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Stupid noob question: Typical data usage?

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by RichKS, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. RichKS

    RichKS Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Hi everyone, I just can't seem to find an answer to this anywhere so I thought I'd ask!

    I'm looking at getting a new android handset (probably the Nexus S) and I'm trying to figure out what kind of data plan I need. I'm used to Blackberry and not having to worry about things like data use, but inclusive data plans her in the UK are pretty tight.

    Basically, I want to use the gmail app and have something akin to push/always on email. I also intent to ideally be logged in to the google chat app most of the time. I don't get a huge amount of email, a couple of dozen a day? And I don't exactly spend ages chatting either. Plus some light browsing.

    Assuming I use it mainly for these things (and grab larger stuff over wifi while I'm at home or in the office), what sort of data plan am I going to need? I mean, it strikes me that none of my requirements are all that heavy and I ought to be OK with the standard 500mb/month?



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  2. EmoTonyB

    EmoTonyB Android Enthusiast

    for the little you are planning on using it for.. i would say that sounds resonable
  3. Medion

    Medion Android Expert

    There is no "typical" use because everyone considers their use to be "typical." Also, averages reported by carriers are inaccurate due to the fact that they're pulled up by power users, and pulled down by moderate users.

    If you have no plans to use streaming media (Pandora, Youtube, Slingbox, etc.), and only to use email, light messaging, and light web browsing (mobile client, not desktop), then 500MB should be more than enough. I'm a VERY heavy user and due to wifi usage I only accounted for about 350MB this month. My wife used about 150MB on her plan. However, one month I tethered for a barracks room and ended up using 1.6GB.
  4. RichKS

    RichKS Lurker
    Thread Starter

    So the basic message is "don't be afraid to leave gmail and chat connected".

    Thanks guys!

  5. dan330

    dan330 Extreme Android User

    i agree with Medion.

    500mb.. should be more than enough for your stated needs.
    problem with these types of phones... it is so easy.. to want more data.

    just keep an eye on your meter.. for a few months...so you can be sure.
    there are apps in the market that will help you monitor the data consumption.
  6. Medion

    Medion Android Expert

    Just keep in mind that these measure data at the terminal (your phone) and not the station (the carrier). If you have large amounts of packetloss, a common issues with wireless data, it's not measured at the terminal, but is at the station. A carrier's measurement can fluctuate greatly from what you measure on your device.
  7. mrsbelpit

    mrsbelpit Android Enthusiast

    I'm a heavy user and I rarely ever get to 1.5 gb. another thing you can do is use wifi where available, it does not use your data plan.
  8. dan330

    dan330 Extreme Android User

    ^^^ reading comprehension 101 :D just sayin
  9. mrsbelpit

    mrsbelpit Android Enthusiast

    lol my husband always says I read too fast. dammit! he may be right.:)
  10. bluenova

    bluenova OK Computer

    I think you haven't found a definitive answer because it depends entirely on your usage. Everything you've mentioned is text based, such as email, chat etc which uses very little data also Gmail and GChat use Push services which means your phone doesn't have to keep checking every minute for new messages, they will simply be pushed to your phone as they arrive at Google. So for this 500 mb/month will be more than enough. What will use you data quickly is images, especially moving images.

    I would suggest you install 3G watchdog which will show you at a glance what you've used out of your allowance via a widget on your home screen. You'll soon see that 500 mb is more than enough if you are not transferring images.
  11. lordofthereef

    lordofthereef Android Expert

    So I know people are saying there is no "typical", but there are some guidelines that can easily be given. If all you are using your data plan for is email, and the vast majority of your email is text format (not images, pictures, clips, etc.) then I really don't think it would be bad for us to say that 500mb a month will certainly be enough for you.

    The OP did mention this will be used only for email. Why are we beating around the topic? I have less than 500mb in my inbox (I delete nothing) and it has been active for five years. I average 5-10 emails a day, and the vast majority is text. Let's please be realistic when making recommendations.
  12. dan330

    dan330 Extreme Android User

    ^^^ you also need reading comprehension 101. most of us said.. what you said...

    we just gave him a few extra pointers.

    chill out!
    did you have a bad day?
  13. takeshi

    takeshi Android Expert

    Usage varies. You can use rules of thumb as you've suggested but in the end it all comes down to an individual's specific usage and it's up to the individual to determine what that actual usage is.

    Just because you average 5-10 mostly text emails a day doesn't mean that everyone else does. That's realistic.

    We also have no idea what the OP's "light browsing" means. These are all highly subjective terms.

    500MB is likely enough but the OP will have to monitor things to make sure.

    Dan, these comments don't add anything to the discussion any more than the duplicate responses you're pointing out.
  14. dan330

    dan330 Extreme Android User

    ^^^ rolls eyes.... just sayin
  15. 350Rocket

    350Rocket Well-Known Member

    For the first month I had my phone when I still had home internet and was also using wifi at school, I used less than 100mb. After that when I upgraded to the student 55 flex plan which comes with 1gb and goes up to 5gb for $95. Last month I used barely under 1gb. This month it looks like I will use just under 5gb, lol. This is using it all the time, all over the place, tethering it at home watching videos. The one night when I was downloading the rom kitchen from XDA developers, I downloaded over 1gb just in a couple hours that evening.
  16. Joe Dirt

    Joe Dirt Android Enthusiast

    I use 3-4gb a month.. I don't tether... streaming uses lots of data.
  17. 350Rocket

    350Rocket Well-Known Member

    I try to watch vids mostly on the phone instead of tethering to the laptop to lower data usage.
  18. pool_shark

    pool_shark Android Expert

    My D2 is my main source for getting emails, I update the news and weather every 3 hours, and I'm always on the market looking for apps.

    At home I only use wifi and I'm at home all day Wed-Fri working from home.
    According to my usage thru yesterday I'm over 2GB.

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