Smartphones are fantastic, that’s a fact! (disclaimer, not an actual fact more of opinion). As fantastic as they are they are pretty useless without internet access also known as data. Data allows you to do tons of stuff, mindlessly scroll through social media, watch YouTube, browse the web etc.
When you order a free ASDA mobile pay as you SIM you’ll need to top it up, you can then either use your credit on the standard rate or apply a bundle – bundles come with a range of data allowances so it’s important to understand what data is and how much you can do with it.
MB and GB
The amount of data you get when applying bundle to your Asda Mobile account will be described as MB or GB; MB is the smaller of the two amounts.
When we look at trying to convert MB or GB into real-world examples, many things can affect just how much data is used. Factors that can greatly affect how much data is being used include:
- The resolution of the display in your smartphone
- The quality of the videos or TV that you watch
- How many images are on a webpage that you visit
- The quality of the graphics used in online multiplayer games
- The size of files attached to emails
It is worth noting here that as mobile phone technology has evolved, more data is being used for similar actions. For example, a few years ago you may have watched a HD movie using approximately 700MB of data. Today you would be more likely to steam a Full HD movie using approximately 1.5GB of data, which is roughly 1,500MB
With all of this mind, we can now take a look at how much data is used for internet-based services in 2018. These are estimates based on a typical user with a typical mid-range mobile phone.
How much is 250MB of data?
250MB is not a lot of data and a top-up of this value is usually reserved for very light users. With 250MB of data, you could do one of the following:
- Stream standard definition TV for 20 minutes
- Send or receive 250 emails
- Stream high-quality music for 2 hours
- Send or receive 375’000 WhatsApp messages (text only)
As we can see from these examples, you would not be able to stream TV for very long but you could almost send an unlimited amount of WhatsApp messages. So, considering exactly what you use your smartphone for, can be critical when deciding how much data you need.
How much is 1GB of data?
1GB of data (aka 1024 MBs) may be enough for you if you have low to mid-range usage. With 1GB of data you might be able to do one of the following:
- Watch Netflix standard definition movies for 1 hour and 20 minutes
- Listen to high-quality music on Spotify or TIDAL for 8 hours
- Play online real-time multiplayer games for 10 days
How much is 3GB of data?
3GB of data is a really healthy amount of data and mid to reasonably heavy users (excluding those who stream HD movies) may find this enough. With 3GB of data you could do one of the following:
- Watch Netflix HD movies for 1 hour
- Stream high-quality Spotify music for 36 hours
- Browse the internet for 90 hours
So what does that look like in the real world?
While we should remind you that we are looking at estimated usage, it may be beneficial to see what you could do each day for a month, with 3GB of data:
- Browse the internet for 1 hour a day
- Use social media such as Twitter or Facebook for 1 hour a day
- Send or receive 25 emails per day
- Use Google Maps or fitness tracking apps for 1 hour a day
There are certainly other services that you can use that require very little data and this includes assistants such as Siri and the Google Assistant.
Asda Mobile also caters to heavy / power users with up to 15GB of data offered on certain 30-day bundles. Check out our range of bundles here.
How do I save mobile data?
If you have access to Wi-Fi then you could use this to handle data-heavy tasks. You could download movies on iTunes or Netflix over Wi-Fi or download Spotify and TIDAL playlists over Wi-Fi. This will give you the freedom to watch movies and to listen to music offline and when you are away from your home Wi-Fi.
If you use the Chrome web browser, then you can go to the settings and activate the data saver feature. Data saver sends traffic via the Google servers before it downloads on your device, this reduces the amount of data your device downloads as Google servers compress it. Many other mobile phone web browsers also have a data saver feature. You can also get your browser, like Chrome, to download a webpage for offline use. You can do this while you are connected to Wi-Fi and then use no mobile data to view the page offline.
It is widely recognised that apps can use a lot of data in the background. Apps like Facebook constantly update and this can chew up your remaining data. You can restrict the background activities on both Android and Apple phones. On the iPhone go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh, while on Android phones go to Settings > Data Usage > Restrict Background Data.
Sharing photos is another task that can use a lot of data. This is particularly so on phones that have high-resolution cameras. You can save data by reducing the quality of pictures in the menu or settings of your camera app. You can choose lower quality photos for those that you intend to share and take high-quality photos for those that you don’t intend to share.
Just like photos, videos can use a lot of data if you share or upload them to a site like YouTube. You can save data by downloading a free video compression app. As a bonus, the compressed videos will also upload quicker, saving you valuable time. You can upload videos to YouTube and set them to private, that way only you and people you share the video link with can see them – all the details around YouTube privacy settings can be found here.