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View Full Version : Best Smartphone between $300 and $600



John Calvert
30-08-2011, 07:07 PM
If you have a smartphone that cost between $300 and $600, would you recommend it?

What are the best things about it? What do you hate about it? (and can you live with those faults?)

Any tips/warnings/advice for someone who's only ever had a "dumb" cellphone before?

GameJunkie
30-08-2011, 07:38 PM
well, what network are you going to be on??

that can limit your choices in some cases

pcuser42
30-08-2011, 07:57 PM
My $360 HTC Trophy is pretty good :D

John Calvert
30-08-2011, 08:12 PM
@GameJunkie: No preference as to network. It'll be a new connection/contract, not an upgrade.

Chilling_Silence
30-08-2011, 10:19 PM
LG Optimus P500 or the Vodafone 858

If you can stretch for the Galaxy S, aside from the short battery life they're bloody good phones! Gorilla Glass is *awesome*!

Nomad
31-08-2011, 09:50 AM
depends if you want grey (parallel import) or not ... if yes, $600 could get you a HTC Desire HD.

Androids are good but caution that if you need GPS most you have to pay airtime for 3G. HTC has free offline maps but not voice guidance - needs to pay, but not others.

dugimodo
31-08-2011, 10:09 AM
I love my galaxy S, if you are lucky you may find it at $600 now that the S II is available, if not check the mobile section here at PC world they just recently reviewed the smaller cheaper galaxy mini.

And by GPS I assume Nomad is referring to the navigator app or something similar and in my experience the data usage is fairly minimal, I'm only on 100Mb a month and I've barely noticed the usage from using navigator a couple of times (Wi-Fi at home and work really cuts down on mobile dtata :) ). Navigator requires you to download the voice plugin but it's free.

I think the biggest gripe with the cheaper smartphones would be the smaller screens and slower CPU, smaller memory capacity. They may be a bit sluggish to run some apps and hard to read in others. To be honest I wouldn't browse the net very often on any smartphone the screens are just too small for regular usage, custom apps like NZ herald and E-mail, facebook, etc are great however.

Nomad
31-08-2011, 10:15 AM
Yep, but for real travelling abroad, roaming is astronomical. Unless you get a local simcard in every country and lose your number. And for locally, if you don't have a data plan it means you might need one.

Before I lost my E75, it's a business phone, it was a 2.5" screen it did the tasks alright but it was not a consuming device. You could read an email, read the news, use the GPS. It did the job when required. Also note that some cheaper phones don't have Wifi ability.

expression
31-08-2011, 11:39 AM
I had a play with a HTC Desire in Parallel Imported a little while back and was pretty impressed with it, but in the end I went for a second hand iPhone (student budget :D) as I already had a iPod touch and was familiar with all the apps etc.

Only once or twice when I've stumbled across a flash based website have I wished I'd got an Andriod phone.

GameJunkie
31-08-2011, 12:29 PM
LG Optimus P500 or the Vodafone 858

If you can stretch for the Galaxy S, aside from the short battery life they're bloody good phones! Gorilla Glass is *awesome*!

my brother got the LG Optimus P500 recently and he seems happy with it.

not something i would buy but a good entry into the world of android

Chilling_Silence
31-08-2011, 01:00 PM
Yep, but for real travelling abroad, roaming is astronomical. Unless you get a local simcard in every country and lose your number. And for locally, if you don't have a data plan it means you might need one.

Roaming is astronomical regardless, and you'll be paying up the creek for software with offline maps anyway. This is not a 'feature' or 'bug' that is limited to Android phones, same goes if you spend $1200 and get yourself an iPhone. The best solution is to know where you're going and use the "Offline Maps" feature available now in Google Maps. However, for the vast majority of people it's completely irrelevant, not to mention the OP hasn't mentioned anything at all about it.

dugimodo is right about the gripes with the cheaper phones thought.

The P500 isn't bad, but just remember that it's far from top-of-the-line, when people compare it with the likes of the iPhone (Which is what everybody seems to use as a benchmark these days). It's about 1/3 -> 1/4 the cost of it, so you're never going to get something exactly the same.

But alas, I digress.

The Desire is nice, but also quite old, there's much newer devices out there for the same money that you could get with additional improvements.

Nomad
31-08-2011, 01:43 PM
[QUOTE=Chilling_Silence;1043567]Roaming is astronomical regardless, and you'll be paying up the creek for software with offline maps anyway. QUOTE]

I have been told Google Maps still might need a data connection thou you might have the ability to cache.

HTC Location is a free offline solution.

A few might find 4" screens on the large side however ...

My brother is also getting a P500. Maps is not an issue for him. And it's not too expensive.

gary67
31-08-2011, 03:47 PM
I love my galaxy S, if you are lucky you may find it at $600 now that the S II is available, if not check the mobile section here at PC world they just recently reviewed the smaller cheaper galaxy mini.

And by GPS I assume Nomad is referring to the navigator app or something similar and in my experience the data usage is fairly minimal, I'm only on 100Mb a month and I've barely noticed the usage from using navigator a couple of times (Wi-Fi at home and work really cuts down on mobile dtata :) ). Navigator requires you to download the voice plugin but it's free.

I think the biggest gripe with the cheaper smartphones would be the smaller screens and slower CPU, smaller memory capacity. They may be a bit sluggish to run some apps and hard to read in others. To be honest I wouldn't browse the net very often on any smartphone the screens are just too small for regular usage, custom apps like NZ herald and E-mail, facebook, etc are great however.

How do you find your data usage? I'm looking at getting a smart phone at the end of the year and it will be mainly used for getting my emails when out, which is not very much at all and I'm estimating that 100 mb would probably be enough as I am at home a lot certainly much more than I'm out

dugimodo
31-08-2011, 04:31 PM
Well most of the time I'm in wi-fi coverage but I regularly check my E-mail, occasionally use navigator, and play wow over 3g (tethering is cool) once a month when I'm at my LAN group (total nerd I know) and I find 100mb plenty most of the time. I'm only on pre-pay with a 100mb addon that costs $10 a month so it's a cheap option. You can always add top-ups if you use more or switch to a plan. (first time I used it for internet access at the LAN I bought a 500mb top-up thinking I would use heaps, it mostly ended up wasted)

Nomad
31-08-2011, 04:44 PM
If you are using the email client. It might download the headers only and then download the rest of the email once you open the email.

But for web email, not sure how that works.

gary67
31-08-2011, 06:51 PM
Well most of the time I'm in wi-fi coverage but I regularly check my E-mail, occasionally use navigator, and play wow over 3g (tethering is cool) once a month when I'm at my LAN group (total nerd I know) and I find 100mb plenty most of the time. I'm only on pre-pay with a 100mb addon that costs $10 a month so it's a cheap option. You can always add top-ups if you use more or switch to a plan. (first time I used it for internet access at the LAN I bought a 500mb top-up thinking I would use heaps, it mostly ended up wasted)

Thanks, been looking at plans and comparing, just have to save up now.

Chilling_Silence
31-08-2011, 09:46 PM
Yeah for most people doing basic browsing + email, 100MB is a good starting point :)

Do YouTube or whatever and you basically blow it in about 2 -> 5 videos though :p

pcuser42
31-08-2011, 09:50 PM
Yeah for most people doing basic browsing + email, 100MB is a good starting point :)

Do YouTube or whatever and you basically blow it in about 2 -> 5 videos though :p

I started off with 100MB from 2degrees, I blew that in less than a week :lol:

johnd
31-08-2011, 09:55 PM
I recently bought my first SmartPhone - a LG-P500 for about $315.00. It is good but there are two issues I have:

1. The USB seems to be flaky - I can connect OK but try to move a bigger file and the USB connection drops.

2. Checking my email via WLAN does not always work. It is fine the first time you try, but after that most of the time it is unsuccessful in connecting.

bk T
31-08-2011, 10:51 PM
I recently bought my first SmartPhone - a LG-P500 for about $315.00. It is good but there are two issues I have:

1. The USB seems to be flaky - I can connect OK but try to move a bigger file and the USB connection drops.

2. Checking my email via WLAN does not always work. It is fine the first time you try, but after that most of the time it is unsuccessful in connecting.

I wouldn't touch a LG (had previous nasty experiences); they look real good but only their looks, LOL

Strommer
31-08-2011, 10:52 PM
My $360 HTC Trophy is pretty good :D

+1

Or the HTC Wildfire S. A friend of mine has the Wildfire S and I plan to get one sometime soon.

Chilling_Silence
01-09-2011, 12:52 AM
I'd still recommended checking out the Vodafone 858 :-)

qazwsxokmijn
01-09-2011, 01:22 AM
I've got an LG P970 for the last few weeks now. I'm new to the whole smartphone and Android thing and haven't really had enough time/motivation to find out more and play around too much on my phone. That said though, I love this phone! It looks great, is light, has crisp, bright display and is apparently the thinnest touch smartphone available. Picture quality isn't bad, at least by my standards.

You can pick one up from trademe (where I got mine) for around $450.

John Calvert
01-09-2011, 12:31 PM
Thanks for all the replies. I'll look into all those recommended.