So many people are searching every day for the costs associated with Alltel’s Celltop feature, and finding the design critique on the Celltop user experience I recently posted, that I felt I should provide specific pricing information if possible. I have done some more research about the cost of using Celltop on your Alltel phone. Maybe this can be my good deed for the day. 🙂
Please note, this information is from the software on my LG Scoop phone, which appears to be different than the software in screenshots on the Alltel site, so the pricing and application information is subject to change. (And not all applications are available on all Alltel phones.)
CELLTOP PRICING – FREEBIES & FEES
First of all, if you have a phone from Alltel with pre-installed Celltop cells on it, go ahead and click that Celltop softkey and feel free to play! The 10 cells included are “free”, and you’ll only be charged airtime for updating the content. If you don’t want to be charged for airtime, you can purchase an unlimited data minutes plan for $10 per month, according to the current Celltop FAQ.
Most of these 10 cells are truly free, and it will be up to you to determine their value. The Realtone Jukebox cell provides an interface to access various ringtones you can buy, but the ringtones themselves are not free. Most of the ringtones I checked cost $2.99 each. To hear the ringtone, press the number next to it (ie. “4”) and a screen will load with a sample of the song. Use your arrow keys carefully to scroll down to the “No” button if you don’t want to purchase the ringtone.
More Celltop cells are available for purchase, and you add them from your phone itself. There are a couple of ways you can add a cell to your phone. One way is to click on the “Celltop” key while in the Celltop application, and bring up a sub-menu where you will see “Add Cells” that will give you the list of cells for sale. Unfortunately, I did not see all the cells listed at mycelltop.com as available, or coming soon, on my phone to buy. Two that I am most interested in are the Search and the Moviegoer cells, and those were not listed. I checked the cost of some of the other cells, and they range in price:
Hockey, Baseball, Golf & Tennis: $1.99/month
House Front (real estate values): $1.99/month
Cheaper Gas: $2.99/month
Hangman, Trivia & Extreme Sudoku: $2.99/month OR $7.99 unlimited
Wallpaper Universe: 99¢ unlimited (BUT, like Realtone, the wallpapers you like will have to be paid for)
ALLTEL’S AXCESS APPLICATIONS ADD MORE FEATURES
The second way to add Celltop cells, and other applications to your phone is to go in through the Axcess Shop, which you can find in your menu. The Axcess Shop offers various games, wallpapers, music options (if your phone can be utilized as an mp3 player) and a few tools that might make the busy person’s life easier, if they want to pay for the additional services on their phone. There are some hidden gems here, and I would encourage Alltel users to look for themselves to see if there are needed applications here. I found…
GPS Navigation: $3.49/day, 9.99/month or 99.00/year
Axcess Email: $2.99/month
Axcess Search: FREE? (I think!!)
Now, the Axcess Search came as a surprise. I could not find a price associated with using it, and there were ads sprinkled throughout, so I am hoping this feature is indeed free (except for that needed airtime) because this is a pretty cool thing to have at your fingertips, which is why I wanted the Celltop Search cell to buy. I looked up a local company in the yellow pages, found a map and got directions, and searched for games and applications (to buy, of course.) It did not find my listing in the White Pages, which is stunning since Embarq sold our phone number to every malcontent with a telemarketing title it could find, and we’ve been getting tons of unwanted solicitations ever since (but that is for a future blog post.) Because I didn’t find our home phone number, I have no idea how accurate or updated this information is, but I did find Yellow Page info successfully. If this were truly free, and kept me from incurring the costly information fees that my husband yells about ($1.49 per call to Information), that would be very nice indeed!
Unfortunately, I cannot find the Search application that is on my phone on the Alltel site anywhere. Apologies if this is not something available on your phone. And just so you know, this application was not designed to display horizontally, only vertically, so when I slid the phone open, the app did not come with me.
The games and amusements I found in the Axcess Shop offer free previews, and the costs range from $3.49/month to $11.99 unlimited, for things like Snoopy, Wall-E, Lego Star Wars 2, Monster Truck, Wimbledon 2008 and Iron Man, among many others. Some of these are Celltop-designed widgets and some are third-party applications, so the design experience here will vary… don’t expect a seamless software experience, or for the different applications to provide consistent functionality.
In closing I have to add that I honestly don’t intend to bash Alltel or be overly persnickety, but I could write a book on the user experience issues I endure as a mobile phone customer. Between the web site as a potential customer, the login web site as a user, and the phone software itself (with dozens of third-party apps) there are many usability issues I wish I had the influence to correct.
Since I don’t work for Alltel and cannot make any improvements to your user experience, if you still have unanswered questions about using Celltop on your Alltel phone, please let me know and I’ll try to find the answer for you!