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Darkman

Understanding Smartphones...

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I bought a San Francisco smartphone, after reading about it on this very forum. It's my first smartphone, so there's a learning curve. I'm very happy with the phone. It only cost £80 2nd hand inc postage, and it's virtually new and boxed & unlocked.

I'm about to put my sim in it. The sim is provided by my employer, so I don't want any ridiculous charges on it. So my first question is about 3G access and satellite navigation. I read that Mapquest uses offline maps, whereas Google maps needs net access? Because this phone is capable of 3G access, will it connect to that level of data via my work sim? I definately don't want it doing that, because I can imagine the charges. Or am I way off base on this, and 3G has to be set up with a contract?

Anyway my primary aim right now is to set up a sat nav (and gps enabled dashboard cam) that doesn't connect to the internet. I want these offline and not incurring costs.

Any advice?

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I bought a San Francisco smartphone, after reading about it on this very forum. It's my first smartphone, so there's a learning curve. I'm very happy with the phone. It only cost £80 2nd hand inc postage, and it's virtually new and boxed & unlocked.

I'm about to put my sim in it. The sim is provided by my employer, so I don't want any ridiculous charges on it. So my first question is about 3G access and satellite navigation. I read that Mapquest uses offline maps, whereas Google maps needs net access? Because this phone is capable of 3G access, will it connect to that level of data via my work sim? I definately don't want it doing that, because I can imagine the charges. Or am I way off base on this, and 3G has to be set up with a contract?

Anyway my primary aim right now is to set up a sat nav (and gps enabled dashboard cam) that doesn't connect to the internet. I want these offline and not incurring costs.

Any advice?

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Ditch your employer sim get this......................Unlimited mobile Internet for one whole month for £10 a month top up...............Brilliant!

For only £10 get 250 UK minutes, unlimited UK texts and unlimited mobile Internet for one month. Plus, you will still benefit from our free giffgaff to giffgaff calls and texts on top of that.

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The unlimited internet with giffgaff is good but... I didn't go with that... lol...

You can turn off the 'Use packet data' and 'data roaming' in your application settings.

You need to change your mindset using a smartphone - most do not. Basically, you connect the wireless connection to surf the web, read email, use the sat nav stuff, etc. For example, when at home my android is connected to my router and I use it for all web stuff.

When I am out and about I look for free wi-fi and only resort to using my packet data when I cannot find free wi-fi. But you have to get into the routine of disabling and enabling the different features to minimise costs.

I agree about co-pilot - it is very good. The google maps can end up giving you vast data charges if you are not careful as they only download about 2 miles of maps ahead of your location, IIRC, whilst you are on the go. So that means you can end up with huge packet data charges if you are not careful, especially in Europe, as the phone is constantly downloading bits of maps. On a long journey that can be painful financially.

Co-pilot downloads the maps you require to your phone beforehand - i.e. you can do it at home via your wireless router - and hence are on the phone when you want to use co-pilot for directions. If you are going to a different country - e.g. France - you just download the French map before you go.

I used to have co-pilot for the UK on my last windows mobile and it was very good but I have not bought it yet for my android. There seems to be numerous different versions on the marketplace so I ain't sure which one is the one to opt for now.

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The unlimited internet with giffgaff is good but... I didn't go with that... lol...

You can turn off the 'Use packet data' and 'data roaming' in your application settings.

You need to change your mindset using a smartphone - most do not. Basically, you connect the wireless connection to surf the web, read email, use the sat nav stuff, etc. For example, when at home my android is connected to my router and I use it for all web stuff.

When I am out and about I look for free wi-fi and only resort to using my packet data when I cannot find free wi-fi. But you have to get into the routine of disabling and enabling the different features to minimise costs.

I agree about co-pilot - it is very good. The google maps can end up giving you vast data charges if you are not careful as they only download about 2 miles of maps ahead of your location, IIRC, whilst you are on the go. So that means you can end up with huge packet data charges if you are not careful, especially in Europe, as the phone is constantly downloading bits of maps. On a long journey that can be painful financially.

Co-pilot downloads the maps you require to your phone beforehand - i.e. you can do it at home via your wireless router - and hence are on the phone when you want to use co-pilot for directions. If you are going to a different country - e.g. France - you just download the French map before you go.

I used to have co-pilot for the UK on my last windows mobile and it was very good but I have not bought it yet for my android. There seems to be numerous different versions on the marketplace so I ain't sure which one is the one to opt for now.

Surely CoPilot stores the maps that you have purchased, UK or Europe for these parts, on your phone memory card?

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Surely CoPilot stores the maps that you have purchased, UK or Europe for these parts, on your phone memory card?

Yes, that is what I said. You download the UK maps to your phone when you purchase it unlike google maps which downloads them as you go on a route.

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Yes, that is what I said. You download the UK maps to your phone when you purchase it unlike google maps which downloads them as you go on a route.

Ah, I thought you meant you download the route portion of a map before each trip. There is a nav package like that, I forget what it's called.

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ok I switched off the data roaming etc, so hopefully no nasty charges. I have Mapquest loaded, and I assume this pre-loads the maps. I'll soon find out anyway as I test it on the road.

Giff Gaff sounds amazing at that price. I may or may not use it though, because my internet needs on the move are virtually nill. And I can easily connect via wifi at home to download any apps I might need.

Co-pilot seems to be highly regarded here. I notice it's fairly expensive compared to free apps like Mapquest. But you get what you pay for of course. So if need be, I'll buy it.

On the whole this smartphone is blowing me away. It does so many things that it's making other devices redundant. And the screen is amazingly responsive. The only negative so far (apart from the diabolical camera) is that when I connect via usb my pc doesn't recognise it. For now I'm transferring files via the micro SD instead.

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ok I switched off the data roaming etc, so hopefully no nasty charges. I have Mapquest loaded, and I assume this pre-loads the maps. I'll soon find out anyway as I test it on the road.

Giff Gaff sounds amazing at that price. I may or may not use it though, because my internet needs on the move are virtually nill. And I can easily connect via wifi at home to download any apps I might need.

Co-pilot seems to be highly regarded here. I notice it's fairly expensive compared to free apps like Mapquest. But you get what you pay for of course. So if need be, I'll buy it.

On the whole this smartphone is blowing me away. It does so many things that it's making other devices redundant. And the screen is amazingly responsive. The only negative so far (apart from the diabolical camera) is that when I connect via usb my pc doesn't recognise it. For now I'm transferring files via the micro SD instead.

I'm looking to buy a smartphone to replace half-a-dozen other devices too. A Samsung Galaxy S2 would be favourite, but I'm wondering if an HTC Desire might be enough for a lot less money (£295 instead of £475). I don't go out that much, so TalkMobile's PAYG SIM might do the job for connecting.

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Is that like Bowis's wiff waff wiff a diffewent accent?

No, it's punishable by death.

Apparently, putting an affiliate link in your sig where someone can get something for free from a legit company but I don't get anything until you take the time to set up an Internet account, understand you're getting a new phone service and then inserting your payment details to activate a SIM card is not allowed. Lesson learned ;)

On the smartphone front, the whole point of it is having 3G data switched on all the time, not faffing about with your settings or wasting time looking for free wifi. When I've looked at tariffs, the cheapest way into things seemed to be getting a contract from one of the providers with quidco but that relies on paying for a not especially good contract and trusting that the cahback eventually finds it's way to you. I wanted out of a contract and have seen quidco claims bounced, hence using the provider that I'm not even sure I can say anymore.

I have used their model where you pay for Internet on a daily basis - 20p for 20mb and google maps will use loads on a longish trip. The few days you I don't use 3G is not really worth the saving compared to going on one for a fixed monthly fee. Always on is probably the way to go.

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ok I switched off the data roaming etc, so hopefully no nasty charges. I have Mapquest loaded, and I assume this pre-loads the maps. I'll soon find out anyway as I test it on the road.

Giff Gaff sounds amazing at that price. I may or may not use it though, because my internet needs on the move are virtually nill. And I can easily connect via wifi at home to download any apps I might need.

Co-pilot seems to be highly regarded here. I notice it's fairly expensive compared to free apps like Mapquest. But you get what you pay for of course. So if need be, I'll buy it.

On the whole this smartphone is blowing me away. It does so many things that it's making other devices redundant. And the screen is amazingly responsive. The only negative so far (apart from the diabolical camera) is that when I connect via usb my pc doesn't recognise it. For now I'm transferring files via the micro SD instead.

Make sure you've switched off data, not just data roaming, or else it may be active in the UK. ie Roaming is when you're abroad.

Also, check with your company, they may have negotiated an inclusive data package that doesn't show up on the bill.

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This will be old news to those owning smartphones already, but it's mind blowing how many uses these things actually have. It's made quite a few bits of kit redundant.

The screen on this thing is amazing, and makes me thing it's not the screen size that counts as much as the resolution and quality.

Playing with this thing reminds me a little of when I first bought a PC. It was an eye opener just how many applications they had. So anyone who's held back from buying a smartphone, I advise to get moving and buy one asap. 10 out of 10!

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I'm looking to buy a smartphone to replace half-a-dozen other devices too. A Samsung Galaxy S2 would be favourite, but I'm wondering if an HTC Desire might be enough for a lot less money (£295 instead of £475). I don't go out that much, so TalkMobile's PAYG SIM might do the job for connecting.

I got rid of an HTC Touch 2 and bought a Samsung Galaxy S (I think, not an S2) which cost £269 including £10 on Orange, but it's not locked, so it currently has an O2 SIM in it, which I'll be getting rid of and replacing with a Three one when the credit runs out (only Three is really strong here)

Went for the Samsung because (compared with HTC)

- The battery on my HTC failed after little more than a year and I'm old enough to "bear grudges";

- An issue with HTC phones which affected my old one and still affects new ones allegedly including the Desire - which will only impact some (like us): when you're in a variable coverage area and you move in and out of range of a WiFi signal (like the house) it doesn't correctly switch from WiFi to 3G, it gets stuck on 3G (so you're sitting indoors next to the wireless router and the phone is trying to use its own 3G);

- The dictionary on the (American) HTC phone was so very useless that I went for over a year without the auto-complete because it was so rarely right it was quicker to just type it all in: not sure whether that's an HTC thing or an OS thing though

It does feel more solid and better quality than an HTC. How it actually compares in use (to the Desire) I can't say but I didn't have £475 to spend.

It is very good, though, compared to the thing I had, very speedy, big screen, etc - can't fault it really, the Android OS isn't perfectly stable (one misbehaving app can bring it down, like used to happen with Windows 95) but then that presumably applies to all handsets with it on.

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This will be old news to those owning smartphones already, but it's mind blowing how many uses these things actually have. It's made quite a few bits of kit redundant.

The screen on this thing is amazing, and makes me thing it's not the screen size that counts as much as the resolution and quality.

Playing with this thing reminds me a little of when I first bought a PC. It was an eye opener just how many applications they had. So anyone who's held back from buying a smartphone, I advise to get moving and buy one asap. 10 out of 10!

Have you got rid of all the annoying Orange software? Loading a new ROM greatly increases the stability and speed of the San Fran. Personally I use an Android 2.2 basic ROM and just downloaded new keyboard etc to customise it as I preferred.

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yes I bought it 2nd hand already unlocked and without the Orange "apps". I'm using Android 2.3, and it seems very stable so far.

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I got rid of an HTC Touch 2 and bought a Samsung Galaxy S (I think, not an S2) which cost £269 including £10 on Orange, but it's not locked, so it currently has an O2 SIM in it, which I'll be getting rid of and replacing with a Three one when the credit runs out (only Three is really strong here)

Went for the Samsung because (compared with HTC)

- The battery on my HTC failed after little more than a year and I'm old enough to "bear grudges";

- An issue with HTC phones which affected my old one and still affects new ones allegedly including the Desire - which will only impact some (like us): when you're in a variable coverage area and you move in and out of range of a WiFi signal (like the house) it doesn't correctly switch from WiFi to 3G, it gets stuck on 3G (so you're sitting indoors next to the wireless router and the phone is trying to use its own 3G);

- The dictionary on the (American) HTC phone was so very useless that I went for over a year without the auto-complete because it was so rarely right it was quicker to just type it all in: not sure whether that's an HTC thing or an OS thing though

It does feel more solid and better quality than an HTC. How it actually compares in use (to the Desire) I can't say but I didn't have £475 to spend.

It is very good, though, compared to the thing I had, very speedy, big screen, etc - can't fault it really, the Android OS isn't perfectly stable (one misbehaving app can bring it down, like used to happen with Windows 95) but then that presumably applies to all handsets with it on.

Thanks for your comments, Mark. You've certainly made me think again about getting an HTC. I'd also consider a Galaxy S, except that it apparently has no flash, and I wanted it to replace my camera too. It looks great otherwise, and reasonably priced.

What about the Google Nexus S? Anybody care to recommend/warn away from that?

I'm itching to get my first smartphone, but don't really want to pay more than about £300!

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Thanks for your comments, Mark. You've certainly made me think again about getting an HTC. I'd also consider a Galaxy S, except that it apparently has no flash, and I wanted it to replace my camera too. It looks great otherwise, and reasonably priced.

What about the Google Nexus S? Anybody care to recommend/warn away from that?

I'm itching to get my first smartphone, but don't really want to pay more than about £300!

It's not really fair to compare a bottom of the range product from one manufacturer with a top of the range from another. HTC make some of the very best phones, along with some cheaper products.

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It's not really fair to compare a bottom of the range product from one manufacturer with a top of the range from another. HTC make some of the very best phones, along with some cheaper products.

I was thinking that the HTC Desire and Galaxy S (not S2) were comparable, but I've just come across an ad for an unlocked HTC Desire for £200, so I guess not!

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I was thinking that the HTC Desire and Galaxy S (not S2) were comparable, but I've just come across an ad for an unlocked HTC Desire for £200, so I guess not!

The Desire HD is more comparable to the Galaxy S than the Desire.

The closest HTC to the Galaxy S2 would be the HTC Sensation.

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Another one finally rolling with the times and interested in opinions. Currently have Samsung tocco lite. Don’t like it - turns itself on in my pocket, pre 3g very slow web, pre android, poor screen sensitivity.

Use o2 simplicity so just want the cheapest ok smartphone that I can put the sim in - and then all it has to do is remain locked when it should, make/receive calls, maintain a rolling calendar/diary, have ability to download/store audio podcasts, better web access for checking footy, economic stuff. That’s about it.

So far the minimum price I’m finding is about £150 (eg htc wildfire s) via the specials through the main comparison sites. Is this just what they cost off contract? Is the san francisco comparable? The galaxy s2 is more than I want to spend on a phone, but any samsungs worth a look? Ta

San Francisco is fantastic for the money. £105 from Orange on PAYG but they may do a deal if you phone them and ask. I got one for my daughter for £70 inc £10 worth of calls a few months ago. Also available from Argos for £99.99.

It would be locked to orange, but unlock instructions are given this site... http://sanfranciscoandroid.co.uk/ who also sell it for £99.99.

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Hmm, I'd just convinced myself that an unlocked PAYG with Orange HTC Desire for £200 checked all my boxes (despite DTMark's warnings), when I discovered that there are whole internet communities devoted to "unbranding" Orange smartphones. It seems they are cheaper because they are filled with unwanted Orange customisations of dubious value, but a little trickery will let you restore your Desire to its former unsullied glory. Maybe.

Nothing is ever simple!

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  • 332 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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