Fresh from Las Vegas and the Consumer Electronics Show, on the Global BC Noon News, Mike shared some of his latest travel tech as well as a roaming service from Google that you might want to consider if you travel frequently to the US and other countries.
First up is the Osmo Mobile 3 gimbal system from DJI ($129). This is DJI’s 3rd generation of their compact gimbal system for smartphones with a few interesting new features. It lets you mount your smartphone (iOS or Android) and take steadicam-like videos and flawless selfies. It also folds up which makes it a must carry for any travelling videographer.
Next up are the new SOCL 500TWS Wireless Earbuds from TCL. These were announced at CES and we got our hands on a set during their keynote. Expect them to be available on store shelves by the end of January for around $100.
Nomad was at CES and showed off their new leather Passport Holders (~$78-140). A nice touch is the optional TILE tracker model that let’s you easily find your passport in your house or across the globe.
Nite Ize has a new line of waterproof bags to help protect all your gear while you travel. The Runoff Waterproof Pocket ($35) is perfect to use whether it’s safely storing your tech in a waterproof pocket or containing all your liquids in your carry on bag in a TSA approved clear bag. Their innovative new toothless zipper is waterproof and easy to open.
On the way back from CES, the Las Vegas airport had a vending machine from Google that offered roaming sim cards on their Google Fi service ($30-100/month). Pop the sim card into your phone and sign up for their service using either the $70US/month unlimited plan or their $20US/month flexible plan that includes unlimited talk and text and data is $10US per gigabyte. This flexible plan will top out at 6 gigs of data ($60) but you switch to unlimited at this point so you only pay for what you use. The unlimited data does appear to get speed throttled once you hit 22 gigs of data but that’s quite a lot. You can also hotspot your service to your laptop or other wifi devices for free.
The main benefit here is that there are no roaming fees (over 200 countries are supported!) and it’s REALLY FAST. Our airport speed tests showed that it was twice as fast as our roaming AT&T service in Las Vegas and twice as fast as Koodo’s in Vancouver. You also get access to millions of wifi hotspots around the world.
You can pause the service for up to 90 days and you only pay for the days you use the service (prorated from the monthly rate).
There are a few caveats though. You can only obtain the sim card in the US and you must have a US based Google or iOS account to activate the service. You don’t appear to need a US credit card as we were able to use Google Pay and Apple Pay. The service also needs to be activated while in the US but we were literally able to get on a plane and roam in Canada for no additional cost. It’s defintely worth considering if you travel a lot and works great if you have a dual sim smartphone to easily switch between your providers.
Mike ran out of time but also had a very compact 46W USB-C charger from Anker. This unit is almost half the size of the one that comes with recent model MacBooks and MacBook Pros and also has an extra USB port. Perfect for the hotel road warrior that wants to cut down on tech in your bag but also makes a perfect second charger for your laptop at home or office.