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Three ways to avoid BS (bill-shock)

15 Sep 2015
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Tipo

amaysim's content guy

Having everything online or just "an app away" has made staying on top of bills and services easier than ever. Here are some of my top tips so you can do the same.

I’m a ‘set and forgetter’ when it comes to my accounts so getting blindsided by a mammoth energy bill really knocked the wind out of my finances (not to mention my weekend plans) coming out of winter. So earlier this month I resolved to take control of my finances so that the next bill I receive won’t put me in the recovery position.

How am I doing that? Well, it comes down to micromanaging my accounts.

Get familiar with your usage

The first thing to do is to take a look at your usage across your utilities accounts. Let’s take your mobile plan for example – for me, I use a lot of my data travelling to and from work as well as when I’m streaming tunes and tracking my run when I exercise.

I’m signed up with amaysim (cheap plug for the employer, eh?) and we provide a data calculator on our website for folks looking to see how much data they use. Even if you’re with another telco, give the amaysim Data Calculator a whirl - it’ll give you a good idea of how much data you use every month. Go on, I won’t tell your telco.

Are you on the right plan for you?

Once you know approximately how much you’re using, take a closer look at your phone plan to see if it really is the best one for you.

Here’s a hypothetical to illustrate my point – say I’m on the UNLIMITED 30GB mobile plan, so I get 30GB of data and unlimited standard national calls and texts. I love the calls and texts but I noticed I was always going over my data allowance by half a gig and it was starting to add up. Moving up to the next plan would have given me more data than I’d have known what to do with it, so instead I add 1GB to my account for $10 – it costs less than paying 7.2c/MB and gives me the freedom to use my phone as usual (but with a little more confidence).

You can apply this same logic to things like your energy plan and your bank account – adjusting your plan according to your usage will help you make the most of inclusions better suited to your usage and wallet.

Set and forget with mobile usage alerts

Once you’ve gotten your head around your usage and plan inclusions, you’re in a much safer position to indulge the ‘set and forgetter’ inside you. In fact, when it comes to your telco, this’d be a great opportunity to set up data usage alerts to really help you along the way. Here at amaysim, our customers get a text or email notification when they’re 50%, 85% and 100% through their plan’s included data and credit, so opting-in to these messages is a no-brainer. Most telcos provide similar ways to keep track of your usage, so check out your provider’s app or drop them a line to find out how they can keep you posted on how you’re travelling every month.

Take it from me – just by tweaking how you approach your bills, you can reduce the chances that you’ll be paying for this month’s decisions with next month’s good times.

Do you have any sure-fire ways of getting the most out of the services you’re signed up to? Or perhaps tempted to check out our amaysim plans? Let us know in the comments.

Cheers,
Tipo - amaysim's content guy

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Pixel 5

Google Pixel 5: Everything we know so far

13 Aug 2020

Fresh on the heels of the Pixel 4A being announced, the hype train for the Google Pixel 5 is now well and truly underway.

After months of speculation about whether the Pixel 5 launch would be pushed back, Google put much of this chatter to rest by providing a sneak peak of the Pixel 5 during the recent launch of the Pixel 4A.


Last years flagship device, the Pixel 4, was a phone full of potential. As we've come to expect from the Pixel series, it featured an incredibly powerful camera, however its average battery life, held it back from being a serious contender for phone of the year.

While the Pixel 4 had its flaws, it was still a really good phone overall, and it will interesting to see how this years model, stacks up against other flagship models from 2020 such as the Samsung Galaxy S20 and Apple's highly anticipated iPhone 12.

With all this said, we wouldn't count Google out from delivering something special and with such a positive early response to the Pixel 4A, perhaps 2020 will prove to be the year of the Pixel.

To help bring you up to speed on what Google has in-store with this years flagship Pixel device, here's everything we know so far about the Pixel 5.

at a glance: rumoured Google Pixel 5 features

  • Expected October release
  • 5G connectivity
  • Android 11
  • New camera features; Adjustable Flash, Motion Blur & Audio Zoom
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G

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    Expect 5G

    It's widely expected the Pixel 5 will include 5Gconnectivity.

    The feature was all but confirmed in early August with the announcement of the Pixel 4A, where Google teased two new 5G devices, the Pixel 5 and a 5G version of the Pixel 4A, both of which are set to be released during the final quarter of 2020.

    Release Date

    Since the phone’s inception back in 2016, Google has remained incredibly consistent with their release schedule for the flagship Pixel series, with all previous launches taking place in October. This trend is set to continue, after a leak surfaced from a Google affiliated website in France, claiming the Pixel 5 will be available for pre-order from October 8.

    Android 11

    This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, since a beta version of Android 11 is already available for public download, however it’s expected the Pixel 5 will be the first device to don the latest Android software straight out the box.

    Some of the expected improvements and features of Android 11 include a new media player widget, easier ways to control smart home devices using your phone, a new power button menu and refinements to the messaging system and conversation bubbles.

    Pixel 5 Render
    Image Credit: Google

    Design & Display

    Last year Google teased images of the Pixel 4 in the months leading up to its official launch. This time round, the only confirmed sighting of the Pixel 5 has been the side image (seen above) which Google teased during the launch of the Pixel 4A.

    Outside of this image, there have been a number of different leaks floating about which have helped paint a picture of what this years phone might look like.

    Like the Pixel 4, it's expected the Pixel 5 will feature an OLED panel, with a matte glass finish on the back and full HD/QHD resolution. According to Front Page Tech who gained access to an early Pixel 5 prototype, a forehead bezel on the front side of the device is also expected to remain.

    In terms of refresh rate, last year we got to enjoy a smooth 90Hz experience with the Pixel 4. However with Samsung (and others) already making the jump to 120Hz and Apple reportedly looking to do the same with the iPhone 12, it will be interesting to see if Google sees this as an important feature upgrade and whether they'll look to roll out a 120Hz refresh rate with the Pixel 5.

    A Mighty Fine Camera

    While earlier leaks suggested the Pixel 5 would include a triple-lens camera on the rear of the device, more recent leaks suggest Google will once again opt for a two camera setup on the back.

    The quality of images with the Pixel 4 were outstanding, so it's not as if this should be a concern. For some though, the added flexibility of a third, wide angle lens, would of been the cherry on top, for a camera that many consider one of the top-tier mobile phone cameras.

    With that said, Google doesn't appear to be standing still, instead opting to fine-tune the Pixel's two-camera setup by adding new features.

    Expected new features include an adjustable camera flash, a new motion blur feature and the introduction of audio zoom, which will allow you to zoom in when recording video to help you capture audio more precisely.

    Long story short, it looks like we're in for a treat with this years camera setup.

    Under The Hood

    In the past, Pixel devices have typically featured the best Qualcomm chip available, which this year would be the Snapdragon 865 Plus. With the Pixel 5, this might not be case, with an inside scoop from 9to5Google suggesting the phone may be shipped with a Snapdragon 765G processor.

    The Snapdragon 765 is more of a mid-range chip, unlike the high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 which powers the latest Samsung phones. This would suggest slightly less processing power than some of its competitors. With that said, the 765 is obviously no slouch and will still pack a solid punch in terms of performance.

    In terms of RAM, while it hasn't been a huge strength of the Pixel series in the past, there should be improvements on this front, with the Pixel 5 set to include 8GB of RAM in comparison to last years 6GB.

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