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Cheap mobile phone needed.

Seek assistance with technology
sg31
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Cheap mobile phone needed.

#339101

Postby sg31 » September 8th, 2020, 9:56 pm

My current mobile is an old Nokia. I would have changed to a more up to date model but I live in a not spot and very rarely use it. It's pay as you go, I put £10 on it just before we moved here nearly 5 years ago and I still have credit ( 3, don't remove any credit after a set time). That gives you some idea how little used it is.

I'm having problems now because just about every organisation expects me to have a mobile particularly banks now they have change their system such that they often send out access codes for online accounts. I posted about my problem some time ago on this board and it was suggested I get access to the mobile network over the internet. I was about to go into the '3' shop to buy a suitable phone when lockdown came and I never got round to it after that.

Now I really need to bite the bullet and buy a budget phone that allows me to access mobile over the internet. Can anyone suggest a suitable phone?

I have seen a new Samsung Galaxy A21 for around £150 which I think would be able to use mobile over the internet (I'm not sure). Are there any alternatives?

I prefer new
PAYG so unlocked
A camera would be nice.
Internet access would be good
Maybe ability to be used as a sat nav. (my car has it but my wifes doesn't
I can't really think of much more I need.

I'm prepared to pay more for reliability and battery life per charge. (I often forget to keep them charged.

AsleepInYorkshire
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Re: Cheap mobile phone needed.

#339103

Postby AsleepInYorkshire » September 8th, 2020, 10:02 pm

Try Gumtree for a preowned phone

Try Smarty.co.uk for cheap monthly bills.

AiY

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Re: Cheap mobile phone needed.

#339106

Postby Infrasonic » September 8th, 2020, 10:13 pm


UncleEbenezer
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Re: Cheap mobile phone needed.

#339123

Postby UncleEbenezer » September 9th, 2020, 12:42 am

While banks like you to use their apps, surely the only bit that makes life difficult if you don't have one is use of text messages for access codes. And surely your old Nokia should be fine for that?

You can certainly get a decent new smartphone cheaper than that £150. My current one was bought in a hurry after I lost one: I walked in to Argos and came out with a Motorola G for about £100. It's a bit bigger than I'd ideally like in the pocket, but I think that's inevitable nowadays, and in all other regards it's great. I expect you'd be fine with any of https://www.argos.co.uk/browse/technolo ... %C2%A3100/ or equivalent from other vendors.

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Re: Cheap mobile phone needed.

#339162

Postby AF62 » September 9th, 2020, 9:34 am

If the purpose of you buying a new phone is to use WiFi calling because of the poor signal where you live and to have the ability to receive text messages, then you need to be careful about the phone you buy.

Three have a list of phones that support WiFi calling - Google "Three WiFi Calling" - the link mangles if I post it here, but there are very likely phones which do support WiFi calling which are not on the list as they don't appear to update it very often.

If you just want something 'cheap and cheerful' then the Nokia 1.3 Three are selling PAYG for £55 plus a £10 top up would do want you want (and is on their WiFi calling list) - PAYG, camera, internet, Android 10, and can be used as a Sat Nav (Here We Go would be good sat nav app as you can download offline maps - https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... s&hl=en_GB).

https://www.expertreviews.co.uk/mobile- ... -13-review

AsleepInYorkshire wrote:Try Smarty.co.uk for cheap monthly bills.


Smarty, although it runs on the Three network, doesn't currently offer WiFi calling (or VoLTE which Three does).

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Re: Cheap mobile phone needed.

#339165

Postby swill453 » September 9th, 2020, 9:39 am

sg31 wrote:I'm prepared to pay more for reliability and battery life per charge. (I often forget to keep them charged.

That could be an issue then. A modern smart phone will probably need charging about 5 times more frequently than your old Nokia.

Scott.

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Re: Cheap mobile phone needed.

#339169

Postby Infrasonic » September 9th, 2020, 9:50 am

With the MVNO's that piggyback on the major networks you always have to get into the small print to see if they offer a full fat service like the host network. WiFi calling, access to all 4G/5G bands, data bandwidth throttling (which they all do but the networks might prioritise their own contract customers over MVNO customers, there's some anecdotal evidence supporting this).

I can't prove it but I wouldn't be surprised if that is part of the deal between network hosts and MVNO's, otherwise there would be no point in anyone having a contract with a host network as all the MVNO prices would be cheaper for the same services...

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Re: Cheap mobile phone needed.

#339208

Postby todthedog » September 9th, 2020, 12:51 pm

I no longer have a smartphone the constant updates and the daily recharge were a PITA. Reverted to my old Nokia treated myself to a new battery on fleabay, yes with old technology you can change the battery.
My £10 o2 PAYG does not expire. Still £8.42 left after 2 years
I can phone or text.
I charge it every fortnight even if not required. :lol:
I am capable of holding a conversation with someone without the compulsion to check to see if anyone has sneakily tried to contact me that I may have missed.
It has a very clever system that the phone rings if someone wants to talk. It also vibrates if silence is required.
Heartily recommend . :D

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Re: Cheap mobile phone needed.

#339215

Postby Urbandreamer » September 9th, 2020, 1:29 pm

todthedog wrote:I no longer have a smartphone the constant updates and the daily recharge were a PITA. Reverted to my old Nokia treated myself to a new battery on fleabay, yes with old technology you can change the battery.


I'm glad that you have a phone that meets your needs.

I have a smartphone, but it gets used as a phone increadibly rairly.

I check my portfolio on it daily. I use it to listen to talking books and podcasts. I have read e-books and even the Investors Chronicle on it, though the screen is a bit small for that. I've bought e-books on it and started reading them shortly afterword. If I turn on location services I can find the nearest supermarket when on holiday and follow directions to get there. I use to have a tide calculator on it, but it was only useful when holidaying by the sea. I have occaisionally used it as a WiFi hotspot for my laptop to access the internet.

I could get by charging it every other day, but charging it is less effort than brushing my teath. Which I also do every day.

Returning to the subject, it's good to hear that you can get txt messages over WiFi, if you have the right phone and are with Three.

Another question would be if the OP's property and it's surroundings are truely a "non-spot" or if it's just bad and non-existant reception indoors. If the latter then there are mobile phone "boosters" and repeaters available. I think that it entails an aerial outside, possibly a powered amp and an aerial inside.

Ps, my bank also sends me a TXT every monday with my balance and the last four transactions, but a "feature" phone could recieve that.

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Re: Cheap mobile phone needed.

#339231

Postby SalvorHardin » September 9th, 2020, 2:55 pm

Urbandreamer wrote:I have a smartphone, but it gets used as a phone increadibly rairly.

I check my portfolio on it daily. I use it to listen to talking books and podcasts. I have read e-books and even the Investors Chronicle on it, though the screen is a bit small for that. I've bought e-books on it and started reading them shortly afterword. If I turn on location services I can find the nearest supermarket when on holiday and follow directions to get there. I use to have a tide calculator on it, but it was only useful when holidaying by the sea. I have occaisionally used it as a WiFi hotspot for my laptop to access the internet.

Me too. IMHO a smartphone first and foremost is a surprisingly powerful highly portable computer which can send text messages. It just happens to also have an app for making telephone calls, which I hardly ever use.

You can do a lot of things on a modern smartphone which you do on a laptop computer, including browsing and posting on TLF - this post which was made via my phone. If I had to choose between having a smartphone or having a laptop, it would be an extremely difficult decision - basically weighing up the portability of the smartphone against the greater ease of typing and using a spreadsheet on the laptop.

Some of the things which I use my phone for:

Google Maps (your phone becomes a handheld map and tourist information device with built-in GPS)
Shopping (Amazon, eBay, supermarket apps)
Diary and Alarm Clock
Email
Music Player (MP3s)
Placing Bets (betting apps)
Television and Video player (my phone has all the terrestrial channels, plus Sky, BT Sport, Disney+, Netflix and Amazon Prime)
Radio (it's quite staggering how many radio channels you can get via a smartphone's apps, I recommend "Radio Garden" and "TuneIn Radio")
Information (there are a lot of news and financial apps out there, not just for checking share prices). And you can browse the web.
As a Torch (seriously, most smartphones can run "Flashlight" apps which turn the phone into a torch)

Smartphones can be also used as a still and video camera, though I'm old school and prefer a camera.

Being able to use your phone as a mobile hotspot for WiFi is exceptionally useful when your main internet connection goes down.

External USB batteries are an excellent way to get around the problem of smartphones running out of power

AF62
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Re: Cheap mobile phone needed.

#339236

Postby AF62 » September 9th, 2020, 3:26 pm

Urbandreamer wrote:Another question would be if the OP's property and it's surroundings are truely a "non-spot" or if it's just bad and non-existent reception indoors. If the latter then there are mobile phone "boosters" and repeaters available. I think that it entails an aerial outside, possibly a powered amp and an aerial inside.


You can now (they used to be illegal in the UK) but they are not cheap.

The alternative which the mobile phone companies issued were femtocells, mini mobile phone masts which plugged into your own broadband to provide a very localised mobile phone signal. However with the existence of WiFi calling they stopped issuing them as they saw no point.

SalvorHardin wrote:
Urbandreamer wrote:I have a smartphone, but it gets used as a phone increadibly rairly.

Me too. IMHO a smartphone first and foremost is a surprisingly powerful highly portable computer which can send text messages. It just happens to also have an app for making telephone calls, which I hardly ever use.


Likewise.

I always wonder about the simple lives that people must lead if they never need to look up a location, find opening times, listen to some music or a podcast, check the news, order a prescription, check a shopping list, share a calendar, book some tickets, turn the heating on or off, or the multitude of other things you can do. Sure you can do all those things without a smartphone, but it is an awful lot more faff.

It is the interaction between devices that is so good. I can share a ‘family’ calendar so I know if something has been arranged last minute, when a piece of paper on the fridge is useless if you are not home. I can start listening to a podcast and then continue listening to it from my watch connected to earphones when I get to the gym. I can send a link to a map to where I am if I am trying to meet up with someone who doesn’t know the area.

As for making calls to someone, good luck if that someone is under 25. Etiquette now seems to be that it is incredibly rude to simply phone someone without arranging it by message first, with many of that age having the ringer and call notifications turned off.

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Re: Cheap mobile phone needed.

#339248

Postby Mike88 » September 9th, 2020, 4:06 pm

My grandchildren, and many others in their class, have this phone. It is excellent value for money at £69 from Argos which must be the cheapest smart phone around.

https://www.argos.co.uk/product/3426399

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Re: Cheap mobile phone needed.

#339252

Postby AF62 » September 9th, 2020, 4:17 pm

Mike88 wrote:My grandchildren, and many others in their class, have this phone. It is excellent value for money at £69 from Argos which must be the cheapest smart phone around.

https://www.argos.co.uk/product/3426399


Seems to be mixed opinion on whether that supports WiFi calling, but the Nokia 1.3 I mentioned that Three are selling PAYG for £55 definitely does.

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Re: Cheap mobile phone needed.

#339263

Postby Infrasonic » September 9th, 2020, 4:55 pm

https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2 ... pport.html
Mobile operator Vodafone’s recent decision to stop selling their femtocell based Sure Signal 3G router on 30th April 2020, while instead encouraging use of Wi-Fi Calling, has one significant flaw. The latter still doesn’t support the ability to send and receive text (SMS) messages (it’s been listed as coming “soon” since 2018).


So if that's still the case avoid Vodafone and any of its MVNO options if you need SMS for 2FA banking et al in a poor signal area.

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Re: Cheap mobile phone needed.

#339266

Postby GeoffF100 » September 9th, 2020, 5:28 pm

It is probably overkill for the OP's needs, but I recently bought a Nokia 5.3 from Argos for £150. It runs Android One, so it is guaranteed to get three years of security updates directly from Google. "The best budget phone bar none" said one review. I use 3 Mobile's 123 PAYG.

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Re: Cheap mobile phone needed.

#339296

Postby mc2fool » September 9th, 2020, 7:51 pm

AF62 wrote:
Mike88 wrote:My grandchildren, and many others in their class, have this phone. It is excellent value for money at £69 from Argos which must be the cheapest smart phone around.

https://www.argos.co.uk/product/3426399

Seems to be mixed opinion on whether that supports WiFi calling, but the Nokia 1.3 I mentioned that Three are selling PAYG for £55 definitely does.

It seems to depend on the network you are signed up with, which may explain the mixed opinions. For example, O2 doesn't appear to support WiFi calling with any Nokia phones.

https://www.o2.co.uk/help/network-coverage-and-international/wifi-and-4g-calling

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Re: Cheap mobile phone needed.

#339329

Postby sg31 » September 9th, 2020, 10:05 pm

Thank you for all the replies they give me a good idea of what is available and there are many useful comments.

When I said 'not spot', it is almost true. I can get texts sometimes if I put the phone on the upstairs bathroom window cill and leave it there for half an hour, sometimes quicker sometimes not at all. Other than that I can walk around at the top of the garden for 10 minutes and send or receive a text. It's a faff in summer but with winter coming on not something I fancy doing.

It's the same through most of the Severn valley in this area. I can make calls reliably in the local town downstream, upstream it's maybe 7 or 8 miles before there's enough signal to get calls.

I did look into a signal booster but a new phone is cheaper.

The Nokia 2.3 seems ok at around £100, maybe the £130 , N5.3 is worth the extra. It isn't on the 3 list of phones with wifi calling but I suspect it will be when it's updated.

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Re: Cheap mobile phone needed.

#339335

Postby rabbit » September 9th, 2020, 10:39 pm

I use a Motorola Moto G. Good Android phone, reasonable price. Excellent camera (that's a bonus, but I find myself using it more and more). Does everything you need from a smart phone.

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Re: Cheap mobile phone needed.

#339347

Postby Stompa » September 10th, 2020, 1:08 am

sg31 wrote:The Nokia 2.3 seems ok at around £100...

Just noticed this:

https://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/nokia-23-3540644

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Re: Cheap mobile phone needed.

#339372

Postby SalvorHardin » September 10th, 2020, 8:44 am

Not speaking from experience, but the Nokia 1 series is getting some amazing reviews given how little it costs compared with other smartphones. Amazon have a range of them starting at £65. They have the WiFi calling feature, so the phone can piggyback on your WiFi connection to make and receive calls and texts if you live in a part of the country with poor or non-existent mobile phone coverage.

Something to bear in mind if you're considering upgrading from an "dumbphone" to a smartphone is that for many users phone calls on a smartphone become a relatively minor feature once they discover what their new phone can do. Some users make a lot of phone calls, many others hardly ever make any calls (as AF62 pointed out earlier in this thread, many younger people turn off the phone call feature). Text messages and social media apps like Facebook messenger are more popular with the younger generation, many of whom don't even use email all that much.

A modern smartphone is a handheld computer with its own internet connection, which can also use WiFi. So far this morning I've used my phone to order the week's shopping from Sainsbury's, checked today's diary entries, placed a couple of bets on today's Tour de France stage, checked my overnight share prices in New York and Toronto, sent three emails, spent five minutes on Wikipedia and a further 15 minutes reading a variety of news stories from around the planet. Also to write this post.

I didn't switch to a smartphone for several years after they came onto the market. Mostly because I was put off by concerns that it would turn out to be another "WAP", the mobile internet protocol of the late 1990s and early 2000s which turned out to be awfully slow and a huge waste of money. I was converted when a friend used his phone in the pub to identify a piece of instrumental music that was playing over the pub's sound system (he used the "Shazam" app).

Charging the phone on an almost daily basis is something to get used to doing. Many smartphones have a low-power setting which turns off most of the features and will allow the phone to operate for days on a single charge. I always keep a couple of external USB batteries close to hand in case my phone comes close to running out of power.

This post was however edited on my laptop. Sometimes only a proper keyboard will do :D


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