If you tend to travel to foreign countries, or even if you have family members with whom you struggle to connect because of a language barrier, consider Pocketalk. This device can easily translate up to 74 languages without ever having to rely on your smartphone.
Pocketalk is available now to purchase for $249, which will let you add your own data plan. Or, you can get it for $299 and get a 4G LTE plan for two whole years without any monthly fees.
As the name suggests, this neat gadget was small enough to fit in my pocket and sit comfortably in the palm of my hand. It has a sleek oval design, with ports for USB-C charging and a SIM card slot. The device comes in three colors: black, white or gold.
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The Pocketalk has a small touchscreen display that’s used to navigate between the languages, which was pretty responsive as I scrolled through it. The interface had a black-and-white layout with simple navigation that non-tech-savvy users could grasp.
The two buttons just below the face activate the microphone to listen for one of the two chosen languages.
You may be wondering: Why not just use your smartphone to begin with, especially since Google Translate does the same thing. The answer is simple: Unlike many smartphones, the Pocketalk comes with dedicated noise-canceling microphones. As Johji Kuroda, Director of Business Development at Sourcenext, demonstrated, the Pocketalk picked up his voice in Japanese amidst the cacophony of the showroom floor.
As he spoke, the display began typing out, “What did you have for breakfast this morning?” in Japanese and English. To which I responded, “Chicken and waffles.” (Don’t judge me.) My response quickly popped back up in the same manner, but with English listed first.
The Pocketalk has no lag time, and it has a simpler interface than a smartphone. The best part is that you don't actually have to waste the battery on your phone to use it. Pocketalk gets around 8 hours of battery life if you’re using it casually, but Kuroda stated that if it’s in constant use, then it’ll probably get somewhere around 5 hours.
On top of that, you don’t have to worry about using your own data if you get the $299 version of the Pocketalk (for two years, at least). And even if you do get the $249 version, the Pocketalk will still work with Wi-Fi or a personal hotspot.
This is a great device for people who are constantly travelling, and even for those who aren’t major tech enthusiasts due to its easy-to-use interface.