Scenery east of the town of Trai Mat near Da Lat, Vietnam.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Da Lat, Vietnam.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Not sure yet!

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

I want to buy a very expensive smartphone!

Our current cell phone is over three years old. Almost an antique! 

Considering it was just an inexpensive Motorola phone, it's been great and it has totally served our purposes. We paid under $200 for it, and at the time I wrote "If I get three years out of it the way we did with my much more expensive Samsung, I'll be totally happy."

And here we are over three years later and I am totally happy!

So, what's the problem?

Well, the battery life was the reason I bought this particular phone to begin with. And it's starting to deteriorate, although I can still get a full day's use out of it. And really, there are no other issues. I would be quite happy to keep it, except for one thing.

For the last seven or eight years of our travel life we have also been carrying around a fairly large and heavy camera. The current camera (Nikon P900) is about four and a half years old and the image sensor is starting to deteriorate. Also, the camera itself is starting to physically fall apart. 

So I've been tossing around various ideas. 

I've always leaned towards a cheaper smartphone because we simply don't need to spend more. We really didn't need any more than what we got with the sub $200 Motorola.

However, technology improvements in smart phone cameras have made me want to buy a very expensive smartphone! Based on what I've read so far, the cameras on these more expensive phones would enable me to ditch the big heavy camera totally! As minimalist travelers, this would make our life even easier, while still being able to take fantastic photos.

The Apple iPhone has always been near the top with regards to the camera capabilities, but I'm not an Apple/iPhone person. And based on reviews, the new Samsung S23 Ultra actually rates higher than the iPhone 14 Pro.

But I learned that there are two smartphone brands that rate even higher than the iPhone 14 Pro or the Samsung S23 Ultra. And you've probably never heard of them.

One is made by a company called Honor, and one made by a company called Oppo. 

And you've likely never heard of them because they're not available in North America. They're only available in Asia or Europe.

If I were to buy a Samsung S23 Ultra here in Canada, it would cost a total of about $1,800 CAD. 

I can buy one of these other, higher rated phones in Thailand for the equivalent of about $1,200 CAD.

In order to replace our heavier camera, I would need to spend about $1,000 anyhow to get what I want. So if we are going to replace the camera and the phone, it would come to about $1,200 anyhow. 

I'm still doing research, but I can definitely see us getting a fancy new phone in Thailand!

Yesterday, we stopped in at Barb and John's place. They live right in the village of Manotick. This is the couple who's wedding we went to in Ireland

Barb has a huge garden and invited us to stop by and pick up some swiss chard, beets, carrots, green pepper, and zucchini! Could have had potatoes and tomatoes too, but we have enough of those for the moment.

Barb and Ruth in her garden.

We stopped by and bought a used photo scanner that somebody had advertised. For $50, Ruth can now sit and scan a bunch of her fathers old photographs. She won't finish the job on this trip, so it can go back to her brothers when we leave.

Nice pasta and sausage meal for dinner.

It's hot here in Ottawa... 33C (91F) and humid. We went out for a power walk at 8:30am before it got too warm.


And in Canada...


  1. Consider looking into the Googe Pixel phones.

    1. Yes, the Google PIxel gets great reviews. The only problem that I'm reading about is that it's not the best phone for world travelers because they only work properly in countries where they are sold and supported.

  2. My apologies but is it my phone?

    There are continuous pop up advertisements interrupting me to enter your blog??

    1. No it isn't your phone. We put a lot of work into our blog and the advertising helps compensate us for this work. Normally the only pop up that comes up can be x'd out just by clicking the little "x" in the corner of the ad, same with the strip at the bottom of the blog, the others we have just learned to skip over on the blog and rarely even notice them anymore.

      We have done a survey a couple of times in the past about whether people would rather pay a small monthly fee in order to read our blog or put up with the adverts and overwhelming they would rather deal with the advertising.

  3. PS: you may have been fortunate not to fly Air Canada!

    Two ladies were just escorted off of their scheduled flight since they wouldn’t sit in their vomited seats!! What next!!

    1. It seems to me that the Air Canada employees need to take some kind of course on learning how to deal nicely with customers, mind you there are times when the customers aren't nice to them!

      I don't think that we would have wanted to sit in those seats either but they certainly shouldn't give them an ultimatum like that! It is a shame that our major national airline can be so uncaring!

  4. I bought the Samsung galaxy S22, and the cameras in it beat the heck out of my older DSLRs!

    1. Yes, that's the general consensus. I'm definitely going to replace the bigger camera with a high quality phone. Just haven't yet decided which one!

  5. Samsung S23 Ultra in Thailand average ฿49.400 1250 US Or the mid range for ฿50,000 is 1425
    US. Samsung S 23 it’s all throughout the US
    How much is the S23 to buy outright? The average price /Galaxy S23 with 128GB storage: $799/£849/€959.
    Using the currency of US, you can buy S23 under $600 ( New )unlocked or if you prefer a carrier for even less price The unit has a double Sims, and in some cases you could turn your master carrier Payment plan off and buy a Sims from another country as you probably do anyways with your Motorola I have a Three year old G5 Motorola fantastic camera . Way superior to the iPhone With your Motorola If you find a phone repair company (you break it we fix it )They’re everywhere.
    have them replace the battery. 50/60 $$ Purpose it as a back up
    As for Motorola, the edge and the razz are $700 and $800 respectively
    The biggest problem with a Motorola is the software hardware It does not except some private apps due to their software
    If you get a chance go to a local phone carrier, tell them you want to test drive the photo /video Of the cameras Phones that they have.. Bring a newspaper see how far back you can get before it pixels out same way with the video
    If you’re going to Thailand, you will probably fly in to BBK If you go to terminal 21 Downtown Bangkok and or Pattaya You’ll find that that’s one of the biggest electronic distributors in Thailand

    1. Thanks for the info! Yes, buying something in Thailand is probably what we'll do.

  6. As someone else suggested you might want to look a the Google Pixel line of phones. I had a Pixel 3a and now have a Pixel 6a, it has tremendous battery life and the camera is fantastic. There are lots of positive reviews on the camera. It is also very affordable.

    1. They do get great reviews. The only problem that I'm reading about is that it's not the best phone for world travelers because they only work properly in countries where they are sold and supported.

  7. Hi as to your comments on a new phone.
    I have to admit being an Apple girl through & through.
    And I haven’t been looking into phones like you have.
    I have the Apple 13 and always use my camera on it instead of my heavy Nikon camera. And there is always a compromise on things.
    But the biggest thing for me is to be able to walk into any Apple Store in the world and get my phone fixed there and then or been given a replacement.
    I take out the care package as well which covers me on lots of things like theft and stuff.
    These things alone are worth their weight in gold to me.

    Everyone I know who has a galaxy have to send there phones off to be repaired or looked at that might of changed now and this phone from Thailand were would that be fixed.
    Only saying as saving money is not always the best option Xx

    1. We've only ever owned a Samsung and a Motorola and have never had to take either one of them for service. Just lucky I guess. You'll have to read our most recent post to see what phone I decided on.

  8. You can purchase Samsung and Google phones for your country directly from Samsung or Google. 0% financing. I don't know why you've been told that the Google phones will not work everywhere, they will. They have full LTE and 5G as well as 3G and 2G bands that will work anywhere in the world. That said, the 23 ultra is a fantastic phone with an excellent battery and the camera is phenomenal. What a phone does not offer that a camera does is a method of storage. SD cards are a thing of the past. You would want to make sure you have good, reliable cloud storage that will allow you to store your photos in full resolution. Even those will not rival a common 35 mm camera photograph.

    1. Yes, the Google phones may work everywhere, but they may not work properly. There are a lot of comments on the internet regarding this, and if you research it yourself like I have done, then you'll come across them. There are no such comments regarding the other brands. Yes, the S23 Ultra is a great phone. But the Honor Magic5 Pro is just as great (or even greater), but $500 less money. We have no ambition to get cloud storage as you pay for that for the rest of your life.


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