Okay, after all this gushing I'm even starting to ask myself why I got a new phone! But, truth be told, hearing on that phone was a disaster. It was absolutely not T-coil (or hearing aid) compatible, and even without T-coil I got some interference. Sometimes I need/want to use the phone, so just being able to text was not optimal.
My phone contract was coming to an end and my Sidekick kept malfunctioning and not letting ,e text. Not good! So, I decided it was time to research ( a lot!) for a new phone. One thing I discovered is that every single major phone company I looked up has a list of all their hearing aid compatible phones. This was really helpful, and most of them also listed the ratings (M3, or M4 and/or T3 and T4)
Here are the links, if anyone is interested.
T-Mobile (scroll down towards the bottom)
Sprint (For more info on their TTY compatible phones and Relay services, and data-only plans click here)
I looked at all of these websites and the features of each phone. I went to T-Mobile (my provider with my Sidekick), Verizon, and at&t and tried out all of their hearing aid compatible phones. Some interesting things I found out were that T-mobile has no M4 or T4 phone, only M3/T3, which is a lower rating. When we went by the at&t store, they claimed to have only one hearing aid compatible phone, which was a really basic phone. So, we scratched at&t off of the list. I tried the phones at T-Mobile, both with and without T-coil, and found that they were still somewhat hard to hear on. Plus all the cool phones (G1 and MyTouch, anyone?) were not hearing aid compatible. I realllly wanted one with a full keyboard, and that I could hear on, it didn't even have to be a "nice" phone. So off to Verizon we went.
I was surprised that they had quite a few phone that had T4 as well as M4 ratings. They had all kinds of cool phones- Blackberries, touch screens, full keyboards, - ALL with M4 T4 ratings! Sweet! I tried out quite a few, and finally settled on, drumroll....
The LG EnV Touch! It has a full QWERTY keyboard, as well as a touch screen (with keyboard) on the outside when you shut it. It has a rating of M4/T4 and I could hear well on it when I tried it out in the store. The guy even gave me these two pink covers that I can put on it! Yeahh!
It works well, and I really like it. It has most of the features that my Sidekick had. The one thing I don't like is that Verizon apparently had a 160 character text limit to non-Verizon users...who knew?! I was kind of annoyed, especially since they didn't tell us. My friends thought it was pretty funny "No more of your infamous 5 page long texts!" Oh well! I can still send and then finish the message in a new text message, so I can live with that.
It seems I need a new mapping, though. I tried out the phone a few weeks before I bought it, and I could hear great! But my friend called me the day after I got it, and I could barely hear her. I'm not going to go into all the details (because I can't without making myself sound like a complete idiot) but I'm just going to say that I didn't hear the time we were going to the movies, and had to beg one of my other friends to find out. She refused, but it all worked out in the end.
I have since tried using the phone on my left (new) ear with much more success! I was delighted with that! And the thing is, you never know when you'll need to call someone. I'm saying this 10 minutes after getting into my house after being locked out for 25 minutes. That definitely required me to make a few phone calls! My poor dog has a hurt paw, but he was feeling kind of anxious so I decided to take him on a short walk. My dad was out of town, and my mom decided to take my sister shopping, so I was home alone. So, being the very responsible teenager that I am, I took a key and locked our front door after leaving. We just went down the block, but I could tell Zach (my dog) was getting tired and it was hard for him to hop on three legs. So we walked back to the house. Right as I was about to get the key out, a thought popped in my head, "Wouldn't it suck if I lost my key?" I then reached into my pocket where I had oh-so-safely put the key, and it was nowhere to be found. Panic set in and I turned each of my pockets inside out in desperation. Nothing but a tube of chapstick and my cellphone!
I called my mom, who was pretty angry that I left the house in the first place. After doing her usual, "I'm going to kill you!" she instructed me to retrace my path to see if I could find the key. By then, Zach was completely exhausted, and whenever I tried to get him along with me to come look, he would just go in the street and drink the drain water. So, I tied his leash loosely to a tree branch and went on my way to look for the stupid key. I looked carefully, using my phone as a light since it was now getting dark out. I could not find it! My mom called me again three times, saying she was on the way. The only thing is, she was a good half hour away. Finally, by some miracle, one of our neighbors answered her phone and drove over and brought me a key-- after I'd been sweating out side for 45 minutes! The walk (20 minutes) was shorter than the time I waited!
Don't you hate it when you try to be independent and make a complete fool of yourself?
**UPDATE** I made an even bigger fool of myself... Apparently my jean shorts have a little tiny pocket inside of the normal pocket- perfect for fitting a key! My mom decided to search my shorts and thought it was HILARIOUS when she found it! Me-not so much. At least I didn't lose the key?!