CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Computers, GPS, 'Smart' 'Phones

Smart phones

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  1. amir
    Member

    So are they worth it?

    I currently have a dumb phone that is compact, cheap to run and you can call people with it. Are smart phones worth the extra cost/size/charging...?

    Posted 11 years ago #
  2. chdot
    Admin

    "Are smart phones worth the extra cost/size/charging...?"

    YES

    But I would say that wouldn't I(?)

    I used to have a tiny Samsung on PAYG - 30p min calls, 10p txts (I think).

    Now I have an iPhone contract with more minutes than I use (so also saving on previous home 'phone use), free txts.

    Used to be unlimited data, now enough for my away from WiFi use without extra "bolt-ons" unless I listen to too much internet radio.

    PLUS

    And this is where you make the decision, for you, on having a computer in your pocket (a tiny one at that) -

    All my emails, proper web browser (Safari), GPS, very impressive camera (I have never used other recent 'phone cameras), great video too - don't use that much.

    IPod (which may replace one you have - or be irrelevant), masses of free apps - not just games - some really good 'productivity' ones such as Evernote (synchs with web and home computers).

    CycleStreets based Apps.

    Etc.

    Above apps (and many more) are available on Android.

    There are likely to be more Android 'phones and therefore potentially more apps, but Android is a bit like Windows - runs on hardware from different manufacturers, which leads to 'issues' largely absent from Apple's hardware/software integration/restrictiveness.

    Nokia is going Windows - which may or may not be the future for both companies. Nokia announced redundancies today.

    Posted 11 years ago #
  3. DaveC
    Member

    From my POV. I have had older SPV's and a couple of newer Smartphones which used Microsoft's mobile software. I found these very power hungry but modern technology is increasing the battery life, yet when our Sister in Law visits she spends all day in the internet (hanging off my WIFI) and appear to have it on charge every day. It really depends on what you have turned on. Bluetooth/Wifi/3G/music all eat power, and when not needed should be turned off. I had to put my old HTC phone on mute all day as the sound also ate battery power.

    The newer phones do have vastly better connection to the internet and apps, which is one reaosn people appear to get them, social networking and music/games. Most people I see on the train everyday are on a PMP of some sort and most appear to be listening to music AND playing games.

    The main reason I gave up on Smartphones was the contracts were getting silly, at £40-50 a month for mininum 24 month with Orange. I changed to SIM only, not the cheapest, but still @£15 /month with Orange and bought a cheap Nokia from Asda for a tenner. It has internet (wap, for searching for shops), FM Radio (Radio4 only!), Texts (to let SWMBO know I'm on my way home), Bluetooth (handsfree in the car), simples camera (for texting to people), and phone calls (errr...). I only really use texts and phone calls!

    Now I've done without I'm happy with what I have. We have a separate GPS in the car (one use I had for the HTC Smartphone) and I own an iPod Nano so I don't need another music player. I guess its a bit like the discussion about getting rid of cars in favour of Cycling for local and public transport for long distance travel.

    Dave C

    Posted 11 years ago #
  4. chdot
    Admin

    "modern technology is increasing the battery life"

    All things considered, it's amazing they have much battery life at all.

    Smartphones don't have the usage/standby hours that simplerphones do.

    They do more, they have bigger screens, they are/(can be) looking for new emails, checking where you are (controversial - though it's not just/maybe Apple - your 'phone company knows where you are and stores that on their servers...) etc.

    When Apple finally got round to updating its software to allow third party 'multitasking' it was criticised because it wasn't 'true' multitasking. Many apps are 'parked' rather than running in the background - presume this saves some battery use.

    BUT, it does require some thought. Are you going somewhere you can plug into the mains? Fine on trains to London but perhaps not Glasgow (don't think you can go through a full battery in 50mins!) Can you plug into a USB slot on someone's computer? (same cable as iPods).

    Rechargeable battery packs (I only know about IPhones) are only about £6 on ebay - I have two for all day EveryTrailing.

    Posted 11 years ago #
  5. wingpig
    Member

    When my old phone was eighteen months old I bought a second battery for it as the original was starting to tire, though was still fine as an emergency spare. I'll probably get a second battery a bit sooner for my current phone in case I want to leave GPS switched on all day. It's already noticeable how much more power the display requires when in adaptive-brightness mode as the day length increases.

    Posted 11 years ago #
  6. cb
    Member

    I'm just back from two days walking in Glen Affric (i.e. no signal). I left the phone on but put it in flight mode and the battery hardly went down at all. Could still use the phone as an alarm clock, etc.

    Battery life is definitely the biggest downside to a smartphone IMO.
    For many phones it's possible to upgrade the battery (and that is one of the downsides to the iPhone, again IMO). E.g. you can get a 3200mAh battery for the Desire (compared to the 1400mAh battery that comes with the phone). These super high capacity batteries come with a new bulging back cover for the phone, which isn't exactly lovely, but at least it's there as an option.

    Regarding contract price, someone I know recently got an HTC Desire, 24month contract, £15 per month, 300 txts, 300 mobile minutes, unlimited landline minutes, 'unlimited' data. £135 up front payment for the phone.
    I think that's not bad.

    Posted 11 years ago #
  7. ruggtomcat
    Member

    Posted 11 years ago #
  8. amir
    Member

    See list of themes.

    Also even basic phones are often treated as essential cycling equipment - at least for emergencies. Many are also using their phones to contribute to this forum in one way or another. ...

    Posted 11 years ago #
  9. DaveC
    Member

    "Also even basic phones are often treated as essential cycling equipment - at least for emergencies. Many are also using their phones to contribute to this forum in one way or another. ... ",

    Hopefully not at the same time!

    Posted 11 years ago #
  10. crowriver
    Member

    Depends what you mean by smartphone. For most folk, this means touch screen, iPhone or Android, etc. But there are cheaper alternatives.

    My Sony Ericsson Elm is a 'candy bar' phone which has wi-fi, bluetooth, a camera, 3G, AGPS, etc. It can play MP3s and I think it has an FM radio, never used the audio side except for calls. All for less than £100 online, no contract. PAYG on Virgin, excellent call rates: 8ppm, free to the same network (if you already have Virgin cable, landline or broadband at home). I sometimes check Google maps on it if I get a bit lost... Various other apps available, not thousands like for an iPhone but I have an iBook so I don't really need an iPhone. (No, really, I don't)

    Oh, it's got pretty good battery life, and you can get a spare battery. It uses a keypad, not a touch screen. And it's partly made from recycled materials (ie. Green-ish).
    Downside: small screen, web is a bit squinty to look at.

    Posted 11 years ago #
  11. spytefear
    Member

    HTC Desire HD. So handy for so many things.
    Starting with On Topic - Sportypal runs well for tracking my rides etc.
    Citrix works great to connect to work PC
    Iplayer lets me watch TV
    Grooveshark lets me listen to any music anytime not stored on device.
    Kindle lets me read a book
    Skymap lets me identify stars
    PRemotedroid lets me control my PC
    BBC news lets me read the news
    It's a sat nav
    It's a video and still camera
    Dropbox lets me store and access files from the could
    ebuddy lets me webchat to any of my online friends, a chat can last all day when both are busy
    FixMyStreet lets me report pot holes (OT too)
    Metal Detector
    Magnifying Glass
    Compass
    Spirit Level
    Calculator
    Stopwatch and alarm clock
    Wifi hotspot - useful for my mum's kindle
    Stumbleupon for when I get bored with the rest

    Posted 11 years ago #
  12. crowriver
    Member

    Sorry, MacBook Pro, not iBook (That's the missus).

    Posted 11 years ago #
  13. amir
    Member

    Well I've caved in.

    Posted 11 years ago #
  14. kaputnik
    Moderator

    What did you get, amir?

    Posted 11 years ago #
  15. amir
    Member

    Desire - but have to wait as bought via the Internet. Hope I get it before I go on hols to Tuscany this weekend. Should be useful.

    Posted 11 years ago #
  16. Stepdoh
    Member

    Just be careful with the data connection on it, or you'll come back to a biiiig bill. The HTC phones like to pull down random bits of data for things like the weather widget, and the satnav need a connection and sucks down a bit of data too!

    Where you off to in Tuscany, we're doing there and a bit around Emilia-Romagna at the end of month.

    I'm in the minority cos I wanted something different and got a Win Phone 7. Which is really rather nice. It's not as open as the android phones, but a bit more together and polished and has a bundle of really nice touches. V. happy with it.

    Cute thing is hte message icon winks when you have a message then goes :-0 if you have a lot.

    Posted 11 years ago #
  17. amir
    Member

    Thanks for the tip Stepdoh.

    We'll be near Pienza in the first week then near Vinci further north the next week. Looking forward to it and hope to hire some bikes some days.

    Posted 11 years ago #
  18. amir
    Member

    Oh well - doesn't look like I'll be getting the phone on time to be able to post pics of cycling in Tuscany :<

    First had problem with offer on phones4u (web) - I was turned down by T-mobile on grounds on credit - my credit history is clean - I checked in the place that T-mobile did.

    Second talkmobile (again on web) don't look like they will meet their target of 2-3 working days from order.

    But at least I'll be on holiday :> ... and I am not going to say anything about the change of weather here...

    Posted 11 years ago #
  19. amir
    Member

    Further traumas with phone. It arrived after we went on holiday. The courier decided a safe place to put the phone was in the bin, which the bin men later emptied.

    Posted 11 years ago #
  20. cb
    Member

    The courier put the phone in the bin?!

    Was the courier Citylink?

    Posted 11 years ago #
  21. amir
    Member

    No - it was DHL. Apparently they have be told by the phone people not to do that. Anyway a new phone has been sent.

    Posted 11 years ago #
  22. Min
    Member

    Yeaouch. I have heard of this sort of thing happening before (with an out of print £200 book). At least the phone folk have sent a new one.

    Posted 11 years ago #
  23. DaveC
    Member

    I'm resuracting this as I want Samsung owners and O2 customers views on this:

    Samsung Galaxy S II on Pay Monthly 27GBP 300 talk, unlimited Texts, 500MB Data.

    The offer ends tomorrow and I am not in contract and thinking about joining O2 as my partners phone is on O2 and she gets free calls to other O2 customers.

    Whats the pit falls of O2 and/or Samsung, like the HTC thing mentioned about it pulling data off the web randomly?

    Cheers

    Dave C

    Posted 11 years ago #
  24. chdot
    Admin

    "Whats the pit falls of O2"

    I've had an iPhone/O2 contract for three years and been very happy with their customer service on rare occasions I've needed it.

    Coverage is poor in one place I go regular - surrounded by some bulky buildings - but all carriers seem to have gaps.

    3G coverage in centre of town not great at moment (Festival) - presume same for all carriers.

    Posted 11 years ago #
  25. DaveC
    Member

    Thanks, chdot, I'll probably use want to tether mostly off local wifi hotspots, like at work and home. Do O2 lock out the tethering on contract phones?

    Posted 11 years ago #
  26. chdot
    Admin

    Tethering is add-on charge with iPhone (haven't got it) - presume same with other 'phones/carriers.

    Posted 11 years ago #
  27. steveo
    Member

    As long as you don't go nuts I doubt the carriers can actually tell if its a smart phone or a laptop.

    Posted 11 years ago #
  28. Nelly
    Member

    Dave C - Not sure if you are mixing up tethering with simply using wifi?

    If genuine tethering, then its a different beast, using your phone as a hotspot (I think) - but if you mean that you will 'utilise' home wifi, or costa coffee wifi etc - then that is generally free - and you will hit a splash screen if they want credit card details etc. I never pay for it, there are lots of free hotspots in coffee shops etc.

    Anywhere else, your 3g should be ok outside, not sure how decent O2 is indoors here.

    I have 1 gig data, and have never got close, even with lots of tour de france tweets etc last month.

    Wife has galaxy sII on Three - Its a great phone, massive screen (which means the phone itself is very large - one to bear in mind), many functions even before you get to downloading apps.

    I prefer my HTC desire S - it feels more 'solid' but still pocket sized.

    Whatever you get, you wont be disappointed.

    Posted 11 years ago #
  29. DaveC
    Member

    Yes I ment accessing the internet from home Wifi instead of using 3G. When I looked at an Iphone a few years ago I found I couldn't access the internet via wifi as Orange has disabled the function as part of their 'cloning' software to force the user to use 3G and hence pay more for internet usage. Perhaps this technique has ended now.

    Anyway Orange couldn't match the deal O2 had but did have the same phone on 20 pounds a month over 24 months with a fee of 120 upfront for the phone. This saves me a couple of pounds a month over the 24 month contract. I get to keep the number with no potential hastles over transfering the number and not having a phone for a day or two. Also the missus has bought the O2 deal so her Samsung will have the O2 logo on and mine wil have the Orange Square on so hopwfully we'll not pick each others phones up first thing...

    Posted 11 years ago #
  30. chdot
    Admin

    "Orange has disabled the function as part of their 'cloning' software to force the user to use 3G"

    Curious.

    Certainly won't be an issue now.

    Posted 11 years ago #

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