Can I make my US Sprint Samsung Galaxy S7 work in 5 countries?
August 20, 2017 5:26 PM   Subscribe

I'm taking a trip in October to France, Spain, Portugal, Morocco and Italy. What it the most economical way to make my US Sprint Galaxy S7 work for voice calls while traveling? BONUS QUESTION: Same. but for data.

My current plan with Sprint is unlimited voice and data, domestic US.
posted by Exchequer to Travel & Transportation (12 answers total)
 
Assuming your Sprint plan is postpaid (you get a bill, not one where you have to fill an account), you travel to those countries and enable roaming on your device to receive $0.20/minute rates for calling back to the US and unlimited (but slower) data and texting. (Incidentally, T-Mobile offered this service first but I'm glad that other carriers have picked up on it.)
posted by fireoyster at 5:40 PM on August 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


Sprint is not on a GSM network like the rest of the world. Some newer Sprint phones may have a GSM slot but you'll have to investigate.
Here are some options:
Take your Sprint phone, turn off roaming, get on free wifi when you can.
Buy a cheap unlocked GSM phone, get a cheap Tmobile SIM. Tmobile has 2G roaming in nearly every country.
Buy a cheap unlocked GSM phone and get a SIM in your first country.
posted by k8t at 5:40 PM on August 20, 2017


The Sprint Samsung Galaxy S7 does have GSM/LTE capabilities and works with Sprint's international roaming service.
posted by fireoyster at 5:45 PM on August 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


I was in Europe (Iceland and Scotland) this summer with a Sprint Galaxy S7 with an unlimited plan; I can confirm that I got free text and free (very slow) data over there. You can also make free wifi calls.
posted by damayanti at 5:49 PM on August 20, 2017


Oh! You can also call Sprint, and they can unlock your phone for international travel. You should just be able to pop in a local sim card if you're going to be making a lot of calls.
posted by damayanti at 5:50 PM on August 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


I do find that using a local sim is cheaper and easier for calls on my GSM phone when traveling internationally (full disclosure, my travel is more often work-related and so because of the work I do not to developed countries), but note that if you go that route, then for data you may need to create a new APN profile on your phone. The information to make that work with a local provider is usually on their website - but that means if you wait 'til you get there, you'll either need data or wifi or another internet device, so it may be worth researching that information now rather than later.
posted by solotoro at 7:56 PM on August 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


When I travel to Europe, cheap flip phone that is pay as you go for the country (one per family member), and use your real phone only for data through wifi and cafes.
posted by AlexiaSky at 8:39 PM on August 20, 2017


I used local sims in my unlocked GSM quad band Samsung phones from 4 different service providers in the last 3 years. In each case the shop selling the sim correctly set up my phone, getting it right on the first try.

Last fall the EU decreed roaming for local sims. Providers must offer it, though features and price varies.
posted by Homer42 at 8:46 PM on August 20, 2017


If it's compatible buy a local sim card from Virgin Orange or similar large Euro mobile company. EU sim cards are super cheap compared to the US and will work in all the countries you mentioned. For 20 or 40E you can have high speed data, voice and text your entire trip probably. This is what I always do now and it is the cheapest and most convenient, I'm back and forth a lot.
posted by fshgrl at 11:46 PM on August 20, 2017


Just don't lose your US sim card!
posted by fshgrl at 11:46 PM on August 20, 2017


There are two websites that will tell you if your phone will work on a particular service in a particular country:
http://willmyphonework.net/
https://www.frequencycheck.com/

I looked up your phone on the first site and it looks like 2G,3G will work in all the countries you are visiting, but 4G will not.

You'll want the 'unlock for international'/local sim that damayanti mentioned unless Sprint has a nice international plan.

Also, you can use something like Google Voice over WiFi.
posted by eye of newt at 9:27 PM on August 22, 2017


UPDATE: returned home this week. With the exception of time spent in Morocco, voice and date worked with plan and phone as-is, no goofing with SIM swap or anything else. Used a couple of free WiFi spots, but mostly just lived with the 2G cell coverage for data.

Gracias, mille grazie, Je vous remercie, and many thanks to you all!
posted by Exchequer at 7:18 PM on October 25, 2017


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