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Need a backup phone for international use

Discussion in 'Electronic Devices' started by CBRNE, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. CBRNE

    CBRNE Loaded Pockets

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    I have my personal iPhone with an international plan, so in MOST Countries I have some kind of service (I travel, a lot). I also have my .gov Blackberry (sigh). However, I want a backup in case my personal phone goes kaput, or I do not want to use/bring it with me.

    Something relatively simple, android-based with the capability to work pretty much anywhere that I am where I can buy a local SIM card.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. ArkansasFan30

    ArkansasFan30 Loaded Pockets

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    Try a used phone purchased online. I realize that's not very specific. I just want a backup phone that the minutes don't expire on.

    Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
     
  3. CBRNE

    CBRNE Loaded Pockets

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    I am not opposed to that, I am just looking for specific brand/model recommendations. I have been an iPhone user since 2009, and a blackberry user before that, I have zero knowledge or experience with android based platforms or models.
     
  4. ArkansasFan30

    ArkansasFan30 Loaded Pockets

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    Oh, well they're all pretty intuitive. I've always been a Motorola phone guy and have never found fault with those. My tablet is a Samsung, and it's probably a more user friendly operation within the settings area, plus they'll with an actual USB flash drive with an inexpensive adapter Samsung makes. My wife has had Samsung phones, and they're very popular in general. They'll all take an SD card. As far as models go, you should really just make the selection based on battery longevity.
     
    CBRNE likes this.
  5. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

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    When grabbing an old phone for this purpose get one with a regular size sim (yes i know, thats very old) and a bunch of those up-sizing adaptors. That way you maximise compatibility with whatever local card you can source as you probably dont want to have to cut one down to size on the go. Gas-stations and the likes generally don't have the ability to cut down a card for you.
     
    Moshe ben David likes this.
  6. ngc604

    ngc604 Loaded Pockets

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    You should checkout fasttech com. They are a company that sells all sorts of chinese products from cellphones to ecigs to quadcopters. They really seem to sell it all. They have a pretty good selection of low end and mid grade phones and a few high end phones there. I have been buying things from them for 4 years now and they're reliable. When it comes to shipping i choose hong kong post whenever possible and get most "in stock" items within 12 days. You will be able to find a decent android based phone for the price you want. Whatever that price is. As always you get what you pay for.


    Or you just buy a moto G 4th gen off amazon for $170 and call it done. But i'm not sure how the whole international compatibility works with them.
     
  7. shrap

    shrap Loaded Pockets

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    I've tried what you want to do. It didn't end up working well for me.

    If only for emergency usage, I would say - if your phone breaks/is lost, buy a new phone from the country you're in. You'll be going there anyway to get a working SIM, and you know that the phone will work with that SIM and network.

    Problems with the original plan:

    - If you go cheap, you will avoid using and bringing your 'backup phone'. When you need to use it, it won't have any of the data that you need on it.
    - Phone networks are different and change all around the world. There is no such thing as a "universal" phone.
    - The value of your phone drops significantly. The $200 phone you buy today will be worth $100 next year, and it will be worse than the $80 phone that you buy in the new country.

    Android phones are fine, but you need to have a way to sync all the important data on your iPhone to the Android phone, which is non-trivial.
     
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  8. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    It has been over 20 years since I actually lived overseas (Asia). I recall though, back in 'pre-historic' cell phone era, that a very wide-spread standard for cell phones was GSM, at least if you were outside the US. There were exceptions; Taiwan being prominent (they had chosen at least back in the 80's and 90's) to follow the US; not sure if that is still the case.

    At any rate at that time I worked with a lot of Brits; they all had GSM based phones; and pretty much had global access. @shrap: I'm sort of responding here to your comments about country to country variances; wondering what you know about what I'm recalling...

    L'chaim!

    Moshe ben David
     
  9. garza

    garza Loaded Pockets

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    You need to know the bands the phone will use for international travel. Some phones are country/ region specific.
     
  10. CBRNE

    CBRNE Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks for the replies. Some countries I go to are not particularly friendly to Americans, such as Chad where I will be going in a few weeks. The less I have to rely on the local economy the better. A quad-band GSM phone will work pretty much anywhere, as long as you have a sim card for that region.