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is it a trustworthy site?

Last response: in Cell Phones & Smartphones
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March 12, 2014 11:48:07 AM

Hello, beautiful people of Tom's, how are you this fine day?

So I stumbled upon this site in my search for a smartphone. The site is phone-debate.com. Have you used it? Are the articles any good? I'm a real noob when it comes to phones so I'd really appreciate it if you could give some feedback.

Just so it's clear- I have no affiliation with phone-debate and I'm not trying to spam, just looking for an honest opinion.

Thanks in advance.

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March 12, 2014 12:49:35 PM

Gsm arena, phone arena and phone scoop are more well known. No sense in using a questionable site when there are other reputable ones.
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March 12, 2014 1:34:15 PM

Hmm yes, I will try those. Thanks for the reply!
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March 15, 2014 4:39:18 PM

Not trustworthy! They hired a scumbag called "auntarie" to spam Tom's Hardware with links to their web site.
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March 16, 2014 4:07:40 AM

Wow, thanks for the kind words. I think I said I have no affiliation with them? And this is the only thread I've posted, which was already dead, until you replied...
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March 16, 2014 7:15:13 AM

Don't worry about him, he's on a short vacation from the forums for his comment.

As was said above though, GSM Arena is a good one. Wikipedia can even be a good resource for specs. What kind of info are you trying to find exactly? Are you just looking for recommendations on a good phone?
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March 16, 2014 10:02:04 AM

Thanks. The situation is this- I'm going to college soon and a relative of mine is getting me some money to spend on whatever electronic device I want. So yes, I'm looking for a good smartphone, but nothing too fancy like a Galaxy or an iPhone. So far GSM Arena is proving to be awesome and I've stumbled upon a brand named Xolo, which is looking very promising. I'm gonna read some reviews and time will tell, I guess.
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March 16, 2014 1:40:48 PM

If you're trying to save some cash, check out "Oppo" and "Xiaomi" - both are chinese OEMs who offer unlocked devices and ship internationally. Xiaomi is actually the company who made the MIUI Android ROM.
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March 17, 2014 1:31:43 AM

Yes, those also look really good. I guess I'll see just how much money I'll have to spend and which phones are available in my country.
Wish I could select you as best answer, but I don't think I can pick 2 solutions...
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March 17, 2014 1:34:07 AM

I don't mind either way. Once you have the Moderator title under your avatar, acquiring badges doesn't really mean anything. :p 

Either way I'm glad to have helped. If you need anything else I'll be here.
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March 17, 2014 2:03:40 AM

@Apanzee loved your last response.

@auntarie you can also go to youtube and type in the phone(s) you are looking to get to see reviews on them, some buy phonedog, GSM arena, etc. If you do not need the phone today, you can do a google to see if release dates are out yet, some soon to be released are Galaxy S5, HTC 1Two Max, LG G Flex (AT&T might already have this one).....you just need to pick some features that are important and stick with that....if battery life ...say like the Motorola Razzor Maxx, if camera do you want ultrarez, OIS, 40mb lense, etc....oh yeah and size....if you want huge i think Asus makes a 7" phablet......;-)
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March 17, 2014 2:14:17 AM

@HyNrgy, That's what we're here for :) 

@auntarie, going off what HyNrgy says about checking out some reviews - you could even head down to the mall and walk into a phone store. If the sales people bother you just say you're browsing. Pick up a few phones in your price range and play with them for a few minutes. Can't really go wrong if you combine all the above suggestions, anyway!
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March 17, 2014 2:30:32 AM

@auntarie

i just reread one of your post. You said you are going to college and someone is giving you money for electronic device. Some things to think about

1) who's paying the monthly bill?
2) contract vs prepaid (and since I am assuming this may be your only phone for college check the coverage of the school area not where you are unless they are the same
3) don't forget a good/decent case
4) if you do not need fancy picture messaging, facebook and 24/7 to email and toms forums (had to)....how about looking at a basic flip and maybe a tablet (will you have access to wifi at school, housing/dorm, local places.

I mention all this because you can get some basic phones, smart or not with some of the top carriers and the monthly could be cheap
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March 17, 2014 12:53:52 PM

@Apanzee thanks, I'll probably visit a few stores and see what they have to offer. By the way, I think I remember you from way back in early 2013. Anyway, congo on becoming a moderator :D 

@HyNrgy I'll be paying my own bill, if you mean the calls and such. If you mean the device itself, I haven't really decided if I'll be getting it on lease. And I'll probably be getting the phone here, without a contract, and then signing with a local company in the other country. So coverage won't be a problem, I hope. As for using the phone, my hobbies and specialization will require me to browse a lot on the go, so I prefer a smartphone. I'm used to it too, my current phone is an ancient Nokia E71, but a smartphone nonetheless :D 
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March 17, 2014 10:57:07 PM

I will say this as a suggestion and a possible question.

If memory serves me right, just because some phones can take a SIM card doesn't mean you can take it to another country and put there SIM and it will work. You may want to verify that. As for phones that do not take a SIM card I do not think you could do that also.

You may have to look for an international phone than can work US and abroad.
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March 18, 2014 12:09:26 AM

To clarify - they do and they don't.

There are two international network standards - they are GSM, and CDMA. GSM uses SIM cards, while CDMA does not.

CDMA phones are 100% locked to the carrier it is purchased from, as the network settings used to access the radio channels used by said carrier are hard-coded at production. This means it is impossible to take a CDMA phone to another carrier, national or international without express permission of current carrier - because they would have to completely reprogram the phone.

GSM phones on the other hand, are soft-coded and can be unlocked by any tech savvy individual, though this is illegal in a lot of circumstances. Those circumstances are clarified in my sticky about unlocking at the top of this sub forum. IF however, your phone is unlocked, you can use any SIM card from any GSM network in the device.

In both America, and Canada, we have both types of networks (owned and operated by different carriers) - this is why you can't take a phone from AT&T to Verizon - they use different network standards.

In terms of other parts of the world, I do not know which countries have carriers utilizing which standard. So, if you were traveling, you might want to look into what carriers are available in the country you are going to, and what network standard they use to be sure it will work with your device.


All that aside though, if OP buys a phone from somewhere else in the world - so long as the device is unlocked, it can be used in North America.
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March 18, 2014 12:10:15 AM

Well, that could have been a pretty big problem... Thank you very much, I'll have to choose more carefully, I guess.
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March 18, 2014 12:14:24 AM

What country do you live in, auntarie? You do have very good English, I assume either America/Canada or England?
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March 18, 2014 12:22:29 AM

Thanks @Apanzee. My sugar was extremely high (had to take meds) and I couldn't focus enough to answer with the depth you did. Guess that is why you are a moderator....;-)

@auntarie sorry if I busted a plan or bubble but didn't want you to find that out when you got there and the phone you got were you are didn't work (it may work still)....returning would be a...well you know
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March 18, 2014 12:31:32 AM

@HyNrgy, I have a friend who's hypoglycemic - serious stuff. I understand. You did bring up a good point though, and as a general rule of thumb it's better to be safe than sorry, so OP is better off knowing than not.
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March 18, 2014 1:13:09 AM

@Apanzee Bulgaria (small country in eastern Europe), moving to Germany. I hope there won't be a problem with coverage, since both countries are in the EU, but you never know. And thanks, I try to keep my English "in form", so to speak :D 

@HyNrgy you didn't bust my plan, don't worry. It's much better to know about such issues now than later, when I have already paid for the phone.
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March 18, 2014 1:25:29 AM

As long as you get answers that help you make a successful and working purchase then all is good.

Any chance you know someone going to the school you will be attending? Maybe they could tell you the service provider they use or ask around for you? Are you going to visit the school before attending? If you find the carrier and a phone where you are, maybe you could price compare to where you will be at?

Also, now that I have a distance graph, you may want to check on warranty, insurance, return, etc policy. Say you get the phone in Bulgaria but no where in Germany you can take it for warranty. If you buy out right you would only have manufacture as you can only get (at least here in US) "insurance" through a contract service....at least as far as I know you cannot get that on a purchase/prepaid plan.
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March 18, 2014 2:39:32 AM

Alright I did a little research on German and Bulgarian carriers. The big ones in Germany, it would seem, are: E-Plus, T-Mobile, and Vodafone. The big one in Bulgaria, would be Globul.

Both Globul, and T-Mobile, 100% for sure use GSM networks. If you were to purchase an unlocked device from Globul you could use it where you are now until you move, then buy a T-Mobile SIM card.

As was pointed out by HyNrgy, the warranty is something to consider. But, if you take good care of your devices it shouldn't be much of an issue anyways. And, if anything did ever go wrong, you could mail the phone and your purchase receipt to a relative in Bulgaria to claim the warranty for you. That's what I would do, anyway.

Or you could just wait until you move, and buy a phone in Germany.

It's entirely up to you where you go from here, but hopefully this is more than enough to make an informed choice.
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March 18, 2014 3:48:58 AM

I'm usually very careful with my electronics, that's why my current phone has lasted me 6 years now and only has 1 scratch on it. So I think I'll just take really good care of it, I don't know how good the services are in Germany, but if your phone breaks down in Bulgaria, you might as well just get a new one :p 
As for carriers, there are 2 in Bulgaria- Globul and M-tel. Globul is in the Cosmote group and M-tel works with Vodafone. Do you think this will help me with the coverage issue?
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March 18, 2014 4:04:53 AM

As I said, both Globul and T-Mobile are GSM carriers and use SIM cards. As long as the phone is unlocked you shouldn't have any issues getting it hooked up when you get to Germany. I'm not 100% sure how they do it there, but over here, if you buy the phone outright (no signing of a contract, phone paid in full) the retailer is legally obligated to unlock the device for use on any carriers network.

Call Globul and ask them what their stance is on unlocking devices for international use. If it comes to it you can always order an unlocked phone from an online retailer like Amazon.

As long as the phone is unlocked and GSM (if it takes a SIM card it's GSM) you shouldn't have any issues with coverage.
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March 18, 2014 1:32:44 PM

Then I might just do that. Buy a device without a contract, I mean. And there are plenty of local retailers that will do the job, so I may not even need to deal with Globul's sh*t. I know it's their job and that this is how they make a living, but those guys can get really annoying with their constant contract offers.
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March 19, 2014 11:13:31 AM

Sorry, I just have one last question- can I get an unlocked phone from an online retailer like eBay? I know about Amazon, but it seems that most of the stuff for sale on sites like eBay has been used at least once before...
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March 19, 2014 12:09:22 PM

that is always a possiblity, if unsure you should be able to call the vendor you are going to try to use and ask them something like ....Vendor, i am about to purchase Phone X that is unlocked and used, will it work on your network and do you need anything in advance to verify phone would be allowed on your network?

I say that because her in the states some companies will run the IMEI or ISDN to verify phone is not listed as stolen and if so they will to turn it on with their service. Yes, there are ways around it but I do not know if you want to go that route.

also depending on location of seller and you...remember "caveat emptor" (means buyer beware).
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March 20, 2014 11:28:37 AM

So I should ask before I buy. Pretty much common sense, but I didn't think of it :D  Thanks a lot, man.
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March 20, 2014 12:36:58 PM

no problem
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