Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A non-Apple Travel Experience is Simply a Better Trip!

Just returned from a European vacation.  Thought I might try to "quickly" share a bit of info with you, regarding a handy technological set of solutions.

I recently utilized a Mobile phone which doubled as a laptop computer; the Motorola ATRIX and it's add-on, "Laptop Dock" peripheral. You can also purchase very inexpensive, after-market, removable batteries for the phone handset, for less than $15 (so spares can be easily pocketed); and the "Laptop Dock" unit will run for an additional 8+ hours on a single charge, while also providing a full re-change to the phone handset.

These combinations provide for the lightest, most connected, most compact possible solution for your communication, e-mail, entertainment and laptop needs.  With the convenience of a solid state full size laptop.  We found this indispensable when on planes and trains, for journaling and e-mailing friends and family.  (Let's face it, typing on glass just isn't what it is cracked up to be. And the locked down nature of most/all Apple product just doesn't lend itself well to international compatibly and diverse travel.)
Myself and my wife traveled with two other friends while we were on our vacation.  They had iPhones, we did not.  Despite the attempts they made prior to leaving to have their phones fully "jail broken" and SIM subsidy "Unlocked" they we NEVER able to depend on ANY compatibility with any of the 3rd Party Micro SIMS they attempted.  Since we chose to use an Android based, Motorola device which also support Motorola's "Webtop" technology, we were NEVER without a method to surf, change last minute bookings, or use Google maps and other navigation feature to continue tweaking our plans and itinerary.

"Webtop" simply provides access to the full Linux underpinning that is present within every Android device, but is rarely made available without some extensive hacking. Thanks to Motorola's offering NO HACKING is required with a "Webtop" capable phone.

Once we arrived in Italy we bought TIM branded SIM cards.  This provided our unlocked GSM devices with UNLIMITED data for 30 days and 45 minutes of talk time along with unlimited SMS texting all for 7.9e (euros).  The beauty of our mobile devices at this point was not only the connectivity, but also the lightweight / long battery life and full size keyboard and 13" screen availability, thanks to the compatibility with the Laptop Dock and our subsidy / SIM unlocked handsets.

Well, this description has already gone FAR longer than I intended.  I just thought I would share a perspective on the benefits of utilizing a Fully Unlocked, and highly capable GSM Android device made by a leading worldwide phone manufacture.  It proved to be indispensable for us in providing a flexibility and confidence while traveling that we had never before experienced on any of our many other remote / extended journeys over the past 15 years.

Meanwhile, our professional photographer / travel companions spent more than one evening within the lobby of there hotels blogging, when available and free, on hotel provided WiFi about how frustrated their Apple equipment was making their attempts to stay connected and informed.
I do think one key to hassle free traveling is to avoid taking technology, gadgets devices, clothing or accessories which are unneeded, untested, unreliable, unreasonably costly and inflexible.  Keep your mind open and challenge yourself to explore options and opportunities that others have had proven success with.

Good luck with any future travel adventures you are fortunate enough to embark on.  I hope they each far exceed your expectations.

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