Buying SIM-free cell phones
June 19, 2005 4:27 PM   Subscribe

Anyone have any recommendations on a good place to buy cell phones?

I'm trying to work out where to do my next cell phone purchase. My carrier (T-Mobile) does not carry anything I want - no Sony-Ericsson products, no (decent) Windows Mobile handhelds (in fact, they seem to not be pushing anything but BlackBerries and Danger HipTops, neither of which I want), no Symbian. I'm not interested in switching service so going with Cingular is out of the question (and I won't even consider a non-GSM provider). So, now I need to find a decent place to buy the cell phone I want from. I haven't made a definite decision right now - current tossup is between i-mate Jam, i-mate SP3, Sendo X, and SE Z500/P910 phones - but not much of a clue as to where to buy them. eXpansys looks like it's the biggest and/or the most reputable, but Froogle returns some cheaper hits on a couple of those phones. The biggest question is finding one that has a good return policy (as I don't want to get stuck eBaying a phone I don't like) and isn't just a scam (since a lot of these companies look fairly shady). So, does anyone have any recommendations on where to buy unlocked phones?
posted by mrg to Technology (7 answers total)
If you don't already know, you need to make sure the phones cover 1900MHz, T-Mo's main frequency. Also having 850MHz is also a plus in case you need to roam onto Cingular in an emergency.
posted by zsazsa at 4:48 PM on June 19, 2005

I totally agree with the teeny bopper demographic phones they are pushing, Nokia has so many gorgeous phones out. I've had 4 cell phones and Nokia's have been flawless. Most of my friends phones which are Samsungs, or Motorolas have many strange problems and can't survive falls. Nokia phones are nearly indestructible.
posted by AMWKE at 4:57 PM on June 19, 2005

eBay is good.
posted by boaz at 5:19 PM on June 19, 2005

(Slightly OT: The Sendo X is a crummy phone. Buggy software, awful camera (even for a phone), useless flash, missing features, etc)
posted by cillit bang at 5:34 PM on June 19, 2005

hmm.. interesting comment on the Sendo, most reviews I've read were pretty glowing about it. then it's another one of those things that I just can't play with - no one in the US carries Sendo.

thanks for the replies so far - ebay is good except for the hit-or-miss return policies and such.. and fwiw I hate motorola phones now :)
posted by mrg at 6:32 PM on June 19, 2005

Let me make your day. Check this out:

SE 910A

You're welcome.

To me, this is the best phone you listed and that fits your criteria. Does a lot, and has a lot of support, plus, it just plain works great. Enjoy.

posted by kungfujoe at 4:08 AM on June 20, 2005

Expansys is a very good way to go if you're worried about getting burned. Thanks to their customer service, I was able to return that piece-of-crap Sendo X after 4 months of pain and go back to my good old Nokia 3650, whilst I wait for the N-series.

Don't get the Sendo X. I was suckered by the reviews as well. It is garbage.
posted by ulotrichous at 8:01 AM on June 20, 2005

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