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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default Phone for rural areas

    Hi there

    I live in the Scottish West Highlands and after being on Vodafone for about 12 years I've just moved to Virgin, since Vodafone's mobile internet coverage in north and west Scotland is poor, with little prospect of upgrades.

    I got a SIM-only contract with Virgin, keeping my 2-year old HTC Sensation. While I noticed an improvement instantly, it wasn't as big an improvement as I'd hoped for. Doing a bit of rooting about online, however, I have begun to suspect that it could be my Sensation which is to blame for poor internet signal - I think I'm right in saying that many people have issues with them in this department.

    I'm therefore in the market for a new phone. I don't want to spend a lot - the kind of budget I'd rather stick to would get me a Motorola Moto G or a Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini. I'm a big green when it comes to dBm comparison etc, so could anyone suggest a phone at this kind of level (or comment on the S3 Mini or Moto G) which would balance features with good signal? I live and spend a lot of time in remote areas, so signal quality is very important. I doubt 4G will arrive here any time in the next decade, since 3G is scarce enough! NB: I'm intending to buy a SIM-free phone, although I'd buy through Virgin if the price was right, or move to EE if there was a good reason.

    Alternative, can anyone suggest a way (for a non-tech savvy bloke) to fix the issues with the HTC (opening a minefield, I know!)?

    Many many thanks
  2. #2  
    frag06's Avatar

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    Default Re: Phone for rural areas

    Quote Originally Posted by dughall View Post
    Hi there

    I live in the Scottish West Highlands and after being on Vodafone for about 12 years I've just moved to Virgin, since Vodafone's mobile internet coverage in north and west Scotland is poor, with little prospect of upgrades.

    I got a SIM-only contract with Virgin, keeping my 2-year old HTC Sensation. While I noticed an improvement instantly, it wasn't as big an improvement as I'd hoped for. Doing a bit of rooting about online, however, I have begun to suspect that it could be my Sensation which is to blame for poor internet signal - I think I'm right in saying that many people have issues with them in this department.

    I'm therefore in the market for a new phone. I don't want to spend a lot - the kind of budget I'd rather stick to would get me a Motorola Moto G or a Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini. I'm a big green when it comes to dBm comparison etc, so could anyone suggest a phone at this kind of level (or comment on the S3 Mini or Moto G) which would balance features with good signal? I live and spend a lot of time in remote areas, so signal quality is very important. I doubt 4G will arrive here any time in the next decade, since 3G is scarce enough! NB: I'm intending to buy a SIM-free phone, although I'd buy through Virgin if the price was right, or move to EE if there was a good reason.

    Alternative, can anyone suggest a way (for a non-tech savvy bloke) to fix the issues with the HTC (opening a minefield, I know!)?

    Many many thanks
    I'm not sure about the S3, but Moto phones are known for their good radio's.

    As for signal strength, it is going to vary by phone, network, and many other factors. Some phones do get better reception than others, but it ultimately depends on the exact phone you have. Even comparing it to an identical phone, signal may be better on one than the other.
  3. #3  
    wizzrah's Avatar

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    Default Re: Phone for rural areas

    Quote Originally Posted by dughall View Post
    Hi there

    I live in the Scottish West Highlands and after being on Vodafone for about 12 years I've just moved to Virgin, since Vodafone's mobile internet coverage in north and west Scotland is poor, with little prospect of upgrades.

    I got a SIM-only contract with Virgin, keeping my 2-year old HTC Sensation. While I noticed an improvement instantly, it wasn't as big an improvement as I'd hoped for. Doing a bit of rooting about online, however, I have begun to suspect that it could be my Sensation which is to blame for poor internet signal - I think I'm right in saying that many people have issues with them in this department.

    I'm therefore in the market for a new phone. I don't want to spend a lot - the kind of budget I'd rather stick to would get me a Motorola Moto G or a Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini. I'm a big green when it comes to dBm comparison etc, so could anyone suggest a phone at this kind of level (or comment on the S3 Mini or Moto G) which would balance features with good signal? I live and spend a lot of time in remote areas, so signal quality is very important. I doubt 4G will arrive here any time in the next decade, since 3G is scarce enough! NB: I'm intending to buy a SIM-free phone, although I'd buy through Virgin if the price was right, or move to EE if there was a good reason.

    Alternative, can anyone suggest a way (for a non-tech savvy bloke) to fix the issues with the HTC (opening a minefield, I know!)?

    Many many thanks
    Hello!
    Is your Sensation modded in anyway (e.g rooting, unlocking bootloader, flashing a recovery, etc.)?

    Also, I agree Motorola phones are notorious for good signal, but in this day and age, it ultimately depends on how well-designed the phone is.
  4. Thread Author  Thread Author    #4  

    Default Re: Phone for rural areas

    Hi Wizzrah - no, my phone hasn't been modded. I did try to do it, but I seem to have a USB connectivity issue (another recognised issue it seems!).

    Quote Originally Posted by wizzrah View Post
    Hello!
    Is your Sensation modded in anyway (e.g rooting, unlocking bootloader, flashing a recovery, etc.)?

    Also, I agree Motorola phones are notorious for good signal, but in this day and age, it ultimately depends on how well-designed the phone is.
  5. #5  
    msndrstood's Avatar

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    Default Re: Phone for rural areas

    I know you didn't mention the Note series, they are a bit pricey, but I've never had any signal issues and I am very rural in the US. Just a thought for you. Good luck with whatever you choose! 😊

    Sent via The Big, Bad, Beautiful Note 3
  6. #6  
    wizzrah's Avatar

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    Default Re: Phone for rural areas

    Quote Originally Posted by dughall View Post
    Hi Wizzrah - no, my phone hasn't been modded. I did try to do it, but I seem to have a USB connectivity issue (another recognised issue it seems!).
    So it's completely stock?
  7. #7  

    Default Re: Phone for rural areas

    I live in a rural area as well. Having tried most handsets, this is what I have found:

    Samsung are very bad
    Lg are average
    Motorola are excellent
    Nokia are excellent most of the time
    IPhone 4s is the best out of apple's current range
    Sony are good
    Blackberry are excellent.

    My shortlist would be motorola or blackberry

    Also, make sure the handset you buy is compatible with the network frequency for your carrier.
  8. Thread Author  Thread Author    #8  

    Default Re: Phone for rural areas

    Hi Wizzrah - sorry for my lack of jargon! I haven't altered it in any way. It got it through Vodafone, so it has all their usual bits and pieces on it. I tried to unlock the bootloader, and was going to root it but I couldn't get it to connect to my laptop - just plain wouldn't do it for more than a minute or so at a time. Looking online I see that this isn't uncommon, but the warranty has now run out.
    Quote Originally Posted by wizzrah View Post
    So it's completely stock?
  9. Thread Author  Thread Author    #9  

    Default Re: Phone for rural areas

    Very useful! As I understood, the frequency issue won't be a problem if the phone is bought in the same country as your network carrier is based. Or am I wrong?
    Quote Originally Posted by magicdesign View Post
    Also, make sure the handset you buy is compatible with the network frequency for your carrier.
  10. #10  
    wizzrah's Avatar

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    Default Re: Phone for rural areas

    Quote Originally Posted by dughall View Post
    Hi Wizzrah - sorry for my lack of jargon! I haven't altered it in any way. It got it through Vodafone, so it has all their usual bits and pieces on it. I tried to unlock the bootloader, and was going to root it but I couldn't get it to connect to my laptop - just plain wouldn't do it for more than a minute or so at a time. Looking online I see that this isn't uncommon, but the warranty has now run out.
    You could of fixed that. I could help you with everything but I'll leave that up to you.

    Sent from my AT&T One XL
  11. #11  
    wizzrah's Avatar

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    Default Re: Phone for rural areas

    Quote Originally Posted by dughall View Post
    Very useful! As I understood, the frequency issue won't be a problem if the phone is bought in the same country as your network carrier is based. Or am I wrong?
    It might be. You have to check what bands your carrier uses and what bands the phone you want to buy uses. By Virgin Mobile, do you mean this carrier?

    http://store.virginmedia.com/virgin-media-mobile.html


    Sent from my AT&T One XL
  12. Thread Author  Thread Author    #12  

    Default Re: Phone for rural areas

    Yes - that's the one.
    Quote Originally Posted by wizzrah View Post
    It might be. You have to check what bands your carrier uses and what bands the phone you want to buy uses. By Virgin Mobile, do you mean this carrier?

    Virgin Media - Discover exclusive mobile phone deals for Virgin Media customers


    Sent from my AT&T One XL
  13. Thread Author  Thread Author    #13  

    Default Re: Phone for rural areas

    A bit of advice would be very welcome - I'll contact you directly. Thank you!
    Quote Originally Posted by wizzrah View Post
    You could of fixed that. I could help you with everything but I'll leave that up to you.

    Sent from my AT&T One XL

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