what do smartphones do?

J Gozzi

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Mar 30, 2014
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I'm a 70 year old technoklutz, so words of one syllable, please. I need (so I'm told) a cheap basic smartphone with camera, FM radio and which I can download my music (iTunes) to. I need to be able to use it in the UK and Italy. Any recommendations or advice? Will I be able to switch sim cards between countries and so keep my current numbers? I'm not at all fussed about apps or games.
 

bluecheese1

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Apr 2, 2014
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If you want to download music from iTunes in specific, you need to buy an iphone. If you're okay downloading music from anywhere, just buy any cheap smartphone that you can download music with. I personally prefer to just search for songs I want to listen to on the internet without keeping them saved to my phone. If you're okay doing that, just buy a phone that can connect to the internet and not be too slow.
 

bluecheese1

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Apr 2, 2014
9
0
4,520
2
If you want to download music from iTunes in specific, you need to buy an iphone. If you're okay downloading music from anywhere, just buy any cheap smartphone that you can download music with. I personally prefer to just search for songs I want to listen to on the internet without keeping them saved to my phone. If you're okay doing that, just buy a phone that can connect to the internet and not be too slow.
 

Apanzee

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Dec 17, 2012
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^ That, is an outright lie.

There are hundreds of ways to get music from iTunes to an Android phone. I personally use an app called iSyncr which syncs all your iTunes playlists with your Android phone automatically. More involved methods can include simply dragging and dropping songs from the iTunes window into the music folder on the phones memory card.



@J Gozzi, to answer your question about the SIM card - yes and no. The laws may vary internationally, but in Canada and the U.S. it works like this..

If you sign a contract with a carrier, you'll get the phone for really cheap. In return, you are expected to pay your bill every month, until the contract has expired. Most contracts are two years.

The reason they are able to give you the phone for so cheap, is BECAUSE of the contract. They "lock" the phone to their network, and if you don't pay the bill, they just cut their losses and move on. At the end of a successfully completed contract however, they are legally required to "unlock" the phone for use on any network.

Any phone purchased outright and paid in full, without signing of a contract, is required to be unlocked at the time of sale.

Unlocked phones can be used on any network with compatible radios. To clarify this further, there are two network standards currently in use in the world, they are GSM and CDMA.

GSM phones must be used on a GSM network, and require a SIM card for functionality. The SIM card contains your customer specific information, like name and phone number.

CDMA phones must be used on a CDMA network, and do not require a SIM card. All your customer specific information is programmed into the phone at the time of purchase/activation. This means you can't simply pop in a different card and have access to a new network - though it is possible to switch networks with an unlocked CDMA phone, the phone itself would have to be reprogrammed.


In summary - try to find a cheap, unlocked, GSM phone, and make sure that there are GSM carriers in the locations you will be working/living/travelling in. The phone itself doesn't really matter considering your intended uses - the carrier lock does. Be 100% certain it isn't locked or you won't be able to use it outside of where you bought it, and you'll be very upset.
 

J Gozzi

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Mar 30, 2014
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Thank you so much, Apanzee. What a lovely comprehensive answer. I shall go armed with your information. It's a steep learning curve, this, isn't it?

 

Apanzee

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Dec 17, 2012
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It can be for some, yes. Especially if you didn't grow up with this stuff.

If you have any other questions, please post again. Legitimate inquiries are welcomed here on Tom's.
 
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