Moments of truth – getting set up
The reason Telecom NZ went to all the trouble of sending my new Samsung Galaxy Note II to Austria where I’m on holiday, is that I can talk about the experience of getting your smartphone up and running while traveling.
Getting a SIM
Unfortunately Europe is not yet part of Telecom’s great new roaming packages and so the best solution if you’re staying in one country for a while is to get hold of a local prepaid SIM with a decent data plan so that you can access all the things you need without incurring obscene data roaming charges.
Last year in Italy getting a prepaid SIM for the local Vodafone network was a hellish nightmare. By comparison today’s Austrian experience was a dream.
I selected the telco “3” because it had the phone in store, and it had the prettiest branding. Shallow but true.
It was a pretty crowded store, but the ever efficient Germanic people have an excellent ‘take a number’ system that means you don’t suffer ‘which queue should I join’ anxiety or ‘that f*@^ker is pushing ahead of me’ rage. So 15 minutes later my number was up and the woman who served me spoke English – WIN!
No problem she said, for €25 ($40 NZD) you get a prepaid SIM for 30 days. It includes 1000 texts, 1000 minutes of talk time and 2Gb of data. WOW – that’s better than my plan at home! Sold. She made a phone call and said within 20 minutes it would be activated and ready to go.
First observations out of the box …
I know the SIM needs to go in but the phone isn’t telling me it needs anything. So I might need to read the manual – that’s a new experience. It’s not immediately obvious what to do.
I can see why the instructions warn you not to damage your fingernails – getting the back off is a bit tricky. But all up, SIM slides in easy … ready to go.
Straight up I get a text – all in German, which seems to say I have €0 credit. Then I get another saying I’m all set to go. I’m not entirely sure what I have but I’m going to trust that it’s all good.
The phone is big, it’s very pretty and it makes interesting noises, but it’s big. I’ve always been an Apple fan and after the iPhone it could take some getting used to!
Stay tuned for how I adapt to my new phone as it becomes my travel guide, social media portal and maybe even makes a few calls.