Yes, sad to say, that my venerable 3G iPhone and I are parting company.

I believe it is the battery that is at fault because it says it is fully charged after about 30 minutes of charging, then discharges within a day (with no calls at all!).

I checked out replacement batteries, but there are some real horror stories about replacement batteries out there…

So I decided on a new phone.

First, I defined the problem:

Since I spent less than £30 last year on top ups for my phone (and it still has £16 credit) I guess you could say I am a”light” phone user. I don’t do email on my phone, I don’t text unless I can help it, and I rarely make any phone calls. I do read books (pdf’s mainly) and I do listen to music from my phone on occasion.

So I want a Pay As You Go, with data (but not much – I only use it for weather, and checking things on-line), cheap texts and a low call rate per minute.

Looking around the market I found that most PAYG sim plans have a maximum life of 30 days, so effectively you are topping up every month (and the minimum seems to be £10}, but I did find one from 3 that fits my needs – 3p per minute for calls, 2p per text, 1p per megabyte of data – and no expiry on the top-up, so I can put a £10 top-up on, and as long as I make one phone call every six months, my account is valid even if I don’t top-up again for several years.

As to the handset, the choice is Windows Phone, Android, Symbian (still some of those out there!) or BlackBerry.

I never liked BlackBerry, Symbian is going the way of the dodo, and I don’t really “do” Windows (actually, I do “do” Windows, but only in Virtual Machines and only for running games that wine has trouble with…) so I guess it comes down to Android.

Android on a Samsung device is something to behold – my daughter runs a Galaxy tablet with Android and loves it, and any time I have played with it I have really liked it also.

Checking out the latest Samsung phones put me into shock – they are on a pricing par with iPhones – I didn’t think anybody would ever charge as much as Apple! So I set my sights (a lot) lower.

And I found a Samsung Galaxy Young handset unlocked, PAYG, for £39.99 (existing O2 SIM used) at Carphone Warehouse. It runs Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean), has a touch screen, takes a 64MB microSD card for extra storage and I can connect it to my Slackware Linux box without jumping through too many hoops.

So, for £50 (take a penny), I have an unlocked touch screen smartphone with a tariff to suit my miserly phoning ways –  Now all I gotta hope for is some improvement in 3 signal strength for where I live so I can actually use it without hanging out a window…