Best mobile for reception with good camera

Submitted: Friday, Nov 03, 2017 at 12:54
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Am planning to upgrade my phone and need best reception available as I'm hoping to take our grand daughter (Type 1 diabetic) camping again some time. We prefer bush camping, but we need phone contact for any problems with her condition. I also want as good a camera as possible. Any suggestions?
Thanks.
Sue
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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Friday, Nov 03, 2017 at 13:43

Friday, Nov 03, 2017 at 13:43
I can speak highly of the camera in the superseded Samsung S5 and moreso in the S7. The S7 camera has the most incredible low light abilities I don't know what they've done in the most recent phone, the S8.

I think they are all average to good in their reception abilities. None of them have Telstra's Blue Tick for regional use, but the two I've used recently while travelling (S5 and S7) are no worse than anyone elses in the campgrounds.

Having said that, you have a family member with a serious medical condition. If I were you I'd buy a second hand satphone for emergency use. I suggest that because you can easily be out of mobile coverage without being remote.

My second hand Motorola 9505A Iridium phone looks like new, cost $500 and works on my normal Telstra post paid mobile SIM. You can also make emergency calls to triple 0 (dial 112) without a SIM in the phone.
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Reply By: Member - mark D18 - Friday, Nov 03, 2017 at 14:05

Friday, Nov 03, 2017 at 14:05
Suegra .

If you need a phone for a possible emergency your only reliable option is a sat phone.

As good as Telstra is there mobile reception out side cities and large regional towns it is very hit and miss , no matter the supposed quality of the latest mobile phone .
I also have a 9050 idrium sat phone that gets reception by using my Telstra sim card .
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Reply By: RMD - Friday, Nov 03, 2017 at 15:42

Friday, Nov 03, 2017 at 15:42
It isn't so much the reception of the phone ability which you need, it is the Transmit to Tower ability which means the bars you see as signal strength can actually get a message out to a tower.
Just holding a phone and seeing bars means little.
Also, if being in some obscrue or remote location you need a device, phone can do this, which can show you your geographical position in Lat and Long so that information can be provided for emergency sefvice to pinpoint. You may not be able to readily describe your position but the GPS co ordinates do.
Last year I was at a truck crash in Queenslad and the Police took a reading for the helicopter. When it arrived it just dropped exactly onto the spot from out of heavy low cloud. Very effective it was.
My Samsung S5 is 16 MB camera and 4 optical mag. Takes good photos. The newer Samsung has less Megapixels.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Friday, Nov 03, 2017 at 16:16

Friday, Nov 03, 2017 at 16:16
Yes, the S7 (and dunno about the S8) do have fewer megapixels (12 instead of 16), but I believe that is due to the incredible low light capability - it was a trade-off which Samsung thought worthwhile.

If you want ultimate huge enlargement, then yes, the loss of ultimate resolution might be an issue. In normal use for happy snaps it is not, but the gain in low light capability (with no flash) is quite astounding.
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Reply By: Member - Bigfish - Friday, Nov 03, 2017 at 18:57

Friday, Nov 03, 2017 at 18:57
I bought a Telstra blue tick "tough" model. When up the Cape recently it had good reception and worked well while the Samsung,s and i phones, belonging to fellow campers, couldn't even get data. Camera is fine...unsure how many mega pixels. Definitely go the Telstra with the tick for better reception. Actually every phone for the last 15 years has been a Telstra tick Working out bush as a Telstra tech it was only natural they gave us the best phones to keep in touch. Definitely better reception than a non-tick phone.
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Follow Up By: Dean K3 - Friday, Nov 03, 2017 at 20:02

Friday, Nov 03, 2017 at 20:02
Presume they also gave a complete car kit to attach with external antenna for blue tick compliance requirements.

Having same phone I find the antenna attachment bit delicate to attach patch lead cable everytime.

Apart from screen cracking with a small drop of 10cm screen down not a bad phone to have or use
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Friday, Nov 03, 2017 at 20:21

Friday, Nov 03, 2017 at 20:21
I'd second the Telstra blue ticked "Tough" model from reception point of view.

Whatever phone you get, ensure its Blue Ticked - On the Telstra Network - and also get an external aerial with it (This can be as simple as a $30 magnetic base one that you put on the car roof when needed )
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Reply By: Michael H9 - Friday, Nov 03, 2017 at 19:06

Friday, Nov 03, 2017 at 19:06
I bought an Oppo R9 plus from JBHIFI. It has the best reception and battery life of any phone I've had in the last 10 years. Previously had Samsungs or iphones. I've never had reception at home except for 1 bar fading in and out, now I get a constant 2 bars. I've turned on the old phones for comparison and they are still crap. Battery life nearly triple my old phone doing the same work. I'm not a big fan of the clunkier modified Android face they have but the positives outweight the negatives by a long way.
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Reply By: Member - mark D18 - Friday, Nov 03, 2017 at 20:43

Friday, Nov 03, 2017 at 20:43
Some people are missing the point again . You won't get reliable service from a normal mobile phone , blue tick or not Samsung or whatever !
A sat phone is the ONLY phone that will give reliable service in an emergency .


Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Friday, Nov 03, 2017 at 21:43

Friday, Nov 03, 2017 at 21:43
I think you are assuming too much. He only said he was going bush ..not remote travel. I lived many years in remote NT but anywhere within 30klm radius of a mobile tower we had reception. Mobile phones within range of a tower are generally very reliable. For $1000 you can now get a really good vehicle mounted receiver that sees your phone pick up signal a lot further than before. I used to carry several sat phones when working remote and there were times that I could not get a signal with the handheld or vehicle mount...so they are definately not 100% reliable for getting a signal. Often had to wait till later at night to call in when skies allowed transmission. Atmospheric conditions can have a big influence on a sat phones performance. Mate rolled his Nissan on the Central Arnhem Hwy and not badly hurt but could not get a dial tone on his sat-phone. 3 hours later a passing motorist picked him up and drove 60klm to Aboriginal community where he got on the mobile and organised pick up. The Telstra tick phone is better than the average Samsung or I phone. You can get a blue tick Samsung. There isn't a communication device yet invented that is 100% reliable but a Telstra Blue tick will greatly increase your chance of a signal than just an ordinary phone.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Friday, Nov 03, 2017 at 23:08

Friday, Nov 03, 2017 at 23:08
You can't go for a bush walk with a $1000 car kit.

Better a $500 second hand satphone in a pocket.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Nov 04, 2017 at 07:58

Saturday, Nov 04, 2017 at 07:58
Hi Bigfish

You do not have to remote to have no phone reception.

Try making a phone call between say Pimba and Glendambo, or Coober Pedy to Marla and you will not get any phone reception....or even out east of Burra in station country.

As for your mate that could not get his sat phone to work on the Central Arnhem Highway after his accident. You have not said what phone he had and if it was damaged?

We have an Inmarsat and it has never let us down and picked up phone reception from many true remote locations around Australia.....and yes we have driven the Central Arnhem Highway all the way through to Nhulunbuy.

When you are on foot and away from your vehicle, a satellite phone will be your only true reliable communications with the outside world if you need help, with the exception of a PLB or SPOT,but you can not talk on them.


Cheers



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Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Saturday, Nov 04, 2017 at 10:32

Saturday, Nov 04, 2017 at 10:32
Gooday Stephen. Mate had a vehicle mount that didn't work as antenna damaged. He also had a handheld that could not get a signal. Like me he was a remote area tech. I,ve worked in remote areas that 99% of people would never see or be allowed into. Many a time we had no signal using sat phones. These were Telstra issued using Imarsat. Can remember once at a community 50klms south of Gove that there were 3-4 people all trying to use their sat phones..No reception However I had reception as I had the only Telstra sat phone. Cant remember who the other sat phones were with. My point is that you can never rely on any form of communications equipment to be 100% reliable ( able to be used). AS a Telstra tech for 30 years , this I know from experience Several weeks ago I spent 4 nights west of Cairns camping. Nearest mobile tower was 80=klms away. Nearest town 80klms...yet I still could make and receive phone calls...Still cannot figure out how though! Original poster said he wants a phone with camera and good reception. Lets assume he aware of his limitations and surrounds. As I said a Telstra Blue tick will be the best optioned phone. I,m sure if he was after a sat phone he would have asked. Best policy for him would be to monitor the girls medical condition and know how to treat as well as only camp/travel in mobile reception areas if he is really concerned. Dont forget that a sat -phone can also have trouble getting a signal in bushy areas.
cheers.
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Reply By: geoffqld - Friday, Nov 03, 2017 at 22:18

Friday, Nov 03, 2017 at 22:18
I use the Motorola G4 plus. Best reception of any I and friends have tried. Don't know the camera resolution but Google will tell you. Battery lasts 2 days and has a fast charger. Got change from $350. Good value,
Geoff
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Reply By: Brian L20 - Saturday, Nov 04, 2017 at 09:57

Saturday, Nov 04, 2017 at 09:57
if u are going bush telstra is a must i have a galaxy s7 has a pretty good camera and is blue ticked for regional use
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Saturday, Nov 04, 2017 at 18:39

Saturday, Nov 04, 2017 at 18:39
Except if it's the Oodnadatta Track.....Optus only along there. :-)
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Saturday, Nov 04, 2017 at 22:59

Saturday, Nov 04, 2017 at 22:59
It is now legislated that 000 and 112 must work form ANY phone on ANY network if there's coverage. So a mobile on a Telstra plan will be able to access 000 or 112 through the Optus network if it can get a signal. But you couldn't talk to NRMA or RAC, etc for vehicle problems, etc.
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Reply By: sjp - Tuesday, Nov 07, 2017 at 20:26

Tuesday, Nov 07, 2017 at 20:26
how about this -

Thuraya SatSleeve

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Reply By: Mark - Thursday, Nov 16, 2017 at 22:00

Thursday, Nov 16, 2017 at 22:00
Also ensure the phone supports Band 28 which is old 700MHz TV spectrum that was auctioned off to the Telco's and has been progressively rolled out to provide better coverage as the 700MHz signals travel further than the higher mobile frequencies in the Gigahertz range.

We use a MIFI (band 28) dongle connected to an external antenna to increase range while out bush, this method allows you to connect older phones and tablets via wifi and still get the advantage of band 28 and provides easy connection to an antenna as not all phones support this.
Normal phone calls are made using VOIP but these days most comms is via messenger, facetime, skype etc for us.
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