This is what I do when I’m not at work.

10 Years, 5 Cell Phones

Posted: March 29th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: computers, technospiel | 1 Comment »

I was the last person I knew to get a cell phone (way back in 2005). In the ten years since, most folks have had a dozen phones or more. I have maintained my phones long-term and been fairly easy on them.

5 cell phones with boxes

As of early 2014, all of them still worked (or at least powered on) and I’m just now getting around to selling them. I am keeping the new Moto X on the right hand side. The Galaxy Nexus and Deft XT phones are gone, but the iPhone 3G and RAZR are still available! LOL

5 cell phones powered on

Below is a simple breakdown of the phones, features, and average service costs per provider. The cost of owning a cell phone has exponentially grown over the past few years, but thanks to Republic Wireless they have now become affordable. Their average plan runs $25 per month and the service has been quite good.

5 cell phones with features and service costs

AT&T cell phone coverage was fantastic, only dropping 2 or 3 phone calls in 6+ years. However, data speeds were mediocre. Once the iPhone 3G got on in years and software upgrades, it definitely got slower and more glitch-ridden, but the data service was still quite slow at the time. AT&T may be better now with 4G and network upgrades. YMMV

Since Galaxy Nexus from Samsung was to be the hot new thing, I resigned to leave AT&T and join up with Verizon Wireless. My negative premonitions all came true, with Verizon touting the worst customer service reps of all time. “Even worse than Time Warner Cable” Their costs were always over $125 per month with added fees; over $200 per month for 2 phones. Data service was great if you were close to an unobscured 4G tower. In the two years I was on Verizon, I’d say that on average their service dropped half (50%) of my phone calls. I brought this up several times with Customer Service and was told “you have trees in your neighborhood.” Yet I was losing calls all over RTP. I cancelled my 2-year plan in December 2013 and Verizon kept auto-billing me full price for two months until I caught it on my credit card statement and complained.¬†Overall, not recommended.

The first Republic Wireless phone (the Motorola Defy XT) was a beta and more of a “Proof of Concept” for the viability of the new WiFi-based mobile service. The phone was tough, compact and was comfortable to hold. The screen was smaller than most smart phones today and thus felt cramped. The camera was not very good, but coverage for the most part was acceptable. Some glitches with some minor issues, such as duplicate SMS.

Eventually they worked it out and got a top-notch phone (the Motorola Moto X). Similarly, there were a few initial issues, such as call loss with auto-transfer between a WiFi network and the cellular network. All these issues seem to be sorted and the phone and service have been great.

Based on current costs and capabilities of the Moto X, I’ll likely keep this combo for quite a while. I’m hoping that they will continue to roll out new Android OS updates to the phone, so its life can be extended. Overall, saving cash and satisfied. Republic Wireless For The Win.