View Full Version : phone service

01-12-2015, 12:40
I've heard Verison has the best service on the AT. I currently have T-Mobile with a cheap flip phone. My ex-wife has a smart phone , she has no idea how to use it, it's with a brand X company that uses sprint towers. Just maybe she might trade me. Also in the mix I was looking at a Sony S120 camera, $400, It's kinda , why get a camera, when a smart phone does a lot more. I'm hiking solo here without much home support. I can afford what I need but no reason to waste money, or add wt. that I won't use.
Your opinions please.

01-12-2015, 13:02
The newest phones have amazing cameras for both stills and video. Accessory lenses, and remote video pick-ups tremendously expand a smart phone utility. Rather than swapping with the ex-spouse, explore the newest technology available in phones and compare the what you'd get in the class of camera you are considering.

I resisted switching from my ruggedized flip-phone to a smart-phone for years. Now that I've switched a feel like an idiot for not doing it sooner.

Good Luck

01-12-2015, 13:06
In my humble opinion I think a smart phone is a valuable resource because of the apps that are available today. Everything from Guthook apps to weather apps you can carry a lot of info in a smartphone. My wife and I are taking a camera in addition to our smartphones on the trail this year. Our thoughts are the camera will enable us to conserve our phone batteries for other uses. But this is only my humble opinion others may and probably do have different thoughts. We are not ultralight hikers but we do watch the weight of items closely. We chose a Sony camera with GPS and blue tooth capabilities that weighs about 6oz. Hope this is helpful.

01-12-2015, 13:53
Verizon has the best service on the southern half, that seems to change a bit once you cross into PA. On my hikes in NY, NJ, and PA it seemed as if those with other carriers were able to make and receive calls more often than I was. I asked a few times what they were using but for the life of me I can't remember what service seemed to be better.

In the end Verizon is still probably the best service to go with.

I'm not a big photographer, but the 8mp camera on my phone pleases me just fine. The camera and GPS are also the only reasons I own a smart phone, I much preferred the older flip phones. I have the S4 Mini which comes in just under 4 oz's which isn't bad I guess.

Virginia Son
01-12-2015, 18:48
I pay too much to Verizon each month, but after 2 years with Sprint I know that the big V has better reach. But do not expect 100% on the trail. This past fall I had service on the AT in SNP, but lost it 0.2 miles off it at Pass Mountain shelter. My dear wife was ready to call the rangers. Next morning soon as I reentered the AT her texts from the night before arrived. Also, in the Rockies last month (by Estes Park) we had no service on a back road, but regained it less than a mile later on Route 36. Lesson learned: if you lose the signal keep moving. Re camera: I find the Droid Maxx phone OK for wide views but fuzzy on details. Hope this helps.

01-12-2015, 20:43
I had an ATT phone and it never seemed to work on the AT in the northeast. Whenever I reached a peak and found someone talking on a phone (very annoying) I asked about their service. It was always Verizon. I switched to Verizon and find it better in general. It even worked deep into the White Mountains. Obviously there are gaps, especially in Maine and when you need it most.

01-12-2015, 22:50
This past fall I had service on the AT in SNP, but lost it 0.2 miles off it at Pass Mountain shelter. My dear wife was ready to call the rangers.

Had she called and they initiated a search, you'd probably be held liable for expenses. Everyone at home needs to know that going a day or two without contact most likely only means there was no cell service. In cases where reassuring daily contact is required it's probably best to also carry a Spot.

01-13-2015, 08:37
I can tell you T-Mobile sucks up through GSMNP, people would regularaly be talking on their phones and I had no service.