In case you have not been following the blog, (shame on you) last time I talked about cell phone options for my wife and me. You can read more about it here.
After some consideration, my wife and I did end up sticking with the Straight Talk/Tracfone split. I’ll continue using my beat-up Tracfone for now and my wife, who uses her phone more will get the new Straight Talk plan. We’ve had the phone for a few days now, so let me give you some impressions. The deciding factor for me was that I was a little nervous about buying a first-generation smartphone. There is always some concern that one of parts was designed poorly and will break down prematurely. This decision allows us to buy some time to see how the Pre and the applications for it develop and gives the flexibility to change should the timing be correct.
As far as executing our decision, first, we went to the Straight Talk website and ordered a phone which was sold through Wal-Mart’s online store. There were three options of phones to choose from: the LG200, which is a very basic model, the Motorola W385, which has quite a bit more functionality including a camera and web browsing, and finally the Motorazr V3a, which is the most expensive and has upgraded components.
We ended up selecting the least expensive phone, the LG200. We though this would minimize our losses in the event it got lost or stolen and would do the job we needed it for. After some use though, we decided it might not have been the right choice for us. First, this phone does not come with any web-browsing abilities at all. After taking a wrong turn on a trip we were on, we realized that the ability to use the 30 MB of data on the Straight Talk plan would be a useful thing. It also seemed to be a shame to not take full advantage of the plan we had gotten for ourselves.
The phone itself was very light and easy to use. For some people, including the less tech savvy among us, this may be the perfect choice. The only disappointment in this regard is that the buttons may be just a little too small for an elderly person with arthritis to be able to use effectively. Otherwise, this might be a great plan for someone who wants a very basic phone and wants to talk on the phone sometimes, but not too often.
The reception on the phone, however, was very good in our area in Brooklyn and in Northern and Central New Jersey. We did not have any trouble with dropped calls, and was very pleased with the Verizon-supplied service.
Ultimately, we’ve elected to return the phone, and upgrade to one of the other models. This is where the Wal-Mart store will come into play. Since we’ve already paid for the first month’s service in order to use it, our plan is to return it after the first month’s time is up. Wal-Mart has a 90-day return policy on this item, so it could be a simple matter of just returning the phone, buying a new one and porting the new number over. Of course, any number of things could go wrong with this plan, so we’ll keep you posted and see the real resolution of our cell phone conundrum.
Thanks to the great post in the comments, and if you have any thoughts, comment away.