850/1900 MHz Motofone?
March 29, 2007 4:17 PM   Subscribe

I want to buy an unlocked 850/1900 MHz (Americas) Motorola Motofone for use in the US.

I checked Ebay, but the phones there are all 900/1800 MHz (probably from India). Apparently the version I want is for sale in Mexico and Chile. Does anyone know where I can buy one unlocked? Or is someone willing to buy one locally and send it to me (for a fee, of course)?
posted by Utilitaritron to Shopping (43 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Why do you want to buy this phone?

Why not wait for OpenMoko?

posted by yoyo_nyc at 4:26 PM on March 29, 2007

I'm not sure how much that is but a reliable seller (i.e. great 30 day back guarantee) is selling a cheap ($97) 850/1900 Motorola phone . Or, if you want to splurge and go quand band get the L7 for $174 . Try the howardsforums or phonescoop sites if that does not help.
posted by narebuc at 4:36 PM on March 29, 2007

Response by poster: Just to clarify, I'm looking specifically for the Motofone F3, which has an "epaper" screen.
posted by Utilitaritron at 4:46 PM on March 29, 2007

I'm also looking for the same thing for Canada. There's a seller on ebay (auction # 270102282613) who I wrote yesterday asking if it would work in North America. He responded:

"This phone is unlocked for all GSM networks so Sim Cards for Roger's, T mobile, Cingular, etc. willl work with the phone. "

However, seller only has 3 feedbacks and 2 of them are for buyin so I'm wary. Buy one and let me know what happens. ;)
posted by dobbs at 5:10 PM on March 29, 2007

I just sent a followup question asking if it was 850/1900 or 900/1800. I'll post back the response.
posted by dobbs at 5:18 PM on March 29, 2007

I'm also looking for the Motofone F3 for use in the US.
posted by null terminated at 5:21 PM on March 29, 2007

Oh man, have I looked for this thing. I saw it reviewed a few weeks back in the technology quarterly section of the Economist, and it definitely caught my eye.

I've looked on Mercado Libre, and haven't been able to find anything. All the ebay auctions I've found have been for 900/1800. I called Motorola directly, and asked about it - the girl I talked to said the only thing she could find out about the phone pertained to India.

I'm convinced that at some point, they'll be more widely available, and a few will filter onto ebay. I'll be watching.

I'll be sure to share (either in this thread, or through direct contact) any sources I have find for the phone.

Why not wait for OpenMoko?
Because I want a phone that, you know, makes calls?
posted by god hates math at 5:26 PM on March 29, 2007

I just sent an email to the OP but since more people seem interested--if the seller I mentioned has the right phone, do y'all wanna try and purchase together and get a cheaper price? Maybe he'd be open to selling 4 for $200 or something.
posted by dobbs at 5:28 PM on March 29, 2007

dobbs: I definitely would pay $50 for one.
posted by null terminated at 5:35 PM on March 29, 2007

I've been looking for one of these with some actual documentation that it will work in the U.S. as well. None of the non-eBay resellers I've queried has the 900/1800 one available, so hopefully a reputable seller on eBay can be found.
posted by j.edwards at 5:36 PM on March 29, 2007

well I'm just guessing on things of course. he has them listed at $76 but says he has 50. Just thinking out loud.

Anyone got links to any hands on reviews? I've only read the official site and some speculation.
posted by dobbs at 5:45 PM on March 29, 2007

None of the non-eBay resellers I've queried has the 900/1800 one available

Of course, I meant the opposite of this (they only have the 900/1800).

dobbs, as far as I know there aren't (m)any reviews of this, since it didn't have any kind of launch fanfare other than a few press releases and isn't yet available in the US/Japan/Europe. However, it seems like with its featureset, assuming it works, there's not too much to review.
posted by j.edwards at 6:02 PM on March 29, 2007

j, yeah, I guess you're right. But, for instance, the link in the FPP mentions that the guy had a few issues. I was curious if they were consistent or isolated to his unit.

We could, of course, make a post on JOBS to see if a MeFite in MX or Chile would be interested in buying 5 or so of them and shipping to us and adding $15 or so bucks per. Any idea what the SRP is?
posted by dobbs at 6:07 PM on March 29, 2007

Response by poster: I know of this review.

Any idea what the SRP is?

On Ebay.in, they're asking Rs. 1590, which is just shy of US$40.
posted by Utilitaritron at 6:16 PM on March 29, 2007

I've been wanting to get one of these as a secondary/backup phone since I first saw it on engadget almost a year ago. Has anyone tried contacting Motorola directly?
posted by dantekgeek at 7:43 PM on March 29, 2007

I've been keeping an eye out as well, and I've not seen ANY 850/1900 models; I don't think Moto has released them in the US market yet.

(I've got a SLVR and love the form factor, but want a phone that's just-a-phone).
posted by mrbill at 8:30 PM on March 29, 2007

I would just wait until they come to the US. Cellular One, among others I'm sure, is slated to get them, and the nice thing is that their phones come unlocked.
posted by flod logic at 8:57 PM on March 29, 2007

I bought mine from ebay India, but it's the GSM version.
posted by Lord_Pall at 11:29 PM on March 29, 2007

I'm afraid I can't help with an 850/1900 version, but just wanted to point out that they are now available in the UK.

Phones4U are selling them on T-Mobile for £25 with £10 of credit.
posted by amcewen at 12:46 AM on March 30, 2007

Response by poster: I heard back from the ebay seller dobbs mentioned, and his phones are 900/1800. ☹
posted by Utilitaritron at 5:05 AM on March 30, 2007

Weird. The guy didn't mail me back.

Lord Pall, I think they're all GSM, the question is whether they're 850/1900 or 900/1800. Are you saying you bought one from India and it works fine in the USA or Canada?
posted by dobbs at 7:42 AM on March 30, 2007

Has anyone tried contacting Motorola directly?

Yeah, I have. No dice. I have this feeling that if I knew the right person to contact, we'd be able to make some headway. Unfortunately, I don't know anyone at Motorola, and everyone I've talked to is clueless about the F3. From my experience, the US customer service reps aren't really set to handle this kind of thing - I've got a C115 that I got on Ebay that came from South America - the US reps had NO IDEA that it even existed.

I'd definitely be interested in getting someone in Mexico or Chile to send us a few I'd be willing to pay $50-60.

As for reviews, there's always Google Video.
posted by god hates math at 12:01 PM on March 30, 2007

Response by poster: I'd definitely be interested in getting someone in Mexico or Chile to send us a few I'd be willing to pay $50-60.

Me too. Anyone (know someone) willing?
posted by Utilitaritron at 1:07 PM on March 30, 2007

Best answer: Well, I say we do the following:

1. Find out how many we want.
2. Find out what they retail for in Mexico or Chile.
3. One of us make a post to Jobs.Metafilter saying we're looking for a Mexican or Chilean to run an errand.
4. We pay that person cost plus $10 or $15 each plus shipping. Either they can ship individual or ship all to one of you Americans who can then dispatch them to the rest of us.

I've made two Jobs errand requests before (both for usa errands) and gotten great response.

What say you?
posted by dobbs at 4:36 PM on March 30, 2007

Response by poster: Dobbs, that sounds great to me. Do you want to organize this?

(And I can be the re-shipper if you want to go that route.)
posted by Utilitaritron at 9:04 PM on March 30, 2007

I can give it a shot. Where are you geographically so I can provide as much info as possible?
posted by dobbs at 6:52 AM on March 31, 2007

Response by poster: I'm in Minneapolis, MN.

I did a few quick searches in the .mx and .cl domains, and it looks like they go for prices in the range of US$358211;45, but I didn't see a SRP.
posted by Utilitaritron at 7:05 AM on March 31, 2007

Response by poster: That's US$35-45, sorry.
posted by Utilitaritron at 7:08 AM on March 31, 2007

Okay, I just emailed everyone in the thread who expressed interest in a phone (except dantekgeek as there's no email in profile).
posted by dobbs at 8:39 AM on March 31, 2007

I just joined MetaFilter, and I would like in on this. Please email me with info.

Also, FYI - the headset jack on this phone (at least the 900/1800 version) is not a standard 2.5mm - it is 2.5mm in diameter, but the tip (of the ring-tip-sleeve configuration) is inside, making the entire plug shorter in length. It's kind of like a strangely female version of the normal 2.5mm plug. I'm not sure if I can explain it any better. It's like the male plug has a female tip. I don't know if this is a standard type of plug - i've never seen it before - or if there are adapters to the standard 2.5mm plug.
posted by jstrater at 9:31 AM on April 4, 2007

Me too please?
posted by spasm at 4:47 PM on April 5, 2007

Ahh, this ask mefi also pushed me over Mt. Lincoln to join Mefi. I'd like to join the order for the phone as well. I'm in for 2.

Dobbs, I mailed you. If you see nothing, then your email obfuscation defeated me.
posted by lucidprose at 12:27 AM on April 6, 2007

Anyone interested that hasn't gotten an email from me should email me promptly as it seems we may have found a source.
posted by dobbs at 8:31 PM on April 8, 2007 [1 favorite]

Hi Dobbs. I was interested in getting the motofone as well. I have sent you an email. If you can get back to me with details, that would be great. I hope to hear from you soon. Thanks!
posted by rickjames at 7:11 AM on April 9, 2007

Dobbs - also interested. As above, if you did not get my mail then please get in touch with me. Thanks.
posted by Umhlangan at 1:21 PM on April 9, 2007

Just registered to get in on this, if you guys have been successfull. Dobbs, I sent you an email.

My SLVR just kicked the bucket on me and I'm tired of complicated "feature phones".
posted by ThinkandDrive at 7:02 PM on May 4, 2007

I also just joined to get in on this. I have read that they have a black version and a silver version. I would really like to get 2 of the black Motofones. Please advise when you know more. Thanks so much!
posted by gordian at 10:43 PM on May 6, 2007

heh I also just joined to get in on this. If it is for sure happening, could you shoot me an email with details? I live in the Central US.
posted by kraigory at 10:26 PM on May 11, 2007

Note: the deal for this fell thru. Please stop joining and contacting me regarding it--I've got like 60 emails since this thing started.

Also, a few people have managed to get phones but no one seems to be able to unlock them yet. Be careful if you're considering dropping coin on one.
posted by dobbs at 4:13 AM on May 12, 2007

Just for the record, in case anyone finds this thread in the future and does figure out a deal, I'm damn interested too :)
posted by louie at 8:20 AM on June 20, 2007

If you consider $50 a deal for these phones in an unlocked state, Tiger Direct has them as of the date of this response.
posted by SteveInMaine at 10:53 AM on September 14, 2007

Response by poster: I recently noticed that there are finally some 850/1900 models on Ebay.
posted by Utilitaritron at 2:58 PM on November 18, 2007

At some point recently these became widely available. I just got one from J&R Electronics for $40.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 2:27 PM on January 2, 2008

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