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Cost- effective Android Calls

Written by HeavenlyAndroid   
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 09:00

Mobile phones are indispensable in an emergency. No matter where you are, you can rely on your android to help you out. This is true, only if your contract is adequate and packed to the brim with all the minutes to landlines, mobile numbers and free voicemail you could possibly wish for. Similarly, if you are on pay & go, you need to be drowning in credit to ensure your android is more of a help and less of a hindrance.


There are ways around most phone charge issues. Whether you need to make a call to an 0845 number or wish 0800 was free to ring from your mobile. You should never have to pay to retrieve your voicemail, a fact which is often hidden when taking out a phone contract, only becoming evident when you scrutinize your bill. Although mobile packages, both contract and pay & go, are becoming more competitive and desirable every day, there is still a huge area that can trip you up and leave you with a financial headache if you aren't careful.

Below are a few clever, useful and crafty ways to get more for your money from your android phone.

SayNo To 0870 Android App

It is doubtful there is a bigger bugbear in the land of phonecalls than 0845 / 0870 numbers. You can guarantee that the one call you need to make from your mobile as a matter of urgency will consist of these horrid digits (rarely included in inclusive minutes on your mobile package). You are damned if you will dial them; why should you line the pockets of the gargantuan companies that choose to employ premium numbers when they could easily afford to use freephone 0800 numbers (although not so free from mobiles!), or at the very least geographical numbers, without denting their very deep pockets.

Although such companies protest that the use of 0845 / 0870 does not benefit them monetarily, it is evident that they make a profit totalling thousands each year, at the expense of their loyal, if disgruntled, customers. SAYNOTO0870 has existed on the world wide web, offering cheap alternative phone numbers, for the past 12 years. It has saved lots of money and frustration. Now you can enjoy the same benefits with the use of this handy android app.


I attempted to initiate a download from Google Android Market, onto my beloved HTC Wildfire, only to have a message pop up telling me that my phone was not compatible. I searched Google Android Market directly from my phone, to no avail. It wasn't there. I looked for reasons why I couldn't access it but found no answer. I emailed SLACKERSOFT, the company behind SayNo To 0870 android app, and am awaiting their response.

Luckily, I had use of my partners HTC Desire, and downloaded the app to that phone for review purposes.

The app works very nicely, in the limited form we have at present. You can only search numbers, not text, making things a little difficult if you find copy and paste awkward or don't have a pen to hand; plus not many of us are blessed with photographic memories. Once you get over this hurdle and enter the evil 0845 / 70 number you want to search, there is a good chance you will receive an instant alternative that you can ring from your mobile with a smile on your face. Of all the 0845 numbers I tested, 9 out of 10 brought up an alternative on this app. You don't need to remember this number either as you are prompted to ring from the app screen, sweet!

There is room for improvement, such as text searching and more entries added, but for now this will do nicely, if you can get it on your android that is.

Free Download

Calling Abroad from your Android

Today it is commonplace for you to have relatives or friends living abroad, often due to work commitments, or just because the weather (and government) sucks over here in Blighty. Whatever the reason, it is easy to become a distant relative and soon enough a distant memory.


There is no excuse to lose contact with your loved ones, with the web at your fingertips, showing your mug in realtime on webcam or keeping up with what adventures your mad Uncle has been up to on Facebook, email, msn...

Sometimes you just want a good, old-fashioned chat on the phone, simple. You are in fact desperate to tell your relative some juicy gossip / important news. You reach for your mobile, begin to tap in the long list of digits, then, heart beating wildly, end the call before it has even had chance to connect. There is no way you can afford to ring Thailand and that's that. The intimacy between you and your relative is gradually jaded and forgotten until you are as good as strangers.

Lebara mobile is a great place to start if you need to phone abroad on a regular basis. One of the leading companies in the international call field; if choosing a pay-monthly tariff, you are only tied into a 3 month contract, after which it becomes a 1 month rolling contract needing only 1 month notice to cancel. With calls abroad from as little as 1p per minute and calls made outside of your free minutes costing no more than the calls within your plan (billed at the end of month), also free calls Lebara to Lebara, this is the way to go. They also offer similar great deals on pay & go tariffs. Deals not to be sniffed at.


Tesco International Calling Card is fantastic for you if you are already tied into a phone contract elsewhere or simply don't wish to change from your main carrier. By purchasing a pre-paid phonecard, then entering a unique access number, PIN and dialling your destination number, you can call abroad from as little as 1p per minute. Can be used from either your landline, phonebox or mobile, providing you with a solution for every individual need. Tesco International Calling Card is valid for 90 days from purchase and can be re-charged at any time. Credit not used within validity period will be lost. A no hassle solution.


Most mobile phone carriers have fantastic deals for international calls as they recognise the need for this service.

O2. O2 have 3 options to choose from:

  • International Calling Cards (similar to Tesco International Calling Cards)
  • Your Country Free sim (pay & go, 100 free international minutes when you top up £15 a month)
  • International Favourites Bolt On (pay monthly / pay & go, 3000 minutes to 3 international numbers of your choice. £10.21 a month.)

T Mobile. T Mobile have free International sim cards for pay & go customers. If you top up £10 during the week you get up to 200 minutes for international calls or texts at weekends.   

Vodafone. Vodafone International has an option for pay monthly / pay & go customers. Calls abroad cost from 5p a minute and there are no tricky PIN codes to remember either! f also offers an International Super SIM, a 30 day sim only contract. Includes international calls from 5p a minute, 200 UK minutes and unlimited UK texts. To cancel simply give 30 days notice.

 With plenty of similar companies offering deals on international calls out there, there is no reason why you should not stay close to family and friends who have moved far away from where the sun don't shine.

0800 from your Android?

What an annoyance, 0800 / 0500 numbers supposedly free for all, as long as you don't expect the privilege when using your mobile phone. The fact that you are charged from your mobile for making such calls kind of negates the point somewhat.

BT mobile offers free calls to 0800 numbers (subject to fair usage policy), although the price of being on a BT mobile phone contract is unbelievably hefty in the first place. With prices reaching as much as £45 + a month for the privilege, free 0800 calls is the least you would expect, a free pizza once a week would go somewhere towards compensating though!

0800 BUSTER allows any mobile user with inclusive minutes as part of their contract to call 0800, 0808 and 0500 free of charge. Although it is charged if you don't have inclusive minutes, it is still likely to be cheaper to use than ringing freephone numbers directly, as calls are charged at landline rates. The use of this service is completely free with no catches.

To use simply dial: 0117 395 0800 followed by the full freephone number and then press #. eg. 0117 395 0800 0800 111 999#


O2 also have a comprehensive list of 0800 numbers that are free for their customers to use.

Directory Enquiries

Remember the good old days when it was unheard of to be charged to ring directory enquiries? BT's 192 breathed its last breath in 2003, to be replaced by greedy rip-off merchants such as 118 118. Who in their right mind would contemplate spending £1 +, usually only to be told the number you are searching for can't be found?

There really is no reason to use this service; even if you aren't on the web, you own a paper copy of Yellow Pages, Thomson Local or the ever-shrinking great British 'Phone Book' (if you haven't used them as improvised toilet paper or lining for the cat litter tray of course).

When on your travels you can be forgiven for needing the help of Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee (118 118 to you and me). Even though you are blessed with an android phone, which under ideal circumstances would supply you with in mobile android form, there are still times when you have no access to your mobile web browser. Never fear.

0800 BUSTER comes to your rescue yet again. So long as you have inclusive minutes included in your phone package you can make a call to directory enquiries for free.

Simply dial: 0117 395 0800 0800 118 3733 is useful if you have mobile web access. Free Download 


Free Voicemail Messages

Free voicemail messages aren't much to expect from your carrier nowadays, but sadly this is often not the case. Upon checking your new mobile contract bill, you may well get a nasty shock when you realise that all the voicemail messages you have been listening to over the month have cost you 10p a time, which mounts up to £'s very quickly. Obviously, it is vital to go through the small print in your potential phone contract with a fine-tooth comb before committing. If free voicemail messages are not your main requirement or you are already on a contract and spitting feathers over the issue of being charged to listen to your missed call messages there is a workaround to solve the problem.

HulloMail is an indispensable app for the shrewd android user. With one click you can retrieve your voicemail from your mobile, email or the web. Send voice messages via email, personalise a greeting for each individual contact, plus enjoy lots of other goodies. If you are a pay & go customer, unless you are with 3 UK or giffgaff, currently you will not be able to enjoy this app, unfortunately this includes me :(


Last Updated ( Wednesday, 25 April 2012 16:14 )

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