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|>>|| No. 24774
So my Three contract (24m One Plan at £33.50pm) is finally bloody ending and I'd rather not keep paying for this lacklustre Galaxy S4. It's caused me more bother than good.
Do any of you chaps have recommendations for a more modern handset, perhaps on contract at a lesser price? Stock Android is a bonus. Expandable memory is a must.
|>>|| No. 24775
>Expandable memory is a must.
Unfortunately the tech people have lost this battle to the bean-counters. Most of the decent phones have fallen victim to the idea that the manufacturer would rather you pay them £100 for more storage than let you buy a £5 SD card. Also known as the old rope technique.
|>>|| No. 24776
The HTC One M9 has an sd card slot. I'd recommend it off the basis of the M8 being very good.
|>>|| No. 24777
I called up their customer retention team for an upgrade and was recommended a Sony Xperia M4 Aqua. They mentioned it having "plenty of onboard storage" despite it only coming with 8GB, ~1GB of which is actually free after all the bloatware bollocks I'll never use, as well as "the latest version of Android - Lollipop" despite Marshmallow superseding it in the feature department in every way.
Eventually I got sick of the chap on the other end reeling off bullshit analogies about how he bought one for his own mother, he thought it was that good, and hung up.
I called to ensure my contract called itself in time today and a lady tried to flog me an iPhone 6 after stressing thrice that I'd much prefer an Android handset. Bloody hell...
|>>|| No. 24778
Look no further than the Moto G, the newest generation has all of that. You can get one sim-free and instead get giff gaff on it which works like a treat.
|>>|| No. 24780
Never trust those customer retention or upgrade teams or whatever they call themselves. They are always an outsourced con-job designed to get rid of the stocks of shitty mid-range and outdated models on people who don't know any better. They are a joke.
Phone companies are one of the few companies you should treat with total contempt as a customer. They are the finest example of bad business. heir practices are adversarial so so should yours when dealing with them.
|>>|| No. 24782
This goes for them all, actually. Mobile, Landline, Broadband; they're all cunts.
Even Plusnet have put their prices up for Fibre. It's a fiver more to start with, £24.99 up to £30 with evening and weekends, and after 6 months is now £38 instead of £35 a month. Now they are the same price as all the rest for Fibre+. That strikes me as price fixing and if they try to up my monthly bill at the end of this contract I'll tell them where to go.
|>>|| No. 24783
If you get BT broadband buy a handset outright and get the contract from BT.
|>>|| No. 24784
Carphone Warehouse are offering a decent plan (for me at least) on a Moto X. £21 for 1GB data, 5000 texts and 200 mins on their ID Mobile network. No handset charge. 24 months.
I can never work out to what to degree the phone companies are shafting us (as they all eventually are) so some advice would be great.
|>>|| No. 24789
I have a friend who claims to have gotten the exact same phone model as me on the same network (vodafone) for a few quid less per month including free spotify by calling up one of the 'upgrade teams'.
I'd imagine that if you know fairly exactly what you want, at what price, with good patience and negotiation skills you can probably shave a few quid per month off by giving them a ring (assuming you don't mind staying on the same network). Obviously though you shouldn't trust anything they recommend as it'll most likely be whatever iCrap they've been told to sell for eye-watering rates.
|>>|| No. 24791
I was also on the One Plan, due to end this month (they've scrapped it, so you'll have to renew at the end of your contract regardless of whether you want to or not).
After 20 minutes on the line begging for my PAC code, they offered a £13/month 1 month rolling deal with unlimited mins/texts and 4GB data, which struck me as fairly generous. I'd suggest trying the same and grabbing a smartmobe off contract.
|>>|| No. 24792
You're an idiot, who is that silly to pay such exorbitant prices just to communicate with other people?
|>>|| No. 24795
If that is even 1% of your total monthly earnings I feel sorry for you.
|>>|| No. 24796
I pay 7 quid a month for my one. 250 minutes, unlimited internet and texts. It's stupid to spend 35 quid on it. Which is the point I was making.
|>>|| No. 24797
Did you seriously just income shame someone on an imageboard full of students?
Have a word with yourself, you contemptible cretin. If your self worth comes from how much you earn, I feel sorry for you. What a wanker.
(A good day to you Sir!)
|>>|| No. 24799
I don't think it's full of students. I mean sure, it's run by students but there's also a fairly vocal minority who aren't delusional marxists.
|>>|| No. 24801
£7 per month is less than the equivalent giffgaff deal sans phone, so I'm going to assume you are chatting shit.
If anything I'd say students are a minority on here, though there is no way to tell either way of course. For anyone working full-time £13/month can hardly be described as exorbitant.
|>>|| No. 24802
We have all sorts of people from all walks of life whose opinions on phone contracts aren't invalidated by their or your income.
That is the nature of anonymity. If you don't like that, then tough shit. Deal with it, Princess.
|>>|| No. 24803
Did you seriously just cunt shame someone on Britfa.gs, of all places?
|>>|| No. 24807
Is that on the plan they're cutting everyone off and closed to new customers a year or so ago?
|>>|| No. 24809
If that upsets you, you'll be frothing at the mouth if I told you how much I spent on the phone.
|>>|| No. 24813
Nope. I'm on the successor plan. I'm only allowed 2 GB tethering mind, but I'm flying my 100 GB 747 under their radar regardless.
|>>|| No. 24826
I'm not sure I could download that much data if I tried, have you set up automated torrents just to spite the network operator?
|>>|| No. 24834
Everyone complains about the S4 but mine's been nothing but good to me. The stock battery is fucking awful, though. An extended one is a must. If this breaks on me I'll probably get another since they are dirt cheap now.
|>>|| No. 24835
I'm fairly sure the S2 was the last solid model by Samsung, and ever since then they've just spiralled off into this crazy trend of increasing the size and screen resolution without significantly increasing the specs.
It's the same for the majority of phones really- The core hardware has gone practically fucking nowhere, while all the manufacturers squabble over who gets to have a slightly sharper screen in their flagship model this time, and who gets the best camera, and who gets the most goddamn fugly roundish fashionable design.
The standard storage space has been hovering around the 32gb for years. The standard processor has been the Snapdragon for years. They've all had 1-2gb of ram for years. But the consumer is happy to just keep shelling out for a lukewarm rehash.
The only sensible phones on the current market, on the market, for my money, are the Sony Xperia ones. They're the only ones with a "compact" (read: the comfortable, reasonable size phones used to be five years ago) model that doesn't nerf the specs to shit. They're the only ones to have all the specs you want, without some glaring weakness such as lack of SD slot or whatever. They are IP65 rated so dropping them in the bog won't kill them. Their battery life is pretty amazing too.
|>>|| No. 24836
>The standard storage space has been hovering around the 32gb for years. The standard processor has been the Snapdragon for years. They've all had 1-2gb of ram for years. But the consumer is happy to just keep shelling out for a lukewarm rehash.
They've been incrementally improved snapdragons, but in any case, so what? There's no pressing need to prove upon the internals for the most part, hasn't been for a few years.
|>>|| No. 24842
I quite fancy the Moto X Play. Carphone have a good deal going on it atm. Thoughts from a few more phone-savvy fa.gs would be great though.
|>>|| No. 24843
>They are IP65 rated so dropping them in the bog won't kill them. Their battery life is pretty amazing too.
An interesting nugget regarding the moto-g, and I think Motorola phones in general, are treated inside and out with a coating that makes them safe to fully immerse them in water, but due to semantics, they can't describe them as "waterproof".
|>>|| No. 24844
That's quite reassuring to know, as my S2 is definitely on its last legs after 3 years of faithful service. I have no idea where to start on getting a new handset that I'll inevitably have to fork out for within the next 3-6 months, and I too hate the recent trend towards massive screens. If I can't fit my phone in my pocket or hand comfortably then it's just a developmentally stunted tablet and I don't want it.
|>>|| No. 24845
The S4 blows the S2 out of the water in terms of specs; what are you on about? I had an S2 before I got the S4, and while I would agree the S2 is built better and feels better in the hand, to say that hardware has gone nowhere is to reject some of the legitimately large advances phones have taken in the past few years.
We now have 4K IPS screens -- and chips capable of driving them. 4G radios, more RAM and more processing power.
|>>|| No. 24847
The S4's been fantastic for me - came from an S2, and it's quite the upgrade. Every two years feels about right to upgrade to me. Won't be getting the S6 though - the missus got it, and the battery can't last the day, and the storage is nearly full already.
|>>|| No. 24849
Nah. It really doesn't. Sure it's a bit better, I'm not saying it hasn't advanced at all. But to say it's basically the same phone I had when I was knocking around in my college days with a few extra megahertz and a gig or two more ram, isn't exactly a quantum leap.
Nor am I saying it needs to be, I should clarify- Phones have been about on par with modest laptops for a while now. I was more just making a general point about what you get for your £400 factory fresh top of the line phone these days isn't quite as impressive as it was a few years ago, considered in perspective.
|>>|| No. 24851
Flagship phones are thoroughly unimpressive, because they're just finding new ways to justify a £400-£600 price tag. It's the mid-range phones that impress these days - you can get within a gnat's fart of flagship performance for less than £150. Making a mid-range phone has always been an exercise in corner cutting, but it's increasingly difficult to see where those corners have been cut.
|>>|| No. 24853
>Phones have been about on par with modest laptops for a while now.
It's surprisingly difficult to find decent quantitative comparisons between laptop and phone CPUs, though the following from passmark shows that modern laptop CPUs still outperform phone CPUs by an order of magnitude (http://www.passmark.com/forum/showthread.php?4711-Apples-to-Apples-Comparison-of-Mobile-CPUs-and-Desktop)
To pick out typical examples:
Intel Core i5-4300U
Integer Test ~5788 MOps/Sec
Floating Point Test ~2638 MOps/Sec
Prime Number Test ~11.6 Million Prime/Sec
String Sorting ~2660 Thousand Strings/Sec
Compression ~4498 KBytes/Sec
Encryption ~634 MBytes/Sec
HTC One m8
Integer Test ~382 MOps/Sec
Floating Point Test ~750 MOps/Sec
Prime Number Test ~161 Thousand Prime/Sec
String Sorting ~2636 Thousand Strings/Sec
Compression ~2753 KBytes/Sec
Encryption ~9.4 MBytes/Sec
It's impressive how close phone CPUs are getting to laptops but it's false to just compare clock speeds and number of cores and conclude that they're on par in terms of performance.
Ofc none of this mentions GPU, memory etc. but I think it's fairly clear that a £500ish laptop will still blow a £500 phone out the water on those fronts, as you would rightly expect.
|>>|| No. 24854
The problem is heat and power. Put a modern ARM chip in a Chromebook and it'll keep up with a mid-range Celeron. Smartphone chips are effectively massively underclocked to stop them from eating through the battery and burning a hole in the phone.
ARM processors are starting to make inroads in the server market, where heat and power become a problem due to scale. Data centre customers generally care more about performance-per-watt than absolute performance.
Conversely, Intel now do some very low TDP Atom chips that are appearing in tablets and phones. They're not quite as energy-efficient as ARM processors, but they're cheap and have good single-threaded performance.
|>>|| No. 25716
I figured I should probably get a new phone while it's Cyber Monday/week. What is the best value phone thesedays? Is it still the Moto G?
Though saying that I am kind of tempted to splurge on a phone with a 4K camera...
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|>>|| No. 25720
I'm assuming at that price you get flagship-level features but without flagship-level support.
|>>|| No. 25721
Xiaomi provide frequent software updates and a good support forum. If you buy through Banggood you get a one year warranty, but you'll have to pay for return shipping. An independent repairer will have no problem replacing a cracked screen or a wobbly USB port.
Chinese phones won't work on 02's 4G frequencies, but the 4G works fine on any other network.
|>>|| No. 25723
Go for sim only on a monthly contract, so you can be more nimble and trade between the best offices at short notice.
Definitely ask around to see if a friend of a friend works at a provider, most will offer mate's rates deals to a practically infinite number of people. I pay £12 for unlimited calls, texts, and 8gb of data a month because a mate works at a provider.
For some reason the website is demanding that I supply an image with this post.
|>>|| No. 25772
Are there any good places to get post-Christmas/January sales discounts on sim-free phones? I had a look at the carphone warehouse 'sale' but it seemed a bit limited. On the other hand, I'm probably not savvy enough with random ebay/amazon sellers to tell which ones just fell off the back of a van and which are legit.
Also model suggestions I guess - was thinking the new OnePlus 3T looks decent. Wouldn't say no to another HTC either, or maybe a Samsung. Are Motorola phones still the budget powerhouse they were a few years ago?
|>>|| No. 25773
>Are Motorola phones still the budget powerhouse they were a few years ago?
They're still good value and a safe choice, but the Moto G is no longer a complete no-brainer. The G4 lacks NFC and a fingerprint reader, which I'd be loathe to go without these days. The G4 Plus has a fingerprint reader but still lacks NFC, which I think is unforgivable on a £190 phone. Plenty of people couldn't give a toss about either feature, so it's horses for courses.
Chinaphones give you more for less, if you don't mind the caveats attached with buying from China. ZTE, Huawei and Alcatel have some very good value phones available in the UK. Vodafone's own-brand phones are particularly good value in the <£130 range.
If you're buying from a UK retailer, it's often cheaper to buy PAYG and get it unlocked rather than going sim-free.
|>>|| No. 25774
What are your thoughts on the Samsung Galaxy A3? I was looking at Chinaphones but their screens are just too big - the trend right now over there seems to be for huge phones that are close to phablets, which is just no good to me if it can't fit in a pocket.
|>>|| No. 25802
Recently got myself a new phone (HTC 10, it's superb). Only thing is I don't really trust myself to go out on the piss/to gigs where I'll probably end up losing, breaking or getting it nicked. Happened to a previous phone of mine, even with insurance it was a massive ballache. Normally I'd just take a spare instead but my only spare is pretty ancient and barely runs messenger or google maps properly, so it's basically non-functional as a smartphone.
So I was thinking of getting a super-cheap but functional spare gigphone. Requirements are basically just that it can do text/calls, google maps/citymapper, messenger, whatsapp, and some kind of music player. Using nano SIM would be ideal but not essential as I have an adapter (well the cut-out the nano SIM came in at least). Second hand is fine. What can I get for <£100 - Moto G? Budget Samsung? Random chinaphone?
|>>|| No. 25805
Thanks for the suggestion. Sounds too good to be true though - what's the catch? Apart from the long shipping times. How do I know if it will even work on UK networks?
|>>|| No. 25806
The phone I linked to will work on all UK networks. 3G and 4G networks are based on international standards, which is why your phone still works when you go abroad.
The only real catch is that warranty support is a bit rubbish. You get a 12 month warranty, but you have to post the phone back to China at your own expense if something goes wrong. You don't have to pay return shipping costs if it's dead on arrival.
Shipping usually takes less than two weeks, although nothing will get shipped until Wednesday because of the new year holiday. The cameras on budget phones are underwhelming, but that's equally true for the big brands.
Chinaphones are cheap for a number of reasons. The manufacturers aren't trying to do anything innovative, so they don't have to spend a lot on R&D. They re-use the outer housing for several models, they use stock circuit designs provided by the chip manufacturers, they use plain Android without any customisation. They don't advertise, so their marketing costs are practically zero. The manufacturers and retailers keep their overheads low and can operate on razor-thin profit margins.
Add up a lot of little savings throughout the chain and you end up with a huge difference in price. An £80 phone won't compete with a Galaxy S7 or an HTC 10, but you get an incredible amount of phone for your money.
|>>|| No. 25807
>Sounds too good to be true though - what's the catch?
Depends on how you feel about
1. the Chinese Communist Party knowing everything about you
2. your data being sold to the highest bidder.
|>>|| No. 25808
Surely you can unlock the bootloader and flash the fucker with something non party approved?
|>>|| No. 25809
Yeah, you can.
And once you do, the best case scenario (assuming there's no backdoor in the pieces of the OEM kernel which have made it into your custom software or a hardware backdoor in your chipset) is that you're no longer trusting shady Chinese companies or the Chinese state with your data, you're trusting some random xda forum poster or whatever.
|>>|| No. 25810
If that makes you uncomfortable, you're welcome to choose a phone that's been backdoored by the NSA.
|>>|| No. 25812
I would love a phone with a custom firmware-level backdoor that automagically re-roots your custom built non-vanilla Android/Linux kernel as it boots in real time. Have you got any idea how much such a capability costs to develop? There's no chance in hell they're distributing that on stock phones to all civilians; it's the kind of thing that's implanted on a target's phone remotely after compromise, not the kind of thing you just give away to anyone with 80 quid and some firmware dumping know-how. Sheesh.
|>>|| No. 25813
I actually am much more comfortable with speculative backdoors rather than backdoors which are required by law to exist and routinely discovered and exploited, yeah.
|>>|| No. 25816
Then please explain to the audience at home how you'd possibly expect to have a fully functioning privacy invading backdoor operating from the firmware level, "sunshine". Oh, you can't; because you're just another paranoid retard spouting bullshit on the internet. Go boil your head you mong.
|>>|| No. 25820
You don't even need some rouge factory or whatever to do the hardware modifications in some cases. Mediatek (a huge company who make SOCs for a bunch of Chinese budget phone manufacturers) shipped a chip with debugging tools which allowed attackers to gain root access.
|>>|| No. 25821
Ok, now I realise that I'm dealing with a moron.
Regardless, the link included reinforces my point; hardware level backdoors (whether of a level of complexity that I described or of a HIGHER complexity as is shown in the provided link) are used in highly targeted operations and not mass distributed in consumer devices.
Both of these would be completely removed by unlocking the bootloader and flashing a new OS over the top exactly as I originally suggested.
Rage and sage for steam from my ears.
|>>|| No. 25822
>Both of these would be completely removed by unlocking the bootloader and flashing a new OS over the top exactly as I originally suggested.
And, again, then you'd have to hope that whoever made the new OS didn't use compromised portions of the original in writing it, and that they're not incompetent or malicious enough to introduce too many new ones!
|>>|| No. 25823
>Ok, now I realise that I'm dealing with a moron.
The document I linked to describes a highly indiscriminate attack. The Microsemi ProASIC3 is not a particularly specialised chip. It's a common, versatile and relatively low-cost logic array that goes into all sorts of low-volume production hardware. Digikey and Mouser have reels of them in stock - you can buy one online for about a fiver.
The researchers found that someone had interfered with the production process of this chip to subvert the security of every single chip coming off the production line. You can't insert a backdoor in one chip, it's physically impossible. You tamper with the HDL used to produce the maskset, embedding the backdoor in every chip.
Now consider the SoCs and baseband processors used in modern phones. They have a transistor count in the millions. They use intellectual property provided by many different companies. They're complex enough as to be essentially impossible to audit, even in the early stages of development. They're produced by one of a handful of companies, all based within spitting distance of each other in Taiwan and Shenzhen. The behaviour of a chip is essentially opaque, because you can only see what the designer chooses to expose via JTAG or what you can figure out with an electron microscope and a vat of boiling nitric acid.
The NSA spends hundreds of millions of dollars on BULLRUN, a program designed solely to embed vulnerabilities in commercial products. Their core operational strategy is to collect everything, everywhere then sift through it to find their targets. They put optical taps on undersea cables, their listening sites capture everything from DC to daylight, they monitor every phone line in the developed world. What are the odds that they haven't bribed an ARM partner to embed some dodgy logic in an IP block, that they don't have a man on the inside at Gemalto or Qualcomm, that they haven't used some classified bit of pure maths to tamper with the Verilog standards?
|>>|| No. 25824
> The NSA spends hundreds of millions of dollars on BULLRUN, a program designed solely to embed vulnerabilities in commercial products. Their core operational strategy is to collect everything, everywhere then sift through it to find their targets. They put optical taps on undersea cables, their listening sites capture everything from DC to daylight, they monitor every phone line in the developed world. What are the odds that they haven't bribed an ARM partner to embed some dodgy logic in an IP block, that they don't have a man on the inside at Gemalto or Qualcomm, that they haven't used some classified bit of pure maths to tamper with the Verilog standards?
You're right, but none of that makes a Chinaphone any more or less secure or insecure than any commercial computer or smartphone, which was the whole point of my original umbrage with post >>25807.
Likewise, if you think CyanogenMod or CopperheadOS is inherently less secure than vanilla Android or whatever bullshit an OEM decided to flash on their phones then you're utterly wrong.
|>>|| No. 25825
>none of that makes a Chinaphone any more or less secure or insecure than any commercial computer or smartphone
Yes, it does, because we're talking about speculative backdoors vs backdoors which we absolutely know exist and are routinely found by white hat researchers with no profit motive.
|>>|| No. 25826
I've personally found obvious bugdoors in default Android libraries, there is no speculation here.
|>>|| No. 25828
>The researchers found that someone had interfered with the production process of this chip to subvert the security of every single chip coming off the production line. You can't insert a backdoor in one chip, it's physically impossible. You tamper with the HDL used to produce the maskset, embedding the backdoor in every chip.
Hang on a minute - where is this asserted to be anything than an Actel debug channel? Ill advised, certainly, but I don't see a third party being involved. (And I actually paid those guys to crack a chip, for commercial reasons. We had the rights, but not the source. It was interesting.)
|>>|| No. 25829
The way I see it: China is far away and can't do anything to me. I live in the UK, and the spooks here can put me in a gym bag. So the best option is the Chinese phone.
|>>|| No. 25830
Western spooks are going to get their hands on your data anyway if you're using western networks. It isn't either/or, it's one or both.
And the people exploiting the holes left in the security by Chinese manufacturers most certainly can do plenty to you.
|>>|| No. 25838
The idea that Chinese spooks watching me is better than American spooks watching me.
|>>|| No. 25839
And NSA/GCHQ can watch you either way. As I said, it's not either/or, it's one or both.
The myriad backdoors discovered by people with nothing like the resources of a state show that "spooks" are the least of your worries with Chinese phones, in any case.
|>>|| No. 25840
They can have as many back doors for the Chinese spooks to exploit for all I care. I care about here. So... Better safe than sorry, lad.
|>>|| No. 25841
The point is that regardless of who they're "for", they're poorly implemented enough that researchers looking for them often find and disclose them, meaning you can guarantee people with less benevolent goals finding them and keeping the news to themselves so they can collect and sell on data or use payment information themselves.
And on top of that, you're using networks operated by companies which are wholly willing to co-operate fully with the spooks "here".
So you're not "safe", quite the opposite.
|>>|| No. 25842
The more people that have access to it, the better. It is not really a secret if everyone knows now, is it? Better safe than sorry, mate.
|>>|| No. 25843
In that case, let's make sure your card details are safe. Just tell us the long number on the front, your name as it appears, the expiry date and the three digits on the back. Better safe than sorry, innit.
|>>|| No. 25845
But if you don't tell us your details, how are we supposed to recognise them as yours when we see them? You'll be sorry then, m7.
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