View Full Version : which cell phone? cheap...
2004-04-10, 11:27 PM
I want to buy cell phone on a plan system (I think !) but which company is best??? I can only find English pamphlets for Vodafone so they r looking best at this stage. It will be my olny phone but I dont think I will use it for calls that much, more sky mail etcd. Any ideas??
2004-04-10, 11:54 PM
Vodafone is OK, but beware of rules for cancellations, personal appearances at their office for changes, etc.. And lots of small, extra charges which can add up to a large amount.
NTT DoCoMo has best area coverage if you need to travel, but for major places Vodafone is fine. If connecting to a PC and/ or Mac, DoCoMo has more options, and from personal experience their staff are more knowledgeable and helpful, but a lot will depend on your Japanese. Both have mail services, SMS, i-mode, internet browsing, etc., and are about the same in that respect.
Both companies have a range of bilingual phones, and work fine in English.
Go to any PC shop and ask them/ try the the models there. It can actually be cheaper from a PC shop than a specialist phone place - takes about 45 minutes to set up an account/ number. FYI, I have one of each, DoCoMo for in Japan, and a Vodafone triband GSM for outside, so know both companies. Vodafone have better international support with 1 dual mode phone for in Japan and abroad, and another coming out this month.
Also check out the digital cameras in them, some are now up to 2 megapixel.
2004-04-11, 02:04 AM
And if you don't have a gaijin card don't even bother going in, they will reject you.
2004-04-11, 02:44 AM
Credit card will work, too.
2004-04-11, 09:40 AM
Not unless you have a gaijin card it won't. I've tried.
2004-04-11, 12:13 PM
Ummm yeah, and I've tried, too, and it works.
2004-04-11, 02:11 PM
So tell us what provider will accept applicant without a gaijin card cuz I've tried every provider and been blown off at all. And yes, I have a credit card and Japanese bank account.
2004-04-11, 03:11 PM
If you're willing to do prepaid.. you can get a prepaid phone without a gaijin card OR a credit card (in fact they don't take credit cards). I bought a J-Phone (now Vodaphone) prepaid phone from 7-11 with cold hard en. It was only around 1man-en (6000 for the phone, 3000 for minutes and skymail); it worked quite well for the ~2 months I needed it.. I never had to buy more minutes.
2004-04-11, 05:45 PM
True, That is possible but at 100 yen a minute way too costly for the unemployed like me!
2004-04-11, 07:49 PM
I have been doing fine with a prepaid from AU if anyone is interested in buying it. It is a Toshiba A1304t in good condition. The only drawback with prepaid is that you cant use email, only c mail to and from other au customers. The good thing is that if you buy a 5000 card it makes the phone work for three months even if you use up all of your talk time and you can receive calls and cmail with no charges. If you buy 10000 it gets you a full year of service I believe plus more talk time. Yeah the minutes are more expensive but I find I am just using payphone or having people call me. Anyway if it works for you then let me know if you are interested and dont want a monthly phone bill. The phone is 5000.
2004-04-11, 08:43 PM
Truthhurts, just a question. Which bank would give you an account without a gaijin card?
2004-04-11, 11:04 PM
Wesley, I lived in Tokyo & Kanagawa from 1984-1992 and held a working visa drivers licence & gaijin card. (even though when I opened the account in 1984 NO ID of ANY kind was requested, I could have told them my name was Mickey Mouse if I wanted to.)
When I left Japan in 92 I kept a few thousand yen in the account rather than closing it. Kept the ATM card also.
Unlike the USA banks in Japan don't close 'inactive" accounts so when I came back it was still working fine. Updated the passbook with 9 years of 2 yen per year interest payments and it's all current..
Keeping it open was one of the few smart things I did when I left Japan.
Now, as I am moving back it has been a great help!
Post Edited (04-11-04 23:05)
2004-04-11, 11:32 PM
About mail.. it depends on which provider you get, but j/voda-phone prepaid lets you do email to anyone (including those on the internet) with their prepaid service. Only 5en/message. That's how I was able to extend my 3000en card over 2 months. Just email whoever to solicit a return phone call. I guess it's kinda kettchi (stingy), but talking at 100en/min is definitely not worth it.
2004-04-12, 09:03 AM
So, bottom line is us card-less are stuck with the 100yen per minute phones huh. Well I'll bring lots of 10 yen coins for public phones. And hope any prospective employer uses email to notify me. Until I get a job I simply can not waste that kind of money/
2004-04-12, 12:14 PM
When I tried to get a phone I even offered to sign a auto transfer from my Japan bank account for payment. I only have FOUR MILLION YEN in the dammed account.
Still they said "DAME".
"NO CELL FOR THE GAIJINCARDLESS IN JAPAN"
Post Edited (04-12-04 12:15)
2004-04-13, 09:57 AM
WHY this rule that a gaijin card is needed? If I'm a bad guy I will take my phone from bad guy country and use roaming! Or since bad guy is rich he buys a prepaid. Any case, bad guy has a phone but poor but good guy without gaijin card is dropping 10Y coins in the koshu denwa.
2004-04-14, 04:32 PM
If you're a student, AU has an incredibly cheap service available. It's half the price of the normal service, so you'll be paying much less than any other plan out there. One drawback is that AU has a rather limited selection of bilingual phones. But as long as you don't want a 2 megapixel camera phone, you should be fine.
Vodaphone has a new phone which can receive television signals, which sounds cool, too.
2004-04-14, 04:40 PM
i would say AU, i think its as cheap as it can get.