The title of this post might be a bit of a contradiction as the iPhone 4s certainly weighs a bit more than the last few Andriod phones I have owned. But it has some great advantages up it’s sleeve – for which it get’s extra lightweight travel convenience points that I shall outline below.
So after having a Macbook since 2007 and reams of cheap Android phones I was finally persuaded to get an iPhone 4s.
This was bought for me as a birthday present from my Mum and brother and the main motivation for getting it for me was so that I could face time them for free from anywhere in the world. My mum (bless her) get’s frustrated trying to sign into skype and other basic services and face time is easier enough for her and is free / limitless (I can be in any country and she can FT me to complain about stuff!).
Firstly, I live my life in Google Drive and all of my docs and images are ordered from their. With this in mind, switching to an IOS phone has not been an issue at all and the only thing that is missing that I use (as far as I can see) is Google Keep. There are 3rd party apps that get around this and I think that Google are working on a native Google Keep app for IOS so look out for that soon!
If you have read my gear page or Singapore blog post you would have seen that I got my camera stolen… The great thing about the iPhone 4s is that it has a very good camera (not just because it has 8 megapixels) but it has a quality sensor and flash and other jazz that make it better than a lot of the other phones in the same price bracket.
The image and video quality is as good as my Canon Ixus that got stolen so it means I have one less item to carry with me. The other benefit is no rechargeable batteries to think about or charger or plug lead cable issues for other countries. USB charging power is universal and I love not having to carry a million plugs around the world with me.
I bought the iPhone 4s from Universal Gadgets on Ebay. It cost £160 and came in immaculate condition. It came with USB charger, screen protectors, case sim unlock key and 1 years guarantee. Considering how much this phone and the iPhone 5s cost new, I feel this is fantastic value for technology of this calibre.
“It used to be that I was happy with any Cheap android phone so long as it had Wifi Hotspot. The quality of the camera on the 4S is so good that I don’t need a separate compact, meaning one less item to buy, carry, lose or get stolen.”
Downsides: battery life is not great and the screen is pretty small compared with other Android phones but it does make up for this by feeling better quality and has great load speeds and usability.
I try not to clog my phones up with too many gaming apps but don’t mind the odd quiz / learning app. Banking apps are super handy especially if you have banks in multiple countries. Same if you have multiple Paypal accounts. Apps that can auto update and be used offline like Google Maps or Offline Currency Converters alway prove useful if there is no wifi or your out of credit.
I also how the phone has a quick draw camera and torch function and the LED torch is super bright although it will leech your battery life like crazy. Hardcore lightweight travellers would probably not carry a torch if they had once of these but I’m cool to keep both in my bag.
Things to consider when buying a mobile while travelling Australia:
Any handset bought on the Telstra network works on a higher / different frequency to all other carriers so you may experience problems if you buy an unlocked handset then try and stick a Telstra sim in it or if you buy a telstra handset and try and use it on another network abroad or at home.
This years cheap Optus handsets do not have unlock codes and I found after days of searching that the phones cannot be unlocked by the chap down your local market and can only be unlocked by Optus themselves at the cost of $85! My Huawei Ascend cost $100 so you can understand I was happy to replace this with the iPhone 4s. I’ll be selling the G510 on Ebay when I get back to Australia.
You can’t go wrong with the Optus Social Media plan – $30 will last you a month and you get social media access for free. Great on any handset from your native country.
Both myself and my brother both bought refurbished iPhones from Universal Gadgets on Ebay and I can totally vouch for their great / speedy service and the handsets where in immaculate condition. Take a look at their Ebay shop – if you buy one I’ll get an affiliate coffee so go do it!