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Pjphoto59
17th November 2018, 04:59 PM
My mobile phone is a Samsung GSM which I have on Pay as You Go with Virgin. I only use it for voice and very occasionally SMS. I have never had a Smart phone, but the time seems to have come where I am not sure that I want one, but I am beginning to think I need one.

I spoke to Virgin and asked whether I could continue with my existing contract, if I bought myself a smart phone. Answer – no you can’t.

Until I get, and start to use, a smart phone I have no idea what my usage will be.

What I was wondering was, if I were to buy a new Huwai P20 Lite (about £250) and get it unlocked but with no SIM, can I go into a supermarket and buy a data SIM that they have beside the check out, put the SIM in the phone and start to use it?

Will I be able to do useful things with it and my EM1 and EM5ii?

TimP
17th November 2018, 05:08 PM
Data sims have lots of options. Personally I’ve bought an unlocked phone and use a Tesco sim only contract (tenner a month) and my wife uses a half price BT sim (cos we’ve got BT Broadband) and that does all we want. Technically I’d have thought you could get away with a non data sim but you’d be limited to Wi-fi.

RobEW
17th November 2018, 05:10 PM
As for E-M1 and E-M5 II,both can be set up as a Wifi hotspot and you can connect your phone and use Olympus OI Share app to do various activities - e.g. remotely control the camera, or download photos.

peak4
17th November 2018, 05:14 PM
You should be able to use it as a wireless remote control for a camera on a tripod, with a preview of the phone's screen.

Yes you can largely buy any SIM and use it on an unlocked phone straight away, though I'm not familiar with that model; I use a Google Nexus 5, which is adequate for my needs.

Check out your phone/broadband supplier, who may well have a goos SIM only deal on offer at the moment for a cheap monthly contract. I'm actually with Tesco on a 30 day only contract, so I can more or less cancel and move providers any time.

I'm a fairly light user, but have things like Facebook on all the time, which does use up your data allowance, but I never go above 1 Gb per month.
Don't forget to get the code from your current provider, so you can port your existing mobile number over to your new airtime provider, if you're changing suppliers.

Personally, I'd now make sure I bought a phone with a memory slot, most do these days, to allow extra storage space over that resident in the new phone.

As an old fogey who doesn't want to carry a charger everywhere, be sure to check out the battery life of your proposed purchase; they are a lot more power hungry than a plain old GSM phone.
Lots of really useful software out there, both free and paid for; Suggest looking at Depth of Field Master, Maps.Me, The Photographers Ephemeris.

Also consider where you're most likely to need to use it and make sure you proposed supplier has good coverage in that area.
e.g. Tesco and GiffGaff hang off O2's network, whereas some other virtual providers might hang off EE or another airtime supplier.

Jim Ford
17th November 2018, 06:06 PM
I been using giffgaff for few years and had no problems. Not sure if it's still the best value though.

I agree - mobile phone battery life is usually dire. I have a couple of battery packs I can charge that I often carry.

Android Auto is a pretty good car navigation system (but for me has a few bugs). The google maps it uses are more up to date than my TomTom satnav, and you don't have to pay for them.

Jim

Graham_of_Rainham
17th November 2018, 06:42 PM
I have a very old Orange SIM “running on EE” in an iPhone 6 Plus.

I get 1GB of data each time I top up £10 and sometimes that can last up to 3 months for calls & text, but the data runs out in a month.

90% of the time I attach to WiFi hotspots, never ever using it for financial transactions.

In total it costs me £60 to £80 per year... :cool:

Wally
18th November 2018, 08:41 AM
Not sure if this will help, or muddy the water even more... There is an option called 1p Mobile --> https://www.1pmobile.com/ which might be worth searching out. Basically, you pay 1p per call, per text etc.

You need to top up every 3 months or so. - minimum £10 - what you don't use carries over. Might be worth an online chat to see what gives.

Pjphoto59
18th November 2018, 05:34 PM
Thanks everyone for the many useful replies.

To my basic question, about whether I can buy a new phone, fit it with a data Sim and start using it, gets an only slightly qualified yes, so I thank you for that.

The reason I had been thinking about buying a Huawei P20 Lite, was simply that it seemed a capable piece of kit and is available for just over £200, but something smaller and cheaper may also do the job.

For this new venture, I would rather buy new than second hand.

But thinking further, it seems that my idea of having this new phone for data only does not make any sense, it should also handle the few calls and SMS messages I make.

One advantage of my existing phone is that it has a nice easy to remember number.

If I start buying a new SIM every time I run out of data, will this mean that I will have a new phone number every time? It would not matter for data use but would be a nuisance for incoming calls.

I have BT Broadband but they are difficult to deal with now that the do not have shops anymore, at least not in my area.

If I go into, say, an EE shop, will they sell me a SIM and change the number to my existing one?

Jim Ford
18th November 2018, 06:01 PM
If I go into, say, an EE shop, will they sell me a SIM and change the number to my existing one?

To transfer your number you need to contact your current provider and ask for the 'PAC' (Porting Authorisation Code) for your phone. You then put a new SIM in your new phone and contact the new provider to tell them the code. They will then make the switch of your number to your new phone:

https://www.uswitch.com/mobiles/guides/porting-your-mobile-phone-number/

You don't have to buy a new SIM. If you go to (say) giffgaff's site, they'll send you one:

https://www.giffgaff.com/

With giffgaff (and probably others) you're not locked into a contract. You decide what allowance for a month will suit you (£5 upwards) and if it's too much or too little, revise it before the month runs out. Towards the end of the month, giffgaff contacts you to tell you if you need more or less allowance, of if it's just right.

Jim

OM USer
18th November 2018, 06:18 PM
...If I start buying a new SIM every time I run out of data, will this mean that I will have a new phone number every time? ...

I suspect that your current sim has no data plan which is why you can't use it in a new smart phone. Also, if it is an old phone you will finds that newer phones use a physically smaller sim. In itself this is not a problem as the provider will issue you with a replacement sim of the correct size when contacted (perhaps charging a modest fee of around £10 if you are unlucky). You will need to find the physical size of the sim needed in your new phone (mini, micro, or nano) so that when you get your new sim you can ask for one of the correct size.

Whatever contract you switch to with your new sim you will be able to "top up" if you go over your minutes/text/data allowance so you will not need a new sim and new phone number when you run out of your allowance. For "pay as you go" contracts this can normally be done from the phone by ringing the customer service line (this is probably a short number like 151) and following the menu system (something like press "1" for your account, press "4" to top up, etc) and entering your credit card number. For a rolling monthly contract (you pay a fixed amount on direct debit per month for a set amount of minutes/text/data and the conract keeps going with a one month notice to cancel) any extra minutes/text/data you use in that month over your fixed amount will be charged at the stated rate.

Tram
18th November 2018, 09:34 PM
I have a Motorola G5 on o2 classic pay as you go.
Very rarely use data, but when I do its 1p per mb, calls are 3p a min and texts 2p
Also get 10% of any top up back at the end of every month (if I have topped up in that calender month)
O2 priority is handy if you attend live music gigs, priority queue was great last week at Brixton Academy.
Whole package with a tenner credit was less than 200 quid, I use the phone with the Panasonic image app and my GX9 can be triggered by Bluetooth.
Whatever you get make sure your apps are set to upgrade only when connected to wifi. If you don't that will soon burn through a good few quid of your balance.

Pjphoto59
18th November 2018, 11:09 PM
Tram,

Thanks for that, I can get to an O2 shop in the next couple of days, and with your help, I will now be able to ask them some intelligent questions. . .

blu-by-u
19th November 2018, 08:36 AM
While you are all on this subject of prepaid phone cards, Which company is the best for 1 month use? I am only interested in data. Maybe a call or 2 for the Uber/Grab. I think 1 or 2 GBs worth of data should be sufficient.

Otto
19th November 2018, 09:55 AM
I used to have an Orange PAYG account but once they changed to EE their service became terrible. Every time I tried to buy a data bundle the web site was either down or it took my money and didn't give me the data. Going into an EE shop was useless as all they did was phone the same customer service (sic) line I could do myself and it took ages to sort out. I do not recommend EE. As I have BT Broadband I took them up on their offer of a fiver a month for 400 minutes, 500MB and unlimited texts. Not a single problem so far in the couple of years I've been with them. In fact as a "reward for being a loyal customer" they recently doubled my data to 1GB and my BT Cloud storage to 1TB. To be honest, since you have BT Broadband, they are probably your best bet. They'll send you a free SIM, just request it on line, and there's no need to go into a shop - the monthly charge just gets added to your phone bill. I use a second-hand iPhone 6 I got on eBay and that's been fine, while a couple of friends have Motorola G series and speak very highly of them. Good luck!

peak4
19th November 2018, 10:19 AM
Tram,

Thanks for that, I can get to an O2 shop in the next couple of days, and with your help, I will now be able to ask them some intelligent questions. . .

I'll stand to be corrected, but I'm not sure that O2 offer the best deals for your requirements.

Have a look HERE (https://www.uswitch.com/mobiles/compare/sim_only_deals/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIlqb3l5vg3gIVo7XtCh3jCQFyEAAYAyA AEgINh_D_BwE) and sort by lowest price.
Personally, if you're not really sure what are your needs, I'd go for a monthly contract, rather than getting tied into a 12 month one.
That way, you can change to something more suitable without penalty.

Plusnet (https://www.uswitch.com/mobiles/sim_only_deal/4f385dcad2347fe8cf51682bc24e7ff49a2255d0?compariso n=cz10b3RhbF9jb3N0JnA9L21vYmlsZXMvY29tcGFyZS9zaW1f b25seV9kZWFscy8mcG89NQ==) doesn't look too bad price wise, though clearly I don't know your requirements.

You will need the PAC number from your current supplier to port your number over to the new SIM card.

TimP
19th November 2018, 11:48 AM
I saw the Plusnet advert on TV last night (damn, I hate having to watch adverts!!) and the offer looks good. Plusnet are, I’m sure owned by BT, so not on some shonky network (Not actually sure where BT sits though but it’s not O2)
I agree with the monthly contract idea, my Tesco one is monthly. Only problem with the idea of trying various ones out is you’re limited to the number of times you can move your number so if your wanting to keep that number maybe try with the number the sim comes with and PAC your number over once you’ve found a suitable network and contract.

Otto
19th November 2018, 11:56 AM
BT uses the EE network (in fact I believe it owns EE now). The network was never my problem with EE, it was their hopeless web site and lousy customer service! To their credit though they did organise a PAC code quickly and my number was transferred to BT in under 24 hours.

Tram
19th November 2018, 04:15 PM
I'll stand to be corrected, but I'm not sure that O2 offer the best deals for your requirements.

Have a look HERE (https://www.uswitch.com/mobiles/compare/sim_only_deals/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIlqb3l5vg3gIVo7XtCh3jCQFyEAAYAyA AEgINh_D_BwE) and sort by lowest price.
Personally, if you're not really sure what are your needs, I'd go for a monthly contract, rather than getting tied into a 12 month one.
That way, you can change to something more suitable without penalty.


I should add that the o2 classic pay as you go isn't a monthly or 12 monthly plan.
Just stick credit on if and when you need it, hence the classic PAYG name I suspect
Never fancied any sort of contract myself, takes me ages to spend a tenner's worth of credit

Pjphoto59
19th November 2018, 04:29 PM
I'll stand to be corrected, but I'm not sure that O2 offer the best deals for your requirements.

Have a look HERE (https://www.uswitch.com/mobiles/compare/sim_only_deals/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIlqb3l5vg3gIVo7XtCh3jCQFyEAAYAyA AEgINh_D_BwE) and sort by lowest price.
Personally, if you're not really sure what are your needs, I'd go for a monthly contract, rather than getting tied into a 12 month one.
That way, you can change to something more suitable without penalty.

Plusnet (https://www.uswitch.com/mobiles/sim_only_deal/4f385dcad2347fe8cf51682bc24e7ff49a2255d0?compariso n=cz10b3RhbF9jb3N0JnA9L21vYmlsZXMvY29tcGFyZS9zaW1f b25seV9kZWFscy8mcG89NQ==) doesn't look too bad price wise, though clearly I don't know your requirements.

You will need the PAC number from your current supplier to port your number over to the new SIM card.

What I am minded to do is to buy a new phone sim free and for any network.

Until I have a few months usage, I will have no idea what my usage will be, so I want a classic PAYG arrangement where I pay in some money up front and top it up when it gets used, so no fixed monthly payments. I understood O2 offer that.

I have that arrangement with Virgin for my current GSM phone, but they do not offer it for smartphones, pity as I have about £20 in their coffers.

I see that some mobiles can have dual SIMs. Does this mean it could be possible to have a new SIM for new phone, plus my old SIM running GSM and having my existing number?

Tram
19th November 2018, 05:20 PM
What I am minded to do is to buy a new phone sim free and for any network.

Until I have a few months usage, I will have no idea what my usage will be, so I want a classic PAYG arrangement where I pay in some money up front and top it up when it gets used, so no fixed monthly payments. I understood O2 offer that.

I have that arrangement with Virgin for my current GSM phone, but they do not offer it for smartphones, pity as I have about £20 in their coffers.

I see that some mobiles can have dual SIMs. Does this mean it could be possible to have a new SIM for new phone, plus my old SIM running GSM and having my existing number?

That's what I did, im happy with the old style payg arrangement that's why the O2 classic suits me fine
I bought a locked to O2 phone because they had a special edition Blue Moto G5 for thirty quid less than anywhere else.
Your old sim card might not even fit in a new phone, mine didn't so got a new one with new number too.

DerekW
19th November 2018, 08:36 PM
I am confused you use the term GSM - is that for use in the UK, if so I would have thought you could get a new SIM from Virgin for your new phone using the telephone number of your GSM phone.

OM USer
19th November 2018, 09:07 PM
Dual SIM phones have 2 slots for cards. On is for your "main" SIM and will run 2G/E/3G/H/4G depending on what you have signed up for and how strong the signal is. The other card slot will either take a micro SD card for data storage (eg for camera/video capture, music and video playback) OR a 2nd SIM - but not both. The 2nd SIM slot is usually restricted to 2G and hence the use of the term GSM, the proper name for the internationl standard for 2nd generation (2G) phone connectivity which replaced the 1st standard (analog connectivity). The GSM standard grew to encompass GPRS data handling. This was superceded by Edge (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution) - think of this as 2.5G, then by 3G (3rd Generation or UTMS) later enhanced by High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA)/High Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA) - think 3.5G, and 4G (4th generation, properly known as LTE). Of course 5G (5th generation) will be coming to a mast near you very soon.

wornish
19th November 2018, 09:57 PM
I read this thread and I am surprised a little at what people say.
The smartphone market is so confusing and is not really novice user friendly, more targeted at teens + dare I say.

This post is meant to be helpful and NOT critical in any way. But :

Dare I ask this basic question? Why do you think you want one ?

Write down what exactly you want from your new phone. Seriously write it down on a piece of paper.

You say you make few calls and get or send the occasional text message. Same as I do these days.

Do you want a small and easy to use basic camera ? then a smart phone is more than able to do that.

Or do you simply want use the phone apps that track everything you do? - probably not?

Or do you want use it to log in to this website to post your latest pics and comments and to replace your desktop PC? Again a phone can do that.

I really don't need or want one these days I like my keyboard and using my thumb to type is a real pain. But whatever "floats your boat" as they say.


The technicalities around dual SIM , multi processor etc etc, are just marketing speak. If you are not a real power user, which 95% of the population are not then don't even go there.

DerekW
19th November 2018, 11:33 PM
Having access to the internet to get information is why I have a smartt phone, plus calender and contact info plus access to maps.

blu-by-u
20th November 2018, 02:49 AM
I read this thread and I am surprised a little at what people say.
The smartphone market is so confusing and is not really novice user friendly, more targeted at teens + dare I say....

Can't agree to that as my 86 year young mom uses it to video chat with my sis in UK. :D

I keep tab on her via find my phone, She also shows me her marketing or foods. Yes, she uses that camera. Also her hearing aid is Bluetooth linked to her phone. :o

AND yes, it's an iPhone.:eek:

She also reads the news on it, Stalk us (children & grandchildren).:D She says games are a waste of time..but her sister (80 year young) is trying to teach her Candycrush, Sudoku and Solitare.

TimP
20th November 2018, 07:37 AM
I’m with blu-by-u here, disagree about complexity and target market. My wife is a classic example of someone who didn’t want a mobile phone at all, I gave her my old iPhone and she won’t be parted from it now. Same with her iPad.
What do I use a smartphone for? Camera ( always in my pocket), email, text, phone, sat nav, all my music (in car), record fuel usage, monitor solar panels, monitor room temps, set central heating if away ( brilliant if returning from a holiday in winter), weather, news, card game, bird ID, tide tables, voice memo, pay for stuff (Apple pay)....... masses of things!

I think a lot of uses can’t easily be predicted, they kinda creep up on you over time.

But hey, it’s up to you, do what you want or can afford. We’re all different and what works for some doesn’t work for others.

TimP
20th November 2018, 07:41 AM
Can't agree to that as my 86 year young mom uses it to video chat with my sis in UK. :D

I keep tab on her via find my phone, She also shows me her marketing or foods. Yes, she uses that camera. Also her hearing aid is Bluetooth linked to her phone. :o

AND yes, it's an iPhone

My 89 yr old Mum uses an old iPhone, only for calls and text but she couldn’t ever get on with predictive text or the alternative on a standard mobile so an underutilized iPhone is perfect. She does have to keep on top of the charging though as the battery is getting past its best now.

Otto
20th November 2018, 10:16 AM
Nobody gets on with predictive text. Did you hear its inventor died recently? His funfair will be hello on Sundial.


Smartphones are better at it than the old basic phones though, and they learn words and phrases you use frequently which can be helpful.

DerekW
20th November 2018, 11:34 AM
The smart phone and the tablet has helped older people get into the coms world whereas they could not get into the use of a desktop or laptop computer.

Pjphoto59
20th November 2018, 04:46 PM
I did some exploratory phone shop browsing today.

The only place I found offering unlocked SIM free phones was Carphone Warehouse.

I had to rush away to meet someone, so I did not have time to conclude a deal.

I do not know how long Black Friday will continue, but two phones looked "possible" to me:

Sony Xperia XZ1 at £199, and iPhone 6s at £299.

Any comments on these please?

rosiebud
20th November 2018, 06:38 PM
Hi,

I’m an Apple user and had a 6s and loved it.

For a SIM free phone you can shop in places like Tesco, John Lewis, Curry’s and so on. The purchase of your phone and signing up to a mobile phone service provider don’t need to be linked.

So you have two separate decisions to make i.e
1. which phone do you want: so you need to determine which operating system, Android or Apple IOS, screen size, memory, speed, cost etc and
2. Which service provider and plan is appropriate for you.

Once you have chosen your phone and know what physical size SIM is required and have obtained your PAC from your existing supplier (valid for 30 days), you can then contact the service provider of your choice who will then guide you through enabling the new mobile service.

Enjoy your new phone.

Tram
20th November 2018, 06:52 PM
I did some exploratory phone shop browsing today.

The only place I found offering unlocked SIM free phones was Carphone Warehouse.

I had to rush away to meet someone, so I did not have time to conclude a deal.

I do not know how long Black Friday will continue, but two phones looked "possible" to me:

Sony Xperia XZ1 at £199, and iPhone 6s at £299.

Any comments on these please?

John Lewis do unlocked sim free phones.

Keith-369
20th November 2018, 07:07 PM
Currys, Argos, Tesco, and maybe other supermarkets/retailers who aren't trying to sell lucrative (to them) packages, all do sim free phones.

And then you have Amazon and lots of other online places to try, many with better prices than bricks & mortar shops. *chr

Gate Keeper
20th November 2018, 10:16 PM
Can't agree to that as my 86 year young mom uses it to video chat with my sis in UK. :D

I keep tab on her via find my phone, She also shows me her marketing or foods. Yes, she uses that camera. Also her hearing aid is Bluetooth linked to her phone. :o

AND yes, it's an iPhone.:eek:

She also reads the news on it, Stalk us (children & grandchildren).:D She says games are a waste of time..but her sister (80 year young) is trying to teach her Candycrush, Sudoku and Solitare.

All valid points. Last year I bought an iPhone 6 Plus unlocked on eBay for £115 and I bought a SIM card cutter for £3.86. I have an iPhone 3S and 4S, both still work, but with advances in apps and technology the 3S and 4S were not able to keep up, all on PYG. My wife is able to keep track of where I am

Pjphoto59
21st November 2018, 10:22 AM
I read this thread and I am surprised a little at what people say.
The smartphone market is so confusing and is not really novice user friendly, more targeted at teens + dare I say.

This post is meant to be helpful and NOT critical in any way. But :

Dare I ask this basic question? Why do you think you want one ?

Write down what exactly you want from your new phone. Seriously write it down on a piece of paper.

You say you make few calls and get or send the occasional text message. Same as I do these days.

Do you want a small and easy to use basic camera ? then a smart phone is more than able to do that.

Or do you simply want use the phone apps that track everything you do? - probably not?

Or do you want use it to log in to this website to post your latest pics and comments and to replace your desktop PC? Again a phone can do that.

I really don't need or want one these days I like my keyboard and using my thumb to type is a real pain. But whatever "floats your boat" as they say.


The technicalities around dual SIM , multi processor etc etc, are just marketing speak. If you are not a real power user, which 95% of the population are not then don't even go there.

Dave,

Thanks for those thoughts, nice to hear the voice of reason. In fact, just what I was pondering myself.

I have managed perfectly well with my dumb phone since I retired in 2004, some years before the iPhone was invented.

Before I retired, I used to travel all over the world, but for my wife and I the world has been shrinking for age associated reasons, and now covers Yorkshire, Cumbria and up as far as Edinburgh. We don’t do public transport, riding everywhere in a Skoda Yeti.

We have several computers at home, all laptops that can come with us if we want to. More useful for travelling I have I have a 10” Windows 10 tablet with attached keyboard, I could start putting that in the car so that I can get on the internet in any café. That can be done anywhere we go.

I had a vague fear that there is now an expectation with every official, commercial and financial organisation that they can only deal with me by smart phone and thought maybe I should get one and learn to use it while I still can. Now I think not.

I am glad I started this thread, I have learnt a lot, and I hope it has been useful to others too.

Decision made – no “Smart” phone but maybe another and better dumb phone.

Thanks all. . .

TimP
21st November 2018, 11:31 AM
Peter, I’m sure you have made the right decision for you and your circumstances but I feel you will be missing out on a lot of interesting apps and uses you can’t even begin to imagine right now.

I think your fear of organisations only wanting to deal with people via a device is very real and a bad thing in my opinion. It’s being done purely for cost (jobs!) savings reasons and I worry it will all unravel at some point when a major systems outage (will happen) shuts down those online interactions. Even some online chats are actually conducted with a computer, so clever is the tech behind it than many wouldn’t even know it wasn’t a person.