8 Aug 2011

what phone and provider

I’m thinking about phones and services providers at the moment. It’s not just about the phone. It is also about best value for money the two taken into together.

The Cap likes a logical analysis of these things and to be directed by logic instead of what’s popular. Oh – the other thing is that if you’re in the UK you’re normally tied in for 18 – 24 months on a contract phone unless you want to go PAYG. So if you go contract – you gotta live with your choice of phone and provider for quite a long time. It’s like a marriage, sort of – except that you can’t just upgrade your marriage with a snap of the fingers – well unless you’re name is Britney Spears or sumfink. The conclusion arising from this post is not apparent. There’s a surprise near the end.

Right – I’m considering two leading phones. Samsung Galaxy S2 and the Iphone4. A few minutes looking at the video comparisons can save you hours of headaches and unnecessary trouble down the road. Again it’s like a marriage – check that potential mate out very properly, for potential troubles years later. Yuh know – after the wedding ring comes the ‘suffer-ring’. Oh gorm! Glad you’re still with me.

SGS2 wins overall though IP4 is better in certain areas. Note that you cannot change battery on IP4 without screwdrivers etc.. and that could affect warranty depending on provider. SGS battery change can be done in under 5 seconds (by just slipping off the back cover–no screwdrivers). I always carry 2 spare batteries if I’m out and about. My IP4 colleagues are always groaning about their battery problems.

Ok – would I buy a SGS2, if I had to choose a phone today? Logic actually dictates that I would not! That may be a surprise for many but I will explain.

  1. Both the SGS2 and IP4 have had worrying power management issues, leading to rapid battery drain. It is difficult to know the precise percentage of owners who are so affected for each phone.
  2. The competition between Samsung and Iphone is so fierce now that anything you buy today will be outmoded in about 6 months – keep that in mind. IPhone5 is already around the corner. And I’m sure Samsung has an answer to that!

So – what on earth would I buy if I had to, today? Actually I would buy a Samsung Galaxy S1 (not the S2)!!! Why? And you’re probably wondering why I would go for the older model. It’s based on what I know from direct experience of SGS1 – and that obviously puts me at some bias in favour of SGS1. But my reasons are as follows:

  1. Power management is very good.
  2. It does all that it says.
  3. I don’t take many night shots so I don’t miss the LED flash that the new S2 has.
  4. I really can be bothered with high powered video content like on the S2 the max setting on S1 for video is quite good quality as it is.
  5. The big plus for SGS1 is that it’s operating system has been tweaked by a number of very good developers out there.. so its processing power can be enhanced within about 30 mins (with very little technical expertise needed – really).

Now leave the matter of phone to one side! Provider is the next big issue. I am also biased in favour of Three in the following way:

  1. Totally unlimited broadband/internet connection (my average usage over last few months was 17GB/month. I do a fair amount of video and audio downloads).
  2. Great broadband speeds of around 3Mb/s but as high as 6.5Mb/s
  3. 5000 – three to three network calls
  4. 2000 min any landline/any mobile network calls.
  5. 5000 texts

The SGS1 phone and the above are included for £30/month (inclusive of VAT) – for a 24 month contract. Today I personally checked an Orange Mobile phone shop. They have nothing that comes near to that package for that price!