Beats any contract
Here is my Nokia E71 story, WARNING it's LONG:
Keeping up with the Kids and Grandkids
-I am a grandmother of 11, mother of 5, and I needed a decent phone without the big bill to keep up with the texting and multi-media messages from my kids and grandkids.
Doing my Research
-After paying $160+ a month for an air card (internet) and phone with enough minutes/texts, I decided there had to be a better, more affordable way...I started researching Straight Talk about 8 months ago. I have read the horror stories about their customer service, but I could also tell you some horror stories about my own experiences with my contractual provider that I have had the past 6 years. That aside, when Straight Talk came out with the Nokia E71 unlimited talk/text/internet, it was too tempting. Being a little afraid to try it, and having all the doubts about customer service, signals, etc..I did not deactivate my other phone, but purchased the E71 in addition to my other phone, just to be safe. (Walmart $199 plus tax, and the $45 unlimited card which I did not NEED to activate online...read further!
-Please BE ADVISED when you activate this phone online, there is a field for the number on your card for the $45 unlimited plan (the number under the peel off sticker) AND there is a required field for debit/credit card info. If you purchased a $45 plan card from Walmart, SAVE IT, because Straight Talk automatically adds this package when they activate your phone, in addition to about $3.48 in taxes, so your startup cost is about $48.38, plus the cost of the phone. If you provide the number from a card PLUS your credit card info, they will use both, therefore you will be charged TWICE.
-Customer service was very easy to reach when I realized they charged me for the unlimited package TWICE. I was told (not fluent English but we could understand each other and I have no complaints at all about hold time or the person I spoke with) I would be credited $45 when my first 30 days runs out, and all I have to do for that to happen is on the specified date power my phone off and then right back on and the next month's unlimited package will be credited to my phone and usable. (I still have a couple weeks to go to see if this actually happens)
The ONLINE activation is really very simple in spite of the overcharge...just follow the directions step by step as stated in the booklet. It took less than 30 minutes for my phone to be activated and working. If you are PORTING A NUMBER your number cannot be deactivated PRIOR to porting the number; in some cases it takes longer, and from what I understand up to 7 days, so leave your number active until it actually gets ported. If you want your phone to be activated FAST, like mine, ditch your old number and take the new one.
The Nokia E71 is an awesome phone. It comes with a charger (no car charger) and a memory card (4 gig I think) I can connect to my wifi, setup was very simple. Tracfone internet when in use is efficient and not as fast as my wifi but GOOD.
The phone is heavy duty; it actually feels like a phone, not a plastic toy.
There are NO INSTRUCTION MANUALS included in the Straight Talk Package, only the start up booklet. It includes a picture of the phone and what the buttons are for, such as on/off/volume, microphone, etc...but NO DETAILS on how to use the phone.
Thankfully, you can google any question you have and find an answer, or just play around with the phone until you figure it out. I have found everything I need online, and actually figured out facebook and email myself.
You can display the icons on your home screen, or hide them if you want your graphics/theme to show 100%. If you choose to display your theme only and hide the menu icons, then the toggle button is your shortcut to your features; left, right, up down, all display different menu items.
OVI App Store
THERE ARE SO MANY EXTRAS ON THIS PHONE! The Nokia Ovi store has TONS of free downloads for themes, sounds, ringtones, games, etc...before I had this phone, I used my phone to text or call. Now I play games, check my email, get on facebook, google, and it even has a GPS which I have recently used. I guess that's why they call it a smart phone; it's not a phone, it's a micro-laptop (complete with an "office" application, spreadsheets, word, etc..
The battery life is awesome!
Increasing the Texting Font
My only complaint about this phone was the size of the font while texting... and while I had changed the font and selected large, the font enlarged everywhere EXCEPT in the texting screens...Keep in mind, I am a grandma, so I went to the Ovi store and bought the font magnifier ap, and now it's ALL GOOD.
I paired my bluetooth with this phone in less than a minute...too easy.
Text messages read out to me
I can hold down the left select key and the "Ellen" voice reads my text messages to me when I am notified of a text message. (I chose NOT to be notified of new emails simply because I get too much JUNK)
While driving, I can voice activate this phone easily through my bluetooth (and I have a 220 Plantronics by Motorola that is a couple years old but paired EASILY with this phone).
FOR $45 A MONTH UNLIMITED EVERYTHING and a quality SMARTPHONE, you really can't go wrong with this.
Get a Good Case
Another tip, this phone is so nice you will want to get a GOOD case to protect it. There is no insurance for your phone or a replacement phone (unless something happens that it "stops working" within 30 days and you can take it back to Walmart); Otterskin HEAVY DUTY cases are worth the extra money if you are going to pay $189-199 for this phone which is not going to be insured.