Author Topic: UK mobile phone advice  (Read 2517 times)

jade

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UK mobile phone advice
« on: February 05, 2018, 02:52:31 AM »
hi all,

My husband bought a Nokia 3 on Android Nougat 7.1.1 last week and just by setting the phone up, he found 1gb data was used in 24 hours. Apparently its a common issue but as he only has 2gb data a month (which he wants to remain on), was quite a worry. We did a factory reset after getting advice and then used wifi for the set up and data usage was then lower (as he also didn't link his google account up which seemed to help) but data usage was still higher than expected from previous android phones - though we know it's to do with it being a more advanced OS etc.

In the end other issues with the phone meant we returned it but we are wondering which phone to get for his needs but also avoiding this issue if poss (which we guess might mean avoiding Android Nougat 7.1.1 and going back a version or two). We usually spend 100 max. I guess what we are looking for is a fairly simple smartphone with low data usage for the phone processes.

He needs:

texts / calls
Internet
Camera

maps / sat nav
films


The last two aren't essential as we might buy a separate sat nav / tablet for those if that worked better - so we could then get a simpler phone.

Two ideas we have are:

ASDA Mobile STK Storm 2e Plu
https://groceries.asda.com/product/view-all-mobile-phones/asda-mobile-stk-storm-2e-pluz/910003198598


Nokia 3310
https://www.tesco.com/direct/nokia-3310-grey-sim-free/782-2997.prd?source=others

Any suggestions / feedback appreciated! We have an offer of a 2nd hand Samsung S3 which we haven't heard of any data usage issues with from the previous owner so that might be another option.

Many thanks!
« Last Edit: February 05, 2018, 05:36:49 AM by jade »

sea_saw

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Re: UK mobile phone advice
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2018, 05:13:27 AM »
I don't have experience with Android 7+ so I could be wrong, but I still wouldn't expect 1gb every 24 hours, ouch! There must have been some OS updates or other big syncing tasks (photo albums?) happening there. Do you have wifi anywhere you can use for the initial setup of your new phone? There also apps you can download that throttle the bandwidth you use so you won't find yourself accidentally using more than you thought.

You're definitely picking the most mustachian option by buying a cheap handset outright and getting a sIM-only contract. Personally I was able to find an all-you-can-eat data plan for 15 a month (including VAT, also including free data internationally) which does me great.

If you buy a cheapo android you'll find it is a couple steps behind. I personally have a Samsung S4 mini running Android 4.4. A good option for handling and choosing cheap handsets is those kind of local pawn shop/electronics repair places, that's where mine caught my eye (although I ended up buying mine on amazon, as it was being discontinued and so on extra-mega-sale). If the staff there are friendly you can also get their assessment on which handsets seem to last well vs which fall apart, since they sell and repair them. You can also obviously buy from there if they get you a good deal.

I've actually found it quite handy to not be on the latest and greatest. Having a rubbish phone camera means no pressure to take snaps of everything. Can't run the latest addictive game - oh no? I can browse the web, email, phone, navigate etc just fine and that's perfect for me. Plus when I drop the phone onto the concrete paving slab instead of into my pocket as planned I just shrug and check it's still running instead of having a heart attack.

Good luck! :)

jade

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Re: UK mobile phone advice
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2018, 05:27:16 AM »
hi sea-saw,

I know.. it was a bit scary! He has all apps and syncs off but i think it was something to do with an initial update. We switched to wifi once we had done the factory reset and then the usage was lower, though still much higher than we wanted with the normal day to day processes. Will bear the apps to throttle bandwidth for future though - thank you.

Yeh, we always buy cheap and sim only. He has 8 a month with Virgin for 2bg, 1000 mins and UL texts and I think that we don't want to increase the cost right now but good to know what you can for 15 a m.

Maybe the offer of a Samsung S3 might be good then. We have often used CEX so may investigate other second hand options.

Yeh, like you, we've always been happy with fairly simple phones and packages. I even went internet free myself on my phone last month and loving it - and the 4 a m bill! :)

thanks again

Daley

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Re: UK mobile phone advice
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2018, 08:17:24 AM »
My husband bought a Nokia 3 on Android Nougat 7.1.1 last week and just by setting the phone up, he found 1gb data was used in 24 hours. Apparently its a common issue but as he only has 2gb data a month (which he wants to remain on), was quite a worry. We did a factory reset after getting advice and then used wifi for the set up and data usage was then lower (as he also didn't link his google account up which seemed to help) but data usage was still higher than expected from previous android phones - though we know it's to do with it being a more advanced OS etc.

In the end other issues with the phone meant we returned it but we are wondering which phone to get for his needs but also avoiding this issue if poss (which we guess might mean avoiding Android Nougat 7.1.1 and going back a version or two). We usually spend 100 max. I guess what we are looking for is a fairly simple smartphone with low data usage for the phone processes.

Switching phones, and resetting setup are not going to save you any more data. The Problem is Android, not the Nokia. Rolling back, too, will only use more data. The Nokia 3 was launched by HMD in India initially (limited data market), and runs stock vanilla Android. Don't knee-jerk the situation like you have been. Android changes, change with it.

The solution is to learn all the ins and outs of moble data wrangling under Android, restrict updates to WiFi only, find out what used the mobile data (I suspect it was a ROM and core Google Apps update - so a one-off if you get those things forced to update over WiFi only from here), and restrict social media data usage settings or utilize lite app versions of any social media apps he may use (though I'd recommend side-loading via F-Droid's Yalp Store if they aren't available in your country instead of APK Mirror as Yalp downloads directly from Google, but I've occasionally found suspect APK binaries from APK Mirror where Play Store would match signature and update with installed Yalp binaries, but not side-loaded APK Mirror binaries which indicates some tampering).

It wouldn't matter if you bought the Nokia 3, Galaxy S3 (which hasn't received OEM OS updates since v.4.3 four years ago!) or any other Android device, the advice would be the same. I'm a big fan of simpler handsets, but I'm also a big fan of committing to the device you purchase and using it until it breaks or no longer functions. The problem here is a knowledge gap and an industry desperately trying to get you to use as much data as possible to spend more money, but it can be fought against and roped in with some knowledge and regular WiFi access.

shelivesthedream

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Re: UK mobile phone advice
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2018, 01:56:06 AM »
+1 that your big problem was not using available wifi. I keep mobile data switched off my phone unless I want it for a specific task (e.g. map when out and about or sending an urgent email). I have also disabled data access for all but the most essential apps (browser, email, maps). No way do I want to be accidentally watching YouTube on data! Setting up the phone basically downloads a ton of stuff - on any phone! You never ever want to be doing that on data.

For my last two phones I have bought refurbished iPhones on eBay. I didn't pay rock bottom as I went with a well-established seller who had a proper returns policy and a ton of positive feedback. My current one is a 4S (exactly the same as the first one, which I only had to replace because it got stolen) and cost about 70 a few years ago. When it conks out, I'll probably jump to a 6 to give me a few more years of use (my 4S won't do many of the fancier things iPhones can do these days and I haven't updated the OS in a while - still, it's ideal for email, photos, web browsing and maps, which are the only things I really use it for) and expect to pay around 100.

jade

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Re: UK mobile phone advice
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2018, 02:05:32 AM »
My husband bought a Nokia 3 on Android Nougat 7.1.1 last week and just by setting the phone up, he found 1gb data was used in 24 hours. Apparently its a common issue but as he only has 2gb data a month (which he wants to remain on), was quite a worry. We did a factory reset after getting advice and then used wifi for the set up and data usage was then lower (as he also didn't link his google account up which seemed to help) but data usage was still higher than expected from previous android phones - though we know it's to do with it being a more advanced OS etc.

In the end other issues with the phone meant we returned it but we are wondering which phone to get for his needs but also avoiding this issue if poss (which we guess might mean avoiding Android Nougat 7.1.1 and going back a version or two). We usually spend 100 max. I guess what we are looking for is a fairly simple smartphone with low data usage for the phone processes.

Switching phones, and resetting setup are not going to save you any more data. The Problem is Android, not the Nokia. Rolling back, too, will only use more data. The Nokia 3 was launched by HMD in India initially (limited data market), and runs stock vanilla Android. Don't knee-jerk the situation like you have been. Android changes, change with it.

The solution is to learn all the ins and outs of moble data wrangling under Android, restrict updates to WiFi only, find out what used the mobile data (I suspect it was a ROM and core Google Apps update - so a one-off if you get those things forced to update over WiFi only from here), and restrict social media data usage settings or utilize lite app versions of any social media apps he may use (though I'd recommend side-loading via F-Droid's Yalp Store if they aren't available in your country instead of APK Mirror as Yalp downloads directly from Google, but I've occasionally found suspect APK binaries from APK Mirror where Play Store would match signature and update with installed Yalp binaries, but not side-loaded APK Mirror binaries which indicates some tampering).

It wouldn't matter if you bought the Nokia 3, Galaxy S3 (which hasn't received OEM OS updates since v.4.3 four years ago!) or any other Android device, the advice would be the same. I'm a big fan of simpler handsets, but I'm also a big fan of committing to the device you purchase and using it until it breaks or no longer functions. The problem here is a knowledge gap and an industry desperately trying to get you to use as much data as possible to spend more money, but it can be fought against and roped in with some knowledge and regular WiFi access.

I do realise that it's not the phone but android and disagree about " knee jerking" - to be fair, we're trying to make an informed decision (hence the post to fill our knowledge gaps) about whether to continue with Android or not now we've come across this issue for the first time. As the phone was faulty anyway, we have the chance to try again and re-look at things based on our needs / budget etc and we're happy to leave android if that's the best thing for us - I don't think customers have to "change with it", if it doesn't suit them or their needs. Thanks for the links, I will save those in the event we do decide continuing with android  is the right path.

We always use devices till they no longer function which is why we're doing our research with what we've encountered to try and get it as right for us (as possible) next time. We're fully aware it's "an industry desperately trying to get you to use as much data as possible to spend more money" which is why we thought we'd ask fellow mmm'rs so we can find a way to do what is best for us and not Android etc. We don't have regular wifi access so have to take that into account with how we proceed but as mentioned, we don't need all the fancy things so we'll adapt and find a solution in a way that suits our situation.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2018, 02:48:04 AM by jade »

jade

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Re: UK mobile phone advice
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2018, 02:10:30 AM »
+1 that your big problem was not using available wifi. I keep mobile data switched off my phone unless I want it for a specific task (e.g. map when out and about or sending an urgent email). I have also disabled data access for all but the most essential apps (browser, email, maps). No way do I want to be accidentally watching YouTube on data! Setting up the phone basically downloads a ton of stuff - on any phone! You never ever want to be doing that on data.

For my last two phones I have bought refurbished iPhones on eBay. I didn't pay rock bottom as I went with a well-established seller who had a proper returns policy and a ton of positive feedback. My current one is a 4S (exactly the same as the first one, which I only had to replace because it got stolen) and cost about 70 a few years ago. When it conks out, I'll probably jump to a 6 to give me a few more years of use (my 4S won't do many of the fancier things iPhones can do these days and I haven't updated the OS in a while - still, it's ideal for email, photos, web browsing and maps, which are the only things I really use it for) and expect to pay around 100.

Yeh, that is a lesson learnt! :) We usually disable data, apps etc too but just got caught out with the setup as hadn't had that issue previously. Wifi isn't readily available where we are but we will ensure we set up a new phone via wifi in future, for sure.  My husband doesn't need the fancier things on the phone either, so its good to hear about your experience buying refurb too - we'll look into that.

dreams_and_discoveries

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Re: UK mobile phone advice
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2018, 11:53:36 AM »
Not sure if anyone's mentioned yet, but most likely it was just all the Android and app updates that ate up the bandwidth - they usually suggest you download them all on wifi, as they are massive. Going forwards, you shouldn't use anywhere near as much.

jade

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Re: UK mobile phone advice
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2018, 04:58:01 AM »
Not sure if anyone's mentioned yet, but most likely it was just all the Android and app updates that ate up the bandwidth - they usually suggest you download them all on wifi, as they are massive. Going forwards, you shouldn't use anywhere near as much.

Thanks dreams_and_discoveries, I think you're right. data usage wasn't so bad after the set up was done but still a lot higher than our allowance which we don't want to change, so as the phone was faulty anyway and could be returned, we can now reassess where to go next. I think as we keep phones till they die, it had been 3-4 years since our last purchase and this was an issue we'd never come across before ... data usage for the phone set up is obviously changing as they become more advanced. We've always used android phones till now but I think it's weighing up what we actually need. We'll do some research. Thanks for your input.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2018, 05:32:03 AM by jade »

Monkeytennis

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Re: UK mobile phone advice
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2018, 12:44:12 AM »
Go with either ID Mobile or Smarty mobile, both use the Three / ee network and would cost you around 8 a month for what you need.

Feivel2000

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Re: UK mobile phone advice
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2018, 03:03:12 AM »
No matter what phone or phone OS you use, if you let it do the initial syncing and updating on mobile data, the mobile data usage will be through the roof.

The Nokia devices are fine, so is the Moto G series.

If you want to use your device for as long as possible, I would advise against getting the rock bottom. Afterall, you will still look at the display in 2021, don't get anything you are annoyed with today.

Whatever you do, don't go below 2 GB of ram and 16 GB of on-board storage. Hopefully combined with an SD card. It's not worth the 20€ you might save.

For saving data, just deactivate mobile data unless you need it.
Download the maps of your region while you are on Wi-Fi (use maps.me or here maps if Google solution isn't good enough).

At the price point, I have no idea what kind of iPhone you could get. All I know: do yourself a favor and don't get a device with 8 GB. Even with barely no apps, you will have to shuffle stuff around to make it work.