As I finally depart for my research trip, I’ve managed to cross items off my checklist. Among the “to do” items was calling the carrier to get my international data service turned on. But when I make that call I needed to confirm a few other details. Here are a few more items from my checklist:
- Would my phone work in all of my destinations?
- Would I be able to access e-mail, and will my apps – including maps – work?
- What are the rates for roaming in these destinations?
- While I’ll pay for the international data plan, are there limits to how much I use this?
As I’m doing work while traveling and need to stay in touch, these are important questions to ask; especially because I don’t want to be hit with a huge bill when I return.
The other interesting point I came across might be of interest to anyone who is planning on using a world phone. This should be obvious, but it was something I missed at first, and that was not to immediately accept just what was offered at the store in the way of handsets. When I went to my carrier’s store and bought a world phone I was told I had one option essentially, because it was the only model the store carried. It didn’t matter to me because it was the exact handset I wanted. After extensive research I knew that I would go with the BlackBerry Tour, which simply put, is the best smartphone I’ve ever used. In my short pre-trip testing, I’ve been extremely happy with the service, the features and the functionality. I test a lot of phones so I narrowed down what I wanted and I knew this was it.
But what if I didn’t want such a robust (and expensive) handset? A call to my brother-in-law, who is joining me on my trip, shed some light on the subject. His reply, “I ordered the cheapest smartphone from the Web site.” He then explained that all he’ll do is bring it to the store and get the service switched over. I should have assumed this was possible, but I completely overlooked it as an option. So the point is, if you need a world phone for your world tour, don’t be talked into the BlackBerry Tour if you really don’t need (or want) all the features. Look online and see what other options are out there.
One reason why I need a smartphone is that I get a lot of e-mail, and I need access to the Web on a semi-regular basis – and by semi-regular I mean all the time. One device that I’ll be testing while traveling won’t even leave its place in my home office. This is the new Moxi HD-DVR. This is a new set top box from Deigo, and it basically replaced one of my cable boxes with DVR.
While not exactly work related, I do write about TV shows and as I’ll be traveling for a few weeks, I’ll be “missing” some show premieres. In this day and age of on-demand, TV shows on the network Web sites and Hulu.com, it isn’t really a huge deal. But I like to watch TV on the TV and do work on the computer.