Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Finally bought a new phone


I went with the Galaxy S7 Onyx Black model. This is the Exynos model. This is my second Android phone, after the Nexus 5.

Many would say that it was a stupid decision to buy it at this time because many new phones are coming in the next couple of months, such as the iPhone 7, Galaxy Note 7 and a new Nexus. But Optus, which is the network I was previously on, started offering the phone for $65 per month on a 2-year contract with unlimited calls and 7GB monthly data, so I had to grab it. It's still not as good as the Woolworths Mobile offer of $70 per month for the S7 Edge with 8GB data. But with the Optus offer, I didn't have to pay the early termination fee. I've had the Optus connection for only 4 months and I had to pay about $180 to terminate the connection.

I was already paying $40 for it and that was without a phone. So the phone would only cost $25 a month excess and it would make phone only $600 over the 24 month period. The cheapest S7 costs almost $1000 locally, so that’s about $400saved. The only caveat is now I have only 7GB of data instead of 10GB. The $40 SIM only plan I had was in fact the $60 plan with 10GB monthly data, but I got it when it went on offer with a $20 monthly discount. The other advantage of sticking with Optus is that I can swap the handset after 12 months paying only $99. I don’t know if I would actually do it, but that is a good option to have because in a year we might have way better phones. Additionally, I can terminate this connection anytime without paying the early termination fees. I do have to pay the remaining value of the phone though, which is calculated at $45 per instalment (not $25 sadly, so it is not really worth doing that).

Optus Deal

Click to enlarge

I could have bought the phone online which is the preferred method generally, but it would have taken 2-3 days to arrive. Since I went to work yesterday by car, I decided to pay a visit to the Optus store in the Chadstone Shopping Centre on the way back to see if the deal was available in-store. I chatted with an Optus agent online to check if this was the case, but they were unable to confirm it. Luckily for me, they had the same offer in-store, so it wasn't an online only deal unlike some of the deals.

When the Woolworths Mobile deal went online last month, I contacted Optus to see how much my early termination fee (ETF) was. They told me if I upgraded to a plan with them, I did not have to pay the ETF. I had to make sure this was still the case and that’s what I did as soon as I reached the Optus Store.The store agent confirmed that I didn't have to pay the ETF, so I went ahead with signing the contract. It only too about 15 minutes for the entire process unlike hours and hours you have to wait in Japan. I only had to show my Driving License and the Medicare card. The agent offered me a bundle deal on few accessories such as a case for the phone, an additional  wall charger, a car charger, portable power bank, 3.5mm earphones, a Bluetooth earpiece etc on a $10 per month basis for 24 month. Obviously I refused as I had most of what I needed. One thing I have learned from Japan is one should never fall for these bundle deals. They actually make you buy things you never wanted in the first place. I only needed a new case for the phone, which I decided to buy separately. He also offered me insurance for the phone and I refused that as well. I will keep the phone securely.

He had to give me a new SIM card because the Nexus 5 only supported Micro SIM cards. The S7 requires a Nano SIM card. 

I looked for cases for the phone at JB Hi-Fi but the prices were ludicrous. So I decided to buy one online after returning home. While it is cheaper to buy from China, I did not want to keep the phone unprotected for too long. I needed a case within a week. Thankfully, I managed to find a Spigen Slim Armor Cover case with kickstand for relatively cheap delivered from only a couple of miles away from home, which will make it show up at my doorstep in a day or two. The ETA was 21st though, that’s 3 days which is absurd.

I actually opened the box soon after returning to the car to see if everything was in order. I inserted the new SIM card and powered the phone up. Stupidly, the phone had the Optus branding on the boot up screen. I was worried that there would be bloatware installed, but it only had the Optus mobile app. The phone had about half the battery full and I rushed through the initial setup process and I was finally in the launcher. The connection took and hour or so to get activated but it happened automatically.

After I went back home, I started configuring the phone the exact same way it was setup on my Nexus 5. I also received a software update while setting the phone up. Setting up the phone drained the battery completely. To be honest, I expected better endurance from its battery.

Anyway, I'll have to use this phone for a couple of weeks to see if I made the right choice. So far, I haven't seen any slowdowns, which is promising.

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