Axon 7 On International Travel

My wife and I are planning a two-month trip to Europe this summer.  We will visit Iceland, France, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary and Germany.  About three weeks will be spent in Hungary (might also visit Slovakia, Ukraine and Romania) with most of our time out in the sticks.  Our Hungarian language skills are minimal, but we can communicate in French and German as well as English.  I'm about to buy an Axon 7 and will add a large SD for storage.  Will install English-Hungarian dictionary and a phrase book, plus other apps. GPS is important. The SIM card for the US will probably be T Mobile, but plan to buy a European SIM from Orange in Paris upon arrival or use one of the UK SIM's and install it upon arrival in Europe. Other SIM products (e.g. KeepGo) are available, but Orange seems to have a fairly decent reputation and supposedly works well across the EU. The main telecom in Hungary is T Mobile Telecom.

I'd like to hear from Axon 7 owners who travel internationally and their experiences or problems with switching SIM's in various countries.  Especially interested in hearing from folks who have used an Axon 7 in Eastern Europe.

Thanks all,

Ed

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Answers

  • runtohell121runtohell121 Analyst United StatesPosts: 2,262 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I haven't really travelled internationally with the Axon 7... But if you're planning to buy local SIM cards, be sure to check the network band that it uses and if it's compatible with the Axon 7. My only experience traveling with the Axon 7 was going to Canada and roaming on Telus via T-Mobile prepaid and didn't have any issues with it. I guess the thing I would suggest is, since you know which carrier you might be on, write down/screenshot the APN required for their network in case the Axon 7 doesn't automatically detect the correct settings, though most likely the prepaid SIM should have some instructions on setting it up or the place you buy it from could help you, but just double check the band the network uses and make sure it's compatible with the Axon 7.

  • Thanks for the reply. According to the folks at phone arena the Axon 7 is a Quad Phone and more. Here’s their list of frequencies for the Axon 7:

    Cellular

    CDMA 800, 1900 MHz

    GSM 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz

    UMTS 850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz

    LTE (FDD) Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 13, 17, 20, 25, 26, 29, 30

    LTE (TDD) Bands 41

    Data LTE-A Cat 6 (300/50 Mbit/s), HSPA

    Nano SIM Yes

    Multiple SIM cards 2 slots, Yes

    HD Voice Yes

    VoLTE Yes

    For your amusement here are some links showing worldwide cell frequencies: http://www.worldtimezone.com/gsm.html http://allworldcellphones.com/gsm-frequencies-list.htm http://spectrummonitoring.com/frequencies/

    Thanks again,

    Ed

  • Thanks for the reply. According to the folks at phone arena the Axon 7 is a Quad Phone and more. Here’s their list of frequencies for the Axon 7:

    Cellular

    CDMA 800, 1900 MHz

    GSM 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz

    UMTS 850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz

    LTE (FDD) Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 13, 17, 20, 25, 26, 29, 30

    LTE (TDD) Bands 41

    Data LTE-A Cat 6 (300/50 Mbit/s), HSPA

    Nano SIM Yes

    Multiple SIM cards 2 slots, Yes

    HD Voice Yes

    VoLTE Yes

    For your amusement here are some links showing worldwide cell frequencies: http://www.worldtimezone.com/gsm.html http://allworldcellphones.com/gsm-frequencies-list.htm http://spectrummonitoring.com/frequencies/

    Thanks again,

    Ed

  • runtohell121runtohell121 Analyst United StatesPosts: 2,262 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Those bands seem to be correct for the Axon 7 in the US. Just wondering, are you from the US and currently use the US model of the Axon 7 or do you live somewhere else and have the European version of the Axon 7, as the European version of the Axon 7 have different network bands.

    Network: TD-LTE:Band 38/40/41

    FDD-LTE: Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/19/20

    UMTS: Band 1/2/4/5/8

    GSM: Band 2/3/5/8

    ZTE Axon 7 Available in Europe

  • I live in Virginia in the US. I have not yet purchased an Axon 7 and am doing some advanced due diligence to ensure that the phone will work in the US and in Europe. I will buy a US version of the Axon 7. With its multiple band configuration and with its ability to change SIM cards the Axon 7 should be able to work anywhere internationally. I’m attempting to determine if anyone has had problems when changing to local or regional SIM cards.

  • Thanks again. I wonder what the folks at ZTE have to say on the matter?

  • ironbaybeedollironbaybeedoll United StatesPosts: 4,630 mod

    ​ Hello, and Welcome to Z-Community. I have not traveled internationally with my Axon 7, but I would love to check into this for. In the mean time if you need anything else, or have other questions please let me know. The quickest way to  get my attention is with a mention, simply press the @ symbol followed direct by my username

  • ironbaybeedollironbaybeedoll United StatesPosts: 4,630 mod

    ​ Good Evening. We all work very hard in Z-Community to make sure we assist, and help all of our members. To say ZTE is too busy with Nougat to respond to members is inaccurate, as they are working on many great things. We have a great ModSquad, and Ambassador Team working hard here every day to respond and answer questions.

  • ironbaybeedollironbaybeedoll United StatesPosts: 4,630 mod

    ​ Hello again. So after checking, it would seem most bands are supported, obviously ZTE can't guarantee anything as there are so many things that come into play. You should check with the carrier(s) site that you intend to use, as this will give you the most up to date information. You can also google information about traveling abroad with cell phones, and this could possibly give you some tips.

  • Thanks for the welcome and the input. I think I have the situation somewhat in hand. I live in the mountains of Central Virginia. My access to mobile capability where I live is tough. Think two bars. I recently installed a Wilson (WeBoost) cell signal booster and that seriously increased my signal strength. My nearest cell tower is five miles away over some mountains higher than my house. So why does this matter. Well, there are only two carriers in the US that use GSM at this point: AT&T and T-Mobile. Verizon, Sprint, et al are all CDMA, however the longevity of CDMA is questionable because CDMA technology is old and can’t keep up with the latest speed advancements. Look what Verizon has done with 4G LTE. They had to go to a proprietary SIM card in order to make 4G LTE things work. So, while 80%-90% of the world is using GSM, it’s only a matter of time before CDMA US carriers will have to change their ways. The day of a true world phone is fast approaching and it won’t be based on CDMA IMHO.

    It appears to me that AT&T and T-Mobile have seen this transition coming. I spoke with an AT&T representative today and learned that AT&T offers SIM Cards for unlocked GSM phones that can be filled and refilled with minutes and used inside the US. Of course AT&T also offers various plans if one wants to go the contract route, but I prefer to add minutes as necessary because I do not spend my entire life glued to a phone and have little or no use for many of the apps that are available. As a long time crusty old nerd I’m what you might call “old fashioned” in my selection of apps and the use of my time.

    Thus, with an unlocked GSM phone I can purchase a SIM card for the regional provider in the countries where I travel and when I return to the US, I pop out the overseas SIM card and pop in a SIM card that will work in the states. In my case, that will be AT&T, because one of the towers available to me has an AT&T antenna on it that I can now reach with my signal booster. So in the end, my investment in an unlocked GSM phone will not be limited to only overseas usage, but will also be useable at home. Money saved.

    However, I’m still focused on potential problems associated with swapping SIM cards on the Axon 7 while traveling overseas. No real answer so far. Also, the long awaited delay for Android 7.0 on the Axon 7 is somewhat concerning. Samsung has Nougat available for their Galaxy S7 Edge. Hard for me to understand why ZTE is so far behind. In completing my due diligence I’m close to stepping up to the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. I can purchase a new factory unlocked version of the S7 Edge for about $100 more than the Axon 7. Time has become a factor in my decision and I honestly don’t wish to have to put up with the myriad of problems associated with Android 6 on the Axon 7.

    Later,

    Ed

  • Which carrier do you use?

  • Thanks for the input about T-Mobile. I think they have one office about 50 miles from me. I seem to recall that T-Mobile partners with other carriers on some towers. It might be worthwhile for me to check them out to see if they can meet my needs. Yes, the Wilson signal amplifier kicks a two-bar signal up about 32 times with the result being a nice strong signal even through trees and over mountains. I can ask T-Mobile if their cell spot would work in my situation. Basically, I live in a valley surrounded by high hills and mountains. Beautiful to look at, but not worth a darn for cell signals.

    The Axon 7 probably would work for what I need, but I’ve read that the Axon 7 signal strength is somewhat weak. Thanks for the info about the Nexus 5x. I looked at the 5x and the 6p. They are mid-level lightweight phones. The 5x comes up short on RAM and both phones lack an SD slot which is a serious requirement for me. Their internal storage is 16GB and 32GB as I recall.

    I think I’m going to bite the bullet and go with the Samsung Galaxy s7 Edge, with 256GB SDXC. Some would call that a flagship setup, but I think the Samsung phone will meet my needs and being the world’s largest phone manufacturer they’ll be around for a while despite the fact the some of their phones have been known to explode.

    I’ll check out T-Mobile and compare them with AT&T then make a selection.

    Thanks again for the input.

    Later,

    Ed

  • runtohell121runtohell121 Analyst United StatesPosts: 2,262 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    If you're going with the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, go with the SM-G935U, as that phone have a lot of network bands and is unlocked for international use. Any carrier branded version might have limited band and locked to specific carrier.

    Best of luck to you on choosing your upcoming phone for travel and regular use. Either phone would be a good choice.

  • I have been on TMO for 5 years on a post paid plan. Been to Asia and Europe with various phones. Most recent India and Ireland and Mexico. My kids two Axon 7s worked fine in India and Mexico (did not have A7s in EU then). With TMO most of the time the USA plan phone just works in many other countries you visit and no fuss. You get free data and SMS unlimited and pay around 20 cents per min for calls. No roaming fees. So I never opt for local SIMs etc. Might want to consider their service as your main one etc.

    International Plans | Traveling Abroad without Roaming Fees | T-Mobile

  • Thanks. Great minds run in the same rut. I’m focusing on buying the Samsung Galaxy S7 EDGE G935 /DS 4G LTE Android 6.0 5.5" 32GB OEM Unlocked Phone to which I’ll add a 256GB micro SD SDXC Evo Class 10 UHS-I 48MB/s TF Memory Card .

  • runtohell121runtohell121 Analyst United StatesPosts: 2,262 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Dual SIM might not be the best version for the Galaxy S7 Edge if you plan on traveling, as it only have limited bands and might not be fully compatible with AT&T or T-Mobile LTE network. Look specifically for the SM-G935U if you plan on traveling.

    What makes you think of getting the Galaxy S7 Edge over the Axon 7?

  • Thanks for the input. I’ll check with T-Mobile about your experience and see how they stack up to local carriers. However, I don’t want to be in a plan. Just pay as you go adding minutes whenever needed. I’ll be visiting some very remote rural places in my travels and may not even have access to towers. Will be in parts of the Ural mountains in addition to vast areas of flat plains. At home I have to determine if TMO will even work where I live.

    Later,

    Ed

  • Sure. If you travel out of the country I recommend switching to the TMO One Plan as it is totally worth it. 

    I forgot to mention to be sure to download maps (for each country you plan to visit) locally to your phone before the trip. In this way you do not need a mobile connection for GPS. Always good to keep offline maps so you are not stuck here and there in remote places etc. For example Gmaps and HERE both have offline map downloading.

    Enjoy your trip!

  • Here are the bands for both the Samsung G935 and the Axon 7. The Axon 7

    does include CDMA. However, both AT&T and T-Mobile SIM Cards are available

    for unlocked GSM phones for calls in the US, so the CDMA bands probably

    aren't needed.

    CDMA

    800, 1900 MHz

    GSM 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz

    850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz

    UMTS 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz

    850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz

    LTE (FDD) Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28

    Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 13, 17, 20, 25, 26, 29, 30

    LTE (TDD) Bands 38, 39, 40, 41

    Bands 41

    The Axon 7 was my first choice. The numerous problems related to the Axon 7

    running Android 6 made me look elsewhere. While I'd like to wait on ZTE to

    make Nougat available, I can't wait on them. I don't understand why so many

    other companies have Nougat available, but ZTE doesn't. Both the S7 and the

    Moto G4 have Android 7 (aka Nougat).

    Ed

  • Thanks for the input. Yes, I plan to download maps as you suggested. Local maps are one of the reasons I’m adding a high capacity SD. I’ll check out the T-Mobile One Plan.

    Ed

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