Feeling drained? Not as fast as you used to be? Welcome to the Data Doctor! I've got the cure for all your data allowance needs, so come in, lie down on the couch and tell me all about it…
Doctor, doctor, I feel like I'm not getting the best deal!
Then pull yourself together! No wait, that's curtains, isn't it? Well, I stand by it. It's easy to find the network contract that suits your usage habits best. Just follow these simple tips.
Don't expect unlimited data
Just a few short years ago, networks gave out unlimited data like mobile internet was going out of fashion. It wasn't, and we now spend more time using web-based services on our phones than we do making calls and sending texts.
As a result, Three remains the only network to offer all-you-can-eat data, with the other major players now favouring tiered packages, peaking at 2GB per month and bottom-out at a miserly 250MB.
Know your usage history
The price of your monthly tariff will depend on the tiered deal you choose, so make sure you know your current usage history before you buy. If you're only using an average of 500MB per month, there's little point shelling out an extra £10 a month for data you won't use.
Most networks won't punish you for going slightly over your usage limit, but if you do select a lower tariff they are likely to ask you to pay more for your handset upfront. It's a balancing act, so take care to do your maths, taking into account the full length of the contract.
Find out what counts as data usage
Many people are surprised to learn that some networks do not include web browsing and email in their data totals. That means you can visit as many websites and send as many hilarious memes as you like without eating into your precious allowance.
If you mostly download music and films or use data-intensive apps, that won't make a lot of difference to your choice of tariff. But if you use your phone as a browser first and foremost, you can make a significant saving by making sure to ask what does and doesn't count as data.
Don't be afraid to haggle
All these tips will count for little if you take the first offer you get. If a rival network offers you more data to jump ship from your current provider, play the two against each other to find out who can really offer you the best deal. There's a decent chance your existing network will want to match or better any rival deal to in order keep you on their books.
Doctor, doctor, I keep running out of data!
So, you've chosen the right deal, but you're still struggling to make the most of your data allowance? Read on for the Data Doctor's cure-all solution…
Let Wi-Fi do the heavy lifting
Download movies, apps or albums using a 3G connection and your data allowance will be used up in no time. But do the same through your home Wi-Fi connection and your mobile data allowance won't feel a thing.
Most home broadband deals have usage limits far in advance of mobile tariffs, so why sit at home eating away at your mobile data allowance when your GALAXY Note II can easily make use of the same connection as your PC or laptop?
Make use of Wi-Fi on the move
From bars and cafes to hotels and shopping centres, most of the places we spend our free time now offer access to free Wi-Fi. Ask for the passwords at your favourite spots and your GALAXY Note II will have logged-in automatically by the time your latte arrives.
You can also make use of services offered by your home network provider when you're out and about, too. Many broadband deals include free Wi-Fi access at thousands of hotspots around the UK, which the Note II can detect when you're on the go.
Make the most of offline services
If you subscribe to an online music streaming service like Spotify, use the offline playlist function to download thousands of songs you can listen to without connecting to the internet.
Many news feeds and other apps also allow you to save content offline for reading later, which is handy is situations where you can't get a signal (such as on a plane or in a subway), as well as saving on your data.
Take control of syncing
Change the sync settings to manual in individual apps to stop them from looking for new notifications and updates automatically. Or turn off syncing altogether in one touch using the pull-down Android notifications menu.
Switch off apps you don't need
Apps running in the background on your GALAXY Note II can be a huge drain on your data allowance. There are plenty of task management apps available from the Google Play Store to help you keep tabs on them all.
Use the Android data usage app
The GALAXY Note II has a great data-monitoring app, which you can find in the Android Settings menu. From here you can see how much data you use, set a limit and request a warning notification when you've reached a certain amount.