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Confused--sim cards, Galaxy S4, Ipad mini?

Maryland
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Confused--sim cards, Galaxy S4, Ipad mini?

I will be attending a conference at the University of Amsterdam mid December and will be staying at a bed and breakfast in the Plantage neighborhood after visiting friends in Mainz, Germany. Since my husband will not be traveling with me, I would like to be able to call him. I also would like to be able to get work done while in the Netherlands, and perhaps on the train from Germany to Netherlands. My bed and breakfast has wifi and a computer.

WHAT TO TAKE?

I was thinking of taking my Galaxy S4 phone, and a laptop and/or Ipad mini on the trip.

SIM CARD?

Past experience with my provider Verizon is that their international calling plans are very expensive. Since will be arriving from Mainz, Germany by train, not sure what kind of sim card to get or where. Is there a sim card I can order in advance? One for Germany and one for Netherlands? Or, one that handles both countries? I would prefer to arrive ready to go since our friends live about an hour away from the airport and want to spend my limited time with them rather than tracking down sim cards for Germany.

WHICH IPAD MINI?

I am also considering getting an ipad mini, and it appears to require a nano-sim card. Trying to decide whether the wifi only or the wifi with cellular makes the most sense (have mifi for use when traveling at home--those data plans can get so expensive)

Am hoping there are some folks on the board who are much more into gadgets than I am who can help sort these things out for me.

Thanks so much!

Taiwan
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1. Re: Confused--sim cards, Galaxy S4, Ipad mini?

With iPads, smartphones, etc. long distance phone calls are no longer necessary. Use a free app like vibor, line, skype...

Maryland
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2. Re: Confused--sim cards, Galaxy S4, Ipad mini?

Won't I need a sim card for the Ipad or smartphone even to use the free apps? Or, just limit the calls to when have wifi access? Sorry--am still confused.

Gambrills, MD
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for Fussen
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3. Re: Confused--sim cards, Galaxy S4, Ipad mini?

You can limit the calls to when you have wifi access. That would work although not for emergencies, when you might not have wifi. You can definitely use the free apps when you are on wifi only.

Before you even start to think about sim cards you need to make sure your phone is "unlocked" -- that is, you can put a sim card in it from a different provider, and it would work. You could test this by trying another sim card (from a different provider) here before you go, or ask Verizon. Assuming your phone is unlocked, you could get a sim card in Germany, and use it in Holland as well, I've used the Blauworld sim in Germany and been pleased, although others prefer other providers. There are roaming fees so if you go this route you might want to limit your use in Holland to emergencies or wifi only. Here's the link to Blauworld. You can buy this sim (and most others) at the airport. http://www.blauworld.de/?locale=en

Edited: 23 November 2013, 18:38
Gambrills, MD
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for Fussen
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4. Re: Confused--sim cards, Galaxy S4, Ipad mini?

One other thing: if you get a foreign sim card, be sure to have the seller activate it for you. It's easy for the seller to activate, but harder for the buyer, since activation usually requires access to a computer and some knowledge of the local language. It might cost a little more, although I've never had to pay for activation. Even if it does cost some I think it's worth it to avoid hassle.

I bought one in the Frankfurt airport, at an electronics store.

Edited: 23 November 2013, 18:43
Sherbrooke, Canada
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5. Re: Confused--sim cards, Galaxy S4, Ipad mini?

I am not familiar with Android devices b ut I assume that it is the same as my iPhone.

I usually only get a SIM for my iPhone, not my iPad. If I have a SIM card with data in my phone then I can share that data signal with my iPad. Tethering is what it is called. In my iPhone the function is called "hotspot". You must have something similar. You can even share the signal with you laptop.

It is best to use Skype when you have wifi. Cheapest way.

Maryland
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6. Re: Confused--sim cards, Galaxy S4, Ipad mini?

Downloaded Skype to my laptop yesterday. Thanks for the suggestion.

7. Re: Confused--sim cards, Galaxy S4, Ipad mini?

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