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insane
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  #1516099 19-Mar-2016 15:02
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blakamin:

 

Personally, I'd go the Sony. 

 

 

 

I became a fanboi after the Z1. (previously was a samsung fanboi, but I'd never buy another)

 

 

 

 

Same, really like my wife's Z3 compact, current S5 will probably be the last Samsung I use for a while. Having said that just played with an S7 today... damn it's responsive 


 
 
 

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jonathan18

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  #1516100 19-Mar-2016 15:07
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Will try to find somewhere to try out the Xperias - seems like HN, which used to sell the Z-series  - doesn't anymore?

 

I've just been digging around to ensure which versions of the G4 support Spark 4G frequencies (our location has 4G via band 28/700), and while most sites do say what appears to be the NZ-oriented model (the H815) supports 28/700, one listing suggests it doesn't. (http://www.einfo.co.nz/lg-g4-h815-4g-32gb-black.html).

 

I wonder if this is more that the the parallel-imported version of the G4 such as from that link will need the same manual change-over I need to do to my G3 every time I reboot it to get 4G on the 28/700 frequency (going into the hidden settings) - frustrating, but at least it works...


gzt

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  #1516242 20-Mar-2016 00:44
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The HTC One A9 is interesting because HTC have committed to providing updates 15 days after availability from Google. Unfortunately not an NZ market phone yet. I would get one over Nexus 5 any day. Local telco staff please take note : ).



NikT
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  #1516245 20-Mar-2016 01:51
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Since you 100% need band 28 + 850 and 900MHz 3G, options for a really good phone in this specific price bracket are relatively limited. Nexus 5X does not have band 28 support for Vodafone or 2degrees, only Spark (it's complicated).

 

I'll echo the recommendations for the G4, Z3, or Z3+. Moto X Play too if you can find one.

 

gzt: MotoX Style did not get a mention. Ticks all the boxes:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moto_X_Style

NZ availability might be an issue tho, which could mean updates are an issue with NZ telco approval. I'm not sure how that part works.

 

Without getting into the finer details, NZ operators and the presence (or not) of an NZ SIM have nothing to do with updates for phones they didn't sell. Updates come for open market handsets as the manufacturer chooses to roll them out, or if sourced from an international telco, as they are approved by that telco prior to the manufacturer rolling them out.

 

gzt: The HTC One A9 is interesting because HTC have committed to providing updates 15 days after availability from Google. Unfortunately not an NZ market phone yet. I would get one over Nexus 5 any day. Local telco staff please take note : ).

 

Don't hold your breath for a wide range from HTC here in future - they have no NZ staff anymore. A9 would have come out here at launch if it was coming here at all through official channels. :)

 

 

 

 





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jonathan18

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  #1516274 20-Mar-2016 07:05
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NikT:

Since you 100% need band 28 + 850 and 900MHz 3G, options for a really good phone in this specific price bracket are relatively limited. Nexus 5X does not have band 28 support for Vodafone or 2degrees, only Spark (it's complicated).


I'll echo the recommendations for the G4, Z3, or Z3+. Moto X Play too if you can find one.



Thanks for pointing this out, @NikT. I find the supported frequency/band thing quite confusing, TBH. Is the band 28 support you mention the 4G 700Mhz mentioned here? http://help.vodafone.co.nz/app/answers/detail/a_id/21804/~/what-are-the-vodafone-nz-mobile-network-frequencies%3F

The reason for needing support for all networks is my wife will definitely start out with 2D, as the have business plans with that brilliant included feature of a local calling number, but 2Degrees doesn't have the greatest coverage in PN, so we need the flexibility of moving an alternative if needs be...


gzt

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  #1516298 20-Mar-2016 07:42
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NikT: Updates come for open market handsets as the manufacturer chooses to roll them out, or if sourced from an international telco, as they are approved by that telco prior to the manufacturer rolling them out.

 

I often wonder if it is possible to discover which telco a phone has been sourced from etc. I guess the only source is the manufacturer doing the imei grouping and they don't publish this. Esp the parallel import ones we get.

gzt

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  #1516299 20-Mar-2016 07:45
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Based on a previous contribution from NikT I think 28 it is the 'Extended 4G' in this map:

 

http://www.vodafone.co.nz/network/coverage/



NikT
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  #1516403 20-Mar-2016 13:34
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jonathan18:

Thanks for pointing this out, @NikT. I find the supported frequency/band thing quite confusing, TBH. Is the band 28 support you mention the 4G 700Mhz mentioned here? http://help.vodafone.co.nz/app/answers/detail/a_id/21804/~/what-are-the-vodafone-nz-mobile-network-frequencies%3F

The reason for needing support for all networks is my wife will definitely start out with 2D, as the have business plans with that brilliant included feature of a local calling number, but 2Degrees doesn't have the greatest coverage in PN, so we need the flexibility of moving an alternative if needs be...

 

Ah, apologies, LTE Band 28/APAC 700MHz/4G Extended are all the same thing. I should really refer to it as 4G Extended since I advised Voda on the naming process while I was there - can't tell anyone what it is if it doesn't have a name, et cetera. :)

 

Perfectly sensible to want full network support, and to be fair, that can be had in more and more phones for fewer dollars these days. There's not too much to keep track of, thankfully - You need 900MHz & 2100MHz 3G for Voda & 2d, 850MHz & 2100MHz for Telecom/Spark/Skinny, and at least 1800MHz 4G, with 2600 & 700 being nice-to-haves. 700MHz jumps to a must-have depending on location. 

 

I find that there are certain price brackets with phones, just like laptops, where there's not much of note. Laptops - Some amazing ones under $400, and plenty to love above $1k, but I wouldn't give the time of day to most models in-between despite that being the sweet spot in the budget for most folks. With phones, it's similar, but driven by the opposite in buying habits - most people in Australia and NZ will either buy low-cost Prepay phones from a telco, head to an electronics retailer and spend ~$300, or they'll go straight for the high end (be it contract or outright). So there's not as many customers in our region looking to pay $700-$800, and accordingly, not as many locally-sold phones, and in turn not as many options with 4G Extended because that price bracket is fleshed out with international brands and the specific 700MHz band used here is not used in Europe, North America, or Asia (Except Taiwan). If you didn't need 4G Extended (e.g. live in Auckland/Wellington/Christchurch, don't travel a lot within NZ, & only need the phone for 1-2 years), I wouldn't hesitate to recommend something like the Meizu Pro5.

 

Coverage in the places important to you should, IMO, be the #1 reason to pick a telco, so the freedom to take your hardware with you is a good priority to have. Previous-gen flagships will generally be the best bet. Regardless of whether you're getting local or imported stock, you'll be fine for network support as long as you pick the same model that was sold here.

 

One other option has just occurred to me - because Taiwan is one of the other markets that uses the same 4G Extended band, Taiwanese manufacturers like HTC and ASUS offer models that support it. The high-specced ASUS Zenfone 2 has 4G Extended, 4GB RAM, 5.5" 1080p, 32GB storage + Micro SD slot, and costs under $500.

 

gzt: I often wonder if it is possible to discover which telco a phone has been sourced from etc. I guess the only source is the manufacturer doing the imei grouping and they don't publish this. Esp the parallel import ones we get.

 

It certainly is, although it varies by manufacturer, and you have to know what you're looking for. For Samsung devices, dial *#1234# and take note of the CSC version number. VNZ = Vodafone, TNZ = Telecom, NZC = 2degrees (Short for New Zealand Communications, one of their old working names). Splashscreens/bundled apps are a good giveaway too. Doesn't matter for Nexus, only matters for iPhones if they're SIM locked. Most of the parallel imports here are sourced from countries that offer open market, unlocked devices, so usually only something to worry about if buying secondhand or importing yourself.

 

gzt: Based on a previous contribution from NikT I think 28 it is the 'Extended 4G' in this map: http://www.vodafone.co.nz/network/coverage/

 

It sure is! Took me a good few months to convince the powers that be that 4G Extended was the best term to use. 700Mhz means nothing to the average punter. 4G Plus sounds nicer, but that's used to describe carrier aggregation (CA = Faster speeds by using multiple 4G bands at the same time), and the 'plus' implies faster speeds than regular flavour 4G, so 4G Extended it was.





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hangon
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  #1516964 21-Mar-2016 14:41
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anyone has bought from expansys lately?

 

they have 32GB nexus 5x from NZ$475 + $24 delivered, very tempting...

 

http://www.expansys.co.nz/google-nexus-5x-lg-h791-unlocked-32gb-carbon-black-287558/


Batwing
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  #1516967 21-Mar-2016 14:49
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The nexus 5x is looking tempting but moving yo spark is not if the LTE bands are going to be a problem

d3Xt3r
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  #1516988 21-Mar-2016 15:18
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hangon:

 

anyone has bought from expansys lately?

 

they have 32GB nexus 5x from NZ$475 + $24 delivered, very tempting...

 

http://www.expansys.co.nz/google-nexus-5x-lg-h791-unlocked-32gb-carbon-black-287558/

 



Actually, including GST and IETF, it comes to NZD$581.64 + delivery charges, so you're looking at over $600 in total.


jonathan18

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  #1516991 21-Mar-2016 15:21
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Thanks, NikT, for the detailed and useful reply - great to have your expertise shared in this way!

 

We're in a location (Palmerston North) where, to ensure full coverage with all providers, we clearly need both LTE Band 28 to provide decent 4G coverage on Vodafone and Spark.  (From what I've read, both Voda and Spark use 700MHz/band 28 for 4G; Spark exclusively for 4G in certain places like PN, whereas Vodafone to provide "extended" coverage - is that correct?). It could well be that my wife ends up needing to occasionally tether her laptop to her phone for internet (not worth her having a dedicated SIM/device for the computer), so 4G support is indeed crucial.

 

I recall when looking at Chinese phones, many didn't support the Spark 3G 850Mhz frequency - I take it that won't be a problem on any of the models we've discussed here?

 

Hear what you say regarding the "black hole" of mid-priced handsets; this is why I find the idea of a previous-gen ex-high-end model such as the G4 or Z3+ are the most likely suspects.

 

I looked at the Asus Zenfone when looking last time, but this higher-spec'd model was out of the price range then; the one you link to is clearly an option, but given it's not going to be necessarily that much more to get a G4, which appears to have a better-quality screen (clearly on resolution, and apparently also on its "punch") and better camera (image stabiliser, image quality generally), it may be a better option to stump up with a little more cash. Still need to check out a Z3+ to get a sense of that versus the G4, however. I ruled out the Z3 when I was looking for a phone for myself, solely on the comfort factor - as stylish as the current Xperia aesthetic is, those square edges don't make it very comfortable to hold such a large phone. That said, it's for my wife so she has to like it, not me!

 

BTW, I've read that the G4 H815 doesn't support Semble, whereas the H815T does; is the latter the officially supported NZ model, eg that sold by HN? Just wondering whether I need to worry about whether it matters, if she selects the G4, whether it matters if it's a H815 or H815T (or if we can just go by price or colour).

 

Thanks again...


hangon
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  #1516994 21-Mar-2016 15:27
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d3Xt3r:

 

Actually, including GST and IETF, it comes to NZD$581.64 + delivery charges, so you're looking at over $600 in total.

 

 

bummer no different from other shops then...


NikT
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  #1517407 22-Mar-2016 10:06
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jonathan18:

 

Thanks, NikT, for the detailed and useful reply - great to have your expertise shared in this way!

 

We're in a location (Palmerston North) where, to ensure full coverage with all providers, we clearly need both LTE Band 28 to provide decent 4G coverage on Vodafone and Spark.  (From what I've read, both Voda and Spark use 700MHz/band 28 for 4G; Spark exclusively for 4G in certain places like PN, whereas Vodafone to provide "extended" coverage - is that correct?). It could well be that my wife ends up needing to occasionally tether her laptop to her phone for internet (not worth her having a dedicated SIM/device for the computer), so 4G support is indeed crucial.

 

 

This depends on the definition of 'exclusively,' I suppose. When towers are upgraded to 4G, or have their existing 4G upgraded, they'll have one, two, or three different bands enabled - Most commonly two bands (If memory serves), which can be any combination of 1800MHz, 2600MHz, and 700MHz. So 1800+2600, or 1800+700, or 700+2600. Long term there'll be even more bands to choose from. In Voda-land at least, the newly-livened towers have a snazzy wee feature known as Carrier Aggregation, or CA. This is when a compatible device connects to multiple 4G bands at once for combined throughputs, i.e. significantly faster speeds. Say you can get 150Mbps down on one band, and 100Mbps down on another - CA will link them together for 250Mbps down. Shows on most compatible phones as '4G+'. It's pretty cool, and you can find it in some oddball spots now - I went drive-testing last year and found it all around the Coromandel coasts. In short, chances are there will be more than one band available in most places.

 

Because low frequencies travel further, and 700Mhz was deployed with long range rural environments in mind (where towers are fewer), there will be more areas (Outside main centres, at least) where you can only pick up 700MHz than only one of the other bands. 2600Mhz in particular doesn't have a great coverage footprint, but is super useful for capacity in densely-populated areas like holiday hotspots or CBDs. Long-term the future of 4G involves lots of tiny cell towers with super high frequency bands. 

 

AFAIK all the networks are doing a similar thing here. Makes sense to deploy multiple bands where possible to avoid saturation too. 4G Extended is just a marketing term to describe 4G 'in more places'.

 

 

I recall when looking at Chinese phones, many didn't support the Spark 3G 850Mhz frequency - I take it that won't be a problem on any of the models we've discussed here?

 

 

Used to be more common, now most will support both 850 & 900MHz for 3G. Not an issue with the models discussed here.

 

 

Hear what you say regarding the "black hole" of mid-priced handsets; this is why I find the idea of a previous-gen ex-high-end model such as the G4 or Z3+ are the most likely suspects.

 

I looked at the Asus Zenfone when looking last time, but this higher-spec'd model was out of the price range then; the one you link to is clearly an option, but given it's not going to be necessarily that much more to get a G4, which appears to have a better-quality screen (clearly on resolution, and apparently also on its "punch") and better camera (image stabiliser, image quality generally), it may be a better option to stump up with a little more cash. Still need to check out a Z3+ to get a sense of that versus the G4, however. I ruled out the Z3 when I was looking for a phone for myself, solely on the comfort factor - as stylish as the current Xperia aesthetic is, those square edges don't make it very comfortable to hold such a large phone. That said, it's for my wife so she has to like it, not me!

 

 

May as well get the G4 for a few hundred more, the leather is a nice bonus and the cameras will certainly be better. Plus Marshmallow.

 

I'm a big fan of Sony's design. Internally, the Z3+ is effectively like-for-like with the Z5, with more of an external resemblance to the Z3. Water resistance, stereo speakers, and extended battery life are key selling points there. The flat design also makes Xperias perfect for use in wallet cases - while I can't stand those myself, my partner loves them. What kind of cases does your wife like?

 

Only downside to consider with a 2015 flagship is that last year's Qualcomm Snapdragon chips were...not great. The 808 and 810 can overheat and throttle back to speeds below the previous generation. This year's midrange chips, the Snapdragon 650 & 652, plus the new 820, perform much better over sustained periods.

 

 

BTW, I've read that the G4 H815 doesn't support Semble, whereas the H815T does; is the latter the officially supported NZ model, eg that sold by HN? Just wondering whether I need to worry about whether it matters, if she selects the G4, whether it matters if it's a H815 or H815T (or if we can just go by price or colour).

 

Thanks again...

 

 

Funny (and long) story there.. Both the H815 and the H815T are supported by Semble. It's a one-off, under normal circumstances only the locally-ranged model (H815T) would be supported.

 

 

 

As a side note, I remember when I first started spending serious time on Geekzone around 2007 when I first started working in telco, and was blown away by the unique mix of curious end users asking intricate questions and industry peeps giving in-depth answers, so I'm glad I can add some value to discussions like this.





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Theclaytons
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  #1530926 12-Apr-2016 16:45
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Hi,

 

I live in Kirwee and get 1 bar with 3g on a Nexus 5x. The coverage is pretty patchy and I was wondering, is the reach of the 700mhz frequency better than the 3G Extended or am I stuck with poor coverage? i.e. will i get more reliable signal with 700mhz ponce it gets rolled out (later this month apparently).

 

 

 

Chris.

 

 

 

 


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