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[UK Buyer advice W.] cheap Android smartphones

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#1 Atasas

Atasas

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  • Joined: 08-May 06
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Posted 23 December 2013 - 12:28

Hello folks,

 

Couple of months ago bought ZTE Blade (orange San Francisco)- my first truly functional Android phone, with Swedish Snow ROM (£50)- love it! ... new battery don't last, screen(3.5") a tad too small, bit slow for some games, way too little of RAM etc etc... on Three (3G network) and will be getting 4G service upgrade.

 

About to ask question/advice that got me quite confused by now., to be honest over'researched :p

 

I am tight, very tight with my pennies, therefore Nexus or Samsung are way too expensive to even consider paying triple for what I need...

Looked at a MotoG specs/reviews and found few @ just over £100, only to get a shock- it has no SD card slot, hence storage with all the apps/maps.pics if not immediately, but will be major issue.

 

Would love to get informed opinion on Lenovo Series of DUAL SIM smart-phones series?

http://shopap.lenovo...en/smartphones/

VS

 

Huawei M886 / Ascend X / IDEOS X5 / G520

VS

 

LG economy series

Vs

 

 

Sony economy series

 

Not so keep on anything Acer or Alcatel  despite being very budget conscious...

Budget I'd set up to £120

Camera... anything over 5MP is bearable

Dual SIM- preferential, but not critically necessary 

SD expansion- MUST, hence MotoG is off the table

Display/graphics- not that important, but would like to be over 4", else- everything considered

Battery- must hold two day stand by and ie SatNav usage+ some calls- 8hr realistic  day charge

 

Any opinions/advice please?

 

BTW few samples , that are being considered, but above my head to make definitive comparison:

 

http://www.amazon.co...0/?tag=ho01f-21

 

http://www.amazon.co...=I1VKNQ6WC54LW5

 

http://www.amazon.co...=I313DRLEA6FQ9F

 

http://www.amazon.co...=I1POPTZE6BHQIL

 

http://www.ebay.co.u...984.m1438.l2649




#2 johnporter29

johnporter29

    a = 1; b = 2; a + b = c

  • Joined: 20-November 04
  • Location: Rotherham, UK
  • OS: Windows 8.1 Pro x64
  • Phone: Lenovo A820

Posted 23 December 2013 - 21:22

I have a Lenovo A820 which I purchased from etotalk.com (full link below) and I can't recommend them highly enough. Posted to the UK via DHL comes to around £107 + import duties (if any). If you do order from etotalk.com, I would recommend selecting the option to have their etotalk ROM installed, this will ensure your phone will be in english when it arrives with very few if any chinese apps installed. Also, these also benefits you in the fact that your more likely to get a working device as they manually install the ROM before they despatch it. I ordered 3 on a Sunday and they was with me the following Friday.

 

http://www.etotalk.c...a820_p3758.html

 

Out of those you have listed, I know a couple of people from another forum who have the A850 and highly recommend them.



#3 OP Atasas

Atasas

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 12:17

Thanks,

Plenty of reviews about many of the considered phones, just none to find to be comparative to each other, hence appreciate good words about Lenovo, though batteries are better on S series...?

also knowing, that all of them made in China- makes one wander if not paying for the brand big name and going with  STAR S7189 MTK6589 and gaining even better specs would be the best choice?

Obviously, undecided still....



#4 +InsaneNutter

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 12:42

If you can afford the Moto G i would say hands down to get that, its quality branded device for £99, currently in stock at Tesco.

It also has an official update to Android 4.4.2 Kitkat, so your on the latest version of Android, officially too!

 

What do you plan to use the phone for? will storage really be an issue?

 

Sure 8gb is not a lot, however i have a lot of apps installed on my phone and they currently use a total of 2.19gb,

 

Then i have around another 2gb of photos on there, which i could easily copy to my PC to save space. For music you could just use Google play music and stream it all from the cloud, you also have the option of saving your favourite songs to your device, along with it caching the last few you played.

 

It's worth thinking about as i only use half of the 16gb that i currently have on my Galaxy Nexus, that's with a fair few roms of old games i have for various emulators!

 

Sure if i re installed a lot of huge 1gb+ games like GTA my phone would be full, however i found i rarely play the games on my phone as it is.



#5 OP Atasas

Atasas

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  • Joined: 08-May 06
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Posted 24 December 2013 - 13:28

Well in a current phone I have 8gb near full of apps (mainly maps for at least two different SatNavs, apart from GoogleMaps) it is to do with me being abroad occasionally and roaming charges there are extortionate!.

My photos, music, videos alone over 2 gb, then games etc...

Google (in MotoG) Copied Apple with no external expansion or daft price change over costing "nothing"- storage...

 

Also comparability with 4G is to be considered, as in UK I am mainly on Three network, which to be free change over, though, also have my other phone (ideally just SIM) for my private (old) number.... everything is pointing towards non mainstream Lenovo or even Star (i thinks same factory making them) 

 

Lets face it- either MotoG 16GB- £150 or Star for £100 or Lenovo's~ £100-£125 (ideally with better batteries, than bigger screen) or even 4.5"   S696 @ £70 so considering difference in price being double in between those, I hope to be forgiven for not even looking at the big brand named ones.

 

Android versions... I have no problem or to go anal over the specs- not to have most recent trendy one on, I find usage more important in ancient functionality of battery life,  clarity of phone calls, navigating, transferring files etc etc. What I am saying, I found using smartphone reduces need to drag LapTop with me everywhere.

 

Also I hate all of the "flagship" trade names etc... reminds me of older times PC building, but then be we learned that most components where made in same factories, as what is happening right now on a smartphone/phablet market. 

 

Choices, choices, choices... 

Still listening to your opinions! ;)



#6 johnporter29

johnporter29

    a = 1; b = 2; a + b = c

  • Joined: 20-November 04
  • Location: Rotherham, UK
  • OS: Windows 8.1 Pro x64
  • Phone: Lenovo A820

Posted 24 December 2013 - 15:15

Thanks,

Plenty of reviews about many of the considered phones, just none to find to be comparative to each other, hence appreciate good words about Lenovo, though batteries are better on S series...?

also knowing, that all of them made in China- makes one wander if not paying for the brand big name and going with  STAR S7189 MTK6589 and gaining even better specs would be the best choice?

Obviously, undecided still....

 

Whilst we are talking about Lenovo, there are the world's 3rd biggest mobile phone seller in world, only Samsung and Apple sell more phones than them worldwide, now seems incredible to say that as they don't market their mobiles in the Western market as of yet. I guess when they do, they are sure to give Samsung at least and good run for their money.

 

The Star you mention only beats the Lenovo I linked to with the screen size and the fact it has a front camera otherwise the specifications are almost identical.

 

Regarding the battery, my A820 comes with a 2000Mah battery, and with my usage I get around 1.5-2 days usage from a single charge. I can't comment on what the batteries are like on the S series.

 

Looking through your list, I would go with the Lenovo A850, faster than the Star, later version of Android too.



#7 Aheer.R.S.

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    I cannot Teach Him, the Boy has no Patience!

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 15:21

Well, I just bought the new Motorola phone (I forget the exact model number it was just recently released quad core processor model with a 5mp camera) for my son as a Christmas present. I was really impressed by it and how well priced it was (£120 with a pre pay sim) so I'll throw that in for consideration. And it's stock android (if you happen to not like skinned android devices <sgs3 etc...>)

#8 OP Atasas

Atasas

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 23:05

Whilst we are talking about Lenovo, there are the world's 3rd biggest mobile phone seller in world, only Samsung and Apple sell more phones than them worldwide, now seems incredible to say that as they don't market their mobiles in the Western market as of yet. I guess when they do, they are sure to give Samsung at least and good run for their money.

 

The Star you mention only beats the Lenovo I linked to with the screen size and the fact it has a front camera otherwise the specifications are almost identical.

 

Regarding the battery, my A820 comes with a 2000Mah battery, and with my usage I get around 1.5-2 days usage from a single charge. I can't comment on what the batteries are like on the S series.

 

Looking through your list, I would go with the Lenovo A850, faster than the Star, later version of Android too.

Indeed!

You are most likely having the best overview and it is by all means sound like best shopping solution.



#9 OP Atasas

Atasas

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 13:21

One more question:

Anyone knows for certain what bandwidths and specs will be on Three (UK) and compatibility with handsets for 4G service?

Thanks



#10 Aheer.R.S.

Aheer.R.S.

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 13:25

One more question:

Anyone knows for certain what bandwidths and specs will be on Three (UK) and compatibility with handsets for 4G service?

Thanks

To further answer my original answer, the phone I was trying to describe was the moto g

 

I'm not sure about the bandwidth, I've tried various approaches with 3 to find out who they're piggybacking on, they claim they have their own network, but one manager let slip they're on the cellnet network, which could be O2 or Vodaphone I believe.



#11 OP Atasas

Atasas

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 14:06

To further answer my original answer, the phone I was trying to describe was the moto g

 

I'm not sure about the bandwidth, I've tried various approaches with 3 to find out who they're piggybacking on, they claim they have their own network, but one manager let slip they're on the cellnet network, which could be O2 or Vodaphone I believe.

 

 

Whilst I understand your excitement in your purchase (Motorola) it is not that good for me as:

1- single SIM

2 (very importantly)- no expansion or silly pricing for 16GB model. My current needs are already greater than 8GB

 

Obvious business policy though not to be open about their network features, in order to sell more overpriced/ new flash branded and locked to their network handsets...

Will have  to dig in to it deeper, to be sure of full 4G feature use, unless somebody already have answers?

 

 

Just had a nice find in TV program, very vague "analysis" to say, but puts Huawei 510 above LG 5...

http://gadgetshow.ch...get-smartphones

so

 

Shame they didn't test single Lenovo phone there....



#12 OP Atasas

Atasas

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 19:33

http://www.3g.co.uk/...ree-and-ee.html

might as well answer my own question :p... making buying  non compatible phone (be it very expensive) without 4G service...

 

 

 

Three and EE have some history when it comes to 4G frequency spectrum. Part of the original deal EE had with Ofcom to launch 4G ahead of its rivals, back in late 2012, was that they needed to ensure fair competition by selling Three some of its spectrum.



EE launched 4G in the 1800Mhz bandwidth and sold part of its 1800MHz holding to Three in two chunks with the condition that Three could not use the first chunk until October 2013 with the second chunk becoming available in Mid 2015.



Looking back at the 4G auction there were winners and losers and a number of the mobile operators looked at the possibility of 4G spectrum sharing between each other. Spectrum sharing between operators was approved by Ofcom after the completion of the 4G auction.



Looking at the history between EE and Three and the frequency spectrum they both acquired it seemed logical for EE and Three to consider spectrum sharing to make each others 4G mobile network UK coverage as competitive as possible.



In May, Three CEO David Dyson confirmed that EE and Three were in talks with a view to sharing each others 800MHz frequency spectrum. Both EE and Three secured two chunks of 5MHz bands within the 800 Mhz band.



It has been reported by Mobile Today that EE has vetoed the talks and will use its 800MHz frequency allocation to offer improved coverage in rural areas. The 800MHz band offers better coverage indoors and in rural less populated areas.



Mobile Today quoted EE CEO Olaf Swantee as follows “We know that O2 and Three can’t [keep up] when they come with their own 4G networks”.



This leads us to believe that EE have all routes to 4G covered including both urban and rural network coverage. EE won 2x5MHz chunks of 800Mhz and 2 x 35MHz chunks of 2.6Ghz at the recent auction. This coupled with the 1800Mhz frequency band they have already launched 4G in 74 towns and cities seems impressive to us and we agree with Olaf Swantee’s bullish statement.



Meanwhile Three have 2x5Mhz chunks of 800MHz and have 2X15MHz chunks of 1800MHz spectrum - one of which can be used from October, 2013. As an outsider looking in this seems to leave Three in a weaker position than EE and with no 2.6GHz frequency spectrum to launch its 4G network within.



At the conclusion of the 4G auction all mobile operators claimed they secured the spectrum they required but we are not totally convinced when we look at Three’s holding. More on this in our article 4G Auction Mist Clears - winners and losers.

 



#13 OP Atasas

Atasas

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 17:22

an long and rather decent chat to Three network adviser/engineer update:

4G three (own) network protocol will be LTE (4G specific) 2100Mhz frequency service

3G WCDMA protocol phones 2100Mhs will be supported, but only being 3.5 times faster than standard 3G service.

Meaning, that currently they have only 4 models to cater for the full 4G service...

Out of current LENOVO models we've established Z K910 being fully compatible, though is quite a bit over my intended spending budget at the moment.

http://www.gsmarena....z_k910-5843.php



#14 Biohead

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 18:22

Jesus... what on earth is that Three adviser smoking? Anyway - i'll try and write it in a nutshell:

 

3's 4G network will use 1800MHz and 800MHz. It is a very young 4G network at the minute, and so 800MHz isn't yet rolling out.

2100MHz is for their 3G services - they use DC-HSDPA so with a compatible 3G phone, you'll see minimal benefit from 4G (I can hit 22mb on Three's DC-HSDPA network).

 

In order to use 3's 4G network, you will need an LTE capable phone supporting bands 20 and 3 (There's also a band 7 which the other networks use).

 

Usage limits on 3 are the same on 4G as 3G. So if you have an unlimited plan, it'll remain unlimited on 4G.



#15 OP Atasas

Atasas

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 18:36

hehrrrr...

to be honest Biohead is quite right (er), than that advisor...

could be the smokes, as it has contradicted detailed info in my previous post from 3g.co.uk 

perhaps a bit of patience will be rewarded with clarity and handsets prices ;)