I'm in need of good sound advice next G phones it's confusing

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 20:38
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Hi there everyone and I hope you all enjoy this Easter weekend.

I really need some good sound advice about phones that are next G ticked I've been into the telstra shops and find myself getting more and more confused. I require a phone so that when we are travelling I can keep in touch with our sons. I would like to hear your suggestions on what phones are good and also what extra's we would need to improve signal. I have been looking at the Samsung A411, just not too sure if it will do the job.

Thanks
Andrea
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Reply By: Willem - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 20:47

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 20:47
I have a Samsung A411

It works when there is a signal :-)))



Cheers
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Follow Up By: Andrea11 - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 21:04

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 21:04
Thanks Willem, it is all so confusing
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Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 21:41

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 21:41
Well Andrea, I bought the Samsung because it was the same deep red colour as my Nissan.....LOL

Its one of those prepaid phones.

We also have a Telstra ZTE mobile which works well on a $20 plan. I had a $10 plan from 1992 to 2007...:-)


Cheers
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Follow Up By: Andrea11 - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 21:55

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 21:55
Willem I would prefer a pre paid, there is nothing worse than being locked into a contract.

Have a great weekend!

Andrea
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Follow Up By: Member - David P (VIC) - Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 16:12

Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 16:12
Willem, I hope you werent suggesting Andrea was an 11 year old blonde shock /horror? ......LOL....silverback
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 21:14

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 21:14
Hi Andrea

I'll assume you wish a relatively low cost NextG solution.

You cannot beat buying a Nokia 6120 (sub $300) and putting it on pre-paid for value and performance.
It should be mounted in a little mobile phone holder on the dash such that the top of the phone can be seen outside the car. This ensures a reasonable signal.

This phone does not have an external aerial connection , which will improve the range over which you will receive a signal by several km's.

This range increase is of marginal value to some because it requires plugging and unplugging the aerial from the phone each time it is removed from the car.

If you can live with the little hassles then I suggest you buy the Samsung A411 and buy an external antenna kit with it and fit this to the car. This phone is currently $149 at Telstra.

Car kits are available for both of these phones which make the process a little quicker and can make it easier to use them hands free. However these is a trap in that if for example you buy the Nokia its car kit generally mounts lower in the car and the phones range is a little reduced.

If you buy same from Telstra, order, take delivery and pay for the lot as a package and don't take the phone with a promise of the acessories coming along in a few weeks.
Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: Andrea11 - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 22:01

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 22:01
Hello Robin and Happy Easter to you!.

Yes I am looking at a pre paid set up as I cannot stand being bound by contracts, so a good low cost phone would be fantastic. In your last sentance do you mean that if I buy the phone outright do not take delivery of it until the car kit is avaliable?

Andrea
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 22:14

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 22:14
Andrea I'm alluding to the fact that sometimes the accessories take a long time to come and don't operate quite the way you expect and its better to consider what you buy as a package.

Both the A411 and 6120 and fine products (provided you get A411 with black keys not white on silver)
However the fact that it has to be flipped open and have cables to be plugged in (to achieve extra range) can be more hassle than its worth and its worth taking the time to consider the real "Liv-abilty" of these products.

The 6120 is very hassle free and can be simply placed in a cheap phone holder and charged every 3 or 4 days via a low cost car charger lead.

P.S. 6120 keys are smaller than A411 and this may be a consideration for some.
Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: chisel - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 22:17

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 22:17
My wife has a 6120 and while it is a good phone and reception is ok, it does not have a tick for regional coverage. It is also closer to $600 from telstra (cheaper elsewhere and on ebay but you may not get the support/warranty).

The A411 looks the way to go - cheap and has the tick.
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 23:05

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 23:05
Andrea

Forget the Nokia 6120, it is not on the list of blue tick phones. If you are getting confused, so am I, all this talk of having to plug in to get good range is a load of bulls excreta. If you wish to get a car kit, the Nokia does not have direct antenna connection and will be inferior to those that do. FollowUp 2 is complete nonsense.

Read this link It will give you extra information. Part way down there is a heading "Handsets recommended for rural handheld coverage." The models listed under that heading are the only ones that are given a blue tick. The bottom 2 are the only pre paid phones (the ones above with similar numbers are virtually the same phones that are connected on a plan.) If you have a Telstra plan currently running you can purchase one of the top of the list phones and have your plan transferred to it. I think you may be able to purchase one of those phones and go onto a plan without going onto a lengthy contract - ask if this is still available.

Each of the names of the phones in that list is also a link. If you are using a browser that utilises tabs (like Firefox) you can right click on the phone model links and open the description of the phone in a new tab. That way you can compare them quickly and easily.

PeterD
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 08:01

Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 08:01
Hi Chisel

Don't get caught up in the Telstra speak , the Blue tick is not a rating for sensitivity of a mobile phone (except that it passes a minimum standard) , it tells you that phone has external connection.

The majority of people don't connect phones to external aerials and just use them as they come.

In this mode thg 6120 excels if you can read the buttons.

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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 15:53

Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 15:53
Hi Robin

Where did you get that interesting piece? All my research is contrary to that.

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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 16:36

Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 16:36
Hi Peter

I think you are reffering to me saying that phones only have to meet a minimum sensitivity standard + features to make Blue Tick.

I still maintain engineering contacts in Telstra , and following this info I did some professional level checks (I have an antenna range) during which the Nokia 6120 outperformed the TU550.
I have yet to check an A411.

It would be very easy for reviewers/Telstra or manufacturers to directly report on the RF sensitivity of phones as is done with most UHF radios and give consumers an ability to compare.

But they shy away from it as fast as 4wd manufacturers do with rollover angle tests.

Buyer Beware I guess - and lets blindfold the Buyers just to be sure.





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Reply By: Member - Phil/S WA.. - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 22:16

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 22:16
Gday Andrea, I have heard that the Telstra ''country'' is up there when it comes to reception,but also when it comes to price.I have recently changed to a ''l g''brand. Not as good as my old Nokia for reception, but $150 cheaper [prepaid] I must be gettin old ,but it seems harder to use than my old Nokia????
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Reply By: Member - John - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 22:43

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 22:43
Andrea, have the Samsung A411, with a car kit and external aerial, when you clip it inot the car kit holder, it conects to the external aerial. Hope this helps.
John

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Follow Up By: Andrea11 - Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 10:34

Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 10:34
Hello John,

Thanks for your reply to my posting. If it is not too rude can I ask what I could expect to pay for the car kit and external ariel?

Have a lovely Easter.

Andrea
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Reply By: Member - Don W (VIC) - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 23:43

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 23:43
Hi Andrea. (Happy Easter to All)

Just to confuse you a bit more. I've just recently brought an Next-G mobile to replace my CDMA Nokia which was great. Telstra have a rating for various phones and their connecting capability in the bush.
Their highest rating is the LG550, as compared to the Telstra and Nokia phones. I've got the LG with car kit and antenna. It works great for my needs. The car kit is a bit pricey though. $329.
I'm on a plan so can't help with the outright phone cost. Hope this helps. Don.
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Reply By: Andrea11 - Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 10:35

Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 10:35
Thanks to all for your help it is very much appreciated.

Happy Easter to you all

Andrea
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Reply By: Member - David P (VIC) - Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 16:20

Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 16:20
Andrea, just remember that phone salesmen/women today is what the used car/vacuum salesmen of the 60s and 70s were, some might say still are. They just want yr money and will promise the world ...silverback
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Follow Up By: Andrea11 - Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 22:15

Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 22:15
Hi David,

Personally I find it so confusing, and to be perfectly honest some of these young kids that work in these shops, don't appear to have either much knowledge of the product or confidence in what they are selling..........I'm finding it more and more just not in phone shops but almost right across the board......I just don't get how a business can make profit if they are not constantly teaching thier staff about the products they are selling.....

Andrea
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Follow Up By: Member - David P (VIC) - Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 22:49

Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 22:49
Andrea, when you go into mob phone shops you have to be prepared with specific questions you need answering. I don't think they would be to keen to answer your queries in writing. by any phone that doesn't have the blue tick. For best range TELSTRA may cost more but if you travel a lot the blue tick is your best bet....silverback ps they are still dodgy salespersons
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Reply By: Member - John - Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 16:44

Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 16:44
Andrea, car kit was pricey at $380.00 or there abouts from Telstra, believe that there is another on the market, much cheaper, not sure of brand and price though, sorry I can't be more helpful. John
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Follow Up By: Andrea11 - Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 22:16

Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 22:16
Thanks John
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Reply By: T-Ribby - Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 18:45

Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 18:45
Hi Andrea
for car kits and aerials etc, I would have a browse around this site to compare prices.

http://www.forcetechnology.com.au/

cheers
T.R.
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Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 19:39

Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 19:39
Andrea,
I have a Samsung A 412 and my wife has a 411. They are the same phone, but the 411 is the pre paid version.
We have just travelled from Gold Coast to Mt Isa via Longreach, and continue on tomorrow for Borroloola (NT) via Barkly Homestead.

We have a 6.5db high gain antenna on the Hilux which connects to the phones via a patch cord. Antenna was about $100 from Telstra Shop. They didn't have the patch cord in stock at the time, so I got one on line for about $25 (inc postage). We don't have a car kit and with our simple but effective set up, I don't think we need one.

Both phones have worked very well so far and maintain good reception in surprising places. The antenna also helps. One bar on phone generally changes to 3 or 4 with antenna connected.

I currently have the A411 plugged into a laptop via the supplied data cable and am happily working on line via wireless broadband. No modem and no plan. Just a Telstra casual data pack @ $89 per month for 1G (cheaper / smaller plans available). No contract and no extra expence for modem.

Of course others will have different experience and opinions, but IMO in terms of value for money (and so far, performance), I don't think you can do much better than the Samsung A411 /412.

That's my experience anyway.

Norm C
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Follow Up By: Andrea11 - Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 22:10

Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 22:10
Hi there Norm

Thanks for your reply.......We live on the Gold Coast and in mid may are about to embark on the same route that you are now doing. That is why the need for the Phone. Can I ask what Telstra shop you purchased your phone from? I might pay them a visit if it were on the Gold Coast.

Hope your enjoying yourselves

Andrea
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Reply By: Flash - Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 10:50

Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 10:50
I have an A411 (Well, the wife actually)
I had a ZTE 252 and now have the ZTE 165.

It is the best, by a country mile. DEFINITELY a lot better than the other two for country reception.
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