I always felt that iPhone is not that good for travel, but couldn’t explain why. Recently i have bought brand new iPhone8 and now i totally realise why it’s a bad idea to choose iPhone for your travels. When you buy something that cost you 1000 dollars you expect some huge advantages compared to others and some great value. But is it really so? Do you buy a solution or a trouble?
I’m almost year on the road and have learned something about practical stuff. One of the most important decision when preparing to the journey of this kind is deciding what gadgets you need to take with you.Your smartphone can solve almost all the major stuff for you: from hotel reservations to offline maps, guides and camera. The trick is that these days the difference between different models and phones is very little, it’s more a matter of preferences, service and price. When i started this period of full-time travel, i thought that iPhone is the best travel smartphone, but little by little i have learned that it’s not that straightforward. In this article i decided to tell why i was disappointed in iPhone after using it during my travels.
Ok, let’s say it clear: iPhone is the gadget of first world and almost the most expensive smartphone at the market. Not that many people around the world can afford it and in some places you bright new shiny iPhone can cost the same as family of 3 earns during 3 months. In some places having anything like this can give you extra unwanted attention: you are relatively safe in London tube with the brand new iPhone in your hand, but i definitely will hide it on Copacabana beach.
And one more to mention: sellers in Asia are very smart guys, they know how much your phone costs. If they see a foreigner, the price will be twice more than usual. No need to say what will be the price if they see the foreigner with iPhone. Most of the airlines, hotels or ticket sales sites knows your phone model and usually sort results depending on it. Of course, having last model iPhone is the sighn that you can pay and that they need to show you more expensive options.
Technologies are not on the same level everywhere in the world. Even with the gadget of this level and the solution in your hand, there is a chance you couldn’t use it in Uzbekistan, for instance. And yes, still many airports require you to print your boarding passes. So if you think that you will get the solution for 1000$, there is chance that something that is common in New York is something that doesn’t work in most of the world.
2. Only 1 sim card
70% of the most valuable functions in your smartphone requires internet connection. For many people these days buying local sim-card is first essential thing to do after passport control and customs. Almost everywhere in the international airports you can buy tourist sim card with some minutes and gigabytes of data. You can easily buy it, but with your iPhone you can use only 1 sim card. There are couple of unofficial solutions, but i have read that they have problems. Generally you have to switch off your main sim-card or take second phone for data. Doesn’t make any sense if you already payed around 1000$ for it to pay more and more, isn’t it?
iPhone is not only pricey, but generally it is very fragile. I started my journey year ago with iPhone5s, which was around 2,5 years old at that moment. I specially don’t want to upgrade because I prefer to have less valuables to care about. This phone was almost broken in 2,5 months. It simply fall into 2 pieces. I don’t drop it or kind of it, but simply the tempo was so hight, that it couldn’t survive.
4. Worldwide warranty is just a word on practice
Few days ago before going to Thailand i went back home for couple of days and decided to buy new iPhone8. I thought it could be nice idea to have something nice with me, because … well, simply i wanted it. I had this idea of a miracle of Apple products and i still think that some functions in it like audio player, camera, interface are better. Also, apps tend to be better in iOS, that was my opening after 9 month of using Android.
I went to my local official seller and bought the new iPhone8. It was my first experience of bying iPhone at my hometown, Moscow. I done it because there was no chance to buy it in any my future destinations. It wasn’t a pleasant process, because all the sellers were very pushy trying to make some extra sales, but i survived. Next day i had a plane to Thailand to spend next few weeks in Phuket.
When i was already in Thailand, i have found that something is wrong with my iPhone8: wifi almost wasn’t working. Occasionally it switches on for a few minutes, but that’s it. So i got 1000$ toy, which i couldn’t use properly. Ok, that happens! But i always trusted to Apple and thought that i can rely on them if something goes wrong.
I contacted official Apple support to help me with the issue. After literally spending 4 hours chatting with them, talking with 5 different people (of course, each time i had to explain everything from the start – same as for every big company), getting wrong diagnostics from them, we have found that probably the issue is with the hardware.
We have found official support centre not far from me and next day i went there to make diagnostics. They confirmed that i got hardware problems, but couldn’t help me, because that was brand new model, which wasn’t on sale in Thailand. So no chance for me to fix it here. To be true, though those ladies were nice, but i’m not sure i want them to dig inside my 1000$ gadget.
I go back to the official Apple support and at the end they got no other recommendation for me, but to go back home and get my money back during next 2 weeks. It got nothing in common with my plans and even the ticket back home will cost me more.
So, for 1000$ i got a priceless broken toy with the promise of worldwide warranty and no solution from Apple. Definitely, there is no more miracles in Apple, they work only to earn money for the investors.
5. There are lots of cheaper alternatives
Now the funniest part: in early 2017 i have bought a phone in Malaysia for less than 150$ with larger screen, iOS styled Android theme, 2 sims which worked perfectly. The camera is not the best, but there are solutions with better camera if i want to. And no issues. Month ago i thought that i got issues with the screen, but later i have found that it’s perfect and almost new, i simply wasn’t realising for 9 months that it was screen protection, but not the screen itself. And funny enough, not many people realise that it’s not iPhone, but just one of Chinese phones.
I decided to write this article not to say, that iPhone is bad, it isn’t. I decided to write it for you to realise, that it’s probably not the best solution on the market for it’s money anymore. It simply not worth it’s money anymore. Don’t wait for miracles, it’s just a big company now.
For me this is recent eye-opening and i decided to let you know. I always thought that by buying Apple products you will pay a lot, but you will got something really good. Looks like it’s not like this anymore. I thought that i have bought the solution, but not the problem.