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The first place to start when looking for cellphone contract deals is with the networks themselves. Once you have found the contract deal you want (the right cellphone model, and the right combination of SMS, minutes and data), you should call the other networks (i.e.
Remember though that the best way and time to look for a cellphone contract deal is just before your existing contract comes to an end.
There are literally thousands of great cell phone specials ranging from iPhone and Samsung to Blackberry and Nokia. Filter phone contracts by Minutes, Data, Price, Manufacturer, SMS or price plans (straight plan or top up plan). The third generation of BlackBerry smart phones is the Curve 8520 which offers a lightweight, easy to use smart phone with the full Querty keyboard that BlackBerry users have become accustomed to.
The BlackBerry Curve 8520 offers high call audio quality, particularly on VoIP connections with Contact Management allowing for searchable contacts from the home screen and speed dialling and speaker independent voice dialling also available. The BlackBerry Curve 8520 boasts a fixed-focus 2 mega-pixel camera that produces more than acceptable quality shots with a user interface that is simple to use and allows the user to send a photo via email quickly and efficiently. The replacement of the standard trackball controller with a trackpad controller provides users with an accurate and versatile tool to scroll or navigate.
The web browser on the Curve 8520 formats complex sites well to allow for easier browsing, although there is no flash support in the browser. The organiser applications, such as calendar, can be synchronised with a personal computer or to a corporate BlackBerry server to provide the smooth synchronised organisation that BlackBerry users have come to expect. There are also a large number of applications available from the BlackBerry App World, which can be purchased or downloaded for free. Overall the BlackBerry Curve 8520 is a strong contender for an entry level device into the smart phone market, bringing the best BlackBerry features that users expect to a low-end device. The LG GT350 retains the slide-out QWERTY design LG users have become accustomed to with the KS360, with the keyboard making use of the same user-friendly key layout. The LG GT350 is designed as a fully-enabled resistive touch device with the number of keys on the front of the phone limited to three resulting in a sleek and elegant feel to the face design. The LG GT350 comes pre-installed with Opera mini that features tabbed browsing and utilises much less data which enhances browsing speed as well as cutting net surfing costs for users.
The GT350 uses the Korean companyis S-class user interface which boasts three home-screens, the first of which can be customised to feature the users chosen widgets (such as the music player, Facebook app and FM radio while the second home-screen boasts the graphical interface Livesquare which provides users with graphical representations of contacts who send messages or called throughout the day. The main menu groups Communication, Entertainment, Utilities and Settings to increase ease of use. The LG GT350 includes improvements to its experience of messaging and social networking with the interface fully optimised for social networks and offering full integration with sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Messaging is at the core of the LG GT350 with a delightful keyboard that is responsive and easy to use. The on-screen keyboard is also available for short replies making messaging instant and fast. SMS messages can be viewed in threaded view, with the added advantage of email and web addresses as well as telephone numbers being able to be extracted from the text of the messages. Overall, the LG GT350 offers a substantial upgrade on previous versions with the full touch-screen facility and four layer QWERTY keyboard making it easier for users to stay up to date and in touch. This new competition on the smart phone offers a smooth sliding action to produce a perfectly balanced phone with a stylized and glossy front. The keyboard on the BlackBerry Torch is still fashioned on the ever efficient and popular Querty keyboards, and offers ergonomic usability for users comfortable with this trusted layout.
The touch screen experience with the BlackBerry Torch is directed more at the smart phone users who are accustomed to touch screens that donit click with the BlackBerry 6 operating system allowing the Torch to deliver a very smooth user experience, including support for gestures including tap, pinch, slide, touch and hold and double tap. The new BlackBerry Operating System, version 6.0, is probably the most impressive aspect of the BlackBerry Torch with a user interface that has been redesigned with new features to provide superior usability to the user, particularly from key business features such as e-mail, calendaring, and contact management. The appearance of the BlackBerry Torch 9800 is a combination of industrial and sleek, designed to offer a reliable phone that gets the job done with the feel and look of a BlackBerry as users have come to know them. The BlackBerry Torch is the first BlackBerry to feature a five megapixel camera that offers continuous auto-focus, face detection and geo-tagging and provides photos of a high enough quality and accuracy when printed. One of the key design priorities of BlackBerry 6 includes changes to the home screen, including the navigation bar, universal search option, notification preview and the addition of views to the home screen.
The notification preview allows users to glance at incoming messages and upcoming appointments and jump directly to them while the universal search feature allows users to simply start typing on the keyboard and universal search immediately begins displaying the results.
The BlackBerry Torch is a welcome addition to the smart phone market with a consumer product that not only offers the best of BlackBerry services, but offers a worthy device for any potential smart phone owner. The Samsung i9000 Galaxy operates on a customised version of Android 2.1 with the newest edition of the TouchWiz user interface and packs a 5 mega-pixel auto-focus camera which is capable of recording 720p video footage.
On the top of the Samsung i9000 Galaxy is the microUSB port with a protective sliding lid cover to prevent dirt from clogging the port and the 3.5mm audio jack which can serve as an S-video port for TV-out. The Samsung Galaxy i9000 provides a powerful mix of advanced hardware and software features like ultra fast data transfer, the Google Maps Navigation application and the eWrite&Goi feature which allows users to select a pre-written text and choose to send it later by SNS, SMS, MMS, email, calendar or memo.
The Samsung Galaxy i9000 comes with Allshare (via DLNA) to wirelessly connect and share videos, photos, music and more between phone, TV and PC as well as the Wireless Tethering application which allows users to connect up to the web via 3G in places where they donit normally support online connection like cafes and parks.

The Samsung i9000 Galaxy boasts a phonebook with huge functionality and practically unlimited capacity. Most notably, while in the main contact list, swiping to the right on a name will dial the contactis default number, while swiping to the left will start the New message interface. Messages in the history can be managed by pressing and holding a message to bring up the various options such as edit, forward and delete as well as view details and copy message text.
A press-and-hold in the tap-to-compose allows users to cut, copy and paste and then paste the copied text across applications like email, notes and chats. The sleek performance and design of the Samsung i9000 Galaxy provides an efficient tool for smart phone users to stay in contact and up to date with all the necessary features required in a smart phone. Cell phone technology hit the streets at about the same time we had a change in government. The fees they charged to connect to another network rose from 25c to R1.25 – that's a massive 400% increase. If South Africa had spent that money on RDP houses instead, we could have helped 25,000 extra families every year for a decade.
Fortunately for us, the government finally woke up, and reduced the MTR rate (or mobile termination rate) to 40c. According to the experts as quoted by Arthur Goldstruck, it took them two whole long years to develop an algorithm to figure out what is really going on. If you are half as hopping mad about this as I am, then you will be glad to know that the launch of Tariffic had the coffee cups rattling on a few boardroom tables. In my opinion, the smartest way to avoid all these hassles is to buy data and airtime on the go, and pay once for a data-efficient cell phone by buying it at CNA, Edgars or GAME. The great thing about having so many cellphone networks and resellers in South Africa is that there is so much competition and therefore so much choice for you the consumer. They (MTN, Cell C, Vodacom, Telkom Mobile and Virgin Mobile) are always competing with special offers and whenever one of them has a great deal, the other networks quickly rush to offer the same if not better deal.
The cost of keeping you is substantially cheaper than the cost of acquiring a new customer, and so the network has a massive incentive to keep you. Phonefinder compares every cell phone deal in South Africa; listing all South African Smartphone and Cellphone Deals and upgrades which are on offer from Vodacom, MTN, CellC, Virgin Mobile, Nashua Mobile and Autopage Cellular. Phonefinder is updated every month so that you always get the latest deals at affordable prices so that you can start saving money.
The ideal contract for you may be at the Vodacom store, then again it may be at the Cell C store.
The 8520 follows the traditional Blackberry layout with the 2.64i screen above a full QWERTY keyboard and two convenience keys on either side.
The phonebook allows users to store virtually an unlimited amount of contacts which can be sorted by user definable categories. Messaging is made faster through the large number of keyboard shortcuts, the un-read message indicator on the home screen and main menu and the automatic correction function offered by the BlackBerry OS.
The addition of Wi-Fi however, allows for smoother and faster browsing for users via their wireless network or a hotspot which many users will find both useful and advantageous with higher speeds when browsing. The BlackBerry Curve 8520 is also capable of recording video with good quality full screen playback. We do this by letting you search for and compare cell phone contracts from all of the cellular networks in South Africa.
Although the LG GT350 is not equipped with an accelerometer, the display switches between portrait and landscape fluidly when the keyboard slides out. The phone boasts a 240×400 pixel 3i TFT resistive touch screen and 2 mega-pixel camera as well as an audio jack. Information from multiple social networks is consolidated on one screen making it simple for users to check their status and keep track of what is happening.
The keyboard features a few shortcuts including a direct access shortcut to messaging, a shortcut to Windows Live and Yahoo Messenger instant messaging, one for mobile email, one for Facebook and one for the web browser. The BlackBerry Torch provides the features of a smart phone with the added convenience of keyboard for users who have the need for a physical keyboard. Users can customise the feel of the touch screen by adjusting the Tap Interval, Hover Period and Swipe Sensitivity via the Options menu. The horizontally-ribbed battery door cover provides the feel of a quality tool feeling while the smooth well designed slider mechanism clicks into place effortlessly without the top heavy feeling that is experienced with other slider phones. The BlackBerry Torchis unpretentious yet quality tool feel, and overall pleasing hardware experience produces a phone that can stand up against the smart phones in the market.
The phone supports DivX and XviD for video playback on the 4i AMOLED display with 480×800 WVGA resolution. The large 4i screen fills up most of the front and is slightly recessed to protect the screen when face down on surfaces while still maintaining space for touch keys below the screen, and the front facing VGA cam. Overall the Samsung i9000 Galaxy has a streamlined and sleek design and is one of the lightest handsets with a 4i display due in most part to its all plastic casing. The phonebook seamlessly integrates all SNS, IM, email, and calendar accounts, so users no longer need to spend time checking separate sites.

GPS with A-GPS is also on board, along with 3G (with HSDPA support), USB and Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity ensuring users can stay connected at all times. Entries can be searched by either flick-scrolling the list or using the alphabet scroll at the side of the screen. While the ANC applied itself to social upliftment, cell phone service providers took the gap and made whoopee. All the while we were thinking that our cell phone providers were dumping ancient technology with their contracts, we were wrong.
I hadn't previously realised that choosing the right contract with the right data plan is so important.
As most cellphone contracts will “lock” you in for a certain amount of time, typically 2yrs (24months), there is plenty of incentive for the networks and resellers to offer excellent deals to get you to sign up. This has been especially true with Cell C as they have been extremely aggressive in their promotions and in doing so, have pushed the other networks to be the same. Ask them if they can beat that deal in terms of the actual monthly fee, or in terms of what you get each month by getting increased minutes, SMS or data.
When your contract is coming to an end give the network a call and see what they can offer you. The BlackBerry Curve 8520 offers dedicated music controls, a 3.5mm headphone port and a music player application which allows for simple searching of albums, bands or songs.
Complimenting the three home-screens are four icons located at the bottom of the screen which are for the phoneis onscreen dialler, contacts, messages and the main menu.
The LG GT350 features a dedicated key on the keyboard for direct access to social networking sites as well as a dedicated button to access push real-time e-mail, web browser and IM. Users can set how many icons are showing by dragging the navigation bar up or down, and can set web pages as home screen shortcuts. The back of the phone hosts a 5MP camera lens in the upper left hand corner and speaker grill on the right.
The integrated messaging automatically syncs and manages the history for all SNS and IM accounts, just from one screen. The Samsung i9000 Galaxy features a 1500 mAh Li-Ion battery which provides enough power for more than three days with reasonably heavy usage. With Android 2.1, there is also multiple account support for email and contact synchronization, including Exchange accounts. Judging by their fancy offices and showrooms, there is still some slack in cell phone company budgets. Some of their phones are so data-inefficient that it is almost as if they chose them deliberately.
According to Tariffic, they could cut the average cell phone bill by between 30% and 50% and that is a huge pile of money.
Tariffic have a right to recoup their development costs first, and charge for their services. Although you may be getting a free cellphone and paying a “low” monthly fee, the lifetime value of each customer is worth so much, that it seems the cellphone contract providers are willing to sign up a customer at an initial loss, knowing that they will make this money back over the lifetime of the customer through upgrades, and additional purchases (such as additional data, SMS or minutes).
Once you have seen the contract specials that the networks have to offer, the next step is to look and see what the resellers are offering. Once you have their offer, go back to the original network that offered the cell phone deal you wanted, and tell them what you have been offered – to give them the chance of beating it. If you are told that you are already on a good deal and nothing can be done, tell them that they need to beat your current contract deal or you will be cancelling your cellphone contract.
Phonefinder lists all 5000 deals on one website, all the MTN packages all the Vodacom specials all the Telkom phones - on one website!
By 2016, MTR rates will be down to 10c, thanks to interventions by South African communications regulator ICASA. However, it should not be too long before more meaningful reviews hit the streets, and contract holders can start making rational decisions. There are many resellers in South Africa, but the main ones are Dionysus, Nashua Mobile, Cellucity, and Elite Mobile.
This will typically get you transferred to the department which is able to make these offers and are given authority to “do what it takes” to keep you on their network. We also have reviews of cell phones and have a comparison tool that lets you compare the cell phones to see which one you would prefer.
While the salesperson will convince you to buy the sexy good looker you are considering, they are highly unlikely to be able to answer questions about data-efficiency.
This may sound like a lot of work, but really it shouldn’t take you more than a few hours, and the cost savings can be large – just a saving of a hundred or so per month, can result in a massive discount over the lifetime of the contract. These can include getting additional free gifts with your contract, such as laptops, games etc.

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