Author Topic: Mobile phone upgrade - 5G or not 5G!!  (Read 2660 times)

Steve McF

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Mobile phone upgrade - 5G or not 5G!!
« on: 03 January 2021, 11:40:10 AM »
Here I am using a hand me down mobile phone from my daughter - a Samsung A5 (2015?) - she has had two phones since she stopped using this one. It has been fine but getting slow and struggling now. So I had a look at upgrade options on the O2 website, and 5G phones are around 50 quid a month (yikes), with 4G considerably cheaper. So what should I be looking at?

Audax

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Re: Mobile phone upgrade - 5G or not 5G!!
« Reply #1 on: 03 January 2021, 12:15:53 PM »
If you were happy with a 5 year old phone then you'll be happy with one that is 5 years newer even though it doesn't have 5G. Save your money.

sgould

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Re: Mobile phone upgrade - 5G or not 5G!!
« Reply #2 on: 03 January 2021, 03:39:27 PM »
4G is fine for everything, unless you are needing really fast connections.  Most people don't need that. 

I got a new phone a while ago and reckoned that the best deal was to buy outright and get a SIM only deal to go with it.  Tesco offered the best value and have been very good.  Cheap and reliable.  They piggy-back on the O2 network and they have  people in their bigger stores that you can talk to.  Works at home and overseas.

We use to be with Vodafone.  Their service was OK, but not the cheapest, but when we had a problem, the customer service was awful.

Unless you are a heavy user, why not get a nearly new phone. make sure that it's unlocked and buy it outright.
« Last Edit: 03 January 2021, 03:44:18 PM by sgould »
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Audax

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Re: Mobile phone upgrade - 5G or not 5G!!
« Reply #3 on: 04 January 2021, 08:12:59 AM »
Personally I'd be looking at something with long security support, iPhone SE 2020 would be a top pick right now if you want a phone with decent features. Can be purchased outright for 400 brand new and will get updates all the way until around 2025. Also have a look at Android one phones if you're not that bothered about what your phone can do, they get feature updates for 2 years and security updates for 3 years and can be had for 100-150 brand new. https://www.android.com/intl/en_uk/one/

I got the kids a pixel 3A factory refurb (essentially brand new but in a plain white box) at the end of last year for 200 each, but they will only get guaranteed security updates until May 2022 at which point they'll get ditched  soon after. Samsung also have long security support for some of their Android phones but you have to be careful as some models do not get good support, the flagships are the ones to look at, we have a Galaxy S7 which we purchased new in October 2016 which had it's very last security update in September 2020.

Audax

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Re: Mobile phone upgrade - 5G or not 5G!!
« Reply #4 on: 04 January 2021, 08:13:57 AM »
We use to be with Vodafone.  Their service was OK, but not the cheapest, but when we had a problem, the customer service was awful.

We've used all the networks and providers over time, the service is always OK until you need customer service at which point it's always awful!

phoenix

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Re: Mobile phone upgrade - 5G or not 5G!!
« Reply #5 on: 04 January 2021, 09:13:19 AM »
What 5G will bring to most is not speed, but increased capacity which leads to a reduction in contention that will, in itself, give improved performance and the early adopters of 5G will see better rates than 4G due to the fact there will be fewer users.

The primary connection will nearly always be in the lower frequency band (the same as current 4G), not the middle or upper which are the ones that will deliver very fast rates. Having said that, the RF technology and modulation schemes being used will allow for slightly faster rates in the lower band too.

Bear in mind that unlike previous generations, 5G is a network that has been developed to support broader mobile connectivity, not specifically phones.

However there is still quite a lot of work to be done on developing the infrastructure, a lot of which is physical (things like many current towers not being suitable) and I suspect there may also be changes in the RF parameters that can't be supported by phone software upgrades so I personally would wait about another 2 years before investing in a 5G handset.

(I spent a on a 5G course week at Surrey university, who have a world leading 5G development and research facility)

TomPaine

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Re: Mobile phone upgrade - 5G or not 5G!!
« Reply #6 on: 04 January 2021, 09:56:35 AM »
Personally I'd be looking at something with long security support, iPhone SE 2020 would be a top pick right now if you want a phone with decent features. Can be purchased outright for 400 brand new and will get updates all the way until around 2025.

Would second that. My wife's just bought one, the reviews are stellar, and it seems amazing value.

sgould

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Re: Mobile phone upgrade - 5G or not 5G!!
« Reply #7 on: 04 January 2021, 01:00:49 PM »
SWMBO bought a new iPhone SE (2nd generation) last year.  I got a iPhone SE (1st gen) about 2 years ago.  It replaced a iPhone 3GS which was getting slow and had reached the limit of software upgrades after 9 years of regular use.  It still worked, but it struggled.  My son has it as a spare now.
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Audax

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Re: Mobile phone upgrade - 5G or not 5G!!
« Reply #8 on: 04 January 2021, 04:21:07 PM »
However there is still quite a lot of work to be done on developing the infrastructure, a lot of which is physical (things like many current towers not being suitable) and I suspect there may also be changes in the RF parameters that can't be supported by phone software upgrades so I personally would wait about another 2 years before investing in a 5G handset.

The back haul connectivity at most sites seems to be mostly using the same connections as it used for 4G anyway, we keep finding people contacting us at work who are desperate to find use cases for 5G as people have invested on the basis of the technology and much of the points that sold investors aren't materialising in the real world.

Geoff1951

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Re: Mobile phone upgrade - 5G or not 5G!!
« Reply #9 on: 04 January 2021, 05:00:48 PM »
Not wishing to join the Android/Apple debate, though my preference is Android for the ability to personalise/customise appearance, functions and apps etc, there's no denying Apple's longer update support.

However, Steve asked about 5G. It'll be a while yet before it has the network availability around the country - at present it's limited to large population areas - big cities mainly. If you've got a good 4G signal, and you 're not interested in downloading big files (films) then 4G could be the more economical option.  Where I live - a town with a population of some 70,000 - I can't get fibre broadband because I'm connected direct to the exchange, so my 4G speed is much faster than my phone broadband. I frequently watch live sports on my phone with no problems at all.

It could be that Steve lives in an area where 5G might be available "soon" and the retailers are pushing 5G phones because there's more profit, and not useable yet.
I suggest going SIM only, buying a handset you like, and getting a monthly contract with loads of data. Shopping around, there are some good deals out there. For 16 a month, I've got 60Gb data, unlimited calls and texts. Really.

Steve McF

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Re: Mobile phone upgrade - 5G or not 5G!!
« Reply #10 on: 04 January 2021, 10:09:28 PM »
Geoff, who is that with??

Geoff1951

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Re: Mobile phone upgrade - 5G or not 5G!!
« Reply #11 on: 04 January 2021, 10:35:25 PM »
Hi Steve, BT. I I save a fiver because I've got my landline and broadband with them. It's part of their "Halo" package, which doubles the data. It was originally 15Gb, then with each renewal and my threat to leave they up the allowance. First to 20, which the Halo doubles to 40, then last autumn to 30/60 Gb. To be honest, unless you're already with BT in some way you' won't get near this, sorry, but see below about iD.

Slightly off topic, it's always a battle to get thier broadband price down each year, but I can't get cable and don't want most of Sky's packaging, so I stick with BT. But back on the phone topic, have a look at iD, which is Carphone Warehouse's own mobile service -  my OH has her mobile with them and gets 20gb for 8 a month. They use the 3 network. No 5G yet, but have a look at their SIM only deals on offer.

I've no connection with BT or Carphone Warehouse.

Geoff1951

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Re: Mobile phone upgrade - 5G or not 5G!!
« Reply #12 on: 04 January 2021, 10:54:53 PM »
Steve, there's a website called gsmarena.com which, though a bit geeky, reviews most phones on sale in the UK (and many which aren't,  the site has an international base) but it'll give you an idea what to look for and avoid if you choose an android phone. They also review iPhones. There are a lot of low spec phones out there if you're looking to buy your own phone and get a SIM-only contract.

I'd avoid any phone running Android One. You'd find it slower than your old Samsung. I speak from bitter experience.

Sorry if all this is obvious, and the last thing I'll say is definitely spend a few on a case. Loads available online, and cheaper than in shops.  Which are closed UFN anyway!

Audax

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Re: Mobile phone upgrade - 5G or not 5G!!
« Reply #13 on: 05 January 2021, 06:46:41 AM »
I'd avoid any phone running Android One. You'd find it slower than your old Samsung. I speak from bitter experience.

That is not accurate, I've had several Android one phones as spares/second phones and the kids had them for a while and were using them to play Pokemon go and other games on them and they've all been fine although none of them are feature phones. There are a lot of phones out there with Android One it's just a version of Android which is assured updates for 3 years and doesn't have the carrier bloat, obviously there are some far cheaper handsets which have Android one which will not give a great experience but to blame the software for substandard hardware is wrong.

That's a phrase equivalent of saying "I'd avoid any Saab, you'll find it slower than your old Vauxhall, I speak from bitter experience" - because you had a VXR and drove a Saab 9-5 2.2 diesel.

Also, ID can be very slow in areas where there are a lot of Three subscribers, ID customers get a lower priority than Three users. I've had it on spare phones and use it for the kids because it's cheap but a few times it's been slow when compared to using Three directly.
« Last Edit: 05 January 2021, 07:04:11 AM by Audax »

Geoff1951

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Re: Mobile phone upgrade - 5G or not 5G!!
« Reply #14 on: 05 January 2021, 12:24:12 PM »
I stand by my comment on phones running Android One. My view is not on Android One but the phones that run it. Otherwise I'd have worded my sentence differently.

Two points on this.
First, Android One is designed for lower specification phones and while there are some that can be called "mid-range" most are certainly not and hence will, by and large, perform worse than phones further up the specification range.
Second, Android One only allows installation of certain versions of apps from the Google Playstore and these apps have reduced functionality.
 

"ID customers get a lower priority than Three users" 
 Not since the Ofcom Inquiry of August 2018.