Renting a Smartphone in Europe

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by Steven Schwartz, Aug 16, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    Heading to Portugal next year. We will be there for two weeks and will have a car for about 10 days - we turn it in when we get to Lisbon. I would like to be able to use Waze like I do in the US but I know that I could never use my US phone as the data usage costs would be nuts.

    Is it possible to rent a smart phone including usage for that time? Make sense of crazy? Usually I just use my phone for emergencies and use Skype from the hotel. If it is a good idea, has anyone done it and anyone know of a good company? Thanks.
     
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  2. Ed Chandler
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    Ed Chandler Silver Member

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    It depends on who your mobile carrier is.

    If you're on T-Mobile, you're in luck - you get free international data roaming in a boatload of countries. (Google it for details) It'll be slow, but sufficient for e-mail and probably Waze as well.

    If not (or if you want better speed) then your best option is to see that the phone you *already have* is carrier-unlocked and buy a Portugese SIM card when you hit the ground over there.

    Others may post other options for you, but feel free to PM me if you want to talk through what I've just said.
     
  3. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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  4. Ed Chandler
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    Ed Chandler Silver Member

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    Yeah, ... what he said. :)
     
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  5. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    You could also try a mapping app that supports offline usage, such as Here (from, at the moment, Nokia)

    https://company.here.com/consumer/

    There are of course other benefits to having data access abroad, but one doesn't preclude the other.
     
  6. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    It seems a good idea to have a phone anyway, in case of whatever. An unlocked phone is definitely the way to go. I bought a nice little one that takes two Sims in HKG a couple of years ago. I have a US Sim that can be activated on demand and room for one from any other country I happen to be visiting. Don't leave home without it, as they say.
     
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  7. gaijin62

    gaijin62 Gold Member

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    There's a retailer of unlocked/contract-less phones that's based in Los Angeles, but sells phones online as well, called Addicted to Phones. Their website is http://www.addictedtophones.com They also have a toll free customer support number.
    Descriptions of phones they have available include all mobile bands supported by the phone and SIM card type.

    This is just an example:
    GENERAL
    2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
    3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
    4G Network LTE 800 / 1800 / 2600
    SIM Micro-SIM

    I hope it's useful
     
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  8. PaulOnion

    PaulOnion Silver Member

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    Don't know if this helps anyone, but i had success with TIM in Italy and I think they are all over the continent.

    Tim in Italy if you have an iPhone ( in my case) ( sorry Droid folks don't know your side of the street) , but Tim basically shows up as Identical to the Tmobile network here in the US. It literally when we landed readdressed my phone as a Tmobile phone.

    But it was really easy, all I had to do was find a Tim 'local' location ( don't use the airport they charge a lot more for the convenience) and just get a couple of prepaid sims and I had everything just like I would have here in the states except with a Euro vibe of course.

    Just relaying my personal experience, and like I said when I landed , the sims were still in and it ACTUALLY addressed the T network. I'm a VZ subscriber at home so I took it out but it was active.
     
  9. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    TIM works with Android phones...(and has done so before the I-phone was invented:))
    and I have used it on my t-mobile phones for going on 14?? years.
     

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