Sorry, this doesn't change my mind
When I retire (in 15 years), I will ditch the bloody smartphone and get a plumb-stupid phone with keys my fingers can use and a battery life measured in fortnights.
Released halfway through last year, the Nokia 3.2 ain't no spring chicken but you should pay that no mind, because, despite being on the market for a while, this budget blower is not a waste of money. At the time of writing, you can pick up a handset on Amazon for £95. That places it in the very entry-level sector of the …
In the US the Chase banking app also caused problems. My Blackberry Passport was working fine, until Chase said 'nu-uh, not on this Android'. So i got a KeyOne, which is now also out of luck on Android updates.
So yeah, that StrandHogg thing - reality. Got infected with that (sympton was that i saw an app named 'Apps' that would reappear after deleting and rebooting the phone).
Had to wipe clean my handset to get rid of it :-(
And absolutely no idea what site i visited to get it infected.
Indeed. I think the lifespan of a phone tends to be dictated largely by battery health (particularly in these days of sealed-in batteries), and this is influenced mostly by the number of drain/charge cycles.
For a typical modern smartphone that means that the battery will be pretty much fagged-out after a couple of years. A phone like this Nokia will be getting recharged less frequently, so time taken to reach a battery-defeating number of recharges ought to be far longer than two years.
For a typical modern smartphone that means that the battery will be pretty much fagged-out after a couple of years.
I beg to differ. My Huawei Honor 9 is now just off two years old (it's 22 months old to be precise) and it still lasts the thick end of two working days between charges and I've not exactly been very kind to the battery. It gets used as a SatNav whenever I travel long distances and it will be plugged in to power the whole time. It's been used as a media player during holidays away in the countryside, again plugged in the whole time.
I appreciate that I might have just been very lucky with the battery I got, but I am seeing battery degradation being less of an issue.
Still wouldn't buy a second hand phone though.
My Mate 10 Pro still lasts a couple of days, easily.
My colleague has a booming business replacing batteries in older smartphones. ~50€ for a replacement iPhone battery compared to ~840€ for a new iPhone 11 Pro, Samsung etc. are even cheaper. People are just holding onto them longer and longer, as they see no benefit to upgrading.
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It gets used as a SatNav whenever I travel long distances and it will be plugged in to power the whole time.
It's been used as a media player during holidays away in the countryside, again plugged in the whole time.
You're keeping it plugged in - that'll be why the battery is still quite healthy. What really hinders battery performance is allowing it to drain and then charging back up to 100%. Memory effect isn't an issue with modern batteries thankfully, but they can still only stand being drained & recharged so many times.
I travel quite a lot so most days my phone is running on battery all day and then gets recharged over night. With my usage pattern, a new phone might still be at 30% charge at the end of the day...once it get's to 2-years-old it could be struggling to be 10% by bedtime.
Battery husbandry is vital!
I took note of some articles on battery life and have stopped charging over night and charging to 100%.
Once the phone gets to 90% I unplug it.
The result? Well my nearly 18 month old Huawei Mate 10 Pro is still at 93% battery health. Lost about 300mAh.
So stop leaving your phone and tablet hooked up for hours on full charge.
So stop leaving your phone and tablet hooked up for hours on full charge.
The charging circuitry in phones is more sophisticated than that. It stops supplying when 100% is reached. I leave my phones/tablets connected to the mains whenever possible, including overnight and I have devices the best part of a decade old which still hold a charge just fine.
90+% of lenovo laptop battery charging issue is due to exactly that type of software. Also, battery software it is not reliable when the device is turned off or with a different operating system. Current battery technology is not much smarter than a few years ago.
Actually, your phone is now effectvely at 83%, because you're only charging to 90% of your new capacity.
4000 mAh at 93% after 18 months = 3720 mAh. You charge to 90% of your new "full" = 3348 mAh. 3348/4000 = 83.7%
Why complicate things? Leave your phone plugged in when charging, charge to 100% all the time, and I bet you'd have more than 3348 mAh after 18 months.
the really killer is when apps no longer support the OS.
Apps don't support an OS, the OS supports the apps. That's its job.
You're talking about when the apps are updated and are no longer supported BY the OS.
This does eventually happen, but the period of guaranteed security updates will expire much sooner.
15 years ago I remember how we had to check the requirements on any software (or game) to make sure we could run. If the computer was older than 9 months for had no chance of running the latest games. Today I have a computer that is mainly 10 years old (albeit with a new graphic card, CPU and SSD) and no intention to change for a while. Phones will get there - eventually
So in effect we're once again looking at throwing away a physically working device because a supplier won't support the software. It's the ultimate in planned obsolescence isn't it. They even tell you when you'll have to throw it away.
Phones, TVs, all manner of IOT shite and soon cars, all heading to the skip because of unsupported software not physical wear and tear.
Greta will be greetin'. And I doubt this will be acceptable practice for much longer with the current backlash against plastic waste in general.
I know plenty of people still using phones long after they last received any kind of update, quite happily too. It only tends to be when the battery becomes pretty useless (or they drop/lose/have it stolen) that they get rid of them. If the battery was user replaceable then I'm sure they'd have used the phones for much longer still. If we're talking green credentials, then I think non-user replaceable batteries is more of a concern than software updates for most people.
To be honest, my phone has been nagging me for months that the new version of Android is available and it wants to update. I just keep dismissing the notification. Phone runs fine as it is - I don't want to risk updating the OS and some application(s) deciding to break, or the whole phone slowing down because the latest OS expects more up-to-date hardware and generally makes my older phone run more slowly.
Yes, I'm probably taking a risk by not getting the security patches, but on balance I trust myself to use web/email responsibly to reduce the risk, and just keep using my phone as I always have.
Yup. Mum's 80 and had to give up her trusty Lumia 630 a few months ago. On which I had to offer almost no support after I set it up and showed her how to use it. I thought I'd got her Huawei P20 Lite set up quite well too - though it took too many hours (I hate setting up Droids) - and she was happy with it at first. But she's been complaining about it lately. Problems with Bluetooth, but then who hasn't had those...
But also while she was on holiday Huawei's text app managed to take over as default and kick out the standard one. Thus convincing her she'd got a virus and planting that seed of doubt about the reliability of the new shiny.
I'd normally blame a pushy Huawei app, they've got copies of all the standard Google versions, presumably so they can have all your data instead - and they're sometimes hard to tell from the real thing, and they've tucked the Google ones away in a folder somewhere.
But despite her claims of innocence I still supsect Mum fell for agreeing to a "would you like me to be the default app" pop-up.
I'm also an ex Windows Phone user now, since the apps all started dying. Changed mine over to a 'Droid at Christmas. I'm really appreciating a 6" screen over a 4" one - and the apps I couldn't previously have. But it's hours of work trying to get the settings you want, and then more work policing them so that some scumbag doesn't manage to overrule a change you've chosen to make - for whatever reason they see fit. My iPad does this a bit (Apple always re-enable Bluetooth with every update for example) - but what with Google and Huawei and half the app's programmers thinking they know what's best for me or just wanting to know me better without asking... It's a bit annoying.
It's such a shame that Google's monopoly abuse was able to kill off Blackberry, Windows Phone and WebOS. Aided by some pisspoor decisions from the companies in question themselves of course...
But also while she was on holiday Huawei's text app managed to take over as default and kick out the standard one. ...I'd normally blame a pushy Huawei app, they've got copies of all the standard Google versions, presumably so they can have all your data instead ...But despite her claims of innocence I still supsect Mum fell for agreeing to a "would you like me to be the default app" pop-up.
My ageing Huawei Ascend G7 (coming up to five years old, battery still fine thanks) rebooted into safe mode the other day (not sure if it was a pocket press of the power button or a random crash, reboot) and once I retsarted back into normal mode I noticed that messaging had defaulted back to the Huawei app and the NFC payment provider had done the same. No drama to switch them back but your mum might be at risk of a miscarriage of justice after all.
Hopefully he will ensure due process is followed ----------------------->
I seem to remember all the Apple-haters going on about iPhones and 'planned obsolescence'.
I just checked https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPhone#History_and_availability, and other than the first few iPhone models (which were only supported for just over 2 years after release), everything else has had a minimum supported life of 2 years (if you happened to buy a model just as it was being discontinued) with the longest supported life being nearly 6 years (e.g. if you bought an iPhone 5S at release in 2013 and stuck with it until it's final iOS update in December 2019).
The longest-lived Google-manufactured phone seems to have been the Nexus 5x, which was only supported from October 2015 to December 2018 (just over three years, so only a bit better than the worst-supported of the Apple phones). I don't think any of the third-party hardware manufacturers for Android phones has provided support for any longer than that (is that even possible?)
Is this an argument for paying the 'Apple premium' and buying a more expensive phone, but keeping it for longer? Personally, I buy a new iPhone every 2 or 3 years, and then pass it on to a family member - who then gets a usable phone for free, and can get another 2 or 3 years use out of it.
"Personally, I buy a new iPhone every 2 or 3 years, and then pass it on to a family member - who then gets a usable phone for free, and can get another 2 or 3 years use out of it."
Only because you're too rich. I'd be able to buy the new 1+ KE iphone every six months easily, but it is so ridiculous and would so badly reflect on my kids, I never even owned one ...
The prices of iPhones and everything Apple is doing today is simply ridiculous.
But anyhow, good to see an El Reg article about a very affordable phone, rather than what we see all too often: hacks in tears with a phone equipped with 64 cams, 1TB storage, ofc a single SIM slot, a 200 Mpixels cam, a glass screen made of strontium and xenon for whatever reason, for a cool 2 000 E !
I happen to have a Nokia 7.1 from last year and it's the best piece of kit I've ever purchased. And yes, the battery still lasts 2 days of normal use.
Arguably, the most compelling feature is that it will receive prompt security updates for the next couple of years. As most people familiar with the Android ecosystem will know, that is a rare thing indeed.
Say what you want about Apple, but my iPhone SE, released in March 2016, will continue to receive full support until iOS 14 gets released some time next September.
I think manufacturers should be forced to guarantee security updates for at least 5 years, purely on environmental grounds.
Bought the original small Google Pixel November 2016 , this year 2020 no more software updates. Last year when I was in the US I bought a used iPhone SE 32GB for $170, it was in like new condition with battery health at 100% , The SE was launched in March 2016 before the Pixel and still has software updates this year at least , may be next year. I use the SE as a back up phone and it is my first iPhone.
After many years using Blackberry and Android phones I have decided late last year that if I buy a new phone it has to be an iPhone as unless you buy the top of the range of iPhones ( Pro and Pro Max ) in the long run it is in fact cheaper despite the fact that in general iPhones are expensive. iphone 11 is probably going to be my next phone or the rumoured SE2. Bye bye Androids.
Nearly 3 and a half years ago, I bought a cheap (by the standards of similarly-specced devices) OnePlus 3T, which was delivered on Android Marshmallow. OnePlus pushed subsequent OS updates to Nougat and Pie when they were released, and they released Android Oreo for it about 6 months ago. It's still continuing to get security-related patch releases even now, almost 3 years after production stopped.
If a small (by the standards of the other players in the market) Chinese firm can do this, why can't everybody else?
Are Android updates that important? I mean I can't remember the last time I updated my phone (Galaxy 5, hand-me-down from my dad a few years ago), the current version is something like 6, but I don't have any issue using it, mostly for browsing, text, calls and WhatsApp.
Regarding battery life, the original had degraded to less than a day, but buying a new one didn't change much.
I'd just like to mention that buying "new" batteries can be quite a misleading endeavour - original batteries tend to get made only for a short time after a model is released, and you can find yourself buying batteries for a five years old phone that were actually manufactured... four years ago (or indeed almost 7-8 years ago, for a phone like my S2) - and you'll only realise this if you take the time to look up the manufacturers date code scheme and decode the gibberish on your "new" battery (which will be totally different than the one on the photo of the listing). They may technically be "new" but they've been sitting on a shelf for years, losing a lot of their capacity before even getting sold. Of course, non-original batteries also exist, but there you really have no idea what actually is inside anywhere from rated capacity down to wet sand...
"And while that doesn't sound like a lot – and it isn't – it's worth remembering that this phone is targeted at casual users who are unlikely to accumulate mountains of apps."
Although the target market won't use apps, they're demons for storage usage. My sister in law sends about 70 photos a week and several videos of her kids via whatsapp. While I happily delete them, usually without looking at them, the grandparents keep them all. When they run out of space they hate deleting anything, never mind photos of the grandkids.
While it's not a big deal (it doesn't take long to get another load of photos), it does show storage is a bit of a consideration.
I had a similar issue with my mum recently. She had a pathetically sized 16GB iPhone 6s which she couldn’t install updates on because of all the photos and videos of the grandkids on. So I checked how much space I was using on my 6s, 8GB... so we did a swap and she’s now on a 128GB. Just to clarify I am that guy though who streams music and has a dedicated camera so I am probably a bit unusual.
Look, you can get em practically free, plus you can snap on a FLIR One for next to nothing. It WORKS, man. I’m surfing here on it at this very moment in fact. And did I mention the two actual cameras?
I sincerely use freephoneline.ca and a PAP2T, no foolin! You dopes are paying 95£? For Finnish tech?!
I have a Nokia 5.1, recently upgraded, - it was Cheap $320 Aussie, I dropped it several times on hard floors no cover - yes it cracked but it still worked. The Charge port was getting dicky as well, but for the price I was dead impressed. Still use it as a house hold remote and don't-care-what-happes-to-it phone.
"Stock android", Screen and battery good fingerprint scanner OK. Given the price of smartphones these days it was bloody excellent.
Don't knock a cheap smartphone with 'vanilla' android on it - see current front page for budget phone story with pre installed malware.
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