10 August 2009

New Phones - Palm Pre & Samsung Exclaim

So & I are on Sprint and our phones were dying quick and painful deaths. Not holding a charge, ringing once then going to voicemail, etc. were problems we saw with increasing frequency. Hey, they were 4 and 5 years old and stellar until just recently so I give Sanyo and Sprint credit for that.

The Plan - Sprint Everything Plus Family Data 1600 + pick 3 + pick 2)

First things first. The Sprint voice + data network where I am now (O'ahu, Hawaii) and where I travel (usually Los Angeles, CA) has been excellent. Anecdotally, Sprint seems to do better on the coasts and now Hawaii I guess and worse in between. All the phones I've had have been Sanyos which may explain why I've never had problems. Free phones are a bad idea as a rule and give every network a bad name. When you can't make or receive calls reliably it's something of a problem. This is for the people who maybe haven't used Sprint or have used a bad device on the network or heard from a friend how crappy it was, etc. I'm not an apologist or fanboy as Sprint's got more than their fair share of problems. It's just kind of funny hearing people dismiss a network they haven't used. Done.

The Sprint Everything Plus Family Data 1600 - $109/mo. (taxes not included)
  • 2 lines of service
  • 1600 shared anytime minutes
  • Unlimited Nights and Weekends starting at 7pm
  • Unlimited Data (web, email, IM, Sprint TV, Sprint Music, Pandora, etc.)
  • Unlimited Text messages (SMS & MMS)
  • Unlimited picture and video mail
  • Unlimited in network calls (Any Sprint number you call doesn't count towards your minutes)
  • Unlimited Sprint Navigation (provided by Telenav, subscription included with plan) - Turn by Turn audible GPS navigation - Woot!
  • Additional lines are $14.99/mo. ?
2 year contract with full discounts on phones, 30 day trial (and return on phones if they don't work out for you), and of course the dreaded ETF or Early Termination Fee.

I don't think this is the plan where mom or dad gets a smartphone and everyone else gets the free phones. There are probably a few family plans out there where you can customize text and data options combined with a minutes package to get something cheaper but probably not by much and if you plan on using data or going over your text allotment at all, this is by far the simpler and likely cheaper plan.

If you go to the regular Sprint.com website you'll see the regular single and family plans which are more expensive and include less minutes. The key to the Everything Plus plan is it's a referral plan which means normally you need someone on the inside to refer you. Luckily you've got a friend in Russ McGuire, VP of Strategy for Sprint. Click here for his blog with the link to the Everything Plus sign up plan and his employee info you need to get there. This is all fully legit and the easiest way to save an extra $20 a month. There are also very nice discounts on all plans except Simply Everything plans which include all the above but unlimited minutes. The plans speak for themselves and if you're in the market for a new phone and Sprint's network is competitive in your area, do yourself a favor and check it out.

The Palm Pre (or Palm® Pre™ if you're at the Palm website)

$199 after rebate. It's not an iPhone and it's not perfect but it's beautiful and good at what it does, and hopefully Palm keeps up with steady firmware OTA upgrades.

The short - capacitive 3.1" 480 x 320 touchscreen, full qwerty vertical sliding keyboard, 3.1 MP camera w/LED flash(no video yet), micro USB for charging/tethering/data transfer, 3.5mm headphone/headset jack, Bluetooth, GPS, WiFi (b/g)

The long, and the rest of it tomorrow.


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