U.S. News Travel published a list of the best travel gadgets that can improve your travel experiences.
The first gadget on the list is: SpareOne Emergency Phone ($69.99), that I didn’t know of.
From the site’s FAQ:
- SpareOne is the world’s only cell phone powered by a single AA battery – the world’s most widely available battery. It works on GSM cellular networks, the world’s most widely available cellular network. These two facts make SpareOne the most widely usable phone in the world.
- The phone works everywhere in the world where a GSM cellular network exists – i.e., most everywhere. SpareOne models exist for both GSM frequencies: 850/1900 MHZ for North America and western South America, 900/1800 MHZ for Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania, and eastern South America. Because the two GSM frequencies are not interchangeable in the same phone, international travelers may wish to keep two SpareOne phones: one for home, and one for when they travel to countries with a different GSM network, where they can buy a local SIM card to avoid expensive roaming charges – I wonder why they did not make a model for all GSM frequencies, my 3 year old iPhone works on all 4 of them, so technically it is possible, maybe it would be more expensive and the company wanted to keep the price low.
- SpareOne can hold its charge, unused, for up to 15 years with the pre-installed Energizer Ultimate Lithium L91 battery, or for whatever shelf life of the battery installed.
- SpareOne is always able to make emergency calls. Just dial the emergency number of your country (i.e: 911, 112 or 999).
In the United States, the FCC requires networks to route every mobile-phone and payphone [verification needed] 911 call to an emergency service call center, including phones that have never had service, or whose service has lapsed. HOWEVER some GSM networks outside the United States will not accept emergency calls from phones without a SIM card, or even require a SIM card that has credit. For example, Latin American networks typically do not allow emergency calls without a SIM.
This phone makes a compelling case, especially as my phone is locked so when abroad I cannot use prepaid SIM cards. The full FAQ is here.
The other travel gadgets on the list are:
UWater G4 Chrome MP3 Player ($79.95)
It is compact (less than half an inch thick and 1.75 inches long), light weight (under one ounce), and waterproof. The UWater player can hold more than a thousand songs and last through six and eight hours of continuous play time.
Kensington ClickSafe Keyed Laptop Lock ($44.99)
Kensington’s one-click security device uses a key. You can also register your particular key online, so if you lose it, you can purchase a replacement. However, I would have preferred a code and to purchase the key only in the case you forget the code.