Looking for a close shave with a new Razr
April 19, 2005 10:25 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to get a new Motorola Razr. But I have questions regarding my existing account, unlocked phones, etc.

I have an ATT Wireless plan, which is owned by Cingular. Amazon has the unlocked Razr at about $500, but it won't ship for a few weeks. I called Cingular to see what they could offer me, and they said if I opened a Cingular account (which is different from my ATT account) they could give me the phone for $450 with a 2-year contract.

For me it's worth the extra $50 to not be locked into a contract, but is my understanding of unlocked phones correct? Can I get one and just drop my existing SIM card into it? And take it to any other service provider?

(And to complilcate things, Amazon has the locked phone with a Cingular plan for much much cheaper (with rebates), but as someone with an ATT account, can I take advantage of it? And transfer my number to it?)
posted by o2b to Technology (10 answers total)
Goto Wirefly.com, transfer your current number to a new Cingular account, and save a shitload of money. Then, unlock your phone either manually or have someone do it for you. It's much cheaper to go this route. BTW, only GSM cell providers, like T-Mobile, can handle your phone, should you choose to leave Cingular. Sprint and Verizon cannot help you.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 10:45 AM on April 19, 2005

Or A1Wireless.com. I switched from ATT to T-Mobile last spring using A1 without a hitch.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 10:47 AM on April 19, 2005

Do yourself a favor and don't buy a RAZR. It's a looker, but a shit phone. The software sucks (as do all Moto phones) and the build quality is awful. A FOAF works for Motorola and their whole office has RAZRs, and they're failing at an amazing rate (probably 15% have gone bad in the past few months, out 50-60).

That said, the RF qualities of it are great. It's as good if not better than my V600. The speakerphone is great, too. But I text quite a bit, and the autocompletion is a joke compared to my old Nokia 3650.

If the phone is unlocked you can drop any GSM providers SIM in there and it will work without a hitch. This includes prepaid SIMs from overseas. The RAZR is quad band so it should work anywhere with GSM service. There are a couple of options for unlocking. I unlocked my v600 over the internet through www.unlockitnow.com with good results. They were pricey but it worked right away.

I switched to Cingular from AT&T over a year ago and I've been happy with them.

I've got a Smart Clip, and I'd be glad to unlock any phone for ya. But I'm kind of far away =)
posted by kableh at 11:30 AM on April 19, 2005

I was in your situation - an old ATT customer looking to buy the Cingular RAZR. Got the same $450 run around from Cingular.

Since I was off contract, I bought the phone for $139 from Amazon. I'm debating whether or not to switch my number immediately, or wait two months and then switch (after which all the rebates should have processed). I'm leaning towards just switching numbers immediately and screaming on the phone to get my way.

NOTE - I did not ask Amazon to switch for me (they can't/won't, and neither will Wirefly).
posted by sachinag at 11:36 AM on April 19, 2005

I'd suggest Amazon.com with a 1-year contract. Since you're cancelling you current account and starting a new one, I don't see how Cingular can complain. I'd avoid a 2-year contract because most phones only have a 1-year warranty, so after the first year you either have to buy the insurance or any problems are going to set you back a ton of money. Also, I don't think the RAZR will be locked; generally, phones that Cingular advertises as having "International Capability" are sold unlocked. But make sure to confirm that with a Cingular rep beforehand; things may have changed since I bought my v400. Possible dealbreaker: there's no way to both use the Amazon rebates and transfer your current number to Cingular.

As a side note, I moved from Cingular to Verizon 2 months ago and I'm quite happy with it. Sure, their phones are a generation behind (so no RAZR for you), they put weird restrictions on them to try to sell you crap through Get It Now, and they don't have a reasonably-priced internet plan, ... but, since switching, I've never dropped a call and never had a call sound any worse than a landline (except when talking to people on Cingular or T-Mobile ;) ). So, if you're having coverage or call-quality issues, like I was having in spades, a contract change may be a good opportunity to explore other options.
posted by boaz at 11:41 AM on April 19, 2005

All RAZRs sold after the beginning of the year are locked. If you are travelling internationally, Cingular can provide you with a "subsidy code", which will allow the use of other SIMs, but they are loathe to give this information out. Most of their reps are unaware of the existence of this code, too. Then again, I've never looked into one with International Cabability, as boaz mentions...
posted by kableh at 11:48 AM on April 19, 2005

kableh, my friend recently bought the V600 and, although the features and style are very nice, he wasn't a huge fan. That said, why do you think that the V600 is better than the RAZR?

I ask because I'm using T-Mobile right now and would like a new flip phone. The two I was most interested in are the V600 and RAZR. T-Mobile just discontinued the V600 (they sold it for free on their website this weekend just to eliminate their remaining stock) so I know that something new is coming soon. I'm still interested in the RAZR, but I figure that the V600's replacement will be something similar to the V600, since the RAZR and Cingular are locked together.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 11:58 AM on April 19, 2005

I'm not positive, but I suspect that the TMobile V600 replacement will be the V635.
posted by aramaic at 12:19 PM on April 19, 2005

I just checked the UK T-Mobile website and I think you're right, aramaic. What's odd is that their site also offers the RAZR, anywhere from free to 140 pounds. Which begs the question, do European cell stores sell unlocked phones cheaper than their US counterparts?
posted by SeizeTheDay at 12:28 PM on April 19, 2005

The RAZR is the V600's innards, shrunk down. I wouldnt say its better, but I dont believe they had the quality control issues with the V600 that they have with the RAZR. I'm talking about - out of a pool of probably 60 phones - at least one that was broken out of the box, several that have keypad backlights that no longer work, hinges breaking, etc., and over 10 that had to be replaced.

When I had my V600 I wasnt texting as much, and its software is nearly the same as the RAZRs, but that's one of my biggest gripes at this point. Nokia had it down pat (T9 I think). The Moto software is awful.

Also, I'm not positive, but I think the RAZR is clocked slower than the v600, or maybe has a slower processor, since it seems to respond much slower.

If I'd paid 600 bucks for a RAZR (insane, but some people did), I would feel like I got burned. As it is, I'm pining for my Nokia.
posted by kableh at 12:42 PM on April 19, 2005

« Older How do I avoid looking like a tourist in Europe?   |   Why are some people's yards full of junk? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.