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I know the general question has been asked multiple times but the situations seems so confuse to me that I wasn't able to find a definitive answer.

I am planning a trip to the USA (will stay in Jersey City to visit NYC for a week, than a few days in Boston) with my girlfriend and I'm trying to understand if our phones will work there, and at which speed (we will need a decent speed, since while being there we will take part in an event of the smartphone game https://ingress.com/)

I'm planning to buy a SIM (actually two, one each) there as roaming charges would be way too expensive.

Question 1

She has a Huawei P Smart 2019, which, from what I was able to understand from FrequencyCheck will most likely not get more than 3G, is that right? I see it supports one (B2) of the four LTE bands used by some carriers (such as AT&T). Will that mean that choosing an AT&T sim card will make it possible to use LTE realistically? Not planning to go in remote areas -even if we do, then we won't care about good coverage.

Question 2

I have Motorola Moto G5 (model XT1676) which seems to do even worse in the US. I am planning anyway to change my phone soon, is there any search site to specifically look for phones that will work ok both in the US and in Europe?

Question 3

Is there any option to rent a phone in the US (maybe toghether with a SIM plan) while on holiday there? We will really need a decent internet speed but not looking forward to buy two new phones in case...

  • Are you planning to get a SIM in USA, or are you planning to use your current cards? Roaming can be expensive if you plan to use data on an European card in USA – rypskar Aug 22 at 11:56
  • Thanks, I plan to get a SIM there. Good point, I'll add it to the question – bznein Aug 22 at 12:49
  • That Huawei phone has several different model variants with different frequency bands, and neither of those sites properly distinguishes them or lists them correctly. Don't count on it working for 4G at all. Phones that do work worldwide tend to be the more expensive phones, such as the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy series. – Michael Hampton Aug 22 at 18:44
  • That said, the Moto G6 and G7 have a much wider range of LTE bands and should work almost anywhere in the world, including the USA. – Michael Hampton Aug 22 at 20:47
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You may want to consider buying or renting a mobile hotspot and just getting a single sim for that. You can google “mobile hotspot rental” and see if it’s cheaper to do so from your home country or while in the USA.

For example, AT&T and T-Mobile both have mobile hotspot plans. Just google around to find the best deal for you. Hotspot plans are often cheaper than voice+data phone plans as you aren’t using any voice.

You can also get a number of prepaid SIMs but you mention having two phones and so it might be cheaper to just get one hotspot.

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There are several US companies that rent mobile hotspots. Most charge you for the 4G bandwidth you think you'll use (case in point). Another option is to buy a refurbished hotspot. Straight Talk (ubiquitous and cheap), for instance, has a $10 refurbished hotspot and you buy bandwidth on top of that.

If you're looking to get a SIM, I'd just get their SIM kit and buy a prepaid card (many off-name carriers offer SIM kits). The Huawei P is a GSM phone and there are GSM kits (Straight Talk, for example), provided she's not carrier-locked. She won't get great 4G, but it does support some LTE. Straight Talk again seems to win with some (but not great) LTE for that G5.

My suggestion is to get your girlfriend a SIM and just use the hotspot for your phone.

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