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Alright, my family is finally upgrading phones, and my parents have told my sister and I that we can finally get texting and/or data if we pay for them ourselves. I have no problem paying for texting, as currently I rack up about $10 a month on average because we don't have a plan. I'd probably get unlimited so that I wouldn't have to worry anymore.

However, I'm strongly debating whether or not I want to get a smartphone. I'm a college student that is really busy (19 credits/semester, officer positions in a couple of activities, and recently joined a fraternity), so having mobile access to email is really nice. Currently I do this with my Zune HD, as my university has one of the best wireless networks in the country. However, there are still plenty of times where I can't get a network (airports being the worst offenders, or when I'm sitting on the quad), so then I'm stuck with nothing.

Additionally, I hate the fact that there's no dedicated email app for the Zune and that the browser can't store any passwords. As such, I'm always typing in my very long password on my university's google apps access page, which really slows things down.

Finally, I'm starting to heavily use my Google calendar. I understand that most smartphones can easily sync up directly with multiple Google calendars, which probably wouldn't be the case if I bought your typical quick messaging phone.

Other than a calendar and email, I wouldn't really need data for any other purpose, so I'd just get the cheapest plan available. Luckily with AT&T you can still log onto wi-fi, which is probably how I'd usually be getting internet access.

So... Should I get a smartphone? If I were to get one, I'd probably be looking either at the Palm Pixi Plus, the Blackberry Curve 8520, or maybe the HTC Aria, as they're all reasonably cheap. I'm just unsure whether I'd get enough additional utility from spending the equivalent of nearly a whole paycheck from my internship for my yearly cell phone bill.
 

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Got my iphone with istudiez app , best thing ever had in university . if you dont like iphone go for android . Otherwise go for a blackberry or htc
 

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I'm guessing you're on AT&T? You stated several uses for Google-based applications, so I'd suggest an Android phone as everything works together flawlessly . Sadly though, AT&T has the worst selection of Android phones out of all the carriers. The Aria isn't a bad choice. I'd suggest getting a Black Berry since their keyboards and e-mail services are the best of the best. but their web browsing (except the newly released Torch) is pretty crappy.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yup, we've been an AT&T family since the 90s, and there's no chance on us switching. And I'm horribly anti-Apple, and also a cheapskate, hence the phones I mentioned. The Pixi is free from AT&T, the Blackberry is free from either Walmart or Target, and the Aria is like $20 at Target. However, I've heard that low-end Androids are only okay, and people have said that the Pixi has some of the best actual call quality out there.
 

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There's several sites, like Amazon, that'll offer mid to high end phones for free on contract. I personally suggest getting a Bold 9700 off Amazon since they're cheap on contract. It has an amazing keyboard, and great e-mail functionality. AT&T restricts Android devices to just their Marketplace, reducing their appeal greatly.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
$50 is more than I had been planning on spending... I was hoping as close to free as possible.

But getting back to the topic, how much more useful do you think a smartphone would be in my situation?
 

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Sounds like you would be using it quite a bit, so it'd be a smart investment.
As for free phones, the Palm Pixi or the nokia E71x would be your best choices.
 

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Just emails, calendar, and maybe taking notes? Definitely a BlackBerry; I still miss mine (Curve 8330) for those things compared to my Droid X. Having a hardware keyboard is still a preference of mine when it comes to writing stuff down quickly and accurately.
 

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I just got a Blackberry Bold 9700 and it's fantastic. You could save money on texts as it has blackberry messenger which can send messages to other blackberrys over the interent (using very little bandwidth). This is of course if a lot of people you know have a blackberry. (very popular in the UK)

It is very good for E-mail and web browsing, pretty quick when you have a decent 3G connection or on WiFi.

Full QWERTY keyboard which is also very useful if you type up things all the time (e-mails and texts)

Just a few things to consider.
Hope I helped.
 

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I honestly can't stand not having my phone with me... I sell Computers to alot of customers and being able to contact people whenever and wherever I wish is very useful. I laugh at all the people that get an iPhone just to text people as their not utilizing the Phone to its full Potential.

I have an iPhone.
 

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I thought i wouldn't have much use for a smartphone. Then i got a Droid.

I'm freaking in love...seriously, get android. The apps open up the phone so incredibly much more than a Blackberry.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Too bad AT&T has the worst Android selection out there...

At this point I'm thinking it's either going to be a Curve 8520 or the Pixi Plus if I get a smartphone.

For all you Blackberry users, is it possible to force the device to connect exclusively over wi-fi when networks are in range? I'd certainly like to be able to get faster speeds on campus and not use any data if possible.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Geglamash View Post
AT&T restricts Android devices to just their Marketplace, reducing their appeal greatly.
False. AT&T phones use the exact same market. They only take out tethering apps, which are very easy to get back if you want.

OP, I'm going to vote Aria if you want seamless google integration, from calendar, to tasks, to gmail (or google apps, which a lot of campus's seem to use) all in a small, but pretty powerful package. You also get an entire app store of functionality built in. I use my android phone for all that, and its google integration is a life saver.

AT&T might not have a huge selection, doesn't mean the phones they do have suck, the aria is a very nice compact phone for example. Just means you can't have everything (ie none of their android phones have a physical keyboard or front facing camera)
 

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Take a look at

this this
phone. I'm thinking about upgrading to it currently, looks like a very nice phone with an excellent screen and Android 2.1. $50 isn't bad at all considering it's $200 on the AT&T site.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jameschisholm View Post
Don't AT&T have the Samsung Galaxy range?
Yes, at a good deal more than the aria.
 
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