Using my smart phone in Europe

Discussion in 'Europe' started by sirtwisty, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. sirtwisty

    sirtwisty Been here awhile

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    I'm heading to Spain for a month and want to use my smart phone for GPS/maps, for emails, and to google for accommodations enroute.
    My LG 5 phone can easily be unlocked, so once I arrive in Barcelona, what's the easiest and cheapest way to get my phone set up??
    Looking for advice from those that have done this.
    Many Thanks
    #1
  2. khpossum

    khpossum poster

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    #2
  3. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    +1 on 3 UK just beware that if you want to extend they don't take US credit cards so you either need to buy refill voucher on Amazon in advance or buy online through sites like ding; they charge a big % fee for transaction
    #3
  4. PNWet

    PNWet Been here awhile

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    With Verizon you can add international travel. It'll cost you $10/day on any day that you use it.

    Keep your phone in airplane mode and connect to wifi, and you dont get charged.

    If you only need your phone for gps/maps, download a good offline mapping app and you won't need a network connection for gps.
    #4
  5. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    Any EU based service provider - should you decide on getting a local SIM - will have no charges across the EU. If your phone is world standard GSM, no problems at all.

    Provider EE gave me a free PAYG SIM provided I bought £10 of calls/data. Then they gave me another £5 free. Top up any and everywhere - incl all EU. EE because it is best for my rural location.
    I'm sure deals can be found anywhere, with any provider, on any high street or big supermarket foyer.

    You don't need cell service for gps.

    Free wifi is very widespread, cafes, bars, restaurants and hotels as well as quite a few municipalities providing it for nothing.
    #5
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  6. der_saeufer

    der_saeufer ?איפה בירה

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    Seconded on buying the Three UK SIM ahead of time. If you're in Europe less than a month total, that's so easy there's no reason to do anything else.

    For longer stays it might be worth looking into the prepaid options in Spain; walk into your preferred carrier's shop, pay money, leave with working SIM.

    Do check which LTE (4G) bands your specific version of the G5 supports, though worst case it's sure to support all 4 major HSPA (3.5G) bands so you'll be fine.
    #6
  7. khpossum

    khpossum poster

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    I never managed to fill up my Three Sim card. It is plenty enough for a month when I am traveling. Especially as other mention there is plenty of free WiFi around. If you go longer then 30 days buy a second one from Amazon before yo out leave and activate it when it is needed.
    #7
  8. sirtwisty

    sirtwisty Been here awhile

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    Thx for the great input, I think I've got figured out what will work best for me, and the particular brand/model of phone I have as well.
    We arrive in Barcelona on October 3rd, so stay tuned and I'll let you know how my hook up went.
    In the meantime, Ride Safe
    #8
  9. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    I managed to get it done through Ding. You can buy voucher from Amazon I have seen them there
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  10. chasbmw

    chasbmw Long timer

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    I use Co Pilot for gps on the phone, the maps are downloaded onto the phone so no use of data.......so then have data switched off and just use wi fi at destinations.
    #10
  11. kalikali

    kalikali Been here awhile

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    I keep a separate euro phone for my trips, I buy a Vodaphone chip in Spain which cost 25 euro for 25gb data and 150 min talk time (They have different plans). I hotspot that phone and leave my US phone in airplane mode and can make/receive unlimited calls/texts with WiFi calling with my phone with no problem.
    #11
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  12. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    No one knows for sure, but if the UK crashes out of the EU, the luxury of no cross frontier charges mandated by the EU could well disappear for UK based cards.
    #12
  13. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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  14. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer Supporter

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    Absolutely! I don't even bother with using a local SIM.
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  15. LopezXC

    LopezXC Adventurer

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    Buy a Vodafone or Movistar SIM (it's plenty of shops all over the country... Maybe as many as pubs, hahaha). Both have the best mobile coverage.

    Order a "Prepago" (prepaid) SIMcard.

    5Gb:
    http://www.movistar.es/particulares/movil/tarifas-moviles/prepago-5

    7Gb:
    http://www.movistar.es/particulares/movil/tarifas-moviles/prepago-7

    15Gb:
    http://www.movistar.es/particulares/movil/tarifas-moviles/prepago-15

    It's valid all over Europe with no roaming costs (maybe you get the french side of Pyrinees). It will take about 15 minutes to get one (passport required).

    Enjoy your trip around here!
    #15
  16. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

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    T-Mobile (USA) and I don't even use an EU SIM card.

    As long it doesn't rain and stays on the bike, it works. Having a Sena Blue Tooth is great as well.

    Only problem is if I lose my phone, I'm in deep sh#t! Once it fell off the bike and a good thing the traffic was light and the phone didn't get ran over. I try not to use the RAM Mount from then on.

    [​IMG]

    I should have bought this instead.

    [​IMG]
    #16
  17. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer Supporter

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    Better yet...

    [​IMG]

    The spring loaded arms clasp the phone tightly, while the rubber spider wraps around the corners of the phone.

    [​IMG]

    Nothing to adjust, nothing to tighten and nothing to come loose.
    #17
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  18. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    I bought an elastic grip for cyclist handle bar for 10 Euro. Most expensive rubber band I'd ever buy but it worked for my trip. You just have figure the innovative way to mount it. I mounted on my tank bad for instance.
    #18
  19. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

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    on the perfect squeeze, you set it up once and you're done. press a button and it releases the phone, working on a ratchet.

    how did i know, i am one of the several beta testers. we tortured this phone mount riding dirt bikes and on rough terrains. it performed flawlessly, and i highly doubt if the ram mount X-Grip will hold up.

    to the OP, your best bet is bring 2 smart phones (i do), and whatever mount you buy, regardless of what the experts say, do a field test first.
    #19
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