School me in Smartphone: Do I need data?

subediisubedii Registered User regular
edited May 2013 in Help / Advice Forum
So I figure it's about time I joined the modern age and get myself a smartphone, after far too long on what I can only describe as a BrickPhone. Looking at potentially getting a Google Nexus 4.

Previously I've been on a Pay-as-you-go scheme with Orange, and I intend to keep it that way. I hardly ever make calls from my phone. Generally PAYG has always seemed to be the most economical model for me since I don't text and I spend maybe £10 a month (if that) on the thing. This may change over time, but for now, that's what I'm going for. The question I've got is, now that I'm getting a smartphone, do I need data?

Personally I plan not to make use of internet or online on the phone outside of connecting to local wi-fi and using that. However, I've heard various scare stories of apps phoning home and exchanging data, and this using up chunks of data.

So do smartphone apps (which I do intend to buy) make use of data on their own? Is there a way of preventing them all from doing so outright unless I'm doing it over wi-fi? The reason I ask is that if I don't need data, I can go with a plan that has lower overall call / text charges, which is fine by me.

I'm looking at this page:

And looking at Racoon in particular.

What happens if I do need to use data? How exactly does that work / cost out on any of these packages, if at all?

Oh, and if you've got any other advice you feel is helpful, feel free. As geek minded as I usually am when it comes to gadgets, smartphones in general are just an odd thing that happened to pass me by since I barely ever made use of my mobile to begin with. I'm basically starting off with the premise that:

1) I need a new phone

2) I'd prefer to go with Android

3) I'll probably end up getting some apps for it, since well, there's got to be something out there I could use. Although I'd prefer to pay for decent apps instead of going for ad supported stuff if I can.

subedii on


  • kimekime Queen of Blades Registered User regular
    On the iPhone, at least, you can turn off the cellular data usage for the entire phone whenever you want in the Settings. I don't think there's a standard way to do it app-by-app, but I know some apps have that option.

    I don't know about Android, but I would guess it would have at least the same functionality. ID: kime#1822
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  • mightyjongyomightyjongyo Registered User regular
    You can definitely turn off mobile data on an Android phone and use Wifi only. As an alternative, you can arbitrarily limit how much data you use (at least on stock Android 4.0+ I believe, which you would be getting if you got the Nexus 4). Many apps also have options to only update over Wifi, but that varies. The Google play store at least has this option, so you aren't burning a few MB of data every time an app updates.

  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    if you don't talk often, just go with the 1GB of data at a time. Once you're on a smartphone, you'll find that instantaneous access to the internet from anywhere is pretty damn useful. You can turn off auto-updates and other crap, as well as DL bandwidth meters (they also come with the phone I believe). As I only do 1GB a month, I downloaded one that monitors my usage and gives me red/yellow/green for the month based on current usage. It allows you to set the length of your cycles and everything else if you want to go longer between top-ups.

  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    edited May 2013
    Everyone who gets a smartphone uses the internet on the go eventually. There's just no point in having one if you don't. Get 1gb or so and enjoy the tech.

    Dhalphir on
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    it doesn't take much data to use basic stuff like google maps or check emails, and especially if you're in the euro market you can get some kind of low level data service pretty cheaply

    ed: and most apps are happy to just function over wireless network, although there might be a few that require cell data access I guess and obviously some are primarily useful when you're away from internet access anyway

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
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  • Mike DangerMike Danger "Diane..." a place both wonderful and strangeRegistered User regular
    I have a 2 GB plan, and while I've tripped 60% of my quota on days when I make heavy usage of maps, I've never gone over.

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  • subediisubedii Registered User regular
    Fair enough, sounds like 1GB of data is probably the way to go, at least for the time being. I can always re-assess that later if I'm not using it.

    Thanks all.

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