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Which smartphone to buy?

(9 Posts)
sweetestthing Wed 17-Dec-14 21:36:12

My iphone 4s needs replaced: the battery drains if you even look at the phone, it keeps freezing and it's annoying me greatly. I am on a SIM only contract that runs until next June and I can't last until then without a new phone, so am looking to buy one now.

Not going for the iphone 6 or 5, and am thinking of Samsung (Note 4, or similar) or the HTC One M8. I use my phone for browsing, emails, texting and the (very) occasional phone call.

Any recommendations from you lovely technology experts, please?

Thank you! If I can decide quickly, DH will buy it for me for Christmas, yay! fsmile

NetworkGuy Thu 18-Dec-14 08:22:36

What network is the SIM for, and what size is it (you may need to pay for a replacement SIM if the new phone uses a different size... the SIMs can be mini {any from the last 10 years, or more), micro, and nano...

What budget do you have to spend. Only ask because the PAYG or SIM-free purchases range these days goes from under 100 to 700 pounds and that leaves a lot of options...

Is data (4G) very important to you, or not? Some phones have a 2013 model which is only 3G which may cost a fraction of the new 2014 4G/LTE version, IYSWIM.

Does size matter? Screen size, of course? Asking in case you'd rule out a 'mini' 4" screen, just as an example. If you are switching from Apple to Android, are you really sure about it, given you may be able to pick up a refurbished iPhone and have the Apps you are familiar with, or are you looking for the learning experience with Android, and happy to try different Apps, or perhaps purchase some again for that platform?

Sorry about so many questions, but want you to be sure of what you need and want before getting an Android and after a week, saying 'X^%Z$%Z, much prefer iPhone after all'...

NetworkGuy Thu 18-Dec-14 08:25:44

I mention the SIM in case you opt for some particular phone and then there's a delay sending the SIM out in time for Christmas... (Sorry, just don't want you to have a lovely shiny new phone with disappointment that it cannot be used for calls/ texts/ data until 6th January.)

SweetestThing Fri 19-Dec-14 09:13:36

NetworkGuy, thanks for such a helpful and full answer!

I had an Android phone before and liked it - returned to iphone because I got sucked in by the whole Apple thing smile Budget isn't a problem as I will be charging it to my company. 4G isn't a big thing as it's not yet in my area but I will probably try to find a phone that is 4G-enabled as I will be in a 4G region for work purporses. I'd quite like a big screen (eyes getting increasingly long-sighted!!), so I think my best bet is to go to a phone store and just try some out.

Thank you for clarifying my thinking. I'll post back with an update of what I get. Now to brave the crowds.......

SweetestThing Fri 19-Dec-14 16:53:29

Ended up having a long chat with the very helpful young man in the phone shop, tried out a few handsets and ended up buying the Galaxy Alpha. Nice screen size - not too big - and I rather like the Android system. It's 4G-enabled, so it's future-proofed for me.

Thanks for your advice!

NetworkGuy Fri 19-Dec-14 22:17:33

> NetworkGuy, thanks for such a helpful and full answer!

LOL. I think many on MN have the concentration of a gnat so assume anything that takes more than they could send in a 'tweet' is too waffly. Maybe just me, but writing whole sentences and sometimes going off at a tangent can give people snippets of info they find useful over and above the primary topic being discussed.

> Budget isn't a problem as I will be charging it to my company.

Aha! That sounds very good. I hope to be doing the same in 2015. Do you mean 'your' company, 'family' company, or 'employer' company? Just that the first two are often the better ones in terms of flexibility when going for something at the expensive end of the scale smile

Right. Taking into account your big screen wish (I can see the Note 4 beckons) I took a longer look during the afternoon, before I went to bed. Hope the following doesn't bore you to tears! Here we go!

For something with a big screen, and up-to-date, and budget less important, then perhaps the Motorola Moto X would be suitable, along with the Note 4, or HTC One M8.

I selected a range of phones > here < based on recent (4.1, 4.4 or 5.0 Android), minimum 4.5" display and a few other criteria (which you can change, for example if you want stereo sound, higher quality camera, etc, better pixel density and overall screen resolution). It came up with about 20 phones. I've listed 6 in the comparison links below, including the 2 you had on your list, and a few that may be 'worth a look'...

Right now I'd probably avoid the Sony Xperia Z <anything> models as there have been widespread reports of screen cracks (and ongoing discussion on Which? magazine forum). Some may not be released in the UK (now, or perhaps ever).

If you take away 4G then it suggests around 50 phones (!) but for example those with dual SIM slots (for using 2 networks) are generally not sent to Europe/UK. It also shows quite a few brands which aren't sold here at all.

Some other phones to consider are Huawei Ascend P7 v. OnePlus One (with or without microSD storage options), NB 'Cyanogen' (on OnePlus One) is 'standard' Android, compared with the 'company' UI (User Interface) - ie company 'enhancements' from the likes of Samsung, HTC, Huawei, sometimes described as 'bloatware' that a user cannot remove.

Also, there's weight. A few weigh 5 oz, the Note 4 is 6 oz, the Motorola 4.5 oz (ie 3/4 the weight of the Note). OK, the Note 4 is extremely attractive, especially the screen, but is big and expensive. Perhaps the ideal choice as you were looking at it anyway! For me, being able to replace the battery is something I want (whereas some phones have the battery sealed in, so while it can be charged easily, after 3 years it may not hold the charge well but cannot be replaced).

Other comparisons: Samsung Galaxy S5 v. HTC One M8 and Moto X v. Note 4

Android v5 (Lollipop) may well be worth waiting for, as there are some significant changes in what the phone can do when running that version. Only the Galaxy S5 and HTC One mention v5, and there's also the brand new >Google Nexus 6 < (manufacturer: Motorola, based on the Moto X) available from Amazon or Carphone Warehouse. NB bigger and heavier than the Note 4 !!! comparison Nexus 6 v. Moto X

NetworkGuy Fri 19-Dec-14 22:42:43

AArgh. Sorry, had started writing late morning, after reading your comment early on. Had a nap, woke up, woke the computer up, saw that I had not posted, and did so. Then went off to read some other threads!

Have just come back to this thread, and see you made a choice this afternoon... well done! smile

SweetestThing Tue 23-Dec-14 06:19:38

Thanks, NetworkGuy - you've done loads of research and I do appreciate it. I had been warned about the Sony Experia so ruled that out and ended up choosing out of the Alpha, the HTC One M8 and the Galaxy S5. I ruled out the Note as it was just too big but the three I've mentioned were all strong contenders.

The Alpha just felt nice in my hand smile

Thanks again. I really appreciate the time you spent on this. Merry Christmas.

HollyJollyDillydolly Thu 08-Jan-15 20:53:48

Just wondering how you're getting on with your Alpha, Sweetest?
This is on my shortlist (along with the s5/s5 mini). I currently have an iPhone 5 and fancy a change!

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