Please sign in to post.

Android phone

Can an android phone be used in Switzerland and France? Also, do we need a converter?

Posted by
27759 posts

depends

how old the phone is, which bands it uses, who your provider is, what service you have

Posted by
17 posts

Thank you, this phone is two years old and is a Tracfone and we just buy minutes for it. Not sure who the provider is and not sure what you mean by bands.

Posted by
4933 posts

No doubt you won't need a converter to charge the phone - but you will need a simple plug converter. Any modern charger in 2019 will be dual voltage. I think you can buy a simple plug converter for $1 on the RS site.

You can use a phone with TracFone as the provider on WiFi no problem.

If you want to use it away from WiFi, you may be able to get the phone unlocked and buy a Swiss SIM card for it...but maybe not. Depends on the exact make/model of phone you have. Some TracFones use Verizon or Sprint (CDMA technology) and will not work at all in Europe (except on WiFI). Others may use GSM and might be usable in Europe with a Swiss SIM. I wouldn't bet on it.

Your phone will work as a GPS for driving, though with or without WiFi. Just pre-load the maps "offline" (Google Maps) so you'll be able to get directions while not on WiFi, from the stores maps you have.

Posted by
31471 posts

rsk,

To begin with, the "converter" question. I assume you're referring to a voltage converter. As the phone is two years old, it would be highly advisable to check the Input Voltage specifications on the charger. If this indicates "Input 100-240 VAC" then you'll only need inexpensive Plug Adapters.

Regarding using the phone in Switzerland and France, it would help to have some idea whether you just plan on using this for accessing the internet in hotels via WiFi, or whether you want to make calls, send texts or access data when you're out touring. Can you elaborate on this? A few thoughts.....

  • your phone provider is Tracphone.
  • the type of phone (Android or iPhone) doesn't have any bearing on whether it will work in Europe. The type of network the phone is designed to work with (GSM or CDMA) is the more important criteria.
  • Tracphone sells phones which operate on four different networks (2 GSM and 2 CDMA).
  • the short answer is that your phone probably won't work in Europe, except on WiFi. I found this information on one of the most respected mobile phone websites....

"Tracfones don't have a roaming agreement overseas, so the phone will register as SOS only. The AT&T and Tracfone LG225 are quad band handsets that can be used in Europe. An unlocked AT&T version can be used by simply replacing the SIM Card. The Tracfone version uses proprietary firmware which must be replaced to use on any other GSM Network. The cost of a Tracfone LG225 and the fee a dealer charges to make it compatible can make using the LG225 impractical. If you can get an unlocked AT&T LG225 at a reasonable price on ebay or craigslist might be a low cost solution. On the other hand there are very reasonably priced basic GSM handsets available at dealers in Europe."

You could check with Tracphone to confirm this but I suspect you'll have to leave your phone at home.

Bottom line..... it's not likely that your phone will work in Europe, so if you need a phone while you're there you have several choices....

  • buy an inexpensive travel phone from iRoam, Mobal, Cellular Abroad or other provider. Here's one example - https://www.cellularabroad.com/switzerland-phone-plans.php .
  • buy an inexpensive phone when you arrive in Europe. This will be on a prepaid basis so will need to be topped-up when you deplete the minutes.
  • buy a phone off Amazon or wherever and use either with a travel SIM or a SIM purchased when you arrive in Europe.