John Galea's Blog

My blog on Gadgets and the like

Which device to travel with

I just returned from a two week trip to the UK. I always have a selection of devices to choose from in terms of which take with me. What is it I want to do with them becomes key to deciding which to take and which to leave home. My requirements are a little different than when I am at home. I generally do not travel with a laptop.

So what is it I need it to do?

  1. take photos from my camera and email them as well as upload them to places like facebook/twitter
  2. GPS navigation on foot as well as on roads with maps for the country
  3. traverse public transit systems (ex. subways)
  4. buy a local SIM to be able to have a local number and avoid roaming fees and long distance
  5. listen to music and watch movies on the plane as well as while there
  6. connect to WIFI for surfing the net

So what devices do I currently have to choose from:


The iPhone which is admittedly the best mobile device I’ve used to date gets left home because:

  • absolutely no way to get photos from the camera to the iPhone without the use of a laptop
  • App store does not allow you to buy a program for a different country such as let’s say TomTom with maps for the country you are travelling to (I think)
  • can’t easily unlock the phone to use a different SIM
  • can’t carry a spare battery (less important now there are USB/AC plugs on the plane)

Star trek

This get’s left at home because it can’t play movies, has no WIFI, is handcuffed by a pathetic web browser, and only supports up to 2G memory cards. It’s a good backup phone and is small so if there were no other choices it is a good fall back. On mine the hinge broke and I glued it back together so I really can’t sell it anyway, so it will always be my fall back device. I have TomTom 5 for it and maps for most of the world so it is a good fall back like I said! Battery life on it is excellent, but I don’t have spare batteries, haven’t bothered buying any.


This device is a good second phone to carry. It is handcuffed by a pathetic web browser but other than that I have lots of spare batteries, I have TomTom for it, it has WIFI etc. So it meets most of my requirements. Battery life is quite good but the screen is small for watching movies on.


For $10 I unlocked mine so it will take an SIM. The device meets all requirements and I bought spare batteries and an external charger for it on ebay really cheap. This was my primary device. I got CoPilot for it and was able to download maps before I left for the country of choice. WIFI works well and the browser is almost as good as the iPhone. Movie watching works well. I did make one mistake. The G1 uses the extUSB plug which combines miniUSB and audio together. I have converter that splits the two so I can listen and charge at the same time, but I forgot it at home. This would have come in handy on the plane. Oh well. I had three batteries so it was not a big loss. I did have some difficulties with the facebook ap not wanting to upload photos from my camera, it kept failing. I suspect it tried to copy the photo to main storage failed (due to lack of space) and then it gave up. I found a program for the London Tube which was free and worked well to help traverse the complicated subway system in the UK. It would have pulled the online status over the air if I had a data connection.


January 14, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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