Smartphone for university.. Good or bad? - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 2008-07-10, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
 
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Question Smartphone for university.. Good or bad?

I'm going to be a first year engineering student come September and I want a device to help organize myself as well as a phone (for the obvious reasons), and I'm just wondering if not only if this is a good move (smartphone vs normal phone) but what smart phone and plan would be good for somebody who is going to be broke a good percentage of the year. I also don't need a data plan.

Last edited by Lynx281; 2008-07-11 at 02:13 AM.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 2008-07-11, 03:15 AM
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What are your requirements of a mobile phone? Most of the better ones now have calendar organizers.



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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 2008-07-11, 03:49 AM Thread Starter
 
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Just an effective calender organizer preferably with a QWERTY keyboard, considering I have an 8.1MP camera and a solid 12GB media player I can have both of those functions on the phone be mediocre.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 2008-07-11, 02:25 PM
 
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If you are looking for an affordable smartphone, the HTC Touch on Bell is by far the best bet due to $7/month unlimited data.

Depending on where you are going to school there may be a discounted rate for the Student Association. I would wait until this years Student Plan's are released because it is usually a very high value plan (maybe more minutes and features than you would require).

Regardless of what plan you decide is best, it is useless without reception. An extremely affordable phone with a discount plan is nothing but a paperweight if you can't get signal. What school do you plan to attend?

TC-P54G25, JVC Receiver, Turbosound Impact 50 speakers, Turbosound Impact 110 Sub, Sony SA-WM500 Sub, Bell TV 9200
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 2008-07-11, 02:29 PM
 
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Older/used blackberry might be a good option too.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 2008-07-11, 02:42 PM
 
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Except that BB don't always work properly without data plans.

A used GSM (CDMA smartphones usually don't have wi-fi) smartphone with wi-fi would be very good since most campuses have extensive wi-fi networks.

TC-P54G25, JVC Receiver, Turbosound Impact 50 speakers, Turbosound Impact 110 Sub, Sony SA-WM500 Sub, Bell TV 9200
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 2008-07-11, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
 
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I plan on attending Ryerson University (Toronto, Ontario) in a 5 year electric engineering program. I've been doing my online and instore research and I can't seem to find anything reasonable . I'm trying hard not to make price an issue but if I'm trying to find something I won't regret within 3 years.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 2008-07-11, 07:12 PM
 
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iPod touch has a good calender app. Stick with a simple phone maybe?
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 2008-07-11, 07:19 PM
 
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Do you have any friends that go there? If so, ask them what cell phone reception is like around the campus.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 2008-07-11, 08:34 PM
 
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The comment a above about waiting to see what deals are on offer for students is a good one. Traditionally, all the carriers have rolled out specials for the back-to-school season available at all stores. BUT, I have also seen advertisements in student newspapers at York and UofT for extra-specials for people who sign-up on campus; things like free calling to other students who register in the same plan, or on campus (I suppose they can monitor if you are on/off campus by the cell-tower you are using, and bill the call accordingly). That these deals were offered in the past is no guarantee they will be repeated, but it's worth the wait. During Orientation Week you will have lots of companies trying to sell you stuff from banking services to phones to... The deals are generally very good because those firms are hoping to gain your loyalty and become a customer-for-life. You don't have to drink that Kool-Aid to take advantage of the special deals.

That Ryerson has the Rogers Media Centre and the Ted Rogers School of Business is no reason you have to choose Rogers. LOL Service with all the carriers should be excellent around Ryerson.

Best wishes for success at Ryerson and beyond.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 2008-07-11, 11:32 PM
 
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I am particularly fond of BlackBerry, since they are excellent devices and far more usable, provided you can afford $30/month. I also feel iPhone is more user friendly than HTC Touch. Another advantage of paying $30/month for 6 gigabytes is that tethering is allowed whereas the Bell $7/month will not allow you to use your phone as a modem for laptop!

Problem is, as a student, you may find Rogers' rates a little high. However, $30/month for unrestricted data that you can use while travelling on a greyhound/VIA going back home from university (no need to pay for expensive WiFi reception), even tethered to a laptop.

I just added the 6gig/$30 plan to my BlackBerry, and can't wait for the BlackBerry Bold (which allows YouTube, and has a better web browser with zooming capability). BlackBerry also has a lot more third party software than it used to as well, although iPhone is better in other respects (i.e. Safari) while BlackBerry is yet better in others (i.e. email abilities, tethering, etc). New BlackBerries have HTML email capability now, so much better than it was before. (OS 4.5 based berries, beta upgrades are available for older Pearl/Curves too, release firmware upgrades this September). Do yourself a favour and test out HTC, iPhone, and BlackBerry Bold (July25th) and choose your preferred device.

Thanks,
Mark Rejhon
www.marky.com/hometheater
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 2008-07-12, 11:32 AM
 
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That's interesting, and i wasn't aware, that Rogers allows thethering to a laptop as long as you stay within the 6GB limit. Most university campuses are WIFI wired so there is no problem connecting a notebook on campus, but it would be nice to be able to connect to the university and internet away from campus sometimes. 6GB is a very decent allowance for most users and you wouldn't have to worry about connecting a notebook for some research or to transfer a file. As for the users who want to stream video 24/7 - have they ever thought of buying a TV? I'd gladly swap my Telus unlimited data for a 6GB cap if I could connect my MacBook occasionally.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 2008-07-15, 08:34 PM
 
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What I'm doing for my calendar, is putting everything into iCal and then syncing with my w880, not a smarthpone. If you have a laptop, this might be cheaper than spending extra on a phone with a fully keyboard. During the day it's a little more cumbersome to type in something that comes up, but the phone's software will let you reschedule, set alarms/reminders, set the recurrence to whatever you need, ie. every 4 days or 3 weeks.

I've only used SonyEricsson phones, because everything they do, they do it well, so I can't vouch for other brands. If you want to go cheap, get an unlocked gsm phone so you're not tied into an expensive contract and check out gsmarena.com because in their review of the phones they review the calendar abilities as well.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 2008-07-15, 09:34 PM
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I would get a basic phone plan and a laptop. Make sure the phone/organizer can be linked to the laptop with bluetooth or a cable. Connectivity should not be an issue on campus so purchasing a data plan is a waste. (That's better spent on dating and partying. ) Some phone features are locked out by phone companies so check first or purchase an unlocked phone.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 2008-07-16, 08:37 PM
 
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Back to school is the biggest selling period for wireless now, so look out for offers.

Check out howard forums as they are on top of wireless deals and what not quite a bit more than the general info you can get here.
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