Best Phone to Take with You for International Travel
Considerations When Choosing a Phone for International Travels
- GSM + CDMA Support
- Unlocked phone
- Dual SIM support
- Large Battery and Fast Charging Capability
- Ruggedness as in Dust and Water Resistance
- Good Camera
Coming straight to the answer, OnePlus 3T is the best phone to accompany you abroad.
Why? Well let’s round up.
- First off you need a factory unlocked phone. A factory unlocked phone is needed so that you can use the local SIM cards available abroad. Using the regional SIM is a pretty sensible thing to do unless you are on a network plan that will not skyrocket on data charges out there.
- However Dual-SIM is a MUST. Nowadays even most cheap brands offer dual SIM. The Importance of this is that when you buy a local SIM of “Whatever” region you are in, unless you have Dual SIM support, you will miss out on any calls to the former SIM. Or you have to inform all your contact of the change in number. A dual-SIM support will let you use the data pack of the local SIM while simultaneously not missing any important calls on your original number.
- In USA, almost all carriers manufacture phones with the CDMA band built in. However most other countries need GSM band for your phone to send and receive signal. To be on the safe side, you DEFINITELY MUST ensure that your phone has both CDMA and GSM bands built. Also, there are several frequency bands of GSM available. So checking for a phone that has a wide range of GSM frequency support is necessary.
As for 4G connection, it is given over several types of 4G service- LTE, WiMAX and HSPA+. However most phones nowadays have 4G availability so you needn’t much worry about that.
- Now coming to ruggedness and dust and water resistance. This is somewhat an important aspect for you to look over. One drop in the basin or one topple of a water filled glass is all it will take for your phone to become a brick unless it is water resistant.
Look for IP rated phones. For a good dust and water resistant phone, it must be at least IP67 rated. IP67 rating means complete protection from dust and resisting water entry into your device till a depth of 1 meter for 30 minutes. IP66 phones are not that much of an assurance while IP68 phones will provide you with very less tension about dropping your phone into the pool!
However the thing about this point is that, water and dust protection is not THAT VITAL. Nowadays there are several cases available that can protect your phone from water and dust. In fact you can find several cases that will protect your phone from about 6 feet drops and 10 feet under water. So having a dust and water resistant phone isn’t that important provided you are willing to shed a good amount on a case that provides optimum protection whilst not ruining the phone’s design.
- A phone with a large battery power is crucial. Also fast charging is a necessity. You may have to wander off without much of a notice before-hand so fast charging capability and a nice big mAh is required. You surely don’t want to be stuck at an unknown strange place with a dead phone in hand!
However with some extra battery juice, your phone will be fuelled for much longer allowing you to pop up Google Map or whatever Map application you use. Also you never know when an emergency may occur. At a far off location, you may fall victim to snatching or robbery outside the safety of your hotel. So having a dead phone at those times are best avoided.
- A good camera is essential for capturing high quality, high resolution memories and not dull lifeless images.
- While these are the main requirements, of course you want your phone to be fast and smooth and not a dull lagging irritating presence.
- Last but not the least is the cost. You don’t want to buy a over the top costly phone just for travel purposes. Also you should considering the off-chance that you happen to lose the phone, it would land you in a terrible pinch if it happened to cost some 600$ or so!
Now let’s look at some phones-
Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL
- It supports several network frequency ranges and bands.
- It has an amazing camera and so is its performance.
- Has fast charging.
- 2770 mAh battery may prove insufficient for Pixel (not for Pixel XL) users
- Cost is too high.
- Does not provide dual SIM support.
- It is IP53 rated, which is rather a very meager protection. So, you should buy a case for better protection of the phone.
OnePlus 3T – The best Phone for International Travel
- Large battery – 3440 mAh
- Has fast charging capacity (Dash Charge)
- Suuports several network ranges and several frequency bands.
- Good enough camera and outstanding performance
- Supports Dual-SIM
- It features the most reasonable cost among any phone till now and is the best value-for-money phone.
- No protection from water so buying a case is mandatory.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (Dual-SIM): Take it Abroad?
- Can fast-charge
- Has a large battery (3600 mAh)
- One of the Best Phone Camera yet
- Great performance
- Dual SIM and supports a wide range of frequencies
- IP68 Rated
- Price has dipped down to a little above, the range of OnePlus 3T in the USA but in some countries like India, the price is still high. The best solution is to ship an unlocked version from abroad, if you don’t happen to live in the USA.
As for the LG G6 and Xperia XZ Premium, their con is that of a high price and is not a good choice when you consider, “are they suitable for International Travel?”