I traveled in Europe for 3 weeks with an affordable phone and I did not miss any high-end phone feature except for this one

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.

Spring is the perfect time to travel: the trees in full bloom, the birds' singing, the scent of a new start in the air and the smiles on people's faces as all and everything shakes off the dust of winter.

And so I did: I stuffed a few pieces of clothing up in my backpack and left off on a three-week journey across Europe.

I've traveled a lot in my earlier years and I know one thing can kill the joy of travel instantly: too much luggage. That's why I left all my tech obsessions at home: a DSLR seemed way too big to consider, my faithful Kindle Paperwhite would sit unused most of the time, and even the thin and light MacBook Air seemed like too much. I don't wear a smartwatch, but even if I had one, the need to charge it up daily would mean one more useless gadget, so no watch either. One thing had to stay, though: my phone.

As much as I like to cut on tech luxury, a phone is more than luxury: it's a necessity.

I use a lot of devices that I rotate often at the office here at PhoneArena, but I was not to take one of them. Instead, I used a super affordable 5" phone from Chinese brand Meizu that I enjoy using: the Meizu m2. A $130 phone, it's got all I needed: a couple of gigabytes for my Spotify music collection, Facebook and Messenger to stay in touch with friends, the Kindle app for reading, the Google Keep app for my notes and reflections on the fleeting moments, and of course maps and phone app.

At first, I thought: "there are thousands of ways this could turn into a disaster!" After all, this phone did not have the latest Snapdragon 820 system chip. Nothing close to that caliber. It does have a good, but not wildly outstanding camera. 

So why did I take it? Well, first, I had no set itinerary and figured that the chance to have a Galaxy S7 or iPhone 6s stolen in the places that I'd visit is not to be underestimated. Second of all, it was a fun challenge to the spoiled me, used to the best devices out there.

Those three weeks really passed swiftly, but now that I'm back I realize that I did not really miss any high-end phone feature much at all. The camera did just well enough for my needs, the phone was consistently fast and overall it quite successfully managed to be my one and only computer for the trip.

Strangely, there was one feature that I never thought I would miss that actually felt sorely lacking: quick charging

At times, I'd arrive late at a hostel and not want to wake up my roommates looking for a charger, and at others, while using the phone as my main computing device, I'd simply run out of battery too soon in the day (using maps does drain the battery quick) and need more juice ASAP. The latest Galaxies and LGs (but not iPhones) among others come with special chargers that are able to quickly replenish their batteries and that would have been a godsend on my trip, but my otherwise excellent affordable phone sidekick lacked that feature and took hours to fully recharge.

At the end of the day, though, I'm glad that I did not have to carry too many gadgets and still be in touch with the world and the ones I care about via the small, but convenient phone screen. These days, you don't need a super-expensive phone for that.

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18 Comments

1. GreenMan

Posts: 2698; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Is it suppose to make my jaw drop? Well, sorry PA but it didn't... I once tried Google AndroidOne at a demo shop which is quite cheap at around $100. And as a matter of fact, AndroidOne has all the functionality of a Nexus 5...! Okay, a smaller screen, slightly sluggish (Just slightly, Not a lot as one might expect!!!), poorer camera but overall; the functionality was on par with my Nexus 5...! Come-back when you make a trip with a Nokia 3310... Only then you'd have my interest...

3. xq10xa

Posts: 810; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

WTF you talking about? Dude is mad at breakfast.......chill homie

4. GreenMan

Posts: 2698; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

I'm not a "Homie"... Nor I'm a "Dude"... Don't talk me about "WTF"... Don't call me "Mad"... Don't ask me to "Chill"... Cause I'm not from "Amarikha"... I could almost pass for a poet, eh??? Ma Eanglish ain't that bad, yo yo yo... Bro, mind yer own business, yo yo yo... G'Day!

5. xq10xa

Posts: 810; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

Now I see why you're mad and expressing feelings on a phone website. It's OK man, you can rise above one day.

6. Unordinary unregistered

Loser

9. GreenMan

Posts: 2698; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

In case I wasn't clear enough... My point was simple, even a budget smartphone tend to possess almost all the functionality of a flagship... Hope it clears my position here!

12. tedkord

Posts: 17408; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

In case his point wasn't clear enough... You're a loser.

15. xq10xa

Posts: 810; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

Your point was anything but clear.

8. applesnapple93

Posts: 312; Member since: Jan 06, 2016

QUICK CHARGING is the feature he missed. Saved everyone a lot of wasted time.

18. jeevanand88 unregistered

The point he tried to make is not advertising a particular cheap mobile, he tried to say a general msg that lot of features and apps in mobiles are just a gimmick and he didnt miss any of them even the days past. A common man needs a common features that we use day to day life that works just fine enuf.

2. GreenMan

Posts: 2698; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Speaking of which... What about Honor 5X Giveaway??? Today is 5th of May, and its getting dark here, and yet no winners announced...

10. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3109; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

Tl;dr he wanted the quick charging feature.

13. shahrooz

Posts: 792; Member since: Sep 17, 2013

Ty, I didn't read cause it's late and I'm sleepy, just skimped thr first paragraph to find out what phone he used them checked comments quickly to find the answer and baaam! Btw he used meizu m2 note xD Night

11. Flame_Hunter

Posts: 28; Member since: Apr 12, 2016

That BS Green tho.LOL

14. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

I like big batts and I cannot lie. If I were to take a cheap phone for a 3 week backpacking trip around Europe, I'da taken one of those various "Energy" or "Marathon" phones with an efficient processor and 4000-6000mAh batteries. Or my old Galaxy S4 with Anker 7800mAh extended battery. Something like that. Kinda foolish to make such a trek without some sort of back-up other than a simple charger.

16. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

this guy should redo redmi note 3 and mi 5 review, lol

17. Brewski

Posts: 707; Member since: Jun 05, 2012

The last 3-4 phones I've had brag about the quick charging. Yet, I've never once used it. It wears out the battery faster and gives less charging cycles. I plug my phone in when I go to bed and when I wake up it is fully charged. Even with heavy usage it lasts much longer than bedtime. This seems like a silly article, get a good phone and avoid this issue. Or be more responsible about your charging habits.

19. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

Quick Charging is awesome. Got my G Flex 2 fro about $230, very nice that it takes less than 90 minutes for it to charge almost completely, last 10% takes a little bit to hit though.

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