Going to Japan - what can I do with my Droid?

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by nunka, May 15, 2010.

  1. nunka
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    nunka New Member

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    So I'll be heading to Japan in a few weeks. I've never used a cell phone internationally, and I'm wondering if anyone knows what my phone will be capable of doing in Japan and how much these things will cost. For example, can I roam in Japan or will I get no service? Do I need to stay in airplaine mode the whole time? I'm assuming my 3G won't work at all and I'll have to find wifi hotspots.

    Any info helps.
  2. kaboyd
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    kaboyd New Member

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    I sure don't know anything on the subject... but have a great trip! I've always wanted to go there.
  3. aminaked
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    aminaked New Member

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    There're a couple threads about going to europe. You might want to look for those.

    I'm not sure how widespread cdma is in japan. You might not be able to do anything without wifi. If they do have cdma, roaming will be pricey. Personally, I would turn off data and not make or answer any calls because of the price.

    One guy says he got a mifi device for anywhere in europe. It's a wifi hotspot wherever you go. With one of those you could use your phone for maps, web browsing, email. Without cdma you wouldn't get calls or texts. Perhaps getting a pay-as-you go phone would be a good idea.
  4. b00mb00mchuck
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    b00mb00mchuck New Member

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    I just asked my friend your question and she said she can't use Verizon at all in japan... but her wifi worked and they have it everywhere... she came up with all kinds of creative ways to stay in touch for free... she would give her husband a time of day to check facebook and use the chat for hours... free
  5. MtnMarty
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    MtnMarty New Member

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    ok, here's my dumb question...how do you turn off data and still be able to use wifi????
  6. hookbill
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    hookbill Premium Member Premium Member

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    Put it into airplane mode. That will still make WiFi available and prevent data usage.
  7. MtnMarty
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    MtnMarty New Member

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    seems to me that airplane mode turns off wifi as well. am i wrong about that?
  8. MtnMarty
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    MtnMarty New Member

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    ok hookbill you are right. I just tried it again and added the extra step of turning on wifi. Thanks very much. I'm going to be traveling soon to Canada (not Japan this time) and wanted to use wifi without international charges from VZ. Have been trying for days to figure out how to use the wifi option only.
  9. hookbill
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    hookbill Premium Member Premium Member

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    You are indeed incorrect about that. I have ran my phone on airplane mode in my home with just WiFi. Works fine. It just stops calls.
  10. MtnMarty
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    MtnMarty New Member

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    crossed posts.

    thanks again for solving an annoying problem for me.
  11. aminaked
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    aminaked New Member

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    Instead of using airplane mode you might want to just turn off data roaming. This allows you to see if someone's calling. Don't answer and you won't get charged. Don't make calls either. In this mode I think you can still use texting but the charges for that are still reasonable.

    Phone settings > wireless > mobile networks > data roaming UNCHECK
  12. nunka
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    nunka New Member

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    Hmm. I might do this. How does this affect texting? Can I still receive texts (if I manage to find service somewhere---probably not likely) and will I be charged for them?

    Thanks for all the replies. My main concern is that I won't have wifi access where I'm staying. I'll have to hunt a hotspot down somehow. I'm pretty sure mifi won't work in Japan because it depends on 3G. Too rich for my blood, anyway...
  13. SquintyOS
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    SquintyOS New Member

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    There was actually a link I think that would help you out. Japan DOES run mostly off of CDMA rather than GSM. There are only a few Japanese carriers that utilize any sort of GSM. I think DoMoCo runs off of CDMA.

    Japanese Cellular Phones FAQ

    Take a look at this page and see what you can find.
  14. frankiez
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    frankiez New Member

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    this sunday my wife will be in leaving for Germany for almost a month. If she goes into airplane mode and has wifi turned on, we will be able to talk over skype mobile?
  15. nunka
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    nunka New Member

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    Thanks. This led me to do some research on Verizon's roaming rates---they're pretty high. And apparently CDMA Verizon phones can only receive texts while roaming in Japan. Can't send any texts, can't take any calls, can't make any calls. Rough life. Guess I'll be hunting for wifi after all. At least my battery will last longer :)
  16. muzhik
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    muzhik New Member

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    better install FRING, native skype app requires phone service, cant talk via wifi
  17. SquintyOS
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    SquintyOS New Member

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    Wish you luck on that. Its too bad that you can only do so much there. Especially when they have 2 or 3 major carriers compared to our lot. They had the time to focus on what they needed to do. I personally wish to use a Droid in Japan just cause I think it would go along well there, considering their wcdma. Also, DoMoCo's i-mode looks pretty reliable and wish we had somewhat of a unified mail/messaging service here.
  18. cashman
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    cashman New Member

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    Well.. I'm not sure how it will work but I have an idea. Use Wifi and load up Skype. Use Skype to call anyone...
  19. b00mb00mchuck
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    b00mb00mchuck New Member

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    Verizon Skype doesn't work over wifi
  20. dakster
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    dakster New Member

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    I just got back from Japan a week or so ago, and I had my droid with me.

    I had data disabled, and left the cell on most of the time. I had CDMA coverage almost everywhere. I was in Sendai, Kyoto, Nara, and Tokyo.

    You can receive text messages, if I recall receiving one costs you $.10.

    You CANNOT send text messages. Not sure why. I ended up sending text messages using google voice (when I was on wifi).

    None of the hotels I stayed in had wifi, but most had ethernet in the room. I used a travel router I have. I was occasionally able to find an open wifi in the city, but not too often.

    Making/receiving calls is $2-3 a minute if I recall, but I didn't use that since I made all my calls using sipdroid on wifi.
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