Thursday, August 31, 2006

UPDATED: Samsung a660, Now on Sale at CheapPhoneCards

Sorry but I've had oodles of homework and work in general lately. As it is, I'm writing this while waiting for the web pages relevant to a Motorola c155 activation load. Otherwise I wouldn't be doing this...I'm really that busy...

But anyway, to let everyone know that I'm alive, CheapPhoneCards (use the link on the right to get to them) has just put the Samsung a660 on their site....for free! Well, $39 with a coupon to help knock a bit off the shipping price, with $40 worth of airtime. Which expires in 90 days. But hey, I can conceiveably use, with just web access and a little bit of talking, use up that $40 anyway in that time so having disappearing airtime syndrome with amounts this small isn't quite the isue that you'd face, say, with $80 in airtime on the LG 125. My only philosophizing is that maybe STi is trying to tier phones to where if you use more minutes you get a nicer "free" phone...which reeks of contract providers

Speaking of STi Mobile, my LG 225 is still for sale, with the wall charger, case, data cable and $10 worth of airtime...and the car charger if I can find it...for $50 shipped. I hope I'll have some more time for my next post...see y'all then!

UPDATE: I just got sent a 20% off coupon code for this phone, making it, well, cheaper than the airtime it comes with, which is nice. The coupon is "paymecell" (heard of it before? Me too...and of course no quotes). And by the way, the link now in the title is to the DealKing forum posting.

Another side note: I, last week, finally god my $25 T-Mobile To Go refill card! It took a heckuva long time, a lot longer than the promised two business days, but I'm glad to have it. Also, my dealKing cash back is showing up so a $30 check in the mail should, conveniently, not be too far off.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Changes In Airtime Sales Coming Soon!

Yay! Thanks to this neat little jobbie called Google Checkout, I'll soon be offering normal, or anyway more normal, payment options for my phone refills. You can still pay me via PayPal if you have a bank account signed up with them, and that will stay free because I don't have to pay anything for it. But Google Checkout is where you'd pay me via credit card, if you want to do things that way. I'd merely pass on Google's fees to whoever buys the airtime that way.

Which would happen to be 45 cents extra for the 60-minute card, 50 cents extra for the ESN minutes and 65 cents extra for the normally $20 code minutes. For any specials I may have (which I'll probably have in the fairly near future, thanks to a few good eBay auctions) the extra credit card cost would be 2% of the normal price of the item plus 25 cents. If you look at Google's terms, the cost is 2% plus 20 cents but there's a bit of math that goes into it here due to the fact that I am adding Google's fee onto the amount instead of subtracting the fee from it. Once things start picking up (oprobably after I've made my 50th sale) I'll probably just kill this fee altogether, or rather absorb it into the airtime price without changing the price.

But I'll still accept PayPal for people with already active accounts linked to a bank account, and that at no extra charge.

As soon as I sign up for the Google Checkout account I'll update the minutes page with all the info about this. Hope this helps everybody get an even better deal on Tracfone minutes!

Tracfone Revamps Its Lineup

Tracfone, as it normally does on Fridays, has slightly changed their lineup of GSM phones. Now, the Nokia 1100 is totally gone, probably for good. Left is an interesting price range. For $20 you can get the Motorola c139. For $30 you get the Motorola c155. For $40, the Nokia 2600. For $50 the Motorola v170. For $60 you get the v176, and for $80 you get the Motorola c261. I'll talk about the last phone somethime later...

But anyway pricing for GSM phones runs quite a gamut. Also, the two "free phone" deals, both featuring the Motorola c155 (one is the 2 60-minute card deal, one is the one-year-card deal), are still active. Which is nice.

On the CDMA side of things, absolutely nothing has changed. The Nokia 2126 is still offered for $30. And that's all. Hmmm...ah well...

Stay tuned for a review of the Motorola c155 (courtesy BabbleBug I got three of them, refurbished, yesterday) and my thoughts on the Motorola c261. I'll post either one or the other by tomorrow. Also, I'm going to start liquidating my phone collection so get ready for some good deals there! That will probably start next week.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Boost Tries to Scare Off Customers

No, seriously. Due to capacity issues on the Nextel network and the low average revenue per Boost Mobile user (compared to Nextel that is) Sprint\Nextel is going to start making Boost less appealing to people, in an effort to drive them to either Nextel contract plans or, well, anything else, because the Sprint iDEN network is getting cramped due to the feds wanting specrum etc.

How are they doing this? Well, for starters, web access is going up to 35 cents a day, thus making STi a better option on all counts, even with the 10 cent daily fee, and walkie talkie is now $1 per day that you touch the walkie button, instead of $1 only when you actually initiate a conversation. Hey, it's almost enough to make me leave...if things keep going this way my Boost i450 will go up on sale here. If that's what Sprint\Nextel wants to do, more power be to them, though they'd better provide prepaiders a good alternative (maybe make Virgin Mobile cheaper or something like that, though God forbid they do) or they won't see too many net adds the coming quarter.

STi STuff

A few days ago my STi LG 225 phone went dead due to lack of airtime (stupid $0.10 a day fee! I'll sell anyone the phone and data cable and case and car charger if I can find it and $10 worth of airtime for $50 shipped; it is a good phone though). But STi has obviously revamped things recently so now when there's no airtime all calls are routed to a hotline that says "Press 1# to add a refill via refill card, 2# to use an STi fastcard, 3# to call customer service". Even with calls directly to 611. Wierd.

Also, you can now have a negative airtime balance. Which means that when I added my $10 card I had around $9.80 in my account. I'm sure this negative balance "feature" financed itself nicely. Of course, STi needs that because of their steenking fee.

Another new feature is that you no longer hear your balance at the beginning of every outgoing call; you now hear it just by dialing *555, the number that used to just serve as a way to refill. Yay, finally STi gets soundly into the 21st century! But I'd rather them have the balance announcement and kill the $0.10 daily fee :(. But nonetheless thanks STi for the feature. Please don't charge extra for it.

Lastly, not a feature but a new phone, at least for the website, the Samsung a660, which is reputed to be a lousy phone but it actually seems to be OK, for the two minutes that I've used it, is $49.99(wow, one cent less than $50!)...and you don't have to buy it with an airtime card! Which is great, considering that for the last few months you had to buy a phone with a refill card to get the phone. Props for STi, but they're still below ground zero in my opinion. But they do offer some features not available with other carriers, such as cheap unlimited web access and picture mail...that I don't have anymore.

$25 Tracfone Cards...In The Wild

I was at Wal-Mart today (actually to buy a Nokia 2126 Tracfone) when I saw, at checkout, what looked to be a normal Tracfone airtime card...except its background was white instead of green! The price also wasn't was close to $25! Furthermore, the airtime value wasn't was 90 minutes!

Yes, there are now 90-minute, $25 Tracfone airtime cards in the wild. I have never seen them anywhere before. Amazing...

This can mean one of two things.

Either Tracfone is going for diversity by adding a middle-of-the-road (between $20 and $30) airtime option to directly compete with other providers' $25 cards (in which case everyone else wins unless Tracfone comes up with some darn good promo codes, but that's okay since Tracfone is the ten million pound gorilla of prepaid wireless service so they can afford to be overpriced) la diversite...

Or Tracfone may, like they did when they silently introduced a $10 price hike when they added 100 minutes to the 1-year card value, want customers who pay for a refill card every two months to shell out just a bit more cash. In which case I say Shame On You Tracfone, and quietly slip through their web of deceit with yet another batch of refer-a-friend aka ESN minutes.

Which would, interstingly, put the minimum price per month with 70-day cards for Tracfone at the exact same spot as the minimum price per month for Net10 using the 1-year card. The big difference here is that Net10 is about 60% cheaper per minute than Tracfone, if you're comparing with the new 90-minute card.

But then again, the 60-minute card may be here to stay and everyone will be happy. Hmmm though...maybe we'll start seeing refurbished phones free with a 90 minute card!

One last thing: on the same rack as the $25 Tracfone-branded refill was a $25 FastCard (universal wireless refill)...for about 75 cents less! Interesting...

The Nokia 2600...It's Alive!

Thanks to a brainiac at SlickDeals, you can still get the Nokia 2600 refurb deal that includes not one but two 60-minute cards for $20 plus tax. In my opinion the 2600 is a nice phone then the c155 (heck, it sells for $10 more new!) so I'm going to jump on this deal when I want to get some more Tracfones for ESN minute and airtime purposes. Yes, the title is the link to the product page. Enjoy!

Nokia 2600

Sadly, this phone's days are numbered. The refurb deal that included it is now gone, and the Nokia 1600 will soon take this phone's place. But nonetheless, here's my review of t

First off, the phone seems a little uncharacteristic of Nokia. Signal bars can be put into the top portion of the screen (via an option in the Themes section of the Settings menu), the menu can be arranged in a 3x3 grid layout and you have backgrounds available in your various menus. And the right directional key (the phone has a 4-way D-pad right below the single select key, to the right of the Clear key and to the left of the power other words a much-modified version of the Nokia 1100 layout) leads to a menu like the right key (or is it left key?) of the Siemens s56. Or maybe I'm just trying to think up a conspiracy theory for this phone.

All in all, the phone is solid, with nice loud polyphonic ringtones in abundane, concantenated text messaging (up to 459 characters spread over 3 SMSes), reception I'd call above average, battery life that's good though expected for a GSM phone, and that good ole Nokia user interface though with the quirks I talked about earlier. I actually haven't had much of a chance to test voice quality on the 2600 but it seems to be quite good, even on Cingular's infamous network. And, wonder of wondrs, the phone easily slips in and out of roaming mode (no extra cost, same features, just a difference between home on Cingular and roam on T0Mobile) in order to keep a full signal! Maybe this is due to the phone's being made mainly for the Eurasian community, but whatever the reason I'm happy.

Not that the phone has tons of features, but it has all you need for Tracfone (unless you are looking at this phone from the perspective of a new Motorola c261 Trac) service, with the little extra called email-over-SMS (send it or receive it, it's your call, but receiving any type of text message is totally free!) and concantenated SMS too. Even both at the same time. And for working just on the phone, things are nice too, with a few good games loaded on the phone, a calendar\organizer, a stopwatch and even a spreadsheet. Yes, in its time it was a nice phone. Heck, it still is an okay phone for Tracfone use with its relatively high-res screen and good battery life. But it's been a few years so the Nokia 1600 will soon take the 2600 idea and improve on it. As it stands though the 2600 is a nice phone for $20 or $30, though $40 is a bit much in my opinion for the new version.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

What's In Your Pocket? Um...Pocket!

I know, I know, this is a site about traditional prepaid services, where you never have to spend more than $15 a month to keep service active. But these guys are actually the second carrier offering unlimited plans in my area, the first being Five Star Wireless (local co-op really, super coverage) and their $30 a month plan.

But these guys are actually a bit better price-wise. $28 gets unlimited local minutes. $37 gets unlimited local minutes, caller ID, call waiting, call forwarding, 3-way calling, text messaging, picture messaging, voicemail and national long distance.These prices don't include taxes (though they do include Pocket's own fees to my understanding) but the $37 plan has a better feature set than Five Star's unlimited plan with long distance ($15 extra on top of $30) and has a better feature set than MetroPCS's appropriately-priced plan. The phones, yes, are expensive, at $129 for the nice, though camera-less Nokia 3155i flip that's probably still a free phone on Sprint, but then again a month of service is included in the phone price and there's no steenking activation fee. Woohoo! Those two things alone make the cheapest phone's price ($99) equivalent to about $29 if you factor in the first month of service and what would normally be a $35 activation fee. Sweet. I know, this isn't for all you prepaiders out there, but it's sure neat for anyone who wants to replace their landline...

Interestingly, both Five Star and Pocket...and the two national (not nationwide though) unlimited carriers, MetroPCS and Cricket, all use CDMA 1xRTT as their network. Not GSM. Which is really interesting...says something about which network was built for that sort of thing...just a thought. Also, the only cellular-license company I listed there is Five Star, but that's probably because everyone else wasn't there from the beginning when the two cellular-block licenses per area were snatched up.

But anyway, an advisory to all: if you use more tan about 300 minutes a month, take a look to see whether an unlimited carrier of some sort (might be a special plan of a local carrier, might be something from MetroPCS, Cricket or even Revol) services your area. If you go with them you'll give up roaming beyond a relatively small local area, but you can talk all you want. Yay! And if you need to roam, that's what a single-rate Tracfone is for! And maybe have a cDMA Tracfone as backup... ;)

OK. Enough about unlimited carriers. Back to prepaid as we here like it...where all five zillion of our prepaid lines add up to $28 a month ;)

Tracfone c155

OK. As of Friday I'm thinking that Tracfone has sold out of Nokia 2600s. Now the better-than-free-phone is the Motorola c155. I do not know how good this phone is, though I am predisposed to say it's somewhat of a piece of junk, but I will find out soon enough; I'm working with BabbleBug to get a lot of 'em while they're still on promo.

As to the 2600 you can still get it new for $40. But I wouldn't really; it's about on par with the Nokia 2126 as far as features go, though the screen is higher-resolution. Oh, and I will get a review of the 2600 up here soon...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Wrong SIMs?

In response to a comment on my previous post, everything worked pretty much flawlessly for me. Refer-a-friend went through perfectly on two of the three phones, with the last one going through after only about 3 tries. The phone numbers were not displayed in the prepaid menu of any of the 2600s but that's OK since I could easily find out what the numbers were (yay caller ID!).

As far as the Wrong SIM error message goes, you MUST activate the phone in the area you said you bought the phone for when you bought the phone. Otherwise you may wind up with an incompatible SIM card (wrong region of Cingular or a T-Mobile SIM when you wanted Cingular, etc.) because Tracfone thought you were going to activate it in the area you said you would.

Also, if you want to activate a GSM phone in an area that Tracfone says there's no GSM service in, you MUST (yes, another must) use an activation zip that DOES have GSM in it.

Hope this helps clear things up...

Nokia 2600s, Three of them!

The three Nokia 2600s that I ordered last week arrived today. Stay tuned for a review of the phone, plus a look at how you can have your mobile email, sort of, for free. And we're talking 459 characters here, not just 160. :) Anyway, stay tuned! And if you want to reach me quickly pretty much wherever I am, I've rigged up an email to forward to one of the 2600s for just that purpose. It's cell @ .

Sorry, but I don't want spam to my phone, hence the @ gap.

Also, keep messages relatively short...the max length is around the length of the first paragraph of this post. Hence the wierd paragraph spacing in this post :).

Again, visit here often so you can get my review of the 2600!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

PagePlus Moto t720

These things are selling like hotcakes at BabbleBug...

What you get is a Motorola t720 with 100 minutes\90 days of PagePlus service. The phone itself is nothing to write home about, though it is a color flip with external caller ID, but the deal is. $50 buys the whole shebang.

Email me if you want one. But do it quickly; there were less than 10 left...15 minutes before I posted this.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Go4Prepaid Tracfone Minutes...

Just to let everyone know, the 500 minutes for $40 deal is no longer available. Due to a few more refer-a-friends it's now going to be 750 minutes and those minutes are going to somebody. Note to everyone: please ask whether I have the minutes in stock before you pay for them. The first person who asks for minutes will get them. Sorry for any confusion this may have caused.

Tracfone...They Actually Care!

This morning I got a call on my cell phone from Tracfone. A friendly customer service rep had noticed my email (or something; not sure because the email system said the message wasn't sent or summat similar) about the somewhat broken refer-a-friend program...and so he got a little more information (mostly confirmation of the problem) and said he'd forward it to his supervisor. Yay! Methinks the big green prepaid carrier is making strides in the area of customer service, probem resolution etc. Which is nice, especially considering they have really cheap airtime if you know where to look (here, for example :) ).

Tracfone...They Actually Care!

This morning I got a call on my cell phone from Tracfone. A friendly customer service rep had noticed my email (or something; not sure because the email system said the message wasn't sent or summat similar) about the somewhat broken refer-a-friend program...and so he got a little more information (mostly confirmation of the problem) and said he'd forward it to his supervisor. Yay! Methinks the big green prepaid carrier is making strides in the area of customer service, probem resolution etc. Which is nice, especially considering they have really cheap airtime if you know where to look (here, for example :) ).

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Tracfone Refer-A-Friend: I've Found The Problem

I've finally figured out why I haven't been able to successfully do refer-a-friend with Tracfone lately...sort of. It seems their refer-a-friend program works well only when the referring phone is GSM. Sounds odd, but that has been my experience. I've referred CDMA phones by CDMA phones and the process has worked, after a ton of retries and such, but when I tried to refer a GSM phone with a CDMA phone I could never get things to work, at least lately. I'm emailing Tracfone right now to see if the problem can be set to rights...

Friday, August 11, 2006

T-Mobile Customer Service

Seeing that the $25 card that was supposedto be included with my Nokia 6010 that I ordered a few weeks ago was still nowhere to be found, I put in a call to T-Mobile customer service. First I dialed 611 from my phone. Then, after being redirected by a rep to the generic sales line I hung up and dialed 1-800-T-MOBILE from my landline. I eventually wound up in T-Mobile To Go customer car again. But this time the rep got me on a 3-way call with a person in the sales department, then hung up when she had given the other rep the information she needed.

After I had explained my situation to the new rep, she told me that the item didn't register (the item that I bought) as having the $25 refill included. I explained tht it was part of clearly marked promotion available until July 31st, and that the order was obviously placed before that date. So she transferred me to a supervisor. Who asked for my information again and placed me on hold, coming back on the phone intermittently to tell me that he was still there.

I had to leave before the call was complete, but from my dad, who picked up where I left off on the phone call, told me that the supervisor came back and said that my refill would be received by me in two to four days. If this turns out to be true, I'm a happy camper. One more point for T-Mobile customer service.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Tracfone Minutes Special

RIght I know, there's nothing going on in the prepaid world right now of any noteworthiness. But here's something I'm doin for anyone intersted in a lot of minutes for a little money:

I'm offering 500+ (as in you're going to get at least 500 if not more) "code" minutes, which will also extend your Tracfone's expiration date to 12/07/06, for $40. Yeah, 8 cents a minute. If someone wants to pay by credit card you'll need to add $1.50 for PayPal fees. But anyway this is a really sweet deal considering you'd usually only get maybe 200 minutes for this most.

Email me at is you're interested, with your phone's ESN, expiration date and phone number. I will send out the code to transfer the minutes the day I receive your PayPal payment.

Thanks everyone for taking a look at my site. Keep the hits coming!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

T-Mobile & Target

Starting last Sunday, you can get a Nokia 6010 T-Mobile TO Go phone free with a $100 refill card. Just passing this on since it's a great deal.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Virgin Mobile Price Cuts

Well, Virgin Mobile's Switch_Back phone must've been as ugly to everyone as it is to me. They have already cut its price down to $130 (okay, $129.99 but keep the penny), which is always a good thing.

They have also taken $10 off the Snapper's price, so now it's a mere $90. And the Oystr flip phone is now online, at $$29.99.

By the way, I'm putting the finishing touches on some somewhat in-depth comparison charts for BabbleBug. They cover all of BabbleBug's offerings that you can still activate in a reasonable number of places. Click on over there in a few days to see if they're up yet. If they are, you'll note that there's a fair number of services listed, and that there's a fair amount of info on each one. That's how I like it :). Though, frankly, some of the services are just soooo un-original, or, worse, soooo rip-offs. But anyway, take a look sometime.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Cingular GoPhone Refresh

I just visited Cingular's GoPhone site and they have refreshed their lineup somewhat, adding some phones...that are only available to Pick Your Plan users. What a rip. But anyway...

The Motorola c139 is now $30 on both Pay As You Go and Pick Your Plan
The Nokia 6102i (with Bluetooth) is $120, on Pick Your Plan only (at least for now)
The Firefly (!) is $50 on Pick Your Plan only
The Pink Razr is $200 on Pick Your Plan only

I think that's it as far as new phones. The Razrs have been $50 cheaper on Pick Your Plan for awhile now ($200 vs. $250).

Nokia 3120

The Nokia 3120 seems to me to be partly the basis on which the Nokia 2126, though a more basic, CDMA phone, was designed, at least as far as many of the user interface elements go. But, this little though aside, the review of a phone that's worth a good bit more than a Nokia 6010, at least in my opinion, if you don't need quite as good reception...

You see, for some odd reason the Nokia 3120 (or rather 3120b) doesn't cope as well with low reception. It usually turns to no reception, and it takes a bit of prodding to get the signal back. But this aside, I have nothing but good things to say about this phone.

First off, it's small. And the great as usual Nokia design makes it appear even smaller, at least in my opinion. Which means it will get lost in your pocket if you want it to.

But despite this small size it has reasonable battery life and pretty good reception. Voice quality is good too.

The user interface is nice and gleare, just like you'd expect from a Nokia. And in this iteration the menu icons, which can be traded for a 3x3 grid (though it won't display all the choices in one screen) if you want, are bright and simple, which is a neat touch. You can also take your pick between monophonic ringtones (yes, there are a few of those!) and some well-crafted polyphonic tones. Also a neat touch.

All this on a portrait-orientation (!) screen. And it's hi-res too. So you can get seven or so lines of a webpage or text message onto the screen at one time.

One little beef I have with the phone is that the keypad seems not to be firm. But if it were the keypad would be nice, and as it is it's very useable. There's even a 4-way D-pad!

That's about all I have to say about this phone. If anyone has any more questions, please comment on this post and I'll see if I can get them answered. Sorry for not putting up much stuff recently but now I should be able to do a little more.

Boost Mobile Bonus!

The guy at BabbleBug told me about this, so that's why the Boost BabbleBug airtime page is hotlinked in this post's title but anyway...

Starting August 1st and ending October 31st, Boost is offering an extra 10% credit on their $30 and $50 cards. I don't use my Boost a lot but when I re-up in late September I'll get a $30 card because of this. Neat little perk if you ask me.

New Tracfones...Now Online!

Sorry. I've been busy for the past few days. But just to let everyone know, as of yesterday Tracfone added the Motorola c261 ($79.99) and the Motorola v176 ($59.99) to their site lineup! Sweet, but currently too rich for my least until I get a few things paid off.

The Nokia 2600 and the Motorola c155 deals are now in stock, so have fun! Oh, and there's free shipping too, though you still have to pay tax.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

LarrysCell and Tracfone

To everybody who used LarrysCellForLess on eBay to buy Tracfone minutes, I do the same thing. Except cheaper and with everything out in the open. You do not have to prepay weeks in advance for minutes, and on top of that I sell more types of minutes (even traditional 60-minute cards!) for less than he did.

To show everyone that has been burned by Larry that I won't burn them, anyone who has dealt with Larry in the past and fared badly (provide me with your eBay ID and the item number you bought; you qualify for this is you gave the guy negative or neutral feedback) doesn't have to pay anything extra if you're paying for your first minutes from me with a credit card.

Hope this helps everyone...

Also, Tracfone just changed up their the last few hours! At least for GSM phones. Anyway, the new "free" phone is the Nokia 2600 (a big step up from the Nokia 1100, but with somewhat of a family resemblance) with not one but TWO 60-minute airtime cards! In other words, you get a phone and up to eight months, and $50 worth of airtime (you can easily pass 250 minutes with refer-a-friend and the cards included) for $20 plus tax and shipping! The downside is that the item is out of stock right now and says it wll ship in two weeks. Hmmm...maybe there was a glitch in the Tracfone matrix and the dang thing wasn't supposed to come online.

The other new promo is the Motorola c155, which now comes free with a 1-year card. If you want a dinky bar phone with a year of service, this is your current choice. Though it too is out of stock and won't ship till later.

The Motorola c139 is back down to a cool $20 plus shipping and tax (and tax on shipping). It's a basic phone but for $20 it's a fair deal if you don't want to wait for the superior Nokia 2600 with over a hundred extra minutes.

The remaining deals have stayed put. You can still get the Nokia 1100 for $30 with a 120-minute card. You can still get a Motorola v170 for "fre" with either a 1-year or a 250-minute card, and the former still has 200 extra minutes available through the promo code mentioned on the site. The Nokia 2600 is still $40 without any promos, and it's in stock, and the Motorola c155 is $30 likewise.

Tracfone v170, c155, v176

Somebody asked a question so naturally I'll give an answer...

Yes, both the Motorola c155 and v170 get free incoming text. And no, the v176 doesn't. And I do not sell the v170 or c155 in any shape, form or fashion. You'll have to just get it from zHope this helps.

By the way, aside from the dis-inclusion of free incoming text, the v176 looks like a great ph0one, with a color display that is actually worthy of a flip phone!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

MovilListo: Out From The Ashes

Yeah I know. I just wrote a diatribe about SIM compatibility with MovilListo. And when I wrote it their best phone merely boasted a color backlight. Eww.

Now, however, just within the past few hours I think, MovilListo has added two new phones, the Samsung x475 and the LG c1300. The c1300 is a relative piece of junk, though better than any of MovilListo's other oferings feature-wise, while the x475 is passable. I'll talk more about these phone tomorow. RIght now I need to head off for bed.

MovilListo SIM Test (or how NOT to design a SIM app)

Listo means "ready" in Spanish. Movil is Mobile. So you have ReadyMobile. I tested out the generic white SIM card that came with my Siemens a56 phone to see how it would work (or not) with the other phones I have sitting around. GSM phones, mind you. All unlocked. And I found out that just because it's GSM and isn't Tracfone, doesn't mean that it will work right in other phones.

Siemens s56 (Cingular branded, unlocked)
I could not get into the main menu of this phone with the SIM card in. It would search for the network for awhile, then go to !T-Mobile (I was informed by the Cell Guru that this means that it can't connect to the network). I had the option of picking another network, but nothing else ever worked either. I could get to some phone options by way of the left softkey, but that was about it. I neglected to test the up\down side keys and the voice key, but it doesn't really matter. You can see that data counter (left key) but that's the end of your options besides the aforementioned left softkey. When I dialed a number I was presented with either one or two options. Cancel or OK, with Cancel showing up more often than OK. The Call button did nothing. The Cancel button took me back to the standby screen. The OK button...took me to the standby screen. Even 911 didn't work. And when I tried to call the phone I was greeted with dead silence, yet was still charged for airtime on my Tracfone. In other words, the call nothing. Bleh. Oh, and the phone would not seem to turn off until I disconnected the battery. But maybe I'm impatient.

Nokia 6010 (T-Mobile branded, unlocked)
I have used the Movil SIM in my former 6010, from Cingular and also unlocked, to some degree of success. Most phone features would work. You could even receive calls. But hitting call on any number would white out the phone's screen so you had to turn it off and back on again. For address book stuff the SIM was not ready and trying to display your own number gave the white-out effect. This time white-out could be cancelled out of when viewing one's own number, but also this time the phone simply would not register on any all. Any calls made would just sit there at the "Calling..." stage. No white-out but no progress. And still no ring on an incoming call. Just silence on both ends. And the backlight oddly turned off on the 6010 right after startup. So the MovilListo SIM was just a little worse than a deactivated SIM of whatever carrier. But the phone only took a few seconds to turn off.

Nokia 3595 (AT&T branded, unlocked)
The 3595 was the exact same as the 6010 in all respects but one: it said that there were no SIM service actions that the SIM card could do so naturally it had SIM service action confirmation set to off. Again, nothing on either end when trying to receive a call. Except on this phone there was a voicemail recording for whatever reason. But that's probably since the SIM hadn't seen a phone that actually had service for so long. And the message recording was only after about 30 seconds.

Nokia 3120 (Cingular branded, unlocked)
Same results here as with the other Nokias. In the name of science, or something like that I dialed the 888 number of the MovilListo phone one last time. THe only difference was that the recording came on, albeit choppily (I'm in a good signal area so it's MovilListo's fault), only 5 seconds after the call "connected".

And that's the scope of my expeeriences with the MovilListo SIM. The only phone it actually works in is the Siemens a56, which seems to have no branding (it's even unlocked!) but comes from MovilListo. Also, network select is blocked on the Nokia phones. Grr. Making this SIM and service a true bummer to deal with. Hey, their closest thing to a color phone is a black-and-white phone with a 4096-color backlight! That's bad. But in the name of cheking out all the options, I trudged through the mud so you wouldn't have to. Now back the decrepit SIM goes into the would be intersting to test it in an a56 from another source but I don't have one so that's all folks. And back the T-Mobile SIMs go into whatever phones I want.