More technology: Mobile Internet

Another techy alert!!!

Back in February my mobile broadband contract with EE expired, it had been costing £27.00 per month for 64GB but I had found that we never used anywhere near that amount.

So I found a ‘Triple Data’ deal with Virgin with 30GB data, 2500 minutes of calls & unlimited texts for £16.00 per month. [The deals  change regularly] This works just fine and unused data rolls over to the next month. The only problem was that as the SIM card is in a router I couldn’t make use of my 2500 minutes of calls, which was disappointing (OK I’m just tight!)

I was reading Canalworld Forum when I came across a discussion which put an idea into my head.  The information was this:

If you get a Huawei 4G router NOT supplied by Three you can connect a domestic phone using a BT to RJ11 adaptor and make use of the unlimited calls, texts can be made and received via the routers set up webpage. I use the Huawei B525.

After a false start with one router which had ‘crippled’ firmware which didn’t allow phone connections. I ended up with a Huawei E5186s-22a which seems to do what I want and when connected to a cordless phone I’m now able to access my ‘free minutes’.

Phones – the march of progress or maybe not!

Honor 9 Lite

So… The phone signal here at King’s Bromley Marina isn’t great, but Joy has always had a better signal than me, so when she was in hospital before Christmas I thought I should upgrade my phone so we could, reliably, stay in contact.

We favour dual SIM phones, as while out boating we can have two networks to chose from in poor signal areas, so while visiting Tesco I was shown the Honor 9 Lite. It’s an attractive dual SIM phone in Sapphire Blue made by the Chinese giant Huawei, with quad cameras (2 lenses forward facing and 2 for selfies) and the latest Android 8.0 Oreo operating system.

I made a decision to buy it, but then they found they didn’t actually have one in stock!

On getting home a spot of Googling showed that Argos stocked them at £40 less than Tesco so the next morning off I went to Rugeley and bought one. Back on the boat it was un-boxed and set up to my satisfaction, however I was disappointed to find that the signal strength seemed little better than my old phone.

I soldiered on with it but when Joy came out of hospital we found  that her 2½ year old Motorola still performed much better than my new Honor, she can make phone calls from the comfort of the settee while I had to have my nose pressed against the window to make a call.

Needless to say I lost patience with this performance and took the phone back to Argos where they arranged to have it checked out by the Huawei service centre. So after being without my phone for 4 days (not too bad) it arrived back with no improvement.

Another trip to Argos where I demonstrated to the manager the difference in signal strength between the Motorola & the Honor and I had my money refunded.

Nokia 6310i

I can’t say that The Honor 9 Lite is a bad piece of kit but they seem to have lost sight that it’s primary function is a phone, if you are always in a good signal area it would be fine, but on the canals often we are not! To be honest I could get a better signal on my old Nokia 6310i (years ahead of it’s time).  Another gripe is that while it will accept a second SIM card it is at the expense of being able to insert a memory card (it’s one or the other)

The upshot of this saga is that I have bought a Motorola 4g (like Joy’s) and a pretty red case from eBay and now I can sit in comfort to make my phone calls.