Walt Mossberg

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Finding an Inexpensive Phone Upgrade

Q:

I followed your advice when you recommended the Nokia Lumia 710 for first-time smartphone users. I got the phone free. But I have no T-Mobile signal at my residence. I mainly use email. What might be your suggestions for an upgrade?

A:

If you are happy with the Windows phone operating system and with Nokia, there are other models that are inexpensive and work the way you already have learned. Amazon has the Lumia 920 on AT&T for between a penny and $50, depending on the plan. Or if you want to change both carriers and operating systems, you can get a variety of Android phones or older-model but newly made iPhones, for free or very little.

Q:

I live in a semirural area. Our only Internet-access option is DSL, which has “broadband” speeds of around 1.3 mbps, much too slow for streaming. Do you know of any systems that will download video at that rate?

A:

Many services adjust their quality to your bandwidth. For instance, Netflix recommends 1.5 mbps, but will work with 0.5 mbps. I have seen it work at about this speed. Some others may not work at all.

Write to mossberg@wsj.com.


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