I got a new phone today, a Cingular 8525 (tons of unboxing photos and impressions to come soon!). I had to get a GSM phone, because I have no CDMA coverage (Sprint or Verizon) at my new desk location. So my phone is pretty much useless when I’m at work, and that sucks. T-Mobile was out of the question, because I use wireless data more than voice, and T-Mobile’s data speeds are still stuck in the EDGE dark ages. That left Cingular, with speedy 3G UMTS/HSDPA, cool phones, and coverage at Intel’s Jones Farm campus.
I picked the Cingular 8525, a Windows Mobile/Pocket PC phone (a.k.a. the HTC Hermes/TyTN). It’s got WiFi, a 2MP camera, side slide out keyboard with large keys, and of course, the speedy HSDPA data service. I really love it so far, though I have already dropped it on the hard wood floor! :-O No damage, luckily, though my heart stopped, and I think I cried a little…
I was about 20 months in to a 2 year contract with Verizon, but since Verizon is raising the price of their text messages from $0.10 to $0.15, my contract states that I can end service with no Early Termination Fee. There’s a great script/post over on Consumerist.com with all the info I needed to get my service dropped with no fee. I was prepared for battle – no one can throw a consumer tantrum like I can – but they were really nice about it, and didn’t resist at all.
I love my new phone, and HSDPA is quite fast – I have about two bars here at home, and I did some speed tests from dslreports.com/mspeed (the 1MB test), and got about 850Kbps. Very nice! 😀
The biggest change is that I didn’t bother to try to port my number from Verizon. So I have a new phone number for the first time in 7 years. I also wanted to try out GrandCentral.com, a number abstraction service (think FeedBurner for your phone). It lets me do custom call routing and answering, emailing me voicemails, call recording, and a lot of other cool features. And it’s free (though they might charge for Premium services in the future, only to recover costs they incur).
So I’m going to give you that number, instead of my real cell phone number. Like FeedBurner, I could change my number again in the future, and my GrandCentral number wouldn’t change. The downside is that if I decide I don’t like GrandCentral, I have to tell everyone to update their address books again with a different number. Jason Harris and I have been batting the idea around, and one other shortcoming is that you can’t send text messages to a GC number, and if you use a lot of Mobile-to-Mobile minutes, incoming calls might not count as a mobile-to-mobile call.
My new number is:
I’ve updated the sidebar on TinyScreenfuls.com to reflect this, but if you had my cell number in your address book anywhere, please take a second to update it now. Am I crazy for putting my cell phone number on my blog? Maybe. But in the couple of years I’ve had it there, I’ve only ever had good things come of it – never a bad/unwanted/spam phone call. And GrandCentral has spam filtering, so I’m not worried about that, either.
I’ll keep you updated on the new phone, service, and the Grand Central experiment – let me know if you have any questions! 🙂