Droid x in Europe
I'm getting conflicting info about using the Droid X for Internet access in Europe (Holland and Germany). Is it possible? Also, does anyone have experience using a world phone Verizon would lend me? Calling is less important than Internet, but I might want to use GPS. Any xperience with these issues will be greatly appreciated.
12-12-2010 10:16 AM
Droid X Forums
You can use all the functions of your Droid X in Europe - installed software - games, etc. - and GMail but only via a Wireless link. I'm in the UK now and wherever there's a Wireless link, I can hookup. No phone service (of course), and no Google Maps (which works via phone access). So, your Droid X will no exactlyt be a brick, but...
I was in Spain with mine last fall. I was told beforehand and I can verify that phone service doesn't work. I was also told that anything that can be done over wifi should still work if you can get access to an open signal, however I did not have opportunity to try that. I used mine mostly for the panoramic camera.
In London now with my Droid X
Sorry, I should have been more specific. I have lived in London for the past 5 years - use a simple pay-as-you-go Motorola RAZR 2 with T-Mobile -and when in the USA for a couple of weeks at a time, just swap my UK SIM card for a US one. Do the same in East and West Africa and Spain. GSM is SO NICE! Pick up a $10 SIM anywhere in the world and you're in business!
BUT, when on leave in the US for 7 months (Aug 2010 until 12 March 2011) I sprung for a Droid X under a 2 year contract with Verizon. (Drat. The Droid 2 World Phone came out three months later!)
SO I am back in London for 4 months with both phones, well, my Motorola RAZR 2 PHONE and my Droid X that works perfectly as a wireless thingamajigger but not as a phone. * sigh * GMail and Google maps works great in the UK -- when you can get a good wireless signal - at home or out and about, and all my other non-phone signal requiring functions work as in the US. GMaps will be quite useless for driving, of course, since wise people password protect their routers. - LongJnSilver - 14 Mar 2011
As others said, Europe is gsm only.
If you're just on vacation however, you might want to look into renting a mifi device. Xcom global rents one with unlimited data for $18/day. And considering you can connect five devices, it's not a bad deal.
I know this thread is old but someone might find it useful. I just got back from traveling to Europe: Italy,Spain,France, And Amsterdam. My Verizon droid x proved to be a useful travel tool. Mainly i used it for Google maps, and for internet to plan and look up things.
What will work on the droid x: WiFi will work, GPS antenna will work and give your location.
What wont work: No Cell signal. In other words no calling, data, or location services threw the cell towers.
Why no Cell service?: Droid x uses CDMA network for cell service. Most of Europe uses a GSM network. they cant cross communicate with each other so the droid x will show a circle with a line threw it to indicate "no service"
Using Google Maps : Google maps uses Data from cell tower or WiFi to render the maps. In Europe since there is no cellular data you will have to use WiFi. Its best to Pre-Cache the maps of where you will be going. Pre-cacheing will save the map data on your internal storage. This will enable you to zoom in and see most of the street names and some local information like metro line stops. I would use the Hotel WiFi and pre-cache the next destination and "star" any important places like my next hotel and places i needed to be. Once you don't have data connection you will not be able to search the maps.
Using GPS with Google maps: GPS in Europe with the droid x is a little tricky. It works but, not as quick as in the states. let me explain. Droid X uses three different ways to locate you on Google maps (little blue triangle/dot indicating your location and direction). Standalone GPS, WiFi (Google), and Cell towers (verizon). In the location settings you can choose to use all three or two or one. It works best when all three ways are turned on. The GPS is the most accurate and Works by using satellites in space to get your location. you need a location fix on at least three satellites in order for it to work although you can have a fix on more than three satellites. Next the WiFi location works by figuring out the location of the WiFi signal that you are logged on to. So if you only turned this one on and lets say you are logged on the the hotel's wifi you will get a location fix on Google maps(little blue triangle/dot) but once you leave your hotel the blue dot will not follow your location because its fixed to the address of the hotel. you will have to be logged on the the WiFi, it will not "sniff out" WiFi signals for location purposes as your walking threw town. Last is the Cell towers. it uses Triangulation of three cell towers to get your approximate location. if all you used was this you would get a big blue circle indicating your approximate location. In Europe you will not have cell service so this one will not work. This is a big bummer because it is the cell tower triangulation that makes finding your location on the map really fast. without it, it is slow because the GPS Antenna is not that powerful and uses the cell towers to tell it where you are then gets its fix on the sat. with out the tower triangulation the GPS takes longer to get a fix especially if you are surrounded by tall buildings or under a roof.
Getting GPS to Work In Europe: If you put your phone in airplane mode it will turn off the all Antenna's on the phone including, Cell antenna, WiFi and GPS. you can manually turn back on WiFi, and GPS by going into setting and turning them on individually. but what i found out is that the GPS wont work even if you turned it back on. I even took it out of airplane mode and the GPS still didn't work. So i turned everything back on and then did a battery pull. after this the GPS worked. I Highly recommend the App "GPS Status" in order to get your fix on the satellites. If you just use Google maps it will time out and say "unable to Locate" well remember there is no cell service so its going to take longer to get your location fix. Use the "GPS Status" app. When you open the application it will search for satellites and once you get a fix it will let you know you have a fix on the satellites. sometimes this took a minute or two while out in the city. while on a moving train it took even longer like 7 minutes. Anyways, once you have a fix on the satellites open your Google maps and press the location button it will then locate you with a blue triangle. This was so useful when trying to navigate a foreign city where the streets were hard to figure out( small tight streets in Venice with no street signs!). Other tourists where holding there paper upside down and running into walls like a noobie in a First person shooter. but not me. This turned me into a navigation pro. in junction with my Pre cached maps. It even tells you what location your facing without moving so no wasted time figuring out which way your facing.
What about data charges?: there is no charges since there is no cell service. so i left the airplane mode off. then just in case i did happen to run into CDMA signals i turned off the data by network and data roaming manually in the data settings.
Is WiFi abundant in Europe?: Yes and no. It was offered at every hotel i stayed at but it wasn't reliable. Mostly the free WiFi offered was always very spotty and just wouldn't work sometimes. Even if i had a strong WiFi signal sometimes it wouldn't connect to the internet. Some hotels charged for a password and a set amount of time. you had to log on and off. a lot of Cafe's and places to eat offered WiFi if you sit down and buy something. you will have to ask for the WiFi password and sometimes i felt like they were a little protective of there WiFi.
Sometime it was frustrating depending on my cell phone especially a two year old buggy droid x but all and all it proved that having my cell phone helped us a lot during our 30 day trip to Europe!!
Tricks of the trade: charge your phone every night and bring a good paper map to use in junction with the Google maps. Hotels always provided the best city maps way better that AAA. Remember your technology is just another tool that can fail so learn how to read an old school map. Google maps offers a decent tool to get directions using public transportation. before you get to your next destination look up the best way to get from the train/air port to your hotel because if you don't you look even more lost when looking how to get to your hotel at the airport and then the vultures come swooping in trying to overcharge you a ride to the city. lastly consider everyone to be a pickpocket! especially people who are being nice. it works as a distraction sorry i know it sux but it happened to me. I even heard old lady's will. they are opportunist's don't give them the opportunity.
Welcome to DXF guill! And thanks for the great and informative post. Thread is now stuck for easy access to the info you provided
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