A Geeky Guide To Buying A Mobile Phone

I am completely dependant on my mobile phone. It is for this reason that I can award it the grand title of ‘My Favourite Gadget‘. I text, email, tweet, Facebook, blog and shop on it, to the extent that I hardly ever use my computer. I can browse the web, but for specific tasks like my online shopping, news, social media I prefer to use apps, most of which are free.

I love my mobile because it is pretty, easy to use and allows me to do all of the above wherever I am. There would be big tears should it end up out of commission.

My mobile is a smartphone and if you haven’t got one yet I can tell you that when you do, you are in for a real treat. But choosing which phone to buy is no easy task with so many different choices. Friends will usually recommend their own phone but will it be right for you?

It is true I am a geek but that doesn’t make me an expert, I just get rather more excited by gadgety things than the average bod. But I do have some information that you may find useful.

Think of a Smartphone as a little mini computer. If you were buying a computer you have two main choices, will you buy a PC or a Mac? If you buy a PC you have a wide range of different manufacturers to choose from, but if you choose a Mac your only option is to buy an Apple machine.

Buying your mobile phone you will be faced will similar choices. First you have to choose between the type of phone. The main players are iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Symbian or Windows. The iPhone is a fairly straightforward choice as your options are to buy the earlier version, iPhone 3, or buy the newer iPhone 4 and then decide how much storage for all your photos, apps, messages etc. If you decide upon an Android phone you not only have a choice of manufacturers but also a choice of phone design – for example with or without a physical keyboard.

Now for the biased part. I have an Android HTC Desire. I bought this phone on contract, well actually it came free, and I can whole heartedly say I throughly recommend it. I didn’t buy an iPhone because they are far more expensive and the HTC Desire does the same thing. Some will argue it does more, others will argue it does less. I guess it depends on exactly what you are trying to do with your phone.

You are very unlikely to regret buying either. I believe some of the earlier Android phones aren’t as good as the HTC Desire, and since I bought my phone I know that newer models have been released. Also HTC are not the only manufacturer of Android phones.

I know that some people say that the iPhone is best as it’s really easy to use, and they are right, it is really easy to use, but so are Android phones.

So what about the other options, Symbian, Blackberry and Windows? They are the less popular choices, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be right for you. Blackberry has a messenger feature that is making it very popular with kids. My sister bought a HTC Windows phone as at the time it was the only phone that had a particular app that she wanted. Die-hard Nokia fans will no doubt swear by their Symbian phones, and let’s be honest, they really are great when it comes to sound quality.

So my geeky recommendation to you is that you do your research. If you are signing up to a contract you could be tied in for two years. That’s a long time with a phone you hate, find frustrating or doesn’t meet your needs.

As for whether to buy a contract or pay as you go and choosing a network, you need to choose what works for you. But I can tell you that if you have chosen wisely, you will be tweeting and blogging from the supermarket queue and will end up paying through the nose if you don’t have unlimited web usage (or what is effectively unlimited, most have an upper limit but providing you use your Wireless connection when at home you would have to do some serious surfing to exceed it).

Is your mobile phone your favorite gadget? How did you choose which smartphone to buy? What do you think of your choice of phone? Would love to hear from you.

This blog post was written for Notes From Home’s Friday Club Geek Carnival: A Favourite Gadget.

Helen at Cheeky Wipes tells us about her favourite gadget in And the award for best gadget goes to…..

Cara at Freckles Family writes about a gadget she loves.

Bibsey writes about her favourite gadget, my ‘precious’.

Merry at Patch of Puddles tells us about her clay sculpture tool.

Jax at Live Otherwise gives us her favourite gadget and it’s not what you think.

Cass at The Diary of a Frugal Family posts Gadgets – I love you….. .

Clare at Seasider in the City gives us Tech her family can’t do without.

Jacq at Mymumdom tells us about her backing camera.

Katherine at Living and Learning tells us about the fizz in her favourite gadget.

Maggy at Red Ted Art posts about her digital camera.

Ella at Notes From Home tells us about her home media centre.

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About Geeky Mummy
I am a geeky stay at home mummy. My blog Geeky Mummy shares my experiences and tips for using gadgets, technology and social media with a definite parenting bias. If you want help (whether or not you are a mummy) with anything gadgetty or technical, I want to help or at least point you in the right direction towards someone who can.

27 Responses to A Geeky Guide To Buying A Mobile Phone

  1. Circus Queen says:

    My brother has a HTC Desire and often has trouble texting any iPhone. We can’t work out if it’s a HTC thing or just his particular device. Other than that though, he’s evangelistic about it! I just couldn’t imagine having anything other than an iPhone now though.

    • Geeky Mummy says:

      For me money was a good incentive, free phone that is at least as good as iPhone 4, or pay a couple of hundred pounds for iPhone. No brainer.

      Because Apple restrict what developers can do, I believe Android apps are more feature rich, ie iPhone versions are limited, like Tweetdeck not supporting Facebook – so I am told.

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  3. I have got a HTC wildfire. I got it in late Nov and had to have it sent back in Jan and then again this month as it just constantly crashed when I was using friend stream. Since having it back the last few days I have downloaded tweetdeck and fingers crossed it has not crashed. I might just get to like this phone afterall!

    Mich x

  4. I have the Iphone 4 and I’m surprised by how much I use it – before I got this phone I never used to remember to charge my phone up and I used to leave it at home more often than I remembered to take it out with me.
    Great post x

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  6. ella says:

    Fab post. I have an HTC Wildfire and I love it. My husband ended up buying it for me as I couldn’t decide with the myriad of choices!

    I have PAYG and pay £10 for unlimited web and texts (I don’t use it much for calls) and it is worth every penny. In fact I can be found tweeting at kiddies bathtime, from the supermarket, on the train, pretty much anywhere.

    • Geeky Mummy says:

      I have a friend with a Wildfire and she loves it too. I too rarely use my phone phone for calls. Before I bought my phone I did think I could perhaps not bother with the web access and that I could just use the wireless. So glad that hubby told me that I was very wrong. and persuaded me to pay the extra £5 per month for web access.

  7. seasiderinthecity says:

    Great post! I have an iphone which I love – but it’s my work phone, should I have to actually choose for myself I would be overwhelmed by the options now I think.

    • Geeky Mummy says:

      You are lucky to have such a great work phone. The choice of phones can be confusing, I know people that have been brand loyal and have ended up with phone envy when I have shown them my lovely phone.

  8. Jazzygal says:

    Great post. Very informative for a non-geek like me! I am considering a new phone and WANT a smart phone. I’ve done some research and am currently veering towards Android phones…HTC or Xperia. My problem is pay as you go as that makes it so expensive! I may have to give in and go Billpay.

    xx jazzy

    • Geeky Mummy says:

      Thanks. I can’t comment on Xperia as I don’t know anyone with one, everyone I know on Android has gone HTC. I know quite a few people on PAYG – see Kate’s comment, she is only paying £10 per month which sounds like a great deal. But do double check against the price of having to buy the phone and remember the unlimited web bolt on, you will definately need it.

  9. Kate says:

    As you know, I spent months agonising over what phone to get and settled for the HTC Desire. I LOVE it. I bought my phone and I have a contract that costs me £10 for lots of minutes, unlimited text and web.

    Anyway. I really love Android So easy to use – wish my laptop was as easy to manage!

    • Geeky Mummy says:

      Glad you are enjoying it, I really haven’t come across anyone that isn’t really pleased with the HTC Desire. I agree about the laptop, it’s one of the reasons I hardly use mine, so much easier to just use my phone and in some cases I find the apps on my phone are better than using the web version on my laptop. I am just waiting for the market to stabalise before I start bugging hubby to buy me an Android tablet.

  10. Merry says:

    Ages ago I used to work for CPW. I worked there when there were still analogue phones and again when WAP first came out. I think I’m quite glad I don’t work there any more! SO much choice, so much variety on phone and options and … STUFF! I’m an iPhone girl and locked into that now by virtue of it being an easy way to share music and apps with the kids. Trying to buy a simple but sexy PAYG for my nearly teen daughter last week was a nightmare!

    • Geeky Mummy says:

      Oohh, so what is considered cool these days for kids? I think you will find you can do exactly the same on an Android, they are both really easy to use and have lots of great apps, in my experience everyone loves their iPhone or Android phone.

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  12. I’m not sure that there are many die hard Nokia fans of smartphones out there – though it will be interesting to see how it goes if they get windows on their phones. I wish they’d gone for Android though.

    • Geeky Mummy says:

      Yes, they are in the minority and it is VERY dissapointing that they went for Windows. If they had produced a Nokia Andriod phone it is hard to believe it wouldn’t have become a best seller. They could have spread their eggs and gone for Windows and Android, and I guess that could still be an option for them.

  13. Jacq says:

    I have an HTC Hero which I love but am due for an upgrade in a little over a month. I’m so excited and 99% sure I’ll go for a Desire.
    I have to admit I went for an Android phone to be a bit different but it seems now Android is mainstream!

    • Geeky Mummy says:

      The Desire really is fab. Yes, Android is I believe the most popular type of phone and is now outselling iPhones. This is great news as it means that pretty much all apps will be available for Android, it would be crazy for a developer not to produce an Android version.

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