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Mobile phone - John C. Kirk

Nov. 21st, 2008

10:34 am - Mobile phone

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I've had my current mobile (Motorola "Razr" v3) for a few years now, and considering that they're not really designed for longevity I think it's held up pretty well. However, the front screen stopped working about a year ago, and the battery life has been dwindling since then. Last night I (accidentally) drop kicked it down the road, and I think it's finally died the death.

So, now I need to replace it. I've been meaning to switch over to "pay as you go" for a while, and I suspect that this will either be a very good time or a very bad time; I'll need to look at the costs of new phones, and see how useful a discount would be. Anyway, does anyone have any recommendations? I just want something basic that can do phone calls and text messages; I don't need a camera or internet access. I'd prefer a clamshell design so that I don't dial by mistake when it's in my pocket, but that's not absolutely essential.

In the meantime, it's best to contact me some other way.

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From:rileen
Date:November 21st, 2008 12:57 pm (UTC)
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I had a Samsung which lasted barely a year. So I went looking for something sturdy the next time, and the salesman recommended Nokia. My Nokia (6230i, I think) has lasted for 2 years and ~8 months now, so I too would recommend going for a simple Nokia model. It does call from my pocket on occasion, though :-)
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From:sammoore
Date:November 21st, 2008 01:07 pm (UTC)
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Would further Nokia as my choice of phone, they have stood up to way more abuse than any other make I have owned. I even dropped my 6630 from halfway up a climb (about 150 feet) and it wasn't even scratched.

Ebay is a good source of second hand phones for cheap as many people upgrade whenever they can do so for free.

Sam
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From:totherme
Date:November 21st, 2008 01:34 pm (UTC)
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You can get pre-pay phones like this or this for a tenner.

That last one's a sony-erickson too. I've had a couple of those with fewer than the average number of mobile-phone problems. My erickson t39 lasted many years of active service and abuse.

There's even a clam shell for that price.

I don't see any point in going into a store unless you're going to haggle with them. And for budget phones, there's not going to be a lot you can offer them.

On the other hand, if you find what you want online, you might be able to get some money back by joining a site like this. Those sites are designed to game the online advertising system. You click through from them rather than browsing directly to the online store, and then you buy what you were going to buy anyway. The online store tracks you with cookies, and pays some money to the cashback site, who in turn pay (a percentage) to you.

Similarly, if you sign up using the link above, then I get some kind of minor bonus. I'm not going to go around spamming my friends with that kind of thing - and if you can find a cashback site offering a better deal you should use it. But, all other things being equal, it certainly seems to be better to use a cashback site than not to.

I haven't looked into the best prepay tarrifs - but the likes of moneysavingexpert have. That's a good site generally btw.
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From:totherme
Date:November 21st, 2008 01:36 pm (UTC)
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And for budget phones, there's not going to be a lot you can offer them.

...should of course have read And for budget phones, there's not going to be a lot they can offer you.

...

I think I may need more sleep.
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From:johnckirk
Date:November 21st, 2008 11:13 pm (UTC)
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Thanks - that's very useful. My current phone cost me £70, reduced from £180, so I assumed that it would cost at least £100 for a phone without a contract, and I'm glad to see they're so cheap.

My previous phone was a Sony Ericsson, possibly the T68? I didn't get on very well with that, because the little joystick thing in the middle stopped working properly, so instead of going down a row I had to hold it to the right until it scrolled over :)

I had a look at the Orange online shop, but they'll only deliver to my home address, so I'm probably better off going to a store (if it's the same price). Also, that means that I can get it a bit sooner; I'm concerned that I may have SJA messages/texts piling up in the meantime.
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From:susannahf
Date:November 21st, 2008 02:03 pm (UTC)
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I've been meaning to switch over to "pay as you go" for a while, and I suspect that this will either be a very good time or a very bad time

It depends on what your new phone is and how you buy it. You need to figure out the following numbers:
How much you will save in an average month by switching to PAYG (a)
How much your new phone will cost if you buy it independently (b)
How much your new phone will cost if you buy it with a PAYG package (c)
How much your new phone will cost if you buy it with a pay-monthly package (d)
How long a pay-monthly contract you will have to sign to get d (e)
How much a payg sim will cost (f)

Then work out the costs for each option:
1) Get new phone with pay monthly contract = a*e + d
2) New phone with payg package = c
3) New payg phone independent of payg package = b + f

There are other options, but I suspect that one of these will work out to be the cheapest. Which one depends very much on your choice of handset, I suspect.
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From:susannahf
Date:November 21st, 2008 02:07 pm (UTC)
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I should point out that orange will switch you from pay-monthly to payg for free, keeping numbers and suchlike. I can't remember the exact process, but I basically went into an Orange shop, said that that's what I wanted to do, and followed the instructions (which I think were probably "call customer services and ask"). They ask why (obviously), but then they send you a free PAYG sim, and deactivate your account as soon as you activate the new sim. Oh, and I didn't have to hassle them for a refund when I ended up overpaying slightly because of it :)
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From:johnckirk
Date:November 21st, 2008 11:16 pm (UTC)
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I may have understated the "haven't got round to it yet" bit :)

I went into an Orange shop a while back to ask about this, and the guy told me that I'd have to phone customer services. So, I did that, and they sent me a new SIM card, which I need to activate. That was several months ago, and I still have the envelope sitting at the bottom of a pile somewhere...

I'm not sure whether they eventually expire if you don't activate them soon enough, but I can't do it now without buying a new phone.
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From:susannahf
Date:November 22nd, 2008 10:01 am (UTC)
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Well, you can always try it with the new phone, and claim it got "lost in the post" if it's expired. I suspect it won't have.
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