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My New Cell Phone

sony_ericsson_t610.jpg"My New Cell Phone" is one of the lamest damn titles I've ever put on my blog. Like any of you care. Why am I even assuming that anyone reads this drivel? Whatever, okay, I'll console myself by pretending that I am my own audience. I am - the me in the future will wonder what day I got my new cell phone, and here it is.

I found out from Jon's comments in my Cingular: Crappy Phones post that - duh - Cingular is TDMA in my area and that only T-Mobile is GSM. So I stopped by T-Mobile today and picked up a Sony-Ericsson T610. It's charging, so I haven't played with it yet, but the features I like include:

  • Polyphonic ring tones
  • Bluetooth
  • Color Screen
  • A game or two

Bluetooth will be interesting - my 12" supports it and I'm not sure what I'm going to do there. I don't want everyone in my address book synchronized. Hopefully I can create a group and just synchronize the members of that group. Will my iCal events synchronize to the calendar on the T610? I don't know. Will it sound good? Will the Jabra Bluetooth headset that I bought work well? Will I be able to see the screen in sunlight? Will the ring tones sound good? These are all questions I've got to answer in the coming 14 days.

Why 14 days? T-Mobile has a very nice 14-day trial period. If the coverage in my apartment sucks, it's getting returned. Unfortunately, this puts me into a bit of a weird situation, as I currently have three cell phone contracts:

  1. My HipTop plan, which I today downgraded to the $29.99/mo "data-only" plan.
  2. My Cingular plan ($39.99/mo)
  3. My new T-Mobile plan ($39.99 + $2.99 + $2.99/mo) [t-zone and extra text messaging]

There was no way to combine the HipTop and my T610 into the same T-Mobile plan. I can leave Cingular at any time - I'm month to month with them right now. I've now got two one-year plans with T-Mobile.

I'm thinking that I may do this:

  1. Cancel the Cingular account. I'd then sell or give away my Motorola V60x
  2. Cancel the new T610 account
  3. Upgrade the original HipTop account (from December 29 of last year) to the $39.99 plan + $20 unlimited data.

After all, as Jon points out in the comments:

T-Mobile really pulled a zinger by allowing anyone to add unlimited GPRS to their GSM plan for $20/month. If you have a Bluetooth phone you can use GPRS wirelessly on your 12". Very slick. No matter where around town you are, you can get online. No need to look for a starbucks or a free WiFi hot spot.

This would completely invalidate the need for the HipTop (so long as I've got my 12" PowerBook). I'd be able to use a better Web browser (Safari), a better IM client, etc.

I think this is the way I will go. But first, the trial period: I have to test the coverage and I have to see how well the PowerBook would work with the Bluetooth feature. Can I even use it as a data transfer phone to test the Internet access with my 12" PowerBook? Jon, a clue here? I need one.

Incidentally, Jon is not just some random quack. Clicking his name in the comments of my previous post takes you to the very, very useful, "because you can't trust the salesman." One last question for Jon: will the ChatBoard work with the T610?

P.S. Anyone want a Motorola V60 in very good shape?

11 Responses to "My New Cell Phone"

  1. I have been tempted by this phone. I would love to hear you initial thoughts after you use it for a bit... I was excited about it until I read a rather negative review at ... let us know what you think about the RF performance in particular.

  2. AT&T Wireless also offers GSM service here.

    I originally got T-Mobile service with my VisorPhone, which I hated, so I ended up buying a Nokia 5190 to use with it instead.

    After I got my 12" PBG4 I bought a Sony-Ericsson T68i and found that it was locked for use with AT&T and couldn't be unlocked to use with T-Mobile. I ended up cancelling my T-Mobile service and switching to AT&T Wireless. I find that their coverage is about the same, although when I travel AT&T seems more widely available than T-Mobile. That may be changing, since the last time I traveled with T-Mobile was last year.

  3. Man I'm jealous... This makes two people that I know of that are getting the T610. Sony Ericsson's crack PR team promised me one back in March--still no sign. They said it's coming not too long ago, but I have no faith.

    As for the chatboard, I have no idea. I want to say no as it doesn't show up on a quick look at SE's site.

    Not sure how much you've used T9, but it can become second nature. Theoretically you can T9 faster than you can QWERTY, but I only know of one person that its happened with (I'm only about 20WPM with T9).

    BTW, thanks for the kind words!

  4. That review at was edited after a few days... Made more positive. Other reviews have been good. I've read a lot of bad about the T68i, but I've loved mine. Sometimes reviewers are "phone snobs". It got high marks from Howard Chui who usually has pretty decent reviews (very in depth).

  5. well, he [howard chui] gives it good marks except for: "The only downside is that the T610 is a below average RF performer and will be a disappointment for anyone who frequents areas with poor networks signal." ... the thing is RF is pretty important.

  6. Wow! Nice looking phone Erik. If I had a phone that was Bluetooth, I would control Keynote with it (not that I do presentations that much anyway). That way I could do the whole "Steve Jobs" thing where I can walk around on the stage. Besides the phone, I would need a PowerBook and look up how on TechTV.

  7. I really like the T9 typing thingie. The word list on my Nokia 3210 was pretty clunky and cumbersome, but I learned T9 within minutes and I'm already pretty good with it. Yup, I like my T310.

  8. I am envious! I have a T68i, and I really love it. I use it with t-mobile's $20/month unlimited GPRS, and its great. I can connect to the internet at a reasonable speed anywhere that I have a cell connection with my PowerBook over BlueTooth... fantastic.

    If you need any help setting up the bluetooth internet for t-mobile on your Mac, shoot me an email. Its not that hard, but it takes forever to figure out on your own.

  9. I fired up the phone today, played with some settings (the Date & Time settings are infuriating - all the "automatic" stuff is at the end of the list, leading you to set the Date & time and then have it changed on you as you change your time zone, Daylight Savings, etc.) and played with some other things as well.

    I like it, but I only have 1 bar of coverage, and sometimes 0, out of 5. That's obviously going to be a dealbreakfer for me. I'm going to go outside now to see how the display looks in the light.

  10. The Address Book has a Bluetooth button. Select it and only those contacts will move onto your phone. Have fun!

  11. I just want a group from my computer, I don't want all my contacts transferred. I'll play with it later, but frankly, I don't know: the screen is terrible and so is the reception in my apartment (0-1, maybe 2 bars out of 5).