You Get What You Pay For

I used to hate the old cliche that you get what you pay for, but it’s never been clearer than when you purchase a cell phone. There are exceptions, but generally there are no bargains. I have no statistics other than experience, and while I know anecdotal evidence is the worst kind, it seems that the cheapest phones are most often the worst performers while more expensive models (Blackberry, HTC, Nokia) deliver much better performance. Take T-Mobile’s current lineup as an example.

Cheap Means Bad

Samsung T109

-Horrible, horrible phone. The signal is weak, befitting a tiny flip phone and it seems to drink water like a last place Derby finisher. This is the phone you’d give a spouse who not only cheated on you, but took pictures, -then sent them to your relatives.

Samsung T429

-One of “them new-fangled slider phone things.” This was the first phone I activated for T-Mobile and I entertained many people by saying “does it always take this long to find a signal?” Terrible phone, and with a display so sensitive it would crack if you put much pressure on it at any angle. This is a phone you’d give to a waiter that put an unknown substance in your food.

Expensive Means Good

T-Mobile (HTC) Dash

-It’s been coming down in price, with a 3G Dash on the way, but this Windows Mobile phone does everything pretty well. The reception is great, and the phone is a decent balance between cost and features. You’d give this phone to someone who pushed you out of the way of a bus.

The general point is to know what you’re shopping for, check consumer related sites like CNET, and kick in a little money of necessary. As we tell people, you’ll have to live with this phone, at least for a while, and you will surprise yourself how important an item of daily use becomes.

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