Archive for October, 2007
Written by admin on Sunday, October 28th, 2007 in Compare Cell Phone Plans.
There has been a great explosion of available pay-as-you-go options available in the cell phone market of the United States. Each of these programs has their benefits and drawbacks, and they are all designed to fit a certain communication niche. By comparing all of their features, positives, and negatives, you will be able to select the best pay-as-you-go program for your communication and budgetary needs. In this review, we will be comparing the major pay-as-you-go providers in the United States, which are ALLTEL, Virgin Mobile, Helio, and Boost Mobile.
Reception: From a comprehensive viewpoint, Virgin Mobile has the best reception in the areas it serves. ALLTEL has superb reception, but it only serves 35 states. Both Boost Mobile and Helio lease Sprint/NEXTEL’s lines, and therefore, they have the same level of reception quality.
National coverage: Because Boost Mobile and Helio lease Sprint/NEXTEL’s carrier towers, they have the fullest national coverage. Virgin Mobile comes in next with its national coverage that is limited to its own carrier; it has no ability to pick up roaming signals from other companies. Lastly, ALLTEL has the most limited national coverage because it only serves 35 states.
Available technology: Helio’s reputation is based upon its high-tech phones and plans; with specific technology plans with unlimited text messaging and data transfer, Helio has a broad range of technology and related services. ALLTEL and Boost Mobile have phones with decent technology, and although Virgin Mobile has the widest array of phones, its product offering has less technologically advanced because they do not offer data transfer.
Call quality: In areas where there is reception, all four carriers offer excellent call quality and sound.
Customer service: Virgin Mobile has built its reputation upon stellar customer service, with ALLTEL following closely behind. Helio’s customer service is decent and effective, but it is not superb. However, Boost Mobile has a terrible reputation for customer service, with most clients walking away unhappy.
Variety of phones available: Virgin Mobile has the largest selection of phones, though their phones may be technologically weak in comparison to other carriers. Helio has not only a great selection of phones, but also the most technologically advanced ones. ALLTEL and Boost Mobile both have a decent product selection of their available phones.
Rates: As all of these companies offer pay-as-you-go service, their rates are very competitive and comparable. Virgin Mobile has the cheapest starting package, but there is not a significant difference in their rates for average phone usage.
Written by admin on Friday, October 26th, 2007 in Compare Cell Phone Plans.
|Beneficial plan options||4
|Call Quality||4||4||4||4||2||4-Way Tie|
5 = Best
4 = Great
3 = Good
2 = Fair
1 = Worst
0 = N/A
Written by admin on Thursday, October 25th, 2007 in Compare Cell Phone Plans.
With the extensive myriad of cell phone providers in the United States, it is not easy to navigate through the different services, options, phones, and rates that are available. Depending upon your communication needs and average usage, the cost-benefit analysis is different for each provider. By comparing the different features, benefits, and drawbacks of each major carrier, you will be able to find the best cell phone service provider for your communication needs. In this comparison review, we analyze AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint/NEXTEL, and Cricket.
Reception: Overall, Verizon has the best comprehensive reception, even in remote, less populated areas. However, Verizon may experience decreases in call quality in highly dense urban areas. In a close second is Sprint/NEXTEL, as they have a large network from the merge of the two companies. AT&T and T-Mobile are closely matched for third place, with Cricket substantially lagging behind for last place.
National coverage: Verizon again takes first place in having the most extensive national coverage, ranging from the urban cities to the more remote, rural areas. Sprint/NEXTEL, AT&T, and T-Mobile are all evenly matched for overall national coverage. Cricket does not offer national coverage, and plans with Cricket are specifically designed to be utilized within one contained geographic.
Beneficial plan options: T-Mobile is considered to provide the most flexible plan choices, ranging from free nights and weekends to the “Fave Five” program. AT&T comes in at a close second with its unique “rollover” plan, as well as free nights and weekend minutes. Cricket offers free text messaging and unlimited minutes, which are great perks. Verizon and Sprint/NEXTEL have the least amount of innovative plan options, as they both offer traditional plans.
Call quality: T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T and Spring/NEXTEL all offer excellent call quality in areas where there is reception coverage. Cricket has a less than stellar reputation in delivering good call quality.
Customer service: Although the reputation is not perfect, Verizon does offer the best customer service in comparison to all the other fixed-rate carriers. AT&T and T-Mobile do not possess high rankings in customer service, but Sprint/NEXTEL has the worst reputation in the industry for customer service.
Variety of phones available: AT&T has the largest and newest selection of cell phones, and they are often the exclusive carrier for new cell phones, such as the iPhone. Sprint/NEXTEL also has an extensive portfolio of cell phones, and they carry phones with new technology in VOIP and GPS segments. T-Mobile has a decent selection of phones, and Cricket has the smallest selection of available phone products.
Monthly plan rates: CricKet’s plans offer the most bang for the dollar, with its unlimited minutes. T-Mobile, through its “Fav Five” and free nights and weekends is tied equally with AT&T’s “rollover” and free nights and weekend minutes. Verizon and Sprint/NEXTEL are generally the most expensive providers.
High speed internet: Verizon has an excellent high speed internet network, and it is tied equally to the power of Sprint/NEXTEL’s new 4G network. AT&T also provides high speed internet, but they are still on a 3G network. T-Mobile and Cricket are not necessarily recommended for their ability to provide high speed internet on your cell phone.
Design: Larger size, but with good functionality
Despite the dimensions, the Motorola Razr2 V8 is still too large for its intended simple, sleek design. The 4.13 oz weight is not exceptionally heavy, nor is the 4.06″ x 2.09″ x 0.47″ dimensions particularly large. However, the size is more superfluous for a clamshell style phone than beneficial. When this Motorola phone is opened, I almost feel like I am holding a small sword, instead of a piece of modern technology. On the plus side, the Razr2’s size does make the button size adequate and the 240 x 320 resolution screen very satisfactory.
Features: Everything you need, with great storage space
The Razr2 V8 has all the features that a modern cell phone should, including a few of those impressive extras. For instance, this phone has a 2 megapixel camera and a two hour video capture. I should also mention the optimal 2GB built-in memory that allows you to actually use the media features. In addition, the Razr2’s media player supports not only the typical MP3 and WMA formats, but also AAC for all you Apple fans.
Performance: Duller than G3, but amplified with Linux
The Razr2 V8 still runs on GSM (850/900/1800/1900), unlike its Motorola cousin the V9, which sports G3 technology. This means that you lose some of the phone call sharpness that you would experience with newer devices. The battery life of the Razr2 V8 clocks extends for eight hours of talk time and almost 12 days of standby time. However, Motorola is oddly silent regarding its battery time when playing music. This is also a phone that carries Linux technology, which should please Linux’s die-hard fan base.
Written by admin on Monday, October 29th, 2007 in Cell Phone Reviews.
Design : Snazzy all-screen chic
The Apple iPhone itself is essentially an all-screen cell phone, blessed with a “home button” center stage. The phone itself is 4.5″ x 2.4″ x 0.46″, making it just a bit too large for most pockets. The screen is 3.5″, which makes it exponentially larger to other cell phones. The clear, large screen makes it ideal for viewing movies and pictures, instead of the typical “what exactly am I looking at?” feeling one gets with most cell phone screens.
Features: Encyclopedia of media options
There are many phones on the market that feature stylus-style maneuvering, and with the exception of the “home,” volume, and power buttons, the iPhone is all touch-style. The touch-style screen is certainly tremendously fun, but I felt that the screen did not have enough space for my fingers. When dialing, the screen becomes a touch-tone pad, which worked just fine, but when typing, half of the screen became a keyboard. The half-screen keyboard was too small to type quickly, but typing slowly was not much better. The iPhone, does, however, feature predictive text entry, which was the only way I could correctly finish a sentence. With a phone this large, it is important to use two hands while using the screen. I should also mention that after my fingers touched the iPhone, the screen appeared unsanitary, and I had an uncontrollable urge to wash my hands afterwards.
The iPhone utilizes multi-tasking iTunes, which allows you to listen to your music while utilizing other functions. In addition to iTunes, the iPhone also comes with plenty of programs for you to use, including a stock ticker, map, calendar, the Safari internet browser, email, SMS text, weather updates, and…oh yes, it can actually be used as a phone as well.
I found that only a few of these features ran particularly well. For instance, the weather update was very helpful. Did you know it was 79 degrees in Tokyo today? However, the map feature, despite having great potential for being useful, failed me. The screens were loading far too slow, and in the end, gave me the wrong directions. With its large screen and built-in browser, the Safari and iPhone go well together. The iPhone is most likely your best bet for browsing the internet on your phone. However, it is still miles away from replacing a laptop.
Written by admin on Wednesday, October 24th, 2007 in Virgin Mobile Reviews.
Virgin Mobile is a leading American communication service provider that offers a variety of plans to its customers. By winning an Excellence Award for its prepaid services, Virgin Mobile has truly joined the higher ranks of providing excellent cellular service to millions of customers.
Benefits of Virgin Mobile
Seemingly unlimited variety of phones: With a very extensive cell phone product gallery, Virgin Mobile provides a large variety of phones for its customers. With options like Super Slice, Marbi, Snapper and more, it is easy for you to find the best phone suited for your preferences and needs.
No roaming charges for nationwide coverage: Under the Virgin Mobile plan, you are free to roam anywhere in the country without incurring roaming fees. However, unlike other networks, you can only access Virgin Mobile cell phone towers; therefore, if you happen to be in an area without Virgin Mobile coverage, you will not be able to use your cell phone. However, Virgin Mobile does boast of its excellent coverage of almost every nook and corner of United States of America.
Cheap monthly plans: If you choose to use the Virgin Mobile service, your plans could start as low as $14.99 per month. They are a much more affordable option than other cell phone providers.
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Change your plan anytime: With a Virgin Mobile phone, you have an ability to change your plan anytime without having to worry about annual contracts. In fact, Virgin Mobile does not have any annual contracts. If you want a plan that has minimum contract commitments, Virgin Mobile gives you that opportunity.
Excellent 24/7 customer service: If you have any questions or need to speak with a customer representative, Virgin Mobile’s customer service has a stellar reputation. Trained professionally in dealing with customer service, they will make every effort to ensure your queries are answered in a polite and professional manner.
Disadvantages of Virgin Mobile
No MMS: In the age of technology and multimedia, many people want multimedia at their fingertips. Virgin phones do not offer the MMS service to their customers.
No GPRS: Most cell phone providers offer GSM technology in their phones, which facilitates GPRS. Without GPRS, users of Virgin Mobile are not able to send packets of information, such as SMS, to and from their phones.
Cross network cost-benefit analysis: Customers who use mobile devices for their extensive communication needs should analyze the cost-benefit circumstance with Virgin Mobile, especially if they travel through different cities. Though Virgin Mobile does provide nationwide coverage, it is not complete coverage in every single city of America; therefore, many Virgin Mobile customers had to switch networks in order to gain phone usability. Although you may save money with Virgin Mobile, having no cell phone coverage in certain areas takes away the financial benefit.
Overall Rating (8/10): Virgin Mobile is an excellent choice for users who are seeking affordability and are willing to sacrifice full roaming coverage, MMS, and GPRS capabilities. Their excellent customer service and high call quality make Virgin Mobile an excellent choice for many users.
Written by admin on Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007 in Helio Reviews.
Founded by Earthlink and launched in May 2006, Helio is possibly the smallest of all cellular service providers. When they started offering services to customers in the USA, they leased lines from Sprint to provide the service. Helio, having a major corporate backing from SK Telecom in Korea, intends to target a certain group of users with its technologically advanced phones. Strategically, this cuts down Helio’s market size by 50% even before the phones hit the market.
Benefits of Helio
Sophisticated phones with cutting edge technology: Helio offers phones that are different and more sophisticated than the traditional fare. Helio offers handsets to users who have a taste for technology and technical gizmos.
Good roaming features: Helio leases the lines of Sprint to provide its services. In the areas where Sprint does not work well, Helio Phones go onto automatic toggling mode to the network of ALLTEL, US Cellular. This allows customers of Helio to stay connected with their Helio Phone wherever they go in the United States.
Unlimited Data Plans: Helio phone users benefit tremendously from free unlimited data plans. This allows unlimited text to be exchanged through the mobile phones. This could be a welcome relief for all the users who had limitations with their earlier phone service providers.
Written by admin on Monday, October 22nd, 2007 in Boost Mobile Cell Phone Reviews.
Boost Mobile launched its mobile phone services in 2002 and has a large customer base of approximately four million subscribers. Boost Mobile was launched by Nextel in 2002 and since then has maintained a level customer turn-over rate.
Benefits of Boost Mobile
IDEN Phones: Most of the Boost Mobile Phones are operational on IDEN Phones. The IDEN service is responsible for Boost Mobile’s ability to provide extensive features to their customer base. These features include the walkie-talkie, GPS, ringtone, wallpapers, downloads, and much more. The walkie-talkie has been a very customer friendly feature for many users.
Good call quality: With Boost Mobile using most of Sprint’s IDEN and CDMA, users of Boost Mobile are always assured of good call quality. You could now go to any part of the United States and be virtually assured of good connectivity.
Pay as You Go: Boost Mobile offers its users the option to pay for flexible usage of their cell phone service. This is quite a change from many other cellular service providers who charge their customers fixed rates every month. With Boost Mobile, you only pay for the time that you use on your cell phone.
Written by admin on Sunday, October 21st, 2007 in Alltel Cell Phone Reviews.
ALLTEL is a wireless service provider for individual and corporate users in as 35 states in America. ALLTEL is known to provide good quality services in the states in which it has network coverage. Primarily providing wireless services using analog technology, ALLTEL has taken the big leap forward in providing services on digital platforms to its users.
Benefits of ALLTEL
High quality network in 35 states of the USA: ALLTEL currently serves only 35 states with its networks. However, customers using ALLTEL phones have few complaints regarding call quality problems in these 35 states. ALLTEL also has roaming agreements with cellular service providers to ensure that customers can use ALLTEL phones wherever they go in the United States of America.
Free minutes at night: ALLTEL offers its users free talk time in the evening. After 9 pm, you can talk for hours until the next morning, and yet not pay a dime for all this time. With an additional fee, you can upgrade this free talk time starting at 7 pm.
Written by admin on Saturday, October 20th, 2007 in Cricket Cell Phone Reviews.
An operating subsidiary of Leap Wireless International, CricKet prides itself in providing services to customers who are frustrated with the service of other cellular subscribers. Offering a wide range of plans to its customers, CricKet is considered to be one of the cheapest cell phone services available in the United States.
Benefits of CricKet
Little to no documentation: Unlike other cell phone providers, you could get a CricKet Mobile phone service with minimal documentation. This also means that you could be spared from signing one or two year contracts, which is not the case with other service providers.
Cost effectiveness: CricKet Phone services are known to be the most cost-effective of all other service providers. The highest priced plan of CricKet, CricKet Nation 200, is priced at $60 per month, with the lowest priced plan extending to $30 a month. There really is no other cheaper provider on the market.
Free text messaging: Unlike some other cellular service companies who charge their users for text messaging, CricKet offers free text messaging with all their plans. This allows users to send as many text messages as they want without being charged with a cost per message.
Nextel/Sprint has a wide subscriber list with close to 55 Million Subscribers. Created in 2005 as NEXTEL Communications, the original NEXTEL was bought out by the Sprint Corporation. This merger meant users could get a range of benefits from Sprint and NEXTEL both. In terms of translating to tangibles, Sprint/NEXTEL is known as a user-friendly company.
Benefits of Sprint/NEXTEL
Power Pack Plans: Sprint/NEXTEL previously offered Free Incoming Plans to their users, but they were recently replaced by Power Pack Plans. These Power Pack Plans have resulted in many Sprint users increasing their positive reviews regarding the service. Competitive in rates with other cell phone providers like Verizon, Power Pack offers users a “pay as you go” alternative. This plan offers users of Sprint the opportunity to buy minutes at a nominal fee of $0.25 per minute as opposed to buying “x” minutes for a flat fee from other subscribers.
Discounts for users with expired contracts: Any user, who had previously signed a two-year agreement with Sprint/NEXTEL, obtains attractive discounts for signing a new two-year agreement with Sprint/NEXTEL. For many customers, it is a great perk to be rewarded for staying with the service.
Written by admin on Thursday, October 18th, 2007 in Verizon Cell Phone Reviews.
Verizon is one of the largest cell phone service providers in America. With a large array of mobile phones and plans, in combination with their receipt of the American Brand of Excellence Award, Verizon is a quality cell phone service provider for those who are willing to pay a little extra.
Benefits of Verizon
Many large corporate user groups utilize Verizon and have experienced excellent service. The cell phone reviews from individual users of Verizon concentrates their praise on its high-speed internet networks.
Good range of services: Verizon’s reputation caters to a wide range of customers. By having differentiated plans that specifically target either individuals or corporate users, Verizon usually offers an effective plan for each user’s needs. Offering discount packages to its consumers has brought Verizon accolades in their cell phone service reviews.
High speed internet: Verizon is one of the few cell phone provider services that offer high speed internet. The Verizon DSL & Internet plan allows you to use your phone to access the internet at an affordable rate. Verizon provides this High Speed Internet Package at 3 Mbps for approximately $40 per month. However, in order to access the high speed internet, you must stay within an area covered by the primary network of Verizon.
Written by admin on Wednesday, October 17th, 2007 in T-Mobile Cell Phone Reviews.
T-Mobile is a popular cell phone provider in the United States that offers unique pricing plans and packages. After winning awards for Wireless Customer Service and Highest Call Quality from J.D Power and Associates, T-Mobile has undergone rigorous marketing plans to widen its customer base.
Benefits of T-Mobile
Many individual and corporate users have provided glowing reports about the T-Mobile cell phones and services. We analyzed the masses of reviews, as it is the personal experience that is the main indicator of the true value and service of T-Mobile.
T-Mobile users originally praised the services of T-Mobile on the connectivity it offers on its phones. Many people had given positive feedback in regards to the strong signal networks of T-Mobile. If you sign up for service with T-Mobile, they will provide you with a signal map of the surrounding reception levels around your home and work. However, over an extensive period of time, many users have rescinded their praise after experience unreliable cell phone signals, even in their own backyard. The quality of the reception depends upon where you live, with urban areas obtaining the highest amount of reliable cell phone coverage.
Variety of Plans
T-Mobile’s cell phone plans are tailored to almost everyone’s needs. T-Mobile offers its customers to choice from seven different plans, with each plan group having prices ranging from $30 to $140. A person on any size budget could afford to buy T-Mobile service for their mobile communication needs. This variety of plans is the strongest asset T-Mobile communications offers its customers. For example, they have a “Fave Five” program where all comes that are made or received from your “Fave Five” phone numbers are free, including ones with domestic hard phone lines.
Written by admin on Tuesday, October 9th, 2007 in AT&T Cell Phone Reviews.
AT&T’s power as a wireless cell phone service carrier is demonstrated through their dominance of the American market. Currently, with 62 million cell phone subscribers, AT&T is the largest wireless cell phone carrier in the United States. With this large presence come certain subscriber benefits, as well as potential drawbacks of AT&T’s wireless cell phone service.
Fewest dropped calls
According to independent research, AT&T asserts that they have the fewest dropped calls of any wireless cell phone network carrier. However, the strength of this statement depends upon the area in which you live and use your cell phone; metropolitan areas tend to have better cell phone reception than less populated regions.
AT&T is currently the only wireless cell phone provider that allows you to take unused minutes into the next month. This flexible plan ensures that you do not waste unused cell phone minutes, but rather utilize them when you need them. However, the unused minutes do expire one year from the month of accumulation. In addition, if you decide to change or downgrade your cell phone plan, then you lose the associated rollover minutes. For example, if you switch from 750 minutes to a 500 minutes plan, then AT&T re-calculates and prorates the amount of rollover minutes for your new, lower cell phone plan.