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Questions about getting a new phone

Discussion in 'Southern US Wireless Forum' started by leemur, Jul 31, 2006.

  1. leemur

    leemur New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Virginia
    Forgive my ignorance. Here are a few basic questions I have concerning a new phone purchase:

    1) Do some phones (the hardware) get better reception than others? I've had back luck with my phone when it seems that others (using Verizon as well) are getting very good reception. How can I tell if the hardware will be good?

    2) My battery life is pathetic as well. I would like to buy a new phone. I am still under a contract. Is there a place where I can buy a new phone for a reasonable price without it being connection to a new plan requirement?

    3) What does it mean when I see phones listed as "unlocked"? Does this mean they can be used under existing service? Would I have to find an unlocked phone that is programmed for Verizon?
     
  2. Telekom

    Telekom Bronze Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,821
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    Location:
    Seattle, Washington USA
    My Phone:
    Nokia 5310, iPhone 3G[S]
    Wireless Provider(s):
    T-Mobile US, Fido CA, T-Mobile NL, Orange IL
    1)Reception "RF" varies from brand to brand with some brands tending to do better than others. Motorola and Nokia are pretty well known for good RF. Go to phone review sites such as phonescoop.com and look for phone reviews.

    2) Battery life can be the make of the phone as well as the kind of service you have. CDMA service such as with Verizon or Sprint tend to get not as good battery life as subscribers to services such as cingular or T-Mobile just because of the way the technology works. You may be only able to get a couple days without a recharge but it may be more due to your using Verizon's CDMA network rather than poor engineering but that does come into play as well.

    3) When you see phones referred to as "unlocked" it's a 99% bet that they're referring to GSM phones (such as used with cingular and T-Mobile.) GSM phones when sold by the carriers often either give free or heavily subsidize the price of a phone. The carrier doesn't want you to get a cheap phone through them and then bolt across the street to another GSM carrier. The carriers arrange with the manufacturer to "lock" the phone so that only that carrier's SIM "chip" can be used with that phone. Once you "unlock" the subsidy lock you can use your phone with any service that uses the same frequencies that your phone uses.
     

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