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abarbarian

Buying a modern phone help needed. ;-)

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abarbarian

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

 

nokia_2760.png

 

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.

 

😎

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securitybreach
2 hours ago, abarbarian said:

Will 3 GB ran be adequate ?

 

I do not think that 3GB is  adequate as most phones come with at least 4gb of ram,  some with 8gb and 12gb. Personally, I wouldnt bother with either one of those as they have lacking CPUs. I would go to swappa.com and probably go for the Google Pixel 3 or 3a, LG V30, LG G7 ThinQ, Samsung Galaxy S8, etc. All can be had for around $150 from https://swappa.com/buy/phones

 

Now these are used phones from swappa, but they are all verified and have buyer protection along with verified conditions. I used to buy all of my phones from there before a few years ago (before tmobile let me change whenever I like) and always suggest that place to friends and family members to get them phones.

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Bookmem

For what you 

On 6/13/2020 at 5:03 AM, abarbarian said:

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

 

nokia_2760.png

 

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.

 

😎

Just my two cents worth, but I think 3gb is actually overkill for your needs.  You are buying a smartphone to get text messages and emails, not a gaming tablet.  I think your main consideration should be screen size.  I'd even recommend an LTE 7 or 8 inch tablet if your vehicle as a place to mount one.  Or else a phone with a 6" screen. 

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abarbarian
On 6/13/2020 at 1:44 PM, securitybreach said:

All can be had for around $150 from https://swappa.com/buy/phones

 Thanks That is a lot more than I would like to spend.Also it is a USA company so shipping would be a problem to the UK.

 

16 hours ago, Bookmem said:

I'd even recommend an LTE 7 or 8 inch tablet if your vehicle as a place to mount one.

Thanks I was not at all sure how much ram I would be able to get away with. Trouble with a tablet or very large phone is that I have to take the phone with me when I arrive at hospitals and a large unit would be a hassle.Whilst oncall I need to have a phone close to me at all times so that control can get in touch with me . Also it would be a nuisance when out on me motorbike, would be great for me eyes but carrying it around would be a pain. 😎

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securitybreach
2 hours ago, abarbarian said:

 Thanks That is a lot more than I would like to spend.Also it is a USA company so shipping would be a problem to the UK.

 

They launched their UK service in 2013:  https://www.xda-developers.com/swappa-launches-uk-market/

 

The .uk link doesn't work anymore but I am sure that they still ship to the UK.

 

 

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securitybreach

This is why I always trusted Swappa. That and I have never had or heard of anyone having a bad experience, including myself:

 

Quote

 

  • The device must be fully functional.
  • You must be the owner of the device and legally able to sell it.
  • The device must have a clean ESN (not reported lost or stolen) and ready for activation.
  • If the device is a phone, it must be capable of making calls on its intended carrier network(s).
  • If the device is a tablet, it must be capable of connecting to its intended carrier network(s).
  • The device must be free of water damage. (Water damage is often indicated by a sticker near the device’s battery that turns a solid color.)
  • The device’s screen must be free of cracks, deep scratches and any other major damage. (Minor screen blemishes that do not affect functionality must be noted in the listing description).
  • The device must have fully functional battery, buttons and connectors (e.g. USB port, headphone jack, MicroSD slot).
  • The device must otherwise qualify for sale in accordance with our Terms of Use

 

 

https://www.coolsmartphone.com/2013/03/20/swappa-is-now-available-in-the-uk/

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abarbarian
On 6/15/2020 at 12:07 PM, securitybreach said:

 

They launched their UK service in 2013:  https://www.xda-developers.com/swappa-launches-uk-market/

 

The .uk link doesn't work anymore but I am sure that they still ship to the UK.

 

 

 

Thanks for the link, looks like a good company but they stopped the uk side a couple of years ago. £150 for a phone is too much for me as it equals one weeks pension.

On 6/15/2020 at 8:08 PM, raymac46 said:

You can check here as well:

 

Ta, read the review before you posted and was tempted by the Moto E6 Plus but it only has one sim. The Xiaomi Redmi 7A was a contender but the old snapdragon cpu and Android 9 gave it a fail.

 

So in the end I ordered the two phones in me opening post as they were discounted down to £65 and £73. I'll give them both a whirl and sell the least favourite on E-Bay where I recon I'll get me money back and maybe make a small profit.

 

I did consider a Pine phone but I recon it needs another year to get the os running well enough for me to invest £150 in one. Mind you I have my eye on a Nexus 4 on E-Bay for £10 which I may go for and have a play with Ubuntu Touch.

 

Here’s Ubuntu Touch Running on the PinePhone – Video

 

PinePhone Ubuntu Touch Edition Now Available for Pre-Order

 

Over here you can still get a brand new Nexus 5 for £90 ,which apparently is the second best phone for running Ubuntu Touch and I did consider diving in but chickened out.

 

So thanks folks. I'll update in a few weeks when and if me new phones ever arrive and if they work aswell 🤣

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abarbarian

Well both phones arrived and I have been using the Ulefone Armor X7 Pro since the end of July. I have not even unboxed the X5. Here are some updates on my usage.

 

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:
 
 
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. 😎
 
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abarbarian

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.

 

😎

 

 

 

 

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sunrat

Those phones look good for their price and photo quality is OK.  Watermark is annoying. I remember having to set developer mode options for full access to one of my older phones to read it via USB, was fine after that.

I was considering replacing my current 4yo Pixel as the battery has lost a lot of capacity but otherwise it still works perfectly and is adequate for my usage. I just found out I can get the battery replaced for $AU149 so will probably do that (PITA to DIY). It was $1100 brand new when I got it and worth diddly-squat secondhand.

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abarbarian
8 hours ago, sunrat said:

Those phones look good for their price and photo quality is OK.  Watermark is annoying. I remember having to set developer mode options for full access to one of my older phones to read it via USB, was fine after that.

I was considering replacing my current 4yo Pixel as the battery has lost a lot of capacity but otherwise it still works perfectly and is adequate for my usage. I just found out I can get the battery replaced for $AU149 so will probably do that (PITA to DIY). It was $1100 brand new when I got it and worth diddly-squat secondhand.

 

Yeah I am quite pleased with the picture quality as I just did a quick point and shoot from hand held.  I'll look into stopping the watermark later on , too busy learning about the phone at the moment.As to the price of the phone, cheap chips. 😋

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