8 Ways to Stay in Touch at a Festival

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With festival season upon us, the high-tech smartphones that we use year-round seem like a less appealing option. Huge screens and fancy apps are great when there is an abundance of power, but at a mud-addled festival the single most important feature is long battery life.

If you're attending Body & Soul, Electric Picnic, Sea Sessions or any of the myriad festivals taking place this summer, then this post is for you. Below we will look at some of the options that are available to you to ensure that you will be able to stay in touch with your friends.

1.The Trusty Nokia

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Yes, the indestructible device that is the old Nokia. Dodgy ringtones and snake high-scores still conjure instant nostalgia. Who didn’t have one of these back in the day? Many of you will have one of these sturdy units lodged away in an old cupboard somewhere, and it probably still works. These things were built to last. While they may seem like an obvious choice for taking to a festival, there is one large problem: SIM compatibility.

Old Nokia’s generally use a larger SIM type, while most modern smartphones take Mini, Micro or Nano SIM cards. A handy workaround for this problem is to use a SIM adapter. These are very cheap and available from GSMsolutions.ie and amazon.co.uk. By using one of these adapters, a smaller SIM can be used in phones that take the larger, older SIM types. 

2.The Battery Case

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If you’re unable to last a weekend without your smartphone, a battery case is a great option. Manufacturers such as mophie.com and power-skin.com offer smartphone cases that can charge your phone battery an additional 80-150% depending on the model, providing just enough juice to last a weekend of moderate use. While these cases may add additional weight to your device, many offer impact or even waterproof protection depending on the model, often an important consideration in a muddy field.

3.Portable Battery Charger

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If you’re unable to last a weekend without your smartphone, a battery case is a great option. Manufacturers such as mophie.com and power-skin.com offer smartphone cases that can charge your phone battery an additional 80-150% depending on the model, providing just enough juice to last a weekend of moderate use. While these cases may add additional weight to your device, many offer impact or even waterproof protection depending on the model, often an important consideration in a muddy field.

4.Bringing a Spare Battery

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Removable batteries are becoming less and less common in new phones, and aren’t an option for many popular phone ranges, however many models such as the Sony Xperia range and older Samsung Galaxy models have this option. Sites such as rechargeable.ie and pixmania.ie have significant inventories of replacement batteries. Opting for this route allows you to swap out your dead battery and replace it with a fresh one. A handy option to keep in mind if your phone supports this feature.

5.Samsung E1200

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For many a modern dumbphone is a great option for a festival weekend. The Samsung E1200 is a simple phone that offers a battery standby life of up to 720 hours and a talk time of up to 7 hours, making it more than capable of ensuring you don’t get lost in the campsite. Available unlocked from amazon.co.uk for £13.34 + shipping (spend over £25 to qualify for free shipping). This phone requires a SIM adapter if you’re currently using a Mini, Micro or Nano SIM. 

6.Alcatel onetouch 1046

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This is available from postmobile.ie for €19. Boasting a standby time of up to 300 hours and a talk time of up to 4 hours this phone has the stamina to keep you in touch with your friends over a festival weekend. The Alcatel also has a simple VGA camera and video capture at a whopping 15fps, allowing you to capture appropriately blurry pictures and videos. As with the Samsung E1200, this model only takes a larger SIM card, an important factor to be taken into consideration. 

7.The Optimistic Solution

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Knowing Ireland, the likelihood of the sun making an appearance at a festival is slim, however, for the optimistic among us a solar charger is the way to go. The Powertraveller Powermonkey solar charger allows you to charge iPhones, Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, Siemens, Sony Ericsson and most other smart phones. This is available from electricirelandstore.ie for €81.99.

8.The Waterproof Smarthphone

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Both the Sony Z1 Compact and Xperia M2 Aqua are fully waterproof and boast impressive battery lives with talk time/standby time of 18/600hours and 12/640 hours respectively. These phones also feature a battery STAMINA mode that saves wasted battery drain by shutting down background processes and features such as WiFi and data traffic, once the screen is woken up by pressing the power button these features become active again. By using this feature battery life can be increased by up to 4 times.

The waterproofing and battery life on these phones make them a formidable challenger for the best all-round festival phone on the market.

The Lowdown

There are lots of options for keeping in contact with friends during a festival weekend, and of course there is the option of visiting the charging tents that are now available at the majority of festivals. The best choice for your needs depends on whether or not you can go without smartphone features and of course how far your budget stretches.