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    My contract ends in a couple of months and I am looking at changing devices. I did have the Blackberry Torch (among the worst purchases I've ever made) and a few months ago I binned it and got the Sony Xperia Miro just to last me until renewal - I bought it cheap so I can throw it away when my contract ends... I just needed something to move away from the Blackberry market.

    So now it's time to actually upgrade, and I'm seriously considering the Motorola Razr HD. There is the "i" version, but I'm not too impressed with it. The HD seems better in most respects, except one: I cannot find it on contract anywhere.

    The only site I can see listing it is PhonesLimited but I am confused as to how their system works - They seem to be selling the phone on contracts with companies who don't even sell the phone. O2, Orange and T-Mobile do not stock it, but they're selling contracts under them. So I am a little dubious as to how that works.


    The HD is a 4G device, but I'm still struggling to find affordable 4G plans, so I would probably just go 3G. Vodafone provide an adequate connection in the places I go, but I need to haggle them down on the price for renewal. That, or go to Three (if I can get a test SIM) because of the higher data limits.


    Any thoughts about getting the Razr HD though? It's this or the S3, but it's a little more expensive and I'm honestly not too thrilled about it.
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    A lot changes in phone contracts in a couple of months, I would look again in a month as to whether it has become available on contract. If your current provider stocks the phone, even on PAYG then it may be possible to negotiate getting that same phone on contract. You would be best to phone them in the final month of your contract rather than go in store as you can get a much better price this way.
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    I know you've decided on a Motorola phone before buy i would discourage you from buying one.

    The reason you can't find the phone on contract anywhere or at a decent price is because Motorola have dropped the ball in the EU/UK. They no longer have the same level of support and have totally lost their customer base here. Just google motorola EU support or something like that to see the many complaints about the support they provide here.

    Because of this prices are high and support is limited. Plus there are much better phones out there that you can buy for less. Besides T-Mobile don't even sell the HD anymore and no other UK networks will be picking up any current Motorola phones.

    I think it's better looking at getting different phone like the HTC One or Galaxy S4. You can actually get a HTC One at the same price if not cheaper than the Motorola Razr HD

    Oh and about 4G. Only EE4G is the network you have to be on currently if you want 4G. But it's expensive.

    My recommendation is to go on Three who will be doing unlimited 4G fre of charge on every new contract.

    Vodafone will be charging a 4G bolt on (could be £5pm or something) to get access to the 4G network.
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    (Original post by Sum Gai)
    The reason you can't find the phone on contract anywhere or at a decent price is because Motorola have dropped the ball in the EU/UK. They no longer have the same level of support and have totally lost their customer base here. Just google motorola EU support or something like that to see the many complaints about the support they provide here.

    Oh and about 4G. Only EE4G is the network you have to be on currently if you want 4G. But it's expensive.

    My recommendation is to go on Three who will be doing unlimited 4G fre of charge on every new contract.

    Vodafone will be charging a 4G bolt on (could be £5pm or something) to get access to the 4G network.
    Well, because Motorola has been sucked up by google, I would've thought they be a great company to go with because of the Android support.

    Will Three be able to offer a 3G plan on a 4G phone and then upgrade me to 4G when they roll out with it? I know Vodafone are expected to come out with it this summer, and a late 2013 for Three. Vodafone's prices do seem to go up by around £5pm for the 4G version.


    Having had another thought, and after a look at the deals, the Galaxy S3 seems to be a better option because of availability and the contract prices - £25pm on Three for essentially unlimited everything! The phone alone would be worth around £20 of that per month. I'm currently paying ~£40pm on my contract with the insurance added on.

    I'd love to get the titanium grey colour though (I'm not too fond of the blue, and my dad has that colour) but I believe that's only on the LTE devices. Is that correct? You can replace the frame, but it seems like a bit of a hassle and could muck it up quite easily.
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    (Original post by SillyEddy)
    Well, because Motorola has been sucked up by google, I would've thought they be a great company to go with because of the Android support.

    Will Three be able to offer a 3G plan on a 4G phone and then upgrade me to 4G when they roll out with it? I know Vodafone are expected to come out with it this summer, and a late 2013 for Three. Vodafone's prices do seem to go up by around £5pm for the 4G version.


    Having had another thought, and after a look at the deals, the Galaxy S3 seems to be a better option because of availability and the contract prices - £25pm on Three for essentially unlimited everything! The phone alone would be worth around £20 of that per month. I'm currently paying ~£40pm on my contract with the insurance added on.

    I'd love to get the titanium grey colour though (I'm not too fond of the blue, and my dad has that colour) but I believe that's only on the LTE devices. Is that correct? You can replace the frame, but it seems like a bit of a hassle and could muck it up quite easily.
    You'd think. But up until recently Google has had no real input in Motorola and that's why in the UK no network wants to pick up their phones. Now that should change by the end of this year when Motorola release their "X" phone. But that's at the end of the year.

    What Voda are doing is giving you a 4G ready phone for say £37pm now. You'll be able to use the phone on 3G for now, and then when 4G comes out you'll have to pay for a bolt on (£5pm for example) just to get access to the 4G network.

    Three are offering 4G ready phones e.g on a £37pm contract now which you can use on their 3G network, and then when 4G launches Q4 you get 4G free of charge and with unlimited data, there is no bolt on to pay. But just like with voda you have to have a 4G phone.

    It really depends as to whether you want 4G or not. Three's 3G network is already as fast as EE's 4G so for most people so 4G is just a bonus on Three. Voda have quite a slow 3G network as they haven't rolled out DC-HSPA+(faster version of 3G which can be as fast as 4G) like three have so 4G would be a bonus for them, but it's expensive.

    If you want a 3G phone then go with the galaxy S3 for £25pm from Carphone warehouse. Or if you want a much better phone then affordable mobiles are doing the HTC One for £26pm on the same deal but with T-Mobile. So you won't get 4G on that contract as T-Mobile won't do 4G. But for 3G it's great.

    Alternatively if you want a 4G phone you're looking at £31pm+ from Three (via affordable mobiles) or even more from Voda.

    But like i said, decide if you need 4G (and if you're town/city is even likely to get it at all within the next two years) before going for a 4G ready contract.
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    (Original post by Sum Gai)
    But like i said, decide if you need 4G (and if you're town/city is even likely to get it at all within the next two years) before going for a 4G ready contract.
    I honestly probably don't. I'm usually in a WiFi area, so I'd rather have unlimited 3G than a capped 4G connection. I just need to get a SIM and evaluate if Three are any good in my area, as their reception seems to be one of the main problems people face.

    My Vodafone contract has 500mb and I don't usually get close to that limit. I would start to use it more though, especially for SatNav and portable hotspot capabilities. I'll have to see if they can beat Three on a similar contract when it comes to renewal, but Three seem to just have the better offer.


    Regarding phone colours: I want the grey version, but it's only for LTE devices. Do you reckon I could ask the shop to send in my phone as a "repair" (brand new, out of the box) and replace the screen with one from the LTE device? It seems the S3 and S3LTE are the exact same phone other than the hardware, so the cases should fit, right? They'd just have to replace the glass on the front and I'd buy a new battery cover.

    I'd usually not be so fussy, but I would like to have this phone for a couple of years, so I might as well be entirely happy with it. Maybe someone in the local market could fix it up too?
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    (Original post by SillyEddy)
    I honestly probably don't. I'm usually in a WiFi area, so I'd rather have unlimited 3G than a capped 4G connection. I just need to get a SIM and evaluate if Three are any good in my area, as their reception seems to be one of the main problems people face.

    My Vodafone contract has 500mb and I don't usually get close to that limit. I would start to use it more though, especially for SatNav and portable hotspot capabilities. I'll have to see if they can beat Three on a similar contract when it comes to renewal, but Three seem to just have the better offer.


    Regarding phone colours: I want the grey version, but it's only for LTE devices. Do you reckon I could ask the shop to send in my phone as a "repair" (brand new, out of the box) and replace the screen with one from the LTE device? It seems the S3 and S3LTE are the exact same phone other than the hardware, so the cases should fit, right? They'd just have to replace the glass on the front and I'd buy a new battery cover.

    I'd usually not be so fussy, but I would like to have this phone for a couple of years, so I might as well be entirely happy with it. Maybe someone in the local market could fix it up too?
    haha, i doubt an official repair team would do that. Maybe someone in a local market but i wouldn't do that to a phone on contract. Maybe you could buy a case which goes on top or something?

    Three's coverage can be hit and miss but it has improved recently. It's very similar to T-Mobile/Orange coverage.

    Just be advised that if you do go for T-Mobile on their unlimited plan then you can't tether officially. Same if you go with Three. Three only allow tethering on their one plan (comes with 2000 mins) which starts at £29pm with the S3. You can get around the tethering block on T-Mobile or Three, but they can block you at any time as technically it's not allowed. So i wouldn't risk it on a 24 month contract.

    Vodafone allow tethering on all their plans, only downside is limited data cap.

    See if Vodafone can offer you a good retention deal of sorts before planning to move. Also get a Three sim card from their site for free to test it first. But if Voda can match Three's deal then you might as well stay with them if the offer is good enough for your usage.
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    (Original post by Sum Gai)
    Just be advised that if you do go for T-Mobile on their unlimited plan then you can't tether officially. Same if you go with Three. Three only allow tethering on their one plan (comes with 2000 mins) which starts at £29pm with the S3. You can get around the tethering block on T-Mobile or Three, but they can block you at any time as technically it's not allowed. So i wouldn't risk it on a 24 month contract.

    See if Vodafone can offer you a good retention deal of sorts before planning to move. Also get a Three sim card from their site for free to test it first. But if Voda can match Three's deal then you might as well stay with them if the offer is good enough for your usage.
    Damn. I forgot about tethering policies. I'll have to see what Vodafone can do for me then.

    I had a look at retention deals and some people were getting the iPhone 4S with 600 minutes, 2GB data, unlimited texts and 2GB WiFi for £25 a month. Now I really couldn't care about the BT WiFi as I've never used it in these previous two years. The minutes and data aren't too major to me (I don't send many texts nor call much. 100 minutes and 200 texts would probably suffice). I'm more of a data person. Hopefully we can work something out.

    I'll go and pester their retention team and see what I could get. I hear waiting until a few days before and requesting the PAC can get some great last-minute deals too.
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    Yeh it's unfortunate but understandable why there is a tethering block on certain unlimited plans.

    I've seen some people get the HTC One for that price on Vodafone so it's worth asking.
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    (Original post by Sum Gai)
    Yeh it's unfortunate but understandable why there is a tethering block on certain unlimited plans.

    I've seen some people get the HTC One for that price on Vodafone so it's worth asking.
    One final question, if you know... Would going for the EE networks (T-mobile and Orange as well), even for 3G, be a smart move? Surely they should have the best coverage of all?

    T-mobile are offering the S3 with unlimited data for £26/month. From what I can tell, it seems they may be giving out free tethering too.

    I've had a look on uswitch and I can't really notice any clear picture of which network is faster. It just seems to depend on your exact location.
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    (Original post by SillyEddy)
    One final question, if you know... Would going for the EE networks (T-mobile and Orange as well), even for 3G, be a smart move? Surely they should have the best coverage of all?

    T-mobile are offering the S3 with unlimited data for £26/month. From what I can tell, it seems they may be giving out free tethering too.

    I've had a look on uswitch and I can't really notice any clear picture of which network is faster. It just seems to depend on your exact location.
    Let me tell you. The EE network is managed by MBNL. MBNL is a joint venture between Three and EE's 3G network which gives them 98% coverage in the UK. It is also the UK's fastest network with speeds up to 42Mbps. (I've seen 30Mbps on three)

    O2 and Vodafone have a project called cornerstone which isn't as in depth as MBNL but has the same effect. They have around 85%-90% UK coverage. So with that said there are effectively two 3G super networks in the UK. One with EE (T-Mo/Orange)/Three and another with Voda/O2.

    So Three and EE pretty much have the exact same 3G coverage and O2 and Voda have pretty much the exact same 3G coverage. There are some small differences of course as each network manages their own signal independently.

    Basically what i'm trying to say is the MBNL network is technically the best in the UK if not europe. Now T-Mobile's full monty plan with unlimited data does not include tethering. They also limit your speeds to 4Mbps. So if you want to take advantage of the MBNL network then don't go for the t-mobile full monty plan.

    Three on the other hand do offer tethering and uncapped speeds up to 42mbps but ONLY on their one plan tariff which is a bit higher cost wise.

    Vodafone are good, but like i said, the cornerstone project isn't as in depth as MBNL so their network isn't that good. But if it works fine for you it's worth sticking with them for their network if you get a good deal at a good price. If they can't do a good price then it's worth considering other networks, but bear in mind there are advantages of some over others.

    But the general rule is voda and o2 have the same 3G signal. And T-Mo/Orange/Three have the same 3G signal as well.
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    (Original post by Sum Gai)
    But the general rule is voda and o2 have the same 3G signal. And T-Mo/Orange/Three have the same 3G signal as well.
    Understood.

    Vodafone are contacting me soon, but I think it may well be Three for me.
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    Yep, but make sure you do test the network first before you use it just in case.

    And remember, don't pay for something you don't need. So if vodafone offer you a good deal then go with them rather than paying extra with T-Mo/Three for more mins/internet when you're not going to use it.
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    (Original post by Sum Gai)
    Yep, but make sure you do test the network first before you use it just in case.

    And remember, don't pay for something you don't need. So if vodafone offer you a good deal then go with them rather than paying extra with T-Mo/Three for more mins/internet when you're not going to use it.
    Yeah I'm going to get as close to my actual usage (plus flexibility) as I can. I worked out the numbers for the prior 16 months so I can see my trends (minutes, texts, data) and I can kinda guess how much I will need for the next 2 years.

    Hopefully I can trade off some of the unnecessary calls and texts for extra data, as I will use that more.
 
 
 
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