SpareOne emergency phone

Discussion in 'Travel Technology' started by viguera, Sep 17, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Another one of those "why didn't I think of that" products...

    A dead-simple emergency phone. You insert your SIM card and a single AA battery and use it to make calls. It even works without a SIM if all you need to do is make emergency calls. GSM only, but so is most of the world, I suppose. :)

    I would imagine this would be great for people that like to go hiking or just on the road. You can put the thing with a battery in a ziplock bag and put it away. If your phone takes a dive in the tub or you drop it while traveling and the screen cracks or something, at least you're not completely out of touch.

    [​IMG]

    http://spareone.com/spareone/spareone-emergency-phone
     
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  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    OK, what am I missing here? I have a couple of old GSM phones (pre-smartphone generation) that have a standby battery life of 200 or so hours. Why not use that? Charge it, turn it off, go wherever you're going, turn it on when you need it.

    The bigger problem, IME, at least in the US is that cell coverage tends to not be available in remote areas (or not so remote areas such as parts of Silicon Valley :mad: ).
     
  3. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    For CDMA users:

    You can attach your Google Voice number to two phones: Primary and Backup.
    You can purchase a backup CDMA phone as cheap as $10 on Ebay.
    There are service providers (pageplus cellular is one) that you can activate the backup phone for $30 per year. ($10 every 120 days).

    If the primary phone is lost, stolen or dumps on you, you can turn on the back up and still receive calls as if nothing has changed since the Google Voice number rings both phones. You can even call from the Google voice number by dialing your number and select option '2'.
     
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  4. FlyingBear
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    FlyingBear Silver Member

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    The phone was originally created for markets where "charging" a phone is not something most people can do. Hence the use of AA battery. The further out you go, the easier it is to buy a battery (or have one on you) then to charge a phone fully. So, to summarize, I think you are missing out on the entire point of the phone :) Although, this phone was initially meant for rural areas as the main communication device, not for tourists lost on London Metro.

    Note, for maximum battery life, the phone is using lithium, not alkaline battery.
     
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  5. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    What it was originally created for doesn't matter, though, I'd say. Why would I want it?

    True, but there are few places where I can go where I'd have cellular service and no access to a power grid for a long time (note the 200 hrs standby time I noted).

    The company is selling this as an emergency phone.

    http://spareone.com/why/

    I'd argue my $5 AA battery-powered USB charger (something like this) gives me essentially the same functionality with any of my too-many-phones. I used it in the pre-iPad days to charge/power my Zodiac inflight-entertainment system on long TATL flights ;)
     
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  6. FlyingBear
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    FlyingBear Silver Member

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    Absolutely disagree. Why it was created in the first place can explain the feature set quite well and what purpose it fits or does not fit.

    Correct as far as you said "where I can go". However, there are multiple areas in the world where you can have cellular service and no reasonable access to power grid. Many parts of India, Vietnam, large chunks of Africa, and on and on and on...

    Nice marketing.

    Obviously your marketing budget is smaller ;)

    By the way, I have a Philips phone (dual-SIM!) with approximately forever battery life for exact purpose of "emergency" calls.
     
  7. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Well personally I've tried countless phone charging solutions, from AA-batteries to solar and even hand-cranked. Bottom line is your smartphone will always lose charge at a ridiculous rate because of all the things it was built to do.

    Something like this, purchased specifically as a "last resort" option for when you need to make a call and don't have juice is IMO a great idea.
     
  8. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Well, yeah, solar and hand-crank are pretty much marketing gimmicks when it comes to modern smart phone charging (IMO).

    Actually, I should probably order a few of those $5 AA packs for my earthquake packs.

    It certainly explains the feature set. But it doesn't matter when it comes to selling this thing to me. Which is presumably their goal. :)
     

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