View Full Version : Best Cell Phone...???

01-15-2007, 19:53
I'm getting a new cell phone soon. Thought I should ask around here to see what "good" or "not so good" experience you folks have had with them. I've been considering a Sony Ericsson because of it's long battery life; talk-9 hours, standby-400 hours... I don't know much about them, but figured if I'm going to be stuck with one for 2 years I should get some advice. I hope to be doing some weeklong trips along the A/T this year. Probably in VA, TN, & NC... I'm not much of a phone-talker, but I'll need to check in once in a while....
Happy Trails Everyone

01-15-2007, 19:59
I'd be interested in hearing actual reports of battery life & reception (both good and bad.) Eg: I used a Moto V710 with extended battery. Excellent reception. I keep it off except to place calls and on that basis I can easily go a week on a charge. If it were left on continually it would be dead in 72 hours, tops.

01-15-2007, 20:06
My experience is you never get as much length as they maintain. Having said thaht, I shoudl also point out that recpetion on the AT is intermittent at best. Obviously it just depends on where you are in relation to a cell tower. However, one night, I was attempting to make a call home one night in NC where there was no reception according to my cell phone. I continued to press the redial button and after about 40 tries (literally) I was successful and was able to talk for 10 minutes. So whichever you choose to get, don't take "no service" for an answer...

Rufous Sided Towhee
01-15-2007, 20:24
My only advice is that no matter what phone you get, buy a brand-new battery for it right before starting your thruhike and don't forget to carefully read the first-time charging instructions BEFORE using it.

Toss the older battery in your bounce box just in case...

01-16-2007, 10:34
I have Cingular and whenever I couldn't get a signal, it seemed someone with Verizon could. Something to consider. Always keep your phone off when not in use or it will continue searching for a signal and wear your battery out in no time at all. I have a Sony Ericsson, good phone.

01-16-2007, 12:26
Get a phone that supports analog service. While I don't know the reasons, I've had phones from Verizon and Cingular that don't work in digital mode but work fine when switched to analog. Apparently analog coverage is way better than digital coverage. I have no idea why but this has been true all along.

I hate all these high tech phones offering all fancy services without the basics. I think it's just another case of technology gone bad.

Analog! Analog! Analog! At least until digital catches up!

01-17-2007, 12:42
I have a 3 year old LG flip phone from Verizon. I don't remember the exact model number. It is a CDMA phone that will work with both digital and analog networks. The (original) battery lasts about six-seven days on standby. This is in an area where I always have a signal. If the phone had to constantly search for a signal the battery would drain much quicker.

Analog networks are more prevalent in rural areas, ie: northern NH/ME. Although that has changed in the past few years. In 2004 my phone picked up the analog network only when I was hiking in the Mahoosucs. In 2006 I picked up the Verizon extended network(which is digital) in the Mahoosucs.

Disregard the naysayers on this forum who tell you reception is limited or spotty. They are (almost)completely wrong. Where ever you go on the AT you will be able to easily find good reception with Verizon. The only exceptions are low spots blocked by very dense, steep, rocky terrain. If you hike on the AT you will travel through such spots and lose your signal. The solution is easy; walk another tenth of a mile. These "dead" spots on the trail are very small. There have been a few times where I had to walk around my campsite to find the "sweet spot" with the best signal, but never more than twenty feet or so. I have hiked on the AT in five states and have never had a problem with cell phone reception. I even picked up the Verizon extended network at both ends of Mahoosuc Notch this past summer.

That said, your experience may differ. I've never hiked on the AT in NC/TN so I cannot personally vouch for the coverage down there. This country is rapidly becoming a wireless nation. Coverage gets better every day. I haven't used all the different service providers, but of the three I have used Verizon has the best coverage.