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Help me decide what to buy

(36 Posts)
Dutchoma Sat 22-Nov-14 17:19:12

To enable me to use the internet 'on the go' I bought Galaxy mini GT S5570.
I didn't want to use it as a phone and every six months I paid £20 to have internet access. I have never liked it because it is too small to accurately 'hit' the target, (eg 'bump and reset' in Im watching) it is also very slow and drives me potty.
But what else to buy? All I use it for is to have the internet with me when I am away from home (feel bereft without Mumsnet). I used an ipad when with my sister-in-law and liked that a lot. But I am not used to Mac machines (my PC is Lenovo ThinkCentre).
I don't want it to be on a contract of course, as I don't use it a lot, but how does one pay for using a tablet?
Is there anybody who can clarify my thinking for me? I'm ever so muddled.

NetworkGuy Sun 23-Nov-14 05:10:41

I have a Galaxy Mini (admittedly used mostly as a radio player).

There are a wide range of tablets, so for a start you need to give some idea of budget (iPads run from 200 up, even second hand and early versions are not cheap, the latest in the 400++ range).

Internet access - how much are you actually using it? I'm guessing the 20 quid per six months is some PAYG top-up on a service like Three 3-2-1 so you have enough credit to view the browser and that credit lasts for several months before you get to nil.

Not sure but I suspect few tablets can get similar deal - but visiting the network shop (I don't know if you are using Three - maybe worth mentioning which network you're with), and getting some advice...

Or consider something like the fairly recently released 2014 Motorola Moto G phone. This is a 3G phone with a 5" screen, so quite a lot larger than the Mini, and while it's likely to make a hole in 150 quid, should (a) be much faster (and I'd recommend the Dolphin web browser) and (b) will give a lot more screen space. Have a read of the > TrustedReviews < article about the original Moto G, which has a 4.5" screen starting around 100 quid locked to a network, and the other models since that came out (Moto G 4G, and 2014 Moto G)

Dutchoma Sun 23-Nov-14 09:27:11

Thank you Networkguy.

The initial budget is not too important, I just want to spend on what I want, but I'm not sure what that is. I don't want to be in a contract of £x per month if there are months when I don't use it at all, then run out of credit when I am away for a fortnight.

I know I don't want a Mac device as I don't think that I can learn a whole new computer concept.

I'm with tMobile/EE and the telephone aspect is not important to me. The iPad my sil used had no ability to make calls.

The mini Galaxy is excellent as a radio, but that is as far as it goes for usefulness.

ZeroSomeGameThingy Sun 23-Nov-14 09:38:53

Forgive my curiosity but what are you using at home? I can't imagine being so attached to a device that doesn't go wherever I go.

( Written on trusty iphone used at home on 3G and elsewhere on 4g or wifi. And it even works as a phone. )

Dutchoma Sun 23-Nov-14 09:48:31

Bit hard to take a desktop PC (Lenovo ThinkCentre) everywhere I go, Zero.
For a 'phone-to-go I use a little Samsung fold over device that does absolutely nothing, apart from calls and texts. It is not even a camera.

Is your iPhone an apple device?

hellsbells99 Sun 23-Nov-14 09:53:59

I have a Giffgaff card in my iPad. It is not a monthly contract but I buy a data bag for £10 (different bags for different amounts) which then stays live for a month or until I have used up the data.

ZeroSomeGameThingy Sun 23-Nov-14 10:12:45

Dutchoma Yes, the iphone is Apple.

I'm a million years old and my set up must obviously be very different to yours but I'd find your proposed tech portfolio befuddlingly complicated. (Although £20 for six months Internet makes me wonder where I've gone wrong ...)

Dutchoma Sun 23-Nov-14 10:51:53

I think Zero that if a 'million years ago' you started with Apple you will be fine. I would be fine if I'd started with Apple, but I didn't. Nor did my brother who is far more computer savvy than I am as he worked for Philips in Eindhoven. He does not know want to go over to Apple.
People keep talking about iphones and ipads, which are all Apple anybody got any idea how to avoid them and still get what I want?

Dutchoma Sun 23-Nov-14 10:52:51

now, not know (3rd line down)

NetworkGuy Sun 23-Nov-14 11:29:33

OK. Your SiL using home wi-fi at a guess, and the problem with a tablet having 3G/4G is going to add cost (and most networks would expect you to pay for a monthly data plan {which would be daft if usage is sporadic} and/or take a contract to buy the tablet {at higher cost than popping into John Lewis or Argos and buying a tablet outright}.

Since you have already installed apps and have perhaps paid for some for Android, an Android tablet or phone would seem best choice. Probably worth looking at the > EE Kestrel < which is 99 quid on PAYG, so can be bught with no contract and used in place of the Galaxy mini.

orangemog Sun 23-Nov-14 23:00:09

I'm not sure why you're so adamant that you don't want an Apple device when you've used your SIL iPad and "liked it a lot"?

You do know that you don't have to have an apple computer (ie a MacBook) in order to sync an iPad? You can use iTunes on a windows PC, or indeed choose never to plug it into a computer at all, if you literally just want it for browsing the Internet.

iPads are VERY easy and intuitive to use. I say this not from my own point of view, because I'm a techie, but because I recently bought one for my 86yo Gran and she absolutely loves it. She had previously only ever used a Windows XP laptop (and that only in the last 5 years).

You wouldn't be able to get the same type of data deal for a tablet (be it Apple or Android) as you have on your current phone though. All the networks do payg data deals for tablets, but the credit only lasts a set time - most are 30 days though you can also get 3gb/3month and 12gb/12month sims with the three network. Once that's run out, you just top up online (you can always get to the top up page even when your credit has run out) with some fresh data.

There are some nice android tablets out now, Sony and Samsung do cellular versions. Alternatively you could buy a wifi only tablet, then invest in a MiFi, which is a device that takes a payg (or contract if you prefer) data sim and turns it into a mobile wireless network.

Dutchoma Mon 24-Nov-14 09:11:10

Thanks for that, food for thought.

The reason that I don't want an Apple device is that I'm afraid none of my other devices will talk to each other and I would not be able to transfer pictures from one computer to the Apple device for instance.

I'm not quite as old as your gran (almost) and have used a computer for about 20 years, so it should be possible. You are right, I did love using Maggie's tablet.

orangemog Tue 25-Nov-14 09:07:21

I hope I didn't sound condescending before, I honestly didn't mean to :-)

To get your photos from the windows PC to the ipad, you just need to install iTunes then tick the box to ask it to sync your photos. I did that for my Gran too, and she loves being able to flick through (all 962 of!) them. (With an Android device its easier as you just drag and drop them in Windows Explorer.)

It is a little long winded if you're still running XP on your computer, as you need to make sure you have SP3 before you can install itunes, but on Windows 7 or 8 it'll be a breeze.

I know I sound like an apple salesperson here, but I'm really not! I myself have every flavour of gadget under the sun, but I have dealt with a lot of people new to gadgets and/or a bit confused by them, and the ipad has ALWAYS been easier for them to pick up than the Android devices.

ZeroSomeGameThingy Tue 25-Nov-14 09:25:27

Yesterday I laboriously tapped out a long post enthusing about my minimalist tech set up (no TV, no landline, no home broadband; one non Apple laptop, one phone - but realised I sounded like an Apple ambassador and deleted it.

But I do think it's worth saying that the octogenarian in the family - who almost completely bypassed desk tops and laptops - would fight you for possession of their iphone and iPad.

Dutchoma Tue 25-Nov-14 09:56:41

No, it didn't sound condescending, don't worry, I came to ask for advice as I am fairly clueless.

I don't know anything about iTunes, so you have lost me there a bit. I am running Windows7 and have more than 962 photos, I think.

So please keep talking to me as things are beginning to clear a bit.

But what is a MiFi?

Dutchoma Tue 25-Nov-14 10:00:49

You see Zero, I think if I had started with Apple, I would be fine with that. But I didn't and nor did my brother, who said he would now steer clear of iPads and iPhones. We may both be wrong and I'm slowly coming round to the idea. My daughter is dead keen on Apple and has long urged me to 'jump ship'. But I am still a bit afraid of ending up in the water in between the quay and the ship.

ZeroSomeGameThingy Tue 25-Nov-14 10:09:14

With the very greatest respect I am not interested in your brother's views. Why can you not choose for yourself?

(He's obviously free to ask here himself. Or to ask you to ask for him. But surely this thread is about your choice?) Definitely doesn't gave to be an i-thing!

ZeroSomeGameThingy Tue 25-Nov-14 10:20:10

(Urrgh! my mistypes are not helpful. "have" not "gave".)

And I apologise for thinking aloud in my last post. Again probably not helpful.

Dutchoma Tue 25-Nov-14 10:26:34

Well, my brother is the nearest I come to an adviser apart from Mumsnet. His opinion has an influence on my decision. He has worked with computers, both Apple and others all his professional life and has always chosen 'others' over Apple.

He does not need advice; I do and am grateful for what I get, thank you.

ZeroSomeGameThingy Tue 25-Nov-14 10:43:48

Mmm.. There are plenty of good reasons for swerving the Apple monopoly. Concerns about employment practices in factories. Media hysteria. Media manipulation. Inflated prices. Becoming inescapably tied-in. Dystopian fear of Apple's eye, like Sauron's, always upon you.

And I dare say if you work with computers in a professional capacity there are all sorts of other things I haven't glimpsed in my online newspaper.

There also seem to be millions of people who've tried both and actively prefer Android technology. (Although I'd prefer a Mac I'm quite happy to struggle on with a PC just in case something catastrophic happens...)

I have no idea where I'm going with this ...hmm

Dutchoma Tue 25-Nov-14 11:24:21

When in a hole stop digging? grin You might end up in Australia otherwise.

ZeroSomeGameThingy Tue 25-Nov-14 11:45:44


Look, your set up sounds slightly clumsy and outdated. (Fine if that's what you want. Or if you prefer to spend money elsewhere. Or if you cannot afford to change.) But, since you did ask, would it really not be easier to have a phone (any phone) with Internet access, camera, music, etc that you could use both at home and away from home?

Despite my attempt to list the negatives of one producer it is, on the whole, quite fun to try out and make use of new technology.

(I have been assuming you are younger than 85. Trust me, if my DM can get to grips with stuff we used to stare open mouthed at on Star Trek...)

Dutchoma Tue 25-Nov-14 12:04:39

You assume right about my age.

I have got a phone with internet access and a camera that I can use both at home and away. It's called a Galaxy mini. IT DRIVES ME UP THE POTTY WALL. When at home I can happily use my outdated equipment.

When away I cannot.

NetworkGuy Tue 25-Nov-14 18:14:11

Ah, but sadly the Galaxy Mini is hardly representative of all Android phones, or even most (more modern) Samsung phones. It's good enough at what it does, and at the time the 'top of the range' whether (iPhone or Android) phones were in the several hundreds of pounds. Now, if you got one of the Motorola Moto G phones, with a significantly larger screen, for under 150 quid, you'd be quite (positively) surprised at just what your phone is capable of, and at a fraction of the cost of the recent (or even some s/h iPhones).

I can understand your frustration with the phone but the Galaxy Mini was launched almost 4 years ago, so understandably newer phones will nearly all perform far better, be faster, and have more storage so far less likely to give similar frustrations.

As you have already been using Android, the learning curve would only cover new features you may want to try, and with various utilities (such as SMS Backup+ (by Jan Berkel) > LINK < you can archive all your text messages and a log of all phone calls from the Galaxy Mini and load them into the new (Android) mobile, so continuity is maintained.

I tend to save all my contacts in my Google Mail account now, but feel sure there are other backup utils which would copy other info from the Mini and archive it for you to access with a new phone.

NetworkGuy Tue 25-Nov-14 18:17:48

{Written on a somewhat aged Apple iMac which can no longer get new browsers as the version of OSX on it, 10.6.8, is significantly dated - 10.10 has just been released, I think.}

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