If you’re going into hospital, a smartphone is really essential, as the surprising number of people with dumb phones found out to their cost.
So, sunk deep into whatever fuckuppery was currently masquerading as rational thought, a few weeks before being hauled away to APH I bought a SIM-free Samsung Galaxy S3 (Amazon), and a tenner-a-month mobile data contract from Virgin. I didn’t need the Galaxy, you understand, but man, I wanted it! I don’t do product endorsements unless I’ve used them myself extensively, and no, I wouldn’t do it for money, but feel free to ask – I might be lying and the S3 has had a real baptism of fire.
The phone, I have to say, is simply an amazing piece of kit, and did 99.9% of everything I asked of it. What struck me though, connected to Virgin via the hospital’s wi-fi (a connection that persisted for two days back home before dropping out – the hospital is 4+ miles away, go figure), was that it was staggeringly fast – every bit as fast as it is here, sitting feet from my router.
It was essential, I found, to let the phone locate and connect to the hospital service automatically for trouble-free functioning. Connect manually and it malfunctioned like buggery. Nope, sorry, no idea why.
It’s remarkably robust, too; despite having been dropped onto a vinyl tiled floor several times, and on one occasion also doused in hot Bovril, it continues to function perfectly.
I found the onboard virtual keypad something of a trial, though, and not wildly accurate in either vertical or horizontal mode, but a Bluetooth keyboard will fix that as well as allowing faster typing.
Don’t forget to install an anti-virus app – I use the free mobile version of avast! I now use the paid-for version for the extra assurance given that I can be online 24/7, but I’ve used the free version on my PCs for years and never been let down.
Finally, in a hospital or similar environment, look to your security – the default swipe to unlock is entirely inadequate – set up a password at the very least. And never leave the phone lying around unattended – or £400’s worth of electronics is very likely to go walkies.
And – just the teeniest bit important, this – don’t forget your charger and the longest USB lead you have.