Using a Moto G as my traveling phone
December 2, 2013 9:01 AM   Subscribe

Motorola is selling the Moto G unlocked for $179 as I understand it. If I get the 'global GSM' option is it pretty easy to buy SIMs for the phone throughout Europe and Asia? Where does one get SIMs for the phone?

I've never traveled with a working phone with data outside of the US, but am planning some out of the country traveling where I think this would be useful. Any holes in my plan? Cheaper ways to do this? I have an iPhone 5 on contract as well. As a bonus can i just swap my iPhone sim into the moto g if I wanted to use it in the US (I'm on AT&T).
posted by jourman2 to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Yes, it's easy to buy SIMs for any unlocked GSM phone in most countries. You can usually walk into any mobile phone store and buy a pre-paid SIM for around $10 and then add additional credit if needed. The clerk can even help swap the SIM, if it's one of those phones that requires poking a little pin-sized tool into a hole to open the SIM drawer.
posted by mbrubeck at 9:06 AM on December 2, 2013

If you have a good idea of where you'll be traveling to, it might be more convenient to get a world SIM instead of buying separate SIMs. The Prepaid GSM forums have a good roundup of what's on the market, and they have forums for countries/regions as well.
posted by evoque at 9:31 AM on December 2, 2013

It depends on the country. Some countries (like Germany & the UK) make it incredibly easy - you just walk up to a convenience store and ask for a SIM card or use a vending machine at the airport. Some countries require about half hour of paperwork (Italy). Some countries make it very difficult (Japan).

Unlocked phones and switching SIM cards was absolutely the way to do it up until this year, because t-mobile recently added free international data and text roaming to their plans. I specifically switched from AT&T to T-Mobile because of the data/text.
posted by NoRelationToLea at 11:29 AM on December 2, 2013

The Moto G looks like it takes a micro size SIM card while the iPhone 5 takes the nano, so you'd need a converter to be able use your nano SIM in the Moto.

You will need to figure out country by country what kind of prepaid data plans will be available and how easy or complicated they will be to get.

FWIW traveling with a data plan is awesome wonderful amazing and totally worth the hassle.
posted by Salamandrous at 11:50 AM on December 3, 2013

Thanks for your comments all. I'm going to the UK in a few weeks and am pre-ordering a SIM with some credit on it from GiffGaff to use with the Moto G.

I also ordered a nano to micro Sim converter for use in the US. Will I need to do anything with AT&T to get the SIM I currently use in my iPhone 5 to work with the Moto G (beyond using the SIM adaptor)? Does it impact your contract at all? I actually have grandfathered unlimited data from AT&T and wouldn't want to jeopardize that.
posted by jourman2 at 7:51 AM on December 4, 2013

Update: used the Moto G with a prepaid sim card I ordered in advance in the UK and it worked like a charm. Using it on AT&T with no problems at all now as well.
posted by jourman2 at 1:43 PM on February 18

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