Further complicating things in my search for the best cell phone for freelance writers is the fact that a few years ago I managed to snag a really great deal on a mobile phone plan. Sprint had an offer called SERO, which I think stands for Sprint Employee Referral Offer, or something similar. The original deal had a couple of options, one of which was 500 anytime minutes plus unlimited data and unlimited text, all for $30 per month. They adjusted it later to something less generous and then started doing something else altogether, but if you already have it, you can keep it.
It was an awesome deal back then, and it’s one of the very best cell phone plans you can have today, although you can’t sign up for it any more. For a while, Sprint wouldn’t let you use any of the newer phones with the original SERO plan. The idea was that eventually everyone would upgrade and then there would be no more SERO customers getting unlimited data for the price of just regular voice service. As I’ve said on many cell phone discussion forums, they can have my SERO data plan from me when they pry it from my cold dead fingers. Keeping business expenses low is key to entrepreneurial survival. I’ll use a tin can and a string before I pay anything near $100 for my cell phone service.
They changed their mind in October and now I can get any of Sprint’s phones and keep my SERO service. The catch is that I have to pay a $10 per month surcharge for a “premium” phone. I guess I can live with that, although I am looking into ways around it. (Keep reading to see what I’m talking about.)
The double catch is that for any of the so-called 4G phones, you have to pay another $10 per month surcharge on top of the first fee. That turns my drool inducing $30 per month phone plus data deal of the decade plan into a not so specially $50 per month phone and data deal. (It isn’t terrible, but it isn’t phenomenal either.)
As I mentioned above, I’m not really looking for a power surfing internet experience on my mobile phone and I don’t watch too much in the way of videos or other multimedia on my desktop computer, let alone on my cell phone. In other words, I don’t need 4G. My HTC Touch is 3G and it’s fast enough for almost anything I try and do online with my phone whether for my freelance writing business or for checking sunset times before taking kids to the playground.
In fact, if it weren’t for the fact that the power / standby button was starting to break and that the screen was a few months away from becoming truly hard to read, I would probably just keep it. After all, I already know how it works.
However, I will probably need to get a new cell phone soon. My wife already is in need of a new mobile phone because her screen has a black spot that looks like an ink stain right over where the lower-right menu button always is. She also is not a mobile power-surfer, although she would love to be able to respond better and faster to emails. She never really go the hang of the touch-screen and still uses her stylus to type on it, no matter which keyboard I load for her.
It seems that the answer might just be making a custom cell phone for my small business.