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Best Budget Smartphone Of 2013?


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I had the Nexus 4 for like two weeks and sold it on partly because of the horrendous battery. Got a Note 2 now - amaaaaazing battery. Survived almost a full day heavy usage (like pretty much constantly on it). And that was on the first charge.

Argh, the size is too big as it is never mind a fricking Note.

Did I say I would have preferred an iPhone?

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I had the Nexus 4 for like two weeks and sold it on partly because of the horrendous battery. Got a Note 2 now - amaaaaazing battery. Survived almost a full day heavy usage (like pretty much constantly on it). And that was on the first charge.

the nexus 4 (as I understand it) has an inefficient screen - they do not have access to Samsung, Sony, Apple (etc) best screen tech, ie high def AND efficient

also it has a lightning fast but inefficient quad core processor

and probably no built in power management, not finely tweaked like you get (and pay for) from samsung high end phones, apple sony etc

I have just received my 8gb nexus 4 (lucky me, may be one of the last ones) and what it is is a geek phone - it is simply not that useful straight out of the box (like an apple or samsung) ; you NEED to pay for, install and download utility apps to get the most from it. If you are a techie and enjoy fiddling then it is for you, ie you save 50% of the price of a high end phone and get one that will do the job if you can deal with extra faf, which deep down techies love anyway

i love mine and have installed juice defender, and am getting one of these http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00DW4EKUM/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 to further get round the battery problem

and of course if you are a geek chances are you work in front of a computer for all or part of the day so plugging said nexus 4 phone into usb port to charge will be easy enough

that said of course this phone is not for everyone - it is not a use-out-of-the-box product, but it is still excellent

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Clones worry me with regard to safety, performance and reliability.

reading between the lines in reviews of clones (which are legal at any rate, and probably safe, conforming to international radio equipment regulations), is that they look the part but basically don't work very well; if you want a Galaxy Note then put your efforts into researching the best deal for a Galaxy Note, don't waste money (which it will be, wasted) on a no name clone of a Galaxy Note, it will be shlte

that said, chines manufacturers like HTC and Huawei no longer make clones and their wares are now approaching the same standards as Japanese, S. Korean (etc) manufacturers

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"normal use" excludes intensive screen-on time (eg. watching movies or browsing) which will flatten the battery in a couple of hours.

As I said, as I understand it the Nexus 4 has an inefficient screen, which is consistent with what you say above

a samsung sony apple etc will use less juice under heavy screen usage

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5.7 inch screen as opposed to 7 inches on the Nexus 7. 200 quid for Nexus 7 plus cost of a smartphone. Hmm, perhaps a non-contract Note would do. Just thinking out loud.

I had similar thoughts, but the Note does seem too large to be a phone!

two other options - get a tablet with in built SIM card connection - like the ASUS fonepad tablets - that you can connect a bluetooth headset and use as a phone, it thinks it is a phone, standard GSM, dialler everything, AFAIK - http://www.saveonlaptops.co.uk/ASUS_Fonepad_Tablet_Phon_1356066.html?utm_medium=google_shopping&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=google_shopping&gclid=CLiR8JiYwLkCFXMgtAod43AApg

(Asus make the nexus 7 incidentally, and reputation wise people say Asus-branded tablets of the same production quality)

OR - have phone and tablet (was using my new Nexus 4 besides my 7 inch Acer tablet the other day and this occurred to me) - and someone should bring out some software to transform your phone into a bluetooth keyboard that maybe slips into a fold in your tablet case for enhancing the typing function of your tablet, and allows routing of say Google Hangouts phone calls to video ON THE TABLET, all rather integrated but at the same time Google should like this as it should be an attraction of the android environment - integration (which they are achieving via bluetooth, NFC etc slowly)

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Is there a less battery intensive browser than Chrome?

I do not know if it uses less battery, but I prefer firefox on android now (seeme to crash less with better memory management and renders text more readable), although it runs slower

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I had similar thoughts, but the Note does seem too large to be a phone!

two other options - get a tablet with in built SIM card connection - like the ASUS fonepad tablets - that you can connect a bluetooth headset and use as a phone, it thinks it is a phone, standard GSM, dialler everything, AFAIK - http://www.saveonlaptops.co.uk/ASUS_Fonepad_Tablet_Phon_1356066.html?utm_medium=google_shopping&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=google_shopping&gclid=CLiR8JiYwLkCFXMgtAod43AApg

(Asus make the nexus 7 incidentally, and reputation wise people say Asus-branded tablets of the same production quality)

OR - have phone and tablet (was using my new Nexus 4 besides my 7 inch Acer tablet the other day and this occurred to me) - and someone should bring out some software to transform your phone into a bluetooth keyboard that maybe slips into a fold in your tablet case for enhancing the typing function of your tablet, and allows routing of say Google Hangouts phone calls to video ON THE TABLET, all rather integrated but at the same time Google should like this as it should be an attraction of the android environment - integration (which they are achieving via bluetooth, NFC etc slowly)

Cheeers didn't Know that.

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the nexus 4 (as I understand it) has an inefficient screen - they do not have access to Samsung, Sony, Apple (etc) best screen tech, ie high def AND efficient

also it has a lightning fast but inefficient quad core processor

and probably no built in power management, not finely tweaked like you get (and pay for) from samsung high end phones, apple sony etc

I have just received my 8gb nexus 4 (lucky me, may be one of the last ones) and what it is is a geek phone - it is simply not that useful straight out of the box (like an apple or samsung) ; you NEED to pay for, install and download utility apps to get the most from it. If you are a techie and enjoy fiddling then it is for you, ie you save 50% of the price of a high end phone and get one that will do the job if you can deal with extra faf, which deep down techies love anyway

i love mine and have installed juice defender, and am getting one of these http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00DW4EKUM/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 to further get round the battery problem

and of course if you are a geek chances are you work in front of a computer for all or part of the day so plugging said nexus 4 phone into usb port to charge will be easy enough

that said of course this phone is not for everyone - it is not a use-out-of-the-box product, but it is still excellent

I've got mine on order & should be here in a couple of days. What utility apps are you planning to install?

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the nexus 4 (as I understand it) has an inefficient screen - they do not have access to Samsung, Sony, Apple (etc) best screen tech, ie high def AND efficient

also it has a lightning fast but inefficient quad core processor

and probably no built in power management, not finely tweaked like you get (and pay for) from samsung high end phones, apple sony etc

I have just received my 8gb nexus 4 (lucky me, may be one of the last ones) and what it is is a geek phone - it is simply not that useful straight out of the box (like an apple or samsung) ; you NEED to pay for, install and download utility apps to get the most from it. If you are a techie and enjoy fiddling then it is for you, ie you save 50% of the price of a high end phone and get one that will do the job if you can deal with extra faf, which deep down techies love anyway

i love mine and have installed juice defender, and am getting one of these http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00DW4EKUM/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 to further get round the battery problem

and of course if you are a geek chances are you work in front of a computer for all or part of the day so plugging said nexus 4 phone into usb port to charge will be easy enough

that said of course this phone is not for everyone - it is not a use-out-of-the-box product, but it is still excellent

Thanks for that, obviously why it was half the price of the decent phones. I've already got the screen brightness turned down to the minimum

Something I thought of was maybe an app that mimiced a much smaller display so you only used half the screen and saved muchos battery. I would put up with that some of the time if it gave a useful saving.

As sukuinage asks, what apps help? I have installed the free JuiceDefender and I'm getting a figure of about 1.35 to 1.4. Is it worthwhile paying for the upgrade? I've had an andorid phone for 4 years but never paid for content.

How do i turn off the annoying key vibration when I type? "Settings" is a poor relation to the choice I've had before.

Why doesn't the keyboard have a selection of punctuation marks easily available as "2nd functions" on the letters? Every time I want to use a comma I'm having to pull up the symbols page, grrrr.

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Thanks for that, obviously why it was half the price of the decent phones. I've already got the screen brightness turned down to the minimum

decent? oh dear.

did you try the other tips I suggested? manually switching things on/off will save you as much or more battery than any app.

it's possible you were mis-sold this phone, which while cheap, flexible and powerful, as another poster has said, requires a certain amount of tweaking to get the best out of it. It sounds like you might be happier with an iphone.

Something I thought of was maybe an app that mimiced a much smaller display so you only used half the screen and saved muchos battery. I would put up with that some of the time if it gave a useful saving.

As sukuinage asks, what apps help? I have installed the free JuiceDefender and I'm getting a figure of about 1.35 to 1.4. Is it worthwhile paying for the upgrade? I've had an andorid phone for 4 years but never paid for content.

How do i turn off the annoying key vibration when I type? "Settings" is a poor relation to the choice I've had before.

Why doesn't the keyboard have a selection of punctuation marks easily available as "2nd functions" on the letters? Every time I want to use a comma I'm having to pull up the symbols page, grrrr.

the keyboard app has just been updated to supply numerals as long-press options but the comma is stil on a 2nd page, which is slightly annoying. that said, unlike apple phones, it does have swype-functionality out-of-the-box.

other capabilities i would miss if i were to go apple are productivity-related, eg. 720p HDMI-out to a monitor; the ability to use a portable BT mouse and keyboard; and a universal file-system for swapping documents between apps.

each to his own though. as i said, battery-life isn't an issue for me.

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decent? oh dear.

did you try the other tips I suggested? manually switching things on/off will save you as much or more battery than any app.

it's possible you were mis-sold this phone, which while cheap, flexible and powerful, as another poster has said, requires a certain amount of tweaking to get the best out of it. It sounds like you might be happier with an iphone.

the keyboard app has just been updated to supply numerals as long-press options but the comma is stil on a 2nd page, which is slightly annoying. that said, unlike apple phones, it does have swype-functionality out-of-the-box.

other capabilities i would miss if i were to go apple are productivity-related, eg. 720p HDMI-out to a monitor; the ability to use a portable BT mouse and keyboard; and a universal file-system for swapping documents between apps.

each to his own though. as i said, battery-life isn't an issue for me.

Its just not very intuitive coming from using another android phone. Turns out if you press and hold the full stop, you get some punctuation mark options and comma is the default additional item so there's something new for you. Press and hold . to get ,

Also, no default space after using a full stop in some of the note apps.

Little things that disrupt the user experience.

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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.

How long ago did you try the Android devices?

NT, BTW, was actually the firs useable version of Windows, but then everything before it was DOS + Windows, the dOS just got better hidden from the casual user.

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I've got mine on order & should be here in a couple of days. What utility apps are you planning to install?

Paid apps:

Juice defender plus (on balanced setting gets currently claimed 1.7x increase in battery life, would be interesting to see what the more expensive pro version gets) £2

Kii keyboard to improve significantly on the rubbish stock android keyboard, again about £2

Free apps: various individual widgets to access easily from home screen things like auto rotate setting, WiFi tether, mobile data on/off (even tho juice defender overrides this)

Incidentally, once you have bought an android app, that's it, you can use it on as many and as different compatible devices as you like in future if they are on the same Google play account

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Its just not very intuitive coming from using another android phone. Turns out if you press and hold the full stop, you get some punctuation mark options and comma is the default additional item so there's something new for you. Press and hold . to get ,

Also, no default space after using a full stop in some of the note apps.

Little things that disrupt the user experience.

Indeed

Samsung etc add their own skins to android for good reasons

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Ah

This may be the reason that the nexus 4 had its price dropped so aggressively

The new iPhone 5 flagship model will start from 199 dollars (£130) and the plastic new budget iPhone from 99 dollars (£65), I assume that is a cash non contact price (?)

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2013/09/10/apple-set-to-unveil-new-iphones/?intcmp=trending

If Google got wind of this they may have wanted typo shift inventory fast

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Ah

This may be the reason that the nexus 4 had its price dropped so aggressively

The new iPhone 5 flagship model will start from 199 dollars (£130) and the plastic new budget iPhone from 99 dollars (£65), I assume that is a cash non contact price (?)

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2013/09/10/apple-set-to-unveil-new-iphones/?intcmp=trending

If Google got wind of this they may have wanted typo shift inventory fast

:lol: I wish.

As you rightly point out that's cash plus contract. I just thought a newer nexus phone was due, hence the price cut. Crappy LG thing that it is.

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:lol: I wish.

As you rightly point out that's cash plus contract. I just thought a newer nexus phone was due, hence the price cut. Crappy LG thing that it is.

The lg nexus is excellent, really excellent, but only if you are prepared to buy a few 3rd party utilities, at which point it is superb value

If you don't want to address that then it's not the phone for you

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Nexus 4 8gb is now out of stock. Does this mean the boat has been missed? If so, what's an alternative budget SP? I am already convinced now of GiffGaff

Samsung Galaxy s3 mini at £180 sim free is good value for a high end smartphone so look at this, also the huawei range have proper build quality and super spec/value

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I spent ages looking around for replacements for my old iPhone 3GS.

Main requirements were stability and battery life.

After some reading, the Huawei Ascend seemed to be the one - it's only £109 compared to £350 for an iPhone 4.

I've had it for a week.

Being a lot newer the screen is lovely, the browser works well, the menus and interface are very clean - in some ways better than Apple.

On the other hand, the little "Apple touches" aren't quite there. For instance if you're downloading something and the phone goes into idle, it will probably stop the download. The email sync (Exchange) doesn't quite seem to be "push email" - actually, that's the bit I thought might work really well, but it seems to suffer update delays.

The keyboard has the letters too close together and the degree of thought that has gone into the auto correct can't touch Apple. You just can't type really fast on it and expect the device to correct you all the time, you have to keep retyping. Or I do anyway.

But all that said, £109 on O2 or £160 for the unlocked model from Amazon qualifies as"budget" and while it's not quite an iPhone, it's quite pleasant.

https://www.o2.co.uk/shop/phones/huawei/ascend-w1-blue/

And the battery lasts for two days on one charge.

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