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Do I actually need a smartphone?

(28 Posts)
blabalalalablabla Tue 31-May-11 12:47:46

I used to be really up to date on technology but that's all fallen by the wayside in the last 6 or 7 years and technology has moved on so much that I don't know what I need anymore?!

So - I have a mobile phone and I use it to make about 5 calls a month and the rest is texting.

I'm either at work or at home so have internet there and can check my emails that way.
I still buy CD's so don't download music or have an ipod thingy.
I don't even have proper freeview as the arial needs upgrading so use iplayer quite a lot.

So, what do I need to keep up with the times <old gimmer>

What does a smartphone do and what are these apps that everyone is talking about?

How much of a difference will it make to my life?
Or can I just carry on as I am?

pinkthechaffinch Wed 01-Jun-11 15:23:29

watching with interest as am exactly the same. I have an old PAYG mobile which I mainly use for texting but I think apps sound interesting and my friends phones look lovely.

I can't really afford more than £20 per month though.

nocake Wed 01-Jun-11 15:33:52

Yes, yes, yes grin

A smartphone is a small computer and apps are just software that runs on it. Because the processor isn't very fast and phones don't have much storage space (compared to a PC) apps tend to be small with very focussed functionality.

Do you need one? If you have no need to check emails, access the internet, listen to music or play games while away from home then probably not. However, once you've got one you'll end up finding uses for it that you hadn't expected. How about pulling up a map while you're walking in London showing where the nearest tube station is and how to get to it? Or an app to translate a menu while on holiday in Spain?

You can get a smartphone on a contract for £20 a month, or even less. I think one company might be offering the HTC Wildfire for £13 a month.

pinkthechaffinch Wed 01-Jun-11 17:23:57


I've just ordered one !!!!

blabalalalablabla Wed 01-Jun-11 20:59:40

Hmm - I am tempted. I was looking at the HTC Wildfire which has good reviews - but I don't really know what I'm looking for when I read them.

What data allowance would I need for checking mail/using apps etc?

nocake Wed 01-Jun-11 21:17:07

I use less than 250Mb a month but I don't download music or videos and I use wifi whenever I can (at home, in coffee shops etc).

blabalalalablabla Wed 01-Jun-11 22:25:12

So (remember I know nothing about these things) if are in a wifi spot then you don't use your data allowance?

nocake Fri 03-Jun-11 16:32:01

You need to switch on the wifi capability (I have a little icon on the screen to switch it on and off) then you can connect to a wifi router, in the same way that you might connect a laptop.

freshprincess Fri 03-Jun-11 16:38:17

Same for but 6 months ago. I couldn't imagine why anyone would need a phone for anything other than texting or making calls. DH talked me into it and now I love my iphone sooooo much. Its brilliant.

I think I might need to have it surgically removed from my hand.

pinkthechaffinch Fri 03-Jun-11 17:11:57

My wildfire has arrived today, it's a beauty. am going to get it out tonight when dd's asleep and learn how to use it. will let you know how I get on

blabalalalablabla Fri 03-Jun-11 19:30:52

ooh - I'm jealous now.
I think I'm going to order one - I do need to get reasonably up to date with technology otherwise the dc's will overtake me.
just trying to find a good deal now.

pinkthechaffinch - What tariff did you go for?

3 are doing 300 mins, 5000 texts and 500MB for £18/month or 1gb for £20/month. Would I ever need that much - how much memory does a downloaded song take up?

didldidi Fri 03-Jun-11 19:40:35

blabalalalablabla - the MB refers to the data you are downloading (i.e. websites you are browsing) per month - rather than the phone's storage capability. I'm on a pay monthly tariff with Tesco and having analysed my average usage I download roughly at least 500MB so the £20 a month deal sounds good to me - however I don't think 3 are the best provider?

pinkthechaffinch Fri 03-Jun-11 19:55:24

oh bugger i can't get it connected to the internet. it says I need the password to my network connection confused

where would I find that?

I'm on 250MB 5000 texts and 100 mins for £q5 per month via tesco phones

didldidi Fri 03-Jun-11 20:01:05

Is it trying to connect to your home WIFI rather than your 3G?

pinkthechaffinch Fri 03-Jun-11 20:20:45

I've done it- typed in how to find wifi password into google and it gave me a very helpful website with step by step instructions on how to find it!

I'm on and the display on my phone now shows a 5 day weather forecast for my town!!!

blabalalalablabla Sat 04-Jun-11 12:47:54

thanks diddl - I had the same reservations about three - I'm currently on t-mobile and I think they do a pretty good deal too.

i'm not sure whether to get the HTC wildfire or desire?

NetworkGuy Sat 04-Jun-11 15:37:04

search MN for wildfire and I feel sure there will be some comments in the negative about them, compared with the desire

While I can see some benefit in using the internet from a smartphone, I'm far from convinced the mobile networks are pricing the data at a reasonable level.

I suspect most of the money is paying for the phone, because on a contract with Three I use 12 to 15 GB a month for 8 pounds (it's just a 3G modem [aka dongle] to plug into the laptop).

NetworkGuy Sat 04-Jun-11 15:41:35

If one does not use the net at present from a smartphone (and given some web pages can be almost 1 MB to download, that's a huge chunk of the monthly allowance) then there are alternatives which do most of the things (except run Apps and give internet browsing) for 25 to 50 quid.

For example, the Alcatel OT-606 phone has a QWERTY keyboard (so fine for texts), a camera, FM radio and ability to play MP3s etc, 25 quid in Asda on Orange network. NB It can access the internet, but if you have existing access on a laptop at home, what's the point. On PAYG for the number of calls and texts, there's no need for a monthly fee, and if knowing there is new e-mail for you, then Orange already does text alerts to the phone even on PAYG... smile

I have several computers at home, and can check e-mail via web browser when I am away, so have not yet felt the need to use (and be locked into long contract for) a smartphone, but then again, I don't touch Twitter or Facebook and most of my business e-mail can be dealt with better from home...

Maybe it is just an aversion to the small screen and fiddly input when there is no QWERTY keyboard, so it might just be me (after a lot of years with big clunky keyboards!)

DoctorDaddy Sat 04-Jun-11 18:17:59

If you can afford it, get an iPhone. They are great.

Doesn't make phone calls or text any better than a £10 phone, but it does Internet, Apps, Games etc better than most computers, as it is so portable and accessible.

Total luxury - but i love it.

The android phones are technically just as good (or better), but it is the ease of everything on the iPhone, with the fact that there pretty much is an app for everything you need, that makes the iPhone the one to get IMHO

ruddynorah Sat 04-Jun-11 18:25:28

You can have qwerty keyboard on HTC desire, and I'd assume wildfire. I'm on my desire now. So much quicker and handier then getting the laptop out for a quick search or check on something.

Big plus point I like is the photo and link sharing. Find a web page, click share, then send it via text msg or email to dh or whoever. Same with photos. Easy peasy. I rarely use a camera these days.

ruddynorah Sat 04-Jun-11 18:26:48

And yes it was fab when we had a weekend away in London for figuring out tube stops and maps etc!

ChippingIn Sat 04-Jun-11 18:31:15

<backs out of the thread>

NetworkGuy Sat 04-Jun-11 18:31:52

Just on the Android front - there's due (this month - June 2011) the Vodafone Smart, costing about 80 pounds (possibly 70 based on one or two websites) which is on PAYG and runs Android v2.2 (not the latest, but I wouldn't expect a PAYG Android v3.0 phone to be under 300 pounds).

niceguy2 Sat 04-Jun-11 21:56:52

I'll be very interested in seeing how the new Smart stacks up against the Orange San Francisco? I bought one today to replace my GF's HTC Desire which needs to go back to its original owner soon.

I did want to purchase a brand spanking new HTC Sensation but thanks to Vodafone's complete inability to find their own arse in the dark added to woeful customer service meant that I've given up with Vodafone. Never have I felt the need to send a snottogram to the CEO before.

Anyway, the Orange San Fran is totally awesome given its price point. It cost me £119 (£99 + £20 credit). Unlocking it from Orange is free and a doddle. Simply visit this website and type in your IMEI number. Write down the code, pop in the SIM of your choice and when prompted, type in the code. Voila!

The phone comes with Android 2.1 which is not the latest but the major features are there and it can easily be upgraded.

In short, I think I'm going to start advising ppl on the market for a budget smartphone to get the Orange SF rather than the Wildfire. The latter's small screen and slow processor makes it not as good as the SF, even though Sense UI is great.

NetworkGuy Sun 05-Jun-11 17:19:01

Thanks for the link - there must be lots of info held in people's heads about different mobiles and this is perhaps not the ideal place as there must be some much more mobile-specific sites but handy when someone shares what they know.

I had seen mention of the Orange SF but not had my hands on one. Given the ease of unlocking and relatively low cost, I am sure it is a popular phone. It will be interesting to see whether the Smart lives up to its name, as it has v2.2 Android. Points noted on Vodafone CS, however.

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