I live in Vancouver, which means I live in Canada, which means I live in a partial cell phone hell if you have ever had a decent cell phone plan. Reception is spotty even by American standards. New cell phone models get here later than in the States. And worst of all, the service plans are overpriced (I have to pay for voice mail and caller ID!).
But, over the summer while I intern at Google in Mountain View, I can at least rectify the phone issue. I currently am using the Nokia freebie phone because I got so many complaints about sound quality on my RAZR from people that I called that I just had to stop using it.
So now I am planning on buying an unlocked phone when I get to Mountain View. My initial requirement is syncing abilities with my Mac over iSync. After that is one with Bluetooth for wireless syncing with my laptop along with use of my wireless headset. After that I want a Nokia. And finally, I want a Series 60 phone so I can code Python apps for it.
The trick is finding all of these things in a single phone that is unlocked and available for purchase in the States. It looks like the Nokia 6670 and the Nokia 7610 both fit the above requirements. Both are also available for purchase directly from Nokia and thus I can get them unlocked.
But maybe I am approaching this all wrong. How useful can coding a Python app on my cell phone be if I don't want to use any data? The data rates up here are also atrocious. But I could get an unlimited data account if I go with a HipTop 2 with my current carrier or get a Blackberry if I changed carriers to Bell or Rogers and cancelled my current plan (which would cost $200 to do). Both get me Gmail Mobile and the Blackberry solution supposedly gets me Google Talk (although I would have to find a way to download it since it requires IE).
Or maybe having an expensive data plan gives me more incentive to have a Series 60 phone so I can code up a Python program to get me the info I want with a minimal amount of data overhead (wonder how slow zlib is on a Nokia =). Does anyone know what the typical bandwidth of the various Google Mobile services (specifically Gmail Mobile and Google Local for Mobile) tends to be? If they are reasonably low I could stand to change some of my callling plan's features and sacrifice some things for some data plan.
What I should probably do is lower my monthly minutes and start using VoIP more for US calls. I currently use Gizmo and it has been okay. The software can be a little hit-or-miss in terms of connecting, but the quality is decent and the price is good. I just discovered access numbers so people can call my SIP number from a US number for free. Plus I can get a Call In or Area775 account if I want a US access number and just not use my cell phone for US calls. As long as I start carrying around my Bluetooth headset with me it wouldn't be unreasonable to only use VoIP for US calls since I have Net at home, at work, and all over campus.
Geez, the hoops I jump through to stay connected with the ones I love.