Transferring Contacts from Old Sprint Phone to New Mogul Phone

These days (maybe before but I didn’t know), Sprint can transfer contact information from an old phone to a new phone, regardless of brand. I knew before they could transfer within brands but it was news that they could do it across brands.

In my case, I had contacts on my Sanyo phone and in Outlook contacts that I wanted to sync to my Mogul Pocket PC phone. When I called the Sprint store to ask if they could do the transfer, I also asked if they knew how the transfer handled duplicates but they didn’t know.

Not knowing what would happen to duplicates, I sync’d my Mogul to Outlook contacts before going to the store. When I got to the store and asked about the transfer, I was told that they couldn’t do it because the phone was so new they don’t have the software. I told them that when I activated the phone, I was told by the rep that it was possible. I also called the particular store and was assured it would work. The person asked around and finally decided to see if using the software for the PPC 6700 would work. I was able to view her doing the transfer using a machine that was placed behind the counter. I was impressed at how quickly the process went.

I learned the hard way that the transfer completely removes all entries on the destination phone and adds the entries from the source phone. Then, when I sync’d my phone to Outlook, the entries were sync’d to match the entries in the phone, even including the deletion of existing entries in Outlook!

Fortunately, I had a copy of the contacts folder so was able to recover from that. I copied the backed up contacts to the current contacts folder (having the setting that allows duplicates). I then sorted the list to find the duplicates and manually merged them.

Another thing is that the transferred numbers aren’t formatted prettily. Numbers that used to be (212)555-1234 became 2125551234.

The cool thing about contacts on my Windows Mobile phone is that it can handle more characters in the contact name. My old phone had a character limit so some of the names were truncated. Also, I can have address information stored, making it easier to lookup addresses to enter into my car’s GPS system. I don’t want to go back to a regular phone after this. :)

In summary, things to know/do before you go:

  • Call the store you intend to go to. Not all stores have the capability to do transfers. Specifically, search for tech/repair locations.
  • Don’t bother sync’ing with Outlook first
  • Create a copy of the Contacts folder as backup

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