Orange PAYG and GIFFGAFF

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I have been an Orange / EE customer for 15 years and a couple of years ago I switched to PAYG as I was annoyed with the large bills that I was receiving and it seemed ( it is ) that it was an expensive hire purchase on a piece of hardware – 12 month contracts with free replacements and voicemail changed to 24 month contracts with no freebies chucked in. Suddenly instead of feting the customers it seemed like the customers were made to feel honoured to use / pay for the service.

Anyway I got on with Orange, finding out after 6 months that you could buy packages of minutes and texts and web use for a fiver a throw – only for these to go up to £7.50 quite quickly.

The final straw with Orange’s thieving bastard system (oops ) was that if you buy say 100 minutes and start using them and then think ” oh no if i finish these off by accident I will start paying 25p a minute so you buy another 100 minutes (£7,50 ) thinking good I’ve got 135 minutes left. The system then starts using up the new minutes ( they last a month from date of purchase by the way ) before the old ones are used up so if you don’t speak too much your initial top up’s remaining 35 minutes expire whilst you chat on the newly purchased minutes.

So I looked up on Giffgaff and saw that for 12 pounds a month I can get what would cost me probably 35 on EE/ Orange – they have a nice system which notifies me of my balance at all times and the website does the same.

This is not paid for this post, just I felt I oughtta share my displeasure of previous supplier and my pleasure of finding a good new one.

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Nokia Lumia Mobiles

The Nokia Lumia range is an ever-expanding family of Windows Phone handsets created by this famed Finnish manufacturer. There are currently two distinct Lumia models on offer, with more in the pipeline to be launched later in the year.

Nokia Lumia 800

The Lumia 800 is the flagship handset which was built to show off Nokia`s fine attention to aesthetic detail along with Microsoft`s impressive Windows Phone platform. From a hardware perspective you get a 1.4GHz single core processor, an eight megapixel camera and around 16GB of onboard storage space to use as you see fit. The Lumia 800 benefits from its premium grade polycarbon shell, which is hard wearing and also available in a variety of colours. Around the front you get a 3.7 inch AMOLED screen which is very easy on the eye and pumps out rich colours and deep blacks at all times.

Lumia 710

The Lumia 710 is Nokia`s more affordable entry in this range. While its display is the same size as the Lumia 800`s at 3.7 inches, it uses more typical LCD technology rather than the high end AMOLED system which is present on the costlier model. Thankfully it shares the same 1.4GHz processor as the Lumia 800 and so there is no notable performance difference between the two.

Nokia Lumia

Nokia Lumia

Nokia has harked back to its former use of removable covers to allow Lumia 710 users the option of swapping out the battery back plate for one of a different colour. This means you can reinvent the look and feel of the phone to a certain degree and helps it appeal to a younger audience.

Windows Phone

As the Windows Phone experience on offer is consistent across the Lumia range it is worth considering as a whole. Version 7.5 of Microsoft`s mobile operating system is preinstalled and it brings with it plenty of perks.

The first comes in the form of full social networking integration. Facebook is tightly linked with almost every aspect of the phone, so you can easily add all of your contacts as soon as you sign in with your account. You can also share pictures, videos and your thoughts direct to your profile without firing up the dedicated Facebook application. Microsoft recently made it easier for Twitter fans to achieve the same levels of functionality, so it really is easy to socialise with a Nokia Lumia handset.

Windows Phone is respected thanks to its web browsing experience, which is delivered via a scaled-down version of Internet Explorer. You also get support for multiple webmail accounts from services like Gmail and Hotmail. The excellent onscreen QWERTY keypad is easy to use and has good autocorrect functionality, which speeds up ty

ping.

Xbox Live integration means that you can earn achievements and Gamerscore when you download compatible titles from the Windows Markeplace. You can also see when your friends are online and compare your performance without having to fire up your Xbox 360 console

.

In all the Nokia Lumia range is as good a reason as any to get cash for mobiles by recycling your old handset so that you can invest in an upgrade.

Xperia X10 Gets Android 2.3.3 Update

The xPeria X10i recently was provided a most welcome update to Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread). Having run for almost a year previously on Android 1.6 this was almost unexpected in its swiftness of delivery.

As with any updates there is a worry about losing data. I backed up most apps which I like to SD card using Astro and did a few additional syncs with the various programs which whack data onto the cloud on my behalf. I was a bit unsure about the way in which contacts were prioritised with gmail but a quick check using the laptop confirmed that recent additions had made it onto Google’s cloud system so all appeared happy.

Bookmarks are not so important so I left that. I ran the update using Sony Ericsson PC Suite and all went superbly. The new software gave the phone a hugely improved user experience, all appeared to run more smoothly and the homescreen was much better. Mediascape had gone and timescape was quickly removed from the display.

It was nice to have pinch and zoom multitouch as I had read a year ago that the xperia hardware would not support multitouch so I had not really seen anyway in which they could add such a feature, still it works.

I was pleased to add my most used programs into folders on the homescreen, in fact I was so efficient that I did not really need more than 2 (of the five).

I have stopped searching for home screen mods now it looks so nice, I did find beautiful widget which gives an HTC Sense type digital clock along with weather on the homescreen, very nice. All in all it was a success. The final test was installing copilot ( my favourite Sat Nav for Android) – this worked a treat. It is interesting that the latest Android update included Facebook as standard though I had to actively search and install Google Plus.

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