mobile phones

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Si
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mobile phones

Postby Si » 20 Oct 2014, 5:13pm

I'm thinking of dragging myself into the 20th century (after all, don't want to leap too far forward in one bound) and get m'self one of those fancy mobile telephonic devices that does the internet to replace my current one that just makes phone calls and does txts.

Problem is working out how many hamsters I need in the contract. txts and phones calls are fine as I rarely do them, but how much data should I go for? I need to read a good number of emails and send a number too, as well as browsing the web for at least half an hour a day. Not too bothered about down loading stuff as email attachments etc stay on my server.

Also I want something that I can easily write documents on and transfer to my PC.

And it's got to be bargain basement cheap.

Any ideas? (either how much data to go for, or a particular deal).

Ta

mcslaski
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Re: mobile phones

Postby mcslaski » 20 Oct 2014, 7:30pm

So many places have WiFi these days that if I need the Internet or email when out and about I prefer to use my Nexus 7. Browsing web sites on a small screen is guaranteed to frustrate. I have a smart phone on a low tariff but the smart features and data don't get much use to be honest. However Google maps on a smart phone with GPS is very nice when lost.

iandriver
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Re: mobile phones

Postby iandriver » 20 Oct 2014, 7:53pm

Don't get conned into spending a fortune. Something like a Nokia 630 can be bought outright for £100.00 and will do everything you want. These do WiFi too saving the data package. You can then get a 30 day contract rather than the two year rubbish. Have a look at gif gaf. Uses the o2 network but much cheaper.

Something like this. http://giffgaff.com/nokia/nokia-lumia-630/phone-plans
Supporter of the A10 corridor cycling campaign serving Royston to Cambridge http://a10corridorcycle.com. Never knew gardening secateurs were an essential part of the on bike tool kit until I took up campaigning.....

Psamathe
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Re: mobile phones

Postby Psamathe » 20 Oct 2014, 8:25pm

Subject to capital availability, onc you have selected your phone, do the maths carefully before deciding whether to get on as part of your phone contract or buy one yourself and get a SIM only contract.

Mobile phone companies do NOT give phones away for free - you do pay for them month on month on month. and once you have paid for them you go on paying for them month on month on month. So guess how long you expect the phone to last you, calculate cost of phone plus SIM only contract for life of phone. Then compare to the same phone on a full contract for the same period.

Of course the phone company might let you have a new phone within your expected life of your phone, but you are still paying for it.

Whenever I've done the calculations for phones I've wanted and contracts buying the phone outright has always been the best deal. But do the maths and check or what you are after.

Ian

Mark1978
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Re: mobile phones

Postby Mark1978 » 20 Oct 2014, 8:50pm

Agreed. If you are not planning on using your phone a lot and don't need a feature rich phone like the latest iPhone then buying outright is the best way to go. You can get a good Android smartphone for less than £150.

One thing is don't choose pay as you go instead get a SIM only contract which is effectively a contract which only lasts for a month so that's the maximum you're tied in for.

I had a Vodafone Sim only contract for £11 a month and got loads of minutes and data.

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Mick F
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Re: mobile phones

Postby Mick F » 21 Oct 2014, 8:57am

Si wrote: I need to read a good number of emails and send a number too, as well as browsing the web ......
How are your eyes?

I used Mrs Mick F's Samsung Galaxy on a few occasions, but the screen is too small for my tired old eyes even with my new spectacles.

I have an iPad Mini, and that's MUCH better to and easier to use. It will do email and word processing, even spreadsheets, and although it's only the Mini version, it's plenty big enough.

Mobile phones OTOH are way too small for web use and email, not least of which is the tiny virtual keyboards that my stubby fingers can't operate.
Mick F. Cornwall

Mark1978
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Re: mobile phones

Postby Mark1978 » 21 Oct 2014, 9:03am

Mick F wrote:I have an iPad Mini, and that's MUCH better to and easier to use. It will do email and word processing, even spreadsheets, and although it's only the Mini version, it's plenty big enough.
.


Agreed the iPad Mini is good and the version 2 has just had a significant price cut as version 3 is out (even though they are essentially the same device), you can get versions which you can use mobile networks to go online directly as well as with wifi of course.

kwackers
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Re: mobile phones

Postby kwackers » 21 Oct 2014, 9:15am

Unless it's one of the newer 'large' phones you won't really want to use it for doing a lot of browsing and writing docs on - although they're good for both in an emergency.

I'd suggest a cheap Android phone and one of the many cheap Android tablets that abound. You can tether the phone to the tablet and thus do work on the tablet and access the internet either through wifi or via the tether to the phone.
(If you do a lot of writing then one of the portable Bluetooth keyboards are pretty handy and they'll work with both your phone and tablet.)

For providers, Gifgaff are pretty good, you can get 1Gb for a tenner a month which unless you're streaming audio/video is probably plenty.
https://giffgaff.com/goodybags

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: mobile phones

Postby [XAP]Bob » 21 Oct 2014, 9:58am

If you want to do any serious writing then get a bluetooth keyboard. These devices are quite capable of having peripherals attached.

I am about to drop my data allowance, I just don't use it. Of course at the moment I can't use it (new phone doesn't seem to want to tether properly to the tablet) but that's an inconvenience. I might eventually replace my tablet with a 3G equipped version, and then I'd go back to paying the £5/month for data that I currently pay - or I might get a pay as you go data sim.
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freeflow
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Re: mobile phones

Postby freeflow » 21 Oct 2014, 10:22am

You may well be better of with a minimalist phone that supports wifi and tablet such as the Nexus 7. In places where you can't find a wifi signal you can then tether the nexus to the phone.

Tablets/smartphones are NOT good for content creation, especially voluminous amount of text.

Most android smarphones will support a bluetooth mouse and keyboard but thats extra to carry around.

If you want to be able to do useful web browsing then you will need a smartphone with a screen of at least 5 inches.

I use a Sony Xperia Z ultra which has a 6.4 inch screen. It's large for a phone but perfectly usable as a small tablet and fits well in my trousers, shirt or jacket pockets. Its used regularly as a navigation aid via google maps/osmand in the car (usually for congestion notification), and every week as a full blown cycling computer doing navigation HR, Cadence etc when I'm audaxing. I do most of my email on it when on the move but like most mobile devices its one finger typing. I've tried the bluetooth mouse and keybaord and it works well. If I was to be using my phone for content creation in a fixed location on a regular basis then I'd use the USB/HDMI adapter cable so that I could display the phone on a standard HDMI/DVI/Display port enabled screen.

I bought the phone independently and use giff gaff on a £12 goody bag to get unlimited data.

Current price for the phone is around £250.

Psamathe
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Re: mobile phones

Postby Psamathe » 21 Oct 2014, 10:38am

Not on using phone for mapping:
I find with my phone and maps (I use OS maps) that the phone screen is OK to find out where you are (X marks the spot from built-in GPS) but the screen is too small to do much in the way of route planning. As you zoom out so you lose the detail which makes it difficult to see where (smaller) roads are. Zoom in and you can see the roads, just can't see much area.

Does not make the device useless, just a limitation on how I can use my own device. I use mine (iPhone 5) to record tracks and occasional check it e.g left or right at a junction when I'm not 100% sure exactly where I am. I'm sure you could plan routes but not as convenient as a bigger screen.

Of course a bigger device has a better screen for many things but is heavier and less convnient.

(Just so you are aware you might find limitations)

Ian

Mark1978
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Re: mobile phones

Postby Mark1978 » 21 Oct 2014, 10:45am

Psamathe wrote:Not on using phone for mapping:
I find with my phone and maps (I use OS maps) that the phone screen is OK to find out where you are (X marks the spot from built-in GPS) but the screen is too small to do much in the way of route planning. As you zoom out so you lose the detail which makes it difficult to see where (smaller) roads are. Zoom in and you can see the roads, just can't see much area.

Does not make the device useless, just a limitation on how I can use my own device. I use mine (iPhone 5) to record tracks and occasional check it e.g left or right at a junction when I'm not 100% sure exactly where I am. I'm sure you could plan routes but not as convenient as a bigger screen.

Of course a bigger device has a better screen for many things but is heavier and less convnient.

(Just so you are aware you might find limitations)

Ian


I use Viewranger on my iPhone which has full 1:50000 mapping for the whole of the UK, accessible without a data connection - which is important. You can't do route planning but you can plan on the likes of Strava and then import the GPX track into the app. It won't give turn by turn but you can stop at junctions and take a look, so it won't stop you going the wrong way but it'll get you back on track again once you realise you've gone wrong!

Psamathe
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Re: mobile phones

Postby Psamathe » 21 Oct 2014, 10:53am

Mark1978 wrote:
Psamathe wrote:Not on using phone for mapping:
I find with my phone and maps (I use OS maps) that the phone screen is OK to find out where you are (X marks the spot from built-in GPS) but the screen is too small to do much in the way of route planning. As you zoom out so you lose the detail which makes it difficult to see where (smaller) roads are. Zoom in and you can see the roads, just can't see much area.

Does not make the device useless, just a limitation on how I can use my own device. I use mine (iPhone 5) to record tracks and occasional check it e.g left or right at a junction when I'm not 100% sure exactly where I am. I'm sure you could plan routes but not as convenient as a bigger screen.

Of course a bigger device has a better screen for many things but is heavier and less convnient.

(Just so you are aware you might find limitations)

Ian


I use Viewranger on my iPhone which has full 1:50000 mapping for the whole of the UK, accessible without a data connection - which is important. You can't do route planning but you can plan on the likes of Strava and then import the GPX track into the app. It won't give turn by turn but you can stop at junctions and take a look, so it won't stop you going the wrong way but it'll get you back on track again once you realise you've gone wrong!

Likewise (I've got Open Cycle Map and OS 50k loaded and I tend to use OS 50k - just because I like the look of them not 'cos I think they are better). I thought I did one plan a route using ViewRanger but it was not particularly practical due to the screen size. I.e. technically possible, just not particularly practical. But maybe I'm mis-remembering.

One the few occasions I have used ViewRanger to follow a route created on laptop (and imported to ViewRanger) I have found it really very easy to follow. But it has always been a route where I vaguely know the general route and just need to check details at some junctions.

Personally I'm impressed with ViewRanger. When I had an Android device I used BackCountry Navigator which I felt was better than ViewRanger but is not available for iPhone. ViewRanger (app free) OS mapping is pretty cheap, but having purchased it (think I paid £8 for East of England) I thing the free Open Street/Cycle Map is equally as good (for the UK anyway).

Ian

thirdcrank
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Re: mobile phones

Postby thirdcrank » 21 Oct 2014, 11:04am

Si wrote:I'm thinking of dragging myself into the 20th century (after all, don't want to leap too far forward in one bound) and get m'self one of those fancy mobile telephonic devices that does the internet to replace my current one that just makes phone calls and does txts.

Problem is working out how many hamsters I need in the contract. txts and phones calls are fine as I rarely do them, but how much data should I go for? I need to read a good number of emails and send a number too, as well as browsing the web for at least half an hour a day. Not too bothered about down loading stuff as email attachments etc stay on my server.

Also I want something that I can easily write documents on and transfer to my PC.

And it's got to be bargain basement cheap.

Any ideas? (either how much data to go for, or a particular deal).

Ta


I'm in a similar boat. I'm not much of a phone user under any system, probably because I was happy to leave telecommunications behind when I retired. I'm only on my second mobile phone and I only replaced the first to get a louder ringer. In about 15 years, I've not had to top up the original fiver/ tenner or whatever the "free" credit was when I bought it. My concern is that mobile phones are now being used for so much else, particularly payments, that I may eventually be disadvantaged by not having a phone of the relevant generation and, more to the point, being too far behind to learn how to use one.

When I saw this thread, I hoped to pick up some clues but as an example, for me a Nexus 7 is part of the kit of my shopping bike. :oops:

Psamathe
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Re: mobile phones

Postby Psamathe » 21 Oct 2014, 11:12am

thirdcrank wrote:...I'm not much of a phone user under any system... In about 15 years, I've not had to top up the original fiver/ tenner or whatever the "free" credit was when I bought it.

Check with your network if they have any requirement about using your phone and not losing the number.

I mention it only as a friend of my parents (aged) has a PAYG phone with one of those emergency call devices round his neck that call the emergency services (e.g. in case of a fall) and he went to use it recently and found that the network had "disconnected it", he'd lost the number and that his emergency thing round his neck was thus useless/disconnected. All because he had not used it for ages and ages. I don't know the network, but worth checking to make sure it will work on the day you really do need it.

Ian