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Best Budget Smartphone Of 2013?


pl1

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I really like my iPhone in spite of feeling a little like a fashion victim. Don't like the sneaky way Apple make it default to a 'sent from my iPhone' footer on every email though ... I think anyone who needs to wave their w!lly like that sounds like a right pilchard and needs a hard smack. Apple: your customers are not all 16 and at school.:angry:

Sent from my iPhone

:P

Have had a feel of a couple of cheaper android phones....they seem a bit too tacky & lightweight...and susceptible to breaking easily...I suppose at least with the likes of the iphone, they feel a bit more weighty and a bit more too them...

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Whatever your beef with Apple over their guerilla marketing (I'm speaking generally not meaning you personally) they are beautifully designed, put together and 'just work'.

My iPhone 5 came with no instructions at all, not even on a mini CD - Apple claimed it was so intuitive you don't need any. Other manufacturers seem to have copied caught up with that demand for functionality now though.

My only grumble is that all the hundreds of 'docking' gadgets available on the market (hifi and the like) will not take the iP5 (they changed the shape of the plug :angry:.)

Not a fan of Apple as such, but the iphone is a very nifty piece of design...

There is....

http://store.apple.com/uk/product/MD823ZM/A/lightning-to-30-pin-adapter

You do need a "back" on the dock, so your iphone/pod can balance against it... I hear Bose have just released a lightening based dock...

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Any particular reason you didn't upgrade the archaic Samsung? What made you want to get one now?

Cost mainly, and I have been quite happy with old tech items. A new smartphone could provide a new line of entertainment in between work breaks. :)

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Cost mainly, and I have been quite happy with old tech items. A new smartphone could provide a new line of entertainment in between work breaks. :)

I admit the last year or so I've been shouldersurfing people on smartphones, I've been intrigued at what could be so friggin' important, the results aren't actually that surprising. Years and years of technology and UI design and they are used for:

Facebook (mainly status updates)

Texting (the SP keyboard (aka txt-speak killer) is the main reason I want a SP tbh)

These are the two I've seen mainly. The other ones I sometimes saw were Games and Twitter, rarely saw people browsing t'internet.

edit: Now I think about, rarely saw them being used as Phones i.e talking to people

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edit: Now I think about, rarely saw them being used as Phones i.e talking to people

A lot of them are very bad at that. And I don't just mean the well-publicised problems of iphones dropping signals or even crashing if you hold them in the wrong place (as in, to your ear) in some models.

Hold any phone up to your ear. Is it comfortable to hold there, or a chore? Is an accidental touch of your hair or ear on the screen likely to trigger something random by selecting something that happens to be on the screen? Some so-called smartphones are pure toy, and useless as phones.

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I admit the last year or so I've been shouldersurfing people on smartphones, I've been intrigued at what could be so friggin' important, the results aren't actually that surprising. Years and years of technology and UI design and they are used for:

Facebook (mainly status updates)

Texting (the SP keyboard (aka txt-speak killer) is the main reason I want a SP tbh)

These are the two I've seen mainly. The other ones I sometimes saw were Games and Twitter, rarely saw people browsing t'internet.

edit: Now I think about, rarely saw them being used as Phones i.e talking to people

I am a recent entrant into SP world. I bought a Samsung Galaxy Mini, practically obselete in Dec 2012, new from Tesco for under 60 quid. I use 'proper' PAYG, not the now common monthly recurring contracts that seems to pass for PAYG.

The rates are a ripoff by comparison but my use is so light I'm still better off.

The biggest 'pro' is being able to browse the net via home wireless connection. The biggest 'con' is battery life, every few days under light use. Overall, I'm not hugely bothered either way. I'll happily revert to a nonsmart example but it has its uses.

If you don't use a phone much it's not really a must have.

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Everyone should get a "dumb phone" with a dial and a bell! The harder it is to contact people, the more important your message has to be! ;)

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I have experience of Android, Windows and Apple phones.

At that sort of budget, the best of the lot would be an Apple iPhone 3GS even though it's years old.

The second best choice would be an iPhone 4 but probably second hand if on a budget. Only in second place because it's more expensive.

The third best would be a Windows phone - they're about £129 now, partner has one, brilliant display, speedy processor, nicely laid out, as reliable as Apple though a little quirky in places and some compatibility issues, not quite as seamless as the iPhone.

Android is hopelessly unstable and bug-riddled and not even worth considering.

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Got to say I agree. I've had a few different iPhones (usually from sales or second hand). There's little to choose between iOS and Android now. iOS perhaps ever so slightly slicker on occasion in terms of UI and more consistent overall. But you can get a decent Android for under £100 ie a fraction of the price of the cheapest iPhone - and some features like tethering are better than iOS (some carriers seem to lock it down) as is phone reception.

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Mrs C has always had the latest phone she could afford and has been in love with Samsung/Andriod for several years now and she is counting down the days when she can swap the S3 for the shiny must have S4. Me, I don't get it at all, buttons/touchscreen don't like my fingers and it never seems to work when I try and answer it. However, I took the smartphone plunge last year updating from a Nokia 4500 to a Nokia Lumia 800 with Windows 7.5. It is a smartphone for dummies, i.e. works for me and does everything I need of it, has a really decent satnav built in as well. Upsides are it is easier to text, I can and do surf the net a fair bit on it (mostly using wifi) and the calendar helps me not miss things as much, downside is battery life, a day if being used, three days if not. Deal through Carphone Warehouse costs £15 a month but got my mum a Lumia 700 for £7.50 a month and tbh although it looks/feels cheaper outside the processor,etc I think is the same.

Kids have iPhones, they are great but the whole Apple thing just puts me off.

edit:spelling

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Nonsense! I was going to ask if you worked for apple, but even an employee wouldn't have the brass neck to make a statement like that.

I'm actually a developer who has always worked exclusively with Microsoft products.

The iPhone is the only Apple thing that I own.

And I only have it because someone gave it to me - they'd upgraded to a version 5. I wouldn't have paid for it new, way too much money.

My view was that Apple was more about style and presentation than actual quality - you're paying for a name, a status symbol.

Until I got it. It just works. Everything on it always works, all the time. It never crashes. Never needs restarting.

I'm sensitive to bugs in software because I write software and have a short temper with buggy code that's been released and sold as a finished product. My Samsung Android mobile went off to Mazuma after only about a year, my Android tablet never gets used as it's useless and unstable. I just gave up with it. Both Android devices also had poor battery life. I may get a Microsoft "Surface" tablet at some point.

I once asked "is it necessary to pay £500 or more for a Smartphone you can live with" and my eventual conclusion was - yes,it is. Only the Apple ones are possible to live with easily. Except, you can always go second hand, and the 3GS is really cheap now. And, Windows phone changes the mix, it is, actually, rather good. And now, unlike back then, it's affordable.

I used to see people buying Mac desktops for thousands "just cos the see-thru case looked nice" and would have advised them to buy a PC, or "proper computer" instead which will do more than just look nice and actually offer some useful productivity, for example the OS won't crash if you open more than one application at a time. Apple have come a long way since those days.

No vested interest, just my experience.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm actually a developer who has always worked exclusively with Microsoft products.

The iPhone is the only Apple thing that I own.

And I only have it because someone gave it to me - they'd upgraded to a version 5. I wouldn't have paid for it new, way too much money.

My view was that Apple was more about style and presentation than actual quality - you're paying for a name, a status symbol.

Until I got it. It just works. Everything on it always works, all the time. It never crashes. Never needs restarting.

I'm sensitive to bugs in software because I write software and have a short temper with buggy code that's been released and sold as a finished product. My Samsung Android mobile went off to Mazuma after only about a year, my Android tablet never gets used as it's useless and unstable. I just gave up with it. Both Android devices also had poor battery life. I may get a Microsoft "Surface" tablet at some point.

I once asked "is it necessary to pay £500 or more for a Smartphone you can live with" and my eventual conclusion was - yes,it is. Only the Apple ones are possible to live with easily. Except, you can always go second hand, and the 3GS is really cheap now. And, Windows phone changes the mix, it is, actually, rather good. And now, unlike back then, it's affordable.

I used to see people buying Mac desktops for thousands "just cos the see-thru case looked nice" and would have advised them to buy a PC, or "proper computer" instead which will do more than just look nice and actually offer some useful productivity, for example the OS won't crash if you open more than one application at a time. Apple have come a long way since those days.

No vested interest, just my experience.

which samsung android mob was it tho?

if you got a flagship S2 or S3 then you can expect it to be thoroughly debugged, a budget end one then not

and which was your samsung tablet? which brand / pricepoint?

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A friend of mine got the Lumia 800 - which is Windows Phone 7.5 as opposed to Windows 8 - for £100 a few months back - found it via hotukdeals. He uses giffgaff £10 a month on it which is about 300 minutes, unlimited texts and a gig of internet. Good choice.

Here you go - £100 at Tesco. A very solid phone and comes with Nokia sat nav. Cannot be upgraded to Windows 8 though but who gives a feck.

http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/nokia-lumia-800-black-tesco-instore-100-1500511

Bunch of other Nokia Windows phones here:

http://www.hotukdeals.com/search?action=search&keywords=lumia

Lumia 800 does seem to be a good phone, but for OP's light use, doubt you could better Ovivo's Freedom contract.

My link

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which samsung android mob was it tho?

if you got a flagship S2 or S3 then you can expect it to be thoroughly debugged, a budget end one then not

and which was your samsung tablet? which brand / pricepoint?

I think it was the Galaxy S, this was around the time the Galaxy S2 was coming out.

Poorly built, made of the same low grade cheap black plastic as everything else by Samsung, very easily breakable, riddled with bugs to the point that it was impossible to live with daily. Battery life abysmal. Unstable, nowhere near ready for market. Replaced with the older iPhone 3GS after playing with having two phones - the second being a small £10 Samsung one. Better as a phone than the Galaxy S [for calls/signal] but the same reedy, thin, distorted call quality. Couldn't be bothered having two handsets.

Partner's Androind phone was an HTC Wildfire S. Better built, smaller screen, battery life abysmal. As well as being unstable, repeatedly needed rebooting to clear the "You have removed the SD card" message when you had actually done nothing of the sort. Nowhere near ready for market. Replaced with a Nokia Lumia Windows one.

Also had a Samsung big screen TV - the cheap black plastic let it down again, this time because the casing of the thing actually reverberated with speech, the built quality was a joke. Known issue with some Samsung TVs. Went back for a full refund after a week. Very poor quality. Replaced with a Panasonic one.

I realise my experiences with Samsung are poorer than most perhaps but I wouldn't touch them again. Get the Apple, the Samsung is the "style over substance" one, the Apple is the nicely thought through one which actually works.

Tablet was about £270 - a 10" one made by Archos, unstable, buggy, poor battery life, apps repeatedly shut down randomly for no reason, basically completely useless. Ought to have sold it really, probably worthless now. Boxed, just a few hours use, as new, will never be used again.Gift from partner, which makes it all the more galling really since it wasn't dirt cheap and just sits gathering dust now.

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I think it was the Galaxy S, this was around the time the Galaxy S2 was coming out.

Poorly built, made of the same low grade cheap black plastic as everything else by Samsung, very easily breakable, riddled with bugs to the point that it was impossible to live with daily. Battery life abysmal. Unstable, nowhere near ready for market. Replaced with the older iPhone 3GS after playing with having two phones - the second being a small £10 Samsung one. Better as a phone than the Galaxy S [for calls/signal] but the same reedy, thin, distorted call quality. Couldn't be bothered having two handsets.

Partner's Androind phone was an HTC Wildfire S. Better built, smaller screen, battery life abysmal. As well as being unstable, repeatedly needed rebooting to clear the "You have removed the SD card" message when you had actually done nothing of the sort. Nowhere near ready for market. Replaced with a Nokia Lumia Windows one.

Also had a Samsung big screen TV - the cheap black plastic let it down again, this time because the casing of the thing actually reverberated with speech, the built quality was a joke. Known issue with some Samsung TVs. Went back for a full refund after a week. Very poor quality. Replaced with a Panasonic one.

I realise my experiences with Samsung are poorer than most perhaps but I wouldn't touch them again. Get the Apple, the Samsung is the "style over substance" one, the Apple is the nicely thought through one which actually works.

Tablet was about £270 - a 10" one made by Archos, unstable, buggy, poor battery life, apps repeatedly shut down randomly for no reason, basically completely useless. Ought to have sold it really, probably worthless now. Boxed, just a few hours use, as new, will never be used again.Gift from partner, which makes it all the more galling really since it wasn't dirt cheap and just sits gathering dust now.

i've had a nexus 4 on jellybean since january and have yet to see a force-close.

i think i restarted it myself once when chrome went a bit screwy with about 15 tabs open.

i couldn't have said that about my ICS asus transformer.

things have moved on in the android world.

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I think it was the Galaxy S, this was around the time the Galaxy S2 was coming out.

Poorly built, made of the same low grade cheap black plastic as everything else by Samsung, very easily breakable, riddled with bugs to the point that it was impossible to live with daily. Battery life abysmal. Unstable, nowhere near ready for market. Replaced with the older iPhone 3GS after playing with having two phones - the second being a small £10 Samsung one. Better as a phone than the Galaxy S [for calls/signal] but the same reedy, thin, distorted call quality. Couldn't be bothered having two handsets.

Partner's Androind phone was an HTC Wildfire S. Better built, smaller screen, battery life abysmal. As well as being unstable, repeatedly needed rebooting to clear the "You have removed the SD card" message when you had actually done nothing of the sort. Nowhere near ready for market. Replaced with a Nokia Lumia Windows one.

Also had a Samsung big screen TV - the cheap black plastic let it down again, this time because the casing of the thing actually reverberated with speech, the built quality was a joke. Known issue with some Samsung TVs. Went back for a full refund after a week. Very poor quality. Replaced with a Panasonic one.

I realise my experiences with Samsung are poorer than most perhaps but I wouldn't touch them again. Get the Apple, the Samsung is the "style over substance" one, the Apple is the nicely thought through one which actually works.

Tablet was about £270 - a 10" one made by Archos, unstable, buggy, poor battery life, apps repeatedly shut down randomly for no reason, basically completely useless. Ought to have sold it really, probably worthless now. Boxed, just a few hours use, as new, will never be used again.Gift from partner, which makes it all the more galling really since it wasn't dirt cheap and just sits gathering dust now.

We got a Nexus 10 tablet at christmas, it's very nice to use (2500x1500 resolution!). Just after that, work gave me an Ipad mini, so I get to compare them (same price, give or take).. frankly there isn't much difference. The kids prefer the Nexus, it's got a better display and the Play Store isn't password protected for free apps. But there are a lot of shoddy cheap Android tablets out there.

I have a Sony Experia smartphone (the Bond Phone) - it's not as slick as HTC android phones but it does have an excellent 13MP camera, and since that's one of my pmain criteria in a phone that's great. Also works well as a satnav, browser, occasional email, and even texting/calling.

Next choice it what my wife gets on the next contract.. may be a Galaxy S III mini. Anyone got one for an opinion?

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Suspect I've just had some bad experiences. But then that's three Andoid devices all with similar stability and battery life issues.

The first things I want to know about phones:

1. Will it go for at least a day and a half with moderate usage and two days with light usage on a single charge?

2. Leaving aside the gadgets, does it actually work OK as a phone?

3. Does it all work properly, consistently?

If the answer to any of these is "no", it's out of the running.

Android left me with a distinctly "Windows 3.1" impression, still too near its infancy. Perhaps it's got as far as "Windows NT" now.

I do miss the lovely big sharp screen of the Samsung, the iPhone 3GS has a dreadful screen. But then perhaps that's about as far as you can go with these things until the battery life is sorted.

Which is annoying as the buttons on the phone are wearing out now and I have to replace it, which will probably be with an iPhone 4.

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1. Will it go for at least a day and a half with moderate usage and two days with light usage on a single charge?

2. Leaving aside the gadgets, does it actually work OK as a phone?

3. Does it all work properly, consistently?

...

I do miss the lovely big sharp screen of the Samsung, the iPhone 3GS has a dreadful screen. But then perhaps that's about as far as you can go with these things until the battery life is sorted.

...

all fair points in favour of the iphone

I have decided it's not Apple that annoy me - it's technology fanboyism that annoys me - the same hype over, say, Windows Vista (cr*p), large mobile phones and filofaxes in the 80s, small expensive Nokia mobile phones mid 90s (both not worth the money for most people), Apple smartphones currently (not worth the money for most people in return for putting up with relative inconveniences of android phones, for what they use them for at any rate), iMacs for domestic use (pointlessly expensive for the sake of a really nice screen)

I did write off the Kindle Fire but I believe it really has turned out to be a passably readable backlit screen with sensible pricing (best backlit screen available for books tho still not as good as dedicated e-ink) so yeah they may have got that ok, hype justified. It WAS same-pushed as an ereader and it does the job for moderate readers, which was the intention all along.

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doubt you could better Ovivo's Freedom contract.

I checked their reviews and not sure their business model or IT-backbone is sustainable

you could save money for a period until they go bust, but may get bad customer service in the meantime and hassle of switching in and back from your previous provider - up to you if it seems worth it or not

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