Question: I currently have a Samsung Galaxy J3 phone. I'm with Eir Bill Pay and it costs around €30 per month. I'm really happy with the phone which is why I haven't changed it in ages. Unfortunately, the memory is all used up so I feel that I need to upgrade. I need something similar but with a larger memory. Do you have any recommendations?
- Caroline Doyle, via email
I'll give you one decent upgrade recommendation (see below). But first, I feel obliged to tell you that your Samsung J3 phone, while it only has 16GB of internal storage memory, also has a memory card slot that would solve your problem for a fraction of the cost of a new model. Just click off the plastic casing on the back and you'll see the memory card slot on top of the Sim card slot.
MicroSD memory cards are very cheap, too - you can double your phone's storage for about €10 (from Amazon or any other online store) or more than quadruple it (a 64GB or 128GB card) for €20. In fact, your phone can take a memory card up to 256GB. If I'm right in assuming that a growing collection of photos or videos is causing the problem, a memory card is perfect for this and far cheaper than changing phone. On the other hand, if the issue is a growing number of storage-hungry apps that you use, moving them to a memory card can slow up their performance and is not ideal.
A quick final alternative is something I've written about many times before- moving your photos off your phone and on to Google Photos, which is free, gives almost unlimited storage and makes your photos available from future phones too.
But if you really have your heart set on a replacement phone, a logical choice would be something like Samsung's recently launched Galaxy A51. It's a bit of a step up from your J3 but is very affordable on Bill Pay, has loads (128GB) of built-in storage memory, decent battery life and a great 6.5-inch screen.
Recommendation: Samsung Galaxy A51 (from free on bill pay, €339 on prepay or €379 outright)
We have Eir broadband and at its best it is 15Mbs. We now have four students and one adult working from home. This situation is causing great difficulties. Is there a booster you could recommend that might help improve our situation?
- Martina, Co Laois, via email
Boosters are aimed at improving mobile signals (including mobile broadband) and are quite expensive. They are boxes or antennae that sit on your roof or outside your window. There are only a few that are legal too - some of those for sale online interfere with local mast signals and can be seized if detected. You're looking at a few hundred euro for one and you'd need to get it professionally installed. Even then, depending on how rural you are, you may not get much better than 15Mbs.
If you mean that your Eir landline broadband only gives you 15Mbs, and you're satisfied that you have a competent broadband router, you simply won't get a faster speed from that line. That leaves you with two alternatives. The first is aimed at making the very best of what you have: an 'extender' or 'mesh Wi-Fi' kit. These can better push that 15Mbs to all corners of your house if you're finding that your broadband is good enough in one room but awful or non-existent in the next. Linksys, Netgear and a number of others make 'extenders' and there's plenty of choice for under €100. A 'mesh Wi-Fi' system, which lets you add extra wireless 'points' around the house, is even more effective at this. Google's Nest Wifi is absolutely excellent (I have one myself) but is quite pricey at €239 for a two-unit kit. TP-Link has a cheaper one (AC1200) for €90 (from Harvey Norman).
The other option is to look for a 'fixed wireless' broadband alternative from an operator such as Imagine or a local provider. This will involve a set-up fee (usually about €100 or more) and equipment on your roof, but it has a good chance of getting you better than 15Mbs.
My wife has tasked me to access photographs that we have saved on our phones and pick out the best for printing. We have saved these on iCloud and Google Photos. How do we edit and filter them prior to printing? Do we use the current apps or can we pick and choose and transfer to an app that will allow us to edit them prior to printing?
- Michael O'Regan, Limerick. via email
You say that you have the photos on your phones. If one of them is an iPhone, the quickest and easiest way is to edit them in the iPhone's 'Photos' app. Pick a photo, tap 'Edit' and then 'Auto' at the bottom. If you don't like what you see, swipe along the editing controls and try each one (in my view the best ones are 'Shadows', 'Brilliance' and 'Brightness').
Most Android phones don't have similarly easy (or effective) editing controls built in. Here, I'd recommend opening the Google Photos app, selecting a photo and then the editing control (the three horizontal lines with the notches on them). Tap 'Auto' and it should brighten or correct features of your photo. If not, tap the three horizontal lines icon again and it will take you into manual editing controls.
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€180 from Amazon.co.uk
I’m intrigued by Doogee’s budget phone for one main reason — it has the longest battery life of any phone I’ve ever used. Its 10,000mAh reserve is about three times that of an iPhone 11. Otherwise, it acts like a decent budget Android model with a reasonable 6-inch display, 64GB of storage and a 21 megapixel camera.
TCL 10 Pro
If you’re looking for a phone that has flagship features for €100 to €200 less than flagship brands, TCL’s new 10 Pro model might fit the bill. TCL is a huge manufacturer that usually makes handsets to be branded by others. But its own 10 Pro has good cameras, battery and a gorgeous design.