Is there a device that works as a pager, sends text-messages, and has wireless web access?
December 12, 2003 5:48 PM   Subscribe

I need a way to keep in touch with my sweetie. I don't want a cellphone. I was thinking a combo of text-messaging + pager would be perfect. does such a device exist? [more inside]

Ideally the device would also have basic wireless web stuff - such as google and mapquest. any ideas?
posted by soplerfo to Technology (12 answers total)
Blackberry is overkill, I guess?
posted by stonerose at 5:54 PM on December 12, 2003

I've used BellSouth Wireless Data's Interactive Messaging for many years as a mobile messaging platform. Yes, they look like the ubiquitous RIM Blackberry devices, but before Blackberry existed RIM devices were the most widespread pager among police and fire departments (and the Mobitex packet data network was one of the only communications networks functioning in NYC on 9/11). It's not cheap, kind of ugly, but it does everything and has a decent keyboard.

I suspect you could find a prettier device and similar functionality plus voice from some cell provider, but you'll pry my RIM 950 from my cold dead hands.
posted by majick at 5:58 PM on December 12, 2003

(Sorry. The point I forgot to make was that while they *look* like Blackberry devices, they aren't, the firmware's a bit different, and they have paging and email functionality that the Blackberry firmware doesn't.)
posted by majick at 5:59 PM on December 12, 2003

Why don't you want a cellphone?
posted by gramcracker at 6:03 PM on December 12, 2003

What? Have we gotten to the point where it's weird not to want a cell phone? I ask because I'm starting to get dumbfounded stares when I admit that I neither have or want one...
posted by .kobayashi. at 6:11 PM on December 12, 2003

Response by poster: Yeah, I get those stares too. I dunno, I had a cellphone for a while, but I decided I really didn't ever want to be that available all the time. A pager would seem reasonable, but why not up it to IM/email too? Somehow it is weird not to have a cellphone these days, and I guess that's why I feel I need some sort of communication device - I feel like I'm not holding up my end of the bargain with my friends who have cellphones. I can get them when I need them, but they have no way of reaching me when they need to. - I imagine I'll probably end up with a RIM 950, granted I can scrounge up the money - doesn't look like I have many choices in the service-provision department though...
posted by soplerfo at 6:18 PM on December 12, 2003

soplerfo, I'm confused as to why you (and others - I don't mean to single you out) don't just get a cellphone with voicemail, turn it off when you don't want to be bothered... set it only to ring or vibrate when your sweetie calls... don't answer it when you don't feel like talking to people. That's what I do - it doesn't seem to offend anyone.
posted by stonerose at 6:29 PM on December 12, 2003

SMS flirting is high art and great fun. Get a cellphone, set it to never ring and divert permanently to voice mail, and don't give your number to anyone.
posted by fuzz at 6:29 PM on December 12, 2003

Response by poster: stonerose:
I guess I just prefer text is all. There's a nice immediacy to it. I'd like to be able to get a page and then glance down at the device to read the message. Then, if I'm able, I'd reply by typing into the device. I don't like having to call voicemail and listen to messages, also I don't really like talking on the phone in public.

yeah, I had a cellphone for a while - always left it on vibrate - and that worked well, but I don't want to keep my number a secret - I do want people to be able to reach me - just not by voice/phone.
posted by soplerfo at 6:37 PM on December 12, 2003

What about a HipTop, or would that be overkill?
posted by gyc at 6:39 PM on December 12, 2003

Best answer: A friend of mine has a what I think you're looking for: a Motorola T900 "Talkabout" 2 way pager, with service from an outfit called Weblink Wireless. It can be reached via email, SMS messaging from a cellphone, from a website and by calling the 800 number associated with the device talking to an operator. He got this instead of a Blackberry because he didn't care about any of the PIM functions, he just wanted messaging.
posted by JollyWanker at 8:47 AM on December 13, 2003

Best answer: I have to second the Motorola Talkabout 2-way pagers.
When I used to work at Motorola, employees were issued these. Managers could ask for quick bits of information and the employee, on the manufacturing floor or at their desk could easily and quickly reply.
The nice thing about them is that the service (MOT used Skytel) provided an email address, so you could use them to send and receive email/text pages. So, anyone could email from any device.
They're also nice because, while they have the immediacy of a cell phone call, you don't have to interrupt what you're doing at THAT EXACT MOMENT to answer it. Nice if you're with clients or important people.
posted by j at 9:41 AM on December 13, 2003

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