I love my smart phone! Anyone who knows me can confirm that. It’s not so much that I’d be phoning or texting all the time but the convenience of always being connected to the Internet, having access to e-mails, contacts and calendar and to so many apps that make modern city life easier. That of course comes at a price: literally, as I pay 60 Euro a months for a Vodafone flat and figuratively, as the battery barely lasts a working day. So it soon became quite clear that my smart phone and I would have to part when I left Berlin.
In Africa where it may easily cost you 3 USD a minute to make a call to an international phone and where you’re often also charged for being called the choice of SIM is especially important. My phone shopping list then consisted of two items: phone and SIM.
The phone I was looking for needed to fulfill a number of criteria:
- durability – resistance to dust or sand and ideally to a little bit of water,
- battery life – I wasn’t sure what was possible at all but had heard of Nokia phones that went for a week without charging (such wonders of modern technology!),
- gadgets – a compass, a light, GPS of course,
- price – remember, I’m still on a budget, so 100 Euro was the absolute maximum I was ready to pay.
Those criteria pretty soon take you to the wonderful category of ‘outdoor phones’. And in that category there is only one serious contender in the lower price segment: Samsung. Of the models on offer the GT-B2710 fulfills every single one of my requirements and therefore should prove a valuable travel companion. Oh, and the battery life stands at round about 600 hours (eat that, HTC Desire HD!)
Everyone will tell you when you travel through many different countries that you should simply go ahead and purchase a SIM in wherever country you are. To me that just didn’t really add up: after all I wanted the SIM mostly for my family to be able to reach me in case of… And yes, I also wanted to be able to phone people up – either those I met along or people in the country I was in.
I did find a couple of providers for international SIMs. The thing that eventually sold me to ekit which is offered at a special price through STA Travel, was again my family: the SIM comes with an online travel journal. ‘That’s nothing special’, you may think. But the phone (or rather the SIM) can track where you are and automatically adds a pin to a map in that journal so your friends and family always know where to go looking for you! Also, the SIM can be recharged online by anyone you give a friend password to, and friends (those who have the password) can call you free of charge (well, at the expense of your ekit SIM).