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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default Need advice for GSM phone

    Hi all. We'll be going overseas to several European and SE Asian countries this summer and figured it would be easiest to replace our main phone with a phone that could be used at home as well as overseas. Are these requirements possible?

    1. Must be an Android Phone
    2. LTE band on AT&T
    3. LTE band on T-mobile
    4. 3g band overseas in Europe and SE Asia
    5. At least as good as an Evo 3D


    Obviously the cheaper the better, but if it does what I want I will pay more for it. We'd likely use the phone on some budget MVNO at home so please keep that in mind. I don't mind paying to unlock the phone either.
  2. #2  

    Default Re: Need advice for GSM phone

    Quote Originally Posted by Superorb View Post
    Hi all. We'll be going overseas to several European and SE Asian countries this summer and figured it would be easiest to replace our main phone with a phone that could be used at home as well as overseas. Are these requirements possible?

    1. Must be an Android Phone
    2. LTE band on AT&T
    3. LTE band on T-mobile
    4. 3g band overseas in Europe and SE Asia
    5. At least as good as an Evo 3D


    Obviously the cheaper the better, but if it does what I want I will pay more for it. We'd likely use the phone on some budget MVNO at home so please keep that in mind. I don't mind paying to unlock the phone either.
    I suggest looking at the Nexus 5. It will work on AT&T and T-Mobile without any issues. You'll get 3G throughout Europe. In SE Asia you'll get 2G and 3G depending on where you are. And it's a very good device.

    Another option that's a bit cheaper is the international Galaxy S3 (i9300). I use it when I go to Indonesia and I get 3G. The i9300 works on AT&T (voice and data), but it doesn't support LTE. This might be a significant issue for you, but it's not a big deal for me since I use it primarily when I'm not in the states.
  3. #3  

    Default Re: Need advice for GSM phone

    What's your budget?

    Do you have specific carriers in mind for overseas use?

    The Nexus 5 sounds like your best bet.

    Posted via Android Central App (Moto X)
  4. Thread Author  Thread Author    #4  

    Default Re: Need advice for GSM phone

    Actually, it doesn't have to have LTE as long as the 3g/4g is fast in the US. Does that open more cheaper phones? Preferably I'd like to keep it $200 or less.
  5. #5  

    Default Re: Need advice for GSM phone

    The Moto G is significantly cheaper and works with AT&T and T-Mobile. You'll have 3G in Europe and SE Asia. The Moto G also has a water repellent coating, which is nice for a travel phone. I bought one about a month ago as a backup. I've been quite happy with the battery life, build quality, and overall performance.

    https://play.google.com/store/device...id=moto_g_16gb

    You can check the mobile networks for each country you'll be visiting to make sure the Moto G will meet your needs.

    Mobile networks - GSM and 3G coverage
  6. Thread Author  Thread Author    #6  

    Default Re: Need advice for GSM phone

    Quote Originally Posted by SactoKingsFan View Post
    The Moto G is significantly cheaper and works with AT&T and T-Mobile. You'll have 3G in Europe and SE Asia. The Moto G also has a water repellent coating, which is nice for a travel phone. I bought one about a month ago as a backup. I've been quite happy with the battery life, build quality, and overall performance.

    https://play.google.com/store/device...id=moto_g_16gb

    You can check the mobile networks for each country you'll be visiting to make sure the Moto G will meet your needs.

    Mobile networks - GSM and 3G coverage
    Looks like there's a Global and US Moto G versions. If I get the US version I'll only have 2G in all but one country overseas, but if I get the Global version I'll only have 2G with T-mobile in the US. Also, when several bands are listed for a country, does that mean that all carriers use those bands or is it like the US where some carriers will use one band and another carrier will use another band.
  7. #7  

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Superorb View Post
    Looks like there's a Global and US Moto G versions. If I get the US version I'll only have 2G in all but one country overseas, but if I get the Global version I'll only have 2G with T-mobile in the US. Also, when several bands are listed for a country, does that mean that all carriers use those bands or is it like the US where some carriers will use one band and another carrier will use another band.
    If you're in an area where T-Mobile has re-farmed their 1900 for 3G, you'll have T-Mobile 3G with the international version in the US.

    Oh and I'd never buy the Google Play edition Moto G. You lose the good features Motorola's developed.

    Posted via Android Central App (Moto X)
  8. #8  

    Default Re: Need advice for GSM phone

    I'm pretty sure the GPE Moto G bought directly from Google supports 3G in many countries in SE Asia and Europe. If I take my Moto G to Indonesia and Singapore I'll have 3G. Where in SE Asia and Europe are you going?

    When multiple bands show up for a country it just means those bands are supported in that Country. How many of the bands are used will vary by carrier.
  9. Thread Author  Thread Author    #9  

    Default Re: Need advice for GSM phone

    Quote Originally Posted by Ry View Post
    If you're in an area where T-Mobile has re-farmed their 1900 for 3G, you'll have T-Mobile 3G with the international version in the US.

    Oh and I'd never buy the Google Play edition Moto G. You lose the good features Motorola's developed.

    Posted via Android Central App (Moto X)
    So Googling around it looks like Denver has been refarmed to 3G 1900mHz What are the speeds like on AT&T 3G and T-mo 3G with the Moto G? I'm on Virgin Mobile now so anything should be faster. Though, August 2012 I bought an unlocked T-mo phone and did the $30/month plan and there was no voice or data coverage at my house, and most places around town nothing worked indoors. But when it did work I routinely got 5-10mbps which is lightning fast compared to 0.8-1mbps on my VM phone. I hope a lot has changed since then.

    So why exactly is the Google version bad compared to the Moto version? Amazon sells an 8/16gb version, are they all Moto or Google versions?
  10. Thread Author  Thread Author    #10  

    Default Re: Need advice for GSM phone

    Quote Originally Posted by SactoKingsFan View Post
    I'm pretty sure the GPE Moto G bought directly from Google supports 3G in many countries in SE Asia and Europe. If I take my Moto G to Indonesia and Singapore I'll have 3G. Where in SE Asia and Europe are you going?

    When multiple bands show up for a country it just means those bands are supported in that Country. How many of the bands are used will vary by carrier.
    I'm looking at the stats from Motorola and the US version is lacking 2100mHz which is what all but 1 country does 3G on. We'll be going to lots of countries, it's a round-the-world trip. Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, UK, France, Luxembourg, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore with a layover in China.
  11. #11  
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    Default Re: Need advice for GSM phone

    All of the countries you mention have 'mature' 3G networks. Many have 4G too, but not covering the entire country (it doesn't in the US either). Very few also have LTE, since that is really just a flavor of 4G, and not much faster in daily practice, and really more marketing hype than a real difference.
    All of them are mobile networks of course.

    If you are overseas/abroad/out-of-country and you want to use the mobile networks for sending and receiving calls, texts, IMs, pictures, videos, computer files, etc., you will need to set your handset to 'Roaming'. And consequently your telco's roaming rates will apply. You will find those obscenely expensive. Because they are, of course. But they are reality right now.

    Because of that humongous expense you may want to limit using your device on mobile networks abroad as much as possible. To do that disable 'Roaming' in the Settings.
    Of course when you're in a WiFi hotspot all that doesn't apply. Because then you're on the internet, not a mobile net. And just about every hotel, restaurant, bar, airport, train station, etc. etc. in the countries on your itinerary has WiFi = direct access to the internet, much faster, and much, much cheaper!
  12. Thread Author  Thread Author    #12  

    Default Re: Need advice for GSM phone

    Quote Originally Posted by Vsweety View Post
    All of the countries you mention have 'mature' 3G networks. Many have 4G too, but not covering the entire country (it doesn't in the US either). Very few also have LTE, since that is really just a flavor of 4G, and not much faster in daily practice, and really more marketing hype than a real difference.
    All of them are mobile networks of course.

    If you are overseas/abroad/out-of-country and you want to use the mobile networks for sending and receiving calls, texts, IMs, pictures, videos, computer files, etc., you will need to set your handset to 'Roaming'. And consequently your telco's roaming rates will apply. You will find those obscenely expensive. Because they are, of course. But they are reality right now.

    Because of that humongous expense you may want to limit using your device on mobile networks abroad as much as possible. To do that disable 'Roaming' in the Settings.
    Of course when you're in a WiFi hotspot all that doesn't apply. Because then you're on the internet, not a mobile net. And just about every hotel, restaurant, bar, airport, train station, etc. etc. in the countries on your itinerary has WiFi = direct access to the internet, much faster, and much, much cheaper!
    I'm just going to buy a SIM card for international travel. Calls will be emergency only, and the only thing we'll use data for is maps and Yelp/Tripadvisor to find things to do/eat.
  13. #13  
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    Default Re: Need advice for GSM phone

    Quote Originally Posted by Superorb View Post
    the only thing we'll use data for is maps and Yelp/Tripadvisor to find things to do/eat.
    You can pre-download maps* and consult Yelp/Tripadvisor over WiFi in advance of your day trips.

    *using e.g. the free app 'NavFree'
  14. #14  
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    Default Re: Need advice for GSM phone

    I'm actually curious about the pentaband phones available to us as well...
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    Default Re: Need advice for GSM phone

    Quote Originally Posted by z33dev33l View Post
    I'm actually curious about the pentaband phones available to us as well...
    However many mobile network bands a device can use, if you use it/them outside of your own country it/they is/are insanely expensive!
  16. #16  

    Default Re: Need advice for GSM phone

    Not true. In fact, you can get service cheaper in a lot of countries than you can in the US. The only thing you don't want to do is use your US carrier SIM. Prepaid local SIMs are the way to go.
  17. Thread Author  Thread Author    #17  

    Default Re: Need advice for GSM phone

    Quote Originally Posted by Vsweety View Post
    However many mobile network bands a device can use, if you use it/them outside of your own country it/they is/are insanely expensive!
    That's why you pop out your home SIM and pop in a local SIM to where you're traveling. Or you can get International SIMs that work worldwide and charge you based on use only. Great for emergencies or data for maps.
  18. #18  
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    Default Re: Need advice for GSM phone

    Quote Originally Posted by Superorb View Post
    That's why you pop out your home SIM and pop in a local SIM to where you're traveling. Or you can get International SIMs that work worldwide and charge you based on use only. Great for emergencies or data for maps.
    Yep, if you can search, you can find.
    For all the other people – that's a 100 times more – international mobile roaming is a rip-off.
    And intentionally user UNfriendly and misty territory.

    And popping in a new SIM card with a new number, and having to notify a couple dozen contacts of that temporary new number, every time you cross a border on your multi-country round-the-world trip will be a royal PITA for everyone involved.
    Yes you can do it, but in practice you won't. And then you're back on those filthily expensive roaming charges again!
  19. #19  

    Default Re: Need advice for GSM phone

    That's assuming you need everyone to be able to call you when you're on vacation. Some would say not giving everyone your number was a plus. :P

    A travel SIM lets you make the calls you want to make, send texts, and use data. It's not inconvenient at all, unless you really want to notify your whole address book of your number. Even if you do: one group SMS. Bam.
  20. Thread Author  Thread Author    #20  

    Default Re: Need advice for GSM phone

    Quote Originally Posted by Vsweety View Post
    Yep, if you can search, you can find.
    For all the other people – that's a 100 times more – international mobile roaming is a rip-off.
    And intentionally user UNfriendly and misty territory.

    And popping in a new SIM card with a new number, and having to notify a couple dozen contacts of that temporary new number, every time you cross a border on your multi-country round-the-world trip will be a royal PITA for everyone involved.
    Yes you can do it, but in practice you won't. And then you're back on those filthily expensive roaming charges again!
    Like I said, you can get ONE SIM that works in 150+ countries and you will have ONE global phone number if you wish. Though, I don't plan on chatting it up while I'm on vacation. I'm there to relax and explore, not to gab on the phone.
  21. #21  
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    Default Re: Need advice for GSM phone

    Quote Originally Posted by Superorb View Post
    I'm there to relax and explore, not to gab on the phone.
    Better tell everybody that, including marketers, before they call you or send you (large or lots of) files.
    OR disable 'roaming'. That's a lot simpler.
  22. Thread Author  Thread Author    #22  

    Default Re: Need advice for GSM phone

    Quote Originally Posted by Vsweety View Post
    Better tell everybody, including marketers, that before they call you or send you (large or lots of) files.
    OR disable 'roaming'. That's a lot simpler.
    Incoming calls are free on most of the international SIM cards But I agree, just put the phone in airplane mode until you need to make a call or use data. Or you could power it off too.
  23. #23  
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    Default Re: Need advice for GSM phone

    Quote Originally Posted by Superorb View Post
    Or you could power it off too.
    That's the best solution: power it off as long as you're not in a WiFi hotspot. Extends your battery life too.
  24. #24  

    Default Re: Need advice for GSM phone

    Assuming you don't want to use your device, you can keep it powered off all the time. I think the idea is to have your phone.
  25. Thread Author  Thread Author    #25  

    Default Re: Need advice for GSM phone

    Quote Originally Posted by zorak950 View Post
    Assuming you don't want to use your device, you can keep it powered off all the time. I think the idea is to have your phone.
    Well yeah, but when you're overseas you pay for data and minutes usage, so you want to limit that to only what you need. Otherwise it gets expensive fast. Unless you're on a T-mobile plan which includes free global roaming and data of course.
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