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Best Budget Smartphone Of 2013?


pl1

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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

I believe it's the cheap outlet of a bigger player. T-mobile perhaps?

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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 don't think new Apple phones are worth the money in as far as the iPhone 5 is about £499 for the cheapest model. For those who like contracts, the cheapest is £99 down and £27 a month for just 1GB of data. I think that's just too much money to spend on a mobile phone but then that's just me.

Apple fans would doubtless argue that since they keep their value so well, they don't work out that expensive if you want to stick to the brand and keep upgrading compared with some other handsets. Even so, five hundred pounds for a phone?

The other irony is that actually, I don't think the iPhone has ever looked all that "sexy". Either in terms of its appearance (they all look rather "dull", the glossy Samsungs actually manage to look more flash and modern) or the actual OS itself, it looks dated.

But the build quality is exemplary and it's ergonomically very nice to use in almost all respects.

One further factor: when you inevitably drop it, does it fragment into several bits of plastic or does it survive? iPhone is very thick plastic and metal.

Not worth the money new in my view - but for about £150 for an iPhone 4 (think that's what you can get one for last time I looked, might have involved trading in the 3GS though) I'd say that's pretty good value.

I've had all of these phones now, admittedly we're only talking about several models and I haven't kept up, but I don't really understand "brand disciples" and certainly as you say, for most people, I reckon the prices for new Apple phones are just pie in the sky.

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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.

The trouble is that the word "smartphone" is not good description for these devices, more of a marketing gimmick. Indeed, I hardly use mine as a phone at all, more as a mobile internet and computing device.

My cleaning lady, for example, has just been proudly showing me the cheapish smartphone that her daughter had just bought for her to replace her perfectly functional conventional handset. She's not interested in downloading apps or even using it for web browsing or email; she just wants it for phoning and texting. But she finds the touchscreen fiddly and confusing, complains about the short (2 day) battery life and finds the phone awkward to hold. For her (and her daughter) it's purely marketing pressure that drove the purchase; it's actually a step backwards in functionality.

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I have recently converted to a smart phone - for many years my Motorola Razr did sterling service, with a battery life of 3 days and perfectly good call quality. When I was looking to replace it, all I really wanted was a phone. I ended up getting an iPhone 5 (mainly because work paid for it), and also because my iPad experience tells me that I won't need to administrate or fiddle with the damn thing - it may be a limited closed environment, but the upside of that it is that fiddling is limited.

The main point is that your usage changes. All I wanted was a phone - but I now have an email client, a satnav (if you have a smart phone and don't have Waze, you are seriously missing out), a music player, a calendar client ... and probably a bazillion other uses that I have not thought of yet. Don't think of it as a phone - this is a compute platform, and the applications are the most important bit of it.

The thing that has surprised me is that the battery life is not actually a problem. If you don't constantly fiddle with the phone, then it last for ages.

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  • 3 months later...

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Any new candidates? Due to a couple of 'accidents' I could do with a new phone.

Performance should be at least as good as HTC Desire S. the Samsung Galaxy Ace my wife has to replace her S, is crap in comparison (its an even older design) but there's not much decent around for approx. £100.

There's a very good huawei android at 100 spec for the money and properly engineered

Also galaxy s3 mini now available for less than 200

Galaxy ace 3 due out soon

at 150

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Not convinced by these, I've been used to HTC Sense for 4 years

Is £150-£200 budget nowadays?

Fair points

I'm still amazed hour much my little Galaxy y does for 55 quid, once I put a bit of memory management software on it to cope with limited resources

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Never use your phone in the toilet. ;)

I wouldn't want to point the finger but none of it was my fault.

An HTC Desire S that switches on and looks ok but the touchscreen doesn't work. Apparently this is normal for this phone that gets wet. I would risk buying the needed parts for £35 off eBay but it also doesn't seem to hold a charge any more and I don't know what the problem there is. Some internal short? The battery? Who knows but I don't want to risk changing the touchscreen only to find there is another I diagnosed problem.

I also have a Desire Z where one day the screen stopped showing anything. Given its a tilting keyboard thingy, I would guess its the screen cable or connection that is the problem. Probably fixable but not looked into it properly

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  • 3 weeks later...

That Nexus 4 is tempting. I have an ace 2 that I have unlocked and upgraded to Jelly bean. It's a tad slow in Chrome.

I have a giff gaff sim to try though I have had issues with providers that piggy back signals in past. I am not sure if giff gaff works In this way. Orange loyalty ,after getting the pac transfer code , offered 1000 mins , unlimited texts and 250mb internet for £8 a month. I suppose the benefits of sim free / unlocked mean one can jump around :)

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That Nexus 4 is tempting. I have an ace 2 that I have unlocked and upgraded to Jelly bean. It's a tad slow in Chrome.

I have a giff gaff sim to try though I have had issues with providers that piggy back signals in past. I am not sure if giff gaff works In this way. Orange loyalty ,after getting the pac transfer code , offered 1000 mins , unlimited texts and 250mb internet for £8 a month. I suppose the benefits of sim free / unlocked mean one can jump around :)

Giffgaff uses the BT network in the UK. All depends who are good in your area.

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Google just took 25% off the price of the Nexus 4 - now £160 for the 8GB version.

No contract so a tenner a month on giffgaff makes a heck of a phone for the money.

Beat me to it!

Ordered mine

£7 per month sim only on Virgin is also pretty good, prob less data than giff gaff I imagine

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Beat me to it!

Ordered mine

£7 per month sim only on Virgin is also pretty good, prob less data than giff gaff I imagine

According to the hotukdeals thread Google is swamped.

Some people got their phones this morning having ordered yesterday, others got an email saying that the phone would be sent in Sept but got the phone this morning, others got their order cancelled and others, like a friend of mine, has had no order confirmation at all.

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