I tell you, these cell phone companies never cease to amaze me. We decided that my son, 11, should have a cell phone. While 11 years old may be a little young to some for a cell phone, we discussed the matter quite a bit and decided that it really isn’t too young. There are many reasons to give him one, social reasons included. We looked around at various phones and thought that he should have one with a real keyboard so he can text us and his friends.
We saw the LG Rumor at the Sprint store and we all liked it. He took to it right away. Not happy with what the store was offering, we ordered the phone online. It was fifty bucks, not too bad. The Rumor is not really a smartphone, but has smartphone like capabilities. Smartphone or not, these things-as are most phones these days-are really little computers that are locked (and in this case, crippled by the carrier-I’ll explain later) down by the rather crappy operating systems they have. The Rumor is a nice little phone with the slide out keyboard. The screen is nice, but small. It has a 1.3 mp camera that takes ok photos and decent video. It uses a micro-SD card, a funky ‘usb’ connector (requires a special cable, of course) and the headphone jack is one of those bloody small non-standard connectors. NOTHING about this phone is standard-typical for LG. I should have remembered, I had an LG-350 and it was the most annoying phone, accessory-wise. Of course, LG NEVER ships it’s phones with PC management software. I bought the DataPilot software last year, but, naturally, it does not recognize the Rumor and, since I’ve had it a year, the ‘free updates’ have expired. Now, DataPilot looks like a crappy application that was designed for Windows 95 and was never updated. It is hard to use, expensive and requires you to pay, yet again, just to get incremental or data updates. In other words, RIP OFF. I’ll never buy another Susteen product again.
So, the phone arrives and I go out to get: a case, a nice pair of headphones so he can listen to music, a memory card and the usb cable. I bought a case, specifically for the Rumor. Of course, he did not like it so I will return that. I got the cable, but, for now, it is only good for transferring music and files-maybe. None of the computers have recognized the phone, but I’ve not tried to get it working yet. I did get two micro-SD cards and put one in the phone with some music for him. I gave up on the headphones since I could not find the adaptor. I’ll try again this weekend, only this time he’s coming with me to pick out a case and the headphones. I’m guess Radio Shack will have the adaptor since Target and Best Buy were a bust.
Now, here’s where I get really ticked. Sprint, and I”m pretty sure it is them, seems to have turned off certain features in the phone that make it easier to use but cuts out a potential revenue stream to them. Pictures, for instance. You have to mail them or set the phone to store them on the SD card you can, later, pull out the card and plug it into a computer so you get them. The only other way is to EMAIL them, which costs you five dollars a month. Now, it is not the amount, it is the notion that you HAVE to PAY them to get YOUR stuff off of the phone. Ridiculous. I’d drop them, but, sadly, they are among the better of the carriers. I have had Sprint for ten years now. Service wise-cell service, I mean-they’ve been pretty good. Everywhere I’ve travelled (except for my Mother-in-law’s house, which is only a mile or two from a Sprint tower) I get service. I don’t’ experience many-if any-dropped calls and the dead zones in Richmond-except my Mother-in-law’s house-have dwindled to almost zero. It’s the damned nickel and dime you attitude they and the other carriers have. This mentality of everything is a cost to you, no matter if it costs them anything, is just plain irritating, annoying and tacky. Text messaging costs extra?REALLY? What the hell for? “Well, Mr. Gray, it IS data and even data has a cost. It is a value add service that we provide you. Don’t you see that?” WHAT? If that is true, then why has it gone UP when all of the other services have gotten cheaper? UGH!
The Rumor seems to be a good first phone. We’ll see, soon, whether or not it is or if we’ve made a dreadful mistake. Time will tell.