The best smartphones for international travel are like allies in your pocket. It’s almost impossible to imagine traveling without a cell phone these days. We use them to take photos, find our way around strange cities, and even keep our boarding passes and train tickets.
Most importantly, we need them to keep in touch with loved ones and get us out of a jam, if something bad happens. That’s why it’s important to have a reliable ally in your pocket while traveling. Like a good travel buddy, the right smartphone can take your trip to another level of enjoyment. These days the market is overwhelmed with choices, but we did our research and narrowed down the best smartphones for traveling to five great options.
Best smartphone for: those traveling internationally on a budget
With a 6.2″ Full HD+ Max Vision display, the Motorola is great for all those fun activities you like to do on the go, like playing games, taking photos, and video chatting with friends back home. The huge screen is also water and scratch resistant – you can take this piece of hardware hiking up Mount Everest and it won’t fail you unless you drop it off a cliff. It’s fast, battery-efficient, and you can use it with any carrier. It also comes equipped with facial recognition and fingerprint unlocking software, so you can make sure all those selfies are secure. All this, and it’s less than $200.
Best smartphone for: tech lovers who travel internationally
The biggest screen on this list, the Samsung has a 6.7″ display that reaches the very edges of the phone. Why does that make it one of the best phones for international travel? Because you can watch videos, play games, and sort through photos with less interference. The Galaxy Pro is equipped to do it all. The camera software includes a Scene Optimizer that automatically sharpens and color corrects so your pics are social media-ready right away. The phone is available in an International Version that can be used with absolutely any sim card and carrier. Plus, we have it on good authority that these babies no longer spontaneously combust.
Best smartphone for: international travelers on long-haul trips
The Huawei Mate 10 Pro boasts Supercharge technology, and it’s true that there’s not much this amazing handheld device can’t do. It’s got 32 gigabytes of storage, a Leica Dual Camera augmented with AI object recognition, and bandwidth speeds 2x as fast as 4G LTE. We love it because this is a smartphone with a smart battery: the 4000 mAh battery learns power management from user habits and guarantees 24 hours of battery life even if you’re watching a movie, using six apps, and FaceTiming your mom all about your latest adventures on the other side of the world.
Best smartphone for: international travelers who pack light
If space is an issue, look no further than this marvel of engineering. The reason we chose it as one of the best smartphones for international travel is right in the name. The LG G7 ThinQ cell phone is only a few millimeters thick, making it the perfect travel cell phone for hikers, outdoor explorers, and any situation where packing light is essential. Despite its silhouette, the LG comes with all the usual features and has good battery life. More importantly, it’s not as breakable as it looks.
Best smartphone for: international travelers who want to take better photos
Though it might not be one of the cheaper options out there, the Pixel has the best smartphone camera available, bar none. It comes equipped with a 12.2 MP sensor with dual LED flash and OIS (optical image stabilization). In layman’s terms, this smartphone captures more data per pixel, delivering crisp images that will make your Instagram followers drool for days. It also takes superior videos and can grab quality shots even in dim lighting, which anyone who’s ever tried to photograph the Eiffel Tower at night would be grateful for. It’s easy to use and packed with other great features, making it overall one of the best smartphones for international travel.
With one of the best smartphones for international travel in your bag, you’re pretty much ready to go anywhere. All you need is an international smartphone plan – but that’s a subject for a whole other article.