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(Post Link) post #1 of 6 Old 10-07-16 Thread Starter
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Best phone/deal for abroad.

Next year I retire. We intend to do a good amount of travelling, some in Europe in the spider (camping/hotels) and some in Asia (hotels only) I currently have a cheap mobile for calls & texts and it will (but I have never used it) be able to use for internet, but it is way outdated.
Next year, I need to upgrade to the cheapest phone possible and the best data deal for use abroad.
Basically, all I want to do is be able to research hotels on the net, (whilst in europe/Asia) and book in advance as and when needed.
We are outdoors-y people who love camping and sailing but occasionally may need to take a hotel instead of a campsite (mostly europe).
What phone & internet deal would you look for please? I am not convinced my current ph will cut the mustard, nor do I want to spen 000's on one.
To some this may sound ludditish, but I use a desk top and have never used mobile internet.
Oh, and if anyone has a used mobile device well capable of internet useage, I'll be interested in buying.
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You'll get one free on a new tariff - make sure it's not locked to a particular network, that way, if you're in a particular country for a while you can buy a sim in that country and get best deals.

I find EE particularly good in store - call in and have a chat with them (I'm in no way affiliated with them btw!)

Huawei, whilst not everybody's cup of tea (i.e. not the trendiest of brands) are decent handsets - got the M-In-L one for christmas, she's touching 80 and is now surfing whilst out and about! Free handset on a 7 a month contract (unlimited text, 200 mins and 200 gb internet) cheap as chips.

EDIT, I did take out 5 new contracts all with phones at the same time, so you may not get the deal I did!

Happy travelling!

Last edited by tony4hop; 10-07-16 at 15:02.
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Write down what you want out of the phone and package. .

Visit all the high street shops and see what's on offer, a lot of the service providers give unlimited data, which sounds like what you'll need, when abroad you can use it as a satnav (google app) and get onto the internet.

You can pick up an android phone for peanuts
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There's no such thing as a free handset - the purchase price is built into the tariff.

The most flexible solution is to buy an unlocked handset & use a non-contract SIM. I understand that mobile data usage abroad using a UK provider is very expensive, so if you do need to use a lot buying a local SIM would probably be the best option - the better option is to find free wifi & use that, but it may not be available, for example, on campsites.
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What Dave B. said.

Get a phone-free tariff and buy a good, cheap Chinese brand phone
with 2 SIM slots.

Get one with the widest number of phone systems & frequencies
if you are heading to Asia.


Then get a local SIM card for the countries you are going to
when you arrive.


UK operators do not supply twin-SIM phones to try and stop you
doing this.
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For phoning, the best deal is 2 plastic cups and a very long piece of string... display doesn't work too well on the internet unless you can employ someone to be sat on demand by a PC over here ;-)

Not a fan of Three, but they do offer a number of overseas locations within the plans offered, and most of the others will allow you to purchase/add overseas minutes/data/texts to your plan but it's not always cheap. I've always stuck to wifi usage when abroad - used phone as a satnav in the US a few years back and turned mobile data off (downloaded the maps to the phone) so didn't incur any charges. Wifi also usually gives you access to Skype/Facetime/WhatsApp/Viber etc. for non-urgent contact - I also took my laptop on an earlier US roadtrip and booked into hotels with wifi the night before I travelled between locations.

Certainly agree about buying a local SIM if staying somewhere for a while though again may need some research. Like many things, research is your friend to avoid being stung. Oh yeah, that's what this is!

Regarding the phone, as mentioned, you can get "free" phones - the more expensive the contract, the more "valuable" the "free" phone, although you can also go down the SIM free route. Being a sad techie, I usually end up with a (not totally fool-proof!) method once I've decided on a phone of putting it all on a spreadsheet to calculate monthly, annual, bi-annual, contract costs etc then rate each contract/option in terms of it's minutes/data/text according to my needs. My chosen contract was then chosen from a short-list and came down to cost in the end. I could post my excel but it would still need amending (e.g. I had no column for over-seas usage) and the desire to fill it all in.

When it comes to the phone, you'll find a number of us on here will "sell" the idea of the phone we use - I use Windows Phones, others use Android and others prefer Apple. Unless you're getting an old iPhone, high contract or have a preference then I'd put them lower down the list. If you need lots of apps then most would avoid a Windows Phone (I have no problems but others need those apps). Android is more open to malware but then it's also the most popular and gives you the widest selection of handsets and manufacturers. Whichever phone you are thinking of, make sure you have a play with it, borrow different phones or make use of a local phone shop. When I worked for the phone tech support for a major high-street phone seller, I was amazed how many people would phone up for help with the most basic of tasks - basically wanting a full training session from "how to turn it on" - and then complaining when they can't do it. Part of the fault is the people selling the phones, but then others walk in and say I want to buy x or y. It's like someone walking into a Lamborghini dealership and saying "I want to buy a lambo" when they can't drive and then complaining when they can't start it up or are thrown by it's fuel consumption or that it's twitchy in the wet when they live somewhere it rains all the time.

If you list your requirements for your phone then I'm sure we can all advise on a shortlist if that helps your search?
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