A smartphone is often the most useful, if not the only, technological item carried by many travelers. Everything from a flashlight to a camera, a guidebook to a diary, and more may be replaced with it.
It will also allow you to communicate with loved ones, book flights and accommodations, convert money, and complete a slew of other duties that inevitably arise while on vacation.
Smartphones have revolutionised the way we travel, from digital maps to translations to photos to reservations. However, not all phones are created equal when it comes to functionality. Whether you’re looking to buy a new smartphone or simply need to change your SIM card when you reach at your overseas location, we’ve got you covered.
However, there is significant variance across devices, and pricing isn’t necessarily a reliable indicator of quality. No matter how much money you have, you may purchase an excellent smartphone that will make your vacation a lot easier and more pleasurable.
Best Smartphones For International Travel to buy in 2021 are listed below, with prices split down by price range. There’s also a section dedicated to phones with the best battery life, which is critical for long trips.
Apple devotees. The iPhone 11 is an affordable and truly amazing follow-up to the iPhone X, with a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display and fast processing rates. Sure, the more expensive 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max provide more premium features like longer battery life and a 2x telephoto lens, but if you want something that’s convenient to carry and has access to the new suite of high-quality capabilities, you can upgrade guilt-free.
The 12-megapixel front-facing camera is the most significant upgrade. It boasts an amusing ultrawide-angle effect, which offers you a 120-degree field of vision, as well as a Portrait mode for super close-up pet photographs, in addition to an outstanding, automatic Night Mode. And, ahem, we welcome the slofie: a video mode slow-motion selfie tool. There are three cameras in total, two of which are prominently displayed on the back, making the overall design less elegant — but it does come in a variety of colours, including delectable pastels like purple, yellow, and green. We’re pleased to announce that the iPhone 11 is a fantastic phone at an affordable price.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus
This powerful, premium Android phone is the newest addition to Samsung’s Note line, and it sports a massive 6.8-inch screen. The vertical, angular body and rounded sides are fashionable and cutting-edge, but the new Aura Glow hue will take your breath away. The phone’s gleaming, highly bright iridescent chrome elevates it to a work of art, yet it can be a fingerprint magnet without a clear case to show it off. The huge HDR10+ certified Dynamic AMOLED screen provides vibrant, super-bright video with an immersive audio experience – ideal for that long aircraft flight.
The S Pen, on the other hand, is what sets this version apart. The Note has long been known for its stylus feature, and the S Pen, which conveniently slides out of the bottom of your phone, allows you to access all of the chores and features the 10 Plus has to offer with precision and ease. The newest enhancements, a gyroscope and accelerometer, allow you to control your phone from up to 15 feet away using the S Pen. We particularly liked being able to capture shots or change options in the camera app without having to touch the phone. You’ll never have to worry about storing all those photos with 256GB of storage and a MicroSD card.
The Note Plus boasts three cameras, including two 12-megapixel lenses (one of which is telephoto) and a 16-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens, as well as a Night Mode for low-light scenarios. A 3D Scanner, which allows you to scan and then animate any object via motion capture, and AR Doodle are two more amusing but slightly gimmicky capabilities.
Google Pixel 3a
This Google phone, which runs Android Pie OS, takes advantage of its lower price point by providing a premium experience with lightning-fast performance. It is substantially lighter than the Pixel 3 thanks to its plastic back, and it comes in the same colour schemes as its more costly brothers. With a cover on it, no one will be able to tell it’s made of low-quality materials. There’s also a headphone jack, which isn’t seen on more expensive phones. Watching videos is a dream with a full HD screen and 24-bit colour depth, while the camera (which has always been the Pixel’s strongest suit) has the same rear camera capabilities as the Pixel 3. Its more typical image signal processing results in slightly less clear, detailed shots, however portrait images don’t fall short. However, capturing motion is simple, and the Night Sight option produces outstanding low-light shots.
The Pixel 3a lacks some of the more expensive features of its namesake flagship phone, including as wireless charging and free HD photo storage, but it delivers a lot of value.
OnePlus 7 Pro
This cult favourite has gone mainstream, and the latest 7 Pro is a sleek phone with all the bells and whistles of a more established brand. The upgrade brings you a glass and aluminium body, a super-fast fingerprint scanner, three cameras, and up to 12GB of storage, albeit it’s not as plainly budget-priced as previous generations.
Although there is no headphone port, OnePlus sells its Bullets 2 wireless earphones for $99, which is a bargain compared to Apple’s AirPods. The huge, 6.67-inch AMOLED screen is additionally filtered to avoid eye fatigue. OnePlus introduced a motorised camera to improve the screen-to-body ratio, which pops up when you want to shoot a selfie or perform facial recognition. With the release of Oxygen OS 9, an enhanced version of Android 9 Pie, you can expect super-fast speeds and improved 3D gaming graphics. Another intriguing feature is the “zen mode,” which entirely disables your phone when enabled, giving you a reason to disconnect from the digital world.
Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL
As smartphones have become more common, their technology has advanced dramatically, and many tourists now choose to use their phone’s camera rather than a separate camera. Google has capitalised on this trend with high-resolution, wide-dynamic-range cameras. There’s a 12.2-megapixel sensor on the back camera for everyday images and optical zoom, as well as two additional eight-megapixel front cameras for selfies, one of which is for wide-angle shots. Other camera features include Night Sight, a flash-free low-light mode, and Top Snap, which takes numerous photos around each shot and automatically selects the best one.
The Google Assistant Interpreter Mode, which recognises the language you’re speaking and translates it like a third-party interpreter, is another new Google-specific function. The AI-powered Duplex (coming this summer) is a chat agent that allows you to book appointments or make bookings without having to make a phone call or open an app. Finally, as a lower-cost option to traditional service providers, Google’s own Google Fi cellular service offers free worldwide roaming and hotspot features.
Check out Alcatel’s feature-rich, unlocked phone for less than $100 if you’d rather save your money for your next trip than on a phone. The TCL 1X sports a 5.5-inch screen with vibrant colours and good viewing angles, and it was designed by TCL. It also has a more advanced fingerprint scanner as well as Face Key face recognition technology for quick and easy unlocking.
Though we wouldn’t recommend using this phone as your primary camera, the dual rear camera features a 13-megapixel lens and a 2-megapixel lens, and it’s ideal for social media and can produce passable portrait pictures and selfies. Swipe the viewfinder in any direction to reveal a number of options, including a flash and a timer.
The 1X starts with 16GB of storage, but we like the microSD card for storing up to 128GB of photos, movies, podcasts, music, and more.