o2, 3 mobile, EE, Vodaphone, … There are so many phone providers out there at the moment that it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the choice. Many phones and phone providers aren’t suited to people with outdoors lifestyles though due to the way they are built. I mean, you’re not going to want to drop your latest iPhone in a puddle on your latest hiking trip are you? But you know it’s inevitable and you know that it’s impractical to carry a bag of rice around with you everywhere. However, there are phones and mobile deals which are which are built exactly for people who spend a lot of time outdoors which can help to narrow your choice down.
But why should we consider a phone provider that would suit an outdoors lifestyle?
People who spend a lot of time outdoors may spend a lot of time in the countryside which is a notorious setting for lack of phone signal. This means that you’ll certainly need a phone provider with the best wide spread signal that you can find at the very least, plus you will probably need good 3G/4G coverage if you are out and about. You do have options though and some are majorly better than others!
So what are my network options?
Vodafone is the first mobile network that I have looked at to compare network coverage across the UK. However, their coverage is the most disappointing with the most red patches of low signal across places which aren’t cities.
EE pips the rest of the providers to the post regarding 3G/4G speeds and regarding signal coverage, its network is said to be available to its customers 78.5% of the time. EE is definitely a good option as they also offer rather good mobile deals as well.
Regarding network coverage, 3 is almost as bad as Vodafone, so I definitely wouldn’t recommend it for anyone spending a lot of time outdoors due to this.
Giffgaff offer great mobile deals and runs on the o2 network. The friendly, but small phone provider may be easily forgotten, yet it’s one of the most important due to their down-to-earth, community ethics. It also pretty much covers every corner of the UK with their outdoor signal meaning that their service is top-notch for such a small company. You can check out how far their network reaches here.
But what about the phones themselves?
It’s not just signal that you need to worry about if you are using your phone outdoors for a long period of time. Typically, you won’t want to have the latest iPhone or Samsung Galaxy phone due to the fact that you are more likely to damage it. What you need is a “rugged phone”. But what is a rugged phone? I hear you ask. Well, that is where GiffGaff comes in.
There are many kinds of rugged phones available including the Motorola Defy+, the Samsung Galaxy Xcover and the Sony Ericsson Xperia Active, all of which are affordable and available for around £200. All of the above phones are waterproof, dust-proof and are designed to be protected from impact, meaning that if you drop them, your phone will still work. All three of which are available to purchase with the networks Goodybag deals.
Although before purchasing a rugged phone, you should be aware that for durability, you will be trading off fast processors for something slightly slower… So if you’re expecting to be able to view multimedia sites and apps, then think again. Also, battery life is exactly the same as standard smart phones, so it may be an (ahem) smart idea to invest in a portable battery pack.
So, if you’re an outdoors-y person your best option looks like getting a phone from Giffgaff alongside a rugged phone such as the ones listed above if you need something “heavy duty”. Giffgaff has a range of great mobile deals, so it’s definitely worth seeing what would work best for you long-term.
Author Bio: Jessica Cooper: Jessica is a content writer with Expost Magazine, covering topics relating to beauty, money, technology and travel amongst other topics. She specialises in online article copywriting and has produced work for countless blogs over her 3 years of writing for the online community. She has a particular interest in psychology and behaviour when it comes to people and money and enjoys looking to the past for lessons that can be learnt from history. Twitter @jessikahcloud