/ iPhone - 2G model worth getting?

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ksjs - on 27 Nov 2012
Hello,

Sorry for a lazy post but rather than trawling internet for ages I was hoping to draw on UKC users' knowledge:

I have steadfastly refused to get a smartphone (even though secretly I'd quite like one - I hate myself for this). My current mobile (inherited and until recently very happy) has however started to have battery issues. I'm guessing I can replace the battery but I don't especially like the phone. Anyway, I've been looking on ebay at phones (I can't justify the cost of a new one) and have a few questions:

- is a 2G iPhone worth getting, if not which is the oldest model I can reasonably opt for?

- if a phone is locked to a particular network is it easy to unlock it?

- are tariffs all contract linked or are there any (value for money) pay as you go deals?

- is it an easy repair to replace the screen / digitiser (lots of iphones on ebay with a broken screen)?

Thanks!
Kimono - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to ksjs:
Short answer: no!
Basically you will probably find that at that age the battery life is appalling. Also, the latest software updates are not available for a 1st gen iphone, nor are many apps.

I would suggest going for an iphone 4 at the oldest...you can pick up a 16GB one for around 200.

If you want to use it as your principal digi cmaera, then i would even suggest the 4S if you can afford
it.
CurlyStevo - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to ksjs:
nah I had an iphone 3g and it was painfully slow. Im pretty sure you will get more bang for your buck getting an Android phone.
Kimono - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to ksjs:
> Hello,

>
> - if a phone is locked to a particular network is it easy to unlock it?
>
> - are tariffs all contract linked or are there any (value for money) pay as you go deals?
>
> - is it an easy repair to replace the screen / digitiser (lots of iphones on ebay with a broken screen)?

Quite possible but i always go for 'factory' unlocked myself...this means that it was sold as unlocked by apple and thus you will never have issues that 3rd party unlocked phones can have.

Dont live in the UK so dont know about tariffs

Replace screen? Yes. A friend of mine even did it himself though i would personally take it to a chinese man in Chinatown that i know! (please insert clued-up asian phone repairer of your choice :)

Neil Williams - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to ksjs:

If you want a smartphone to use as a smartphone, get a decent Android phone on a contract.

If you get an inferior phone (e.g. 2G only) or you don't have enough data allowance, there's barely any point. The point of a smartphone is being connected all the time and being able to use the wide variety of apps and services out there. If you can't, you might as well get a classic "dumbphone" and benefit from week-long battery life etc.

Neil
Monk - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to ksjs:

Do you actually want an iPhone, or will any smartphone do? You can buy the handsets at pretty much any phone shop or online as a Pay and Go. You can pick up something like the Samsung Galazy Ace for under 100 now, and that is a reasonable phone (in my opinion).
mkean - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to ksjs:
Buying old Apple hardware is a mistake. If you want an inexpensive smart phone then I'd look at some of the android handsets.
In reply to ksjs:

Most people who have 2G iPhones are probably thinking of replacing them at the moment so I would definitely not advise anyone to buy into this technology now.

My 3Gs is still a decent phone and not too slow, but I am not a heavy user really. I would say iPhone 4 is the oldest one to consider of an Apple phone.

You can get all sorts of contracts if you buy the phone. I pay around 12 for my contract which gives me very little but then again, I don't use it much. A walkie-talkie with my wife mainly.

Alan
ksjs - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Monk: Any will do! I guess I'm a bit seduced by apple's usability, the interface often seems very intuitive. That said I really disliked itunes (so clunky and limited) so got rid of it and use something else instead.

When I say I can't afford, that doesn't mean I can afford 200 for a phone! I refuse to buy something where I am paying for latest when latest will very soon not be latest. Also, I don't want something new as I want to be able to treat it with reasonable levels of disregard.

Maybe a better angle to come at this from is some criteria:

- max budget 50
- used phone only
- want it for email & web access
- i am really sold on some of the iphone apps though: the star-gazing one is incredible for example. Maybe though there are android equivalents and i need to do more looking into what's available?

Am I asking the impossible based on the above?

Thanks all for the replies by the way.
ksjs - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to ksjs: Also, no contract preferably, PAYG only. I suspect this may be a deal-breaker.
mkean - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to ksjs:
Maybe a better angle to come at this from is some criteria:
- max budget 50
Ok
- used phone only
You could possibly stretch to new at this point
- want it for email & web access
Data on Pray as you go is usually pretty pricey.
- i am really sold on some of the iphone apps though: the star-gazing one is incredible for example.
Available on Android, Google do a good one.


chlobach - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to ksjs:

What sort of internet connection would you be hoping to use? If on PAYG you might find it a bit expensive but if you're only using wifi then that wont matter.

Are you wanting a touch screen or a phone with a QWERTY keyboard? They can be better for email.

A lot of the apps are availabe for Apple and Android handsets, although google maps isnt on the iphone anymore I believe. For 50 quid youre going to have to look for a decent deal, and I think when buying second hand it can be a bit luck of the draw with whats available at the time.
scrufff on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to ksjs:

My not-even-that-old iPod Touch is pretty useless now - they won't update it any more, and most of the apps I paid for now only work with newer versions of iOS. Big scam basically.

Something Android on a Tesco 1 month contract is the way to go.
Monk - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to ksjs:

I use Apple gear at work, and it is shiny and very easy to use. However, I use Android stuff at home, and it is almost as shiny and just as easy to use. I think that you will be able to pick up a used Android phone for not much money. I don't use much of my data allowance as most places have WiFi these days (even my local Tesco!), so P&G is definitely a viable option if you keep an eye on your usage. I haven't used many smartphones, but things by HTC and Samsung have always seemed good to me. The Galaxy Ace is definitely available for around 50 on ebay.

As for apps - if there's an app for something on iTunes, there'll usually be an equivalent on Google Play. Google Skymaps for stargazing is great and it's free.
ksjs - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to mkean: Yeah, I had it in mind that PAYG is pricey for data but I'd mainly be connecting via wireless. Data is more for when away climbing and want to access email / forecast / travel info i.e. infrequent and short use only.

Here are some smartphones available on ebay right now (these are buy it now and not auction prices). When I've seen HTCs they've looked neat. Anyone any particular experience of any of these?

ZTE Racer 25 - unsure if locked
Orange Barcelona 25 - locked
LG Optimus GT540 30 - locked
Samsung Ch@t 335 35 - locked
HTC Tattoo 35 - locked
Samsung Galaxy Europa GT-I5500 40 - locked
ksjs - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to chlobach: Touch screen fine for keyboard (I think). I reckon usage might be 85% text, 10% calls & 5% data of which most would be via a wireless network. Hopefully therefore PAYG would be OK.
ksjs - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Monk: Not to be impulsive but think I might be sold. Unless anyone on here says no, ridiculous idea I'll go for an HTC or Samsung android phone on ebay and take it from there. Thanks for a useful post.
alanlgm - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to ksjs:

If you think you are going to spend over 10 a month then I would go for a 30 day sim only deal than a PAYG if you plan to use any data at all i would only suggestPAYG for your mum and dad who use the phone occasionally.

as for phones i would go for an android rather than an iPhone and personally stay away from any windows phone as the age you are looking at they will be clunky.

getting phones unlocked isnt that difficult you can take it to said Asian or sometimes if you go into the store of who it is locked too they will unlock it for a modest fee or sometimes even free.

the trouble with phones is that it is very much personal preference but i am sure if you get one then after a few weeks you will get used to iut anyway.

have fun with your new toy

Alan (vodafone employee)
Only a hill - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to ksjs:
> (In reply to mkean) Yeah, I had it in mind that PAYG is pricey for data but I'd mainly be connecting via wireless. Data is more for when away climbing and want to access email / forecast / travel info i.e. infrequent and short use only.

Worth bearing in mind that almost all new smartphone owners end up using far more data than they think they will--it becomes addictive.

I'd strongly advise against getting a cheap basic Android. They are horrendous machines that go wrong all the time; a big part of my job is fixing them. If you want an Android, get a better one or you'll be wasting your money.
ksjs - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Only a hill: What do you mean by 'better' in this case?

What about this 'Samsung GALAXY Portal GT-I5700'?
Neil Williams - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to ksjs:

If you go for anything of lesser spec than the HTC One S (that's what I've got) I would say you will get frustrated/be disappointed with it.

Neil
ksjs - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Neil Williams: Can anyone give a summary of the 'generation' name and what this means for Galaxy and HTC? I have the idea that all phones will largely work similarly with the main difference being speed and ability to use more recent software. Have I got this wrong?
Milesy - on 27 Nov 2012
I have an iPhone 3G and it does me fine but I am being forced out of it due to application compatibility. I had to do a clean format and running iOS 4.2.1. I went to install the Facebook app again - it only supports the greater firmware version and this has happened with lots of apps. I think it is shocking that you cant automatically get the last supported version for your firmware, but instead a message which is essentially "nah you need to buy an iPhone 4 to use facebook now" !!!
Only a hill - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to ksjs:
> (In reply to Neil Williams) Can anyone give a summary of the 'generation' name and what this means for Galaxy and HTC? I have the idea that all phones will largely work similarly with the main difference being speed and ability to use more recent software. Have I got this wrong?

Speed is the critical one.

On older phones (and less capable hardware), Android slows the unit down hugely--and I really mean hugely, to the extent that something like a Galaxy Europa is barely able to function even as a phone. I've seen them crash on initial startup before, crash when trying to read a text message, simply due to lack of system resources.

To be honest, I agree with the poster above who says that anything less than an HTC One S (or Samsung Galaxy SII) is more or less useless. Android only runs comfortably on decent, modern hardware.
Enty - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Only a hill:

My friend has a 2 year old HTC Desire and Mrs. Ent has a brand new HTC One S - I've seen them both doing emails, browsing and playing Angry Birds and there's hardly any difference.

E
ksjs - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Milesy: This is the kind of thing that really puts people off Apple; exactly the same with iTunes and digital rights limitations.
Siward on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Enty: yep. I have a Desire S and though a bit old is absolutely fine with Android, no issues at all. How does the battery life compare with the newer models? I'm sure newer won't necessarily mean better in that respect.
ksjs - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Only a hill: But!!! What is 'SII', what is 'One S'? How do I know which HTC / Samsung phones are / aren't this? Is it their OS, their hardware or what?
Only a hill - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to ksjs:
This website is useful:
www.gsmarena.com
Mostly it's down to hardware.
Jiduvah - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to ksjs: I am an Android app developer and you really got me thinking if it was possible to get a decent phone for 50 quid. I was doubtful.

The only phone I could find to recommend was a htc desire but it had a fairly bit scratch on the screen. I had this phone for 2 years and it was great I just sold mine for 100.

There are lots of cheap phones from brands that I have never heard of. In my experience these never work well.

I would suggest you up your budget to 75 pounds or a little cheaper and get a phone that is going to work well. Otherwise save your money and keep your feature phone.

If you was going to up your budget then you could get these...

- A good condition htc desire.

- HTC Legend. Similar to the desire but slightly smaller and slightly lower specs.

- Nexus 1 - googles own phone (google make android) . Its pure android which means the manufacturer of the phone don't play around with the operating system. Which is good in my opinion. Pretty good specs as well.

Its worth noting that you can use customised android version which are freely available on the internet and greatly improve the performance and battery life tho sometimes you sacrifice stability. Tho to do that you would have to be a little techy or no somebody who is
prog99 on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to ksjs:
Mrs W has an Orange San Francisco 2. Not bad at all and I'm sure you can pick one up on the cheap.
Easy to unlock and remove all the Orange crap (we'll ignore the brief dry mouth moment when it didnt reboot the 1st time...).
Has an older arm processor so wont run certain newer apps/games (angry piggies being one)

An iphone alternative is the 3gs which is what I have. Can still run the latest IOS and is fast enough to run everything I need. May be able to pick one up cheap. Easy to unlock too.
Carolyn - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to Mike_Watson_99:

I have a 3GS, and it's slowed down noticeably after the latest software update. It's PAYG, but I pay a small monthly fee for a data allowance.

Much prefer it to the Android I also have ;-)
Enty - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to Jiduvah:

There was good condition HTC Desire for sale on this very site a month ago for 50 quid - I missed it!

E
Monk - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to ksjs:
> (In reply to Only a hill) But!!! What is 'SII', what is 'One S'? How do I know which HTC / Samsung phones are / aren't this? Is it their OS, their hardware or what?

And this is why people love Apple - it's so simple. You just have to choose what size memory you want.

The 's2' and 'OneS' are the names of the models from Samsung and HTC, respectively. I'd say that the S2 sets the bar quite high, and is possibly more than you absolutely need.

I'm not an expert on Android handsets by any means, and I don't know any of the models you have mentioned. I like my Galaxy Ace, which is pretty low spec by current standards but works well for what I do (and which sounds like what you want to use it for) - maybe have a look at the specs of that and compare to what you are looking at? I also think things like the HTC Wildfire and HTC Desire are pretty reasonable. I don't know what your usage is like, but you can get some reasonable phones on contracts for as little as 13 a month - it might be worth investigating if that is similar to your expected calls on Pay and Go plus the price of a handset?
Jiduvah - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to Monk: "And this is why people love Apple - it's so simple. You just have to choose what size memory you want."

How is SII and One S any simpler then 3G, 3GS, 4S?
antdav - on 28 Nov 2012
I've had a HTC Wildfire which i thought was great until i had to use it again when my replacement broke. Much too slow to function with any apps installed. They released the Wildfire S with more power and would probably be the lowest power phone you could handle while waiting for the price of the newer handsets to drop. Look at processor speed, cores and ram.

I've used the HTC OneX and the Samsung S3 and they are both brilliant machines and it's no wonder they have made Android move way past Apple in the smartphone market. Until this generation Apple seemed to be ahead of Android but they hold the price so well that second hand models are expensive and not supported by Apple and getting apps to work is hit and miss.

The Android app market is due to overtake the Apple's pretty soon in terms of number available and you get a much higher percentage of free apps through Android.
Neil Williams - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to Enty:

Be warned, the Desire has a very small internal memory, and you will very quickly fill it up with apps. I had one for 2 years, great phone except for that point. You can hack it to install more on the SD card, but it's a pain. The battery life is also pretty poor.

The current generation of phones is way better in that regard. Spend a decent amount and get a decent one to enjoy the experience properly.

Neil
r0x0r.wolfo - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to ksjs: My girlfriend got a samsung galaxy S2 for 15.50 a month about 6 months ago. I have an S3 and the S2 is almost as good. Played briefly with her parents galaxy ace and it isnt nearly as good but 7.50 per month for 500mb/unlimited texts/250 mins. Basically you can get a phone for less per month than you'd pay payg, i was spending at least 10 per month.

Research pays off for choosing the best phone for your money.
Kid Spatula - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to ksjs:

The HTC One S is hilariously faster than the Desire, and more in line with the S3 than the S2 by the way.
Neil Williams - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to Kid Spatula:

It's also nice and small. Some of the new generation phones are almost tablets.

Neil
r0x0r.wolfo - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to Kid Spatula: The one x gets pretty close, don't know about the one s
Toby S - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to ksjs:

How much are you spending on PAYG per month? I had bought one for my daughter but she was spending about 10 a month on it. Managed to get a deal with Vodafone for 11 with a Sony Experia Miro (she ain't getting an iPhone!) with unlimited texts, 500Mb of data and 100 minutes of calls. Vodafone to Vodafone calls are free too. You'll probably get similar deals across the networks.
JamButty - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to ksjs:

http://www.carphonewarehouse.com/special-offers/super-value-smartphones?intcmp=HP_Nov_SuperValue?int...

No brainer for me, have had the Galaxy Ace for 6 months and its great for what I want - I was the same as you!
ksjs - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Jiduvah: I'm sceptical about the industry's attempts to make us want more and what I actually need; I have a 10? year old laptop, it has a pentium III, runs at about 500mHz, has 256mb ram and runs Linux Mint (superior to Windows in every possible way as far as I can tell).

This setup is completely acceptable to me and I imagine does 99% of what all singing all dancing, more powerful and up to date laptops NEED to do for the huge majority of users.

This is the angle I'm coming at this from. I am certain I can get a more than adequate setup with the criteria I've set. I'm also confident I can get far superior OSs online, an OS that does what it actually needs to do, well.
ksjs - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Monk:
> (In reply to ksjs)
> [...]
>
> And this is why people love Apple - it's so simple. You just have to choose what size memory you want.
>
and buy into / get locked into proprietary technology / software etc. Apple isn't all that, despite what many think.

Useful post - thanks.
EeeByGum - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to ksjs: If you aren't fussed about your phone I would recommend buying a cheap and cheerful jobbie from somewhere like Tesco. I know they are the devil, but for 15 you will be able to get a handset on PAYG. The charges are very reasonable and if you top up say 10 per month, they give you 10 for free!

I have found with contracts that once the price of the phone dips below a certain price point, you no longer get savings on your monthly outgoings but instead get a "free" gift which simply allows them to charge more per month.
ksjs - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to JamButty: Impressive but I don't like contracts or the ongoing financial commitment, small as it is. Need to review what my current PAYG spend is and maybe take a view then.
Neil Williams - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to EeeByGum:

There is also the option of buying an unlocked or PAYG phone (same network as you intend to go with) and connecting it to a SIM-only tariff, which are available to cancel with a month's notice.

Neil
BigBrother - on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to ksjs: I have an almost unused unlocked ZTE Blade Android phone that I keep meaning to sort out and sell. If you are interested email me and I will send more details.
Morgan Woods - on 02 Dec 2012
In reply to ksjs:

No
Yes
Yes
Yes

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