How to Choose the Right Phone for Your Next Vacation

Are you about to take a trip? People love those times when they get to forget about the real world and luxuriate on a vacation. Still, you need to do a bit of planning before you pack your bags. One of your most important decisions is how you'll communicate while you travel.

Here's a guide on how to choose the right phone for your next vacation.

Screen Size



You'll first need to decide which phone features are important to you. Buyers in search of a bigger screen should consider a phablet. The most popular models, such as the Google Pixel XL, have screens of at least 5.5 inches. As Google's signature product, it's on the pricy side, costing $1,099 without a contract. A less expensive option with an even bigger screen is the Huawei Mate 9, which doesn't have the pure processing power of the Pixel XL. At 5.9 inches, it's one of the largest phablets on the market, though.

The controversial choice for Android fans is also arguably the best. Apple's iPhone 7 smartphone requires you to change ecosystems, but the underlying quality of the phone makes the change worthwhile. Plus, the smaller iPhone 7 is 4.7 inches while the iPhone 7 Plus has a massive 5.5-inch screen. With a monitor that big, you can use your phone as a combination of video maker and binoculars. You'll have the best view possible of faraway shots.

Battery Life


Your phone won't help you any on your trip if it's constantly out of juice. While plenty of tips exist for maximizing your battery life while traveling, your phone's battery is still the most important element. You want to choose a device that can hold a charge for the body of the day. That way, you'll only have to charge your phone overnight during your trip, alleviating you from the aggravation of carrying an extra battery all day.

CNet regularly tests battery life, and it maintains an updated list of the phones that score the highest. Among Android devices, CNET's current favorite is the Motorola Moto Z Play, which it calculated can last more than 23 hours per charge. The Huawei Mate 9 again scores high in this category, and various models from the Samsung Galaxy 7 line also enjoy charges of 16-21 hours. Any of these will guarantee that you don't have to worry about battery life during your trip.

Coverage Area and Data Plan


Roaming fees are the worst part of travel. Before you choose a new plan, you must verify that you'll have cell-phone service at your destination. While most carriers claim that they cover more than 95 percent of North America today, you must verify that you're not in the wrong 5 percent.

Similarly, when traveling abroad, you need to make sure your carrier serves the country you're visiting. You also need to check that you won't absorb roaming fees during your trip. Finally, you need a plan that will offer enough data that you won't exceed your bandwidth while traveling. This area is particularly important since you'll use your phone more when you're away.

The best strategy is to buy a phone that includes an extensive amount of data from a carrier with a large coverage area. Again, T-Mobile is the choice here since analysis proves that it's the best carrier today. It also offers Simple Choice and T-Mobile One, both of which offer phone coverage in more than 140 countries for a single monthly cost. You can travel without worrying about roaming fees.

Protection


During your travels, your smartphone will get knocked around some. It's inevitable. Even if you keep it in your pocket most of the time, you'll still thoughtlessly toss it on a table. If you do anything involving the great outdoors, water sports, or amusement parks, you're likely to drop it at least once. You'll want to use a case at all times, preferably a waterproof one. You should also research which phone screens are most likely to crack. The last thing you want while on vacation is get stuck without a phone.

Selecting the right phone for your vacation requires a bit of research. You may even have to go outside your current ecosystem and consider an iPhone. Still, using the tips above, you'll find the perfect phone, guaranteeing an unforgettable vacation.

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