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back to article Nokia Lumia 625: Quality budget 4G phone ... but where's UK's budget 4G?

Nokia's latest Lumia, a budget 4G smartphone, alights on an odd perch in the marketplace, where it finds itself all alone. 4G voice contracts in the UK are currently a luxury good - with luxury price tags attached. For most Britons, LTE is only practically available at not-so-budget prices from one network, EE, with a 2GB …

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But where's UK's budget 4G?

Or indeed a decent 4G (or even 3G), network?

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Re: But where's UK's budget 4G?

Quite.

EffallEverywhere.

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Anonymous Coward

4G?

Will only become cheaper if it is available everywhere. As for me I have to drive for an hour and a half before I could get to see it.

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The need for 4G in cities puzzles me. You're rarely further than a minute's walk of a Starbucks or Maccy D's whose WiFi you can steal outside so why pay for extra cellular bandwidth?

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Anonymous Coward

I have budget 4G in Italy

at least the LTE icon pops up occasionally on my phone, and webtraffic does load quickly - the cost is the same 3euros per week that I paid for my pay-as-you-go voda contract. The only 2 places that I've noticed (& used) the LTE however is in the auditorium at La Scala, Milan and weirdly the breakfast bar (underground/lower basement!) of a hotel in Verona.

As 2G & 3G is comprehensively stuffed for privacy & security (tho' the network ops are doing just about the minimum they can to update security) I'd like to see more LTE, especially refarmed down to 900MHz, please.

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Three is definitely the way to go because of the free upgrade to 4G when it becomes available.

I've just ordered my 1020 and shopped around but the rigid 24 month plans are of no use when 4G hits my area between beginning of 2014 and end of 2015.

I could get the phone for "free" on a 4G contract but I'd be paying a higher monthly fee for a service I may nit see at all during the contract or I could go 3G and pay a higher upfront cost and then possibly move up to 4G in six months time but I'd be paying the higher monthly rate that would have netted me the phone for possibly 3/4s of the contract.

Paid £80 upfront at Three and £32 a month for 500 minutes, 5000 texts and more importantly all you can eat 3G that becomes 4G at no additional cost when its available at some point over the next 27 months. That's ideally where the 625 should sit, free on a £20-25 contract with an automatic update to 4G when uts available.

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Anonymous Coward

Three

I've been with Three for a while, currently on an out-of-contract SIM-only deal. I'm shopping around for a new handset, but may stay with them and get a 4G capable one in anticipation of the network upgrade.

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What's the point of cut-price handset when there's no cut-price carrier plans

Nail squarely hit. pointless.

As soon as the carrier plans become cheap 4g becomes oversubscribed and bandwidth plummets to next to rubbish. Exactly what we have with 3g the last hyped mobile 'broad'-band.. rubbish..

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Re: What's the point of cut-price handset when there's no cut-price carrier plans

The point of 4G is that it's not significantly faster than 3G, but it is designed to cope with more subscribers per cell. So although it will slow down when over-subscribed, it should do better than 3G, by the time everyone's migrated to it.

Also, there's a counter to Andrew's point about 4G and 3G speeds being comparable, which they undoubtedly are. In my limited experience of 4G, latency is lower. And also upstream speed is higher. So when you start downloading data, you get no significant speed advantage, but your request to start downloading should get through much quicker. Certainly I've noticed that on 4G web pages don't load much faster, from when the first element appears, but it usually appears much more rapidly.

I wouldn't have paid for it myself, but the company did. The company also took me the iPhone 5 route, and away from my previous Lumia 710. The iPhone is a premium product, which the £120 Lumia wasn't, but the ergonomics of the nice rubbery back on the Nokia were better. It was more comfortable in the hand (without the slidey metal and slab-like sides) - and the address book and phone functions were better, easier to read, and coped with work's 4,000 contacts properly. In a way the iPhone simply fails at.

The only all metal phone I've used that fitted well in the hand, without sliding, was the old V3 RAZR (my favourite - for feeling so good to use). The nicest iPhone was the plastic backed 3 (or was it the 3GS?). But my favourite of all was the HTC Desire/Wildfire design, being all metal, but half coated in rubber. Even if it was a weird browny-gold colour...

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Re: What's the point of cut-price handset when there's no cut-price carrier plans

always jam tomorrow.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Even if it was a weird browny-gold colour...

I waited for the all Black Desire (IIRC only on Orange) much nicer.

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I wonder if Apple have done Nokia a favour

Now that Apple sells a line of gaudy plastic phones, I wonder if it means Nokia's gaudy plastic phones (which are cheaper) will suddenly become more attractive to prospective phone buyers?

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Happy

Re: I wonder if Apple have done Nokia a favour

I must confess to a childish desire to own a huge bright fluorescent yellow phone.

But then when I was four, they asked me what colour contact lenses I wanted, and I said yellow. I got blue...

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Isn't this aimed at PAYG?

So this will be the ring without a diamond option.

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Anonymous Coward

Windows Phone - no thanks.

The app store is also very budget and I don't want to buy into Microsoft's plan to force to me be everything Microsoft walled garden than this Windows Phone landfill.

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Re: Windows Phone - no thanks.

As opposed to Google's plan to for everything to be a part of Google's walled garden or Apple's plan for everything to be a part of Apple's walled garden?

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Re: Windows Phone - no thanks.

Millions of Chinese, Kindle owners and a tiny fraction of CyanogenMod users will tell you, Android carries on running without Google.

I'll pick the platform where opting in or out is a viable option.... and opt in to Google where it gives enough advantage.

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Re: Windows Phone - no thanks.

Technically Kindle is not Android, it's based on Android but its different enough not to be allowed to use the name.

Microsoft also allows the Chinese to not use all the Microsoft products, Xbox Live for example is completely removed from the OS.

Also unless it's forked out like the Kindle the Google Play Services ensures Android does not run without Google and you never have the option of opting out because Google will just opt you back in

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/09/balky-carriers-and-slow-oems-step-aside-google-is-defragging-android/

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More and more frustration...

... that Nokia are Win Phone only with every review I read.

Nokia seem to have got their hardware mojo back, but its a shame they haven't (and now never will) have Android versions of their phones

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Anonymous Coward

Re: More and more frustration...

This is how competition works, it's a good thing that there is a hardware manufacturer who is not sticking to Android, it forces the Android manufacturers to up their game. I really don't understand the people who seem to think that mobile phones will be great if they're all running Android and all competition is eliminated. A monoculture is a bad thing, it would allow Google to cease development and rest on their laurels.

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Re: More and more frustration...

IHateWearingATie,

I'm sure Nokia could produce perfectly fine Android phones. Especially with their snazzy cameras at the top end, where I assume the camera has its own chippery, and so is just a driver away from working with anything.

However, at the lower and mid-priced ends, Nokia couldn't do this with Android. The hardware requirements are higher. You can't run the up-to-date versions of Droid with less than a gig of RAM and extra battery. Even the dual core 1 Ghz chips are probably a bit low for Android 4.2 aren't they?

That's the price you pay for 'proper' multi-tasking. Even if it isn't true that Android is less efficient. Personally I've found I don't need or want it on a phone, as multiple apps are less important to me than phone, email, navigation and internet (in that order). Competition is good, and allows people to pick horses for courses. If I was paying with my own money, it would be a budget Lumia (what I bought before the work iPhone). Unless I was convinced of the shinyness of the camera on the new Lumia 1020.

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Re: More and more frustration...

Most of us like the idea of competition, but dislike the idea of anything from microsoft.. As you pointed out competition is good and monoculture is bad, yet the biggest example of how a monoculture is bad is microsoft and the risk that they could do the same to the phone/tablet market is one that cannot be ignored.

A monoculture of android is undoubtedly a bad thing, but they are not there yet... There is still plenty of viable competition from apple and i would rather support blackberry/webos/jolla/firefox/etc than microsoft.

That said, a monoculture of android is nowhere near as bad as a monoculture of microsoft... If google stagnate, then third parties can continue development, just look at the recent announcement from cyanogen.

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Re: More and more frustration...

Why? I've switched from Android to a Lumia and it's really rather good. WP8 is excellent.

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LDS
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Re: More and more frustration...

Yes, Apple and Google are good, while MS is bad... a monoculture of devices designed to reap as much data as possible about you is better?

You may like it or not, but it was Microsoft to bring computers to most users. If it was for Apple you would have had only expensive high-end machine for the wealthy ones with very limited expansion capacity, and if was for Google you would have had only Internet terminals so it could extract any little piece of information from you.

So if you don't like Microsoft phones and fear they can dominate the market (something I believe won't happen) don't buy them. But use your brain, not your guts. I don't like MS, but I do not like also nor Apple nor Google.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: More and more frustration...

"That's the price you pay for 'proper' multi-tasking. Even if it isn't true that Android is less efficient."

That's part of the price you pay for using a legacy monolithic kernel and Java....Android IS less efficient.

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Re: More and more frustration...

cant really say I care. I just want a phone to work and do what I want it too. If I want to listen to tuneinradio pro whilst the geocaching app runs at the same time as alpinequest for tracking then i'll choose a platform that can do this.

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Holmes

4G......wait for the competition to enter the market

There are openings shortly in the 4G market so I believe, hence EEs [Orange] push to sell it to as many customers as possible before rivals launch similar services.As for 3G for me it looks like it might have been dialed down a tad since its inception, much like HD quality the reception seems to me anyway to have suffered.

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FAIL

Re: 4G......wait for the competition to enter the market

I was on Orange and when EE launched the service went down the shite pan. Turning off mast that 'you dont think you need' is a bollacks plan.

so I moved to 3 and couldnt be more happier than a 20Mb dl at my house using a GS4-Mini.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 4G......wait for the competition to enter the market

Chappers how does that work 3 and EE share a 3G network?

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Re: 4G......wait for the competition to enter the market

they share and have their own masts. EE will share 3 masts for 3G also.

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What's interesting is that here (and in the other Lumia reviews), the use of plastic is considered acceptable or a "good thing" yet when a iDevice is reviewed it's a terrible feature or material to use?

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What's interesting is that fanbois who have been sneering at plastic items for years seem to have suddenly stopped.

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The negativity towards Apple's use of plastic is a) the cost and b) their comical marketing spunk that they magically jizz into the panting mouths of the assembled congregation.

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The other side of it is... what were the early iPhones made of? It certainly wasn't metal...

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Nick Ryan,

There's nothing wrong with plastic. I prefer it, especially if rubbery. That's nothing to do with my rubber fetish (much), but more because I'm always scared of dropping these horribly slidey metal and glass things. Shitty design over ergonomics bullshit, if you ask me.

Apple got abuse for their plastic phone, because all they did was release an iPhone 5 coated in plastic, at the same price they would have continued selling the iPhone 5 at this year anyway. So they've actually raised their profit margin on their 1 year old handset, from when that was the 4S last year. Assuming they sell enough to cover the costs of re-tooling the production lines anyway.

Which is no problem, except that the markets were worried about Apple's market share dropping, and hoped they'd go cheaper to counter this. Also their marketing BS is wearing rather thin. When you claim to be innovative, magical and revolutionary when all you're doing is putting out a slightly better iteration of an already good product - you're bound to cop some abuse...

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That will be because of the price differential. Plastic is a dreadful material to use, if you price your phone at a point higher than the mean annual income of the world's population.

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Anonymous Coward

"Corners have been cut...."

Isn't that a Apple thing?

(Joke)

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The Lumia 820 has come down in price, at approx the same price as this new 625. The 820 should be a tad faster but possibly with a shorter battery life. Not too sure about any build-quality difference, though.

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Not just the 820, the 920 is on Amazon and Tesco £220 unlocked.

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Didn't see one below 250 at Amazon but that is still an amazing price for that phone; would buy it immediately if I hadn't bought one immediately they were released.

Still, could always spend more on a 1020 and pass the 920 to a deserving offspring. Would have to pry the 800 out of his hands first though - nice, nice phone in the hand that one.

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Facepalm

2G first please

Lots of places still struggling to get 2G.

This 4G malarkey will only be for metropolitans or a long time.

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Battery life was outstanding, lasting into a third day on light use, even on 4G. It should see you through the best part of two days of normal use

What? That's about what I get out of my S4 Mini and I would hardly call that "outstanding". Outstanding would be a week.

Nice to see Nokia still trying to find their niche but I do worry that there are plenty of Android phones out there with comparable specs and prices (and battery life).

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4g will be useful in places where there is already good WiFi

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Or buy the 920

Its just £220 from Tesco direct Sim Free at the moment....

Much better option than this one.....

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True for the moment but soon when 3 start rolling 4G out it won't be expensive and as it might even give them decent indoor coverage it might even be worthwhile using them. So you would ideally want a 4G handset ready for it or at least I would. 3 are essentially the budget Operator so they need budget phones too.

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yes, but the 920 is also 4G

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Removeable back, but fixed battery

What's wrong with these people?

I don't give a 5hit about swappable Chad Valley coloured backs, but if you've got a removeable back, at least that's the chance to replace the battery when it's ****ed, after about eighteen months. Well, it used to be.

I suppose it's like the motor industry - the people who design and build the things never have to live with them for more than a few months, so serviceability and durability are completely alien concepts. Either that, or a cynical and concerted approach by the whole industry to try and ramp up the replacement cycle by making the whole phone only as durable as a ten quid battery.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Removeable back, but fixed battery

looks from the pics i found that the battery is under the next bit of the shell. that bit is screwed in place but the battery is glued to the next bit of the phone.

so it seems the removeable shell is more for changing colour and replacing the headphone socket when it wears out than anything else.

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