Monday, April 30, 2007

Giveaway Over!

Okay, that was it, folks. The giveaway for the Kyocera Marbl is now in you can't enter unless you've entered already. I'll pick the winner tomorrow afternoon. Stay tuned!

I Got The Cyclops

I got the Cyclops in today from Wirefly (and yes, there's no tax and fast shipping...just missed the package Friday). So I'll review it soon. Along with the new Virgin Mobile VAM (if someone would email me with their VAM-enabled phone number) and the Mobile Email and IM.

By the way, you have only four hours left to enter the Marbl giveaway! Hurry!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

25 Hours Left...

...for the Marbl giveaway! Sign up for if you haven't already and click an ad or two to support this site and you're entered! But get in on this now...the cutoff time is midnight tomorrow!

Pink Moto c139, Now Available

Just in time for Mother's Day, Tracfone has the Motorola c139 in pink for the usual $15 that they charge for the silver model. Not a great phone by any stretch of the imagination, but it is pink, and it is another phone :) I'm just looking forward to the Moto c155s selling out so Tracfone again has some decent phones on their "twofer" deal.

Motorola w370 on Target's Website

SOrry for the brevity but here's a link to the Target info page on the Motorola w370 Tracfone. Keep in mind though that there appears to be no Tracfone branding on the front of the phone, as opposed to what the Target picture says.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Moto w370 Pix

Thanks to The Sweeper, who got the Motorola w370 at Target, we now have some pictures of the phone. The Razr (Amp'd) is thrown in as a size comparison for most of the photos. Take a look!

Phone In Packaging
Open (Front)
Open (Front 2)
Open (Back)

Edit: Photo link fixed for Closed.

More GoPhones

Cingular recently updated their Gophone selection for Pay As You Go people...they now have the refurbished Motorola v235 cameraphone available for $50 and the Nokia 6102i (which I think includes Bluetooth and I know includes a video camera) for $100. Not that I like GoPhone or anything but you can put the phones on Beyond GSM or one of the other Cingular resellers and it'll work, and $50 for a GSM cameraphone isn't horrible.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Reviews Section Updated

I just updated the reviews section of this site. Nothing new, just posting the last two phone reviews in their proper positions. Hope this helps everyone!

Audiovox 8600

Yes, this review was a long time in coming, but here it finally is:

First off, the two most important things to any phone: call quality and battery life. On the first, the 'vox doesn't do that well...unless the dropped calls I got were the network's fault (they likely were). In which case, the 'vox still isn't spectacular, ranking about the same as the LG 3280, with the 8600's antenna extended. In other words, this phone isn't a super reception phone, though it won't "raze the bar" too bad.

About the second facet of what makes a phone a good phone, the battery life on this thing is freakin' awesome! What do I mean? Um...try nine days before the phone registered low battery... NINE DAYS! As in this beats the previous CDMA records, the LG 3280 and the Kyocera Marbl, by 50% or so. Granted, most of this time was standby time, and who knows...he network not giving the phone any incoming calls and such might've helped, but I did mess around with the phone a bit and nearly a week and a half of standby time on a phone is impressive, especially for CDMA.

About the rest of the phone, it's good but typical. Well, except for a few times when the phone says "please wait" in odd places for a second, such as while calling up the "recent calls" list. But it's not annoying like the molassess-in-midwinter Marbl. Anyhow, the phone is typical in its feature set: web if the network could do it, texting, voice recording and dialing, speakerphone, calculator etc. And the interface is clear enough for everything, though the phone's screen is admittedly small...okay I take the clearness thing back...a little...the external screen font is hard to read but that's the only gripe I have with the phone UI...and it's a UI problem, not a screen problem.

The only thing left to talk about is the phone's design. Here the phone is both really neat and really wierd. Neat because, length and width wise, it's tiny. You can actually perch it atop its own charger, and that's saying a bit because the charger isn't that big. The problem is that this just brings out the phone's thickness. Not that the phone is hugely thick, but it's thick enough to seem nearly absurd in its proportions. But hey, it is small in other dimensions. Which include its screen (internally; the external screen is very large for a phone of this calibre, though of course it's black-and-white) and its keypad. About this last item, the keypad is definately not for large fingers but otherwise is fine for texting and such.

To sum everything up, the 8600 isn't a bad phone. Reception isn't stellar, and the phone looks positively pudgy, but it is tiny in all other respects and the battery life is drop-dead amazing. Then again, I have this bad habit of reviewing stuff after it's being phased out...but if you can get the phone at a good price (BabbleBug does sell it...they sent the review unit to me...) it's a good phone.

By the way, lok for a review of the Kyocera Cyclops a week from now!

Moto's out!

Looks like the Motorola w370 is available at Target (edit) it'll only be a matter of time before it's on the web and thus ripe for me to review. I'm happy that Tracfone has finally got a slick-looking, pretty-barn-full-featured phone on their service...:)

Speaking of reviews, look for an Audiovox 8600 review here later tonight! It's coming!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Virgin Mobile\Tracfone Updates

First off, the quick Tracfone blip: the Motorola w370 is now available, spec-wise, on PhoneScoop. Which suggests that its introduction into Trac's lineup isn't far off. May, maybe? Here's the link (and the full features):

No Bluetooth but it's interesting to see that the site lists the phone as tri-band (internetional coverage?!? probably not but one can only hope) and capable of mass-storage mode via USB. As in you may be able to easily load ringers onto your phone with a simple USB cable. Now if you could figure out how to use GPRS tethering on the phone...:)

For Virgin Mobile, thhere are two things in the skunkworks, or so it seems: a Slice successor and a family plan.

The Slice II (who knws what it may be called...Virgin Mobile is holding a survey to figure that out...Slash anyone?) has a camera, Bluetooth and a heckuva lot of memory (64MB so I've heard), above the normal Slice. And you can probably do stuff like mobile email and IM on it, which isn't possible on the original Slice. One can only hope it'll come out near the price point of the old Slice ($50)...that would rock...

And yes, this was the UTStarCom CDM1450 I mentioned earlier. Here's another picture:

Lastly, Virgin mobile is considering having a family plan, for $80 a month. It's like smashing two $35 300-minute 1000-night-and-weekend plans together (yeah, it's $5 more per line than normal...wierd). To make up for this nice revenue increase, calls to the other person on the "family plan" are free. So if you call one other Virgin Mobile user 50+ daytime minutes a month and use the 300\1000 plan already, this is actually something to look at. I just hope the price will come down ($70 a month maybe?), though I'm not really interested.

Oh and by the way, enter in the marbl giveaway if you haven't already! There are still a few days to enter and you're likely to win!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Virgin Mobile Promo Code!

Well, I had a promotional code for $10 extra on a $20 topup on Virgin Mobile, but it didn't work. Sorry, everyone...

Ordered The Cyclops...

I just ordered the Kyocera Cyclops from Virgin Mobile from Wirefly. The total cost is $69.99 right now, $49.99 after the mail-in rebate. I get two-day shipping via FedEx and no tax. And yes, I will be reviewing this phone in short order...after I post up the review for the Audiovox 8600. Stay tuned!

Oh, and the giveaway is still running. Enter by either signing up to via my link or (if you're already signed up) download Firefox or Google Pack via the links here and comment on this post with your username. But hurry! The giveaway ends midnight, entral time, April 30\May 1st!

T-Mo To Go On Wirefly

Again, little time means little posts, but you can now get T-Mobile To GO on Wirefly. Which basically means that you can get the Razr with a headset for $200 on T-Mobile To Go, ready to go. Not an astounding deal but it's something.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tracfone Free Shipping...Again...and a few other things...

I'm keeping this post short because I don't have much time to write this post and I want to keep the sweeps at the forefornt. So, in short, Tracfone has free shipping on orders $19.99 and above again. In other words, Tracfones (or "twofer" deals) just got $6 cheaper (or $2 cheaper if you're buying three at a time).

Also, there's rumor of a CDMA Tracfone cameraphone and a version of Net10 runing on CDMA...thanks Turk...interesting...

Last, if you've already been a member of for awhile, just download Google Pack via my link and comment on the sweeps post with your cellphoner user ID, and you're entered. If you can't do Google Pack, there's also a link for Mozilla Firefox that I'm putting up now.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Kyocera Marbl GIVEAWAY!

Yes, I said giveaway.

Sorry that there isn't much news right now, other than that BabbleBug has released two Sanyo phones (7100 and 8200) with xTreme Mobile service on their website. And my review of the Audiovox 8600 will be coming soon.

But to reward people for coming to this site, and of course to encourage more people to come, I'm giving away the Kyocera K127 Marbl that I just reviewed, from Virgin Mobile. It's about a $22-$33 value, depending on where you buy it.

Anyhow, here's how the contest works:

1. Support this site by clicking on an ad or two here.
2. Join via this link or the signup link at right. Oh, and post there a bit...:)

That's it! The contest runs from tonight at 10:30 till tonight next week at midnight, central time. That is, until the very end of April, central time.

If you win the Marbl, I'll get in touch with you via, so put an IM screen name or email address somewhere in there.

If you've already signed up with through my link, that's fine; you're already entered into this contest.

So have fun and here's hoping you're the winner! Tell your friends about this! The phone is practically new and will come in its almost-new packaging, along with the charger. You'll also get the normal $.250 signup bonus from Virgin Mobile. So go ahead, sign up and I look forward to picking between a lot of potential people to give this thing away. If this giveaway goes well I'll do some more. Let's see some winners ;)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

News: SpeakOut & Beyond GSM

Remember SpeakOut Wireless, as in 7-Eleven's cellular service? Well, now it's no longer exclusively on fact, the new Sprint-based plans offer another feature or two, namely faster (1xRTT vs. GPRS\EDGE) web surfing (though still at a painful penny per kilobyte) and push-to-talk (aka Sprit ReadyLink), at a now typical 50 cents per day (unless you're bundling it with something else, like the hybrid carrier xTreme Mobile does). Wonder what phones they have...I'm guessing some Sanyos and the Samsung a820...

Also, Beyond GSM just added a 1-year airtime card to their airtime lineup...with 102 minutes...for $50. Hey, it is one year of service, but it's doggone expensive unless you buy it with a new phone, in which case it's just $35 extra generally (though on the Siemens s56 it's strangely $45 extra). Then again, there was probably a little "give" in the price of the phones Beyond is selling...except for the powerful yet $20 Siemens s56...they're selling the Nokia 3390 for the same amount! And the Motorola c139 for 150% more!

And if you're wondering, yes I'm going to review the Audiovox 8600 (thanks BabbleBug!) soon and update the reviews section with this phone and the Kyocera Marbl. But not tonight...homework is heavy and time is short...all the more reason to stay tuned!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Marbl and Tracfone Updates

Well, my Marbl's battery died this morning, about 24 hours after I charged it. Then aain, I only charged it to about 25% of capacity (was on the charger for maybe half an hour) and I used web for awhile, text for awhile and voice for a few minutes. And I was in a low-signal area for a good bit of the time. So from my experience the Marbl's battery life isn't that'd probabyl last four days with moderate use...but I'd still only use it for voice calling...

But about Tracfone...

They'e updated their promotions again. The Nokia 1100 is now vanished from their website; the new $10 refurb phone on GSM is the Motorola c155. As in the one they're giving away with the "twofer" deal.

Also available now is the 250-minute card (they need to get rid of the physical cards I guess) available for $50 with a Motorola other words you get the (reconditioned) v170 for free (you can do the same thing with the 1-year card). It's not a fancy phone, but it's something...

If you do want a good phone, however, the Nokia 2600 is fine, and it's just $15 on Tracfone's site. If I remember corectly, however, shipping isn't free anymore.

Friday, April 20, 2007


Quickie info:

No, you can't unlock the Marbl from Virgin Mobile. It's so cheap and slow that you wouldn't want to unlock it first off, and second, it's hard to get a CDMA phone, especially a Virgin Mobile or Sprint one, to register on a network "away from home".

And yes, you could very well be able to unlock a Nokia 6061, provided you find the fight unlock code generator (not sure if this works) or cable (just find the right one) and software (find the fight one). GSM phones are relatively easy to unlock, you just have to find the right info and you're good. But, personally, the Nokia 6061 isn't a phone to spend too much effor unlocking, what with the T-Mobile Nokia 6101, which T-Mobile will unlock after 90 days of active T-Mobile To Go service with the appropriate excuse, available for effectivel $25. And that phone has a camera...

Hope this helps!

Kyocera Marbl

Well, I'm right now using the wireless internet at a Boy Scout camp to post this (yes I'm a little hardcore)...but anyway, here's the long-awaited review of the Kyocera Marbl...

First off, about battery life: I actually got five and a half days or so out of the phone before it went down to one battery life bar. And I'm thinking it would have lasted six days total run-down time. This was with some talking (though not much), some web browsing (though not much) and a little bit of texting. Then again, I had a pretty good signal all that time.

Right now I'm doing more of a battle test of the battery life of the phone. As I said I'm out at a relatively remote campground, where you can't be sure to get a good signal, and I did use the web relatively extensively on the phone. I also sent and received a few texts. I had charged the phone for about half an hour this morning (it went up to two bars) and now it's back down to one bar. Let's see how it survives the trip...

...but all I'm saying is that I have no complains about the battery life of this odd...

Next, I have to commend this phone on signal quality. While both speakerphone and regular conversations sound a bit on the harsh side, the phone keeps a signal very well...much better than its call-dropping K132 cousin...but then again the other phone was on Pocket, whose PCS signal for some reason doesn't do quite so well as Sprint's in my area. Anyhow, the signal was as good or better than other Sprint PCS phones I've used, so that's nice to say for a $20 phone.

But I have a problem with this phone...'s AS SLOW AS DOYT!

I had a similar problem with the Kyocera K132. Looks like the processor is the same across both phones...and boy howdy is it slow! Everything except maybe pressing the speakerphone button has some sort of delay to it. If you want predictive text on text messaging, be prepared for a semi-nightmare...or just don't get the can't keep up with a relatively fast texter. And even normal text entry on webpages is painfully slow. In fact, anything related to the web is painfully slow...if you want to use web, you can forget that, too.

Unless you must augment the pitifully few ringtones and graphics (as in four ringtones...deja Slice?) with something else, foisted by Virgin Mobile at unspeakable prices upon you, the end user. Bleh.

But hey, if you're content with "just a phone", and one that has to think a bit before every action (though voice-related tasks don't have but a little wait), you may well be content with this phone.

You see, while not being thin, and while not being as cool-looking as its five-model-numbers-higher cousin, the Marbl doesn't leave you holding your nose on the design front. It's no Razr, and personally there has gotta be something better than the "racing stripe" motif that dominates the otherwise cheap-silver phone, but at least the motif is subtle (gloss black on Matte black with a small, well-laced speakerphone grille) and physically this phone's dimensions aren't absotively ginormous. Oh, and the Virgin Mobile logo doesn't stand out horribly much from the phone, compared with other low-end least in my's set apart but it's in a black ring on the black "racing stripe" so it's okay.

Flipping the phone open may seem fine at first, but after this phone survived a gentle fall down a veritable terrace of kitchen furniture (the largest drop was about four feet) onto a linoleum floor, the flip got a little too much give in it for my personal preference. Now this may not annoy other people, but I can detect the cheap-feeling give when I flip open and closed the phone.

But, at first glance, what you get when you flip open the phone is really nice: well-spaced and tactilly responsive buttons (though they're a bit small), a generally plaseing silvery design, and a screen that I think is the same size as the UTStarCom' Slice's. That is to say, it's quite big enough for a basic phone.

Then you experience the I said everything has a delay, from turning on the phone to launching and closing the web browser to turning the phone off. And there are a few counter-intuitive things like the OK button not going anywhere on the phone's standby screen (normal phones go to the menu screen, Kyocera, in case you haven't picked that up).

Feature-wise, this phone is basic in features that actually require network access (it just does voice, text and web, and the last two are on the slow and slooooow side, respectively) but has the usual other features, from a stopwatch (though it only measures in hundredths of a second AFTER you stop it...slow processor have we, Kyocera?) to voice recording. Nothing really special, and you can't do anything fancy with the phone on Virgin Mobile, like IM or e-mail...I don't even think this phone has, or could handle, Java....

But then again you wouldn't want to do antthing particularly advanced with this phone that would use the network, as using the network costs you money, and this phone takes its time in doing just about everything, making stuff like that a pain to use.

But the bottom line is that this is an upgrade to the Oystr, and for voice purposes this phone will serve whoever needs it well. Mine even had stellar (LG 3280 style) battery life. But I'm switching my account back to the Slice (with its irregularities and small keypad) because I just can't stand a slow phone. Sure, if the Slice is worth $50 this phone is worth $20, but don't think about getting it for anything more than talking...which it does do a good job with...

Well, that's the end of my Kyocera Marbl review. Hope this helps everyone and I'll probably be back soon with a review of the Audiovox 8600. Good night and, if you're interested, take a look at just added a few interesting posts there. Oh, and support this site! :) I'm planning to give away the Marbl so stay tuned for that!


Due to a combination of various things (ISP going out for 9 hours, a late concert that lasted longer than it should've, my falling asleep while doing homework) I wasn't able to get the Marbl review up last night. So it'll be up tonight...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

T-Mobile Play Money, Meet Page Plus Dollars

Anyone remember the old T-Mobile money scheme, where airtime was added at 40 or 50 cents per minute, making texting as low as 2 cents apiece and other crazy-cheap fun?

Well, PagePlus Cellular has something similar, but let me explain...

PagePlus airtime cards actually add their alloted number of minutes to your PagePlus phone when you add them. Which then gets converted to dollar amounts at 14 cents a minute. What this means is that the new 8 cent per minute $80 refill gets you 1000 minutes and not $80 but $140 on PagePlus's books. What does this mean? Well, text messaging and the bimonthly fee (which is gone for now) are charged the cheaper per minute you get the refill (as in higher denominations) the cheaper these features are. Since the $80 refill adds $140 to your account, the 8-cent text messages (when measured against a $10, 71-minute refill), will be closer to 4.5 cents with the big airtime card...and the monthly fee would be around 30 cents.

As in, if you buy a high-dollar PagePlus refill, you not only get cheaper minutes, but also cheaper features (text messaging is the only one for now), which is pretty nice. Yet another reason to choose this carrier over the rest of the pack. \ Shameless Self-Promotion

Just found a sweeps site with a twist: whoever gets the most votes for winning a particular item will get the item. Which is pretty neat because if your reasons are good, you'll win. :)

The reason I'm bringing this up here is that CheapPhoneCards has some airtime cards ($50 for GoPhone, $25 and $50 for T-Mobile To Go, $10 for an STi long distance card) up on the site, and Cingular has a GoPhone there, too. I've already entered on all of them, and I'd suggest you should, too... see, after a set time period the system randomly selects seven "finalists" from all the people who entered to win the stuff, and people vote on those finalists. If I get into the final seven, I'd really like it if you'd vote for me...if you do, I'll gladly vote for you...

...oh, and if I win the phone-related stuff I'll review the phone (if I win that) and, whatever I get phone-wise, will put it up here as a giveaway. That's why I'm asking you to vote for me :)

And yes, I am entered into some other contests on there (for electronics). If you could vote for me (my username is iansltx) I'd be really happy, as most of the stuff would go to someone else...I like making people's days.

Anyhow, entering and joining are free so take a look and hope this helps someone! And yes, I'll likely have the Marbl reviewe up here before tomorrow. So check back soon!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Various Things...

First off, I'm trying really hard to get the "authorities" (well, there should be no quotes around the word...they are the authorities in my case) to let me bring a cameraphone on my trip to Washington D.C., to both keep everyone here posted on prepaid and everyone who wants posted on my trip there. But as it stands, things don't look that great...

...but I will be getting the Cyclops (via Wirefly) and reviwing it, courtesy a friend who wants the phone after I'm done reviewing it. So expect a review here relatively soon (keyword: relatively).

Speaking of reviews, The Kyocera Marbl will be reviewed here probably tomorrow or the next day. I'd do it tonight but I've gotta do some very important homework (research paper outline due tomorrow).

And if you're wondering why I didn't post earlier today I was out of range of internet pretty much until about 8:30, and then my ISP went on the fritz for maybe 45 minutes...sorry everyone...

Lastly, if anyone wants to make maybe $140 a day with Tracfone's "twofer" deals I'd be glad to tell anyone who wants how to do so. This $140 takes, to my recollection, maybe an hour or two to get, maybe less. If anyone wants info let me know...the next person to wor with me will get a $20 bonus from me...

Sorry for the choppy post, but I'm pressed for time and wanted to prove to the world that I'm not quite dead yet ;)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

New Phone Forum!

Just ran across this new cell phone forum. It's at Looks good from here...if you want to register, use this link:

Anyhow, it's "competition" to HowardForums which is kinda neat. I'd suggest everyone checking this one out...seems quite active given its size...

More Virgin Mobile Deals

Sorry, I don't have a lot to write about, but...

1. Target is selling $30 airtime cards for $25 right now. That's a nice 16.7% or so discount. Even with tax you're still going to get roughly a 10% disocunt over non-tax retail price. Heck, if you want to get a new Virgin Mobile phone off their website and already have a Virgin Mobile account, this makes things just a tad cheaper...

2. Wirefly is selling Virgin Mobile phones for...after rebates...a bit cheaper than you can get them at Virgin's own website. Here's where to get them...

There, you'll find the Slice for $47 (no rebates required), the Cyclops for $50 after a $20 rebate ($10 less than on Virgin's own site) and the Switch_Back for a cool $80 ($20 off) after a $40 rebate. Granted, the phones do have rebates, but they are cheaper after them than anywhere else, and second-day shipping (as oposed to 3-5 day shipping on Virgin Mobile's own site) is free. Also, it looks like there's no tax on the phones, which saves you another few dollars.

Hope this helps someone! If you do get a phone via this, tell Virgin I sent you! (see the right side of the page for more info on that)

Moto T720c Update

Just for those who are curious, the Motorola T720c finally registered low battery today. Looks like the battery at least isn't refurbished; that's four full days of battery life out of the phone. Not bad...

...though I didn't use the phone much at all and the Audiovox and the Marbl charged at the same time as the Moto, are still going strong...

One other thing: PagePlus still tells you, slowly, the balance of your account before connecting the call. This takes maybe fifteen seconds. I'd ay it's probably the only annoying thing you have to face when using the service. Hmmm...if they'd take a page from STi's book (just one, though) and give you your balance only when you dial a special number...just a thought...

Monday, April 16, 2007

30-minutes-for-life, Demystified

Wondering about the new "30 extra minutes for life" promotion Tracfone has? Allow me to enlighten you...

Q: Is this promotion valid on my phone?
A: If, on activation, you saw a big green banner saying that your phone has been enrolled in the promotion, you're good. If you don't, you're not enrolled. I activated a phone back in late December and saw this, so it's safe to assume that all new activations, and ones that are relatively recent have the promo...though the surefire indicator is whether you saw the promo message or not. You can also call Tracfone and ask...they probably know.

Q: What cards is the promo valid for?
A: All cards except the 1-year cards and the new $10 card. Which, I take it, means that with the $50 double-minute card you get 30 extra minutes...though I may be wrong.

Q: Can you combine the extra 30 minutes with a promo code.
A: I've heard nothing to say no, and the newest phones actually have a special "enter promo code here" step on on-hone airtime redemption, so all indicators say "yes". Though promo codes seem to be in relatively short supply of late.

Q: When does the 30 minute promo kick in?
A: The second time you refill. From then on, subject to the airtime card type restrictions, you get your 30 minutes. Enjoy!

So, personally, if you have an older, non-flip CDMA phone, you'd do yourself a favor to upgrade to the Nokia 2126i for not only this reason but also because the 2126i is Single-Rate (same-cost roaming, cheaper text). Oh, and it's a mere $15 at your loca Dollar General, if you have one of those, or $14.88 at your local ShopKo, if you have one of those.

Hope this helps! If it does, click an ad and support this site so I can keep the info coming!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Another Prepaid Airtime Seller

Telecom Services, at, has more selection than CheapPhonecards but still gives discounts (of 5%) on larger airtime values across the various carriers they sell. They don't look like a big outfit, but at least they have a fair selection of airtime at discounted prices...better than all the airtime sellers I've seen right now...

More Info: Motorola T720c

Just to let everyone know, I'm going to end up not doing a review on this phone. It looks like I got a worse-than-usual-refurb-condition phone and it's going offline soon anyway. But I have to say that besides the general condition of the phone, it seemed pretty darn advanced, though you could tell it was old.

First off, signal quality was fine. As was general voice quality, though the speaker could stand being louder. I couldn't help but think that this phone is the precursor to my own v323...

Second, I wish that PagePlus had disabled features that you can't use on them anyway, namely web and Get It Now. They changed the operator logo, so why not change the firmware to make things more efficient?

Speaking of efficiency, the iTAP predictive text on this phone isn't fun to use, because you have to hit the right softkey every time you want to insert a space on a text message...and this is a pretty big phone, so the right softkey is a loooong way away. But it is possible to text on the phone, and the large screen makes things very viewable.

Speaking of the large phone and the large screen, this phone is hunkin' huge. Which is a good thing for some people I suppose, but a bad thing for others of us. Think Razr, except twice as thick...yeah, this is a big phone...just wish the buttons were a little bigger, but then again this may be "I got a bad refurb" syndrome...

As to other features, this phone has surprisingly many. Aside from the web browser and text messaging, the Moto has voice dialing (you have to program it first), voice recording...that sorta thing. And for those of you who like ringtones, this phone does have some okay polyphonic ringers...just keep in mind that they sound decidedly "retro". And yes, the phone does have an external display, which is quite readable and all that.

I can't comment on battery life...will do that later...because I've only had the phone since Thursday and started my battery test on Friday. Seems to be holding up well though...

All in all, I'm hedging my bets that this phone's shortcomings as I experienced them were due to it being a refurb deal. Otherwise, in my opinion it's a fine phone, albeit old and freakin' huge. But due to the refurb-ness and the fact that what appears to be the only retailer of the phone now, BabbleBug, is gonna be pulling it off the market soon, I'll leave things at review...

But I will review the Audiovox 8600 soon...boy is that phone tiny except in stay tuned!

Virgin Mobile - Cheaper At Wal-Mart

If you want to buy a Kyocera Marbl from Virgin Mobile's website, don't.

Wal-Mart (at least mine, and likely yours) has just gotten in shipments of this phone...which they're selling for $19.97 plus tax.

So buy the Marbl from there and save yourself $10.

An interesting sidenot though: it looks like Wal-Mart doesn't technically "have" the Marbls in their system yet. So you'll havev to wait a few days before you can actually buy them. For those who can't wait Virgin Mobile's site is probably the only other choice (well, BestBuy has them but they're even more expensive). But I'd say wait...if you want the Marbl, get it from Wal-Mart.

Oh, and maybe wait for my review while you're at it :)

Tracs Cuts

Some of the Tracfones are even cheaper than usual...

At Dollar General the Nokia 2126i (the new Single-Rate version) is $15, albeit with no included airtime (versus $30 with 60 minutes included).

And at K-Mart (thx Turk) the Motorola c261 looks to be $30 ( cameraphone!), with the grey-haired v170 down to $25.

Keep the price cuts coming :)

Tracfone Koolness (Thanks Chris!)

Tracfone now, secretly, has their three new phones available online. Though they're out of stock, we now have better specs on the phones, and exact prices...

The LG CG225 (wierdly called the LG 225 by Tracfone though a phone by the same name is available for Sprint\STi Mobile\etc.), available at, is priced at $80. Not bad considering it's the first camera flip phone Tracfone has ever had...and the second cameraphone. So that's why the Motorola c261 went down from $80 to $40 in such a comparatively short period...

The LG C1500, called merely the "1500" by Tracfone on, is priced at $60. Which is fine because it is an upgrade to the Motorola v176 due to its external display. It does, however, have a smaller internal display...

Last if we're measuring by expense is the Motorola w370, at $50. Available at, it's decidedly the most basic of the phones being introduced, feature-wise, but its screen looks to be the largest of the phones (albeit sacrificing an external screen for simple LED indicators), and its style seems impeccable. For $50 you really can't complain, seeing as how the pudgier Motorola v176 had similar or less features for $10 more...or should I say has, since these phones aren't out yet?

Which reminds me...I have to figure out how to get these phones...seeing as how Tracfone is sick of me buying from them ;)...

Saturday, April 14, 2007

For Those Of You Who Want STi...

...CheapPhoneCards is offering the STi Mobile LG 125, which all in all isn't a horrible phone, for $39 with $10 of airtime inlcuded. There's a 5% off coupon code to somewhat offset shipping, too. The link in the title is the link to the phone...

Friday, April 13, 2007

Tracfone Newz: Pink c139 and ShopKo

Two interesting things...

First off, when you're in Tracfone's online store, change the tech= part of the web address to GSM6 (from CO, GSM4 or GSM5) and reload the page. You'll get, though out of stock, the Motorola c139 for $15, the Motorola v170 for $40...and a pink Motorola c139 for $15! Again, these phones are out of stock and who knows what carrier's SIM they'd be shipped with (Dobson CellularOne maybe? SunCom?). But the pink c139 is interesting...

Second, ShopKo is selling Tracfones at sweet prices until the 21st of this month. You may even be able to have them ship the phone to you if you're out of area, or out of are the phones...and yes, they run from $15 to $20 in discounts or are just plain available when they usually aren't...and yes, they're all SingleRate...

LG 3280 - $28.88
Nokia 2126i - $14.88

Nokia 1112 - $18.88
Nokia 2600 - $18.88

Sounds nice and cheap from here...especially the CDMA phones...$15 and $20 less than retail isn't bad. And the Nokia 2126i is a solid per minute and per text, too, with the $50 double-minute card.

Virgin Mobile Messaging

Well, I was able to find out which phones do IM and email. Here they are:

Phones that do both:
Slider Sonic

hones that do IM only:

Yep, the Slice is left high and dry IM, no email. So your phone selection is slim if you want IM or e-mail...and the short list costs upwards of $60 right now. Oh well...

And on the BabbleBug Front...

BabbleBug, at least for now, isn't coming out with the Tracfone $10 card. But they are coming out with "direct topups" for Amp'd and Boost Mobile. The instant topup lets you not have to deal with PINs\cards. Which is pretty neat if you ask me. BabbleBug already has direct topup available for a few carriers, among which are Verizon's two prepaid services, EasyPay and INPulse.

For Boost, you have an additional advantage: you can select your own top-up amount between $10 and $100, unclusive, though BabbleBug will charge 50 cents extra for top-ups under $20. They'll also be able to top up the new Boost Unlimited plan. You don't get the fancy pick-your-own-refill with Amp'd but it's still a direct top-up.

Hope this helps! Comes Out With Trac $10 Card now has the Tracfone $10 can now get this 45-unit PIN outside of Tracfone's own site. Viva la choisir!

PagePlus's Promotion

PagePlus just put up a bold, daring promotion on their site: send them any competitor's phone and they'll send you a phone back...their phone...with $10 in credit included. Add to that the dirt-cheap rates, (8 to 14 cents a minute, depending on whether you want to spend $2.50 or $20 a month, with not-too-horrible 8-cent texting) no 50 ceent monthly fee till June and the fact that the LG vx4400 that they're giving away is normally $50...and worth that $50...makes PagePlus a carrier to watch. Now I wonder which phone I should eventually trade in...hmmm...maybe a Virgin K7...nah...hmm...

Another Moblogging service...

Seems like Flickr works on a wider variety of carriers than Blogger normally does, but it still leaves some of us out in the cold. The solution? A site called Right now I'm trying to figure out why my phone's photos only make it to the FileMobile site, and not to my blog, but my carrier, Pocket Communications, has some nonstandard wierdness about its MMS system so I think everyone else will be fine. So if Flickr doesn't work, try the same steps with FileMobile and you'll be good, more than liikely! :)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Blog From Your Phone, Whatever It May Be

I just spent awhile calling Virgin Mobile so that my photo-moblogging at Washington D.C. would go without a hitch. Well, the guy on the other end unfortunately didn't have much information for me, but I figured out on my own how to moblog away on whatever service you're on!

1. Sign up for a flickr account at (they're now part of Yahoo so if you have a Yahoo ID it's very quick to set up an account).

2. "Attach" your blog to Flickr (it's a multi-step process but it's not hard).

3. Turn on email-to-blog capability on Flickr.

That's it! You now can email photos from your cameraphone (via MMS) to Flickr, and thence to your blog. And if you use Virgin Mobile and do this a lot, the photo messages are a penny apiece. Sweet if ya ask me...

Virgin Mobile New Stuff

First off, you know about that new price for IM that was announced a few days ago? Well, it works on...hmmm...some phones (right now the site is showing that it works on every phone except the Slice, but then again the site shows that pix messaging and email doesn't work on any phone...) and now includes Yahoo and AIM. And since Yahoo is now teamed up with Windows Live\MSN, you can now IM whoever you want from your Virgin Mobile phone, for as low as a penny per message. Niftier than the usual junk...

Second, rumor has it that the Snapper may be available for $35. To whom, nobody knows. But that's the rumor.

Third, I dunno if this has been done before, but if you're a current Virgin Mobile customer you can just take a new phone purchase out of the money you have on your Virgin Mobile account...which is pretty neat...

Which brings me to a point of begging again: if you activate a new phone on Virgin Mobile, tell them that 830-456-2634 ( 8304562634 for those who don't want to delete the dashes) sent you. This will add money to my Virgin Mobile account when you refill\Top Up next, and that money will go toward buying new phones. Like the Cyclops, for example...which I'm likely to get anyway for the class trip to Washington D.C. (I plan to get the $10 messaging pack and make a pictorial blog of the trip for nexta nuthin').

New Phone Reviews: Coming Soon!

Well, today I received two packages. One was from BabbleBug (thanks guys!) with the Motorola T720c and the Audiovox 8600, both supposed to be on PagePlus (the Moto was, complete with PagePlus branding...tha 'vox didn't seem to be...which is okay but odd). The other package was from Virgin Mobile, containing the Kyocera Marbl that I ordered from them several days ago...and paid for (thanks loyal ad clickers! keep it this site!). I'll have reviews up soon. But I have to report one thing about each of the phones right now:

The Motorola T720c looks pretty nice in black...and interestingly bears the Page Plus Cellular logo and branding both in the phone software and hardware.

The Audiovox 8600 is small...on the cliff-hanging edge of being too small...except for its thickness, which is made even more pronounced by its other minute dimensions. I gotta say that this is the first phone I've ever had that can balance stably atop its own travel charger, laying flat...and we're talking a small travel charger...

The Kyocera Marbl is NOT the Kyocera K132 (thank God!) but rather the K127. Which means the keypad is worlds better, in my opinion, but the form factor, with a much larger bottom half of the flip though with a smaller top half, has lost a bit of cool factor in the five-model-number drop relative to te K132.

Stay tuned for reviews! And wish me luck with school...I was at UT San Antonio's campus library with my high school class doing research for this year's research topic is nanotech.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Side Note...Virgin Mobile...

Just so everyone knows, I'm getting the Marbl in (aka Kyocera K132) from Virgin Mobile tomorrow. So look for first impressions of the phone tomorrow evening, and a review within the week! Also, I might be able to secure a Cyclops for review. Again, stay tuned!

Virgin Mobile...Like Whoa, Dude

Virgin Mobile just changed up their site...for the cheaper...

First off, they've lowered the prices of their phones. The Kyocera Cyclops is now a quite palatable $60, and the old Slider Sonic is down to $80...and it includes $20 of airtime! Talk about deep discounts...the Sonic thus effectively got a 40% price cut, while the Cyclops is now 25% la junk phones ;)

Also, texting packs have been renamed Messaging Pacs...and they're the same price! What's so great about that? Well, they include picture messages! So for $10 a month you get pix messages for a penny apiece, should you choose to send a ton of 'em...crazy, huh?

And Virgin Mobile has changed their IM policy. IM is now considered as a text message price-wise, which means it can add up very quickly without a messaging plan, but with one things may have just gotten a whole lot cheaper...

*Applause for Virgin Mobile*

Oh, and one more thing: if you want to send e-mail with your phone, now you can, for five cents per message either way. Or it's part of the new messaging pack. The catch? Only certain phones are supported (Cyclops, Switch_Back, Slider Sonic it looks like) and right now it's just AOL, AIM or Yahoo mail. :( And Yahoo isn't out yet...won't be until the 17th.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

SingleRate CDMA Demystified, Q & A

Q: Where will SingleRate CDMA Tracfones work?
A: Everywhere where CDMA Tracfones will work. To my knowledge, Tracfone, Verizon or anyone makes zero differentiation between the older CDMA phones and the new SingleRate (LG 3280, Nokia 2126i) ones. So have fun, and have it wherever you want?

Q: I heard something about a CDMA cameraphone flip for Tracfone...
A: I didn't. The only upcoming phones that Tracfone has announced are the LG CG225 (all those features except GSM), the LG C1500 (caller ID GSM color flip) and the Motorola w370 (cool-looking flip with external icons instead of a caller ID display). Not that Tracfone won't come out wit something soon...the LG 3280, to my recollection, came out with little notice\fanfare. We can only hope...if Tracfone got a CDMA cameraphone with web (1x data is WAY faster than the GPRS on the Moto c261) I'd be all over it...

Motorola c155 & c139 Reflashing

How do you free a Motorola c139 or c155 from Tracfone? Well, I'm still figuring it out, but the basic way to do it is by either buying a cable ($17.50 or so off of eBay) or buying a $270 "Infinity Box" (which has the correct software included, along with a lot of other stuff) and getting the correct flashing files\program to replace the Motorola firmware. You connect the phone, run the program and your phone is now generic, likely with more features than before (the generic c155, for example, has a web browser build in).

It looks like is the place to go for flash files, but I have yet to know whether they'll work with the cheap eBay cable. If they do, my $6 unlocking service, for both c155s and c139s, is begun! Heck, I could even reflash a Motorola c261, it looks like...

...but I have to have the right software. I'll report back here as to whether the cable will work or not with the software. And if it does work I'll be happy to post the flash files up here...but the Soft4GSM membership does cost, so every little ad click helps!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Virgin Mobile...New Phones? EDITED

Looks like Virgin Mobile may be coming out with different colors of its Slice phone by UTStarCom, in addition to the black and red we've already seen. The new colors will be "lime" green and "eggplant" blue. Personally, I like my black Slice better than the others, but hey, variety is always nice for people who think a black phone is soooo five minutes ago...

...just hope these pics aren't Photoshopped...

EDIT: They are. Sorry and black are here to stay...and that's all...

But anyway the other new phone, that is indeed new, may well be the nicest Virgin Mobile phone yet...which isn't saying much, but hey...

It looks to be a Slice on steroids, with a camera, Bluetooth and a boatload of memory...perfect for all those rinky dink ringtones Virgin Mobile is so happy to rip you off with...but, honestly, it looks to be a cool phone. And if the Virgin Mobile logo is that small when the phone comes out, I applaud Virgin's newfound humility. :)

The GSM Fromt: T-Mobile and Cingular

T-Mobile and Cingular also have some changes on their websites, but they're less far-reaching and more welcome...

First, T-Mobile...

They, right now, are again giving away a $25 airtime card when you buy (a maximum of two per household) a prepaid phone. Which is quite tempting, since DealKing right now offers $5 back when you buy a T-Mobile phone through their link, and the Nokia 6030 is $25 with the free airtime card...or rather free with the $25 airtime card. And the Nokia 6101, though not new or anything, is $50 and has the airtime card included.

There are also a few (relatively) new phones available on T-Mobile To Go. The basic Samsung t219 is $60, augmenting the $90 t319 cameraphone. And the new Samsung "Stripe" is available for $100. All of these, rembember, have the $25 card thrown in...

Now for Cingular...

First, the rewards sytemm. Yes, Cingular now has rewrds. Sort of. When you spend $100 on airtime (I'm guessing the first $10 in airtime counts toward this) you get $5. Another $100 gets you $10 extra. Another $100 gets you $15 bonus, as does the $100 after that. Finally, after you've sent $500 on their service, you get an extra $20, which you'll get for every $100 you spend after that. a 20% rewards system doesn't sound so bad, but that's an awful lot of airtime that you have to buy before you get there. Plus, T-Mobile's Gold Rewards beats Cingular percent for percent until you spend $500, and minute for minute the $100 T-Mobile card always wins. So personally I'm not excited about this, but it's a nice perk for Cingular users. An d no, you don't have to sign up for this to get it to take effect, which is a good thing...

Second, the GoPhone lineup has changed slightly, phone-wise. At least price-wise. The Sony Ericsson J220a, refurbished, is now a palatable $20, the same as the featureless Motorola c139 *cough cough*. At least the c139, with the correct hardware, is not too ahrd to unlock\flash (the process is similar to that of the c155). The better-looking, better-featured black Samsung x507 is $40 refurbished. And, interestingly, the tiny Pantech c300, along with the newer c120 bar phone when refurbished, is a mere $50. Note that the c300 is new...though it's an old model, the newer c3 being twice that cost. As a side note, you can get the basic, though thin, Motorola L2 refurbished, in either pink or silver, for $80.

And that's about it on the GSM front.

Alltel U - Text Now Costs More

Alltel's U Prepaid is a great provider. I mean, you can get anything from a Nokia 2865 to a KRZR on their service for a halfway decent price, and when you're on Alltel or Verizon's networks (a huge area) you get one of the cheapest cellular rates on prepaid, 15 cents per minute.

But, along with practically everyone else in the wireless market, they're quietly upping texting fees. Effecting the 20th, texts will be 10 cents each either way, unless you have the unlimited texting option, up from a comfortable five cents per message...

I really ahte to see this, but it was inevitable; everyone else is doing it with (at least) their contract plans, and sometimes with their prepaid plans. Sprint, T-Mobile and Cingular now have, or will soon have, 15 cent texting, and Verizon is either 10 or 15 cents each (don't remember which) without a texting bundle. Verizon prepaids (most notably PagePlus and Amp'd) run in the 8 to 10 cent range. T-Mobile To Go is 10 cents to send, 5 cents to receive. Pretty much the only prepaids with cheap texting now are Cingular GoPhone and Virgin (5 cents either way, Virgin also having texting bundles available for cheaper), the up-and-coming Total Call Mobile (again, five cents either way), STi (same) and Boost Mobile (10 cents to send, rfree to receive but who likes Boost text? Not me...)

Anyhow, Alltel U's text rates are going up, like text rates pretty much across the industry :(...except for Tracfone...if you have 10 cent minutes, you have 3 cent la Trac ;)

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Nokia 2126 - Now In Single Rate!

I went to Wal-Mart today and saw that they had the new Nokia 2126i! Okay, so it's not really new (technically ALL Nokia 2126s are 2126i's) but that's just Tracfone's way of telling you that these pones are now SingleRate!

Yes, now both GSM and CDMA Tracfones roam for free wherever you go, and have 0.3 unit texting. And the 2126i looks to come with 60 minutes, plus the 20 at activation (the phone retails in the $30 range). There is now no difference between GSM and CDMA rates; now, if you want better coverage, you as a rule get CDMA...if you want web and MMS and fancy phones, you get GSM...and that's about it...

Which means that now, for a total of $80 ($30 phone plus $50 double-minute card) you can get a solid Tracfone with 10 cent minutes and 3 cent text messages (better than all carriers unless you pay for a monthly texting plan) that works everywhere in the U.S. for that low rate. I'm lovin' it...

And for ye who do not believe, behold pictures, taken with my very own new camera phone, the Motorola v323i. And a short video clip...

Tracfone - No More Free Shipping

Sorry to say, Tracfone no longer has free shipping on their phones. It's $4.95 plus tax...:( At least there are still "twofer" deals...

By the way, if anyone is interested, I may pursue getting the equipment needed to reflash\unlock Motorola c155s. If enough people are interested I'll do it...I'm thinking price-wise $6 including return shipping per phone...

Friday, April 06, 2007

Virgin Monthly Web...Cheaper However You Slice It

I'm surprised I missed this, but Virgin Mobile has now introduced another way to buy web the month. $4.99 gets you the month of access, with a limit of 5 MB. I'm guessing it would charge you $1 per 500k after that. But anyway, if you use web five days a month or more, this is the clear choice, since its rates are half that of the pay-when-you-need-it daily package...and cheaper than everyone else that I know of as far as prepid web goes per kilobyte, at a tenth of a cent per KB. Then again, there's no tethering or stuff like that, and some websites just plain won't work on Virgin Mobile...but hey, it's the cheapest web access on prepaid besides STi Mobile, and you don't have to be afraid of them disconnecting your service for just pay more ;)

BestBuy Virgin Mobile Deals

BestBuy has all their prepaid phones on some sort of special, but Virgin Mobile, and with them only two of their phones, has significant discounts. Keep in mind that it'll cost tax and at least $5.50 in shipping beyond the list price if you buy online (I'm guessing you can pick up these phones in stores right now for these lower prices) but on the two phones that they've discounted it's still cheaper to get them from BestBuy than from elsewhere...

Kyocera Cyclops - $59.99 (usually $79.99, used to be $99.99, so with tax and shipping it'll be about $70.89...maybe I'll review this instead of the Snapper)

Kyocera Switch_Back - $89.99 ($10 less than usual, though shipping is $5.50 all in all you come out about $4 ahead on this other words not a super buy but it's something)

Got A Marbl

Virin Mobile's Kyocera Marbl was back in stock today, so I bought one (thanks for the ad clicks, and thanks in advance for more ;) ). So expect a review of this, the newest phone on Virgin Mobile, soon!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Lost Its MARBLs?

Looks like Virgin Mobile just can't keep the new Marbl phone in stock...if they had it in stock today I would've gotten it for review (thank you everyone who supported this site by clicking ads...keep on keeping on). As it stands, I'll wait till it's back in stock. Also, I may borrow a Snapper to review...anyway, stay tuned for new reviews!


What are my thoughts on Refer-a-Friend? Well, ersonally I think it may indeed come back in some shape, form or fashion since Tracfone still has the link on their site. But don't hold your breath; it's dead and cold for the moment. That's about it...I wish it would come back but it's least there's the twofer deal...

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Well, Tracfone changed their product lineup again. Now, their "free phone" for GSM is the Motorola c155. While it is a color phone with polyphonic ringtones, it seems to practically everyone to be inferior to the Nokia 1100, despite the latter's higher age and lower feature set. But then again, nobody can argue with the brick of a charger the Motorola has, even when compared with the wall warts Nokia sometimes supplies (though these chargers are thankfully getting rarer on that front).

And yes, I did review the c155 and the 1100, and I'd take an 1100 over a c155 any day. But Tracfone is making us take c155s if we want the "twofer" deal and don't want the Nokia 2285...ah well...

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Scratch The Mourning...Trac Is Back!

The Nokia 1100 is no longer out of stock. Good Tracfoneers rejoice!

Also, regarding the previous comment, some Tracfones actually come with 60 (extra? I think so) minutes of airtime upon activation now. Keyword: some. These "some" are mostly the lower-end phones bought at retail (Nokia 2126, Nokia 1112). Just thought I'd point that out...

Oh, and by the way, if you like using your phone a lot, take a look at It's my new site about unlimited cellular companies (I started it Sunday) and I think I've got something going there...

Monday, April 02, 2007

Sad News: Tracfone Update

Just to let everyone know, Tracfone is no longer selling the Nokia 1100 as part of the double 60-minute card bundle. Maybe they've run out of them? But anyway the phone is out of stock so the only option for the "twofer" deal is the less attractive, older Nokia 2285...sad...but maybe this means that Tracfone will finally put up the Nokia 1112 for sale online! Who knows...

But speaking of Nokia 2285s, does anyone here want to buy the phones, or know of anyone who wants to buy the phones? I'd give good money to know of someone who would buy them, and would be willing to sell them for cheap, in bulk...

Tracfone Stuff

Okay, I was just foolin' yesterday about Virgin Mobile. Maybe it was a little too close to home but yesterday was April Fools' ;).

Anyway, Tracfone now has a different "twofer" deal on CDMA stuff...which includes the ooooold Nokia 2285. Personally, I'd go for the GSM deal rather than CDMA, as the 2285 is a very old phone, but hey, it's there...