international data

How can I use Waze internationally without data?

Episode 1200

Jim from Atlanta, GA

Jim wants to know if he can use Waze in New Zealand. Leo says that it looks like Waze does support New Zealand. So his issue is going to be with data. Google Maps would allow him to precache map information before hand, so he could do that while at the hotel. But Waze does not have an offline mode. So he'll have to get a local SIM card in order to have data.

How can I prevent getting an expensive cellphone bill overseas?

Episode 1198

Zenia from Inglewood, CA

Zenia is going to Africa next month for a wedding, and she's worried about taking her phone. Leo says that the most expensive thing is data roaming. So the first thing she should do is go in the settings and turn off data roaming. That means she won't get any data while out of the country. However, T-Mobile, Zenia's carrier, offers unlimited international texting, affordable calling, and free EDGE data. It's not fast and she'll probably have to verify that the country she's in will support it. If not, she can always buy an international data roaming plan.

Leo Tests iPhone 6 and Moto X with T-Mobile in London

London

Episode 1124

In a no-holds-barred cage match of British proportions, Leo carried both the iPhone 6 and the Motorola Moto X to see how they worked in London. Since he was using T-Mobile, he got free 2G data roaming while there. And while it took a bit longer, it was data and it worked. Leo says that the Moto X has several improvements, but the iPhone 6 still has the best camera out there. Battery life is better on the iPhone 6, while he couldn't get through the day with the Moto X. But he still thinks iOS 8 has more to do to catch up with Android.

How can I use a Verizon iPhone 4S overseas with a local SIM?

Apple iPhone 5S

Episode 1055

Michele from Orange County, CA

Michele's daughter is going overseas and she has an iPhone 4S. How can she use a local SIM while she's there? Leo suggests upgrading to the iPhone 5, 5C or 5S through Verizon. It's a world phone and she can then use a local SIM when she gets to where she's going. Asking Verizon to unlock the 4S may not work because it wasn't a GSM phone. And that iPhone 4S wouldn't work where she's going anyway. So upgrade and then you can do what you want.

How can I use my iPhone overseas?

iPhone 5

Episode 1007

Bob from Santa Barbara, CA

Bob's wife is traveling to Italy on vacation and wants to know if she should bring her iPhone. Leo says that she could pay for an international data roaming plan. They're not cheap and the data caps are small, not to mention the cell call charges.

Another way is to turn off data roaming. She won't have data unless she has Wi-Fi access, like at her hotel. Some apps, like Google Maps, would allow her to cache data while away from Wi-Fi.

Sebastian Harrison

Episode 989

Sebastian Harrison of Cellular Abroad joins Leo to talk about using a smartphone abroad. Most of Leo's friends are geeks and care more about data than making phone calls. Sebastian says that carriers have more solutions that involve not using your service, than using it! Everyone has different needs, but for a smartphone, it makes sense to take out your SIM and use a local SIM which will give you $10 a GB. Leo asks if international roaming is the issue? Sebastian says yes, it is, and it's expensive.

Can I buy a local SIM and data plan for my iPhone when I visit New York?

Episode 971

James from British Columbia, Canada

James is traveling to New York and wants to know if he can buy a local sim and have a cell number and data plan. Leo says that getting a GoPhone is probably the best option and go directly to the carrier when he gets to the US. He can't set it up ahead of time. RedPocket and even Walmart are options as well.