Global SIM cards aren’t too hard to find if you know where to look. Unfortunately, most customers are completely unaware that cost-saving international roaming options exist outside their regular national carrier plans, which can run bills so high, they might as well be a full purchase of a car. Just ask One Direction.
Enter Doodad, a new entrant in the fight to lower your global roaming bills. Doodad launched its service last month, and brings a welcome new addition to an oft-overlooked segment of the mobile market, a market we cover in ample detail here on TruTower. But what exactly does Doodad bring and how well does the service work? These were questions we set out to answer when we decided to “get a Doodad” for ourselves and undertake a review.
For the review, we decided to take a drive through a few cities in our own backyard. It’s not exactly the most vigorous test we could have done — we would have to plan a trip overseas to get a good feel for how the GSM service performs elsewhere — but it truly shows the basics of the service while at home and gives us a very good idea of its performance while roaming abroad.
As you can see from the photo above, our Doodad was hooking up to AT&T’s network. We tested the SIM device in a T-Mobile myTouch 4G, HTC Aria, and a Nokia Lumia 822 to get a good idea of how it performed on various devices. The myTouch 4G in particular was a challenge since it was only able to hook up via the 2G EDGE network in our particular area. Still, even on EDGE, the data worked, albeit a great deal slower than our 3G devices. The data worked as well as you would expect though. It’s a good idea to make sure you have a 3G enabled device in order to get the best possible experience with Doodad, which can be said for any global carrier.
As of this writing, Doodad does not offer voice service with its SIM, something you might consider before deciding whether to opt into a Doodad or another global offering. Voice calling is the least expensive segment of international roaming costs, though, so Doodad definitely takes care of the worst of it.
The SIM card itself is free (though Doodad does require you to pay $3.00 for shipping). With that small shipping fee, you can have up to 3 Doodad SIMs sent to you for you and friends or family members to use. By comparison, Truphone offers one of their SIM cards for $29.99 with $15 credit preloaded. Maxroam takes a more bundled approach; each of their SIM cards run from $19.99 with €10 voice, text, and data credit to $65.54 with €55 credit.
With this in mind, the Doodad SIM would be recommended if you’re not looking for voice and you’re going to be taking a shorter trip. For longer trips, you’ll probably want to look into Truphone or Maxroam. But then, as with most matters such as this, it also depends on your particular usage and situation, and where you’re going to be doing the major portions of your roaming. One thing to keep in mind when choosing is that as of this writing, Doodad covers 53 countries in lower cost data roaming while competing SIMs cover over 230. Still, the number of countries is growing and if you happen to be traveling to a country in which Doodad covers, you won’t be disappointed.
Overall, the Doodad performed admirably as far as data SIM cards go. Voice service would definitely be a nice addition, as would some easier bundle plans. A companion VoIP app probably wouldn’t be a bad idea either, especially for those who might get stuck in an area where GSM coverage is either not dependable or not an option.