Smartphone Riches to Rags Day 2

April 28th, 2016 | Posted by Kevin Wright in Features - (Comments Off)

Errr, there was no Day 2!

I had yet to try the SU6 in the car, so set off for work with Google Maps guiding me, and a podcast playing, both over my car Bluetooth. I had actually established that the forward and back controls on the steering wheel worked how I like them, which is 30 seconds forward or backwards. Usually when this works, all other BT functions work fine.

One thing I really like about iPhone is that when I press “Media” on the car head unit, the iPhone this pretty much always restarts the audio of what I was listening to last, and the SU6 will not do this, (most Androids don’t) so it means reaching in your pocket or touching the screen while driving to start the audio. But that is not the deal breaker here, what happens is that every single time the Google Maps gives a spoken direction, it sets the audio back 30 secs, even though the podcast audio was playing under the maps voice. I know you can change this, but I simply turned the car around yesterday and went back for the iPhone!!!, experiment over for now.

Harsh? Very. There are almost certainly ways around it, but I simply can’t be arsed. The SU6 remains a fantastic buy, but its back to being my second phone, and when I go back to the iPhone, for a few days at least, I can not see myself ever leaving iOS as my main device.

 

Smartphone Riches to Rags Day 1

April 27th, 2016 | Posted by Kevin Wright in Features - (Comments Off)

Over the weekend I decided to try a little experiment. Could I use an ultra cheap phone as my only phone? My weapon of choice is the excellent Vodafone SmartUltra 6 which at around the £100 mark new, is simply superb value for money. There are usually examples of this on PSC Forum for around the £70-£80 mark, so its pretty easy for anyone wanting to try this.

When you compare it to the Moto X Style I recently tried again, at £300, and the Samsung S7 Edge I recently used as a main phone for around a month, you really can see just how cheap this phone is. Of course there are loads of even better value phones available to import from China, I really wanted to do this with a phone easily available to everyone on the High St.

A quick reminder of ‘specs’ on the SU6, it has a clear and bright 1080p IPS LCD screen, with frankly nicer whites and brightness than the Moto X. It runs a SD615 Quad Core CPU with the Adreno 405 GPU. It has 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage, you can up up to 64GB via an MicroSD slot, and it takes a Nano Sim card. Unlike most cheap imports, it has LTE Band 20, important in the UK for 4G, and it has NFC, less important but nice to have. It is on Android 5.1.1, and don’t worry too much about it being locked to Vodafone UK, it is less than £3 t0 unlock, and simplicity itself.

So, Sunday night, I shut down the iPhone, and went to work Monday with only the SU6. When I mention this on Twitter, the comments varied from “you will last only a few hours” to “give you a week”. While the former seemed harsh (but given previous lunchtime trips to get the iPhone, fair I guess) the latter did seem overly optimistic.

Of course these days I am very busy at work, so I don’t spend all day on the phone as I used to when I was in Sales, but I did need to use it quite a bit to plan some training and hotel booking, and I wanted a larger screen that the iPhone offers me. This worked out pretty well, and the phone is much snappier than I previously thought from just “playing” with it. I think you only get the full experience with a phone after a few solid days of using it, without have a flagship to just fall back on.

All in all, Day 1 was a bit of a revelation, and although I did turn the iPhone on last night, to compare some specific things, it is now switched off again, and I am about to start Day 2 with just the SU6. Come back tomorrow morning for an update, and place your bets on how long this little experiment will last.

 

 

In show 118: Nick has been using the iPhone SE, Kev has been on his hols with the S7 Edge, and discusses his latest quest for the perfect budget android phone with the Nexus 5X and LG G4 (more…)