A few smartphone questions

  stlucia 21 Apr 10
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I currently use a Palm E2, mainly for calendar, note-taking, spreadsheets, and music playing, and an unlocked Nokia 6170 phone on PAYG, using local SIM cards when I'm abroad.

Both of these devices are pretty dated, so I'm looking for one device to replace them both, and I'm attracted by the idea of WiFi connectivity as a bonus.

At the moment I'm dreaming of an iPhone, a Motorola DEXT, or a HTC Desire, and I'll be down the shops this weekend to actually have a look and feel and, maybe, buy.

It seems that I can get all of these in unlocked form from various suppliers. If I do so, and put in my existing Orange PAYG SIM card, will they work, or do I need a different kind of SIM card for this kind of phone?

Also, will these modern phones work overseas (with the appropriate SIM card) where network technology may not be up to 3G standard?

  donki 21 Apr 10

3G isn't really anything to do with making or recieving a telephone call. It is the network that is used for access to the internet and downloading information. Your Orange SIM will work if it is a 3G one (could possibly say 3G on it in small print), if its not you can pick up a new SIM free for most networks. If you want to use the iPhone for 3G access and Wifi you will be better getting a SIM which has this for free, usually for a year or so, there aren't free but can be bought for about £30. By not using a SIM with free access to 3G and WiFI I would say you will soon go though any prepaid credit that you have.

  stlucia 21 Apr 10

Thanks for your reply, donki.

My present SIM card doesn't say anything about 3G on it. If I understand you correctly, if I put it into a smartphone that has 3G capabilities, it will allow me to make normal phone and text messages, but not to use the 3G features. Am I correct?

I understood that, if I use the phone's WiFi connectivity, such as if I'm in an overseas Starbucks with free WiFi, I don't go through any phone network so I don't incur any phone charges. Presumably I would be able to do that with my present SIM card?

I don't really want 3G, because of its cost, but what I do want is calls, good calendar, notepad, spreadsheet, etc. functions within the phone, plus the bonus of WiFi connectivity.

Sorry about the extra questions: As you can see, this whole 3G thing is new territory to me, and I don't want to have to rely entirely on what a phone salesman might tell me ;-o

  donki 21 Apr 10

Yes you are correct a normal SIM will work for calls and txts, just checked on an old pay and go SIM. You will also be able to connect to WiFi but not BTopenzone or Cloud (i think), someone may be able to clarify that.

You would be surprised how handy and fast 3G is for web brousing and downloading, but if you have no need for it thats fine (not trying to sell you anything :))

I love the iPhone, not because I am an Apple fanboy but simply because of how easy and intuative it is to use. Everything is just where it should be and nothing is more than a few taps away. Its also fast and responsive and with the update to the OS coming in the summer multitasking will finaly be functional (one thing that lets the phone down). Why not pop into an apple store there is always loads out to play with.

  stlucia 21 Apr 10

Thanks, donki.

The iPhone seems just what I want, but I'm a little put off by it's cult status, and by my perception that Apple is sometimes more style than function. Anyway, I'll be looking at it, as well as the HTC Desire, which seems to get even better reviews than the iPhone, and the Motorola DEXT, which is much cheaper than either of them.

  stlucia 23 Apr 10

Just seen and handled the HTC Desire, and that's the one for me! Just got to make up my mind whether I buy it without contract, or go for a 24-month contract.

  Debe 27 Apr 10

I have a HTC Desire which I bought from dial-a-phone on Orange 24 mth cash back contract. I would recommend you check it out! the phone is a dream- i am in love with mine :)

  Debe 27 Apr 10

PS Once you start playing you will want to use 3G much more than you anticipated, the phone behaves like a netbook really.I would recommend getting unlimited internet or at least a 500mb download allowance in your plan!

  stlucia 27 Apr 10

Thanks, Debe. I've decided (at the moment) that I'll be going for an Orange PAYG plan because, being retired, I can do all the net surfing I want on my PC. It works out cheaper than a 24-month contract, even allowing for the initial purchase of the phone.

My main objective is to use the phone's WiFi capability while I'm overseas, and for it to replace my Palm PDA for notes, spreadsheets, calendar, music, photos, etc., as well as making phone calls.

I'll be visiting the phone shop on Friday morning, so you have until then to change my mind about what plan is best ;-))

  peter99co 04 May 10

I have just taken on a Blackberry from Virgin at £15 per month. (existing customers) Unlimited internet. (with strings)

  stlucia 04 May 10

Thanks, peter99co. I've got the phone on an Orange PAYG plan, thanks.

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