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How careful should I be with my expensive phone?

Winnipeg, Manitoba...
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How careful should I be with my expensive phone?

Stupid question alert:

I recently got an unlocked iPhone 5 and I plan to use it a lot for my overseas adventure in Thailand. Mainly finding directions, taking pictures/video, language translation apps, etc.

I've never traveled overseas before, so my question is - do I need to be careful on how I use my phone? As in not flaunting it, showing it off? I don't know whether the iPhone is a desirable target for thieves or not, but I'm guessing yes.

An example situation would be I'm using my language translation app to say something to someone, I may have to hold it up to them. Lots of people around see it. Or I'm texting in a bar/club. Or let's say the taxi guy is lost and I use google maps to point out the directions.

Basically I'm wondering if it'll stick out like a sore thumb or if everyone and their mother has a smartphone there these days and it won't be noticed. (Thinking of getting a nondescrip case).

I'm probably being paranoid, but it cost a lot and I'm not exactly rich.

"Don't bring it!" I'll be staying long-term and I'll be using it as my camera + phone combo instead of carrying around an extra digital camera. So it's essential to me!

Thanks guys.

Bangkok, Thailand
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1. Re: How careful should I be with my expensive phone?

iPhones are rather common in Thailand and smartphones generally are two a penny - Thailand isn't still a nation of jungle dwellers. But as with any item you should be careful with it and common sense is the answer to your question.

Gold Coast
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for Ko Pha Ngan, Ko Samui, Thailand
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2. Re: How careful should I be with my expensive phone?

Most Thais have phones, even expensive ones and use them all the time, they'd have to be pretty desperate to want yours - just use it as you would anywhere in the world. I'd say don't take it out at night, not because you will have it stolen so much, but after a few drinks you might drop it, leave it on a table etc - better to leave in hotel safe, especially as it is obviously such an essential item to you.

Edited: 18 December 2012, 03:47
Toronto, Canada
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for Bangkok
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3. Re: How careful should I be with my expensive phone?

The risk of getting your iPhone stolen in Thailand is the same as in Canada.

If someone wants it and sees the opportunity they will try, same as everywhere.

Bring it along but remember to turn off your roaming.

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4. Re: How careful should I be with my expensive phone?

I've seen so many locals have iPhones(even the 5 and I have the 4) and I'm from the United States. Lol. No one will steal your phone but if u set it somewhere and come back shortly after, it'll be taken just like any other place u visit in the world. Plus, the iPhone does not have a SIM card unless before u are leaving to Thailand, u contacted ur local phone carrier for coverage then yes it'll be good use to navigate around. I didn't do that so my only place for wifi was from a restaurant or the hotel. I suggest to research where you're going to go from ur phone from ur hotel and then head out or write memos on your phone to get around. Be safe! I'm in bangkok right now, hit me up if u want to meet up.

Bangkok, Thailand
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5. Re: How careful should I be with my expensive phone?

iPhones here it's like everybody (must) have. it's common even young general they use BlackBerry,Samsung Galaxy aswell.

you should be careful just don't lost it because you will not get it back , here it's not like Japan that's all. :)

Victoria, Australia
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6. Re: How careful should I be with my expensive phone?

I'd be more worried about your bill when you get home...if the mobile phone carriers in Canada are anything like here in Australia, then check out your "data roaming" $ rates before you even think of using it overseas....unless you are planning on getting a local sim card in Thailand...i hope you are...this is the way to go....

Victoria, Australia
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7. Re: How careful should I be with my expensive phone?

I assume you can get a sim for IPhones in Thai..not sure ? Anyway..I'm not an iPhone person...i reckon thay are rich enough.

Berlin/Bangkok
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for Bangkok, Berlin, Thailand
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8. Re: How careful should I be with my expensive phone?

The OP has an unlocked iPhone 5 so I presume he or she plans to get a Thai SIM card and data plan. For 350 baht you can get 1GB good for a month.

Carry your phone with you just as you would in Canada. Jibbigo-Thai is an excellent app for communication. OnDemandWorld has a good transit map of Bangkok.

Winnipeg, Manitoba...
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9. Re: How careful should I be with my expensive phone?

Thanks for the replies. Glad to hear it's not likely to be stolen!

I won't be leaving it unattended that's for sure, haha. It will have a permanent home in my zippered front pocket.

Yea I bought an unlocked iPhone 5 (I'm Canadian) and you can use any GSM SIM card. So when I come to Thailand I can buy a pre-paid SIM from DTAC or another company. (haven't researched them yet). I plan to travel the world and stay for long periods of time in each country, so I can just swap out SIM cards.

The unlocked phone is 3X as expensive than buying it from a plan. In my case, $799 before taxes for iPhone 32 GB, ouch! But I'm a very light phone user when it comes to calling/texting/data use (this might change when I make Thailand friends, lol), so over time the savings on using pre-paid make up for the high initial cost of the unlocked phone.

Either way it's just much more convenient for me. If anyone is looking to do the same thing take a look at the new Google Nexus 4 which comes unlocked for $299. Amazing price for a top of the line phone, great for travel with integrated Google Maps. I had originally bought it, but in Canada it's on back-order for 7-8 weeks minimum and I got tired of waiting... watching Youtube videos of Nexus 4 vs iPhone 5... I couldn't take it anymore!

Watford, United...
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10. Re: How careful should I be with my expensive phone?

Chances are most people will think it's a copy anyway, so you've no worries about it being stolen.