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By Joni Blecher
Section Editor Joni Blecher, a.k.a. the Cell Phone Diva, wants to answer all your questions about cell phones, service plans, and wireless connectivity. Send her a question!
Q: Should I buy the Sony Ericsson T68i or the Motorola T720? Any thoughts on which one is better? I know both of them are capable of taking and sending pictures, but which one offers better image clarity? Does the Motorola T720i have built-in Bluetooth?
A: Both phones are pretty good, so your decision really boils down to which style you prefer and if you need world roaming (the T68i has it, the T720 doesn't). Do you want a candy bar-type mobile such as the T68i or a flip such as the T720? Both phones are fairly compact, but the T68i's mouthpiece doesn't quite line up with your mouth, which could bother you if you're accustomed to traditional phones. Conversely, open the T720 and hold it against your face; it feels more like a real phone. Additionally, the T720's screen is larger and displays more colors. But the T68i has more features; Bluetooth capability stands out among the list. As noted, both of these phones will let you send snapshots on the go to other wireless-enabled devices or e-mail addresses. However, neither phone's image quality is going to blow you away, so that shouldn't be your sole criterion.
Addicted to eBay
Q: I want to access eBay through my cellular phone. I currently have AT&T PocketNet service, which works about 45 percent of the time and is about to be discontinued. I rely on eBay for my living and need to browse the site daily. I tried the Sprint PCS Vision service for two days, only to find out it cannot display the eBay site. Who offers this service?
A: If you're still using PocketNet, my guess is that you should change phones pretty soon. Only a handful of models developed a few years ago support that feature. Your best option is to get a smartphone (PDA/phone combo) that can be used to view HTML sites. Most service providers support at least one smartphone model, so you can take your pick among carriers. If you'd like to stick with AT&T Wireless, look into the Siemens SX56 Pocket PC Phone, then use AT&T's GPRS service in your area (to find out if it's available where you live, go here) to surf the Web from the phone. If you'd like a device that feels more like a phone than a handheld, consider the Kyocera 7135 Palm phone.
Q: Do you think I should buy insurance for the Sony Ericsson T68i? Some people say I should, while others disagree.
A: Insurance is a double-edged sword. I think it's always a good idea to have insurance, especially if you tend to be rough on products or lose them easily. Most policies cost only a few dollars more a month, with deductibles between $35 and $50. But you need to examine the fine print.
First, you can replace a lost or damaged phone only twice within a year. Second, you don't always get the same mobile in return, though most insurance companies agree to give you a comparable model. For example, you may have a Sony Ericsson phone now, but you might end up with a Nokia or a Samsung if the insurance company doesn't have the T68i available. If you're loyal to a specific brand, you may not be pleased with the selection. Keep in mind that there's also no guarantee that you'll be getting a brand-new phone; instead, you could end up with a refurbished model.
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Joni Blecher is a section editor for CNET Reviews.