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Basics First smartphone

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 Jenny C 17 Sep 2022

After advice.

Dad has decided he needs to upgrade his Nokia to a smartphone. Currently has PAYG and I suspect spends less than £30/year in topups. In his 70s but computer (desktop) savvy and has a Samsung Tablet.

What models would you advise at the bottom end of the smartphone market? Not after high levels of functionality and looking to buy outright rather than on contact.

Also advice on PAYG/equivalent deals for very low occasional useage, will want internet although mostly just for emails or when on holiday.

 Doug 17 Sep 2022
In reply to Jenny C:

Has he tried a smartphone ? We thought about getting onefor my mother in law (in her 80s) to replace her old phone but got her to try a couple of smartphones (all android) & she just couldn't manage. Maybe your Dad will be OK but worth checking.

 Ciro 17 Sep 2022
In reply to Jenny C:

The Motorola budget phones are generally good value, and don't come with a lot of bloatware and fancy skins. I got my uncle one as his first smartphone at the start of lockdown - I put links to some of his favourite news sources on the desktop to get him started, made a Facebook account for him and added a few relatives, then posted it up. I had to talk him through things a couple of times but before too long he was up and running like a gen z pro 🙂

OP Jenny C 17 Sep 2022
In reply to Doug:

It's him that wants it, mostly just so he can check emails and basic stuff like that for when on holiday. Tablet is great, but phone would be more compact and obviously removes the reliance on having WiFi access.

100% want Android. I'll set it up for him, but he manages ok with the tablet and worked with computers since the 80s so is pretty savvy if he wants to apply himself.

In reply to Jenny C:

As a late adopting total luddite, I went to Tescos and got their cheapest phone. With mimimum data package I think it is £7 per month with a new phone every two or three years. It is a motorola. The great thing about Tesco is that the customer service is brilliant and totally unpatronising to the clueless ( at least it is in mine). When I lost my phone they couldn't have been more helpful and generous with their time setting up a new one and transfering everything over. Highly recommended. Crap camera.

 Wilderbeest 17 Sep 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

I’d agree, Tescos could be a good call. I’d not necessarily recommend their cheapest option though, the Alcatel one. 
All works fine, no problems at at but does seem very slow….

 mountainbagger 17 Sep 2022
In reply to Jenny C:

Motorola G22. Got it for my son's first smartphone, no complaints so far!

 Moacs 17 Sep 2022
In reply to Jenny C:

I've got a bottom end Xiaomi, ordered from Banggood 

It was ridiculously cheap and does everything I need in a smart phone 

 mondite 17 Sep 2022
In reply to Jenny C:

As others have said motorola do nice low end phones. In terms of companies my dad uses tesco which has an okay data deal for his use. Be warned though his usage might shoot up (least my dads did once he switched to a smart phone and got addicted to sending us kids dodgy memes via whatsapp).

OP Jenny C 17 Sep 2022
In reply to mondite:

Thanks. They have broadband at home and he really only uses the phone for emergencies or on holiday (no grandkids and certainly not the social media type).

Personally I'm not sure why he wants a smartphone at all, but if he does get one I want to try and avoid wasting money on something rubbish or unecesarily high spec.

 Dave Todd 17 Sep 2022
In reply to Jenny C:

Gave my Mum (83) my old Motorola (G5 I think) earlier this year and she's taken to it like the proverbial.  She loves WhatsApp and it's now probably her first mode of communication (replacing e-mails, which she also loved).  I've added her to my Tesco family deal (saves a pound a month!) so her contract only costs me about £6 or £7 per month.  She's mostly at home so the phone is connected to her broadband.  I'm on my third Moto, great tech for the price.

 freeflyer 18 Sep 2022
In reply to Jenny C:

> Thanks. They have broadband at home and he really only uses the phone for emergencies or on holiday (no grandkids and certainly not the social media type).

> Personally I'm not sure why he wants a smartphone at all, but if he does get one I want to try and avoid wasting money on something rubbish or unecesarily high spec.

He may have been out-teched by a mate and now needs to catch up. Suggest he sorts himself out and give him a couple of examples of things he could go for. He is guaranteed to not follow your advice. Then, when he needs tech support go all vague and suggest his provider support team. As Robert says they’re often very good.

Self-reliance is the ticket.

 Tringa 18 Sep 2022
In reply to Jenny C:

Agree about looking at Motorola phones. Many of their lower priced phones(though low is a relative term) do well in reviews.

I too am a very low user and use PAYG with Tesco(really the O2 network) which seems to work well for me. Mrs Tringa uses a Tesco bundle on her phone as she does more on the phone than me and it is about £5/month.

Dave

OP Jenny C 18 Sep 2022
In reply to Tringa:

Is the old PAYG where you to up every few months once your credit runs low still a thing? All I can find are monthly plans.

I only pay £5/month for my mobile package, but I think that's massively overkill unless I can convince them to use the mobile in preference to landline for all outgoing calls.

I hadn't even thought of Motorola, so thankyou everyone for the advice, I'll suggest it to him. Likely the handset will come from Tesco as it's local so can be bought in person.

In reply to Jenny C:

Another vote for Motorola. Cameras not the best, but solid, reliable phones. I had the G7 power, (not sure what the equivalent is now), and Mrs Ridge is using it now with no problems.

 tew 18 Sep 2022
In reply to Jenny C:

Another vote for Motorola. They will do everything he needs and more without random extra bloatware. I keep mine until they die, my last on being banana'd by a railway sleeper.

ID mobile are cheep and cheerful. But check out the comparison websites. I'd recommend getting a 2 to 4gb a month contract and setting a data limit on the phone and a warning for about 0.5 GB before the limit

 magma 18 Sep 2022
In reply to tew:

another moto fan, although the only smart phone i've had (e4)..

thinking of upgrading/backing up with the g7/g8 plus/power (with useful magetometer/compass) but can't decide if better camera on plus outweighs better battery life with the power.

(moto seem to have dropped magnetometer on recent models - some g8/g9?)

 magma 18 Sep 2022
In reply to Ridge:

seems the the g series don't have replacable batteries so buying used could mean a battery/phone at end of life?

Post edited at 13:06
In reply to magma:

> seems the the g series don't have replacable batteries so buying used could mean a battery/phone at end of life?

Most phones now have sealed batteries, (unfortunately). The Moto range are cheap enough to buy new.

 magma 18 Sep 2022
In reply to Ridge:

yes, surprising how cheap new phones are. was just looking at the g22 but no magnetometer (like the g9)

 felt 18 Sep 2022
In reply to magma:

What's your current one?

In reply to Jenny C:

I too can recommend Motorola - currently have an E6plus, no intention of replacing it until it dies - good battery life - prior to that had another "basic" Motorola.

If you're not going to load 3 million apps and not going to play loads of games, then Motorola's E family will be sufficient.

 Tringa 18 Sep 2022
In reply to Jenny C:

On the PAYG I use I can add £x of credit whenever I want. There is no monthly commitment and the is no limit on when I have to use any credit that I have bought.

Dave

 gld73 18 Sep 2022
In reply to Jenny C:

Might be worth taking a look at 1pMobile, I've got one of my phones on that as I mainly use free wifi for anything online, just use it for occasional online stuff out of the house as well as most of my phones and texts (calls are 1p/minute, texts are 1p, and data 1p/MB). 

You can get some good prices for 2nd hand smartphones on ebay and Marketplace, I've had a couple that way; nothing wrong with them, people just selling them as they'd upgraded and I wasn't bothered about having the latest model!

 DreadyCraig 19 Sep 2022
In reply to Jenny C:

I've just bought my 70+ mother a Nokia c21 plus. Nice simple interface, with only a few minutes coaching she seems to be picking it up well.

 mattrm 19 Sep 2022
In reply to Jenny C:

Second hand (refurb) Samsung.  Or bottom of the line Samsung.

If you could actually give a figure, that'd help.

Worth pointing out that the bottom end of the market often has Android Go on it, which is the version optimised for 'low spec' phones.  I've had a Nokia (cost £90) for the last year running Android Go and it's incredibly slow for anything really.  So might be worth paying a tidge more for a better spec.

Tho as a firmly middle aged IT techie, I'm blown away by what we consider to be low spec and what Android seems to need as a bare minimum these days.  Bring back 386s.  Grumble.  Mutter. Get orf mah lawn... etc... etc...

In reply to Jenny C:

> Is the old PAYG where you to up every few months once your credit runs low still a thing? All I can find are monthly plans.

There are Payg options still about. Giffgaff do them (O2 network) for example.

If data is to be used, however, watch out for any contracts that have a minimum price/day for data usage. Most, if not all(?), smartphones now a days use some background data for things touching base even if you don’t actually open apps, etc., so credit will be used “silently”. A quick check for say emails once a day will soon add up with those with a min charge. Switching off mobile data though and using only Wi-Fi is what some do (consider security risks of using unsecured Wi-Fi).

Giffgaff have, I think, a min charge of 20p as minimum charge per day if any data is used. Could be cheaper to buy one of there monthly packages which can be changed monthly and credit can be used as well.

 henwardian 19 Sep 2022
In reply to Doug:

> Has he tried a smartphone ? We thought about getting onefor my mother in law (in her 80s) to replace her old phone but got her to try a couple of smartphones (all android) & she just couldn't manage. Maybe your Dad will be OK but worth checking.

I had a relative in their 70s who was quite against getting a smartphone was basically pushed into it! They spend a while struggling with it before getting to the stage where they could basically use all the functionality that was necessary. Since then they have been a frequent user of whatsapp and other things like that and enjoyed very much the ability to see photos and videos and so on of what family members are up to.

What I'm trying to say is that a smartphone is a bit like learning to ride a bike: It's a nightmare to begin with and you need loads of help but if you persevere, it has a lot of great benefits. If you start out with a "no, it's not for me" attitude and stick to that, you miss out without knowing that you are missing out.

I think it's worth cajoling elderly relatives into getting smartphones because they will be thankful for them in the long run.

 Doug 19 Sep 2022
In reply to henwardian:

In theory I agree. My mother in law's problems were due to lack of feeling in & control of her fingers rather than understanding how the phone worked.


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