Looking for phone advice

The time has come to reconsider my phone. Currently I have a pretty crappy (by modern standards) cheap Blackberry lookalike which, while having the proper keyboard I wanted, can’t do much beyond call and text. I rarely do either of those things anyway. It’s pay-as-you-go, I put about £10 into it every three months and often forget so it’s often dead.

Well, I text or phone very few people these days. I have it in case of emergencies really. So I can text my son and say ‘I have drilled another hole in my hand, would you mind coming over and bringing a suitable bandage?’ You know, everyday things like that.

I’ve never had a touchscreen phone. Mine can do internet but its tiny screen makes it tortuous to say the least, and using it as a direct connection rather than WiFi soon wipes out the phone credit.

Since acquiring both a Hudl and a Kindle Fire, I have become used to the touchscreen keyboard although predictive text is still driving me nuts. I doubt that will ever change. Still, it is time to get a proper modern phone, now I actually have someone to talk to 😉

I see cheap plans offering 300 minutes of talk time and 500 texts and think ‘Who the hell talks that much? Who knows that many words?’ I’d need about 5 minutes of talk time and 5 texts a month. And I probably wouldn’t use them all.

What I’m interested in is data. As much as possible. Most of that data will be text with a few photos so probably no more than 1-2 Gb a month would be plenty. I do not want a ‘phablet’ because they look ridiculous and do not fit in ordinary human pockets. I want a phone-sized phone.

This time it has to be contract so I don’t go mysteriously silent mid-conversation. With my accident record, that could well leave Broken Girl in a state of utter panic. Especially if the last she heard from me was ‘Oops’ or ‘Hang on, I’ve got a great idea’.

I’ve been eyeing up this one buit I smell a rat in the small print. I suspect the cost could turn out to be at least double what is claimed.

Therefore I am looking for advice. No Apple products, please. I have not and will never forgive them for saying that their warranties were invalid for smokers. I don’t care if they have now changed their minds. I haven’t, and won’t.

I seek advice on the good phones/providers and the bad. I will be heavily biased to data and care little for talk or text. There are very few WiFi hotspots in this little town so an out-and-about connection will be useful.

Also, if you know of one that works in Denmark, that would be very useful indeed.

I’m sure most of you, if not all, have those insanely powerful devices on you right now. Do you have a good one, or are you regretting signing that long contract?

Go on. Help Broken Girl drag me into the modern world.

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32 thoughts on “Looking for phone advice

  1. If I stopped using or buying products or services which I was ticked off by the providers I’d be a pretty sad individual. Okay, it might be the case that I am already but it’s my life etc.

    4G is currently a good thing to try to have. From a data transfer rate it’s useful. General broadband connection speeds come in the equation too. I’ve spent far too much time trying to find the best way of delivering broadband at a speed that users can actually use.

    I use Apple kit because I like it. Their strategies are confused and their product range is at best all at sea at the moment but they still deliver what I want if them although it’s not my real ideal.

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  2. Get an HTC “1”. The one with the 8Mp camera is now obsolescent, but it’s not too big, does all that BG wants you to want it to do, and even has Satnav, and the battery life’s OK. I gave it to My Dear Wife when I upgraded to a Sony experia Z1 for the 21Mp camera…which is actually worse than the HTC cam! You’ll find the Sony too big, it’s almost a phablet (which I like). I get unlimited data, texts and calls from O2 for about £35 pm, plus the “free” phone. You’d get a less specified HTC for much less.

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  3. Oh and I did have an iPhone a few years ago. Got rid of it asap; if it could possibly supply me with “no service”, it would do so, and require rebooting to find a mast again. Steve Jobs probably suspected I was “ungreen” and was punishing me remotely by satellite.

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  4. Bought myself a Motorola Moto G then got a Sim-only contract with Vodafone for £15 pm. More talk time and texts than I’ll ever use, plus a Gig of data – most I’ve gone through is about 150 Mb, so that’s working out well. Good phone too, big enough screen, good camera and it can take a few knocks without going all sulky. I recommend the idea to the house.

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  5. LG Kit isn’t normally bad, I personally don’t want google (or apple) anywhere near my phone if I can help it but that’s just me. I’m currently on my second microsoft-nee-nokia lumia and they’re decent enough phones or for something different and cheap you could look at the firefox phones I had one to play with a while back but have currently lent it to a friend.

    Provider wise, vodafone seems to have good European roaming (from my experience) but like everyone else the good data plans are bundled with more minutes and texts than you can shake a stick at, but of course you don’t have to use them. As other people have said having 4g is a good thing

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/New-Launch-Intex-Cloud-FX-Dual-Sim-3-5-1Ghz-2MP-WiFi-Firefox-OS-SHIP-BY-DHL-UBX/171439042064?_trksid=p2047675.c100011.m1850&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D30773%26meid%3Dccb2526f0401479384aac9a88a61f9d3%26pid%3D100011%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D10%26sd%3D171301269724

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  6. As you’ve gathered, Apple is arrogant. The ‘trouble’ is – it designs fine kit.

    It’s fine if you have other Apple gear, because they do communicate seamlessly with each other. However, with a Hudl & Kindle, you’ve no need to pay the Apple Tax – so fellow respondents will offer sage advice.

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  7. If you are happy with 3G, you can get 6 months of data for £20 with T -Mobile pay as you go as a booster. Better still, if you bust the monthly limit you can still email and surf, it just cripples the streaming stuff. I tend to buy last year’s model phones outright unlocked off contract from places like Cex with a 12 month warranty.I currently have a Galaxy Note 3 and despite being a phablet it happily fits in my pockets.

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  8. Haha, a man after my own heart – zero “speaks” and lots of data. I’ve got an older HTC One M8 which suits me just fine. It’s perhaps a tad large, but has a great camera – two actually – and a good touchscreen and I use it all the time for internet, satnav, email etc. The missus says it’s too big, but that suits me fine as I know that she won’t want to “borrow” it. She has a smaller HTC which suits her better. I bought the phone outright and have a basic sim-only contract with Voda for £9.50/month… I’ve then added extra 500Mb data chunks at £3/month each to build up to my actual data requirement. It might be worth a look. Not sure if they advertise the extra data, but it’s certainly on offer when you phone them to take out a contract.

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  9. Can’t really comment on the hardware/OS aspect (I have drunk the Apple Kool-Aid, and found that it vastly outperforms Android, as well as offering granular control of app privacy & security permissions straight out of the box), but for a phone service provider, 3 might be worth a look, as they offer all-you-can-eat data, and they offer data roaming as part of your contract package (unlike other operators who will charge you several internal organs for the privilege of using data services overseas – approx. 10x your domestic price!).

    From personal experience, vodafone are expensive compared to everyone else. Their coverage used to be the best by miles, but I have found that EE are better – although their customer service is famously appalling. Also, if you can afford it, it works out cheaper overall to buy a phone outright, and get a SIM-only contract, rather than being tied into a 2-year deal with the phone (mine worked out about £250 cheaper over that 2-year period).

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      • Can’t say I have ever had that problem – although I see depressingly regular newsflashes from various friends of mine stating that they have lost their phones/wallets/bags/keys/other personal effects, and wonder how they manage to survive in the modern world…

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  10. I got an O2 deal which gives me unlimted texts plus 300 mins call time and 500Mb data DL for £14.28 a month. I never exceed the texts nor calls and I don’t require the data component. I also got a free Samsung galaxy mini handset smart phone with the touch screen, but mine if 3G not the much more expensive 4G. O2 has very good reception round here, even through the very think walls of my adopted local pub in the next village.

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  11. Hardware is pretty much of a muchness really. Go to somewhere like Carphone Warehouse and explain your needs. They’re not thied to any one particular producer. A piece of advice, tell them exactly what you’re going to be using it for. There are data only plans out there but you have to look.

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  12. I forgot to mention, never ever buy new to the market untested hardware or software. Always give it a year for the idiots who “just have to have it” to iron out all the bugs.

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  13. No use asking me, Leggy. I have a Nokia PAYG I got from Tesco for £7 and they included £10 os credit on the SIM so effectively I got it for nothing. My only experience of Android has taught me not to touch it with a bargepole as it’s flaky as hell. Just my opinion…

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  14. I’ve just bought my first Nokia Lumia and I love it! I’ve bought a PAYG sim from EE and for £10 a month, I get an Everything Pack (ie 150 minutes calls, unlimited texts and 500 MB of data) which covers my needs. They do a Talk and Text Pack and a Data Pack, which sounds more like what you want. You can have a monthly contract if you prefer. Don’t know whether this covers Denmark. Like the above poster says, you’re probably best off going into Carphone Warehouse and giving them the low-down on what you need and see what they offer.

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  15. I won’t comment which the phone but I’d suggest avoiding locking yourself in to a contract if you don’t care about upgrading every 12 months or so. Buy the hardware and then get yourself to a 3 Store for a sim card.

    For £15/month you get 300 min, 300 texts and, this is the good bit, unlimited data. Plus you can use it in Denmark without being whacked for roaming charges.
    http://www.three.co.uk/Discover/Phones/Feel_At_Home

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    • Very tight – just had a non-estimated gas/electric meter reading and it’s one of those ‘Oh bollocks’ ones. Usually they overestimate and I get a month with a small bill but now, when it’s most inconvenient, naturally they’ve been underestimating.

      Still, better this month than next month. Next month is when I take a good handful of well-ripened shit and throw it at a particularly vindictive fan. Get ready for some really wild blog posts 😀

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  16. If you’re on a tight budget the moto g is probably your best bet. On offer on hukd for around £75 best cheap phone around. Then get a sim only plan. Hope this helps

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  17. I avoid getting tied into ‘locked’ phones. I buy mine outright and then sort out the type of service I need from my SIM card. The last couple of phones I bought (Sony Xperia M, and now a Samsung S5 mini – I also don’t want something I can’t put in my pocket) are both dual SIM, which means I can use networks in two countries with the one phone. I currently have three SIM cards – one Greek (my normal one), one UK and one Thai. When I go to Thailand, I swap the UK SIM for the Thai SIM. The Samsung I recently bought is also waterproof and dustproof, which is handy for me, as my work environment gets very dusty. I’m sure you could get data-heavy pay-as-you-go packages in UK. I’m with Vodafone here, and they do all sorts of PAYG bundles for differing needs. I’m just about to change to a data-heavy bundle myself, as I will be spending a fair bit of time in Patras doing up the brace of apartments I bought, and I’ll be using the phone as a wi-fi hotspot for my laptop.

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