As I have a wife and four children the business of providing the family with phones and computers which dates back to about 1998 is a fairly expensive one and I have, over the past few years bought various duff lumps of technology, learnt some lessons that may be worth passing on.
The result of this, is that every so often I do a post for those blog readers who don’t get the experience and have to get their technology on a budget. I guess one of the great problems with new personal technology is that you can’t try it before you buy it.
Smartphones now have, for the most part replaced the technology that we carry round with us all the time, camera, walkman, calculator, torch and mobile phone if you go back to 1998.
I think I have had some sort of internet mobile phone for about ten years, some of the early one weren’t very smart, I think this one that I turned into an artistic joke, was the first to be smart enough for the accolade.
My smartphone, at the moment, is a fairly old one now, a Samsung Galaxy Note 1, you can buy these new for about £250 and secondhand for a little over £100, it suites me well as it has a large screen and a reasonable camera, I think when I got it, nearly two years ago it was the best phone for what I do and for me, that I could have got.
It is highly suitable for the older man with large fingers and reading glasses, it is big enough to manage this blog with when I am out and about, dealing with inappropriate comment isn’t as easy as on a conventional computer.
My previous post about this shows the kit I carry around, that allows me to blog, paint watercolours and so on, see http://thanetonline.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/midweek-ramble-mostly-about-technology.html
The Note has never gone wrong and is far and away the best smartphone I have had so far, the snags are, short battery life and fairly weak wifi, this boils down to, I have to charge it every night and when I take a cuppa back to bed and watch the morning news on the phone, Iplayer sometimes cuts out.
We have, or have had, in the family, several other makes of smartphone designed in about the same period as the Note, I phone 4, Sony and HTC, the Note has been the best of the bunch. As an example here the Iphone has no bluetooth and very limited memory with no memory card slot and no sim slot, also difficult charging connection if you leave the charger behind. I am only saying this to emphasise the point that they all have snags.
Anyway this week the old problem of replacing one of the family member’s phones came up, and yes budget was an issue. For the most part I wouldn’t recommend buying a secondhand phone. Partly because you get a year’s warranty with a new phone and partly because the majority of people sell smartphones when they become not so smart.
We all use the T-Mobile pay as you go with the 6 months internet access for £20, mostly using WhatsApp for texting and Skype we don’t actually make many paid for calls. To those who can’t follow me here, by owning the phone myself and being a bit savvy with use of the phone’s internet, I use a large amount texts and video calls, including international calls from my mobile, but only pay the service provider about £5 per month. This charge includes managing the blog, watching TV and so on.
Anyway after various false starts and buying another make of phone that is off on its fourth visit to the makers for repairs, we went into the EE shop, which is the new name for the t-mobile shop in Canterbury and bought Samsung Galaxy Fame.
It cost about £95 and does all the business very well, amazingly good camera, very stable wifi connection, allowing one to watch TV, listen to the radio or browse the internet in bed, on trains, cafés etc, well anywhere really, within the data constraints of around £1 per week.
The acid test for me is could I manage with it and the answer is. Yes. I have also tried to find any snags without success, so am recommending it.