It's hard getting a cell phone...

Attention: What you are about to read will probably not be of too much interest to you.

I said that I wanted to buy the Nokia N90. But then up till today, it has still not made its debut. Then I decided on the Nokia 6670, one of the better phones that are available from Nokia USA. After deciding on the phone, I needed to check with a carrier. My only choices were Cingular and T-Mobile due to some special reasons. And none of these carriers have the Nokia 6670 on offer. The cheapest I could find was about $340 with shipping and handling.

Then comes how much I wanted to spend a month. According to my friends, Cingular provides better connectivity. However, I am confident that I can live with some connection inconveniences every now and then especially if it means that I could save about $20 a month. Cingular's web browsing costs $19.99 a month for unlimited access whereas t-mobile's cost $5.99 a month.

And it is really hard to find information about cell phones here. For instance, I stopped by at the mall to enquire about the Motorola Razr. The sales person not only provided wrong information (I verified this by going to another T-Mobile kiosk nearby) but tried to seal the deal by lying that buying the phone from does not come with free shipping and that we would have to wait about 7 days! Actually, there is indeed free shipping for 3-5 day delivery.

Then there is the question of what phone to get. Some phones are available for ridiculously cheap prices whereas the better ones are also priced exorbitantly. There was a Samsung D415 that retails for about $299.99 but is available for free from However, after wasting 3 days researching the pros and cons of that phone, the deal ended and we were not able to get the phone for free anymore. In fact, T-Mobile discontinued that phone from its line. Well, damage was partially done. Why? After reading up on the Samsung D415, our hopes for our new phones were high. We wanted something that could browse the web using WAP, take some photos and also sync with the computer. What other phone fits that description? None other than the Motorola Razr.

So, now we decided on the Razr. Or did we? The Razr retails for $199.99 online. With that amount, you could also get the Treo 600 or the Blackberry 7100t. So technology lust tempts us again. With the Treo 600 you get a Palm OS powered phone so I could load all my previous Palm applications. And it syncs nicely with my computer.Hmmm.... if a Palm is so great, then why is my Tungsten T sitting on my desk now and serving only as a $400 dollar alarm clock? What about the Blackberry? Wow, a real web browser. And QWERTY keys. I wonder if I will ever use all the features. To utilize all those features would require me to purchase additional services. Also, the Blackberry is bulky phone. The debate goes on. Finally, I just had to convince myself: You are getting a phone to call people. Having a wap browser, a camera and other stuff is nice but remember that you are going to carry this piece of metal around with you everyday. So get something really light.

If you thin the ordeal is over, think again. Now, I have to spend time thinking whether the cell phone will sync nicely with my powerbook. Apple says so on its iSync page but someone on O'Reilly has a different experience. Why is the ability to sync correctly really important? Besides the fact that it is really easier to enter your contacts info on your computer, I find it essential that my address book on my computer contains everything in case I lose my phone. Also, I have having duplicates of contacts. Changing the information in the phone would require that I perform the same changes on my computer. Oh, did I mention that iSync does not sync Adress Book Pictures and To-do lists with the Razr? I wonder how Windows users are faring.

And now I begin to wonder whether getting the Razr was such a good idea. It runs Motorola's own OS that had been reputed to be fairly clunky and retarded.Would the Nokia Series 60 be a better choice? The cycle continues.

While I can easily determine what I need in a computer, finding the right cell phone has been really mind boggling.

And we have not even bought the phone yet!

Bought the phone in the end. Sales person gave us a nice deal: buy 2 get the third free. Also bought a leather pouch for it since sales person was offering it at a discounted price.

Impressively the phone works really well with my powerbook. There was no need to purchase or download any additional software. Syncing with Address Book and iCal went smoothly, though I wished that it would sync contact pictures as well. And it charges via the USB cable too. Windows does not support charging via USB unless you are able to find and download the latest drivers.

Windows user on the other hand had to get something called Motorola Phonetools. And the last time I heard, version 2 does not support the Razr yet.

T-Mobile Web was a nice addition to. Now, I can check my e-mail on the Razr and also visit some WML sites. Typing using iTap can be a pain sometimes but then it suffices for quick messages once in a while. Some might complain that T-Mobile crippled the phone by installing their own ROM onto the device but I am completely happy with this. It would be a pain to have to set up the phone myself to get it to work with my carrier.

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