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162 posts

Master Geek

# 57632 19-Feb-2010 14:39
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Last year I bought a cheap dual sim phone from Chinavasion. Lasted a while and worked well, but eventually the power/usb socket just fell right out of the phone...

What I'm looking for is a phone that can connect to the Vodafone network, and I can also use to connect my laptop to the internet either via bluetooth or USB. Another feature I would like is WiFi, as I do shift work and can be moved all over the place in a single shift, but all of the branches have WiFi. I don't have time to pack/unpack a laptop each time.

I don't need flash programs on the phone, just POP email access and a browser.

As far as the phone design goes, I really don't like the phones with full alpha-numeric pads on the front, or touch only. Slide phones are good, and I would even settle for an alpha-numeric pad on a slide phone, but prefer the numerical pad. The traditional phones (I think they are called candy bar phones) are the ones I like best with the numerical pad on the front.

I was looking at the new Sony Ericsson phones, and quite like the C903 and C905. Unfortunately the C903 doesn't have WiFi, despite what the DSE web-site says. Also, as far as I can find, the C905 is only available via parallel import. Is it still alright to purchase a Parallel imported phone?

Also, what other suggestions do people have? I have been suggested the IPAQ Messenger and the Nokia E63, along with the LG KM900, although the LG is rather pricey. I'd prefer to keep under $500 if I can, the lower the better. I know it's a hard ask for that kind of price with WiFi... The Nokia N85 looks great, but once again is rather pricey.

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162 posts

Master Geek

  # 300435 19-Feb-2010 15:46
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On second thoughts, my VF contract expires in a few months, so XT phones are a possibility (so long as their network doesn't fall over again)

1537 posts

Uber Geek

  # 300481 20-Feb-2010 08:51
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It's a pity you don't like touch only phones as
as the Nokia 5800 has everything you need. And shopping around you can get them for well under $500. The phone has wifi, Bluetooth, and of course USB connectivity to be able to function as a modem. And if you don't like using fingers to tap out messages etc there is also a stylus which makes entering messages, notes, browsing etc very quick. And of course Nokia has released it's Ovi maps free to use and the phone works very well as a voice navigation GPS unit. And then if you get bored it also has a decent music player which outputs to headphones as standard or it's quite loud inbuilt stereo speakers. The 5800 may not be the most latest phone on the market but for me, feature wise it's brilliant.


4649 posts

Uber Geek


  # 300505 20-Feb-2010 12:42
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Yep, the 5800 is unbeatable value for money, but touch only.

If you're keen on browsing then you really need a decent resolution screen, which more or less limits you to touch only devices, or some of the QWERTY sliders with touch screens (most of which are Windows Mobile phones, or the Moto Milestone which is probably too pricey since its more expensive than the N86).

The Sony Xperia is $559 according to Pricespy, its a QWERTY slider with a WVGA touch screen, and uses the excellent Opera Mobile browser. Its hardware is relatively dated now, so it certainly isn't the fastest Windows Mobile phone out there, but its still quite a good phone (I used to own one) and has good support at XDA developers. It comes in Vodafone or XT models, although XT models are generally more expensive.

Your options are quite limited unless you go higher on price, or are prepared to substantially degrade the browsing experience. If the browsing experience is less important, and you could live with a QVGA resolution or similar, then the options widen considerably - you can get the E71 for a very reasonable price under $500, its an excellent phone, or its successor the E72 for a bit over $600, the N82 at around $500, another excellent phone, the Samsung i8510 for less than $500 and so forth.

Perhaps giving us a price range? Then I could be much more specific (or you could take a look yourself, if you go to Pricespy, Mobile Phones category, and apply various filters you'll quickly find all the options available to you).

I'd avoid the C905, that handset is plagued with build quality issues. I've known a few people with that phone, and after facing several repair issues they've all let it go.

Regards buying phones from parallel importers - its fine. In fact its the only way that I buy phones - they come with stock firmware (which is usually an improvement over Vodafones firmware), and they are far cheaper. Good example being the last price on Vodafone that I saw for the N86, $1500, or the bargain price of $1350 if you locked into a 24 month contract. The cost of the phone through parallel importers at the same time? $800. Way to rape the NZ consumer Vodafone.

Twitter: @nztechfreak

162 posts

Master Geek

  # 300603 20-Feb-2010 21:31
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Thanks for the ideas, I have had a good look at them. It seems that all of the decent phones are touch only, so it looks like that is what I may have to get. Ideally I'd like to stay under $400, but will stretch to $500 if I really need to.

I quite like the design of the LG 525, yet I like the features of the LG KM900. Ideally I would want a mix of the 2 (QWERTY slider, wLan etc). The closest I have found is the LG GT505 for $386. Has everything I want except a keypad, but I may accept that. Anyone used an LG and know how they perform/stand up to daily use in comparison to other brands?

97 posts

Master Geek


  # 300983 22-Feb-2010 13:38
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I agree with NZtechfreak in relation to the E71 and E72 being very good options. You can't go wrong with these Nokia devices and they pretty much cover all your wants.

162 posts

Master Geek

  # 301141 22-Feb-2010 18:42
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I have tried the E71 and E72 and don't like them to be honest. I've found the Nokia 5730 and quite like the specs on that. Has a numeric pad on the front, and slides out to a QWERTY. No touch interface at all from what I can gather however. I can also get the Xperia for about $560, so that's on my list too, however I'd be hard pressed to afford it.

At the moment the 3 I'm looking at are: LG GT505 $386, SE Xperia X1 $559, Nokia 5730 $438.

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