The Best Smartphone for Travelers | Smartphone / Tablet Forum | Forums: Ask the Geeks!

Please ask your questions here (not in email) – we promise to respond here, no such promise with email. This is a benefit of membership. Here’s info  on how to post to this Q&A Forum.

You must be logged in as a Premium Member to Ask the Geeks a question. All are welcome to freely browse the Forums.

Avatar
Lost password?
Advanced Search
Forum Scope


Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
sp_TopicIcon
The Best Smartphone for Travelers
June 1, 2012
8:56 am
Avatar
MrsGeek
Admin
Forum Posts: 2969
Member Since:
July 2, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I just upgraded my smartphone to a Droid Razr Maxx and I want to tell how I came to that decision.  

First, a little history.  Apple’s iPhone was released nearly 5 years ago (June 2007)!  Jim and I would have bought one in a heartbeat but for the fact that it was only available on the AT&T network.  We use Verizon and think it has the best nationwide coverage – very important to us – so we weren’t about to switch.  We had to wait for Verizon to get a smartphone.  

As luck would have it, the first smartphone on the Verizon network was the Motorola Droid.  Jim got his the first week it was available.  I waited a few months to make sure he liked it – then I got the same phone.  We love our Droids and have written several articles about them.  Jim was ready to upgrade a few months ago and thought he wanted the Galaxy Nexus , a 4G phone that had the latest version of Android operating system already installed (ICS – Ice Cream Sandwich.)  But, when he got to the store and was able to hold it in his hand and push a few buttons, he simply liked the feel of the Motorola Droid Razr better than the Nexus.  So he bought the Razr.  He loves it even more than his old Droid.  Especially since he has a grandfathered unlimited data plan and he shares that data with his computer using PDANet, or thru a hotspot using FoxFi.  And, when we’re in a 4G area – it’s really fast!

So, I’ve been waiting to upgrade mine.  Since we are now teaching smartphones, it occurs to me that I should get an iPhone, so we are better able to support it.  I like iPhones, and it would be fun to play with Siri! Or maybe I could even hold out till the fall and get a new Windows 8 phone – it sounds like they may be awesome.

What pushed me to make the decision now is that Verizon will be ending all unlimited data plans sometime soon – and I don’t want to lose my grandfathered unlimited plan.  What made me choose the Droid Razr over the iPhone are 3 things:

  1. Droid is 4G, iPhone is still only available in 3g
  2. I can share my Droid’s unlimited Internet connection with my computer thru PDANet, or FoxFi for no extra charge.  I can’t do that on an iPhone without jailbreaking it.
  3. I really like the Google Navigation app that comes standard (free) with Droid.  I use it on every trip – long and short – and love it.  iPhone does not come with a Navigation program.  I’ve heard good things about Waze(free), or Mapqueston the iPhone.  Maybe it behooves me to use those so we can teach it … but I’m just not that self-sacrificing!

What do you think?  What smartphone do you have?  How do you like it?

Does anyone have experience traveling out of the country, or overseas, and using their Smartphone?  How does it work?

June 1, 2012
3:58 pm
Avatar
Barbara Dalderis
Northern CA
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 108
Member Since:
September 20, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

MrsGeek,

My husband and I talked to you about smartphones at the FMCA Redmond, Or rally a couple of years ago.  You had the Droid and convinced us to go with the Droid.  We too wanted to stay with Verizon.  We dropped our land line and now each have a Droid.  I have the Droid Razr and love it.  We just got back from a month long trip and used FoxFi as our hotspot.  My Droid Razr is thinner and lighter than my first Droid.  You summarized perfectly just why the Droid is so good for traveling the country.  Can’t beat the Verizon signal.

October 16, 2013
8:53 pm
Avatar
S Allan Wilson
Member
Members

Teachers
Forum Posts: 65
Member Since:
August 5, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

It has been 16 months since this thread was active.  Apple has come out with their new 5 series of phones.  I still have a basic phone on Verizon.  If I want to upgrade my phone, there are only three choices.  So, is it time to drag myself kicking and screaming into the smartphone technology?

 

One of the problems that I have is I am a Snowbird and spend half the year in Canada.  Data charges in Canada would be huge.  Apparently, you can turn the data off.

 

It seems that more and more companies are making apps for smartphones and if you want to continue to interface with “things”, you need a smartphone.

 

So, if I wanted to upgrade my phone, on the Verizon network, is there a recommended direction that I can look?

 

Al

October 18, 2013
10:05 pm
Avatar
MrsGeek
Admin
Forum Posts: 2969
Member Since:
July 2, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hey Al,

whew!  this is the million $ question – what to use when you cross the border twice a year!

If you’ve figured it out with a basic phone, I think you might want to consider keeping the basic phone and just adding a tablet – iPad or google Nexus – to your list of devices.  It will run all the apps you’re referring to.  You can get a cellular connection for it that is just month to month and you can also use it on Wi-Fi.

You can’t turn data off on a smartphone.  You can on a tablet.

What do you think about this idea?

October 18, 2013
10:18 pm
Avatar
S Allan Wilson
Member
Members

Teachers
Forum Posts: 65
Member Since:
August 5, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I already have a tablet.  It is a Windows Surface Pro.  Does that count?  Can I get most of these apps for the Surface?  Does it read the funny little squares that I see on lots of things?  Yes, I would need to be connected to the internet and currently, I do that thru WiFi.  Is there a 3G/4G setup for the Surface, or do I need to use WiFi?

 

Al

October 20, 2013
7:52 am
Avatar
MrsGeek
Admin
Forum Posts: 2969
Member Since:
July 2, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

hmmm, well … no.  The surface pro is actually a full-blown computer in tablet form – we love it, but that’s not what I’m talking about to replace a smartphone.  I’m talking about an iPad, or an Android tablet like a Nexus 7 or a Samsung Galaxy.  I believe you were referring to all the apps for iPhone/iPad and android phones as what you wanted to have.  The windows tablets don’t have all those.

October 29, 2013
10:35 am
Avatar
Barbara Dalderis
Northern CA
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 108
Member Since:
September 20, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Rick and I upgraded our Droids on Verizon last month.  Rick had his original Droid and I had the Razz.  Gave up our unlimited plan for a shared plan.  

We bought the new Droid Ultra Maxx.  Love the phone.  It has 32 GB of storage and the battery lasts a couple of days.  Never have to worry about the battery going dead.  It is very fast on Verizson’s 4GT network.  The shared plan is working out well for us.  Love unlimited voice and text.  Find we use text quite a bit. Used to have to pay for each text.  

The data plan we have now is 4 GB per month to share.  The Verizon hotspot feature is free with the shared plan.  So we can use our data plan for our tablets, etc.  If we go over we pay about $10 for 1 GB.  So an overage doesn’t break the bank.  We can raise and lower the data amount when ever we need too.  When we are at home we lower the data plan to 2 GB per month.  When we are home we set our phones to use our home wifi!

All and all we’re very happy with new phones.

 

Barbara

Los Gatos, CALaugh

 

 

October 29, 2013
11:26 am
Avatar
MrGeek
Admin
Forum Posts: 428
Member Since:
November 3, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

That sounds good, Barbara. I have heard good things about that phone.

I am starting to think about an upgrade. My old Droid Razr is struggling. Not sure I can give up my unlimited data plan, though. I’ll need to do some analysis. 

We are definitely not your normal users. We are averaging over 40 Gigs of cellular data between the two of us each month. Cellular is our primary connection for our computers and tablets, and we stream video as well as upload quite a bit for the business. Talk time minutes and even texts are the least uses of our smartphones.

Helping Travelers to Plan, Preserve, and Share their Travels

November 1, 2013
1:22 am
Avatar
Ray Wallace
Guest
Guests

Hi Mr & Mrs Geek,

You are doing a wonderful job for all of us wantabe geeks, please keep it up well into the future.  I have a very basic but broad question.  I am comfortable with computers, but have never leaped into the smartphone world.  Times are a changing and I am ready to take the plunge.  I have read the previous replies on this thread.  I to am a long time verizon user and a fulltime RVer.  I like their coverage for our travels.  I currently use MotoSat and Hughes for my internet service and have a wifi router in the RV. I hope to use Motosat as long as I can, but that could change anytime as hardware repairs and support are almost impossible to find since MotoSat went out of bussiness.  I use my phone a lot for photos.  I always have it close, but rarely have my high pixel camera when that great picture opportunity presents itself.  Now for the big question.  What smartphone in the verizon market would you recommend?  I hope I am not putting you on the spot with all the phone manufactures!  All advise will be welcome. 

Thanks, 

Ray Wallace

Livingston, TX  Smile

November 2, 2013
3:49 pm
Avatar
MrsGeek
Admin
Forum Posts: 2969
Member Since:
July 2, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Ray,

There is an incredible array of choices these days when it comes to smartphones.  The ones we own are Motorola Droid Razr’s  and we like them a lot.  Motorola has been in the mobile telephone business for a long time, and they are very sturdy phones.

In our classes we see a clear majority of Android users have Samsung phones these days.

And, then iPhones are still wildly popular as well.

And, last but not least are the Windows phones – Nokia Lumia – they are known for the best cameras, but they have a lot of catching up to do in the App marketplace.  

No clear answer I’m afraid.  

Forum Timezone: America/New_York
Most Users Ever Online: 301
Currently Online:
Guest(s) 32
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Top Posters:
THOMAS J PARKS: 160
Roxie Marston: 118
Barbara Dalderis: 108
Bob Brown: 96
David Cross: 89
guppy1: 81
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 402
Members: 1179
Moderators: 1
Admins: 4
Forum Stats:
Groups: 3
Forums: 19
Topics: 2158
Posts: 7162
Newest Members:
Leslie Flanders, Joseph Hendrickson, Linda Friedman, Mary Baughman, kristen sakati, Rik Klein
Moderators: Jim Guld: 0
Administrators: MrGeek: 428, MrsGeek: 2969, Craig Biles: 0, David Carr: 1