Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I Need A Phone, Suggestions?

I need a new cellphone. I wanted to order one sometime back but decided to stick with my current one.

Now, my soon-to-be-ex cellphone has started to exhibit all the signs of old age. It shuts down when showing full power, cuts off conversations (this has to led to some *interesting* situations with some people). And, much to my chagrin and amusement, at times it randomly calls up people on my phonebook (Aitraaz-style). This feature, combined with the afore-mentioned cutting off conversations, has led me to conclude that I need a new phone. Since my brother and parents are vacationing in Dubai and Bangladesh, I have decided to get a phone from Dubai.

Just as some people do not know the difference between 2 GHz and 256 Mb when buying computers, I have no idea of what the terms 3Gp, quad-band or MMS mean. I know I need a phone that
1) has a clear reception and long battery life
2) has excellent camera options (2 MegaPixels is what I want)
3) has MP3 capabilities and bluetooth
4) looks 'cool' and will last long.

The last part is important, I am very reluctant to change gadgets. I graduated directly from tape Walkmans to MP3 players, skipping CD players completely. My first cellphone was an analog one that weighed a ton. If not for my phone company threatening to cut off services if I did not upgrade I would still have that.

So far I have looked at Nokia 3250, and Sony Ericsson w900i. My budget is around $500. Any suggestions from more hip and informed people on this topic will be much appreciated.



NAB said...

My mom used nokia 6600/6200 back in the Middle East since it was all the rage. But then again, this was in the summer of '05, so it could just be ancient by now.

Btw, shouldn't you like get cell phones from here because they sell different models in diff. countries, and you don't want to be stuck with a cellphone that you can't return in canada...

-- 2 cents from another phone-illiterate person.

Crimson Mouzi said...

$500 is a nice budget! But I don't know how much difference it makes between the US and Canadian currency. I like NOKIA stuff. I would vote for Nokia 3250.
But, at the same time, I would look for deals where they give out FREE phones! Even those camera ones, if you look carefully!

But, I think you should ask a Bangladeshi (who is currently residing in Bangladesh) youth. They are sooo much into latest phone model, it's almost crazy! Otherwise, GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO NOKIA!

Em said...

i don't know if that's USD 500, because if it is, it is TOTALLY WORTH waiting for the Motorola V3x (not the v3i or v3c or v3).

Take it from one who's used the v3 (a family member has it) - it's solidly built. I'm skeptical on SonyEricssons (although I currently use a T630, and I LOVE the battery life) because of your requirement number 4: it scratches easy and looks plasticky too fast. Nokia's no-frill phones are still durable, but its newer models are built to last less than 750 days, literally. I had a Siemens that died in less than a year - so AVOID it. Samsung is too... well, Samsung. That leaves us with...

and of course, quad-band means you can take it with you to rural north dakota and dhaka alike.

just one qualifier: the built-in ringtones SUCK. you NEED to personalize it with some tunes. and yes, it's expensive.

em said...

tea biscuit's absolutely right in that you should explore plans with free/ subsidized phones. and i have to hand this to nokia: BY FAR the most user-friendly and sensible feature-packed (if it means anything to you, think of nokia like the casio of wristwatches).

i'd personally not spend such a large amount on a cellphone. with a $500 budget, I'd get an ipod + buy the V3, and save the rest towards the Hajj (often available free with a plan, or at less than $50).

em said...

sorry for hijacking this space, but i noticed a stupid typo in my 12:00 comment - the bracket comes after the V3, not the hajj savings.

may i be so bold as to ask you how you know ifty?

Anonymous said...

I have the Motorola Razr but its only 1.3 MP, and you said you wanted the 2 MP. Personally I would go for the Sony Walkman w800i (it does everything 900 does except features like 3G and some minor details), but is cheaper and less bulkier.

- Farah.

mezba said...

Wow guys, thanks for the advise! Keem 'em coming.

Nowal, I am thinking of getting the phone from Dubai as they have the latest phones there, as and when it's released in Europe, Middle East or Asia. North America seems to be a year behind the times. I have been told as long as I get a GSM phone (tri or quad band, whatever that is), it should work here with our SIM cards. And I should get an adapter/charger that I can plug into here. Since Dubai is where Europe comes to shop, their phones usually work anywhere in the world.

As for it not working, yeah it's a risk. My dad does know some merchants personally so hopefully they will give him a phone that won't break down, besides many of these are supposed to have international warranties for a year.

Tea-biscuit, the ones that come free here with a plan place me on a new contract. I would like to mantain my current plan, so that's why I am not shopping there. Besides, the free phones usually have lower model cameras. And you are right, I should ask a Bong. I was amazed at the variety of cellphones on display in Dhaka!

Em, Razr is only 100 bucks here with a plan, so it's within my budget. If only it had a better camera, as Farah said, I would have gone for it, it has everything else I need. BTW who is ifty?

Em said...

the ifty in nus, singapore... iftekhar. i believe he's on your friends list.

there's a reason i stressed the x in v3x because the x model (not sure if it's out in canada yet) has the 2MP camera you want, along with the rest of the features. i agree that lower resolution is a little crappy if you want to seriously utilize the camera feature. By Razr i'm guessing you mean just the plain vanilla v3. it may be worth enquiring when they'll have the v3x and how much they'll charge for it.

oh, and as a general rule, 3g cameras are much bulkier and the battery life can really try your patience - unless videos are really you, i'd avoid 3g's, so farah's right.

as far as i know, canada follows the US in GSM frequencies: 1900, and in rural "north dakota"-esque places, GSM 850 also. the rest of the world (inc. dubai, dhaka) use GSM 900 and GSM 1800. hence a tri-band phone bought in dubai should theoretically work fine throughout most of the US and Canada, unless you live in some rural middle-of-nowhere. a quad-band covers the whole world, except for CDMA, an archaic US frequency.

hope this helps, wassalaam.

Em said...

2 other important things to point out (my phone's from europe, so i can speak from experience):

1, the voltage should be worldwide to use the charger properly.

2, the phone MUST be unlocked. i got my phone on a pay-as-you-go plan from the UK - it cost me less than half of the unlocked, off-line phone. I then took it to a phone shop and had it unlocked for 5 pounds. i now use it with a US sim. saved myself a lot of money, so you could explore that option too.

mezba said...


Iftekhar's family are family friends.

I will check out the v3x. Thanks for the help.