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Best festival kit and tips for taking your smartphone to a festival

Glastonbury might not be happening this year, but festival season is still underway. Last weekend it was the Virgin Media V Festival and this weekend it’s time to rock out at Reading. 

Every year thousands of people lose their smartphones at festivals, which is inconvenient if you are meeting friends, not to mention costly, unfortunately phones like the Samsung Galaxy S2 or Apple iPhone 4 are very enticing for thieves. Theft and loss aside, battery performance on modern smartphones is poor, so unless you invest in a charger it’s highly unlikely to last one day, let alone three. So is it worth taking your smartphone to a festival?

Alternative festival phones

Alternatively why not buy a cheap PAYG handset especially for a festival For less than £20 you can get a basic phone for calling and texting and some credit. That way if it gets lost or stolen it’s far less of a financial loss.

The Alcatel OT 209 costs just £4.95 from Carphone Warehouse on all networks, alternatively the Samsung E1230 costs £10.49 from Orange. The T-Mobile Zest II Black is £12.49 from T-Mobile or if you fancy a full QWERTY try the Alcatel OT355 for £9.95 from Carphone Warehouse (all below).

Bear in mind, you’ll need to top up £10 to buy these handsets, so if you don’t want to do this check out, where there’s a wide selection of PAYG phones for all networks.

Cheap payg phones


Tips for taking your smartphone to a festival

  • Make sure you put a lock on your screen, it won’t stop it being stolen, but means thieves can’t use it straightaway.
  • Before you go, note down the customer service number of your network. It sounds like a pain, but if your phone gets stolen the first thing you need to do is block your SIM so no-one can use it, espeically if you are on a Pay Monthly contract. [LINK]
  • Have you got insurance? If not consider it. Insurance2go starts at £3.99 a month and doesn’t tie you in to a long-term contract, although the terms state you are not covered: ‘unless force, pickpocketing or threat of violence is used or if the theft or loss is in a public place if you leave the phone unattended.’
  • If your phone does get stolen report it to the police as soon as possible and call your insurer – most require you to report it within a certain time frame.


Smartphone accessories

If you do decide to take your smartphone a battery charger, case and speakers are extras worth considering.

Battery chargers

Designed for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S the Mophie Juice Pack Air (£59.95) is a case with a built-in battery, doubling audio capability to 36 hours. It charges via microUSB and white lights indicate how much power is left. The Juice Pack Air is svelter than expected and comes in black, red and white. [LINK]

The Samsung Extended Battery kit  (£27.95) replaces the back cover of the Samsung Galaxy S2, extending the battery by 350mAh, but retaining the slim frame by adding 1.5mm.  [LINK]

If you own Samsung’s current flagship the Samsung Galaxy S3 the Power Bank Case (£29.95) external battery case protects the phone and provides an extra 2200mAh of power. [LINK]

Compatible with any phone that includes a microUSB charger, (encompassing most Android, WP and BlackBerry phones), the Proporta Pocket Power (£12.95) is designed to provide an extra boost of power. At full capacity it charges the Samsung Galaxy S3 by 23% or the iPhone 4S by 34%. What sets this charger apart from rivals is it is just 7mm deep, so small enough to fit into a wallet. [LINK]

festival chargers

Waterproof cases

As we’ve seen this summer, the British weather is variable. To keep your phone dry, yet with you consider The BeachBuoy Waterproof Case (£14.95) which includes two click seals and a Velcro strip to ensure it’s waterproof to 5m. Compatible with any smartphone (or camera) it’s approved by the British Standards Institute. [LINK]

Alternatively the LifeProof iPhone case  (£59.99)  is waterproof to 2m and holds the IP-68 rating against dust and water. The case is also shock proof, so you can drop it from 2m without worrying about internal damage. Interestingly as well as protecting the iPhone, the back of the case functions as a subwoofer to boost the volume.  [LINK]

beachbuoy waterproff, lp blue case

Portable speakers

Bands have gone finished for the day, but you still want to play some music? Take some portable speakers. Thefts are common at festivals and it’s likely you’ll either be carrying your speakers around with you or leaving them in your tent, in which case we’d recommend taking something small and affordable.

The iLuv Modern Box (£14.95) is compatible with any mobile phone featuring standard 3.5mm headphone port, it’s  powered by 3x AAA batteries and is just 168mm long. [LINK]

Made from high-strength aluminium and supplied with a travel pouch the Scosche boomCAN (£18.95) is a good choice for festivals, measure 64mm high and providing 7 hours music playback. It’s compatible with any smartphone with a headphone jack. [LINK]

Providing 8 hours battery life, the veho 360 is a lightweight circular speaker just 50mn wide with an unusual pop-up capsule design. Plugging into any smartphones 3.5mm headphone port, the cable folds up conveniently underneath. [LINK]

With LED battery level indicator, the Proporta Twisted System portable speakers are slightly more expensive. Power is supplied by 3x AAA cells or USB and measuring 70mm, as the name suggests the speakers twist to project sound in any direction. [LINK]

iluv modern box, scosche boomCAN, veho 360, proporta twisted system


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