I hate paying big bucks for things that I'm not going to be getting much fun out of. Cell phones are one of those things I hate buying and I always look for a free phone because I figure if I am going to have to sign a new 2 year contract with my carrier, I really don't want to have to shell out a bunch of dollars for the equipment.
When I went phone shopping this time around I was looking for a phone that would make sending text messages easier than multi-pounding the 1 through 8 keys of a regular phone. I looked at a couple of the different Blackberries, I looked at the IPhone, I looked at a bunch of other 'smart phones.' I didn't like the IPhone's digital keys for texting, AT & T had a Blackberry Curve that had been refurbished and they were selling it for $100. That was more than I wanted to spend but still a good deal - right up until check out time when I got hit up for sales tax on the full value of the phone ($350). I kind of took offense to having to pay sales tax on a $350 phone that I was getting for $100.
After looking at those brands I looked at the Pantech phones. I had never heard of the brand before but the price was right - $0.00 for refurbished phone with a 2 year contract. The phone has a 2 way sliding keyboard - slide the phone length-wise to expose the number pad, slide the phone width-wise to expose the QWERTY keyboard. The screen looked to be a decent size and, while the phone was a little heavier than others, the weight wasn't to out of line (5 ounces if I remember correctly). I put the phone in my shopping cart and went to check out, low and behold, no sales tax was added to the purchase either - so I got the phone for the $18 line upgrade charge that AT & T sticks you for (another rip off if you ask me).
The phone arrived and I have to say that I am pretty impressed. The keyboard is easy to use, the screen is really bright, the speaker phone works pretty well. The only real complaint that I have is that the buttons to dial a call and hang up a call that are around the front nav circle are a small. There is certainly enough room on the front of the phone that bigger buttons could have been used and I wonder what the designers were thinking. That said, I like the phone. My wife also likes the phone and asked me to order one for her. Then my 12 year old son started playing with it and made me get him one also. So now I am a 3 Pantech Matrix household - this creates the need to upgrade everybodies cell phone plans to include text messaging - which means that I end up falling right into AT & T's evil plan......
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