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Buying an unlocked quad band smartphone

  • rondo0709

    Joined Travelfish
    15th February, 2013
    Posts: 2

    Buying Quad band unlocked phones
    I am spending 2 months in Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. Having a "local phone" would be good to make some local calls or to have as an emergency phone to call the States in case of death, or serious illness.
    I am from the US and want to buy an ....unlocked smartphone. Would it be better to buy that in Singapore, or should I buy that in the US?
    Some people have told me that buying the phone would be a lot cheaper in Singapore, is that true?
    And would the "connections" (plugs etc.) have standard US prongs? Or would all the phones be set up just to be used for Singapore?
    Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
    Rondo

    #1 Posted: 15/2/2013 - 11:32

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  • PhiMeow

    Click here to learn more about PhiMeow
    Joined Travelfish
    14th February, 2013
    Posts: 11

    It's not the phone per se that you have to worry about, it's the SIM card and voice+data plan that goes with it.
    You can buy any brand of unlocked quad band phone in the US.
    There is no single SIM that will provide good cheap rates across Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. Wherever you buy the SIM, you will get local call rates in that country but you will be roaming elsewhere at a much higher rate.

    If all you want from a phone is to make calls back to the US, get a calling card when you arrive in each of the countries (for example see www.comfi.com/calling-cards/USA/from/Singapore - disclaimer: I have no association with this company). You can then make a phone call from any local phones (pay phones etc) using the calling card. (Google Calling Card if you don't know how this works). For a 2 month period it seems a waste to buy a new phone just to make phone calls.

    There are other alternatives like Viber if you have iPhone or Smart phone whihc allows you to make call / send SMS via wifi connection (e.g. from public wifi or hotel).

    BTW "to have as an emergency phone to call the States in case of death" - if you are dead, you can't make that call :-o

    #2 Posted: 16/2/2013 - 00:01

  • rondo0709

    Joined Travelfish
    15th February, 2013
    Posts: 2

    My mother......is 99 years old. She could become I'll at any time. That is why I need a phone.
    I do not have a cell phone of any kind now? And I do not want a monthly phone bill. So I thought an unlocked phone would be good for me. That way I could use the phone in emergencies in the us and when traveling. I could just add to the local Sim cards when needed.
    I have been told that phones are really cheap in Singapore, but I don't know that for sure.
    are cell phones cheap in Singapore?
    And are they just set up for........local electricity needs, or are they sold with prongs/plugs so they can work in various countries?

    #3 Posted: 16/2/2013 - 07:10

  • PhiMeow

    Click here to learn more about PhiMeow
    Joined Travelfish
    14th February, 2013
    Posts: 11

    I do not have a cell phone of any kind now?
    I see. Then a calling card would be an option.


    I have been told that phones are really cheap in Singapore,
    Cheap but not really cheap when compared to Australian prices. Not sure how they compare to the US. However, Singapore have a great range to chose from and Korean brands like Samsung are everywhere.


    And are they just set up for........local electricity needs, or are they sold with prongs/plugs so they can work in various countries?
    The cheaper ones are for use in Singapore and SE Asia so it will have the 3 square pins which are of no use in the US without a plug converter. Some times they will include the appropriate adapter - just ask the sales person. And it should work in the US 110v since most consumer electronics are dual voltage (110-230v) but check the power supply also.

    #4 Posted: 16/2/2013 - 14:26

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