I'm in the market for a cell phone, and I need some recommendations. Here are the base requirements:
- Voice communication
Really, that's it. At the base level I just need a phone that I can be called at or place calls from. However, there are a lot of features I would love to have:
- Personal E-mail support (gmail, yahoo, hotmail, etc.)
- Work E-mail support (exchange-sync)
- Instant Messaging support
- Internet browsing
- Full QWERTY keyboard
- Candy-bar form factor (sliders are ok)
- 802.11g/b support
Things I don't need:
- SMS Texting
- MMS Texting
So of course the first thing that comes to mind is....iPhone! The iPhone is a beautiful machine, but it is also very expensive. Not only do you pay $200 for the phone with a contract, but you end up paying a very hefty monthly fee for voice and data. I don't use my phone much now, and I'd like to keep the monthly fees to a minimum. My wife is on a pay-as-you-go program and that works great. A $20 card on that program will stretch out for a long time. Finding a plan for $20 a month is nearly impossible too.
One thought that I have rolling around in my head is to get a phone that can run Skype and then purchase a data only plan. As an example, get a T-Mobile G1 (the Google phone) and their $40 per month unlimited data plan. Then use Skype as my full time mobile number ($60 per year for unlimited calling). That's still a little pricey, and also questionable about whether it would even work, but it definitely satisfies the geek in me.
The PEEK e-mail device really has my attention. At $20 per month the price is very right, but that doesn't include voice. Voice is definitely required, so another option would be to have two gadgets with me: a simple cell phone on a pay-as-you-go plan for voice, and a PEEK for e-mail access. Then again, access to my personal e-mail isn't all that critical to me, and the PEEK doesn't offer any web browsing, instant messaging, or anything else compelling really that would make it a must have for me.
At the end of the day, what I'm probably going to need is just a simple, inexpensive cell phone that I can use on a pay as you go plan. From my wife's experience I know you can put any phone on those plans, so that really opens the options. I'd like to spend less than $100 on a phone. Any suggestions or models out there that you like? Are there any inexpensive phones out there that have 802.11b/g support that aren't an iPhone?