Friday, February 17, 2006

STi Phones: New True Blue :)

Okay, there aren't any blue phones except the old LG 5350 but STi has finally made available most of the phones it has in its lineup on their site. Furthermore, the prices are OK. The sad thing is though that CheapPhoneCards now doesn't have any good deals (only the Samsung a460 and that at their former deal which is not bested by STi's site) but that may change next week when they get the Samsung a820 in. Anyway...

All STi phones on the site require the purchase of a $50 refill card and possibly some cash for shipping and maybe tax, but the breadth of offering is large and when you take into account the fact that you'll probably use up the card anyway eventually the prices aren't that bad...

Samsung a460 - Free
LG 1200 - Free
LG 5350 - $20 ($19.99 but anyway if I quote a price it's really a wee little penny less on their site)
LG 5225 - $60
Sanyo 200 - $60
LG 225 - $100
Samsung a820 - $100

There are no rebates involved any more, or at least not right now, so no outrageous deals, but the phones aren't that bad for the price the way the Samsung a460 and LG 5350 are refurb but that usually means nothing as to quality detriments

Samsung a460 - For a freebie this is a nice phone; I think it even has web browsing. Granted, the screen is black and white but this may be a plus in some cases and it has poly ringtones and suchlike amenities. With the Virgin Mobile Shorty, also black and white but a mere bar phone (though a Nokia) selling for $40 on Amazon this isn't such a bad deal. Oh, and did I mention it was free?

LG 1200 - You'll probably want to stay away from this phone, but the fact remains that it is pretty darn free and it is a flip phone. Disposaphone here we come ;).

LG 5350 - This is a lot of phone for $20. It's pretty old and a mixed bag as far as ratings go but it is a color flip with an external (black and white) display plus it does have analog capability (the LG 1200 doesn't; only 19800 digital) so if you break down you can still call 911 or make a horrendously expensive credit card call.

LG 5225 - The old STi standby is now pretty expensive but the phone is solid, if on the old side. It's didital-only and battery life isn't stellar but it has web access and is in general good all around. If you want web access and have a budget limit of $75 or so for a phone on STi here it is.

Sanyo 200 - If you just use voice and text this $60 phone is superb, if you can live without a caller ID display. Since it's a Sanyo it is tuned for Sprint's network and will thus net you the best reception on STi (99.9% sure). Plus there's a gloriously huge speakerphone grille on the outside so everything is gonna sound loud and clear. Once again, there's no caller ID display or web (on Sprint this was called a "Voice Phone") but it's a darn good basic phone with STi's darn good airtime rates so it's a winner. Interestingly though, my local Wal-Mart is selling the Movida version of this phone (Latino-centric 20 cents per minute or cheaper with a large daily fee) for $50, but the airtime would even the difference out pretty quickly.

LG 225 - If you can live without walkie talkie this is simply a great phone, doing everything it does pretty darn well, though if you get in a dead spot the otherwise strong battery will get sapped unreasonably quickly. At $100 plus airtime it's no longer an outrageously cheap bargain of a camera phone but it's still worth the price.

Samsung a820 - This phone is the newest of the STi lineup, both in date added to STi and date added to Sprint (it has never seen a red diamond logo). It's expensive (just as expensive as the 225) but a massive speakerphone grille, a massive external screen and the ability to do ReadyLink (STi is iffy about whether it will call Sprint but I'm thinking it will) set it out from the pack. If you were thinking of putting your family on Boost for walkie, don't. This phone has faster data access, more reliable text, clearer voice and walkie talkie (if not faster to connect on the latter) and best of all cheap pricing on everything, though the phone is $20 more than its iDEN match, the i450 (which is a lesser phone in my opinion). If and when STi does get a rebate on this phone that brings the price down to less than $50 I'll get it to see how it works.

So no, there aren't any blue phones on STi yet that are really snazzy, but the opening of the selection on the website bodes well for this company's future, especially with its putting a Sanyo phone within easy reach.

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