Making the most of 4G

Mark Stammers's picture

I’ve done it, I’ve left them!

It was a hard decision as I’d been with them since 2007. But the thrill had gone and my new sexy model is fun and so much cheaper.

I’m talking about smartphones. After being an Apple devotee (yes, you could say fanboy) since the iPhone first debuted, I have made the switch to an Android-powered HTC One handset

My reasons are two-fold. Firstly, Apple is falling behind in the technology arms race. It may have defined what a modern mobile phone should be six years ago, but it has allowed Google’s Android operating system to surpass its own iOS software in areas such as maps and voice control. Second, and more importantly, my new HTC One handset is as well designed as an iPhone but is a good £100 less expensive.

I had been monitoring the news about Apple’s new phones that are set to be unveiled this September. The iPhone 5S will be an upgrade to the current iPhone 5 and is rumoured to have a faster processor and possibly a fingerprint scanner to unlock the device.

In a new move for Apple there is also a new low-cost iPhone being launched that ditches the premium-feel metal case for a more standard plastic version available in a range of bright colours. Both phones will run the new iOS7 software, which has had a radical design makeover.

None of these new software or hardware upgrades attracted me enough to part with another £600. I have mentioned in previous blogs that I prefer to buy my handset outright. These unlocked phones allow you to move between service providers to get the best deals and avoid lengthy contract lock-ins. This remains a good approach with both Vodafone and O2 launching their new 4G services at the end of August 2013.

With EE’s 4G network already well established it will be interesting to see whether increased competition will drive down the cost of using data on smartphones. After all, there’s little point in carrying around a content-hungry device if the cost of streaming a movie or downloading an app remains ridiculously high.

Clearly the networks expect to make most of their future profits from data charges rather than calls. O2’s recently-published 4G 'simplicity' tariffs offer either 1GB, 3GB or 5GB of data starting at £22 a month – but all three options give you unlimited calls and texts.

So with my shiny, new, cheaper Android phone in hand I’m ready to seek out the best deals as the mobile market in the UK changes over the next few months.

I will let you know how I get on hunting out the cheapest deals, but what about you? Have you had enough of expensive new Apple phones being released every year or two? Is it time to give your money to someone else? Let us know below.

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