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Ask Slashdot: Do 4G World Phones Exist?

timothy posted about 7 months ago | from the multi-sim-multi-carrier dept.

Cellphones 259

First time accepted submitter Viv Savage (3679171) writes "I live in the U.S. but my daughter will be attending college overseas next year (Scotland specifically). I need to purchase a new phone for her and I'm curious what the Slashdot community would recommend. I understand that a GSM world phone supporting 850/900/1800/1900 MHz frequencies would give her the best voice support. There doesn't appear to be a solution for getting high-speed data (i.e., 4G) here and abroad with one phone. Have any worldly Slashdotters figured this out?"

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Nexus 4? (1)

wiggles (30088) | about 7 months ago | (#47156547)

Doesn't the Nexus 4 qualify for this?

Re:Nexus 4? (2)

iserlohn (49556) | about 7 months ago | (#47156607)

The Nexus 4 isn't 4G (unless you hack it and live in Canada).

The Nexux 5 is, but there are 2 version to accommodate the different bands in North America and rest of the world.

Re:Nexus 4? (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 7 months ago | (#47157029)

My U.S. Nexus 5 worked fine in Europe on a local PAYG sim.

Re:Nexus 4? (1)

iserlohn (49556) | about 7 months ago | (#47157125)

It's a world phone for normal GSM/WCDMA/HSPA, etc. But not for 4G/LTE.

Re:Nexus 4? (3, Funny)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 7 months ago | (#47157269)

I didn't claim 4G/LTE. I claimed it worked fine. No worse than in the US which is supposed to offer 4G, but forgets to actually attach it to the internet by anything faster than a damp piece of string.

Re:Nexus 4? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 7 months ago | (#47157367)

Who's your carrier?

I have T-Mobile, and when I'm in a metro area, I often get better performance than my Comcast cable.

Re:Nexus 4? (0)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 7 months ago | (#47157431)

AT&T.
I had T-Mobile before 4G was around.

I hate all of them.

My internet is Frontier FiOS, which is fast and JFW.

Hell yes Nexus 4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47157219)

My Nexus 4 is currently rolling on proper LTE and can talk on seemingly every mobile frequency on the planet; I live in Los Angeles and have T-Mobile service. I did in fact have to root the damn thing, tweak some settings, and flash a hybrid radio (which works PHENOMENALLY). I am also on 4.4.2 (haven't grabbed the 4.4.3 upgrade yet, as it was just released today). I get better speeds than my ISP provides... sickening.

Bottom line is this is cheap and doable (internet tutorials abounds), but a pain in the ass on the Nexus 4. The Nexus 5 does all this natively, though, from what I understand, which would be hella easy.

Re: Nexus 4? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47156613)

Nexus 4 is great. Doesn't have 4g, but does your daughter need it? 3g is pretty good, and she'll have all download speed she needs at college.

Re: Nexus 4? (1)

alex67500 (1609333) | about 7 months ago | (#47156747)

That. And I would enquire about 4G coverage in Scotland before thinking about a phone that can access 4G in Europe... ;-)

Re: Nexus 4? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47156897)

I would enquire about 4G coverage in Scotland before thinking about a phone that can access 4G in Europe... ;-)

Looks O.K [ee.co.uk] to me [o2.co.uk] .

Re: Nexus 4? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47157169)

Seriously? Perhaps you missed where he said Scotland. It looks like Glasgow and Edinburgh are the only places with coverage from both providers. Aberdeen and Dundee have coverage from EE. You are lucky to get 3G in some areas.

Re: Nexus 4? (5, Funny)

Rufty (37223) | about 7 months ago | (#47157497)

And what 4G phones are fully waterproof? This is Scotland we're talking about.

Re: Nexus 4? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 7 months ago | (#47156969)

Doesn't have 4g, but does your daughter need it?

The title explicitly mentions 4G, so I believe that she really needs it. The body text says that she needs high-speed data.

Re: Nexus 4? (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 7 months ago | (#47157055)

>Nexus 4 is great.
Except the battery thermal sensor dies in all of them in the end, causing the phone to randomly power off.
2 out of 2 Nexus 4s in my household went this way. The internet is full of people in the same boat.

Re:Nexus 4? (1)

DigitAl56K (805623) | about 7 months ago | (#47156649)

Yes, but Nexus 5 would be better due to proper LTE support. The USA Google Play version has the right frequency support for the UK networks (at least mine worked on T-Mobile).

Side: T-Mobile coverage in some areas is very poor there, not due to the phone. However, if you do use T-Mobile in the US on one of their $60+ plans when you visit Scotland you will get cheap voice, free texts and free data "at 2G speeds" free, which is handy and may save you buying a local SIM unless you need high-speed while you're there. (T-Mobile does let you upgrade your plan while visiting but the price to do that is ridiculous for some reason - more than you will pay back home per day, and you're still paying your bill back home too).

Re:Nexus 4? (2)

DigitAl56K (805623) | about 7 months ago | (#47156791)

Heh, I could be wrong on the LTE frequencies. Seems the ROW edition might fare much better there.

Nexus 5 specs:

        2G/3G/4G LTE

        North America:
        GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
        CDMA: Band Class: 0/1/10
        WCDMA: Bands: 1/2/4/5/6/8/19
        LTE: Bands: 1/2/4/5/17/19/25/26/41

        Rest of World:
        GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
        WCDMA: Bands: 1/2/4/5/6/8
        LTE: Bands: 1/3/5/7/8/20

UK LTE bands (from Wikipedia):

EE: 3,7
Hutichson 3: 20,3
O2: 20
UK Broadband 42,43
Vodaphone: 20

Scotland? (4, Insightful)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 7 months ago | (#47156579)

It's not only kilts and haggis up there.
They have cell phone shops too. She should buy herself a cell phone in Scotland.

Re:Scotland? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 7 months ago | (#47156617)

On the gripping hand, 4G is so patchy in the UK, and high-speed 3G so prevalent, she probably won't really want a 4G handset anyway.

Re:Scotland? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47156645)

It's not as simple as that. According to TFS, he wants the phone to work both in Scotland and the USA.

Re:Scotland? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47156705)

It would be cheaper to buy two phones than to find a good world phone. Where "world" includes the US (or worse, Canada)

Re:Scotland? (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about 7 months ago | (#47156769)

Especially given that (presumably) she's buying it off-contract. It's that or a pile of roaming fees.

Re:Scotland? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47156801)

What does TFS mean? The Fucking Submitter?

Re:Scotland? (4, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | about 7 months ago | (#47156891)

The fine summary.

Re:Scotland? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47157091)

Ah, haha, ok, thanks. I was wondering why he/she suddenly got so aggressive toward the submitter. :)

Re:Scotland? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47157009)

It means "The Fucking Summary".

Re:Scotland? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47156693)

You got that right. If she's old enough to go to college in some other country, she's old enough to walk into a shop and buy a phone herself.

Re:Scotland? (2)

DigitAl56K (805623) | about 7 months ago | (#47156699)

She should buy a plan in Scotland. She will save money buying a Nexus 5 in the states. A) less sales tax, B) subsidized price thanks to Google Play.

Re:Scotland? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47156785)

There's no 4G worth talking about in Scotland, likewise for most of the UK, she should forget it for a number of years. She can get a SIM for £25/month unlimited voice/SMS and data, and should buy a Verizon S3 from ebay, they're already unlocked and will take a UK SIM.

Re:Scotland? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 7 months ago | (#47156849)

If she's looking at spending £25 or more on a service plan, she can probably get a Nexus 5 for free (or next to free).

Re:Scotland? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47156803)

Agreed, Also having used Cell phone services in both, the 3G service in the UK can be better than the LTE etc in the states!

nexus 5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47156587)

When you order from US play store you get this into Technical specifications page:

Network
2G/3G/4G LTE
GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
CDMA: Band Class: 0/1/10
WCDMA: Bands: 1/2/4/5/6/8/19
LTE: Bands: 1/2/4/5/17/19/25/26/41

When ordering form other countries, it change to those ones:

Network
2G/3G/4G LTE
GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
WCDMA: Bands: 1/2/4/5/6/8
LTE: Bands: 1/3/5/7/8/20

Still, no one can confirm if there's a two models or one that role them all though!
source: https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/nexus/Q4A1X1oAOSs[1-25-false]

Re:nexus 5 (0)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 7 months ago | (#47157599)

That's suggests that at most it's a soft configuration, with common hardware.

Some penta-band AWS/GSM phones exist, I think. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47156589)

I was just looking for a phone for something similar. There is an updated version of a Galaxy Relay 4S which looks like it supports as many band and carrier as possible. There are probably similar phones.

I'm not a phone expert, so I'm not sure it this is as universal as you want, but it looked pretty good to me.

4G isn't everywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47156627)

Some phones like the later Galaxy models have support for GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz frequencies. I have an S3 (started as Verizon, now a Vodafone) and moved to Germany.
You make need to root it and get an APN manager App.

Germany doesn't have 4G yet, they have 3G and enhanced 3G called H+

Re: 4G isn't everywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47156721)

Sorry pal, but there is 4g here. Called LTE.

Re: 4G isn't everywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47157095)

Sorry pal, but there is 4g here. Called LTE.

Well, since the first-release versions of Mobile WiMAX and LTE support much less than 1 Gbit/s peak bit rate, they are not fully IMT-Advanced compliant, but are often branded 4G by service providers. If I remember correctly, on December 6, 2010, ITU-R recognized that these two technologies, as well as other beyond-3G technologies that do not fulfill the IMT-Advanced requirements, could nevertheless be considered "4G", provided they represent forerunners to IMT-Advanced compliant versions and "a substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities with respect to the initial third generation systems now deployed".

Why? (4, Informative)

xorsyst (1279232) | about 7 months ago | (#47156643)

What do you need 4G for, anyway? H+ Is pretty fast, and the university will have wifi everywhere I should think. A Galaxy S2 will be perfectly adequate.

Re:Why? (1)

Albanach (527650) | about 7 months ago | (#47157469)

This. It seems like the US carriers pretty much hated 3G and invested more heavily in 4G when it became available.

In the UK, 3G coverage is strong and widespread (assuming your daughter will be studying in one of the cities). If you're daughter is in fact planning to attend one of the more rural colleges, choice of carrier may be more of a concern.

Wifi may be better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47156665)

I'd recommend purchasing the phone locally where it will be used the most. When at the other location just use wifi for high-speed data.

HTC One mini (and probably more) (1)

Heraklit (29346) | about 7 months ago | (#47156689)

Re:HTC One mini (and probably more) (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 7 months ago | (#47156741)

That phone comes in different versions for 4G AT&T, EMEA, and Asian frequency bands, so it's definitely not US-and-Europe suitable.

HTC One mini (and probably more) (2)

XninjauchihaX (3680147) | about 7 months ago | (#47156789)

my wife has this device and she loves it. does deserve a look at IMO.

nexus 5 (1)

XninjauchihaX (3680147) | about 7 months ago | (#47156711)

When ordering form other countries, it change to those ones: Network: 2G/3G/4G LTE, GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, WCDMA: Bands: 1/2/4/5/6/8, LTE: Bands: 1/3/5/7/8/20, Source: https://productforums.google.c... [google.com]

nexus 5 (1)

XninjauchihaX (3680147) | about 7 months ago | (#47156745)

also if the service provider (i.e. tmobile) provides calls and texts over wifi. then you shouldnt have any problems with the types of bands th device supports.

Re:nexus 5 (1)

houghi (78078) | about 7 months ago | (#47157457)

If it is over wifi, you can use Voip providers. I use http://www.poivy.com/en/index.... [poivy.com] and can call free for 90 days and then 2 cents per minute. SMS is also pretty cheap. On http://www.backsla.sh/betamax [backsla.sh] you will see a lot other providers. Be aware that the price of 0 often means for a limited time when you did a top-up of e.g. 10 EUR.

When I have network, I just use that to call/SMS with http://www.poivy.com/mobile_vo... [poivy.com]

When I don't have network and I want tro call abroad, I just dial into a local number and I call for a local call+2 cents from Belgium to e.g. Spain. US would be 1.5 cents per minute.

I have an unlocked android phone (acer) with a pre-paid card. I have no idea if (and how) my network provider would block Network access to certain sites. I am sure that would be illegal in Europe. (IF you take this as legal advice, you are a dunce.)

So that could reduce your phone and SMS costs. Especially if you want to call a lot from Europe to the US and from the US to Europe.

Galaxy S4 and unlocking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47156715)

A search of 4G phones will be sufficient; plus it will work in Scotland and the USA. If you are going to buy a 4G phone in the UK, you might as well have it unlocked here, before taking it back to the USA, if it is still illegal to have phones unlocked in the USA!

Yes (5, Informative)

mFriedy (1363405) | about 7 months ago | (#47156717)

Yes, most new smartphones have this capability. Take the iPhone 5S for example. (https://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/)

These are the supported LTE bands:
1 (2100 MHz), 2 (1900 MHz), 3 (1800 MHz), 4 (AWS), 5 (850 MHz), 8 (900 MHz),13 (700c MHz), 17 (700b MHz), 19 (800 MHz), 20 (800 DD),25 (1900 MHz)

700/AWS are the main 4G bands in the American ITU region
800/1800MHz are the main deployed bands in Europe/African ITU region
1800/2100MHz are the main deployed bands in the Asian/Pacific ITU region (note that APT 700MHz is different to the USA's mongrel of a 700MHz band)

Other bands (e.g. 900MHz) are only used very rarely (in this case one operator in Sweden and one in Czech Republic) but also are supported.

Your daughter's main problem will be:
a) whether her UK network has deployed 4G where she is (though in the middle of Edinburgh or Glasgow she should be fine). You will find that due to better 3G networks, Europe is lagging behind the US in 4G coverage.
b) the lack of 4G international roaming (not many operators let you roam onto 4G networks)
c) the cost of 4G international roaming (if allowed) would be prohibitive

Yes (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47157363)

And if she gets an iPhone, she will be enjoying a much better life. (http://apple-beta.slashdot.org/story/14/06/03/1419220/apple-says-many-users-bought-an-android-phone-by-mistake)

Re:Yes (1)

rgbscan (321794) | about 7 months ago | (#47157459)

Agreed. As a USA based AT&T customer, I had a fine time in Edinburgh over this last New Years holiday with my 5s. I bought AT&T's international data plan and used Wi-Fi when possible, so it really ended up being pretty cheap too. No problem getting LTE in the city, and 3G in the countryside touring castles and whatnot.

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact (1)

Giloo (1008735) | about 7 months ago | (#47156719)

Hi,
I've been looking for myself, and one that stood out was the Xperia Z1 compact from sony. My primary issue was the battery endurance, but it seems to be able to get all the frequencies required by 4G.. http://www.gsmarena.com/sony_x... [gsmarena.com]

To be honest... (4, Insightful)

iserlohn (49556) | about 7 months ago | (#47156725)

If she is spending most of term time in Scotland, why not ask her to get a phone in the UK? It's a lot cheaper - most of the time top end phones are free on a 24-month contract. Assuming that she is going to Uni and not college - her course would be at least 3 years anyway. Unless, of course, it's just an exchange program.

Re:To be honest... (1)

radarskiy (2874255) | about 7 months ago | (#47157015)

" why not"
Where did the submitter reject buying a phone in Scotland?

To be honest... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47157053)

I would agree here - UK phones are cheaper and a lot easier to get unlocked, so she can put a US SIM in when visiting back home. If she's not in Scotland long enough for a 2 year contract, there are 12 month or 18 month options available as well.

wait till you get here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47156727)

our phone bundles are far better than the calling plans in the usa, so wait get an iphone 5s or galaxy s5 with calling minutes to usa

BlackBerry Z30 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47156731)

BlackBerry Z30 supports multiple 4G and LTE bands and comes factory unlocked so you just pop in a local sim and you're good to go, pretty much anywhere on the planet.

Not a phone, but... (2)

Above (100351) | about 7 months ago | (#47156749)

The latest iPad Air [apple.com] made some news in the tech circles when it came out for it's 4G capabilities. It was the first time Apple was able to use 100% identical hardware for AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile. In fact, baring some stupidity in provisioning departments, it's possible to buy one, get SIM's from the other three, and have a 4-provider iPad in the US.

The specs:

UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B (800, 1900 MHz)
LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26)

Based on my reading at the time, due to the power and antenna requirements there were no phones that had the same laundry list of 4G bands. Of course that was ~1 year ago now, and time moves pretty fast in the mobile world. The reason I post this though is the iPad Air makes a killer 4G hotspot, 24 hours of battery life with the screen off. Maybe a 3G world phone and an iPad Air for high speed data are a viable solution? The iPad also is sold unlocked from Apple, no extra charge. Phones will likely have carrier locking issues.

Re:Not a phone, but... (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 7 months ago | (#47156805)

The price of an iPad Air would probably pay for a couple of years of 4G hotspot access and a USB battery pack for the hotspot - or an entire extra hotspot, for that matter.

Re:Not a phone, but... (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 7 months ago | (#47157617)

Verizon and Sprint have no SIMs.

verizon iphone 5s? (1)

alen (225700) | about 7 months ago | (#47156777)

not 100% sure but if you buy it full price it will come with the SIM card unlocked and supports the most worldwide LTE frequencies.

Re:verizon iphone 5s? (0)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 7 months ago | (#47157495)

Verizon is CDMA. It will not work outside their network AT ALL. It would be a very bad choice.

Data burn phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47156793)

Pick up a cheap phone locally with a data plan...in the major cities it is very quick and reliable. I've tried US phones in Scotland without much luck for anything but voice and text. But you can get some very inexpensive smart phones out there.

SIM card (0, Offtopic)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about 7 months ago | (#47156813)

Get an unlocked phone with a removable SIM card (which excludes anything Verizon sells). Once she gets to Scotland have her buy a local SIM card and pop it in the phone. That way she will avoid costly international roaming charges. When she gets back to the US just pop the original SIM back in and you're good to go. The other option is to simply buy a phone in the UK.

Try answering the question asked (1)

radarskiy (2874255) | about 7 months ago | (#47156991)

TFS still needs to know what device to get, not just that it be unlocked.

Re:Try answering the question asked (3, Insightful)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about 7 months ago | (#47157235)

I think it's been covered pretty well by other posters. The Nexus 5 would be fine. So would a Blackberry. To me the bigger issue is whether or not 4G is actually available where the lady is staying. It doesn't really matter what kind of phone you have if your area is only broadcasting a 3G signal. I thought it was important to point out those nasty international roaming fees. Perhaps you disagree but it's all good.

Re:SIM card (4, Informative)

clonehappy (655530) | about 7 months ago | (#47157251)

Get an unlocked phone with a removable SIM card (which excludes anything Verizon sells)

Stop repeating lies. Every modern Verizon phone sold in the last 3 years has a removable SIM card. The last 5 Verizon phones I've owned (iPhone 5S, LG G2, HTC Rezound, RAZR HD, Galaxy S3) were sold SIM unlocked with GSM/HSPA world capabilities. Most even work on AT&T/T-Mobile here in the USA as well. Just because Verizon *used* to sell crippled CDMA-only hardware doesn't mean that's been the case in recent history. The Verizon devices are actually the best ones to get nowadays, as they are the only carrier selling factory unlocked phones and are compatible with Verizon AND every other GSM provider in the world.

Re:SIM card (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47157455)

> GSM provider in the world.

Bullshit. Mine didn't work in Canada, England, Netherlands, and Ukraine. I guess you're going to now claim that those places don't count. Why does you kind hate Canada and England so much? They do exist depsite what you Republicans claim.

Re:SIM card (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47157569)

I've got a Verizon Galaxy S4, I can verify it works at least in the UK and Spain.

SIM card (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47157515)

I have a Verizon Galaxy S3. I removed the Verizon sim and put in the 3 (UK) sim card, works perfectly fine, gets good speeds on H+. No 4G, though.

Re:SIM card (0)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 7 months ago | (#47157541)

Get an unlocked phone with a removable SIM card (which excludes anything Verizon sells). Once she gets to Scotland have her buy a local SIM card and pop it in the phone. That way she will avoid costly international roaming charges. When she gets back to the US just pop the original SIM back in and you're good to go. The other option is to simply buy a phone in the UK.

That will not work. The phones Antenna has to support the frequencies of the local carrier. The US has very strange spectrum compared to the rest of the world, and most carriers and phones from the US will not work overseas. The simcard is irrelevant. AT&T is the only carrier I know of that is GSM (required everywhere but the US) and supports frequencies that are used outside the US. There may be a few acceptations but most carriers other than AT&T will work in very few areas outside the US unfortunately. I know because I've tried. An no, I don't work for AT&T (I did 10 years ago) don't like them and still don't have their service. But if you want international cellphone compatibility they are basically your only option.

iPhone 5S (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47156837)

Get a GSM unlocked iPhone 5S from an apple store. It works great in Europe. You may want to buy a data plan once in Europe however, most US carriers have horrible rates abroad. I have tmobile and was able to just use my normal plan with no extra fees however. Just remember, unlike here, incoming calls in EU are free. When pricing a plan you'll likely want to look at your data usage plus typical outgoing minutes.

Re:iPhone 5S (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 7 months ago | (#47156949)

None of the US variants of the 5S supports UK 4G.

https://www.apple.com/iphone/L... [apple.com]

Re:iPhone 5S (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47157241)

I don't see why not. For instance, that page says the AT&T 5c doesn't support Japanese networks, but NTT DoCoMo operates in the 1900 MHz band. If you look at the 'UK-compatible' SKU's band list and then go back to the top, you'll find they overlap quite a bit. Check the wikipedia entry for the carriers you're interested in to see what bands they operate in and then use the Apple page as a band reference..

The Sony Z Ultra supports 8 bands (1)

sethotterstad (2947867) | about 7 months ago | (#47156839)

800 / 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1800 / 1900 / 2100 / 2600 I verified that the international version says "4g" on the Tmobile network in the US. http://www.amazon.com/Sony-C68... [amazon.com]

Re:The Sony Z Ultra supports 8 bands (1)

sethotterstad (2947867) | about 7 months ago | (#47157307)

According to these links, The Z Ultra supports bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 20, which means it works on Tmobile for 4g in the US, which uses band 4. It also supports all UK 4g bands. The Z Ultra is also currently the best phone due to its 6.4" screen. People say that it's "too big" until they put it in their pocket. It first in almost all pockets. Even better for girls since they put them in their purses. Everyone asks about it because it is way better looking than other phones. http://forum.xda-developers.co... [xda-developers.com] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L... [wikipedia.org]

Re:The Sony Z Ultra supports 8 bands (1)

fullmetal55 (698310) | about 7 months ago | (#47157615)

big screens do not make it the "Best Phone" my biggest gripe about my S4 is that I can't use it 100% one handed. It's surprising how much I want to be able to use a single hand while operating a mobile. a 6.4" screen makes it ridiculously large, yeah the Galaxy Mega also has a very large screen. that doesn't make it a great phone imo.

I don't care if it fits in my pocket, weighs less than a feather, is the most awesome thing in the world, that's actually not why I don't like large phones. It's that I have to use both hands to do anything with it. Usability is key for me. and a 6.4" screen is far too large. Size does not make a phone the "Best phone"

Purchase in the UK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47156847)

Sim Free Mobile phones are much easier to get hold of in the UK. Just purchase one over there and it should work on AT&T or TMobile when she gets back to the US. As previously mentioned 4G coverage in the UK is pretty poor at the moment, only in most of the more major cities and horrendously overpriced. EE has the best 4G network but it isn't cheap, someone like Three will offer 4G included in the cost for around £15 per month with unlimited data SIM only with a 1 month rolling contract and I think they have 4G around Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Lte coverage for Sony phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47156873)

Sony have a table on their phones that supports LTE in different regeions, it seems to not have been updated with the latest models yet though.
http://developer.sonymobile.com/2013/01/24/lte-coverage-for-xperia-smartphones/

Gs and stores. (0)

meerling (1487879) | about 7 months ago | (#47156925)

My understanding is that there isn't really 4G in the US, they didn't meet the standards of it, so they 'convinced' them to change the 'standards'.

That being said, there are stores that specialize in phones and other devices that will work in large chunks of the world. I'm sorry I don't have any links for you, but I'm sure you can find some with a bit of searching, but when I checked a few years back for a friend, they weren't cheap. In the US the phone company often subsidizes the phone prices with those contracts so they're often several hundred dollars cheaper. Expect that bonus to disappear and the prices to be more than you were previously used to.

Re:Gs and stores. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47157025)

Your understanding is wrong. There are LTE networks in the US. Now you just sound ignorant.

Re:Gs and stores. (1)

clonehappy (655530) | about 7 months ago | (#47157299)

You understand wrong. A few carriers petitioned the ITU to allow them to market their advanced HSPA+ networks as "4G". This was because they had no LTE network and Verizon was rolling one out. All of the carriers that were marketing HSPA+ as 4G now run LTE networks, however.

Caught in the digit (2/2.5/3/3.5/4G race much? (0)

itsme1234 (199680) | about 7 months ago | (#47157089)

Frankly for a PHONE I don't think it matters AT ALL if is LTE/4G or whatever 3G HSDPA 7/14/42 Mb/s flavor of the day present in even 99 euro phones.
For a laptop yes, that's another story; assuming you can find a provider where you don't eat all your traffic in 20 minutes at your great "full speed" yes, that might be worth thinking about which dongle is faster and what band it supports and so on. And it might not cost more than 15 euros/pounds/dollars anyway if bought locally with a sim card.

4G hotspot with batteries (1)

amorsen (7485) | about 7 months ago | (#47157113)

Yes it sucks to lug two devices around. Alternatively, use a cheap 4G phone as the 4G hotspot.

Alas, electronics have not yet advanced to the point where it is reasonable to have one phone with support for all combinations of bands and technologies.

Try Three.co.uk for your SIM (1)

Pax681 (1002592) | about 7 months ago | (#47157119)

for cheapness or both voice and data go for www.threee.co.uk
not only does it have all you can eat voice, but all you can eat data too and you can tether(4gb total tethering) and all phone data unlimited or filtered. mind you a little user agent spoofing bypasses the cap..lol

This is perfect for skype/oovoo scenarios where 4g would help.

Your daughter would be best going to either Glasgow,Aberdeen,Edinburgh or Dundee universities as those will have the best coverage being the biggest places.. St Andrews may have the name but it's not exactly a thriving metropolis.. so i would recommewnd any GSM phone of yer choise with a 3 SIM in it, that way only battery life can interrupt your connectivity and thus contact via voice/video etc.

DISCLOSURE - I AM a customer of three and have been for years.I don't work for them though.... they are much better than they used to be and unlimited 4g at no extra cost isn't a toughie to ask someone, it's a good deal.. in fact at the moment you can still get "The One Plan" month to month contract SIM card with 2000 minutes, unlimited data and 5000 texts for a mere 23 GBP..

Re:Try Three.co.uk for your SIM (1)

Pax681 (1002592) | about 7 months ago | (#47157167)

ALSO.. for trips the the USA ..... this is handy http://www.three.co.uk/Discove... [three.co.uk]

all data usage and calls to and from the UK FREE .. well as covered by your package.
Saved me a fair few bucks on my travels between Edinburgh, here in Scotland and Denver and Houston at Easter.

Re:Try Three.co.uk for your SIM (1)

Albanach (527650) | about 7 months ago | (#47157551)

Your daughter would be best going to either Glasgow,Aberdeen,Edinburgh or Dundee universities as those will have the best coverage being the biggest places.

Only on /. would we find people who recommend making a choice of college based on network coverage for your cell phone.

Here is a sheet of useful tips (1)

aurizon (122550) | about 7 months ago | (#47157207)

They are all images, so you will have to type the links.

http://i.imgur.com/pxx6QB3.jpg [imgur.com]

Re:Here is a sheet of useful tips (1)

aurizon (122550) | about 7 months ago | (#47157239)

oops, here are all 4 pages as an album

http://imgur.com/a/utF2P#0 [imgur.com]

Let her select the phone (1)

CAPSLOCK2000 (27149) | about 7 months ago | (#47157273)

Make sure you check your decision with your daughter before you buy it. Many people are very picky about what device they want to use. You would probably choose something she does not want to use. Maybe you should just ask your daughter to select a phone and just help here with figuring out if it will work in Scotland.

simple (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 7 months ago | (#47157275)

I've seen 3G phones run at 8 megabits and in Europe, just because they call it 4G doesn't mean there's high bandwidth on the pipe feeding the tower itself. So just get a 3G phone.

Re:simple (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | about 7 months ago | (#47157427)

Yeah. HSPA+ is no slouch.

People's desires for LTE in the US stem from the fact that CDMA2000 1x data service (aka CDMA 3G) was poo.

In the US, AT&T never deployed DC-HSPA+ (42 Mbps support) and I think may never have even deployed 21 megabit HSPA+ - while I believe DC-HSPA+ is fairly common in Europe.

It's all about roaming contracts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47157285)

the US based carriers are just starting to strike LTE roaming deals
http://www.telecoms.com/154582/done-roaming/
http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/verizon-stalls-lte-roaming-att-expands-lte-roaming-13-more-countries/2014-02-24

So to recap, here are the steps:
1) Find a carrier that offers LTE roaming in your destination
2) Find a phone that has support for the LTE bands in said destination
3) Figure out how much it will cost to transfer your data at LTE speeds.
or
1) Buy an LTE enabled phone in the destination with a local carrier with unlimited data.

Is Google Broken? (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 7 months ago | (#47157305)

This seems like the sort of problem solved by a Google Search.

http://www.myworldphone.com/un... [myworldphone.com]

Unlocked iPhone 5s does it all (1)

anethema (99553) | about 7 months ago | (#47157361)

O2 and Vodaphone appear to use LTE band 20 (SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L... [wikipedia.org] ) AT&T and Canadian carriers generally seem to use bands 4 and 17 (same source).

The iPhone 5s does all of those and more. Model A1533 (GSM)*: UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz); LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 13, 17, 19, 20, 25)

  (Source: https://www.apple.com/iphone-5... [apple.com] )

I may be missing something but just buying an unlocked iPhone 5S from apple seems to give you all the LTE, HSPA, etc networks you could use in the UK and USA/Canada.

Nexus 5? (1)

tom229 (1640685) | about 7 months ago | (#47157387)

I could be wrong, but isn't the Nexus 5 [google.com] both 4G and LTE?

The wiki [wikipedia.org] page for it claims:

GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
Model LG-D820 (North America)
CDMA band class: 0/1/10
WCDMA bands: 1/2/4/5/6/8/19
LTE bands: 1/2/4/5/17/19/25/26/41
Model LG-D821 (Rest of World)
WCDMA bands: 1/2/4/5/6/8
LTE bands: 1/3/5/7/8/20

So it looks like the LG-D821 would be her best option. She might not have LTE in North America but will still have GSM. I not an expert on this subject so definitely do some more research. Good luck!

gah (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 7 months ago | (#47157481)

Anecdotal evidence. Take it for what it's worth:

When I was in rural Ethiopia a few years ago with about 20 other Americans, everyone was passing around the 3 phones that actually worked. They were all iPhones and all AT&T. My Verizon phone worked great as an MP3 player but that's about it. My wifes sprint phone would crash constantly and couldn't even be used for that (it was a dumbphone) I was told that the only international carrier that would work there was AT&T.

I HATE Apple with a passion, though I did use that phone because I wanted to call home a few times... and more importantly, one of the people in our group was a Microsoft salesman that had his, then, prototype windows phone. Every time I was talking on the phone while standing in the middle of creation, I'd look over at him, smile, and sometimes wink. It was great. It was well worth the Apple taint for that alone.

But, I wouldn't put up with Apple just for international calling. You can pick up a cheap dumb phone in just about any country for $20. In ethiopia they were under $10 and sold, along with phone cards, a small wooden booths next to random meat on a stick. I'd just have her do that (but stay away from the meat.) That way, if the phone doesn't work somewhere she can just dump it in a trash bin and get a new one rather than be out $600 on a smart phone. Or get her a smart phone for home AND a dumb phone with international voice only.

Lolwut ? (1)

ze_jua (910531) | about 7 months ago | (#47157527)

How many engineers do you need to chose a smart-phone for your teens ?

She's grown up, is she? (1)

It's a kind of magic (1240268) | about 7 months ago | (#47157575)

Are you taking class with her since you're asking for her? Then I'd recommend you buy yourself a phone for the US and she buys herself a phone for the UK. Since you seem to care a lot for each other you can - when needed - swap phones as necessary. Man, if she's your daughter and she goes overseas let her take care for herself. If this post is not totally embarrassing for her I tell you it is.

Droid 4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47157613)

No longer sold sadly.

This is what I do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47157623)

I got an unlocked Blu Life Play X, with dual SIM capabilities. In one SIM slot I have a T-Mobile SIM that I us in the US, whereas in the other I get a cheap SIM every time I go to Europe. Your daughter ought to be able to get a SIM in Scotland for phone and data when she gets there. No contract crap; this is just a ploy from American carriers to get more money out of people. Forget about 4G; it's not that prevalent yet, and in Europe you have 3G just about everywhere. Unless she wants to stream movies on her phone, 3G should be more than enough for her.

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