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Help!! Smart phone or laptop?

Posted by HeatherM on 9/7/2012 at 16:38

Hey Guys!
I'm going to be travelling all over Asia from Oct till May. I want to travel light but still want to beable to keep in contact with my friends and family. I just don't know if i should just get a smart phone for the apps (translator, maps, photo uploads etc) any ideas/tips?

Much appreciated! H x

#1 HeatherM has been a member since 9/7/2012. Posts: 2

Posted by goonistik on 9/7/2012 at 22:54


I am assuming we are talking about unlocked GSM smartphones.

Before you buy a smartphone please check for frequency compatibility. The biggest problem will be 3G/data access. See the 3G frequencies here:

Many smartphones are quadband so you can get voice and SMS access so that is usually not the problem. But you should check that as well.

If all you need to do is contact people a smartphone will be fine. But if you need to work while away than you need a notebook.

A tablet might be another option to consider. It will have a bigger screen so that is an advantage for maps. You can also load with ebooks for reading. But it will be heavier and bulkier than a smartphone. Again, you will have to check the 3G frequency compatibility (if the tablet has 3G).

There are some smartphones like the samsung galaxy notes that are straddling the line between tablet and phone.

#2 goonistik has been a member since 7/1/2010. Location: Philippines. Posts: 563

Posted by worldnomad on 10/7/2012 at 08:45

Depending on where you are going be aware that Internet cafes can easily be found in almost all tourist destinations, if you plan to get off the beaten track and into the boonies then Internet cafes will be more difficult.

If you just want to keep up on e-mail then Internet cafes work pretty well. People who take laptops generally do so to update blogs, for digital photos or for working while on the road.

#3 worldnomad has been a member since 29/10/2005. Posts: 5

Posted by travelinasia on 17/10/2012 at 02:43

Well, if you are planning to connect with your loved ones using Skype, Facebook, Yahoo! Messenger, Google Plus etc, then a smart phone will do (even without having it open lined). I have an Iphone through AT&T used it in Manila, The Philippines and just used the apps and connect with the people I love that is located abroad (whenever there is wifi available) - I haven't had the opportunity to use my line through AT&T at Manila but it was worth it as I didn't go through the hassle of having it open lined - as long as there's wifi, I stayed in touch with my loved ones.

Enjoy and good luck! :)

#4 travelinasia has been a member since 8/8/2012. Posts: 18

Posted by RooX on 14/6/2013 at 09:40

I have been traveling the world for the last few years with a tablet, seems to work well. Currently using a google nexus 7, but the ipad mini, or blackberry equivalent would work just as well I assume. Don't miss my laptop at all, and the tablet weights a lb, and takes up way less space!

I use it for hostel booking, video and audio chat, facebook et al, flights, picture storage... works a treat.

#5 RooX has been a member since 3/3/2012. Posts: 9

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