Sunday, May 26, 2013

T-Mobile won't tell you this

If you are like me, your always looking for ways to save a buck here and there.  Well, this next discount is for you! There is no coupon cutting involved either.  It's a little hush-hush.  While you can find the link in the T-Mobile website.  It is not that easy to find.  There are two ways to save, and anyone could be eligible.

Method #1: 

Check on T-Mobile's site by using your employee email (not your gmail or yahoo account).  Check here:  If your company is on the list, you will be sent a form to fill out and be on your way to substatial savings.

Method #2: 

Anyone can join the PTA.  There is a $25 membership fee.  But if you are like me with $200/month bills from T-Mobile (due to multiple lines w/internet beyond basic data), then your very first month's discount should pay for the ONE TIME membership fee to join the PTA.  After you join, you can visit your local T-Mobile store and register your PTA membership for 14% off of your bill.

Great service is wonderful.  But getting it at a discount is even sweeter!  Do you have any other suggestions on lowering your monthly bill.  Share it with us on the comments below.

Don't forget to search for us on YouTube: Cellphonius and subscribe to our channel.  You can also follow me on twitter @maestroalvarez

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Smart travel. Frugalicious Unlocked Phone Guide.

When traveling, budgeting becomes a primary concern to get value added on every single dollar and hope to return with a healthy sum of savings for the return trip.  One of the most expensive things when travelling out of the country is international calling.  While abroad, you could easily run your phone bill into the multiple hundreds of dollars if not higher, given roaming charges.

Well, there is a way around that.  Most countries have very large support for GSM phone systems.  These are the carriers who sell phones that use SIM cards, similar to the way T-Mobile and AT&T do here in the States as opposed to Verizon and Sprint which are primarily CDMA-based; a different technology altogether. 

I will use the Philippines as an example to show you how you can really save money by purchasing an unlocked phone and travelling abroad vs. roaming.  We will make this recommendation assuming that the US carrier will not unlock your phone for travel.

If you go to the Philippines, you can easily purchase and activate a SIM card for just under $5.  Then you can add as little as 50cents of load to the card to at least get you to the point that you can send text messages within the country.  50cents would yield you 10 to 20 messages.  Frequently, however, there are promotions whereby 50cents will allow you to text the whole day, unlimited.  Given that there are multiple cellphone carriers, all specializing in pre-paid services, it is very simple to find a competitive price for communications.  I found that for calling back home to the United States, Globe has better options.  That was my experience when I was there.  So the way it works is that you bring your unlocked GSM phone (making sure that it runs on the bands that the country's carriers operate on) and slip in the new SIM card and you're done.


First, you will need to check which band the country you are visiting runs on.  Then buy a cellphone that works on that band.  For instance, in the Philippines all carriers run on the 900/1800 bands.  The Samsung Galaxy SIII International version runs on LTE BANDS LTE 800 / 1800 / 2600, so it would be a good choice as you will be able to use it on the Philippines speedy LTE data spectrum as well.

Where do I find these unlocked phones?  Well short of going on Craigslist and risking purchasing a phone without a warranty, we recommend safe places like,, and  We have found that Amazon offers very competitive rates and with an Amazon Prime membership, which you can acquire for free as a trial for 30 days, you can get most items shipped within 2 days FOR FREE!

Here are some of the BEST phones that are international-worthy options for you to consider purchasing.  They should also work on American and Canadian carriers' networks too:

Here's the complete list of Unlocked GSM phones on Amazon. Find the one that fits you best:
Just click on the phone to see the complete list of unlocked GSM smartphones:

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Samusung's 35,000+ reasons

We at CellPhonius have a possible motive for the newest capital investment move by Samsung. To put things in perspective, Pantech is South Korea's 2nd best-selling handset maker, according to U.S. IT research firm, Gartner. We have also learned that Pantech has license agreements with IV (Intellectual Ventures) for access to over 35,000 patents in 50 technology areas.

We are not lawyers here at CellPhonius, so we have no extensive knowledge of how Pantech's agreements would affect the business affairs of Samsung. However, we can guarantee one thing. Owning a 10% stake of a company that holds legal access to over 35,000 patents certainly can't hurt Samsung. For your information, Intellectual Ventures is essentially a company that spans 10 coutnries with 3,000 in-house technology inventors. That could only mean good news for current and future Samsung consumers all around the world.

Don't forget to follow us on Twitter @maestroalvarez and on our YouTube channel: cellphonius.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Lighten up Apple! No, Seriously. The iPad 5: Cheaper? Lighter? or both?

(picture credits: Gizmag)

As a proud owner of a somewhat hefty Galaxy Note 10.1 AND a lighter Galaxy Tab 10.1, I can see [ feel ;) ] the positive impact on the muscles of my hands when I carry the lighter Galaxy Tab vs the Note 10.1.  Samsung has been critizied by many iFans (Apple fanatics) for making cheaper, lighter, materials.  Samsung, however, has been laughing all the way to the bank as they carefully concentrate on software vs. hardware to bring users a more rich experience.  Hence, their massive recent success.  But not so quick! Apple is not necessarily making the next generation of the iPad lighter and thinner because of cheaping out. 

As a matter of fact, this is what Digitimes reports regarding the new iPad 5:

"The display of the new iPad, which will hit market shelves as early as September, will still be a 2,048 x 1,536 Retina display, the same as the one used in the 4th-generation model, except that the new display is built on a glass substrate of 0.2mm, thinner than the 0.25mm one for the 4th-generation device, the sources said, adding the new table will has a narrow bezel.

The touch panel solution for 5th-generation iPad is GF2 (1 layer of glass and two layers of ITO film) instead of G/G bonding used in 4th-generation iPad, the sources added.

The new iPad will use one LED light bar for backlighting, compared to two LED light bars used in 4th-generation iPad, the sources noted.

The 5th-generation iPad is estimated to be 25-33% lighter than the 4th-generation one, the sources indicated."  (Credit goes to Max Wang, Taipei; Adam Hwang, DIGITIMES)
Who's involved in this production? Surprisingly, some of Apples biggest competitors will, too, profit from Apple's newest piece of tech goodness.  Again, per Digitimes's article, LG Display, Samsung Display and Sharp will supply the display panels.  Taiwan Surface Mounting Technology will mount the LED light bars that will power the display.  Lastly, Radiant Opto-Electronics and Coretronic will take up the backlight units and touch panel bonding, according to their sources.

So, will you pick up a new lighter iPad 5 or will your current iPad 4 hold its own?  Join the conversation as you follow me on Twitter: @maestroalvarez and on Google Plus +Joe Wallace and +cellphonius.  You can also find our YouTube channel: Cellphonius

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Is Google Voice running up your cellphone bill?

You are a very smart person for finding the Google Voice Application and utilizing it as, not only a fascinating communication management tool, but also as a way to ease your budget. Many, however, are finding themselves holding pretty hefty charges for text message overages because they do not understand how Google Voice works. So here is how to avoid those unnecessary charges while enjoying the multiple benefits of signing up for a Google Voice account and using it the way it was intended to be used.

Sending text messages using Google Voice can be setup to avoid text messaging charges on your bill. This is because the text messages go out via data link to Google Voice. This explains why you cannot send text messages using Google Voice when no data connection is available. However, you can send text messages through the Google Voice Application when you are on your provider's EDGE, 3G, or WiFi networks.

The Problem:
Some have a Google Voice Number, and they associate multiple phones with their Google Voice Account. They do this on Android phones with the Google Voice application installed and other phones that may not have the Google Voice application installed on them. This means that, for the phones that have not installed the Google Voice App, text message charges will appear on their bill even if they are subscribed to Google voice. This is because the text messages are no longer being transmitted through their data network, instead they are transmitted directly through the carrier's SMS channel. The carriers charge a premium for that service.

Receiving text messages, even through their Google Voice Number will show up as an incoming text message because Google Voice will send you incoming text messages through your carrier's SMS channel. The good news is that you can set things up to avoid the charges!

The Solution:

Follow these simple instructions:

Access your Google Voice Account online. Go to the account settings and leave the "Forward phone to your cell phone" checked. Then, go into the "Voice Mail & SMS Tab" to uncheck "Send SMS to This Number"

Now, on the same menu, check the "SMS Forward" and enter your e-mail address there. (Use the e-mail account that you set up on your Android phone.)

After making these changes, any text message sent to your Google Voice Number will be posted as an e-mail message. Read the "email" and your reply to that "email" will be forwarded out to the original sender as an SMS by Google Voice. Therefore, no charge will appear on your account for either receiving or sending text messages.

The Google Voice Application is a great tool. Use it wisely, save money, and enjoy its benefits.

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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Hey smartphone user! Battery got juice?

With the average worker now working more hours as the economy recovers from a major contraction, there is a need for our devices to last longer than before.  Could your charging habits be killing your battery?  What is the fastest way to charge a smartphone or tablet's battery?  Here are a few tips that will help.

Of course there are also accessories that help with the task.  You would be surprised at how inexpensive it is to upgrade or "start over" by just ordering a fresh new battery.

Here a few limited-time deals we found (We particularly recommend you check out the Anker Astro3E External Battery charger and it is temporarily $60 less than it used to be!) It is very highly rated!:

Does your Galaxy Note 2's battery suck?

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