, CNET's cell phone guru, wants to answer your questions about cell phones, services, and accessories. Send him a question!
I checked the radiation level for two Motorola phones, the V360
and the Razr V3
, on CNET's radiation charts
, and I wonder why they differ from the SARs for these phones on the Motorola Web site? Could you explain?
A: CNET always lists the highest at-ear radiation level for a phone in our radiation charts. (Read more about our policy in the introductory paragraph on the first page of our charts feature.) The manufacturers, however, may take a different approach. Since the radiation level varies for each individual band, manufacturers often list the level for the most frequently used band rather than the highest overall. So, for example, since the 850 band is the more widely used GSM frequency in the United States, manufacturers may list that band on their site. On the other hand, CNET will list the rating for the 1900 band even if it's used less frequently.
Granted, it's a complicated issue. To get the most comprehensive radiation information for a particular phone, consult the user manual (usually it's listed in the back under the health and safety section) or the FCC Web site. If you use the FCC's site, you'll need your handset's FCC ID number. You can find that behind your phone's battery (it will be labeled as "FCC ID"), in the aforementioned section of the user manual, and in our radiation charts. And yes, we sometimes make mistakes. If you see one on CNET, talk back to me below.
Is it possible to get T-Mobile or Cingular service on a Nokia N80
A: That's a popular question. The Nokia N series has been the talk of the cell phone town for some time now. And for the most part it's lived up to the hype. CNET editor Bonnie Cha loved the N80 and gave it high marks all around. But while the rumor mill has long said the N80 will land at Cingular this year, the carrier hasn't confirmed the gossip thus far. If you're desperate to use the phone, however, you can purchase an unlocked N80 and use it with Cingular or T-Mobile. Just keep in mind that without any service rebates, you will open your wallet wide for the privilege. Currently the N80 will run you about $500 to $600. Q:
I have a cell phone from a canceled contract that I'd like to use. Can I buy a prepaid phone and use that handset's SIM card in my old model? Will that work, and how would I activate my old phone?
Should cell phones be allowed on planes? Talk back to me below.
That's a tough question, Linda, as an answer depends on a few factors. If your old phone is either unlocked or shares the same carrier as the new prepaid handset, you may be in luck. But if the two phones are from different carriers, you won't be able to make the switch. Secondly, your choice of prepaid SIM may cause problems. Cingular restricts its prepaid plans for use on a select number of phones (called Go Phones). If your new phone isn't on the list (check Cingular's Web site
), you may have a problem.
I'm also wondering about the canceled contract you mentioned. If the contract was canceled by the carrier because the old subscriber didn't pay the bills, the carrier will block that handset from use. But if the contract simply expired or was broken through payment of an early termination fee, you might be successful.