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Category: Digital Nomad

The New ‘Nothing’ Phone

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What is Nothing all about?

Nothing is a tech company, founded in 2020 by Carl Pei and is based in London. Their mission is to ‘remove the barriers between people and technology’. They hold the intention to create technology that just works, that you don’t need to think about and just feels like ‘nothing’ [1].

After receiving an initial £7 million in seed funding, with further large investments along the way, the new nothing phone has finally landed and is available here in the UK now [1]. The question is, is the most hyped smartphone of the year worth it, and will it beat the notorious tech giants?

Can they do the seemingly unimaginable?

The new smartphone largely mirrors that of an iPhone, but comes in at almost half of the price, at £399 [2]. Yet with the mid-range price, it has still managed to incorporate high-end features found on expensive devices, including a 6.55  OLED display and a dual 50-megapixel rear camera, to name a few [2]. However, it isn’t a market leader regarding its specifications or features. With Google’s launch of the Pixel 6A which includes similar features and at a similar price point [3]. Will the Nothing phone stand out?

Making a phone that stands out in a saturated and competitive marketplace, is tough. However, the Nothing phone has challenged the status quo, by embracing a futuristic and retro design by creating a completely transparent back, revealing the inner workings of the phone. Incorporating a ‘Glyph Interface’, which lights up the back when you receive any notification, and…it’s customisable [2]. Moreover, it leads the industry regarding its sustainability ethos, with 50% of the plastic parts sourced from recycled and bio-based materials  [2].

A potential problem?

The founder stated that they are building an alternative to Apple, which essentially means they want Apple users to switch over [4]. However, the Nothing OS is built on Android. Meaning the transition for existing Android users is far simpler.

The problem is that in essence, Apple has created a rather large ecosystem, through platforms including Apple Music, Apple Fitness, and more [5]. This means switching to an Android operating system could be a problem when looking for a seamless switch.

However, it’s still very early days for the Nothing phone, having only been released on the 21st of July. They have an innovative product that has been cleverly designed, with great aesthetic detail and seamless hardware integration, but will it be enough to replace the renowned iPhone users?

We will have to wait and see!

Sources

[1]
https://nothing.tech/pages/about-us
[2]
https://nothing.tech/pages/phone-1
[3]
https://www.androidpolice.com/google-pixel-6a-vs-nothing-phone-1/
[4]
https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/excited-about-nothing-phone-1-23477896
[5]
https://www.lifewire.com/the-nothing-phone-1-doesnt-stand-a-chance-against-the-iphone-5499243

How Will New Roaming Charges Affect Me?

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Travel after Brexit has never been harder for a Brit. New roaming charges in 2022 are limiting mobile use outside of the UK, affecting holidaymakers, long-term travellers, British expats, digital nomads and those travelling for work. 

 

What Are Roaming Charges?

You may have heard a lot about roaming charges recently, being the latest in fees after Brexit when it comes to travel. You may be wondering what roaming charges are, or why they even exist? 

In short, roaming charges exist to contribute to what mobile providers have to pay to local operators to allow their network to work abroad; 20-25GB usage of roaming data in Europe will cost a UK mobile operator roughly £63, according to Enders Analysis. 

In 2017, the EU introduced the ‘Roam like at Home’ initiative that granted free roaming to all EU citizens, no matter what network you were on. Since Brexit, UK mobile service providers are not subject to this plan, putting customers at risk of having to, once again, pay roaming charges while abroad. Although many UK mobile providers claimed they would not reintroduce roaming fees, they have done just that. 

New roaming charges are bringing an end to five years of worry free roaming from abroad. Different networks are implementing different charges, so it is worth checking with your provider, as you can also be at risk of getting a blocked phone as networks have also introduced fair usage caps. It is difficult to keep an eye on how much roaming data you are using, especially since many phones are using your data without you knowing, for example if your phone automatically saves your data, such as messages and photos, to the cloud. 

 

What Do New Roaming Charges Mean? 

Depending on which network you are with, roaming charges in 2022 can mean different things. 

Roaming charges will activate for most big networks in 2022, charging you to use roaming data, calls and texts. 

Vodafone will begin charging for roaming in January 2022, EE will follow in March and Three have already begun charging roaming fees, as of September 2021. 

Although O2 was among the networks who announced they would reintroduce roaming fees, they have since announced that they will not. However, O2 customers will still be subject to fair usage limits and also a limited availability of data they can use while abroad. 

 

How Will Roaming Charges Affect Me? 

As a Three customer, you will be subject to a payment of £2 a day to use calls, texts and data from Europe. Outside of Europe, in many countries you will be charged £5 a day, when it was previously free.  

If you are with EE or Vodafone, you will also be charged £2 to use roaming data, calls and texts in Europe. 

Fair usage policies enable networks to monitor and limit the amount of time you can spend using your phone when outside the UK. Going over the limit can result in your phone being blocked or extra charges. If you are on a local mobile network in Europe, you will be subject to fair usage policies in the UK. 

EE’s fair usage limit is 50GB and, if reached, you will be charged an extra £3.60 per 10MB. 

O2 have introduced a 25GB fair usage limit followed by a charge of £3.50 per GB, if reached. Vodafone have also limited usage to 25GB, but will charge an extra £3.13 per GB if reached. 

Three have cut their fair usage limit from 20GB to 12GB a month, and a charge of £3 per GB beyond that. 

If you are living, working or travelling abroad for long periods of time, it is very likely that you will have to pay extra fees on top of roaming charges in order to use your phone without limits. Whichever UK mobile network you are with, the charges are likely to cost you up to £45/€50 a month to use your phone abroad. 

Whichever mobile network you are on, new roaming charges will affect you when travelling outside of the UK. It is also important to be aware of how the changes can affect you depending on what type of travel you are doing. 

Expats

Deciding to relocate abroad is as complicated as it is exciting. Becoming a British expat can depend on changing visa requirements among other things, and now roaming charges have been added to the list. 

Having a stable connection to the UK is essential for many expats, whether it is to stay in touch with friends and family or for work calls. The risk of getting cut off is too great if you stay with a UK mobile network. 

Nigel Ayres, founder of The Expat Network and an expat himself, was concerned about the possibility of disconnection, as he told the Express, “We wanted to retain our UK number but we get increasing charges due to Brexit and their ‘fair use’ policy on calls from Spain”. Ayres turned to Xpatfone, powered by Devyce, a virtual number built specifically for the needs of British expats, adding, “Xpatfone… allows me to keep my UK number, receive text and verification codes from banks etc via an App on my phone” 

Digital Nomads

Another group of travellers that will be hit by roaming charges are digital nomads. VoIP systems are the best bet for digital nomads, as they do not require any extra payments to ensure they work as you hop from place to place. For digital nomads, WIFI or data connection is essential, for work and to navigate their home for the month. 

Travelling as a digital nomad, it is likely your UK mobile service provider will cause you issues, alongside roaming charges and usage limits, as they do not support long-term travellers. Porting your number to Devyce is the best way to avoid extra charges and keep your phone working wherever you are in the world. 

Long-Term Travellers 

Similarly to digital nomads, gap year adventurers, solo tourists and working explorers will rely on WIFI or data connection to connect with others, plan their further travel and learn about the places they land. 

Mobile providers that are reintroducing roaming charges will not support customers who are regularly moving to different locations around the world. Travelling outside of periodic travel, you are more likely to be charged for using roaming data and subject to fair usage limits. Service providers have different rules and charges depending on which country you are in, which can be a pain to check and stay on top of when you are travelling. 

A virtual number allows you to use your phone no matter where you are in the world, even if you just need a number in case of emergencies, it is worth having a number that you can rely on, not at risk of disconnecting or charging you extortionate amounts.

Work Travellers 

The pandemic has greatly affected the way we live and work. Those who used to travel regularly for work have since gone remote or adopted a hybrid model of working, half at home, half in the office. 

Business travel expenses have decreased hugely due to coronavirus, however 2022 brings us new hope of a world without restrictions again, slowly reopening business travel to those in situations where it is essential to travel for work. Most businesses’ would have issued company work phones to their employees, letting them travel and use their phone without any hassle but new roaming charges have broken this system. Employers will have to pay unreasonable prices on devices used abroad and employees won’t want to have to explain why. 

Having access to the internet on your phone is a total necessity when travelling for work, whether it is to check in with your colleagues in the UK before a meeting, access your work email or keep up to date with the latest travel restrictions. Many businesses are switching to VoIP phone systems for their office, in doing so they avoid roaming charges and can allow their employees to use their work numbers from anywhere in the world. 

Holiday Makers

After two years of restrictions and cancelled holidays, Brits are keen to get out of the UK, to sunbathe on the beach or hit the slopes. 

Overall, those who will be most affected by new roaming charges will be those travelling outside of periodic travel, or those relocating outside of the UK. 

However post-Brexit travel will mean holiday goers will be charged roaming fees in Europe, including popular holiday destinations such as France, Spain and Portugal. Paying £2 for the days you want to use roaming data may not sound like a lot, but fair usage will also stop you from using your phone longer than usual. 

A British holiday maker told The Telegraph how their holiday took a turn for the worst after a skiing accident landed them in the hospital. While in the hospital, although they had ‘unlimited’ data, fair usage limits were hit and they were unable to use their data to reach family and friends to let them know how they were, or to organise travel back home. 

 

Solution 

The best solution for any type of British traveller is to purchase a virtual number. This may sound scary, but is actually a very easy, cheap and simple solution. 

A virtual number is a VoIP solution, Voice over Internet Protocol, which works by sending your calls and texts over the internet instead of traditional telephone lines; just as apps like WhatsApp and Viper do. 

Using a virtual number provider, such as Devyce, is ideal for any type of traveller, as there are no roaming charges, no usage limits, no extra fees, and no need for a second phone. 

Devyce charges a fixed monthly fee, starting at £8.99, for unlimited calls, texts and data. Completely cloud based, you don’t have to worry about a physical SIM or contracts. Get 24 hour support via email or phone to help guide you through the porting process, in which you can transfer your UK mobile number, or choose a new one to use, usually completely within 24 hours. This ensures your mobile will work just as it used to. Devyce is compatible with foreign networks, such as Lobster, so if you are an expat with a local SIM, you can still keep your UK number. 

Browse Devyce packages to find the right one for you here: https://devyce.com/pricing/

Port your number here: https://devyce.com/porting/ 

If you are an expat or long term traveller, get ahead of the game and switch now to avoid roaming fees in 2022. Start your journey with Xpatfone, powered by Devyce, and get set up within 24 hours here: 

https://xpatfone.com/pricing-1

Sources

https://www.nationalgeographic.co.uk/travel/2022/01/what-changes-to-mobile-roaming-charges-are-planned-in-2022

https://www.techradar.com/uk/news/why-are-roaming-charges-coming-back-and-why-are-they-so-expensive

https://www.cityam.com/holiday-goers-gear-up-for-roaming-fees-as-ee-and-vodafone-introduce-european-charges/

https://metro.co.uk/2021/06/25/europe-roaming-charges-how-will-they-work-and-what-will-they-cost-14826301/

https://businesscloud.co.uk/opinion/roaming-charge-impact-on-business-travellers-as-borders-reopen/

https://www.express.co.uk/travel/articles/1495074/expats-brexit-roaming-phone-charges-eu-spain

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/katie-investigates/hospital-vodafone-going-cut-data/https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45064268

Make The Best of The Digital Nomad Lifestyle in 2022

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The global pandemic has brought a new age of people embracing remote working so they can work from anywhere as a digital nomad. The digital nomad lifestyle can be intense, so here are some tips on how to make it as a digital nomad in 2022.

 

What is a Digital Nomad?

Since the beginning of the pandemic, our personal and working lives have changed dramatically. Most people have adapted to a remote lifestyle, working from the comfort and safety of their home. Digital nomads are travelling remote workers. 

“Living as a digital nomad, you’re able to see incredible places, learn from different cultures, and work when or where you want to – true freedom” Matthew Karsten, The Expert Vagabond.

Digital nomads call a different country home every month, using technology to keep them connected and working from cafes, hotels and co-working spaces all over the world. The main requirement for a digital nomad is to earn income entirely from online work, to allow yourself to travel around freely. 

A Pew Research survey found that 54% of people would like to continue working from home after the pandemic ends. The pandemic has changed the way we view work, we no longer have to be in the office 9-5 to achieve our goals, giving a new freedom to office workers who may want to work from an Airbnb by the coast or in the mountains, instead of their house. 

Digital nomads are no longer the stereotype of beach backpackers moving around with little plans. As the pandemic has sparked a new interest in digital nomadism, the definition of digital nomads is transforming.

 

Pros of The Digital Nomad Lifestyle

The digital nomad lifestyle is becoming increasingly popular, the BBC reported that the US population of digital nomads blew up from 7.3 million, in 2019, to 10.9 million by mid-2020. 

So, why are so many people attracted to the digital nomad lifestyle? There are many reasons why people ditch the traditional lifestyle to live as a digital nomad. 

 

Work life balance 

The digital nomad work life is very different from the normal day to day we know. As a digital nomad you can choose when you work and when you don’t, giving you the opportunity to create a healthy work life balance that suits you. You have the ability to work on your own schedule and give yourself time for the things that you love. 

 

Flexibility

As a digital nomad you can live and work wherever you want, hence the term nomad. This gives a level of flexibility in life most people do not have the privilege of experiencing; dreamed of living in the mountains of New Zealand? You can go and do that for a month or two! 

 

Experiences

Digital Nomads have the opportunity to experience the world while still working and earning. Visit new and exciting places, learn about different cultures and new skills – all while maintaining your work life balance. Follow the sun around the world or chase the snow… whichever you desire! 

 

Productivity 

Some digital nomads have claimed their lifestyle helps their productivity, whether that is in their personal or professional life. In some cases, the office environment can hold people back from achieving their work goals, due to a toxic environment or office politics. The digital nomad lifestyle eliminates any negative office vibes; the world is your office. Work from your Airbnb, from a local café, from a co-working space or on the beach – wherever feels like the most productive space for you! Move and work where suits you to maximise your productivity and stay happier in your working life.

 

Cons of the Digital Nomad Lifestyle

The digital nomad lifestyle is not for everyone. You have to be willing to be constantly moving around, not having a stable home base. Finding stability as a digital nomad can be difficult and not having a stable ground can be debilitating. Digital Nomads may also struggle with;


Loneliness

Making friends and keeping company can be difficult when you are hopping from place to place. Loneliness could be considered a natural part of the digital nomad lifestyle – you are largely on your own, separated from family, friends and work colleagues.


Money

The freedom to live as a digital nomad comes at a price. You can travel on a budget but the lifestyle requires a steady income and probably some savings. Keeping track of your finances can be difficult when you are moving around as well.


Homesickness

If you’re living as a digital nomad you have to be prepared to say goodbye to home comforts, cultural norms and familiar faces. The digital nomad lifestyle is about experiencing new places, cultures and things, but being far away from home can be difficult for some.


Cultural barriers

As with any traveller, cultural barriers are an obstacle for digital nomads. If you don’t know the language, or cultural specifics of a place, it can be difficult to get around, communicate with locals and feel settled in your temporary home. 

 

Tips for the Digital Nomad Lifestyle

Wondering how to become a digital nomad? Or just be able to work from anywhere? There are tips to battle these obstacles, and to maximise your digital nomad lifestyle to the fullest. 

 

Job Opportunities

The most important thing for a digital nomad is to have a secure job they can do while travelling, i.e. a remote friendly job. Luckily, the pandemic has only expanded the list of remote friendly jobs so there are lots of different career choices for a digital nomad; such as, blogger, youtuber, virtual assistant, programmer, freelancer, customer service, writer and more. These jobs are well suited to people who want to have the freedom to work from anywhere. Most companies today have embraced the work from anywhere policy, so this list of jobs will only grow. 

 

Set a budget

Karsten advises you to set a budget while on the move as a digital nomad. Spend your money wisely while travelling, and avoid pointless purchases or food and drink out. You also don’t want to end up with too many possessions to lug around with you, which is why Karsten also advises you to purge your belongings to just the basics before you begin your journey as a digital nomad.

 

Join a digital nomad community 

To combat loneliness, join digital nomad groups on platforms such as Reddit, Facebook and Twitter. Being part of an online community can connect you with like minded people, answer questions about the digital nomad lifestyle and help you meet friends on your travels. There are also apps to help you, like Bumble BFF, where you can connect with locals to hang out with or show you around. 

 

Join a co-working space

Maintaining a work life balance is important no matter what lifestyle you lead. As a digital nomad, it is essential to keep your productivity and mood high. Joining a co-working space can give some structure to your days, and also get you out and about. There are many places to join, such as WeWork, which has offices all over the world, where you can connect with other digital nomads and also have access to all your office needs like speedy WIFI, printers and meeting rooms. 

Lindsay Maisel, a freelance industrial designer who has travelled as she works, told Make It, “just because you don’t have to get out of bed is not a reason to work from bed. The commute may be gone, but mentally you need to go somewhere else to work”.

 

Insurance

Insurance for nomads is very important. Cover your back in case of medical bills, or any potential disaster when you are far from home. There are specific insurance companies for nomads, such as WorldNomads and IntegraGlobal which will cover you so you can live your digital nomad lifestyle carefree. 

 

Set boundaries at work

As a digital nomad, you are likely to be working in a very different way to your colleagues. It is important to set boundaries at work to accommodate your lifestyle to allow you to get work done in your own time and as successfully as possible. For example, if you are in a different time zone to your coworkers, don’t accept an invitation for an online call at 3am your time; let your coworkers know what times you are available according to your clock. 

 

Commit to mental and physical routines

Healthy practices can help combat loneliness, homesickness and increase productivity while living as a digital nomad. Even though you are a nomad, it doesn’t mean you can’t abide by a schedule. Perhaps carving out 30 minutes every morning to meditate will help you adapt to your lifestyle; or going for a run in the evening to close your working day. Giving yourself routines can provide some type of stability in a relatively unstable lifestyle. 

 

Unlock your phone

It is likely that your mobile service provider will cause you issues as you move around. Most service providers only offer mobile service abroad for a certain amount of time, not supporting the long-term travelers; you also will be subject to fair usage policies and at risk of getting cut off. As a digital nomad, your phone is one of the main ways to stay connected so essential that it keeps working wherever you go. 

Porting your number to Devyce is the best way to avoid extra charges and make sure your phone will work whatever country you are in. By porting to Devyce, you are basically moving your phone number online, meaning it exists in the cloud, keeping you connected as long as you have WIFI or data connection; perfect for any digital nomad. 

Explore Devyce plans here: https://devyce.com/pricing/

 

Sources
https://expertvagabond.com/digital-nomad-tips/
https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20210615-is-the-great-digital-nomad-workforce-actually-coming
https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/digital-nomad
https://www.e-resident.gov.ee/blog/posts/the-complete-guide-to-being-a-digital-nomad-key-things-to-know
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/28/digital-nomads-7-best-tips-for-working-remotely-around-the-world.html
https://www.ganttic.com/blog/best-practices-for-digital-nomad

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