So in an effort to save money, a few months ago I switched from a Blackberry on AT&T to a smaller, prepaid, Android smartphone on StraightTalk (by Walmart). You can go online and find a ton of specification reviews, so I’m not going to do that here. I’m going to focus mostly on my experience downgrading and whether or not I thought it’s worth it.
Since I got the phone in May or June, the superfast, delightful newness of the thing has worn off. My phone works just fine (for the most part), but I find myself yearning for something newer and fancier. What I’ve come to expect, in terms of technology is unreasonably high. I went from an iPhone 3Gs, to a Blackberry Torch II (my first “downgrade”) to this prepaid Android phone. My iPhone, before I dropped it hundreds of times and submerged it in water works slightly better than the Galaxy Precedent.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Android. It is far better than Apple’s iOS. My Galaxy Precedent has more options and features that I believe that even the latest iPhone has. I love that I can customize this thing’s ringtone without buying anything. It has all of the apps I need, whereas Blackberry is by far the most inadequate of the three. Generally, the phone is very responsive, I love the talk to text feature (I hate typing on touchscreens). The camera is just okay, but it gets the job done. That is one feature I use a lot on my cell phone that I wish was much better. The internet browsing is slow, my Blackberry was by far the fastest but awkward.
I always have service, even more so than with AT&T. I’ve only encountered one random dead spot on the road. I also had no access to cell service overseas on this phone(not even wifi). That was kind of annoying, but I managed just fine. I digress… People tell me that they can hear me much better on this phone than they could when I had AT&T. Now remember, StraightTalk comes in 2 varieties: one uses a sim card and one doesn’t. So whether you have a sim card or not will affect how many bars you have. If I’m not mistaken, StraightTalk partners with, or uses other networks cell towers so that is why the service may vary. I have a phone without a sim card.
My biggest gripe with the phone is that it freezes, a lot. The phone, while compatible with my Bluetooth headset, doesn’t like being paired with said headset. I haven’t tried a different Bluetooth, and I’m not planning on it. Without fail, if the phone is or has been recently paired with my Bluetooth it will freeze and I will have to restart it. I can use the devices paired for an hour long workout, or a two hour conversation without a problem. But sometimes, the phone itself will freeze and the call or music will remain in progress.
The best part about StraightTalk’s plan is that unlimited text, talk an data are included in what I pay. I don’t use my phone nearly enough to warrant paying 85-100 dollars on any of the bigger networks. I think with tax it comes to 48 dollars and some change.
Would I do it all again? Absolutely. I’m not going to lie though, I don’t love the phone. I like it, suffices, but like I said before, I’m used to a much higher caliber of technology. The service and price are wonderful. Really, the only thing I would have done differently is saved up some money for a nicer phone, like an unlocked Galaxy Nexus (what I have my sights on now). What’s more, I don’t have to wait two years to do that, if I choose.
When I think of what other people are paying for their cell phone service, I feel great about what I’m saving. What I’ve come to realize, is that I don’t need my phone that much. With a little pre-planning, I don’t have to rely on my phone for every little thing. I don’t even need to rely on my phone for directions (although their maps work pretty darn well). I’m no longer one of “those people” neck bent, staring at my cell phone 24/7.