Buying a modern phone help needed. ;-)


Abarbarian

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My present phone which I have been happy with for quite a number of years is a,



Whilst it can connect to the internet I have never done so as the screen is too small for my old eyes to make use of it.
I do some voluntary driving for the Welsh Ambulance Service and an e-mail is sent to me for example on a Tuesday for work allocated to me on a Wednesday. Occasionally whilst out on a work run control contacts me with changes to that days work routine. There is quite a lot of information needed for these changes, patient names, addresses,phone numbers,job number,hospital/health unit destination and special needs. Normally I ask them to have the details printed out for me to pick up at a ambulance liaison office. However due to the pandemic this is proving complicated. Nearly all the other drivers have the details sent to their e-mail accounts which they read on their phones. So I think it is time I equipped myself with a more modern phone.
I did try several months ago to upgrade and found a secondhand One Plus 5 which i successfully bricked. So this time around I have decided to go for a new phone. I will be using it for the voluntary driving as mentioned above. Also I will be using it as a sat nav with the OsmAnd+ app mainly offline whilst out and about on the Royal, that is if lockdown is ever lifted here in Wales. An occasionally for breakdown recovery.

So I have found a couple of phones that seem to have all I need, Ulefone Armour X7 Pro and the Ulefone Armour X5 both have Android 10.

Ulefone Armor X7 Pro Android10 Rugged Phone 4GB 32GB Smartphone Waterproof Mobile Phone Cell Phone ip68 NFC 4G LTE 2.4G/5G WLAN

Ulefone Armor X5 Android 10 Rugged Waterproof Smartphone IP68 MT6762 Cell Phone 3GB 32GB Octa core NFC 4G LTE Mobile Phone

These are the cpu chips,

X7 - MediaTek Helio A20

X5 - MediaTek Helio P22


The X7 has a fingerprint reader which the X5 does not. The X5 I think has the better cpu and also a slightly bigger battery. However the X7 has 1 GB more ram.

I can buy a X5 with Android 9 from a UK supplier for £150. I can buy a X7 £109 , X5 £119, both with Android 10 from amazon but the supplier seems to be china based. Or I could buy a X7 £74 an a X5 £82 from the official Ulefone shop on AliExpress. If I wait two days I can save £8 on those prices from AliExpress.

So any thoughts on these phones, where to buy from, which one, etc etc. Will I still get the satndard one year warranty from any supplier ? Will 3 GB ran be adequate ?

Any help appreciated folks as I know very little about real life usage.

:cool:
 
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Ian

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I'm not familiar with Ulefone, but those prices on Aliexpress are so much cheaper that I'd be tempted to try it. There are also lots of "select coupons" you can redeem for free on Ali too. I buy a lot on there and rarely have problems. The specs look fine, but I'm just wary about phone manufacturers I've not heard of - but at the price direct from China, it is almost worth a punt.

Xiaomi phones get a good review for the price, and may be a good option for a ~£150 phone. This one looked like a good deal (fingerprint sensor etc):

 

Abarbarian

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I'm not familiar with Ulefone, but those prices on Aliexpress are so much cheaper that I'd be tempted to try it. There are also lots of "select coupons" you can redeem for free on Ali too. I buy a lot on there and rarely have problems. The specs look fine, but I'm just wary about phone manufacturers I've not heard of - but at the price direct from China, it is almost worth a punt.

Xiaomi phones get a good review for the price, and may be a good option for a ~£150 phone. This one looked like a good deal (fingerprint sensor etc):

Thanks that phone seems to have pretty good specs for the price which is just a tad too costly for my small budget. That £150 is almost a whole weeks pension, lol.
I decided to go for the Ulefone as they are a rugged design and should be able to give me a decent experience for the way I will be using it. I'll post back when they arrive and if they work. :lol:
 

Ian

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Looking forward to seeing what you think of it!
 

Quadophile

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Curious about your impression, looking forward to it. :nod:
 
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Abarbarian

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Along with the phone I ordered a dual usb socket car charger that fits almost flush with the cigarette charging socket. It is very neat and discreet and hardly protrudes at all.

USLION 5A Quick Charge USB Car Charger

I also ordered two magnetic charging cables, one for home and one for the car.

FLOVEME Magnetic Micro USB Cable 1M 3A Fast Charging Wire Magnet Charger

These are really cool. The plug parts fit on the phone and only stick out a tiny bit and I am leaving them permanently plugged into the phone. This has got rid of the annoyance of fiddling around plugging in a cable every day or twice a day etc etc plus it will stop damage to the charging socket on the phone which is a known weakness. The cable is a nice braided one and the little blue light is not too bright. The magnet is very strong and if you pull to disconnect you pull out the plug as well. I found that just pushing the end of the cable socket sideways broke the magnetic connection with ease and no damage. When connecting you can feel the magnetic pull and the slight click as the two halves connect . Not quite as easy as a Q charging system but a lot cheaper and certainly way better than fiddling around with a standard cable charger system.
You can charge and do data transfer at the same time. Although I have not timed it I recon I am getting 10% charge input for every hour the cable is connected which is fast enough for me. In fact I am not bothered about charging times as the phone will be on charge all the time it is in the car and all the time when at home. Apart from when I am using the phone as a mobile music player whilst showering.
Can not think of any other information regarding the chargers if I do I'll post. They are the bees knees though and well worth a looksee. :cool:
 

Abarbarian

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Have been using the phone for a while now and it has replaced the land line as i decided to get a monthly contract for it. the land line costs were taken care of with a bundle from Talk Talk and cost me £7 a month for 24/7 calls including to mobiles.
Due to covid getting all the details for extra jobs whilst out on the road was a tad difficult as some of the ambulance stations were closed or unmaned. My old mobile could not get e-mails but this new phone can so getting extra job details was no longer a problem. However I did not want to have the hassle of keeping an eye on how much usage I had left on a pay as you go so decided to stump up for a monthly deal.
Went for a 8GB data and 5000min phone and 5000text deal from Tesco for £10 a month. A friend referred me to Tesco and we both got a £10 bonus. I found out that if i used my Tesco points with the phone contract they were worth £1 for every 50p worth of vouchers, so I converted my points and got £60 towards my contract. So that makes £70 knocked of my £120 year long contract and as I will get some more points before the end of the contract I recon I will get another £20 knocked of the contract price. Which means that I will end up paying £30 for the whole year long contract which is quite a saving over the way I was doing things before and in some ways a better service.
I leave the phone on all the time and it goes into a sleep mode, if that is what it is called, and this way the battery lasts for four days with some battery left. During the three days I generally make four or five calls and look at four or five e-mails a day. So for the three consecutive days I do the old voluntary driving I do not need to be bothered with recharging which is great.
On non driving days I find that the hands free call feature is fab as i can make a sandwich and coffee whilst chatting to friends. Tucking a landline phone between ear and shoulder was ok but could be very tricky at times.

So far all is pretty good. :cool:
 
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Abarbarian

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I took a couple of quick snaps with the phone to work out how the camera worked. That was fairly simple though I have not worked out all the things you can do with the phone yet.

I wanted to send a picture to a friend via the phone and found out that if I sent the picture by sms (?) it would cost me 25p per picture. Naturally I wanted a free option but being a novice phone user this took me some time but I hunted around and found,

Quickimgur

The developers page at the xda site

Quickimgur - A lightweight Imgur client, focus on upload and get link!

This is super easy to use and gives you a link that you can send to folk to view the picture in a browser and they can download the pic from the link too. Also you can use the app to send your pictures to Imgur too though I have not tried that yet. Neither have I tried to use the link generated by the app to post to forums which I think may be quite useful. I have not done so as I have to figure out how to get the link form the app and then use it in a browser signed in to a forum. So much to learn and so little time. It is complications like these that kept me from getting a modern phone.
I know you can probably do what I wanted by many different ways but I did not want to use a Google service or Facebutt etc and this seemed pretty a safe and secure method. if uploading to Imgur from the app is easy I recon this will be a winner app.

Stopped to pick some wild blackberries whilst out in the wilds last week.

ciqVcDN.jpg

First picture with the phone. Yes I overdid the dandelion killer on the lawn (ha ha the green patch). Oh and that is river mist in the background.

AFX0NYO.jpg

As you can see the green patch recovered somewhat.

L0EtP9L.jpg

I have to figure out how to get rid of the Ulefone watermark. I guess the picture quality is not that bad but it won't replace my proper camera.

Downloading the pictures from the phone to the pc caused me yet even more reading. When I connected the phone to the pc by usb I got two entries in my file manager, Armor X7 and mpt. However they did not show any contents and I could not access them.

Eventually after looking at all sorts of methods I stumbled across a very simple fix. As the phone is on Android 10 searching was a tad confusing with menus not appearing as in articles etc etc. This is the fix I used,

How to set the default USB behavior in Android 10

Why on earth you have to dig down into developer mode for such a simple task is beyond me. Easy to do once the right information is at hand. Anyways no messing with mtp or fuse or any other esoteric system just a couple of clicks and all is well.


 

Quadophile

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I admire your curiosity to find things out but that should not come as a surprise since you are a first-class Linux junkie :p

The photos look good. There is one thing that worries me, I see some haziness in the pics, could it be the lens is a bit dirty with smudges? That is the only thing that I felt I should ask you. Maybe try to clean the lens and take a general pic and if everything is sharp then it is proven that when you took those pictures the lens was a bit dirty. This is the most irritating thing that can happen when you are taking some important pictures. I have developed this habit to wipe the lens before picture taking so as to guarantee it would not come out soft.

The picture on top is not having this issue it is sharp. The next two are soft somewhat.
 
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Abarbarian

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The picture on top is not having this issue it is sharp. The next two are soft somewhat.
Thanks for the interest.

I remember now that the garden pictures were taken from inside the house through a window so I recon that explains why they seem a bit soft.
Good tip about wiping the lens, I'll remember that in future.
Off out for a royal ride this afternoon so I will take a couple of shots and see what they look like.

:cool:
 

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