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Traveling to China

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by stmartin84, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. stmartin84

    stmartin84 Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter
    36

    Dec 8, 2009
    215
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    36
    Mechanical Engineer
    GA
    Hey all! I have a quick question. I am going to be doing some international traveling and my first destination is Shanghai, China. Questions are as follows:

    1. Will my droid 1 work internationally?
    2. Is there a way to disable the phone feature and only use text?
    3. If I text, will there be any additional fees?
    4. If I do take a call, how much would it be?
    5. If I use skype on wifi, will it work or cost me anything?
    6. If I do disable the phone feature, will skype and text messaging work?
    7. Will my email still check over 3G or whatever signal? Is there additional fees for this?
     

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  2. shadowdude777

    shadowdude777 Well-Known Member
    143

    Nov 8, 2009
    1,842
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    143
    Queens, New York
    1-4) It just won't work there
    5) It should work and it should be free
    6) Skype will work as long as you're connected to Wi-Fi. Texting will work if you're on Wi-Fi and use Google Voice. Other than that, no.
    7) Nope, but it will check over Wi-Fi

    The Droid is on Verizon, a network that works on the CDMA standard, and is a non-global phone, and therefore is incompatible with the GSM standard that most non-US countries use. (Note that unlike the whole imperial vs metric thing, we actually have the better standard in this one ;) ). So basically your cellular radio won't work, but Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and probably GPS (don't see any reason why not) will work. I suggest finding the closest free Wi-Fi AP.

    EDIT: Disregard, did not know China has CDMA carriers.
     
    stmartin84 likes this.
  3. jenli

    jenli Member
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    Nov 15, 2009
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    China has CDMA carriers, coverage is spotty and typically limited to big cities, and roaming cost is breathtaking :eek:. Good luck.
     
  4. +1 on that. I have a friend in Beijing who contacts me via landline from there as the coverage turned out to be not so good even in that huge ("mess" as he calls it) city.
     
  5. burbankfun4u

    burbankfun4u Member
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    Nov 11, 2009
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    Does anyone know if maps and GPS work internationally?
     
  6. sradner

    sradner Member
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    Dec 25, 2009
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    5
    Massachusetts
    The GPS seems to need a starting point. Either a CDMA cell, or a Wifi connection. In the UK, my GPS and mapping software have always been close to useless. Every now and then I can get my location while I am in Wifi coverage at a hotel, but it has never work for navigation. I bring along my Garmin.

    Maybe there are enough CDMA cells in China to get a GPS lock, but you would need alternate mapping software with pre-loaded maps.

    Just my experience, so your mileage may vary. Bon Voyage
     
  7. dakster

    dakster Well-Known Member
    68

    Nov 7, 2009
    160
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    68
    Computer Scientist
    New York
    I went through quite a bit of this when I was in Japan. I actually left my CDMA voice radio active, and just disabled the data part in the info settings.

    You can disable the data part of the droid by dialing:
    *#*#4636#*#*

    Selecting phone information, hitting menu->more, and then select disable data.

    You can reverse that process to re-enable your data when you get back. That turns your phone into a basic CDMA voice phone.

    I did this because, at least back pre-froyo, not sure now, the GPS generally wouldn't be able to achieve a position lock without the CDMA voice radio being active. It didn't matter if you had a signal or not, it's just some weird requirement internally. I actually didn't have much coverage in Japan, but by leaving the CDMA radio on, I was able to get GPS fixes consistently.

    If you do stumble into an area with coverage when your CDMA radio is on, you won't get billed for anything as long as you don't answer the phone if it rings. You would get charged for text messages you receive (maybe there's a way to block that too). I think in Japan, recieving a text message was like 20 cents or something.

    Once you do have a GPS position fix, you can disable the CDMA voice radio too, and the droid will keep the position fix. I used offline mapping, which worked great for my purposes. I use maverick pro, but I think a lot of people use mapdroyd. Just set up your maps ahead of time and store them on your SD card.

    I took a travel router with me to give me wifi in hotels. Worked great, and was able to make phone calls back home using sipdroid.

    I did use google voice for some text messaging when I was on wifi. That worked out fine. I'm not a big texter though.
     
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  8. shadowdude777

    shadowdude777 Well-Known Member
    143

    Nov 8, 2009
    1,842
    122
    143
    Queens, New York
    Then disregard my previous post! :eek:
     
  9. debberooni

    debberooni New Member
    5

    Jul 22, 2010
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    Hi - how did you use the travel router to get wi-fi?

    edit - nevermind that was a stupid question. LOL Just bought a router for my trip to China. Thanks for the tip. It'll be great for my laptop too.
     

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