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PAYG mobiles with internet/ email access? - tell me more

(9 Posts)
Solo2 Wed 15-Dec-10 11:01:15

Can someone recommend a PAYG mobile that can access emails and internet?

I rarely use a mobile phone - maybe 4 times a year at all - but my ancient 10+ yr old one is literally dropping to bits and I'm thinking of replacing with the above, as having internet and email access would be useful.

However, as I barely ever ever need to use a mobile, I don't want to buy into a contract of any kind but have the freedom of using one if and when I need.

Can any experts here advise please? smile

NetworkGuy Wed 15-Dec-10 12:40:35

Have you a specific network in mind? EG to be able to use some website feature (I use Orange PAYG for free incoming e-mail alerts on SMS - I do not read the e-mails via the [cheap] PAYG Orange phone, but get told who it is from and subject line, so can guess how urgent it is and respond via proper PC later (or sooner!)

For some friends, Orange is their best option because they have a static caravan along the coast of N Wales and can get no other network (and even then, think they have to go out of caravan and walk to top of the field to get their phones to work).

If you already know you get good coverage on some other network, may be best to let us know because someone may spot a special deal that gives you an ideal answer.

Just recently, in Asda Living, I bought the T-Mobile Vibe and wrote a bit about it in the Christmas section, but at the moment, with not having topped my Virgin Mobile account up, I have not yet tested either e-mail or internet access, sorry... phone a bargain at 32 quid and I am still learning most of its features.

It is definitely not on a par with lots of more expensive phones (it does not have wi-fi for example, so I cannot use it at home via my landline router for internet access).

KerryMumblesFaints has found a great Android 2.1 mobile for her son at about 100 pounds [from Vodafone Eire, where she lives] (the "Samsung Galaxy Europa i5500" aka "Samsung I5500 Galaxy 5" which someone is selling on Ebay at 65 pounds, unlocked from any specific network).

From it looks to be a superb phone, and I her son him already. Just go to the GSMarena swebsite and search for Samsung i5500 to get all the info. Perhaps the one thing my 'Vibe' has which his does not is a QWERTY keyboard!

NetworkGuy Wed 15-Dec-10 12:41:28

and I her son him already ... should read

and I envy her son already

Solo2 Wed 15-Dec-10 17:48:44

Oh heck! I realise I'm a complete novice to all this! I've no idea about networks etc etc but one thing I'm thinking would be useful is to have a phone that can use our wireless connection when I'm at home. But I also want one that doesn't force you to use it a certain number of times or they cut you off. I seriously may only use it a few times a year maybe. Thanks for the links.

There seem so many PAYG mobiles out there and then endless variations on what they do, what you get, what you pay etc etc. I feel a bit lost. I don't even know what a Qwert keyboard is and other than my ancient PAYG vodaphone mobile, that only makes/ takes calls, I've never even held or looked at a modern mobile of any kind, let alone an android.

Did Keymumblesfaints have a MN message recently? Can't find it.

I wonder if I should visit some shops and ask for demos and ask questions there? I just don't quite know where to start other than knowing I'm a v v v infrequent user and would like email and internet access and wirelss if poss. I won't be taking it anywhere particularly exotic but I know some parts of the UK we've visited can't get a signal.

NetworkGuy Wed 15-Dec-10 20:02:04

QWERTY keyboard is one that has individual keys for the different letters (so no need to hit '2' key 3 times to get letter C).

Kerry's recent thread is here but originally she asked about a suitable mobile the Christmas section

Since you know your existing phone works on Vodafone, then you may be able to get an upgrade deal (so you buy a new phone with the intention of using existing SIM in it, avoiding the 10 or 20 quid top-up fee they impose on most new phone purchases - or visit Asda Living where they don't usualy impose that extra!)

As far as using wi-fi at home, which GSMarena shows as "WLAN" (wireless LAN, LAN meaning local area network, ie your home wireless network setup), there are far fewer phones than will do the other things.

What budget did you have in mind ? I just checked a few phones for wi-fi and these seem to have what you want (did not look at more expensive models however):

e2save 110 3MP LG GT540 Optimus
e2save 100 2MP Samsung Galaxy Europa
C.P.W. 100 5MP Samsung S5560
C.P.W.. 90 2MP Alcatel OT 980
e2save. 80 2MP Nokia C3-00

In the list above, C.P.W. is Carphone Warehouse, e2save is (owned by Carphone Warehouse)

Then there is the price (rounded up form 109.99 style) and camera MegaPixel spec (2 is OK, 3 is better, 5+ is even better, most will take video clips too, of course).

All the above are working on Vodafone and offer Wi-Fi access at home. There are probably many more!

Suspect, you, like me, hate paying rip-off price for making calls. Vodafone PAYG is 20p/min and 10p per text but an Asda SIM will work (they use the Vodafone network) so you could move your number to Asda (or just get a new SIM, hint: ask for a 5 quid top-up Voucher and you get the SIM pack free) and put that in after buying the phone on the cheap as an upgrade at Carphone Warehouse (as you already have a Vodafone SIM in your text/talk old mobile).

You would need to check Asda's data charges against those of Vodafone to see your internet and e-mail use won't be rip-off, however.

Solo2 Sun 19-Dec-10 18:58:23

Thanks again. I'm a bit of a novice with any of the terminology really! My budget would be around £100.00 and it sounds as if I could use Vodaphone upgrade or - would it be worth considering something linked to Virginmedia deals, as I have this for my Braodband/ TV and a phoneline?

NetworkGuy Sun 19-Dec-10 21:24:18

You would probably be best checking what deals, if any, Virgin Media might offer.

Also then check the T-Mobile website for coverage in your area (T-mobile is the network that Virgin Mobile uses for its phones).

With a 100 pound budget, I'd suggest walking into Carphone Warehouse and seeing what they can offer that includes wi-fi access for your home network. Clearly they should mention the phones above (unless out of stock) so don't be persuaded to pay more!

Alternatively, consider the Vodafone website and any Vodafone shop near you, as they may have a different range of phones. May be best to just get a list on someone's business card (if staff are there long enough to have a card - temporary staff for Christmas might not have a card and not be up to speed on which of the phones include wi-fi). Post the list of phones and prices.

It will then be possible to check over the holiday online and see if there are major problems with any of them (eg phone locks up, or poor battery life) before you set out once more to buy anything.

Unless you are in a hurry to get it as a Christmas present, you could perhaps check what they have in stock, and see if there are any deals going (eg throwing in 2 GB of storage for the phone, so you don't find you run out of space for MP3s or photos in a week) and ask if these are promotional reductions before the BAT increases in January.

They might be absorbing the VAT for a while, or they might have stock to shift after New Year so ask if they have any Sales in January (unless you see prominent sale signs already!)...

See if they can let you play with some of them (as you will want to know how easy your new phone will be to use, and spending well over 75 quid they should understand that wish, given past phone has only been used for voice and texts.

Happy phone hunting.

Solo2 Mon 20-Dec-10 19:12:16

Thank you very much. You're very knowledgable and helpful. There's no rush for me getting this (for myself anyway), so i might see what the post-Xmas sales/ deals are and whether VAT rise is counteracted by sales. Thanks again smile.

giff Sat 25-Dec-10 03:18:18

You could grab a decent phone off ebay and then go contract free, that's what I did and found it to be far cheaper in the long run. The best sim deal I found was from with packages from as little as £5 a month.

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