Does anyone know anything about taking a smart phone overseas (Canada to UK)?

DissociaterDissociater Registered User regular
Hey guys, does anyone have any experience taking a smart phone, like a blackberry or android phone overseas from north America (Canada specifically) to the UK? I'm in a somewhat strange situation. Right now I don't have any type of mobile phone. I'm going to the UK to finish my final year of school. Right now I'll be leaving Oct 1st, then coming back in mid December before going back for 5 months from Jan-June. My wife is going to be staying home in Canada, so we want to both get smart phones to stay connected. From what I've been told, an instant messaging like BBM will still be free (minus data charges) from Canada to UK and vice versa. So what I wanted to do was get a phone here (probably through Koodo because of the price and no fixed term contracts), and then take it overseas and swap out the sim card with a UK provider and get something that's pay as you go (to avoid international data roaming charges).

To make things easier:
1) I want a phone that I can take from Canada to the UK since I'll be there for a long time but still use the phone when I get back to Canada
2) If I bring a Canadian phone to the UK, do I need to do something special (I keep hearing stuff about jailbreaking) in order to use a UK sim card with it and get on a UK mobile service?
3) Does anyone know anything about the Blackberry curve 3g? Is it a decent phone? It seems to be the cheapest smart phone I'm looking at. The next best seems to be the LG Optimus Chat
4) Do android phones have a similar free to use IM service like bbm? 4b) is there a free messaging service like bbm that works blackberry to android? Just in case I get an android and my wife gets a blackberry, for example.

Thanks in advance guys!

Dissociater on

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  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    you probably can just get a prepaid sim card while in london and plug that into your phone so you don't get crazy data roaming charges. then when you get back to Cnada just put your old one in.

    for this your phone needs to be carrier unlocked and actually use a Sim card

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  • WezoinWezoin Registered User regular
    I've actually just done exactly what you're talking about. Brought my Rogers Blackberry to the UK for my masters program, girlfriend is back in Canada and requires constant contact. My recommendation is to use O2. If you get a British bank account (and bank card) you can sign up for a contract here, even if its just a 30 day contract you'll get a better deal than on pay as you go. Unfortunately my bank card got sent to the wrong address so I'm still stuck on pay as you go - but it's not all bad. If you get a pay as you go sim card through O2 and mention you want international calling they'll set you up so every time you top up with £15 you'll get 100 bonus international minutes to anywhere in the world, in addition to your £15 worth of calling/texts. The thing I've done is signed up for the Blackberry Bolt On, which is 500mb of data for £5 a month, which is just taken from your credit, and the international favourites bolt on, which is 3000 minutes to 3 numbers anywhere in the world. If you're calling Canada that includes for cell phones. Also worth noting is they give you a local Canadian number (in addition to your British number) so that your 3 numbers can call you on a Canadian number and not have to pay long distance charges either. I researched this for quite a while and it is by far the best deal for anyone wanting to call international from the uk.

    1) I want a phone that I can take from Canada to the UK since I'll be there for a long time but still use the phone when I get back to Canada

    Blackberry, get it unlocked and you're fine.

    2) If I bring a Canadian phone to the UK, do I need to do something special (I keep hearing stuff about jailbreaking) in order to use a UK sim card with it and get on a UK mobile service?

    Jailbreaking is different than unlocking. Jailbreaking lets you put software not from the official app store on your phone. Unlocking lets you use a phone with providers other than the one you bought it from.

    3) Does anyone know anything about the Blackberry curve 3g? Is it a decent phone? It seems to be the cheapest smart phone I'm looking at. The next best seems to be the LG Optimus Chat

    My girlfriend and mom both have the curve 3g, it is a very good option.

    4) Do android phones have a similar free to use IM service like bbm? 4b) is there a free messaging service like bbm that works blackberry to android? Just in case I get an android and my wife gets a blackberry, for example.

    LiveProfile is like BBM but works on iPhone, Android, and Blackberry.

  • DissociaterDissociater Registered User regular
    Beautiful, thanks guys!

  • WezoinWezoin Registered User regular
    Forgot to mention a few things, international favourites bolt on is only £10.21 a month.

    And for unlocking go to ebay, find one of the instant unlockers for your brand/carrier, its usually $1 - $3 and you can do it very quickly and easily.

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