The piece is solely about mobile phone PRICING plans, it doesn't take into account network signal quality.
Mobile phones have come a long way in the past 3 or 4 years, both in technology with things like the Iphone and the XTC and with pricing plans. About 5 years ago you either had a Pay As You Go (PAYG) or a Contract, but with modern day being about more options and selections, menu's that are never to big phone dealers have started to offer more ways to have a phone plan.
The obvious two are still PAYG and contract which can easily be summarised as Pre-pay and Post Pay. With a PAYG you pay in advance for credit that you then use any way you want, the credit you buy is in the form of "top ups" and purchased in one of several ways including by switch over the phone, by cash in a retailers (which sees you purchasing a code to enter) or by switch in at an ATM. The credit can then be spent on calls, texts, internet access and purchases of things like content or "services". When the credit is used up the customer must purchase another batch of it for their network or provider.
Contract is the opposite and is one of (what is now 3 forms) the post pay phone deals, in which you make your calls, send your texts and use the internet all you want. You will be sent an invoice at the end of the month for your usage and any extras (such as insurance or bolt ones) you've requested. What you often find with this sort of a deal is that you get a phone (often of your choosing) to go along with your deal and you get given a "free" allowance. Often something like 600 minutes, unlimited texts for £30 a month with a a Sony Ericsson C902 for example. If you stay with in your allowance you just pay the monthly tariff, go over and you pay more.
In recent years there's been 2 other post pay types of deal, one of them it mainly run by T-Mobile and is called "Flex" in which you pay the same way as a contract except your credit usage is more like that of a PAYG. You're not tied down to having X minutes and Y texts they are flexible inside the credit that you get so if one month you're needing to send more texts you can with out penalty, whilst if another month you need to make more calls you again can do. Usually with a flex type of plan you will buy £60 of credit for £20 a month meaning you get more than you would if you were to remain on PAYG. However with the advent of "unlimited" text deals the actual practicality of flex plans is seemingly numbered.
Also available is the final form of post pay plans, a "SIM only" which is a short term rolling contract. Usually the length of these are 1 month at a time, with the ability to cancel giving just 28 days notice with no penalty and can be considered a contract-lite deal. They have a similar concept to a contract deal you pay X every month for Z minutes of calls and W texts, however with these you do not receive a phone as part of the deal.
There is also a form of "super SIM's" on PAYG that sees you getting rewarded bonuses for topping up, though this at one point used to be quite unique and made the SIM's quite valuable. Now a days these have taken over from regular style PAYG deals as every network seems to offer a bonus reward (often an amount of free texts) for topping up a specific amount or spending a specific amount during the week/month. The original deal with the 3 Network was that you'd put an amount of credit on your phone, get slightly better value for money than a normal pay as you go, but you'd also have to use your credit by the end of a 28 day cycle or you'd lose it, rather like a pre-pay SIM only.
So which is the cheapest?
Well this more depends on how you intend to use your phone, for those that intend to have it "in case of emergencies" you'd be far better off on a PAYG plan and topping up as of and when needed. With the ability to top up by switch you've always got the ability to put money onto your phone if the emergency arises in which it needs to be done.
If your the sort of person that uses the phone a lot but never sure of what their doing that month then a flex deal maybe ideal for you if you can find one at a good price. Though in all honesty these are likely to be a dying sort of things as company's begin to try and undercut each other in the contract market the "flex" of the texts part is a moot point.
If your a heavy end user a contract deal would be the best for you, though whether you go for a SIM only or a "true" contract depends on a secondary need. Do you already posses a phone you're comfortable with using? If not are you happy to be tied in to a deal (often either for 12, 18 or 24 months). If you have a phone you like already (or you're buying a handset outright anyway) then there is going to be no appeal in a full contract that has you tied into a deal. The flexibility of a SIM only plan allowing you the change providers (as long as you're phone is unlocked) is hugely appealing to some.
If you're wanting a new phone however and don't mind being tied to one dealer a contract is your best bet. They do cost a bit more than a SIM only for the same amount of time and texts but you do get a phone for effectively the difference multiplied by the months of the contract.
It's also often a clever to be wise, look at all the deals available and see if anyone will match it or even beat it. When it comes to renewal time for a contract this is where the customer gets the upper hand and can play Vodafone for example off against O2 and Orange and see which is willing to undercut the other by the most. This often sees you getting a much more personalised deal than you may have gotten if you'd gone to the company with out mentioning anything else.
Also remember that for some internet browsing limit's need to be looked into just as much as minutes of calls and number of texts.
The cheapest plan, is the one that suits the person getting it more than the others, as no single plan is cheaper than all the others. Having a PAYG and making 600 minutes of cross network calls and sending 2000 texts every month will see you financially ruined, where as paying £25 a month on a contract and not using the phone at all is just as wasteful (but less costly). Only you know what you're going to do with your phone, so shop around and look at what you need, not at what the sales people are trying to tell you.
When choosing a mobile, you need to think about a lot of things, network, type of phone, what you use your phone for and how much you use it.
Out of all the networks I have used O2 is the one I recommend. Its at a reasonable price and the connectivity is great, with Vodafone the connectivity was great but I find the price to be well to expensive, with the other networks, I find that they are cheap but with no connectivity so no signal.
==Type of Phone==
When looking for a type of phone, go by what you want it for and how much you use it combined. For example if you are just using it for business, try a Blackberry closely followed by the Iphone, if you are the music lover go with something with expandable memory, that goes for the photographers of this world too.
Photographers must get a decent camera, this is were megapixle comes in basically the more the merrier so if you see something like 8 Megapixles then go get it.
Always check what the Stand-by time and Talk time is, Stand-by time is how long the phone will be on without use and talk time how long you have talking before the battery dies.
May I recommend that you take a look on my other review, called Don't Get Confused, Get Even (About mobile phone Jargon)
I hope this helps.
This phone appears fantastic on the face of it. When you first get it in your hand your immediate reaction is, 'how old is this phone? it's huge!' Well the phone has fantastic picture quality and the video player facility is superb. You have easy access to sports news and football highlights as well as a wide range of other WAP services. The premiership highlights that I have downloaded are superb. The quality is amazing, it could give a portable television a good run for its money. The sound is also very good, it makes you feel like you're at the game.
The phone does have a very good memory. I was able to store around an hour of video, including Premiership highlights and music videos. The performance of the phone was in no way effected by the large amount of media I had stored on it. You can store hundreds of phone numbers and text and picture messages. I was also impressed that it could retain all of the original preset ringtones and backgrounds/ wallpapers, along with the videos.
The down side is that the phone is very unreliable. It often freezes and my phone has had to be reapired because of a fault with the camera facility. As a result of the fault, all of my pictures and videos were instantly erased, much to my annoyance. From what I have heard, problems with a835 aren't terribly uncommon. This will be something that Motorola will need to look into in the future, to ensure that the new models don't suffer the same fate. My replacement phone does seem to be OK, for the moment at least.
Also the reception of 'Three' isn't great in some areas the 3G reception is appalling. At times you can't even make a call or send a text, let alone use the WAP service. This is very frustrating, as you have to constantly check you have some reception. If not, you have to move around constantly until you find some. Maintaining any reception is another challenge in itself. There is a feature that does allow you to make an emergency call if you don't have enough receptio to make a standard call.
I came across one really good thing about this phone a couple of weeks ago. You are able to re-arrange the menus and sub-menus to cater your needs. This has allowed me to move my 'messages' option to the top of my list on the main menu. I use this feature more than any other. I have also moved my settings to the second option and demoted the games and application option. You can take this on further by sorting other menus in a way that suits you.
I would reccomend it to anyone who wants superb picture quality but is prepared to cope with unreliability in the long run. The size can get on your nerves after a while, your jean pockets might be too small for it. After all, the a835 does perform the basic functions that you would expect of a mobile phone. So, if you need a new mobile phone now, or in the future, you might well consider this one. If you are sports fan, then you should be very, very attracted by the facility to view football highlights. I would give this mobile phone a very healthy 7 out of 10.
Why no pick up a Nokia 8260, that me tell you why. It has good sound quality,long battery life,nice looks and extensive set of features,the Nokia 8260 is very good choice. The NOKIA 8260 looks very nice. The antenna is located internally,so you cannot see it[and it doesn't get in the way when you pull the phone out of your pocket].The colors and sleek design are also nice. COLORS You can get the phones in three colors: RED PEPPER, CARBON GRAY or ELECTRIC BLUE. The buttons are silver and the phone's front panel has silver and black elements that do not change with the change in phone's color. SIZE The phone is very compact and light[at 3.4 oz],the phone is so small that you start to worry if other party can hear you-if you put the speaker to your ear,the microphone is very far from your mouth. However,the microphone is very sensitive and pick up whatever you are saying,unless you are located in the very noisy environment. The buttons are somewhat small and space between then is also less then optimal,but this is because of the phone's small size. The keys are not covered with a keypad cover, but you can use keypad lock function. RECEPTION The internal antenna is smaller than in conventional phones, but this does not decrease reception quality. The reception is clear and sound quality is very good. BATTERY LIFE Both talk and standby times are good, especially in digital mode-nokia claims up to 3.5 hours of talk and 8 days standby digital mode, 1.5 hours of talk and 36 hours of standby in analog mode. The phone use lilon 920 mAH BLB-3 battery. ACCESSORIES The desktop charger is also compact and stylish, it connects to the electric outlet by the travel charger[standard type or rapid charger], they charge the BLB-3 battery in 3 hours and 1 hr 50 min respectively. You can also get the leather case, cigareete lighter rapid charger [1 hr 50 m
in], express car kit [car charger and phone holder] and handset kit with "answer/end" button located on the headset. EMAIL If your service provider supports it, you can use this phone to send and recieve short email messages. You can also use service provider's web site to send text messages to the phone owner. A very nice feature. PHONE BOOK AND STUFF The phone can store up to 250 entries in it phone book, you can store names, phone number and email address. There are 40 ring patterns, you can also program the phone to vibrate when incoming calls are detected. The phone has clock, calculator, games. With good sound quality, long life, nice looks and extensive sets of features a very good choise.
First the reasons not to buy one:-- cost, there not to cheap! That was short wasn't it, i love this phone it's looks, it's features everything. I only have one problem which is the menus are a bit slow to react but i can live with that its nothing major. Advantages are that its not a Nokia, not that i've got anything against Nokia but neither have a lot of people, and with over 60% of the market your never going to be the onlyone in the room with a Nokia, but if you want something aling the lines of the 8330 or similar then the T68i is a stylish alternative, from what i've found its as compatible as its equivalent nokia and i have interacted via infrared with other nokia phones which is more than can be said for other manufactures(samsung to name but one). Its got some super feature like bluetooth and i have a little camera so everytime someone rings there photo is displayed, not so functional but its different, voice dial works well i know some people had troble on older ericssons but i use it and have had no problems. for those who like to drop there phones on a regular basis (like me) it might not look that durable but i was suprised that its withstood some of the drops and knocks ive given it but it has and its still scratch free and after a month thats good for me. for more detailed features visit http://www.sonyericsson.com/uk/spg.jsp?page=start also i found the carphonewarehouse to be very helpful
UPDATED---------------- Well what can I say? This OP (one of my first) was initially a review of MY mobile phone before I actually realised that it was posted incorrectly. The more I thought about this, the more I decided that it would be good for me to change my op so that it properly fits with the topic so if you are ready? Off we go! Introduction ============ Mobile phones are hot business, over the last few years, sales has skyrocketed and as technology continues to improve, the market is being flooded with more and more choice. With all this in mind, I am to provide a BASIC OP about what?s what with mobiles. I will be briefly looking at 2 issues namely the best unit for you and the best scheme for you. How to pick a mobile phone ========================== You may think that one phone is the same as another but actually you?d be wrong. There are many people who could have either saved money or increased their lifestyle/workrate by picking the right mobile. So what?s the best way to go? Well glad you asked?. Here?s some of the key points to consider?. 1. Size- Without any hidden meaning here, size IS important! One of the main reasons why is battery life. As mobiles get smaller and smaller, so do the batteries and sometimes this can mean reduced standby/talktime. If you are attracted to the smallest phone on the market, make sure the battery life suits your needs?. I?m speaking from experience here? Mine does not?. 2. Model ? To be honest Nokia leads the way here but that doesn?t mean that the other makers don?t deserve 100% of your attention. Many people I know have automatically plumped for nokias when another model may have suited them better. I have found that Sony are a dark horse when it comes to mobiles? Theyre very good indeed, certainly well worth a nosey. 3. Computer connectivity- Often overlooked at time of purchase, you should think hard about getting a phon
e which connects with either your PDA (handheld computer) or your laptop. Even if you don?t intend to connect them together straight away it is still worth consideration. Also worth a thought is in which manner does the phone connect? Bluetooths the newest, Infra Red is the most common and trusty old cables the old fashioned way. If you need computer connectivity, make sure you iron out all the compatibility issues BEFORE you buy the handset. 4. Wap or not?- WAP (wireless application protocol) is kind of a mobile version of the internet. It?s quite handy but can be buggy and slow? Hailed as a rival to the real www it looks like it will die a death when G3 phones are released. Lots of phones support it but lots of people don?t use it and could of saved a packet if they?d bought a cheaper, non-wap phone. 5. Single, Dual or Tri-band- Now don?t get too worried! All this means is some phones will (or will not) work abroad? If you are a frequent traveller, bear this in mind. Well that forms the basis of part one. In part two, I want to briefly look at Tariff v payt (pay as you talk) Could I have the Bill please? ============================= Whichever option you choose, mobiles can be expensive. The prices vary greatly and you will need to do your homework to make sure you invest your money wisely. Gone are the days when every mobile phone user was contracted to a network. Most now choose payt even though the call rates are usually higher. Basically I would sum up the schemes like this (you need to check properly before purchase though) Payt ==== dearer calls on and off peak marginally dearer text messages limited options for data calls (ie for your computer connectivity) very expensive handsets no yearly contract limited insurance options Contract ======== monthly line rental fee (about £15+) minimum 1 year contract Cheaper calls Cheaper txt messages
Sometimes free calls or txt messages Better insurance options Virtually free handsets More call options (data calls for computers etc) New phone every year (on some networks) Itemised billing There are lots more differences between the two but I want to keep my OP at a reasonable length. Conclusion ========== My final advice to anybody who is looking for a mobile (do they exist anymore?) is to shop around and remember that most shops/salespeople are on commission, so I?d recommend doing your own research via the websites of the manufacturers and providers. There are some great phones out there and the telecoms industry is all set for the next big thing? G3?. Watch this space.
I work in mobile phones, have previously worked for a Mobile Billing Company, and I currently work in network services for one of the major networks. I hope I can contribute some useful Information for those looking for advice. To get the best package I would recommend first choosing the network, then phone, then the tariff you will be paying, as explained in more detail below. This op has been updated 6.4.02. Which Network? There are 4 networks in this country, Orange, Vodaphone, Cellnet O2(it will be called just O2 soon, which is the new name for BT Cellnet which is now independent of BT) and One 2 One. The first 3 have similar amounts of customers and coverage with one 2 one lagging a little behind in terms of customers and amount of population covered. They all claim to cover 98% (1-2-1) or for the others, 99% of the population, however, dont be fooled by this, as in terms of actual LANDMASS in the uk, its around 85%. Other Networks such as Genie, Virgin,Fresh, use one of the main networks for their customers (Genie use Cellnet O2, Fresh Use 1 2 1 and Virgin use 1 2 1). Firstly, when buying a phone, the main choice is prepay or contract? Prepay have become very expensive within the last few months, prices of handsets have in some cases doubled as all four networks have begun promoting contracts as a better option, this is partly so that they can gain more money from contract payers as there is a guaranteed monthly line rental that they receive whether the customer uses the phone or not. The money is needed to help them pay for the next generation of networks and phones after they shelled out billions for the rights to the next generation in mobiles in a few years. As a rough guide, If you are using a mobile for upto 15 minutes a week then a prepay option may be better. If longer than this then the value of a 12 month contract with inclusive minutes in exchange for a monthly line rental may be better value. Its important to choos
e a network which offers good coverage in your area and one which most of your friends are on, as calling people on the same network as you is far cheaper. (but see "which tariff" section below which I have updated) Each network has its black spots of coverage and there is not really one best network, it depends on where you use the phone. To get an idea of coverage in your area the best thing is to either get hold of each networks main number and call them with your postcode and ask them for a coverage check. Alternatively, one of the mobile high street retailers will often do this for you. Of the high street retailers, I would recommend the carphone warehouse for choice and independent advice. They offer all networks and do not promote one over the other. Here is a list of other High street retailers and the Networks that they are owned by: THE LINK- 40%Owned By Cellnet O2 - Dont offer Vodaphone PHONES 4 U - Owned by Vodaphone. Mobile Phone Stores -Owned By Cellnet O2 and only offer Cellnet O2 DX - Owned by Cellnet O2. Pocket Phone Shop- owned by 121. Vodaphone and Orange also have their own shops which as you can imagine, only offer their own products. So as you can see by going into one of these stores its possible that they will try and set you up with the network which owns the shop, not always a good thing. I find that the carphone warehouse are the best in terms of independent advice as well as general good customer service. Price Its a fact that if you want to go abroad then its far cheaper to do so with a contract phone than prepay - expect to pay between £1 and £3 on prepay for making and receiving a call! You still pay for receiving a call when abroad but the charges are much cheaper on contract, especially as there are extra add ons that for a small charge(£3 approx a month) you can make and receive calls at vastly reduced rates. As
an example, Cellnet O2 have international Traveller service which, within Europe reduces incoming calls from 94p/min to around 28p/minute. Outgoing calls are also reduced and its best to ask each network about their pricing before signing up if you are going abroad. Cellnet O2 and Vodaphone have agreements with more countries than 121 and Orange at the moment and have done for some time, although the others are slowly catching up. If you want to travel to the USA or Canada you will need a Tri band Phone or one that works on the 1900 mhz frequency. Most phones are dual band and work on 900mhz (Cellnet O2 and Vodaphone cellsites) and 1800 mhz (Orange and 121 cellsites). The phones will usually only make use the "other" frequency when abroad. Cellnet O2 and Voda do have a few 1800mhz cellsites though in the UK. WHICH PHONE Check out latest Pictures/models/news/reviews online at independent site www.gsmarena.com or here on dooyoo! For cheaper offers on phones you can buy directly over the net, some places to buy are www.mobileshop.com, www.mobilerepublic.com, www.extele.com, www.carphonewarehouse.com As a rule, you will find that Cellnet O2 And Vodaphone offer more phones and at a slightly cheaper price than Orange and One 2 One, I dont really know why this is, probably has something to do with phone companies agreements to supply the networks. Cellnet O2 and Vodaphone have been around for longer so I presume they are higher in the pecking order. Orange and 121 tend to get the phone much later so if you want the latest phone go for BT Cellnet or Vodaphone. When choosing a handset the main points are: size/weight/looks/ease of use/reliabilty/signal strength. Phones with external aerials are generally better at holding onto a signal than those with internal aerials. Lithium batteries are best as you can charge them everyday without getting "memory effect" which can occur in Nimh or Nicad batteries which you are only supp
osed to charge when they are flat. With Lithium you can just charge for an hour each day/night and always have the phone ready, you can do this with the other types but this may result in the battery not lasting as long. generally Nimh battries lose their charge power gradually after a year, Lithium last longer. The best thing to do when buying your phone is to look on the web or in shops for the model you like, read up on the reviews for it and then go and try it put instore, most retailers are more than happy to let you compare phones this way, after all its your money and you will probably be using the phone for a year at least, so take the chance to have a go instore, even if you dont buy. Nokia phones are probably the most popular still, simply because they are very easy to use, have loads of good features and are very pocketable with no external aerials to bulge out of your bag/pocket. This can mean that in areas of poor reception the signal will not be as good. Also with many of their phones you can change the cover if the phone gets scratched or you fancy a change. Predictive text allows you to send sms messages very quickly and although other manufacturers are including this more in their phones, its not as good as the version used by Nokia. Motorola are U.S based. Their phones are reliable/Durable but have been known to be somewhat more difficult to use. No replaceable covers . They dont have T9 predictive text input but use their own version called Itap which takes longer to use. Ericssons are considered to be easier than Motorola but harder than Nokia to use. Most Ericssons dont have predictive sms although the latest models do although its worth testing out before you buy. Sony handsets have a "jog dial" which is a wheel used to scroll and select options by pushing it in and out. Some people love this, others hate it. Personally I dont like it as you have to use your left hand for the jog dial and n
eed your other hand also to use the phone. Sony and Ericsson have now merged to become SonyEricsson. Most new models have WAP and GPRS which means you can view text based web pages. I dont find this much use myself, its slow and even with the new GPRS phones which offer faster access its only good for those who are really addicted to stocks and shares/news/weather on the move. Its a bit of a novelty for most people which soon wears off. The main reason for most people buying a mobile is to make calls and send text messages. There are many phones and its best to go into a shop to check their size, weight, looks, feel before you buy. This is especially the case if buying from an online retailer. WHICH TARIFF This is a very important area and one where many people make a mistake, they choose a tariff then get their bill and realise its not the right one for them, tariffs are always changing and there are many different ones which makes it difficult to choose the right one. The good thing is that you can almost always change to a more suitable tariff if you are not happy with the one you are on. For example one tariff may offer loads of free off peak/weekend minutes but charge a small fortune for peak rate calls while another may offer less free minutes but have lower daytime call charges. Its best to get a list of all current tariffs which you can get in magazines such "what Mobile" "what cellphone" and "mobile Choice" which are around £3-4 each and can be found at WHSMITH or a carphone warehouse brochure (which is free) these also give reviews and information on the various phones available. Then you can sit at home and look at what each one offers and make an informed decision rather than be sold a package by a sales rep who may only be interested in commission. Tariffs are Split into 3 main areas, off peak/low use for those who dont want to use their phones much and usually make calls at
evenings and weekends. Expect to pay between £13 and £15 a month for these. In terms of free inclusive minutes, Orange everyday 50 is one of the most popular at 50p/day (around £15/month) rental for 50 free off peak mins a day. 121 Have just introduced a tariff with unlimited off peak minutes (although its actually limited to 3000 minutes which is 50 hours-PLENTY! This costs £20 month. Medium use/Peak and Offpeak user tariffs range in price from £15 to £40 a month. High user/Business tariff range from £13.99 a month with no free inclusive mins but low rate calls, to Orange "talk 10000" which gives 10000 fre minutes at a cost of £940/month. This used by large businesses. One more advantage of getting a contract phone certainly with Cellnet O2 is that at the end of the contract if you want to disconnect then they will usually offer you some excellent deals to stay with them. You often get the chance of a new phone and a "pay upfront" package where you pay a lump sum in advance which covers the whole line rental for the next year. eg instead of paying £18/month line rental you pay £79.99 for the whole year. This means big savings for you. The network will also offer 20% reduction on call rates after the first year or £2.50 off line rental, I am sure that each network will have its own incentives and offers. As of this update (7th April 2002) 121 and Orange currently offer a Consumer Monthly tariff which includes 100 free minutes to any network, its £25 a month on 121 and £30 on Orange which gives 200 mins to any network, On 22nd of April I can reveal that Cellnet O2 are introducing a new range of Tariffs which Include bundled mins to ANY network, prices will start at £15/month for O2-30, 30 mins to anyone, £18 for O2-50,50 mins to anyone and 25 free sms or £25 for O2-100 which gives 100 mins to anyone and 100 free sms. The other Networks may follow this by introducing their own similar tariffs. Personally I
have always used Cellnet O2 and have always had good coverage where I live In Leeds, and I currently use Nokia 8210 which I find very easy to use and pocketable. Happy Hunting!
The mobile phone market is now huge and for anyone who doesn't have a mobile yet, the choice can seem overwhelming. I started off with prepay phones and then moved onto contract phones, my current phone is a Nokia 8210. The choice of phones is limited by the package you want to buy, if you go for prepay the choice is a lot more limited and the phones tends to be more basic. The range of contract phones is much larger and the phones are usually more advanced. The most important features are probably the operating system of the phone, the size and weight and the battery life. The first feature that most people look at is size and weight of the phone, as you can simply pick up the models in a shop and have a look at them. Most mobiles these days are reasonably small (unlike previous phones like the Philips Diga) and are comfortable to use in the hand. Most manufacturers offer exceptionally light phones, Nokia have the 8210 and 8850, Ericsson the T28 and Motorola the V50. The Nokias and the Motorola are expensive and only available on contract. You also have to make do with poorer battery life and in the case of the Motorola, a small screen. The T28 is available on Cellnet Prepay for £150, which is the most expensive out of the whole range. Although small phones are cool, a more normal sized one can be a lot cheaper. Most phones offer fairly decent battery life these days, but if you're using the phone a lot, a Lithium Ion battery is best, they are lighter than Nickel Metal Hydride, plus they last longer. You can also charge them up whenever you want, which you can't with Nickel metal Hydride as they suffer from memory effect, which means the battery performance will degrade if you don't let the battery go empty before charging it. The operating system is very important in a phone, currently Nokia offers the best. Nokia phones have large screens with very simple interfaces, the 5110/3210/3310 all use a 'navi' key. This one button c
hanges depending on what screen you are in and makes the phone very easy to use. Most other manufacturer's phones are reasonably easy to use, but if you're buying a mobile for the first time, Nokia's system is really unbeatable. Voice dialling is becoming more and more available on phones, although I am not bothered about it. Dialling by speaking a name into the phone is a good idea but most of the phones do it so slowly it's quicker just to hit the speedial key. If the phone you want comes with it, fine, however, I wouldn't make any special effort to have it on a phone. WAP is becoming available on a lot of phones now, but the question is, is it any good? Personally I think WAP is not a bad thing but I wouldn't buy a phone specially for it, it's a handy feature to have if the phone comes with it. If you are buying a contract phone there more features to consider. One of the main ones is, do you intend to use you phone to connect to the internet with a PDA or laptop? If so buying a phone with a built in modem is a good idea, some examples of this are the Nokia 7110 and the Samsung A100. Many phones are data & fax compatible which means if you want to access the through your phone you have to buy a GSM modem, which is around £100. If you're never going to use the phone with a PDA or laptop then it doesn't matter but if you ever intend to it could be worth the money. For example, the Ericsson T28 is free on most contracts and has no modem, but it does have data&fax compatibility. The more expensive Nokia 8210 does have a builtin modem and costs around £50 to £80 on contract. However, if you ever decide to use the T28 with a laptop or PDA you need to pay £100 for the D128 modem, which makes it more expensive than the 8210, even though the 8210 is a better phone. Recommendations then? On prepay first; Nokia 5110: An older phone now, but can be picked up for around £40 and it is still a
very good phone. It offers EFR, which makes calls clearer and the famous X-press on covers. Battery life is decent and the phone is reasonably although quite heavy at 171grams. There are very few of these around now, but still worth purchasing. Nokia 3210 The replacement for the 5110 and a very good one at that. The 3210 is smaller and lighter, as well as having an internal aerial. It also features predictive text input which makes writing text messages a breeze. The 3210 also features front and back changeable covers which are great for when you get bored of the current colour. Like the 5110 there are three games including the classic snake. Battery life is not bad although it does take a while to charge the phone. Prices are around £70. Siemens C35: Smaller and lighter than the 3210 as well as having WAP capabilites, although slightly more expensive than the 3210. Still quite new but it's finding many fans due to its small size. The C35 also features the predictive text input and several game. The only downside is a relatively small screen. Contract phones: Nokia 7110: Yes, another Nokia but they really are good phones. The 7110 does everything and features a cool active slide and a huge screen. Battery life is excellent but the main downside to the phone is its size. Nokia 6210: A smaller, lighter version of the 7110, although slightly more expensive. it boasts most of the features of the 7110, with High speed data on Orange (Not available on Everday50) and voice dialling. No spring loaded slide or navi-roller this time though. Prices are more reasonable now, although it is still quite a bit more expensive than the 7110. Nokia 8210: This phone has come down in price quite a lot recently on Cellnet and Vodafone and is a very accomplished phone. Featuring just about everything you could want, including an infrared modem and voice dialling. With having a smaller battery than other phones, battery life
does unfortunately suffer, but the battery is lithium Ion, which means you can charge it whenever you want. As you can tell I am very biased towards Nokia, but their mobile phones are excellent, no-one can argue with the amount that have been sold. In the end it's best to buy a phone you are happy with. There is no point buying a phone like the Nokia 7110 if you never intend to use the WAP facilities or the built in modem. Although the Motorola V50 has poor battery life, a poor operating system and a small screen, people will like it just because it's so small. (Update) I have bought my past few phones from Carphonewarehouse, online dealers may be cheaper but I prefer to have a shop I can walk into if there are any problems. Some of the Assistants may not know a lot about mobile phones but they usually try and sort you out. Certainly this is my experience in the Edinburgh area. They have a very good price-matching policy which does include internet offers although I have heard of some shops refusing to do this. I also like their ultimate price promise, if your phone goes down in price within three months of buying it they send you a credit note. Not quite as good as money but better than nothing. I don't like the Link very much, I originally went to buy my phone from them and found them to be very unhelpful and then giving me the wrong information about what I needed to start a contract. I have also found the BT shops to be equally unhelpful, no-one seemed to be able to help me, nor could they be bothered to find anyone that could. As for online shops, I have used mobileshop.com and found them to be very good. Their delivery was very fast and when there were problems with the phone I sent it back and they even refunded the delivery. Their prices are also very good. I have ordered from studentmobiles.com, who are tied in with Carphonewarehouse but found them to be totally useless. I was intending to buy a Nokia 7110 from Carphonew
arehouse but was offered a 7110 for free (it was £50 in the shops) at a student fair. I was told that I could return it to a Carphonewarehouse if I didn't like it and they could there were any problems. Sounded good to me. However, no phone ever came and despite many phonecalls, successive orders were just as bad. They may be better now but I certainly won't order from them again. Onto the networks then.. Choosing a network is a little more difficult than choosing a phone, there is no 'best' network to go for. Currently, there are four main networks; BTCellnet, Vodafone, Orange and One2one. To complicate matters a bit more there are also now several 'virtual' networks, these are companies that use existing networks. Currently using the One2one network are Virgin, Fresh and Telecom Plus, and using the Cellnet network is Genie. The first consideration when choosing a network is coverage, the best way to find out is to ask friends or fanily who already have a phone to see how they get on, I tend to find coverage maps unreliable. Currently Vodafone and Orange probably offer the best coverage, although all the networks have regions where they don't work so well. Obviously, above all else you want a mobile phone you can rely on, and that you don't have to go outside everytime to make a call. The second consideration to make is who are you going to be calling? Calling people on different networks tends to be very expensive, so it's best to choose the network that most of the people you know are on. Next, what tariff do you want? There are lots of tariffs available, so it takes a bit of looking around to find one that suits you the most. The first choice is prepay or contract. Prepay phones are more expensive to start with, especially now that the prices have been put up. However, after the price of the handset, you simply pay for calls and text messages. The choice of phones is more limited and the phones av
ailable are more basic. These days however, most of the phones available are pretty good and have plenty features. I stil remember the day when I paid £70 for a Philips Diga... The Cellnet prepay scheme is fairly unremarkable, the call charges are resonable, going down to 2p at the weekend. Vodafone offer two prepay tariffs; allcalls and smartstep. The allcalls tariff is similar to Cellnet, although the call charges are slightly higher. One the smartstep tariff you pay 25p minutes for the first three minutes of each day and 5p per minutes after that, whatever time of day it is. Orange have a fairly standard charging scheme, although you can choose an okk peak time slot during peak hours, lower your call charges by crediting a £50 voucher and get 5 free texts a day by paying £15 for the Outhere pack. The main tariff on One2one is similar to the Smartstep tariff, you pay 30p a minute for the first two minutes and then 5p a minute for the rest of the day. I think they still offer their older tariff where you pay a daily charge but I don't know much about them. Virgin aren't strictly a prepay service, they offer contract services such as fax/data. However, they can still be used as a prepay sevice, their calls are similar to one2one, 15p a minute for the first five miuntes and then 5p per minutes afterwards. Both Virgin and One2one offer free Voicemail retrieval. Genie have the most innovative tariff, completely free text messages, provided you make at least £10 worth of calls each month. Contract phones are much cheaper initially, generally a phone that would cost around £100 on prepay will be free on contract , with free acessories as well. Line rental starts at around £13 a month, usually including a certain amount of calltime each month. Bearing in mind the higher initial cost of handsets on prepay, a contract may work out cheaper, depending on how many calls you are going to make. Once signing up to a contract it is usually relatively tricky to le
ave it within 12 months, plus it more difficult to keep trakc of costs, the only way to do it is via a monthly bill. There are many tariffs available on contract, too many for me to even begin describing. As for the actual networks themselves, personally I am on Vodafone, I live in Edniburgh and Inverness and find the coverage to be excellent, plus their network capacity seems to be very good, I very rarely get network busy messages. I am on the Leisure 500 tariff, which doesn't offer as much calltime as the other netowrks but the 10p per minute peak to other Vodafone mobiles is very handy. I used to be with Cellnet, but left them because the network coverage had degraded significantly from when I signed up, plus I frequently found it hard to make a call because the network was too busy, plus I dropped a lot of calls, again because the network was too busy. Cellnet do a lot off good offers, currently you can get double inclusive calltime, plus half price text messages which are very tempting, but the network cannot seem to cope with the amount of people that are drawn in by these offers. Personally, I am steering clear of Cellnet for the moment. Orange offer very good coverage and have a huge range of tariffs, they can also match most of the tariffs offered by other networks. This is very good if you want a different tariff, but the coverage for that particular network is not good. At the moment Orange are the only network offering HSCSD, which allows you to connect to up to speeds of 28.8K with a compatible phone. Also 0800 calls are free, including data calls. Another useful feature is the free 'Orange care' insurance which comes with Talk 60 and above. However, the range of phones available on Orange are much more limited than the other networks, plus they all have an Orange badge on them and they are locked to Orange (this means that only Orange SIMS can be used with them). One2one are the smallest network and have the poorest network cover
age, plus they also lock their phones to One2one. Some of the tariffs are good, particularly the newly launched precept Max tariff which gives you completely free calls to landlines or other One2one mobiles for £75 a month. yht prices are probably out of date so use them as a rough guide
Choosing a WAP phone is as difficult as choosing any "simple" phone. However there is a number of questions that you could ask yourself and will help you to make (hopefully!) the correct choice. The first and most important question is whether you really need a WAP phone.Are you going to use its WAP function frequently? Do you plan to use as an alternative to web browsers? If yes then do buy one. But have in mind that WAP-friendly web-pages aren't as many, and their quality isn't as high as that of the normal pages. A second question you should ask yourself is whether you are going to buy a sim-free phone, a one with a contract, or a "pay as you go" one. Each choice has its own advantages and disadvantages but basically, as with the simple phones, sim-free are more expensive but allow you to connect your phone to the network of your choice. If you go for a "direct" relationship with a network, look out because the various networks offer similar services but not at the same prices. Additionally each network has its own advantages and disadvantages: Vodafone for example appears to be quite good in network connection and transfer rate but Orange seems cheaper, especially if you are on a contract. Another important question you have to ask yourself is how much are you happy to pay for a phone. The cheap WAP phones appear to be quite good in basic terms, although they don't have fancy functions like the expensive ones (i.e. Motorola models) and tend to have limited accessory range. A typical example of that are the Trium models: Although they are very reliable and handy, they don't have a large range of accessories and the networks don't seem as keen to support them. For quite some time I wasn't able to find a case for my model and was forced to by the one suitable for the Nokia 3310! So the kind of "backup" you want should play a role in your choice. My suggestion (if you have enough m
oney to spend) is to buy the model of your choice sim-free. This will allow you to choose the most appropriate network for you,depending on the tariff and the services offered.
As a long time Nokia user getting used to the interface of the Siemens S35i took quite some time and patience. At some times I even felt that writing a sms was a real hassle with the Siemens. Taken alone the time it took me to start writing a sms on the Siemens seemed like eternity compared to Nokia phones. But after some time I found many features that make using the Siemens S35i a pleasure. The S35i Silver Edition offers a very nice display which is quite big and uses orange illumination. Everything looks much sharper like this and if you hold it next to a mobile with greenish illumination you'll definitely see the difference. I also found a way around the more complicated interface of the Simens. You can place shortcuts on the number keys of your phone which lets you directly get into writing a new sms or using the calender, etc. As I see it the interface has to be more complicated as the S35i offers an abundant number of features. It certainly is a phone designed for business use and offers some clever logic when it comes to the alarm or reminding you of dates, or sending sms created from templates. Having uttered the word business does not mean that the everyday leisure user won't find these features useful. On the contrary. The many options will definitely help you find the features that you will need most. There's one feature for recording calls. One use for example is when you have to memorize a phone number. Just press a button and it is stored as voice in you phone. Or do you know the situation when you are trying to handle two calls at a time. Might get confusing on most phones. The S35i leads you through the process of holding calls and switching back and forth. One of the best solutions I have seen so far. One word about the battery. There seem to be two options. One weighing a bit more than the other and therefore offering a longer talk and standby time. I am using the ligther version which, as I
find, is absolutely sufficient. The more so if you consider the very short reload time: 30 minutes. Last but not least, the design of this phone is beautiful. Certainly a matter of taste but I think that the Simens S35i is as stylish as it is practical.
First u have to decide on wat sort of mob. is best 4 u..... Then decide why you want a mobile, or if you actually need one. Would you be better off using a phonebooth in emergencies? Have a look at all the SIX networks: Vodafone (My favourite) One to One Orange BT Cellnet Virgin Mobile Plus Telecom Look at their priceplans. Are you a heavy user of a mobile, a weekend and off peak user or an emergency user. If you have answered heavy or frequent, you will most likely be better off on a monthly subscription contratct. These contracts start from about £9.99 a month going up to £49.99 a month for non stop users. They offer much lower call charges than on Pay as you Go. Also, phones are often offered for free on contract, however you are then stuck with the same phone and contract for a year. Contracts expire 1 year from the commencing date in 90% of cases, and you cannot cancel it befor this time. Some contracts also have what is called a 'connection fee', which is usually about £30-£35. This is really an excuse to get more money out of you, and the networks claim it is for all the hassle of adding you to their system. Most contracts come with 'free' connection, however this is simply added to your line rental! Remember the old saying, 'there's no such thing as free' - unless you check out a site like www.ukfreebies.co.uk! Enough about that though, and back to the phones. One last thing, once your contract is up (usually after a year) you can do as you wish with the phone you recieved, including putting a pay as you go SIM card in! If you do not know what a SIM card is, read on to find out. If you answered emergency user, I would reccommend Pay as you go. This is also ideal for teenagers who cannot pay monthly subscription fees. Pay as you go works by you adding money to your account as and when you need it, as often as you like. Call
charges however are generally more expensive than on contracts, although you do not have to keep to an agreement and you are free to use your mobile as often as you like. Pay as you go phones start from around £30, up to about £150. If you want a £30 mobile, hurry as all the networks are about to dramatically increase their handset prices. This is because many people never use their phones, and often resell them abroad for a much higher price. Also because the networks subsidse much of the cost of a phone, they never recieve their money back. Text messaging is available on any network and priceplan. If you want a phone purely for text messaging go for a £29.99 pay as you go phone. Messages cost pretty much the same on any network. There are too many priceplans on contract to list, so I will just consider the pay as you go tariffs for each network.All prices are per minute, and peak hours are roughly 8am - 7.30pm on each network. Off peak hours are cheaper, and peak hours more expensive to make calls in, but not to send messages in. The text messaging tariff remains the same throughout the day. Messages are around 10p each on all the networks, but vary above and below this figure slightly. Voicemail is a service offered by all networks, in which when you are unable to take a call the caller gets directed to your personal answermachine, in which he or she can leave a message. You can then retrieve this message at anytime. Most networks charge for this service, however I do know one to one offer it for free. Vodafone are the UK's number 1 network, and offer the best coverage. They are fairly expensive, however you have the reasurrance of a good reputation. Vodafone currently offer a tariff of 25p for the first 3 minutes of each day and 5p after that on pay as you go. One 2 One are an excellent pay as you go network, with a popular priceplan of 30p for the first two miutes of every day and 5p a minute
after that. Text messaging is pretty cheap too, 8p in most cases. Orange are good for pay as you go also, and offer 5 free text messages a day. Priceplans vary, I was recently on 30p for peak calls and 5p on off peak hours. BT Cellnet offer free calls to your favourite number, however prices of calls are fairly expensive. BT have a terrible customer service reputation too. (some of you may remember 'we can work it out' in which BT Cellnet was regulary slammed) Virgin are newcomers in the world of mobile phones, and offer some great deals on pay as you go. Virgin also offer some decent phones at reasonable prices. However, similary to Plus Telecom few people are on these networks yet, and so calling your friends on other networks will be expensive. Also available are 'all in one packages', and these are rather similar to the contract packages. However, instead of paying monthly for your calls and line rental, you simply make a one off payment and you recieve everything you need for your next year. This includes the phone, connection to your network, 12 months line rental and usually a certain amount of calls per month. For example, Vodafone offer the Nokia 3310 on an all in one package, for £159.99 eith a choice of free monthly calls. The choices are 500 off peak minutes, 60 peak minutes with low call charges, or 150 peak mins. REMEMBER, all in one packages only give you a certain call allowance each month, and any surplus calls to this are chargable. The all in one packages are most suitable for low end users and emergency users of mobile phones. Some networks even let you carry over any unused talktime from the previous month to the next! (I am aware Vodafone definately do this at the moment, any other networks doing this le me know!) Anybody that is sure of exactly of what he or she wants with a network, and wants a good phone to accompany this may consider purchasing an off-line
mobile. An off line mobile phone is a phone not connected to any specific network or tariff, and is just the phone in the box and nothing else. A SIM card will be needed to make these phones work, and these are readily available for under £10 from any good phone store. If you don't know what a SIM card is, it stands for Subscriber Identification Module. SIM cards slot into your phone, and hold all your call details and some text messages. A phone will not function without a SIM card. These phones are very expensive, and should only be purchased when you intend it to be used with a pay as you go SIM card. There is no point purchasing an off line phone, if you intend to take up a contract, as contracts always come with phones anyway! As pay as you go phones are expensive, and as you do not always recieve a good phone on it, off line phones are excellent with a pay as you go SIM card in them. For a decent off line phone, be prepared to shell out a few hundred quid though. Most decent off line phones are unavailable on pay as you go usually. Good luck choosing your mobile, and I hope this helped! SEND ME COMMENTS PLEASE!!!!!!
The Nokia 3310, like its predecessor, the 3210, is the choice of mobile for many of todays teenagers, and its easy to see why. Its not the smallest or the prettiest mobile out there, or the lightest, but for some odd reason it feels good. This is a mobile which you can make yours. Things such as the ringtone and screensaver can be changed, so the mindless beeps you hear on the train can become chart hits or football anthems. However, an excellent feature is the Xpress on covers, which you can change. The whole case of the phone can be changed, so you can replace the standard blue cover with one you actually like. There are hundreds of 3310 covers, ranging from "Dairy Milk" ones to "Budweiser" ones to cheap and bright designs. The covers are easy to remove once you know how to, however the first time you do it it might feel like its going to snap. The Nokia 3310 comes with 4 games, Snake 2, Space Impact, Pairs 2 and Bantumi. The latter two are not really very good, however the first two are simple but addictive, and excellent for those boring car journeys. The predictive text functions of the 3310 are designed to make texting quicker, however it is annoying for most people as it only recognises proper words, not the simple txt lingo everyone uses nowadays. Thankfully this feature can be turned off. Everything else about the phone is pretty good. The sound quality is excellent for the phones price (usually about £100), and the menus are clear and easy to navigate. However, the phone is not a WAP phone, and it doesnt have extra features like an in built MP3 player like some other phones do. But these would probably raise the price by another £50, so at the end of the day, the Nokia 3310 is a compromise between price and functions. This is an excellent phone if you will text a lot, or want a phone that will not be jeered at in the playground. This is definitely a great phone to buy if you want a phone
for £100 or less.
There is so much demand for mobile phones to day that you just cant keep up to date with all the new phones and old ones. So I am here to help you with my jargon free op on what’s hot and what’s not for under £99.99. I will Judge my phones under the following categories: 1. Ease of use 2. Style 3. Gadgets 4. Storage of Numbers/Text 5. Tones The Phones I will be looking at in detail are: 1. Nokia 3310 2. Siemens C35I 3. Motorola V2288e Nokia 3310 The first phone to look at his the Nokia 3310. This phone is £99.95 from Argos as Orange Talk Time. This means you will not get much change from your £99.99. Here is how it rated. Ease of use: The 3310 is a great beginners phone as there is a menu button which will activate the menu and there are arrow keys to scroll though the options. There is also a quick call option where you press the arrow done to see you phone book. You can also see you last calls by selecting the up arrow. There is also a short cut mode where you press the menu button once then press 8 to play snake 2. 10/10 Style: You wanna look cool with your mobile phone then get this one. It is not small but not big and has no aerial unlike other phones. It is a nice shape too fit in your pocket and any where else your would like to place it. What else is good about the style of this phone is that you can get express on covers to suit your mood. Your can choose between lightning striking to a west ham one if you want to! 9/10 Gadgets: Gadgets, this phone has them by the bucket load. Theirs a small calendar and basic planner, alarm clock, calculator and even Games. The games include the infamous Snake 2, Space impact and Pairs 2. There is all so the menu where you can find out your last call and how long you have spent on the phone. 10/10 Storage of Numbers/Texts: You
can store 70 numbers on a 3310 and I only managed to fill in 50 so I still had a few spare spaces. Texts on the other hand only have 10 spaces and you often find them filling up quickly. This is a disadvantage as I often found myself losing out on text messages. 8/10 Tones: There are about 40 ring tones on the 3310 and you are allowed to download 7 of them. There are the original ones like Nokia tune, which is from Trigger Happy T.V, and there is the Haribo Jingle. There is also a vibrate mode which is used when you are in silent situations. 10/10 Overall: This is one good phone! 9.5/10 Tariff Details Cost Of Calls per min 35p 10p 10p Text 10p Answer Phone per min 10p Siemens C35I This Phone is from Phones 4 U at £89.99. This means you will 10 pounds change and is cheaper. Here is out it Does in my point of view. It is on Bt cellent Tariff Ease of use: There are 4 buttons at the top. 2 of the buttons are shortcuts to go to the internet. When I go on the phone I often find I go on the internet instead of finding the phonebook or games. Once you have got into the main menu you will find you have scroll with the other buttons. This phone has a more advance control system to the Nokia 7.5/10 Style: The Siemens C35I is smaller than new Nokia 3310 and is much lighter. Unlike the 3310 there is an aerial. The aerial however is very small and is sort of moulded into the shape of the phone. There is a big screen so it can display a lot of information at one time. Overall 9/10 Gadgets: Unlike the other phones I am looking at this one has WAP capability. This is so you can find information like the latest football scores or even how your share prices are doing. There are 4 games on the phone theirs connect 4, a 3D maze, and reversi and minesweeper. There is also an alarm clock and calculator. 9/10 Sto
rage: This is where the Siemens excels. There is enough space to store 199 numbers so you want be using them up quickly. There is also space for 20 text messages so you will always have space for more until you reach 20. 10/10 Tones: There are 20 tones on the Siemens to choose from. They include the traditional Siemens to the normal Ring-Ring. You can not download tones but you are allowed to type them in. 8.5/10 Overall: This is an equally good phone: 9/10 Tariff Details Cost of Calls per min 25p 10p 2p Text 10p Answer Phone 10p Motorola V2288e This is the cheapest phone at £69.95 from Argos under Vodaphone. You get £30 pounds change from your £99.99 and here is how it rates in my Point of View. Ease Of use: This is really an easy phone to use. There is a button which says menu. Then you will have to scroll through until you get to the right thing you want. There is an O.K button and a Cancel button in case you go the wrong place and need to go back. This is one easy Phone to use as it is clearly marked. 10/10 Style This is quite a big phone. There is an aerial and it is quite big. There are only to Covers available. A blue one and a glow in the dark one. This is the phones weak point. 5/10 Gadgets: This phone has a few games on it these include games like the towers of Honai and Baccarat which is a betting games. There are many more games on this phones mobile Internet system. The only problem is that you will spend to much money on the internet. There is also calculators and alarm cloacks on the phone. 8/10 Storage: The Motorola can store 100 numbers and 10 texts so it has the same situation as the Nokia mobiles as you find that you will run out of spaces when the texts. 7/10 Tones: This is another sad spot for the Motorola. There are no
t many tunes for the phone there is Ring-Ring and Sirens. You can make your own tone but it is difficult to make them. 5/10 Overall: Cheap and cheerful. Easy to use. 7.5/10 Tariff Details. Cost of Calls per min 35p 10p 10/5p Text 12p Answer Phone 35p 10p 10/5p This concludes my mobile Phone Guide so choose well. Thanx for reading