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Old 07-20-2019, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Southern California
5,546 posts, read 8,201,791 times
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I live in the U.S. (California) & going to Japan next summer. I want a new phone a couple of mos before the trip because my current Samsung is probably 4-5 yrs old. Tracfone is my carrier & I want to remain pay-as-you-go & keep my same phone#.

QUESTIONS:

1) What phone do you suggest that's not more than 100-150?

2) Would Tracfone still be good enough? I can go w/ another as long as it's pay-as-you-go & get to keep my #.

3) What are the good Japanese-talking apps...I won't know the language well enough to communicate on my own

4) You hear those horror stories about making a call internationally & get a big surprise of some astronomical bill. I sure don't want that to happen to me. Any info on how to avoid this?

5) Anything else I need to know?


Thanks a lot!
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Old 07-21-2019, 05:08 AM
 
32,207 posts, read 33,112,696 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forever Blue View Post

3) What are the good Japanese-talking apps...I won't know the language well enough to communicate on my own

4) You hear those horror stories about making a call internationally & get a big surprise of some astronomical bill. I sure don't want that to happen to me. Any info on how to avoid this?
If you have interest I assume you could use Google translate for communication or find English-Japanese dictionary to download on to your smartphone.

As for calls I suggest you download to your smartphone the Google Voice app. With Google Voice you can receive and make free calls to the USA (and Canada) anywhere you have internet access (Wifi). As for international calls, you should check with your carrier and see if they have any plan for reduced cost international calls. Otherwise, you could buy a local prepaid Japanese simcard if your smartphone isn't locked.
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Old 07-21-2019, 07:42 AM
 
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International travelers who aren't married to an iPhone would be well advised to investigate Google Fi as their carrier. No messing about with SIM cards or roaming charges as you travel between countries. Plans start at $20 a month for unlimited talk and text.
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Old 07-28-2019, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Southern California
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Thanks a lot guys! Anyone else w/ other suggestions?
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Old 07-28-2019, 07:19 PM
 
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My co-worker who went to Japan a few years ago rented one of those pocket wi-fi things and liked it a lot.

It's not too bad price wise, 14 days is under 100 bucks. If you don't mind carrying it around in your pocket or backpack, is a good option. When I went to Japan few years ago, I used free wi-fi whenever it was around, and not having internet connection as I traveled to different areas didn't bother me. When I went to Taiwan I got a SIM card from the airport through Klook (I have a Pixel 2xl).

Internet In Japan For Tourists: Wifi, Pocket Wifi, SIM Cards, Rental Phones etc



Multiple language apps:

Translator Speak and Translate


You can now point your phone at Japanese text and get an instant translation


If you have money burning a hole in your pocket, they have a small pocket translator that's pretty neat, it's only one way but still cool.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exNlD17wcVQ
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Old 07-29-2019, 06:48 AM
 
2,755 posts, read 1,568,619 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1insider View Post
International travelers who aren't married to an iPhone would be well advised to investigate Google Fi as their carrier. No messing about with SIM cards or roaming charges as you travel between countries. Plans start at $20 a month for unlimited talk and text.
Excellent suggestion. Got a phone earlier this year that fully supports FI. Used it in England and Scotland in May. Just turned it on when we landed, and it worked! No carrier selection needed, and no extra expense. Found fast download speeds and good coverage throughout the trip. Only areas without coverage were some remote hiking spots in the Highlands.

The phones that fully support Fi are not locked to Fi. You could switch when you're back in the states. The only limit on Fi is that it's not ideal costwise for folks who constantly stream, unless they do it over wifi.
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Old 07-29-2019, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Southern California
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Suburban_Guy & bigbear99, thanks so much!! I'll look into these for sure.
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Old Yesterday, 03:03 PM
 
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WhatsApp and you can also use it to video call.
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Old Today, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Southern California
5,546 posts, read 8,201,791 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdawg8181 View Post
WhatsApp and you can also use it to video call.
Thanks, didn't know about this either...will look into it!!
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