Five Essential Qualities of a Traveller’s Smartphone
If you’re a traveller and rarely find yourself near plug sockets, good data connections and the comforts of home or even city life, then choosing a smartphone is going to be tricky. You’ll need to balance what you want against what you need. Luckily for you, we’ve done that already, so read on to find out about five essential features for a smartphone on the move.
There’s nothing more annoying than knowing that unless you get home by six, your phone will be dead. As someone who might spend an entire day or two away from a charger, it’s a nightmare. Obviously, you’re not going to want bother with anything that has a notoriously bad battery life. But if you learn how to manage your power usage, you’ll be fine. Think low brightness levels, keeping data use to a minimum, turning off WiFi and Bluetooth, and so on. If you think low-power, you’ll manage, especially with a phone that has a generous battery.
When you’re travelling, things tend to get bumped around quite a bit. As a result, it’s best to look for phones that can take a bit of a knock. Anti-scratch screens, solid cases or adding your own cover, and lanyards to ensure that dropping it won’t mean it hits the floor. Screen protectors are also a big help, and you can save yourself a lot of trouble by using a holster or a zipped pocket while you’re on the move, which helps stop it from being stolen or lost too.
TripAdvisor, Google Maps – there are a lot of apps that are going to provide you with loads of useful tools. Just ensure that they’re actually available for the phone you’re buying! No phone has every single app in the world, so you may find that iOS offers you more than Android, or vice versa, or even look to Ubuntu, Blackberry or Windows Phones to solve your problems. There are even apps that’ll allow you to store a digital plane ticket on your phone, so there’s really no reason not to go app-checking when it comes to choosing a phone.
Some people really travel adventurously, and if you’ve got a sealed, waterproof case for your phone, you won’t have to worry about accidental drops when crossing a river or leaning over the edge of a pool. Also, if you’re travelling with kids and want them to be entertained but without the risk of them dunking your phone in their apple juice, it’s pretty handy, too. But if you do happen to drop it in a river, perhaps the phone being wet might be less of an obstacle than getting it back… unless you have it on a lanyard.
Don’t buy a super-heavy phone. Phones with a lot of metal are not only going to weigh more in your pocket or bag, but they’re also more uncomfortable to hold and use. When you’re travelling a lot for work, ending up with a strained wrist is probably not ideal. It’s also more likely to snap a lanyard, too, which is a really good way to carry a phone around and prevent theft. So when you’re checking out new handsets, consider how each phone can drain your muscles.