingular/Verizon phones are in comparison to Nextel handsets, I still find myself doubting what is out there and not knowing if I, too, want a RAZR. Plus, now that we're moving out of the Nextel zone, I've discovered just what it's like to actually have a real selection of phones at my disposal. So, as would be expected, I'm confused as hell because there's so damn many to choose from.
Here are some of my demands from my future cellphone:
- durable - able to be dropped and not die
- long battery life with a low price for replacement batteries
- color screen
- game enabled - both pre-installed and downloadable games at a low price; they're great when you need something quick to pass the time
- downloadable ringtones - nothing fancy, just ones that are better than the pre-installed fare; perhaps one that would allow me to use my MP3s?
- ease of use - can you imagine how nice it would be if cellphones were as easy to use as iPods? Ha!
- cameraphone - I realize that, being the photography nut I am, any cellphone camera is going to pale in comparison; but it's a nice thing to have around all the same
- Mac compatible - but only if I'm going to need to sync it up for whatever reason (datebooks, photo downloads, music uploads, etc.)
- small size - my current phone is junior-sized brick
What phones have each of you used? Am I missing something on my demands list? Is such a combination reality or fantasy?
What about service? Verizon or Cingular?
I'm so lost as to what I should do.
Being the geek I am, you'd think I'd love this sort of thing.