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So how are people planning on using their Palm Pre (s)?
Posted by: sekker
Date: February 23, 2011 10:28PM
How are you planning to use your Palm Pre phones? Mostly as cheap smartphones, or are you going to use them as mifi hubs?

Why? I was recently in Washington DC for a conference, and the AT&T 3G coverage was truly abysmal. I had an iPhone and a 3G iPad; most of the time, I could text and receive emails, but trying to do anything more complicated (like send an email with a photo attachment) would always time out. It was slower than a working Edge connection from my first iPhone. I was surrounded by scientists with iPhones.

So I'm wondering about getting a mifi-type hub (preferably on a network not stressed by a bunch of iPhones). My son suggested that it might be better to jut get a fire-saled Pre (or even a Pixi) instead.

What do you think? What are your favorite tools to get on the internet when the AT&T coverage sucks?
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Re: So how are people planning on using their Palm Pre (s)?
Posted by: Chakravartin
Date: February 23, 2011 10:59PM
Quote
sekker
Why? I was recently in Washington DC for a conference, and the AT&T 3G coverage was truly abysmal... I was surrounded by scientists with iPhones.

Personally, I've found that AT&T has very reliable coverage in and around DC.

I suspect that the local cells were so overwhelmed from the traffic from your fellow conference-goers that you would not have had a fast data connection nomatter which phone or provider you were using at the time. It's a very common occurrence. In olden days there were so many attendees at a Macworld Expo that my brother and I borrowed licensed walkie talkies for the show because our cell phones were so useless.
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Re: So how are people planning on using their Palm Pre (s)?
Posted by: silvarios
Date: February 23, 2011 11:21PM
Two advantages to a mobile hotspot:
1. If you can drop the data plan or at least drop down to a much cheaper data tier on each of your current mobile devices, you may enjoy a nice savings per month.
2. A fairly inexpensive backup to your normal mobile data provider (assuming you get one of the no contract services).

If you don't mind fairly slow EVDO speeds, check out Virgin Mobile's MiFi. The $40 month 5GB (throttled speeds after 5GB I believe) and $20 1GB plans are the best deals in my opinion. No contract and you can pick up service only on months you actually need this extra coverage.

Another option is Clear. Some people hate Clear, but if you have WiMAX coverage, find a current iSpot customer who wants to drop their plan. Clear might be able to migrate the iSpot service (no longer available to new users) over to you. $25 month for WiMAX isn't a bad price. The iSpot only works with iOS devices, but since you have iPhone, should work quite well for your specific needs. Otherwise, Clear wants $45/month for the Clear Spot. The advantage being that the Clear Spot works with all WiFi devices.

However, as Chakravartin notes, any place you go with a lot of mobile data users concentrated in a relatively small place, e.g. a conference, could still cause you problems. Hard to say, will depend on the venue.
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Re: So how are people planning on using their Palm Pre (s)?
Posted by: silvarios
Date: February 23, 2011 11:22PM
I forgot to add that T-Mobile is rumored to be releasing mobile Hotspots for their network. Assuming you don't mind paying full price for hardware and T-Mobile will offer a no contract option, that could be another route to pursue. Unsure of the timetable, but keep an eye out in the next two or three months.
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Re: So how are people planning on using their Palm Pre (s)?
Posted by: sekker
Date: February 24, 2011 07:32AM
Quote
Chakravartin
Quote
sekker
Why? I was recently in Washington DC for a conference, and the AT&T 3G coverage was truly abysmal... I was surrounded by scientists with iPhones.

Personally, I've found that AT&T has very reliable coverage in and around DC.

I suspect that the local cells were so overwhelmed from the traffic from your fellow conference-goers that you would not have had a fast data connection nomatter which phone or provider you were using at the time. It's a very common occurrence. In olden days there were so many attendees at a Macworld Expo that my brother and I borrowed licensed walkie talkies for the show because our cell phones were so useless.

Maybe. But this conference only had 9k registrants. I was at the Neuroscience meeting last nov in San Diego with 30k registrants and my AT&T connections worked great.
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Re: So how are people planning on using their Palm Pre (s)?
Posted by: rgG
Date: February 24, 2011 08:30AM
First, the phone that has been on fire sale prices is the Palm Pixi Plus.

Second, the only way to get the free mifi feature, AFAIK, is to activate the phone with Verizon and pay for the mandatory data plan.

If those two work for you, then jump right on one.

I bought my Pixi to use on Page Plus. I have a talk and text plan that gives me 1200 anytime minutes, 2000 texts, and now 100MB of data for $30 a month. You could also get one and activate on Page Plus and just pay the per MB rate to use data, only when you needed it. Page Plus uses Verizon's network, so you could have it as a backup for as little as $10 every four months, that is the minimum amount you can apply to your phone and still keep it active.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: So how are people planning on using their Palm Pre (s)?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: February 24, 2011 09:19AM
rG.. $1.20 per MB on the pay as you go PagePLus plan.
[www.pagepluscellular.com]

That would run to a whole lotta moolah quickly.

One youtube video view will cost ya around $12.
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Re: So how are people planning on using their Palm Pre (s)?
Posted by: sekker
Date: February 24, 2011 08:11PM
rG, that's just the info I was looking for (and sorry I listed the wrong Palm phone).

$30 a month for 100MB of data is not bad at all.
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Re: So how are people planning on using their Palm Pre (s)?
Posted by: AllGold
Date: February 25, 2011 12:49PM
Quote
sekker
$30 a month for 100MB of data is not bad at all.

I emphatically disagree.

Maybe compared to other options that the carriers have brainwashed us into paying for it's not bad. But step back and look at the grand scheme and it is truly horrendous.



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Re: So how are people planning on using their Palm Pre (s)?
Posted by: silvarios
Date: February 25, 2011 12:57PM
I disagree as well, but realize that's $30 for a decent amount of minutes, text messages, and a little data. If it was $30 just for data, now that would be embarrassing.
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Re: So how are people planning on using their Palm Pre (s)?
Posted by: AllGold
Date: February 25, 2011 01:12PM
Oops. I thought it was just for data (I read rgG's post earlier and did not re-read after seeing sekker's post), since lots of data plans cost $60/month for 5GB of data.



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