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Digital Home & Smartphones Help


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A few smartphone questions


stlucia

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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?

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SURVEY

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stlucia - I am in precisely the same quandary as you were when you posed your initial posting. I presently have a Vodafone SIM on PAYG on a Nokia 6350 which I use rarely for internet access on 3G but useful all the same. I like the HTC Desire and am thinking of using this with my present SIM still on PAYG. Have you found any downside to this? I am not sure what if any limit Vodafone place on my internet access as the cost works out at 50p per day (for internet)plus calls/texts however many times I access the Internet on 3G.

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SURVEY

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As a rider to my last posting - I find from the Vodafone site that 'Your 50p buys you 25MB which is enough to watch a couple of YouTube clips, read up to 90 BBC News stories, and read and reply to around 100 emails.' One can also pay £5 per month and this you '250MB which is enough to read and reply to a whopping 5,000 emails, download 12 Google maps and read 4,000 BBC News stories during your 30 days.'

Like stlucia, I would value the use of wifi on the smartphone when abroad (no cost of course) and checking in for emails and surfing a few regular pages on 3G when wifi is not available.

Maybe if I find that I am using much more internet it may become more economic to get a monthly contract. At present I spend about £120 per year on PAYG calls, texts and very very limited 3G internet. Deals seem to cost £30month for 2 years so £720 total cost with a free phone. Using PAYG the phone will cost £430 plus 2 years use as at present 2x £120 £670. However if I use a lot more 3G then the costs are much the same and maybe the contract is the better option!

Anyone any comment/advice?

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SURVEY

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stlucia - did you actually buy the HTC Desire? If so, how are you getting on with it?

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Condom

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I have a new iPhone 4 which I use unlocked in Thailand and I use a local PAYG provider, 1 to Call. There is very little 3G in Thailand especially outside Bangkok but the phone still works well. There are plenty of free WiFi points so I can use my phone at very little cost as all calls here are very cheap. I use my Orange PAYG card while in the UK but you need to bear in mind that the new iPhone uses minature Sim cards and shops here have a special cutter to reduce normal Sim cards down to size. They did my Orange card at the same time as they did my local card all for free.

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stlucia

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Sorry about the delay in responding; I was away in Thailand for six weeks and never thought of checking my PCAdvisor postings.

I got the HTC Desire, and I was getting on fine with it until it went into a shut-down/re-boot cycle while I was taking pictures with it in Bangkok. I had to take the battery out to stop it cycling, and when I put the battery back in it about 20 minutes later, it seemed to work fine again. It cycled itself again a week or so later, but it booted itself up properly after a couple of cycles, without me having to remove the battery. Then it did it again after I got home a week ago, so it's now in with Carphone Warehouse for repair or replacement.

On the positive side, the Desire has replaced my old phone, my Palm Tungsten E2 and, most of the time, my digital camera too. I keep spreadsheets and notes on it, as well as the usual contacts and calendar.

I use a voice/text only PAYG Orange SIM card in UK, and in Thailand I got a voice/text PAYG card from 1-2-Call. I was disappointed to find how many venues charge for Wi-Fi access, but the call rates in Thailand seem to have reduced significantly since I was there a year ago, for a 300 Baht top-up (about £6) lasted all of my six weeks, and there's 89 Baht remaining.

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sunnystaines

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I got the HTC Desire too, the voice control text etc app is excellent.
glad i bought it before they changed to w7

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giffgaff

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A cheaper alternative for UK mobile payg customers with their own phone is giffgaff, with free internet access starting from £5 a month (100mb per day), or truly unlimited internet access for as little as £10 a month with unlimited texts and same call networks.
click here

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