Hidden Tricks: Cellphones

Cell Phone Tricks and Tips

Including: A comparison of phones, a Low Rider ringtone and how to reprogram the default display message on the Nokia 2160i cellular phone.

Cell Phone Shopping Comparison

I shopped for a new cellphone in July 2002. It was a pain in the ass to figure out all of the network standards and features, so I made a chart to keep track. I'm posting it here to help others with this difficult shopping decision. It's not an exhaustive list because I was just looking for a phone for the AT&T wireless network in the USA. Plus, this is now fairly out of date.

The first thing to figure out is to learn about the various digital standards. Your choice may depend on whether you have an existing wireless (mobile) carrier, and if so, what digital network they use. GSM/GPRS is still rolling out across the USA. I didn't get a GSM/GPRS phone but might next time. TDMA has been around for a while, it does two-way text messaging and is pretty widespread in the US. (Europe and the rest of the world use different networks, of course).

The chart lists what digital and analog networks each phone supports, if it offers an external plug-in chat keyboard (Ericsson only), and details including a few price notes. I would not pay much attention to the price notes because all carriers have deals that change with the weather. Instead, visit the links above to comparison shop at some good online dealers. I picked the Ericsson T60LX.

  TDMA GSM/GPRS AMPS analog External

Screen Size Battery Life Other Details Price 6/2002


R300d 800/1900   800     ? 3.25/? WAP 1.1, PIM, SMS, T9, tri-mode, ERS  
R300z   1900   CHA-10 19.95   bhc 12/215 WAP, real battery gauge, T9  
R300LX 800/1900   800 CHA-17 5-line101x80 full graphic mAh Li-Ion 3.5/120 replaces 289LX?2-way text, bulky, SMS, WAP, web, Fm radio option, no low battery warning, int ant, 3 v 30. orfree, att (Cnet)
289       CHA-01/10?     discontinued? 49. GoodGuys
R289LX 800/1900   800 CHA-07 40x101 px NM 4/160 CDPD browser (ATT Packetnet), T9, 2-way text, s/r email, 4 volt, modem  
R278d 800/1900   800 CHA-01/10?? 40x101 px NM 4/160 wap 1.1, 2-way text, s/r email, ERS, T9,  
T68   1900/900/1800   CHA-10 19.95   7/216 color, Bluetooth, bookmark URLs, modem, compose ring, T9, HSCSD, SMS, ems, WAP 1.2.1, WTLS 199. att
T60LX 800/1900   800 CHA-17 7-line or 5-line (selectable)101x80 full graphic mAh Li-Ion 3.5/228 joystick, pim, 2-way text, T9, outlook sync, internal ant, text size, 2.5 mm jack, 3v 150-50-40=60
T39m   1900/900/1800   CHA-10 19.95   bhc 25/715, bus 11/300 Bluetooth, WAP 1.2.1, modem, pim, bookmarks, compse ring, colp, sms,  
T28world   1900/900   CHA-10 19.95   bsl 5/100, bhc 11/215 e-GSM  
T28z   1900   CHA-10 19.95   bsl 4/85, bhc 7/200 real battery  
               Ericsson Chatboard is 19.99 at shopattwireless.com, promo code 472  

  TDMA GSM/GPRS AMPS analog External

Screen Size Battery Life Other Details Price 6/2002
Timeport P7382i         4-line liIon   79. att
Timeport P8097 800/1900   800   2-line+buttons 2.1/170 IRDB, SMS,  
v series 60taka v60t 800/1900   800   external: 96x16main: 96x64px for 3 lines of text+icons, prompts 4/192 with extra battcnet says 4/120 flip with external ID display, fm radio with headset, memo recorder, SMS, browser, voice menu, iTap, USB?, PIM 200.-150. att rebate = 50.or online att = 99
6360 800/1900   800   6-line96x65px mAh Li-Ion 2.5/250 or5.2/312 (?) 2-way text, AOL IM, IR, web, email, uses 6100 series accs 100.-50 att rebate=50.
6340 aka8390 att 800/1900 1900 800     6/600 GSM, 4/336 tdma, 1.5/48 amps WAP1.2.1, modem (9.6k), sms, memo, 199. att?
5165 800/1900   yes     3.25/200 s/r email, 2-way text mess, AOL IM, 40.-50 att rebate = free
3360 800/1900   800   5-line NiMH 3.5/252, cnet says 3.5/96 text/email messaging, IR 14.4 modem, 50. orfree att rebate
Versio EB-TX320ASW 800/1900   800   4-line mAh Li-Ion 2.3/200 sms, speakerphone, T9, 2-way text, 50. or free att rebate


Treo 180   900/1900 or900/1800         see this link for GPRS/GSM diff  
Treo 270   900/1900 or900/1800         see this link for GPRS/GSM diff  

A simple "Low Rider" ringtone

This works with an EricssonElectronics & Cameras up to 70% OFF, at Overstock.com. T60LX, likely with other Ericsson phones. It might require minor adjustments to work with other brands.

bbbbb +c p +d ppgb +c pbpgppppbbbbb +c p +d ppgb +c pbpgppppfffffpppfffffpppf G. pp

I used spaces here to separate any notes that are represented by more than just a letter (to make it easier to read). ie notes like c+.

the key:

p = pause (rest)

+ = octave up

. = long note (capital letter G is already a long note, plus an extra .)

So the only note that is not a quarter note is that last "G." It's that last note that holds for a few beats. That might take some fritzin with. The rest are easy.

How to reprogram the Nokia 2160i default display message

I'm not sure if this hack works with other Nokia cellphones besides the Nokia 2160i. Let me know....

When turned on and not being used, the phone usually displays "Home" or "System" or something boring like that. You can program it to say anything you want. Here's how:

enter "*3001#12345"

then press "menu"

display should show "Field test, NAM 1, NAM 2" with the cursor on "NAM 1"

press "select"

display should show "HOME SYSTEM ID..."

scroll down to menu item "OWN NUMBER..."

press select

display should show "Number: ...

press the ABC button

Enter your message

turn off the phone and then turn it back on.

  • How to lock and unlock the Nokia 2160i keypad

Have you ever realized that your cellphone was in your pocket and the "send" button got mashed when you sat on the phone, and it dialed the last number you dialed? Hello? Hell-O? That 20 minute call wasn't cheap!

Here's how to lock out the keypad, with one of two methods:

1) Press and hold the "END" button for a second or two. The phone beeps and says "KEYS LOCKED"


2) From the default screen, press "MENU" and then "*". The phone says "KEYS LOCKED" (no beep).

To unlock the keys, press "UNLOCK" and then "*".

You can also require a security code when the phone is powered up. See menu 5,1.

For more info, download the Nokia 2160i User Manual.

Also check out CellPhoneHacks.com.