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!
Give me some juice!
Q: I travel a lot and really need only three things in a phone: battery life, the ability to sync with Microsoft Outlook's address book, and battery life. OK, that's two, but you get the picture. What phone should I be looking at?
A: Let's start with battery life. Nokia handsets have a reputation for offering extremely impressive battery life. Typically, you won't go wrong with a Nokia phone, but occasionally, this isn't the case; always read the reviews first.
As for syncing with Outlook's address book, you can buy software and a cable that will do the trick. You can sometimes get them from the handset manufacturer or from third-party companies such as FutureDial. Alternatively, you can use infrared or Bluetooth if either works with your current setup. However, just because the software will sync with Outlook doesn't mean it will match all the fields in your phone's address book. For example, if you need home and business addresses for each contact in your cell phone, make sure your handset's address book has entries for all that information.
That said, these mobiles should fit your needs:Nokia 6820
I want a cell phone
Q: I'm a high school freshman. I've tried telling my parents that I need a phone, but they insist I use the pay phone. I ask kids at school if I can borrow their phones, but I feel like a mooch. I've even offered to pay for the phone and the plan myself, but they still said no. How can I convince them I need a phone?
A: Feeling like a mooch sucks, and your parents probably aren't going to buy the "There's a long line at the pay phone" story, but there are a couple of approaches you can take. Since you are willing to pay for your own phone and service, maybe your parents are worried all your money will go to the phone bill. Show them that you are responsible and research some pay-as-you-go or prepaid plans; these are a bit more expensive, but they keep kids out of cell phone bill shock. Many major carriers have such offers--check out Sprint's allowance plans, as well as AT&T Wireless Go phones, Virgin Mobile, and MetroPCS.
Also, if your parents have a cell phone, ask them if you can borrow it when you go to a party or an afterschool activity. This will show them how you can keep in better contact, and they'll also experience what it's like not to have a phone when they need it.
Finally, if all those approaches fail, here's an idea that just might work: Tell them a cell phone will help you do better on the SATs. Seriously! Princeton Review teamed up with wireless developer Vocel to bring SAT prep training to the cell phone. It's not all fun and games, as with many teen-oriented mobile apps. Instead, this one is filled with quick drills and answers. Of course, there's a catch; this isn't a free service, unless you're also enrolled in a Princeton Review class.
I bought it on eBay
Q: I want to get the Nokia 3120. My current carrier is Cingular; however, AT&T Wireless is the only carrier offering it. I don't want to change carriers. I can purchase the phone on eBay unlocked, and the seller claims that I'm able to connect it with Cingular by buying a SIM card. Is this true?
A: If your carrier is Cingular Wireless, you probably already have a SIM card (you can usually find this tiny credit card-like piece behind the battery in your cell phone) unless you have a TDMA-compatible handset, in which case there is no SIM card. If--and that's a big if--that's the case and you want to change over to GSM service (which uses SIM cards), you'll need to sign a new contract.
But if you have a SIM card and the 3120 you buy is unlocked with the previous service turned off, you shouldn't have any issues. All you'll need to do is remove the SIM card from your current handset and insert it in the SIM slot in the new mobile.
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