Mobile phone. Data plan, push mail, models? - help!
Thread poster: JaneD

JaneD  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 02:14
Member (2009)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Mar 24, 2013

Hi all,

I'm just considering buying my first ever smartphone, solely for work purposes (so I can respond to job requests/emails when I'm away from my computer during "office hours") and I haven't a clue what kind of amount of data this is likely to generate.

My current mobile is about 10 years old and can cope with phone calls and text messages, but that's it, so I don't really know where to start with trying to calculate a data plan that would be suitable, and I don't want to be paying more than, say, 20 euros a month. I wouldn't be using the phone for anything but email (i.e. not Facebook etc.)

I'd be grateful for any advice from anyone who either only uses their mobile for work or who has a good idea of how much this kind of use would involve.

Also I know that Blackberry supports push mail, which seems like a good idea, but is this really necessary?

And finally, if anyone has recommendations for cheap but reasonable models, that would be nice too! I'm definitely *not* an iPod target; anything that's got a good feature set and doesn't feel too plasticky would be perfect.

Thanks in advance.

Jane


 

Selcuk Akyuz  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 03:14
Member (2006)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Any smartphone Mar 24, 2013

Hi Jane,

I used my previous 'dumbphone' for 10 years and last summer decided to buy a smarter one. I bought a Sony Ericsson Xperia. Now I can reply emails and even view attached documents, take notes. It was a good investment for me.

Selcuk





[Edited at 2013-03-25 01:56 GMT]


 

LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:14
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
Do you travel? Mar 25, 2013

If so, I'd say look for something that has cheap international data roaming. Beyond that, just about every smartphone/plan will give you e-mail functionality, and then it becomes mostly a question of your personal ergonomic/aesthetic preferences. My provider offers optional flat-rate worldwide e-mail roaming for a $20/month adder that I activate whenever I need. This is only available for Blackberry service, so that, and push e-mail, were the clinchers for me to pick a BB. As for usage... it will mostly depend on your e-mail attachments. If you download/view 5 MB of attachments a day, that alone over a month is about 250 MB, plus probably another 50 MB just for the bodies of the e-mails themselves. A good approach might be to look at how many MB of e-mail attachments you open in a typical day or week, estimate how much of that you'd be doing on your phone, and extrapolate. I routinely get attachments of 5MB or more, so that estimate would be low for me. Then again, I usually only open attachments on my phone if I'm out of the office, if I'm in the office I mainly use it for notifications and just open the attachment on my computer.

 

Vadim Kadyrov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 03:14
Member (2011)
English to Russian
+ ...
Few considerations Mar 25, 2013

1. Buy ONLY an Android-based one. The latest version of Android is better than an older one!

2. At least 1GHz CPU.

I believe LG L7 is one of the best smartphones available. And the price of it is going down every day.


 

Yuri Radcev  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:14
Member (2012)
English to Russian
+ ...
a simple and reliable device you need) Mar 25, 2013

since you're not so much into them smartphones (and not intending to as you hint) I would recommend considering the iPhone. it is simple, reliable, elegant.
regarding a push functionality - most every modern smartphone knows how to do it)
BlackBerry is nice, but the platform itself seems to be a bit complicated for a newbie like you. and it is dying.
android devices are not bad either, but generally more difficult to cope with for an unprepared user (say, not a geek). think of Samsung Galaxy S III or IV. the best value for your money.


 

Sergei Tumanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:14
English to Russian
+ ...
HTC Mar 25, 2013

would be my choice

It's better than iPhone (if functional possibilities to be considered), imho.


 

JaneD  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 02:14
Member (2009)
Swedish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
A geek, just not a consumer! Mar 25, 2013

Thanks for the advice, everyone.

I should explain that I'm not gadget-illiterate, I just haven't had the need for a smartphone yet as I spend most of my life glued to my computer keyboard anyway.

But I do find that my work pattern (mornings and evenings, with time off for other stuff in the afternoons) leads to my having a large gap in the daytime when I am delayed in answering emails.

My existing clients appreciate that this is the case, but my feeling is that this is becoming increasingly unacceptable as a translator is these days expected to be contactable by email at least during normal office hours in their own time zone.

Your point about cheap international roaming is a good one, Rudolf, as is your suggestion to assess my attachment size over a given period - that will definitely help in predicting my data needs!


 

Marie-Helene Dubois  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:14
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I recommend blackberry Mar 25, 2013

I made the same decision as you about 1 year ago and I chose the blackberry. To be honest, I like to be able to reply coherently to e-mails and I'm not sure about doing that with touch screen buttons or a keyboard that isn't QWERTY. The blackberry with the full QWERTY keyboard is really easy to type a decent e-mail on, with accents and everything and it's not expensive. I bought mine second hand on ebay too because I didn't really care that it was the latest model, or what it looked like, and it only ended costing me about 70€ and it's unlocked so I can change sim cards when I travel. Since I often go to the UK, I simply have a pay-as-you-go UK sim card which costs less than roaming by far. I use the cheapest data package (I think it's 500MB) and that's more than enough. Getting e-mails and reading attachments hardly uses any data.
I use my phone for facebook too but not much for looking at things on the internet.
However, I do have the model of blackberry that has wi-fi and this is probably largely why I don't use much data as I have wi-fi on when I'm at home or at a friend's.


 

JaneD  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 02:14
Member (2009)
Swedish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Confused! Mar 25, 2013

Marie-Helene Dubois wrote:

I made the same decision as you about 1 year ago and I chose the blackberry. To be honest, I like to be able to reply coherently to e-mails and I'm not sure about doing that with touch screen buttons or a keyboard that isn't QWERTY. The blackberry with the full QWERTY keyboard is really easy to type a decent e-mail on, with accents and everything and it's not expensive. I bought mine second hand on ebay too because I didn't really care that it was the latest model, or what it looked like, and it only ended costing me about 70€ and it's unlocked so I can change sim cards when I travel. Since I often go to the UK, I simply have a pay-as-you-go UK sim card which costs less than roaming by far. I use the cheapest data package (I think it's 500MB) and that's more than enough. Getting e-mails and reading attachments hardly uses any data.
I use my phone for facebook too but not much for looking at things on the internet.
However, I do have the model of blackberry that has wi-fi and this is probably largely why I don't use much data as I have wi-fi on when I'm at home or at a friend's.


I understood all of that (and it all sounds sensible) except for the last bit. I assumed that everything came over the wi-fi connection; does that mean that everything including emails is normally transmitted in the same way as phone messages but that if there's a hotspot available the phone will get the information through that instead? I hate not understanding all this stuff!


 

esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:14
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
Depends on your settings Mar 25, 2013

JaneD wrote:
I assumed that everything came over the wi-fi connection; does that mean that everything including emails is normally transmitted in the same way as phone messages but that if there's a hotspot available the phone will get the information through that instead?


Normally, by default the wi-fi has priority over the cellular network, meaning, that when you’re near a (known) hotspot, your phone switches to wi-fi automatically, but you should check your settings.


 

Lennart Luhtaru  Identity Verified
United States
Member
English to Estonian
+ ...
Buy an iPhone... Mar 25, 2013

... and be done with iticon_smile.gif (or Samsung Galaxy S4 or Nokia Lumia 920. There really is not much difference in terms of functions. Just avoid the cheapest models as these will be slow to use.)

 

Marie-Helene Dubois  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:14
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
You can set it up as you like Mar 25, 2013

[quote]JaneD wrote:

Marie-Helene Dubois wrote:

I understood all of that (and it all sounds sensible) except for the last bit. I assumed that everything came over the wi-fi connection; does that mean that everything including emails is normally transmitted in the same way as phone messages but that if there's a hotspot available the phone will get the information through that instead? I hate not understanding all this stuff!


As esperantista says, you can set it up as you like. I have my wi-fi set up as the priority although I do turn wi-fi off if I know there isn't any around because it uses up battery.

That means that everything does come over the wi-fi connection unless there is no wi-fi around, in which case the device will resort to the use of your data plan.


 

Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:14
Portuguese to English
+ ...
The only ones I would consider today Mar 25, 2013

are the Samsung Galaxy or Nokia Lumia.

But given your requirements, you can go for an older model, say, the Lumia 820. In the UK you can get it for about £16-18 a month with unlimited internet.

[Edited at 2013-03-25 10:01 GMT]


 

Yuri Radcev  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:14
Member (2012)
English to Russian
+ ...
BlackBerry - but it needs a special data plan Mar 25, 2013

JaneD wrote:

Thanks for the advice, everyone.

I should explain that I'm not gadget-illiterate, I just haven't had the need for a smartphone yet as I spend most of my life glued to my computer keyboard anyway.

But I do find that my work pattern (mornings and evenings, with time off for other stuff in the afternoons) leads to my having a large gap in the daytime when I am delayed in answering emails.

My existing clients appreciate that this is the case, but my feeling is that this is becoming increasingly unacceptable as a translator is these days expected to be contactable by email at least during normal office hours in their own time zone.

Your point about cheap international roaming is a good one, Rudolf, as is your suggestion to assess my attachment size over a given period - that will definitely help in predicting my data needs!

in fact, BlackBerry seems to be a good solution for your needs, but you'll have to buy a special data plan called BIS - BlackBerry Internet Service - in order to take advantage of all its enormous functionallity...


 

JaneD  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 02:14
Member (2009)
Swedish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Limitations of Blackberry Mar 25, 2013

Yes, I'd gathered that it wasn't straightforward to have a Blackberry - in fact in Sweden there are apparently only two operators who provide the facility to use one! So I may well go for something else in the end.

 


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