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Looking for advice choosing a mobile phone & plan

 
 
John S
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Posts: n/a
 
      04-11-2012
I have a cheap CDMA phone on the 027 Telecom network which will stop
working in mid July, so have been trying to figure out what I should do for
a replacement.

I've had a look on the 2 degrees site and the Telecom site and I've been to
the local Telecom shop, but there are some things I find confusing.

At first I thought I should just get the cheapest phone from Telecom as
I've only used the mobile in the past for occasional calls and texts when
away from home, but with the new smart phones I thought it might be worth
paying more for a phone with some useful features. Some of the things I
haven't been able to get answers that I can understand:-

* Transfer between networks. The Telecom guy said their phones are not
locked but couldn't tell me which (if any) of them would work with a
competitor's network.

In the Telecom leaflet, all their phones will work with GSM
850/900/1800/1900, plus WCDMA 850/2100. Some additionally do WCDMA1900.
However I haven't so far been able to determine if, or how these figures
relate to working on the 2 degrees or Vodafone networks.

* I find the explanation of the various plans a bit confusing, and am wary
of any kind of deal which might put me at risk of inadvertently using more
data than I can afford. eg the Telecom casual rate for connecting to the
internet is $1.00 per day with 10 MB included, but if you go over the 10
MB, you pay $1.00 per MB (WOW - $1000 per GB - you wouldn't want to
accidentally click on something that would send you broke).

* I thought that, when away from home, it might be useful to have a phone
with gps capability. The Telecom man showed me the HTC Wildfire S, and I
noted on the screen that it had a setting to use satellite gps.

However, when I asked about the data download consequences of using gps, he
indicated that he thought there would be a data charge. I'm missing
something here I think, as I understood there was no charge for using
satellite signals for gps. Maybe the charge would have something to do
with getting maps to go with the gps signals? If so, I would have liked to
know typically how much data would be used, say, per hour when using gps.

* From looking at the web sites of Telecom and 2 degrees, one thing that
seems to me to be a rip-off is the fact that when you buy a package of
data, you don't necessarily get to use it, as the data expires after
(usually) one month.

I wouldn't like to sign up to a monthly contract - not at the start anyway,
until I find out how useful the extra features might be in practice.
So, my thinking was to use a prepay system, and pay the higher unit charges
to start with, then switch to a monthly package if I get to the stage where
I'm spending enough to make it worthwhile.

At the moment my CDMA phone calls and texts get charged to my Telecom bill,
but I think this arrangement would be dangerous with a smart phone and its
capability to gobble up large amounts of data. The Telecom guy said they
don't offer a facility for the customer to put a cap on monthly spending,
so I guess my only solution would be to use prepay and top up manually when
the money runs out.

The arrangements on the 2 degrees site seem generally similar, though there
are variations in detail. I've heard that their comverage isn't as good as
Telecom's, but haven't seen anything yet that confirms this.

Sorry for rambling a bit, but I'm hoping some folk who have been through
this exercise might have some answers that may be useful to me. One thing I
though I might do is buy two phones so that my missus can carry one with
her for emergencies. She hates anything complicated, so would need
something simple and easy to use, capable of calls and texts.

Any ideas or hints?

Cheers,

John S
 
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Frank Williams
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      04-11-2012
On Wed, 11 Apr 2012 17:48:05 +1200, John S <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:

>I have a cheap CDMA phone on the 027 Telecom network which will stop
>working in mid July, so have been trying to figure out what I should do for
>a replacement.
>
>I've had a look on the 2 degrees site and the Telecom site and I've been to
>the local Telecom shop, but there are some things I find confusing.
>
>At first I thought I should just get the cheapest phone from Telecom as
>I've only used the mobile in the past for occasional calls and texts when
>away from home, but with the new smart phones I thought it might be worth
>paying more for a phone with some useful features. Some of the things I
>haven't been able to get answers that I can understand:-
>
>* Transfer between networks. The Telecom guy said their phones are not
>locked but couldn't tell me which (if any) of them would work with a
>competitor's network.
>
>In the Telecom leaflet, all their phones will work with GSM
>850/900/1800/1900, plus WCDMA 850/2100. Some additionally do WCDMA1900.
>However I haven't so far been able to determine if, or how these figures
>relate to working on the 2 degrees or Vodafone networks.
>
>* I find the explanation of the various plans a bit confusing, and am wary
>of any kind of deal which might put me at risk of inadvertently using more
>data than I can afford. eg the Telecom casual rate for connecting to the
>internet is $1.00 per day with 10 MB included, but if you go over the 10
>MB, you pay $1.00 per MB (WOW - $1000 per GB - you wouldn't want to
>accidentally click on something that would send you broke).
>
>* I thought that, when away from home, it might be useful to have a phone
>with gps capability. The Telecom man showed me the HTC Wildfire S, and I
>noted on the screen that it had a setting to use satellite gps.
>
>However, when I asked about the data download consequences of using gps, he
>indicated that he thought there would be a data charge. I'm missing
>something here I think, as I understood there was no charge for using
>satellite signals for gps. Maybe the charge would have something to do
>with getting maps to go with the gps signals? If so, I would have liked to
>know typically how much data would be used, say, per hour when using gps.
>
>* From looking at the web sites of Telecom and 2 degrees, one thing that
>seems to me to be a rip-off is the fact that when you buy a package of
>data, you don't necessarily get to use it, as the data expires after
>(usually) one month.
>
>I wouldn't like to sign up to a monthly contract - not at the start anyway,
>until I find out how useful the extra features might be in practice.
>So, my thinking was to use a prepay system, and pay the higher unit charges
>to start with, then switch to a monthly package if I get to the stage where
>I'm spending enough to make it worthwhile.
>
>At the moment my CDMA phone calls and texts get charged to my Telecom bill,
>but I think this arrangement would be dangerous with a smart phone and its
>capability to gobble up large amounts of data. The Telecom guy said they
>don't offer a facility for the customer to put a cap on monthly spending,
>so I guess my only solution would be to use prepay and top up manually when
>the money runs out.
>
>The arrangements on the 2 degrees site seem generally similar, though there
>are variations in detail. I've heard that their comverage isn't as good as
>Telecom's, but haven't seen anything yet that confirms this.
>
>Sorry for rambling a bit, but I'm hoping some folk who have been through
>this exercise might have some answers that may be useful to me. One thing I
>though I might do is buy two phones so that my missus can carry one with
>her for emergencies. She hates anything complicated, so would need
>something simple and easy to use, capable of calls and texts.
>
>Any ideas or hints?
>
>Cheers,
>
>John S




Yes dead simple dont use one, you lived in the past so why not do the
same again..

plus do you realy need 3G..


Plus a WiFi phone is far cheaper to run

 
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Squiggle
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      04-11-2012
On 11/04/2012 5:48 p.m., John S threw some characters down the intarwebs:
>
> * Transfer between networks. The Telecom guy said their phones are not
> locked but couldn't tell me which (if any) of them would work with a
> competitor's network.


Basically none will work properly and consistently, unless some of the
higher end XT phones also support WCDMA 900.

> In the Telecom leaflet, all their phones will work with GSM
> 850/900/1800/1900, plus WCDMA 850/2100. Some additionally do WCDMA1900.
> However I haven't so far been able to determine if, or how these figures
> relate to working on the 2 degrees or Vodafone networks.


voda & 2 degrees use 900/2100 WCDMA (3G) predominately. GSM = 2G which
is painfully slow for web browsing and other smartphone goodness.
>
> * I find the explanation of the various plans a bit confusing, and am wary
> of any kind of deal which might put me at risk of inadvertently using more
> data than I can afford. eg the Telecom casual rate for connecting to the
> internet is $1.00 per day with 10 MB included, but if you go over the 10
> MB, you pay $1.00 per MB (WOW - $1000 per GB - you wouldn't want to
> accidentally click on something that would send you broke).
>
> * I thought that, when away from home, it might be useful to have a phone
> with gps capability. The Telecom man showed me the HTC Wildfire S, and I
> noted on the screen that it had a setting to use satellite gps.
>
> However, when I asked about the data download consequences of using gps, he
> indicated that he thought there would be a data charge. I'm missing
> something here I think, as I understood there was no charge for using
> satellite signals for gps.


Correct.

>Maybe the charge would have something to do
> with getting maps to go with the gps signals?


Also Correct. You can get some apps that download the maps and don't
need a data connection. The amount of data used using gps for navigation
is pretty small.

> If so, I would have liked to
> know typically how much data would be used, say, per hour when using gps.


Depends how fast you are moving, once it has data for an area it won't
need to fetch more data till you move into a new area.
>
> * From looking at the web sites of Telecom and 2 degrees, one thing that
> seems to me to be a rip-off is the fact that when you buy a package of
> data, you don't necessarily get to use it, as the data expires after
> (usually) one month.


Yep, they want to make money, not give it away.

> I wouldn't like to sign up to a monthly contract - not at the start anyway,
> until I find out how useful the extra features might be in practice.
> So, my thinking was to use a prepay system, and pay the higher unit charges
> to start with, then switch to a monthly package if I get to the stage where
> I'm spending enough to make it worthwhile.


Telecom and 2 degrees both have $19-20/month prepay options that give
some txts, calls and data. Try those for a month or two and see what
you need.
 
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Enkidu
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      04-11-2012
On 11/04/12 17:48, John S wrote:
>
> One thing I though I might do is buy two phones so that my missus can
> carry one with her for emergencies. She hates anything complicated,
> so would need something simple and easy to use, capable of calls and
> texts.
>

Don't get *too* cheap a phone for her. I got a really cheap one and it
was horrible to use. The keys were imprecise and the sound pretty terrible.

Cheers,

Cliff

--

The ends justifies the means - Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli.

The end excuses any evil - Sophocles
 
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grum
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      04-11-2012
On 11/04/2012 6:59 p.m., Frank Williams wrote:
> On Wed, 11 Apr 2012 17:48:05 +1200, John S<(E-Mail Removed)>
> wrote:
>
>> I have a cheap CDMA phone on the 027 Telecom network which will stop
>> working in mid July, so have been trying to figure out what I should do for
>> a replacement.
>>


Right-o, real world example here. I was in the same situation, and
tempted by shiny new phones, but went for Samsung 3210 on XT network
OneBill plan, $49 including SIM. I think the deal has changed now, but
anyway, it's cheap and cheerful.

I'm a geek with a collection of i-Things/Kindle/GPS etc, but in the end
made a conscious decision to stay with a simple phone. And so far it's
great, does everything I need and more. It has a reasonably sensible UI,
nice keyboard, and is responsive. And lasts for about a week on standby
(BIG plus). Guy beside me at work is always charging his "smart" phone,
and cursing it. I like that it's small, small enough to take on holiday
AS WELL as the iPad. The only thing I can think of it doesn't have that
would be nice is WiFi, but no big deal. With a bit of fiddling (using
horrible Samsung software) I even got 250 contacts loaded onto it from
my addressbook.

10MB of data is enough to check your email and the weather forecast,
anything more than that I don't want to do on a phone anyway (even if I
had one with a 4" screen).

Good luck,
grum
 
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~misfit~
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      04-12-2012
Somewhere on teh intarwebs grum wrote:
[snip]
> enough to take on holiday AS WELL as the iPad. The only thing I can
> think of it doesn't have that would be nice is WiFi, but no big deal.
> With a bit of fiddling (using horrible Samsung software)


You can say that again! I bought a Samsung (non-smart) phone and thank the
gods it crapped out after a few months because by then I was thoroughly sick
of it's interface. So non-intuative it appears it's designed by and for
schizophrenics. Not that there's anything wrong with that, just that I found
it bloody horrible to use.

I was credited the cost price back and used it to buy a Nokia, which is what
I should have done in the first place.
--
Shaun.

"Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
cozy little classification in the DSM."
David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)


 
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John S
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Posts: n/a
 
      04-13-2012
On Wed, 11 Apr 2012 17:48:05 +1200, John S wrote:

> I have a cheap CDMA phone on the 027 Telecom network which will stop
> working in mid July, so have been trying to figure out what I should do for
> a replacement.
>
> I've had a look on the 2 degrees site and the Telecom site and I've been to
> the local Telecom shop, but there are some things I find confusing.
>

Snip

Just following up my own post to say thanks for the comments so far.

Think I will get a simple phone for now, and leave the idea of a "smart"
phone for later.
Will check out the cheapo Telecom U3100N to see how easy it is to use. I
would like something that's intuitive enough to not need to dive into the
instruction book every time you need to use it.

The guy in the Telecom shop did a bit of demonstrating when I was there,
but his fingers went faster than my comprehension.

cheers,

John S
 
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Peter Huebner
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Posts: n/a
 
      04-13-2012
In article <shrdocbn5inw.5sr1g465m8l0$(E-Mail Removed)>,
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)d says...
>
> On Wed, 11 Apr 2012 17:48:05 +1200, John S wrote:
>
> > I have a cheap CDMA phone on the 027 Telecom network which will stop
> > working in mid July, so have been trying to figure out what I should do for
> > a replacement.
> >
> > I've had a look on the 2 degrees site and the Telecom site and I've been to
> > the local Telecom shop, but there are some things I find confusing.
> >

> Snip
>
> Just following up my own post to say thanks for the comments so far.
>
> Think I will get a simple phone for now, and leave the idea of a "smart"
> phone for later.
> Will check out the cheapo Telecom U3100N to see how easy it is to use. I
> would like something that's intuitive enough to not need to dive into the
> instruction book every time you need to use it.
>
> The guy in the Telecom shop did a bit of demonstrating when I was there,
> but his fingers went faster than my comprehension.
>
> cheers,
>
> John S


First thing to do is to look at the coverage maps on the companies'
websites. I found that in my area Vodaphone has MUCH better coverage
than Telecom. I also find that more of our friends have Vodaphone
phones, so they'll be cheaper to call (I hope).

Second thing I did was read a passel of phone reviews. I ended up buying
2nd hand on tardeme a phone that was reported as having good
connectivity and nice loud sound. Looking at the reviews not all phones
are equally able to hold a connection to the network, and some are not
loud enough to understand in a noisy environment. Personally I don't
give a stuff about cameras and such, I have a dslr, I don't need a phone
to take pictures, and I'm not going to use my phone as an mp3 player or
such like.

-P.
 
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John S
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      04-14-2012
On Fri, 13 Apr 2012 21:38:14 +1200, Peter Huebner wrote:

> In article <shrdocbn5inw.5sr1g465m8l0$(E-Mail Removed)>,
> (E-Mail Removed)d says...
>>
>> On Wed, 11 Apr 2012 17:48:05 +1200, John S wrote:
>>
>>> I have a cheap CDMA phone on the 027 Telecom network which will stop
>>> working in mid July, so have been trying to figure out what I should do for
>>> a replacement.

SNIP ...
>
> First thing to do is to look at the coverage maps on the companies'
> websites. I found that in my area Vodaphone has MUCH better coverage
> than Telecom. I also find that more of our friends have Vodaphone
> phones, so they'll be cheaper to call (I hope).
>
> Second thing I did was read a passel of phone reviews. I ended up buying
> 2nd hand on tardeme a phone that was reported as having good
> connectivity and nice loud sound. Looking at the reviews not all phones
> are equally able to hold a connection to the network, and some are not
> loud enough to understand in a noisy environment. Personally I don't
> give a stuff about cameras and such, I have a dslr, I don't need a phone
> to take pictures, and I'm not going to use my phone as an mp3 player or
> such like.
>
> -P.


Thanks,

Hadn't thought of buying second hand as I assumed it might be risky.

Just for curiosity, which model did you end up choosing?

Any tips for where to get reviews of phones relevant to NZ?
Whenever I venture into Google I seem to get swamped with results that
aren't relevant to what I want (ie I'm apparently not all that good at
asking the questions in the right way).

Cheers,

John S
 
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John S
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      04-14-2012
On Fri, 13 Apr 2012 22:24:37 +1200, EMB wrote:

> On 13/04/2012 5:55 p.m., John S wrote:
>
>> Will check out the cheapo Telecom U3100N to see how easy it is to use.

>
> Get the Samsung E3210 - not much price difference but a vastly superior
> phone. I wanted 200 cheap phones on our corporate plan and our mobile
> rep actively discouraged going for the U3100N.


Thanks,

I thought I would look at that one anyway, although misfit reported earlier
that he found the interface on a cheap Samsung was horrible.

But Grum said nice things about the Samsung E3210, so I must have a look at
it. If my wife is going to use it, then "easy to use" is high on the list.

Cheers,

John S
 
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