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61 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 147408 18-Jun-2014 13:38
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Recent junk mailers received included:

Smart 4 Mini from Vodafone $95.00 at Warehouse Stationery 

Smart 4 Mini from Vodafone $79.00 at Noel Leeming 

Each phone is set up for NZ Sim only (Vodafone). 

I have some questions that neither sales staff at the above or at Vodafone could answer. Does anyone here know the answers? 

1. what is the actual make of these phones - Samsung, HTC, Huawei etc? 
2. what android version is used as the operating system? 
3. what is the general quality/user experiences with these phones? 
4. as the sim is for NZ use only can the phone be used for global roaming? 

Any other comments would be welcome. 
And - what are the same answers as regards another smart phone - Samsung Galaxy Pocket Neo, available at Harvey Norman @ $42.00. Seems to be a "snip" at that price. 

Are all these cheapies good basic phones for users who demand little of their phones - ie use for only texts and calls on prepay. And, maybe, for emails and to use other features like reminders, alarms etc? 

Thanks for all advice.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1068456 18-Jun-2014 13:57
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they are usually Huawei phones but if you can check the battery that usually tells you, and like all cheap phones , you get what you pay for and thats not a lot.

316 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1068464 18-Jun-2014 14:06
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Good Questions Gradine,
I have never liked budget Android phones they are generally rubbish slow clunky bad screens.

On the other hand I highly recommend the Motorola MotoG its the best budget smart phone ever produced in my opinion you can import these from Amazon they work with all NZ SIM's and the new refresh model has 4G and an SD card. I bough the original model around Christmas and can attest to the quality it just goes, never bogged down or slow plus the nano waterproof coating of the electronics saved it after my daughter left the phone in her school clothes and it went through a wash cycle and was left for two days drying; after using damp rid a Zip Lock bag a few days later back to full working order.

link http://www.amazon.com/Motorola-Moto-Universal-Unlocked-White/dp/B00K0NS0P4

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1068501 18-Jun-2014 14:44
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1. TCT Mobile, aka TCL mobile, aka Alcatel.

2. 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.

3. This one's good. Surprisingly good. My colleague Demeter ditched her Galaxy S III for a Smart Mini 4. Not kidding. She loves it, not least for the battery life. While the old adage that you get what you pay for usually applies to entry level smartphones, I'm enormously picky about my mobile tech, and this is an excellent piece of kit for $99.00. I paid $1200 for a Galaxy S II in 2011 and, camera aside, this is essentially the same spec. How far we've come, eh? :)

4. You can certainly use the devices that are locked to Vodafone NZ for global roaming, they just won't accept a local SIM. Or you can always get them unlocked, or purchase the factory-unlocked variants.

The Smart 4 Mini is a considerably better device than the Galaxy Pocket Neo. Whole different class of device, really.

Smart 4 Mini: 4" WVGA screen, 1.3GHz dual core processor, 3.2MP camera, 1400mAh battery & HD Voice + 21.1Mbps HSPA
Galaxy Pocket Neo: 3" QVGA screen, 850MHz single core processor, 2MP camera, 1200mAh battery, no HD Voice + 7.2Mbps HSPA

Hope that helps!

 - Nik




Product Manager @ PB Tech

https://pbtech.co.nz/smartphones


53 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1068504 18-Jun-2014 14:47
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IIRC the Smart 4 Mini is an Alcatel manufactured phone running Android 4.3 (will confirm tomorrow when I'm back at work)

For $99 (or even the $129 unlocked price) it's a fairly decent phone, it's pretty responsive and the 4" screen is a good size. It's not going to handle demanding apps like complex 3d games, but is perfect for entry level usage - txts, calls, email, web, Facebook, YouTube etc. The locked version will only accept a VFNZ SIM, but roaming is ok (ie. don't swap the sim out when you get to another country).

As for the Pocket Neo - I generally try to steer people to the Smart 4 or the older Smart Mini. IMO the screen on the Pocket Neo is a bit small, and some of the UI looks a bit squashed. Also sometimes it takes a bit longer to open/switch apps etc.

I'd recommend trying both out - hopefully there's a Vodafone store near you with live demos of these. Not all stores have live demos of the cheaper models (one of two in Dunedin for example).

Edit: beaten to the punch by Nik!

316 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1068657 18-Jun-2014 16:51
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Hi Gradine,
Seems the 4G US MotoG may not work on 4G in NZ I will do some goggling maybe a uk variant maybe a better option ?.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1068677 18-Jun-2014 17:13

DeepBlueSky: Hi Gradine,
Seems the 4G US MotoG may not work on 4G in NZ I will do some goggling maybe a uk variant maybe a better option ?.


The US 4G version 100% will not work on NZ 4G. The UK 4G version will. :)




Product Manager @ PB Tech

https://pbtech.co.nz/smartphones


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  Reply # 1068802 18-Jun-2014 19:24
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NikT:
DeepBlueSky: Hi Gradine,
Seems the 4G US MotoG may not work on 4G in NZ I will do some goggling maybe a uk variant maybe a better option ?.


The US 4G version 100% will not work on NZ 4G. The UK 4G version will. :)


I hear that the international LTE version is due June 30




Regards,

Old3eyes


534 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1068830 18-Jun-2014 20:05
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NikT:
DeepBlueSky: Hi Gradine,
Seems the 4G US MotoG may not work on 4G in NZ I will do some goggling maybe a uk variant maybe a better option ?.


The US 4G version 100% will not work on NZ 4G. The UK 4G version will. :)

When carriers roll our their 700MHz LTE it should work right?




Home ADSL:                                                             School: 
 


647 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1068848 18-Jun-2014 20:33
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dcole13:
NikT:
DeepBlueSky: Hi Gradine,
Seems the 4G US MotoG may not work on 4G in NZ I will do some goggling maybe a uk variant maybe a better option ?.


The US 4G version 100% will not work on NZ 4G. The UK 4G version will. :)

When carriers roll our their 700MHz LTE it should work right?


Wrong, different band plan I believe

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1068974 19-Jun-2014 06:41
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Best solution for a cheap workable smartphone is to look for something like a WP8 Nokia 520, which could be had recently for $159, far better user experience that a cheap android



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1069098 19-Jun-2014 10:14
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Thanks folks for all those helpful answers.

Yes - I know that one gets what one pays for. But for a naive user's wants then why pay $00's ?? or more for a whoop dee do phone when some model under $100 will do the job.

cb1

216 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1069121 19-Jun-2014 10:57
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And - what are the same answers as regards another smart phone - Samsung Galaxy Pocket Neo, available at Harvey Norman @ $42.00. Seems to be a "snip" at that price.


Gradine: Thanks folks for all those helpful answers.

Yes - I know that one gets what one pays for. But for a naive user's wants then why pay $00's ?? or more for a whoop dee do phone when some model under $100 will do the job.


I've found the Samsung Galaxy Pocket Neo to be a great budget smart phone. Runs Android v4.1.2. I won 1 at Christmas time and find that it certainly does all I want. I've just bought another for the wife. If you're not on Vodafone you can unlock the phone online at vodafone website - $30 unless you wait 9 months (I'm sure it used to be $20 and 6 months). Pricespy show a place in Auckland which has it for $65 unlocked.

Only issue I've had was bluetooth pairing to my car - it would pair ok, then reboot. Finally found that if I turn on bluetooth, start the music player and then pair to the stereo, it's fine! It was odd because other phones have worked without issue and the Neo connects to other devices fine too.






cb

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1069388 19-Jun-2014 17:13
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Moto g. 199 at whs recently. Best Deal.




HTPC: Intel i3-2100 / 12GB RAM / AMD HD7750 / 480 GB SSD / 58TB Storage / MediaPortal / MadVR / Win10
AVR: Pioneer Elite SC-LX87 220W 9.2 Ch AVR
Speakers: Wharfedale Jade 7 Fronts / Jade 2c Center / Jade 5 Rears
Subs: iNuke 3000dsp 3000W proamp with 4x 15" JBL Sealed Subs
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316 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1069580 19-Jun-2014 21:34
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Hi Gradine,
I totally understand where you are coming from top line phones are generally over bloated for most people's needs, but a number of the really cheap phones are just a false economy.

The last thing you need is a phone that locks up, or stutters with slow loading it soures the whole user experience, thats where my false economy statement comes it. So don't buy the mega phone with the stupid price and don't buy the elcheapo they are generally to good to be true.

So where does that leave you.
Apple nice phone great app store but generally too expensive if new.
Android some really great cheap phones and a lot of rubbish - why I recommended the Motorola Moto G it's just that bit special you won't be disappointed plus the app store is on part with Apple these days.
Windows phones I really rate them in that for a basic phone they work really well its not a laggy OS, Nokia have some good cheap options the only problem and it can be a deal breaker is there app store lags behind Apple and Android by a ways so you may not get the app you want.

Good luck finding a phone that works for you.


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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1069751 20-Jun-2014 09:32

Having a tinker with a Lumia 520 on the Windows Phone 8.1 developer preview at the moment - extremely impressed, much moreso than I thought I'd be. It's about 90% of the same experience as flagship Windows Phones. Had long recommended it as a solid budget option, but they've added so many new features to it (Like double tap to wake, a personal fav) that I have to mention it, too.




Product Manager @ PB Tech

https://pbtech.co.nz/smartphones


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