New job, location
new car :-)
AO Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: United Kingdom
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?