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!
My Nokia 8260
is over three years old. I would like a newer candy bar-style phone with Bluetooth but without a camera since my workplace does not permit personal cameras onsite. Do you know if any carrier has a cell phone with Bluetooth but without a camera? Thanks!
Unfortunately, all current handsets with integrated Bluetooth also have cameras, but all is not lost--if you're willing to go a bit retro with your handset. The Sony Ericsson T68i
and the Nokia 6310i
are both candy bar-style, Bluetooth-enabled oldies but goodies without a camera. If you have a SIM card, you can buy one of these unlocked, insert your existing card, and be ready to go.
But I must warn you that though these are both solid phones and not quite as old as the 8260, a lot has changed since they first came out. Namely, both vintage models use Bluetooth 1.2, whereas Bluetooth 2.0 is the latest version supported. Fortunately, most Bluetooth products
on the market today are backward compatible with version 1.2.
The big question
What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a cell phone?
As with questions on reliable cell phone service, the answer will vary depending on whom you ask. Since you asked me, I'm going to provide 10 reasons to have a cell phone, but deciding if they constitute an advantage or a disadvantage is up to you.
You are almost always accessible.
In case of an emergency (flat tire, bad date, and so on), you can call for help.
If you're lost or running late, it's easier to call your waiting party from a mobile rather than stopping at a pay phone.
A phone is always at your fingertips, even when you shouldn't be using it. In those situations, Virgin Mobile customers in Australia are particularly lucky; if they plan on having a couple of drinks when they go out that night, they have access to a service that lets them block a number they shouldn't be calling while under the influence. 5.
A mobile provides an easy way to collect phone numbers. If you're a real Casanova, a handset with a built-in camera will help remind you what the owners of those numbers look like.
Depending on your calling circle and your service plan, it can be cheaper to place long-distance calls from a cell phone than from a landline.
If you need to make plans but don't feel like speaking to someone and can't send an e-mail, you can text a quick message. That said, mind your etiquette--reading a text message while talking to someone else is just plain rude.
You can personalize your mobile to reflect your personality or mood, which is difficult to do with a landline phone.
If you have wireless data service, you can probably check your e-mail on your phone, as well as get sports scores, receive stock updates, and more.
In a pinch, it can be used as an alarm clock.
How can I text-message from my PC to my granddaughter who has a cell phone with Verizon Wireless coverage? --Don
A plethora of Web sites offer that type of feature. However, I think your best bet is to go directly to Verizon Wireless's site
and send a text message to her phone from there. It's simple to do, it won't take too long, and best of all, it will alert you if you go over the allotted 160 characters. If you want to be a really hip grandfather or just save room so that you can send a longer message, select the Spk n' Txt option. It will insert shorter phrases and numbers where appropriate.
However, there are two things to remember. First, she will be charged for the incoming text message, or if her plan already includes text messaging, it will be deducted from her monthly allotment of messages. Second, if you reach the full 160 characters in the message box, you won't be able to enter an e-mail address or your name in order to receive her response.
Should cell phones be used on airplanes? TalkBack to me below.