Is this the world’s smallest phone? I’m not sure, but it must be pretty close.

I bought this BM30 Mini Phone for $18 in Vietnam… and I immediately lost it.

It was in my pocket.

No kidding!

I’d be lying if I said I bought if for any other reason than it looks cute, so, I won’t even try.

It has a small 260 mAh battery, which the store tells me should last around a week on standby. In the back it supports a NanoSIM or a MicroSD card, and it charges through a standard USB cable. That means you can charge it almost anywhere, be that your computer, the TV in your hotel room, an external battery, or somewhere else. You can receive calls direct to the phone (it has an earplug in the back) – which the guy at the store proudly demonstrated by putting it in HIS own ear, TWICE!  Or, you can connect it to another phone via Bluetooth.

My usage case is that I want a second phone, but without the bulk. The SIM card in my main phone is data only. For $10, I get 20GB/month of LTE data, on one of the fastest mobile networks in Vietnam, but no incoming or outgoing calls. That means nobody can call me, unless I downgrade to a plan with less data and included calls. For $2 a month, I get 6GB/day of 4G data on the fourth largest phone network. It works fine most of the time, so I use it for my Wi-Fi at home. But when I want a guarantee of high speed Internet anywhere, anytime, the other plan is my go-to.

So, I toss a cheap SIM card in this small phone, and when someone (like the bus company or Grab) demands a phone number they can actually call me on, this is the number I give them. Using this phone, I don’t have a big second phone sitting in my pocket, and I can leave it on all of the time.

I’m having a busy day, so today’s tip of the day is essentially that. I originally published this one in iPhone Travel Life, along with some other SIM card strategies I use.

That is, when you’re traveling (particularly with another person), consider adopting a multi-SIM card strategy.

It’s a simple idea, you get a SIM card on one mobile network, and your partner gets one on another.

As I illustrated above, sometimes there’s a really good mobile network in your country.

For example, in Australia, that’s clearly Telstra. It has high speed networks that cover almost the entire country, and (these days) has great customer support. It’s also really expensive relative to the competitors, and typically offers stingy download quotas for what you pay. Many of their competitors offer good download speeds and great combinations of included data and calls, but their networks don’t cover the entire country.

With a multi-SIM card strategy, you pay for good Internet access when you really need it. For the rest of the time, you pick a SIM card that has a package of data and calls that best suits your travel needs (usually, lots of data, or some other extras). When you need to, you can tether your data from your partner’s phone allowance and share it.

In a country like Vietnam, its inexpensive to use this strategy. In a country like Australia, you can probably find a way to make it less expensive.

Returning to the Telstra example, they used to offer unlimited free (super) high-speed wi-fi from any of their thousands of Telstra Air Wi-Fi hotspots (mostly phone booths), located all around the country. So, you could literally get a $5 – $30 SIM card package and download 10GB of data in less than an hour, whilst sitting next to one of these phone boxes anywhere around the country! And, my understanding was, you could actually do that every day. I’m sure they have some kind of ‘abuse’ policy, but I’m also sure that you could actually use a lot of data before you reached those levels.

So, if you give it some thought, a multi-SIM card strategy can often work really well for you.

Tomorrow, I’ll share another simple tip using the latest Siri iOS 12 upgrade, taken from the new 2019 edition of 101 iPhone Travel Tips, Tricks, Hacks and Apps.