Help me choose a cell phone (AT&T)
January 21, 2008 5:33 PM   Subscribe

What cell phone should I buy? I have AT&T. I had a Blackberry Pearl, and it just broke. I have not been that happy with it, so am considering getting a new phone. Text messaging is the feature I use most, aside from the actual phone.

Here is what is important:
-battery life
-ease of use
-ease of use with text messaging.

I don't care about: email & multimedia, camera. I liked how the Pearl worked for text messaging but overall, found the phone very clunky and not very user friendly. I know the Iphones are nice, but it seems a little excessive for my needs.
posted by hazyspring to Technology (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have a Samsung Blackjack, and it's great for texting -- full qwerty keyboard, text functions are only one button click away. The battery life could be better, but if you turn off all the crap like bluetooth discovery, etc. you can get some decent mileage out of each charge.
posted by c:\awesome at 5:41 PM on January 21, 2008

I loved the keyboard and user interface of my old Sidekick 2, and the T-Mobile sidekick unlimited internet/text plan was the cheapest of any such plans I could find. I usually charged it every night but could skip a night and still get a full day of web browsing and texting. When the sidekick broke I got a Palm Centro on Sprint. It's cheap and has an OK, not great user interface; the keyboard is tiny but is still pretty nice for text messaging. Unlimited texting on Sprint adds somewhere around 15 dollars to the monthly bill. Again, I usually charge it every night but can go two or three days between charges.

I don't use phones for voice much. If I did a lot of talking, I'm sure the battery life would be shorter.
posted by moonmilk at 5:49 PM on January 21, 2008

I have an unlocked c139 that I love. It's ugly, but it's incredibly cheap ($30) and has amazing battery life (I can leave it uncharged for five days). I also use it mainly for text messages and haven't had a problem, although the screen is small.
posted by null terminated at 5:49 PM on January 21, 2008

Actually the c139 has standard 1-9 buttons and not a keyboard, which doesn't seem to be what you want.
posted by null terminated at 5:51 PM on January 21, 2008

Do NOT get the Sony Ericsson z520 or z525. I've been through 3 of them. I'm happy with my z550 now though.
posted by IndigoRain at 7:42 PM on January 21, 2008

I would still go to an Apple store and play with an iPhone for the hell of it. I text with mine constantly and where as it took some getting used to I have to say that I love it now. You will find the other features a gigantic plus. As you probably know- AT&T is the exclusive provider (at least I think that is still the case in North America currently). You got nothing to lose and you might find some good uses for all the extras.
posted by bkeene12 at 7:48 PM on January 21, 2008

Get one of the phones on the Sprint SERO plan - deep handset discounts, unlimited texts, voice, data for $30/month. If you're serious about texting avoid none-tactile keyboard phones like the HTC Touch and Apple's phone, unless they come with a bluetooth stack that lets you pair a portable or rollup keyboard with the phone when you want to do some serious typing.
posted by meehawl at 8:07 PM on January 21, 2008

You've obviously never held an iPhone.
posted by neuron at 9:21 PM on January 21, 2008

I know a lot of people have had problems with their RAZRs, but I never have. I really like the predictive text input of the motorolas. I've had it for a year, and the battery is still good for about a week between charges (would be more, but BT is turned on).
posted by ArgentCorvid at 9:50 PM on January 21, 2008

Maybe a Sony P1i? I don't know alot about it, but I have friends who swear by the SE handwriting recognition on touchscreen for texting. Also if you have a Pearl the P1i has the same sort of modified QWERTY keyboard.
posted by mjlondon at 3:18 AM on January 22, 2008

I'm sure I'll take a face shot from the Apple fans for this, but coming from the predictive text of the Pearl, I doubt the OP would be all that impressed with the predictive text on the iPhone anyway. I know I haven't been on the several occasions that I've tried it -- I find text entry of any kind to be one of its weakest features.
posted by somanyamys at 6:35 AM on January 22, 2008

Basic phones with QWERTY keyboards:
Motorola A630
Nokia 9300
Nokia 6820

Windows Mobile/Palm devices:
Palm Treo 680/750
Samsung Blackjack
HTC S710
posted by healthytext at 10:53 AM on January 22, 2008

The new WM6 predictive text is quite good. It seems to be phrase-based and after six months seems to able to suggest around 60% suitable 4+ word phrases based on single or double letter entries and context. I was impressed. The scary thing is that it can basically enact conversation texts with my wife by now. Soon I may have to kill it.
posted by meehawl at 6:52 PM on January 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

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