I ordered this phone off of CheapphoneCards a few minutes ago. It's a camera phone, which I used to consider a mere oddity that was totally worthless, but I'll talk about that later. After the rebate this phone will be just $40.29, plus it has a $10 card, a car charger and a leather case, the last of which I'll sell to somebody (I don't know who). I used refill18 to take the price of the phone down by about $11.70, thus making it this nice price. I'm selling my old phone (3 months old, LG 5225) for $20 net ($40 but $20 goes to a replacement screen as the external screen as I said before is sort of peeled and bleeding for absolutely no reason and LG didn't want to repair it except for $75). So the net cost of this camera phone, per se, is $20.29 to me. Not bad for a non-monthly prepaid phone, though I'll have to keep the phone active for 90 days before they process the rebate (no big deal; all I'd have to do is make two or three calls, and as this will be my main cell phone I'll certainly make more than that).
Anyway, as you can see the title of this post is a hotlink. It's to the PhoneScoop specificaitons page for the LG 225 (aka PM-225 by Sprint's naming scheme as this is a Sprint phone). Besides the camera, opposed to the LG 5225, I get a two-way speakerphone, improved battery life, analog capability (for emergencies; as of yet no analog roaming is available on STi but I can see them pulling that rabbit out of their hat as well with all the neat things that have happened lately) and a couple other smaller features that I've forgotten to mention but are still there.
As to the reason I'm getting a camera phone, I "do" two other blogs besides this one and it would be really nice to be able to simply snap a picture and in just a few seconds have it publish to the blog of my choice. It's also cheap, at 29 cents a day and even this amount discounted and even zeroed out by reward points at CheapPhoneCards. The 29 cents also includes web browsing, or so the VCheapPhoneCards site says, so as I would want the web browsing package anyway picture messaging's net cost is just 10 cents a day. I'm not sure if unlimited text messagin is included in this fee, but if it is I'll surely use it :).
Just so everyone knows, I do have a normal camera, an Olympus C-5050 Zoom with 640 MB of CompactFlash cards (3 total). However, the camera is fairly large and a little under a pound with the batteries and card installed, so needless to say I can't quite take it everywhere. I can take a less-than-an-inch-thick, 3.3-ounce camera that also happens to be a cell phone pretty much everywhere though. Granted, the image quality of a camera phone right now, especially these early-generation 640x480 models, is a far cry from that of my camera but it is certainly bearable for internet posting and the portability factor is a big plus. I'll probably still carry around my camera many places but with the phone I'll probably be able to get snapshots and such that the bigness of a conventional camera wouldn't have afforded me.
So, to end the slight bit of a rant on camera phones, cameras certainly have their place in the world, as do PDAs, another function that some people have said cell phones would take over, but it's nice to have something that will take a picture, send it to a blog, surf the web and make a phone call all in a small package where a camera, a laptop or PDA, and even a small basic cell phone would not fit.
And to end all of this, yes I will post about my own experiences with STi and what looks to be a really nice phone for the price (though it's now free I think on sprint.com).