I have tried the straight talk finesse, the ptel q9c, and the boost blackberry 8330. they all have their advantages and disadvantages.
The straight talk finesse
was the easiest to take pictures, videos and send them to either another phone or an email address. reception has been good, speaker phone rates a 6/10 good with music that has been transferred to a SD card and compatible with standard headphones or what ever little speaker you want to plug in.
The browser is a pain in the butt, you have to scroll all over the place (left right up and down) just to see a simple website. It is compatible with bank of america. as for it being a pretty phone, is is, some people refer to their phones as being "sexy" so I guess if there is a sexy phone this would be it. I just got back from a trip and the phone had a good signal about (evdo) about every where I went. the unlimited data is over rated because the browser is such a pain. they should have put opera mini on it as it compresses data an is easy to use, (generally only have to scroll up and down). support (cs) is tracfone (do I need to say more) the minimum to keep the phone alive is 30 a month, even if you are going to be out of the country for a few months. if you are a day or so late re-upping you have to reactivate the phone and it takes a 45 minute call and 2 days to get the data working again. to get the most for your money you have to add the card on the exact day the card it due, not the day before as you will lose a day (if you add a card 2 weeks early you lose 2 weeks service) there are many improvements that can be made to their service. phone was 328 bucks
uses verizons network--no roaming to other networks. does not stream music or video. gps is 911 only no navigation/ battery life is good to great .
The boost mobile black berry
(250 bucks) uses sprints network is probably similar in service to the sprint's 8330. on my trip I got either evdo or 1xrtt service where ever I went, evdo in missouri and florida and 1x in mississippi. was great getting my emails to me which on this trip this was important. you can use the blackberry internet server but I think that this server is so over loaded it is so slow, I can do my mobile banking at 2 in the morning but any other " waking time it is so slow that it times out when you try to log in. bolt browser does however work rather well with it. opera mini is good and fast but the buttons you use to browse are different than what you think they should be the cheapest from what I can understand is 60 a month. there was 1 day where I lost total texts (everyone on boost cdma lost it that one day a few weeks ago) this was a disappointment as I depend on my texts. If I needed to be out of the country a couple I dont know what they would do to keep the number active but not use the phone. other than the texts I really havent had problems, I had a question for cs and waited online for 20 mintues and still didnt get my answer. it has a standard headphone jack and when I synced it with my computer and installed all of my itunes songs on the sd card, this was really nice. I also downloaded pandora and this works really well on evdo anyway. it only has about 100mb of memory on board for programs and this fills up fast. as far as I can see you cannot run a program off of an sd card. so this is kind of a limitation and you have to prioritize what apps you really want on the phone. the speaker phone is a 9/10, cant give it a 10 because I am sure there is some nextel phone with a better speaker. the gps app is okay, there is a learning curve I guess I hope it gives voice instructions while driving but I havent had time to mess with this yet. can view some videos on news sites and you tube. you can use the google voice app which is easy to use. I hope I dont have any problems with the service because I have a feeling that there will be long wait times to get assistance. if you load your account early, it wont take the money out of the account until the day it is due, not sure what it does if you have some balance on it not 60 on the the day it is due. battery life regular battery is fair to good. not a sexy phone.
Platinumtel. has unlimited everything for 60, I have the q9c. you can load the account early and it actually takes it day by day (2 bucks a day) if you re up with a 50 dollar card they give you a 10 bonus to make it 50 for unlimited talk and text and 100mb of data. and another 10 for the unlimited data. when I started with them in september their website wasnt the best to re-up and at the time cards were only available in the chicago area and actually someone on the board actually added the 10 data card for me. when I called ptel and complained about this (as I am in MO and no dealers here) the changed their site so where I could add funds on the talk/text plan within a week and by the time I had to add another data card I was able to do this instantly online on their site. when I have needed customer service they were fast and meticulous, very friendly and helpful, probably the best CS I have ran into prepaid so far. the q9c was a refurb I also have pandora on this but it has the 2.5mm headphone jack so you need an adapter to use an external speaker or headphone. you can watch youtube but it opens up windows media to do it. sometimes you have to go to the task manager to end tasks or it gets slow. you can run apps on the sd card which adds to the capacity of the 100mb you get on the device. it is not the best for music as it doesnt sync with itunes the speaker phone is a 7/10 internet explorer is by far faster than the blackberry bis on the 8330 and I can do my banking on this as well. opera mini works but you have to go to xda developers (or a like site) and download a java enabler to get opera mini to work. it uses logical command keys when running it which makes it easier to use than the 8330. you can also sync it to microsoft my phone (windows mobile 6.1) and if you corrupt your phone by installing bad apps you can reset the device and and sync it online to recover your pics, calendar and contacts. you also should back up the apps you like on your sd card. it works well in evdo areas but when i was in mississippi the data would not work on 1x, there is prob a fix for it but I was only there a day. it does have push email. if you need to leave the country for a few months you can keep the phone alive for 10 every 2 months . sprint navigation works well when in a jam if your kid borrows your gps unit. easier than back berry. battery life reg. battery fair to good, extended battery is great. not a sexy phone
of the 3 my favorite for text and internet and customer service and flexibility PLATINUMTEL is probably the best. cs-excellent and in english.... BOOST for entertainment (music) a loud speakerphone and ability to use a standard headphone jack and sync with itunes, to get email fast the 8330 is good. cs-fair. where I work, live and play, I have good sprint coverage but if I were to go places that only had vzw and not sprint the st finesse would probably be best and as I said it is the easiest to send and receive pics and videos you take from the phone itself. cs-poor but I think they try --------- if ptel got the 8330 that would be a good match....... 1)ptel 2)boost 3) straight talk----they all have internet out of the box (which is why I am not comparing to ppc)
if someone is up in the air deciding which service to get of these 3 I hope this helps
trying to come up with better signature.......
Not too bad. I enjoyed that read. Thanks.