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Author Topic: Smartphone Recommendations (Down Under Edition)  (Read 513 times)
skull-aton
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« on: July 13, 2023 @353.14 »

Hi hi!

So, I'm planning on getting a new phone relatively soon (like, in the next few months), but I'm in a bit of sore spot. The sore spot being Australia.

It's relatively hard getting a lot of tech into this silly country without going through third party (something I sorta don't wanna do).

Ever since I've discovered and have been learning more about how wonderful(/sarcasm) google is, it made me realise my purchase of my Pixel from Years ago was probably a Bad Call.

So my question lies now - since my phone is slowly chugging and gasping for life - what should I purchase? That can easily be found and bought in Australia, I should say.
Also, I don't want a Samsung or an IPhone.
(I remember years ago when OnePlus came out in the US and I really wanted that! But it is unfortunate that I can't get it here.)

I would really love to hear suggestions!  :ha:
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« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2023 @541.66 »

Hmmm so the thing is, I don't think Id really recommend (or avoid) a phone based on the brand! Its really a question of what do you want from your phone, so maybe some extra details would be helpful!

Questions Id ask are:
  • What do you use your phone for?
  • Do you play lots of 3D games?
  • Do you need to take very good pictures or video? (Do you edit pictures/video on your phone??)
  • Do you like a big phone or a small phone? (e.g. do you have small hands, or do you just like a big screen?)
  • Do you need LOTs of storage (for music etc)
  • Do you need it to be extra waterproof (you do water sports or something)
  • Are there particular apps you need that might not be on some app stores?
  • Do you want to/plan to install a custom de-googled ROM? If so do you know what one you'd like to use?
  • Whats your budget? (and are you willing to by second hand?)

I think if you talk a little about those questions people will have a much better idea of what would be good for you!  :ha:
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skull-aton
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2023 @601.37 »

Oooh, you're right, I should've been more specific! Sorry about that, haha.

What do you use your phone for?
I use my phone to read books, check a few apps, contact friends, keep a wallet of my cards (including my public transit pass), and to take pictures.

Do you play lots of 3D games?
I don't usually play games on my phone, but I guess having the option would be nice in case I have to download something for babysitting Little Ones. (but i don't want one that's super powerful, y'know? am i making sense?  :ohdear: )

Do you need to take very good pictures or video? (Do you edit pictures/video on your phone??)
Yes, actually!! This is a must.

Do you like a big phone or a small phone? (e.g. do you have small hands, or do you just like a big screen?)
Do you need it to be extra waterproof (you do water sports or something)
Do you need LOTs of storage (for music etc)
Indifferent to the size, waterproof, and storage. Maybe water resistance, as the rainy season in the summer is Not Fun.

Do you want to/plan to install a custom de-googled ROM? If so do you know what one you'd like to use?
I'm uncertain about this! Leaning to yes, but I'll definitely have to research more about it.

Whats your budget? (and are you willing to by second hand?)
I'm ok with anything around 1.2k AUD. I'm chill with second hand as long as it's not too worn and released within the past 2 years.

Hopefully this gives some more clarity! I guess I'm just looking for a decent specced phone that's easy to use out of the box. But i'm willing to get my hands into it to tweak it, if need be.
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Melooon
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« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2023 @635.13 »

Ooo, ok so I actually do have a recommendation then because your needs are pretty much the same as mine and I did a bunch of research into this a while ago!

Quote
Do you want to/plan to install a custom de-googled ROM? If so do you know what one you'd like to use? []
I'm uncertain about this! Leaning to yes, but I'll definitely have to research more about it.
Since this is not a requirement for you and because you said you use your phone for bank cards; I don't recommend a custom ROM; they have a tendency to break banking and contactless apps! (I had an LG v30 a few years ago and they stopped updating it so I had to use a custom ROM and 50% of the time my bank app would not let my login because it didn't trust the ROM  :drat: )

Ok so; my recommendation is a Sony Xperia 5 IV (My research was into previous model, but I think it should hold true) :grin: (Random link for australia shop I found)
  • Sony cameras are the best around (they actually make the iPhone ones) and they have good camera apps.
  • Its tall which means its good for reading (both tall-ways and sideways for a wide look)
  • It can take an SD card if you need it, and its decently waterproof.
  • It has a headphone jack! (Dunno if you need this, but Its great to have)
  • Its exactly in your budget!
  • It says Sony on it which is cool and retro  :tongue: 

(Disclosure, I ended up buying an iPhone instead, but thats primarily because my budget was much lower and I could get cheap second hand iPhones easily)
(Obvs this is just one option, so feel free to discuss others! Also if anyone has this phone that might be helpful info since I'm mostly going on YT reviews!)
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skull-aton
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« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2023 @658.32 »

Ok so; my recommendation is a Sony Xperia 5 IV (My research was into previous model, but I think it should hold true) :grin: (Random link for australia shop I found)

I was SO EXCITED!!
until my heart broke. :(

so Sony pulled out of Australia and Kogan (the shop link) is a third party re-seller. The reason why I'm wary of buying international is because of the SIM card issue with our mobile networks. I think it's mostly alright, but I've heard some horror stories where they had no connectivity with Telstra OR Optus.
Also, I think I wouldn't be able to get 5G if I bought something international.

I just have this Fear that I'm taking a trip out to the bush and i'll have no mobile connection. I'm mostly in the city, but What If!! (paranoia)

But thank you for the suggestion!!  :4u:  It would have been perfect if ... y'know. Australia.

But if other people think I'm being too paranoid, please let me know! I'd love to hear more opinions.
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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2023 @693.56 »

I wonder if you would like the Fairphone. The 4 is either just released or about to be released, but the older models hold up as well and maybe you can find used/refurbished ones. I saw people from Australia online having ordered it directly from the makers and using the service forward2me to get it into Australia. 4G and 5G connection seem to be no issue with Telstra.
Though the Fairphone doesn't (yet?) support GrapheneOS in terms of custom ROMs.
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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2023 @697.16 »

But if other people think I'm being too paranoid, please let me know! I'd love to hear more opinions.
Ooph my mistake; I though it was just an availability issue!

I looked up the telecom frequencies used in australia and they are definitely weird!

Network3G4G5G
Telstra850MHz700MHz
900MHz
1800MHz
2100MHz
2600MHz
850MHz
3500MHz
Vodafone900MHz700MHz
850MHz
900MHz
1800MHz
2100MHz
2600MHz
700MHz
3500MHz
Optus900MHz
2100MHz
700MHz
900MHz
1800MHz
2100MHz
2300MHz
2600MHz
3500MHz


The frequency bans supported by that Sony:
3G bands: HSDPA 800 / 850 / 900 / 1700(AWS) / 1900 / 2100
4G bands: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 32, 34, 38, 39, 40, 41, 46, 66
5G bands: 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38, 40, 41, 77, 78

I highlighted the ones the match up! and marked the ones missing in red!

Oooph yes this would not be a good. experience  :ohdear: I think you'll have to find another option! Also wow the phones on Telestar and Videophone shops are literally just iPhones, Samsungs and Pixels.. You have like 3 choices!
« Last Edit: July 13, 2023 @703.29 by Melooon » Logged


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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2023 @711.92 »

WAIT forget everything I just said! (Im learning a lot about mobile networks today apparently   :tongue:  ) - I misunderstood how frequency bands work!!

The band numbers don't match up to the MHz like I thought they would?? There is a chart on wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GSM_frequency_bands

It turnes out this is actually really complex  :ohdear:  But I think it does seems like both the Sony and the Fairphone would be well supported?? Omg I feel like Im making a mess of this, but its interesting!

For example; both support band 3 - and band 3 is 1800MHz on the GSM standard (The one Australia and Europe uses) so that band works for you on all major mobile networks. You can test that for each band; but I think its not such an issue  :grin:
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skull-aton
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« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2023 @434.03 »

Holy guacamole!! That's a lot of information (that's sorta going over my head, not gonna lie)

But thank you so much for looking so thoroughly into this!! I'm shocked!

Yes, I heard that the Aus frequencies are a bit complicated, which is why I think a lot of companies don't openly sell their products here. (I think another part is because there's not that many people in Aus vs, like idk all of EU and US. I guess they'd have a much better market over there)

it's definitely something I need to research more on if I do want to commit to the Sony phone (because by gosh, I'm looking at it and it is CALLING to me!)

I wonder if you would like the Fairphone.
I looked into this one as well!! It looks really neat! (swappable battery!! :O) I definitely would need to research/talk to more folks.

These suggestions were very helpful tho! It makes me feel less paranoid to buying internationally, but I definitely need to research a bit more.
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« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2023 @648.98 »

While you should research it more, there's resellers with listings for the model you want on Gumtree, both second hand and unopened.

Ever since I've discovered and have been learning more about how wonderful(/sarcasm) google is, it made me realise my purchase of my Pixel from Years ago was probably a Bad Call.

In what sense? That you were directly supporting Google, or privacy issues? If it's the latter, that's baked into the phone's OS itself. You will need a custom ROM to migate that, which unfortunately as others pointed out, does not play nice with cards. If it's the former, you could get a new Pixel from a reseller as a last resort.
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skull-aton
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« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2023 @95.46 »

there's resellers with listings for the model you want on Gumtree, both second hand and unopened.

I'm looking on gumtree and I see two listings, but one is fishy (~200 AUD for it) and the other is not anywhere where I live as I prefer to see it in person if it's a reseller. (i've had one too many experiences with gumtree). I also don't see anything for fairphone. :(

In what sense? That you were directly supporting Google, or privacy issues? If it's the latter, that's baked into the phone's OS itself. You will need a custom ROM to migate that, which unfortunately as others pointed out, does not play nice with cards. If it's the former, you could get a new Pixel from a reseller as a last resort.

It's both, actually! But, I'm not too hung up on myself about previous decisions, 'cause y'know. We live and we learn. Moving forward, i just plan on slowly de-googlefying my stuff to the best of my compacity. (it's just gonna be a slow and arduous process)

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