[olug] Next Time don't get into a contract if you can help it.

Benjamin Watson bwatson1979 at gmail.com
Wed Mar 3 23:51:18 UTC 2010

I've got the Motorola Droid via Verizon and there isn't much
indication of any vendor crippling firmware on the phone.  There is a
Verizon app pre-installed, but it can be removed easily.  Further,
I've found instructions to boot Debian on the thing if I so choose,
giving me full root access to hardware.  Also, while the Droid is CDMA
for Verizon, it does have SIM capability for global phone use.

I've had this thing for a few months now and haven't found anything I
dislike about it yet.  I went ahead and got it on contract renewal
because 1) Verizon has the best nationwide coverage in my traveling
experiences and good service here in the Omaha metro and 2) I didn't
want to fork over the $600 retail phone price

Just my 0.2 cents.


On Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 12:10 PM, drag sidious minimus
<drag at bluddclot.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 03, 2010 at 10:17:53AM -0600, T. J. Brumfield wrote:
>> I really wanted an Android phone to play with, but when I was in the
>> market, T-Mobile was the only providered offering an Android phone,
>> and T-Mobile doesn't really haver coverage in Omaha. Now that Verizon
>> has an Android phone, I'm considering moving over to them next time
>> I'm out of contract, but that is over a year away.
>> -- T. J.
> May I suggest just purchasing a phone at full retail price in the
> future?
> I know that it's more expensive up-front cost, but the advantage is that
> you can avoid getting locked into one carrier while avoiding the custom
> firmware and locked down phones.  You can purchase a phone online and be
> able to use it with any carrier that that phone's network capabilities
> support.
> I made that common mistake of getting locked into a phone when I
> purchased my Sony Ericsson phone. I got into a 2-year contract with AT&T
> and ended up with a decent-enough phone (but no Android phone!) with a
> crippled custom version of AT&T's firmware. Just miserable; AT&T wanted
> to charge me for every little thing from ring tones to playing music on
> it. But I figured out how to hack it to drop the retail firmware on it,
> which just opened up the functionality of the device massively.
> With CDMA-style networks like Verizon you unfortunately get your phone
> configured and registered by Verizon before you use it on their network.
> However with GSM-based networks like AT&T and T-mobile your service is
> tied to a 'SIM' card, which is just a little chip embedded in a small
> piece of plastic that you slot into your phone.
> With the 'SIM card' any phone you plug it into will automatically be the
> phone you can use to access your account.
> Now keep in mind that some 'subsidized phones' (discounted phones you
> purchase as part of a contract) are locked into a particular SIM, but
> that is more of a function of the restricted firmware then anything to
> do with the SIM card or GSM. In Europe and Asia it is very typical to
> have racks of SIM cards sold at convenience stores and whatnot... only in
> the USA is it very common to get locked into multi-year contracts and all
> the fees and penalties associated with that.
> For example...
> I broke the LCD on my Sony phone and it took me a while to replace it.
> So for a couple months I used just a cheap Nokia 'Go Phone' that I
> purchased from best buy for like 20-25 bucks. When I bought it, told the
> clerk not to activate the SIM card it came with. I threw that one away
> and took the SIM card out of my Sony phone and put into the 'Go Phone'
> and it worked fine. (And, of course, the part most likely to break on
> the phone is not covered by anything)
> So in the future I am going to buy a Nokia N900, Google Nexus, or some
> other Android-based smart phone at full retail price and just get 1-3
> month service contracts. And if AT&T pisses me off again, I'll just jump
> ship to T-mobile or whatever. No fines, no early termination fees or any
> such nonsense.
> The only thing that serious sucks is that most Android phones in the USA
> only support T-mobiles 3G network frequencies. AT&T uses a different set
> of frequencies for 3G access.
> BTW, never, ever, buy a Sony phone. As Java-enabled features phones go
> the ones they make are pretty decent, but the damn proprietary
> connectors on them are just utter crap.
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