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  • Post published:12/03/2022
  • Post last modified:12/03/2022

Specs:-

  • Processor ARM Cortex 53 Quad-Core 1.3GHz
  • Operating System Custom OS (based on Android OS 8.1)
  • ROM 8GB
  • RAM 1GB
  • Battery Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery (1550 mAh)
  • Continuous Translation Time 330 mins
  • Standby Time 192 hours
  • Charging Time 130 minutes
  • Mobile Data 3G (W-CDMA) / 4G (FDD-LTE) / 4G (TD-LTE)
  • SIM Card Slot nano-SIM
  • Embedded SIM Only available in “eSIM” (data plan) models
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/n/g, 2.4GHz/5GHz
  • Size 4.8″ × 2.6″ × 0.45″


Good Points:-

  • Easy to use.
  • Translates 82 different languages.
  • Data connectivity for two years in 130 countries.

Bad Points:- 

  • Battery life isn’t great.
  • Screen can feel cramped.
  • No offline mode.
  • Android 8 OS.

Now that worldwide travel is fully opening up  you’re probably counting down the days until it’s time to jet off again. Don’t worry if you haven’t spent the last years brushing up on your foreign language abilities in preparation for future travels: Sourcenext’s Pocketalk Translator is here to help. This straightforward yet capable mobile translator supports 82 languages and includes two years of free data, meaning no extra costs now that roaming charges are being re-introduced by UK mobile providers.

Reminding me of the Nexus 1 or HTC Desire means its small enough to fit in your pocket. 

 

The £299 price includes two years of basic LTE and 3G access in 130 countries and regions, which is a little upgrade over the 120 countries covered by the Pocketalk Classic. After those two years, you can easily add service using the eSIM or with a real SIM. A prepaid local SIM will possibly save you some money if you only go to one country or within the Schengen Area; otherwise, Sourcenext’s worldwide SIMs are your best bet.
On the front of the translator you’ll find a 4.7 -inch touch screen with a single illuminated button below it. Simply select your desired output language on the screen and hold down the button; it will automatically detect the language spoken.

The translator’s SIM slot is on the left side, while the volume rocker and power button are on the right. The Pocketalk S has a USB-C charging connector on the bottom and a pair of microphones and a 3W speaker on the top. A camera for print translation is located on the back, along with Pocketalk and Sourcenext branding.

 

The Pocketalk S has a small glass display measuring in at 4.7 inches  and a strong plastic chassis and backplate. It comes in three colours: black, gold, and white. Despite the lack of an IP rating, I had no difficulty using the translator in the rain. If you desire further protection, you can get a case from the Pocketalk website.

 

The Pocketalk S is easy to set up. Turn it on, wait a few minutes for it to discover a cellular network, or connect to Wifi if available, choose your preferred language, and read the User Agreement. The screen is little, but it is bright and clear. It’s fantastic for basic spoken translations that will be read out in most languages,

The user interface is straightforward. Simply tap the selection on the screen and navigate through the language list, then hold down the button and speak. Although the touch screen is sensitive, the small size necessitates considerable precision when tapping icons.

Your voice is easily picked up by the dual microphones. The speaker is loud enough to be heard on a busy street or in a café, with a peak loudness of 100dB.

 

There is no ability to download languages and use the Pocketalk S offline, unlike Google Translate and some other portable translators, but with so many connectivity choices, this will rarely be an issue. It’s also worth mentioning that offline translation is notoriously inaccurate. Some portable translators just translate single words, while Google Translate on your phone uses neural network translation for slightly better results, but I found that nothing beats Sourcenext’s.

When testing translation devices, I looked at three thing: translation quality, connectivity and battery life. I put the Pocketalk to the test with with word and sentence level translations in Czech, French, German, Hindi, Norwegian, Romanian, Rush Spanish and Ukrainian to measure overall accuracy.

Although the Pocketalk S can translate up to 30 seconds of speech, it works best if you feed it one sentence at a time; it can’t alter gramar and usage rules at the paragraph level. Over all the Pocketalk S performed admirably when it came to translating words and sentences. When translating from Czech and Russian, I stumbled into a few small verb difficulties, but the meaning was still clear within the context of the sentence.

Text translation and currency conversion are avaiable on the Pocketalk S and Plus models but not on the Classic. I tested the Pocketalk print translation in a variety of languages and found that single sentences worked very well and translations were nearly always exact.

Reading print translations and currency conversions on a small screen may be an issue for some but I have no problems at all on the  larger screen of the Pocketalk Plus.
According to Sourcenext you’ll get roughly 4.5 hours of translation time and 2.5 days of standby time, my tests suggest that this may be a little conservative, but its not near the the Pocketalk Classic’s 10 days of standby time. It took roughly 1 hour and 40 minutes to charge the battery from empty to full.
You might be asking why you should pay nearly £300 on a translation gadget, when the phone in your pocket already has a translation app? The important factor is the internet connectivity, which will pay for its self over time if your a frequent traveller. Roaming charging tied with the difficulty of getting a local sim card in some countries can quickly be prohibitively expensive. Many smartphones only support regional bands, meaning data rates my be slower out side the home country.
Furthermore, not all translators are created equal. Pocketalk devices use bespoke translation software that is among the best we’ve tested, outperforming Google Translate and Microsoft Bing, and it’s updated on a regular basis. Smaller gadgets like this are generally left to fend for themselves, but Sourcenext is a large corporation that invests much in keeping their Pocketalks current.
Conclusion:-
If you’re a frequent traveller, the £299 Pocketalk Translator is money well spent.  It improves on the Pocketalk Classic by having a smaller design, text translation, and currency conversion, all while remaining cost-effective. Better battery life would be nice, but that won’t be an issue unless you’re going completely off the grid, you’ll appreciate being able to take this excellent translator almost everywhere in the globe.


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