Pocketalk S Plus Translator – Review
Processor ARM Cortex 53 Quad-Core 1.3 GHz Operating system Custom operating system (based on Android OS 8.1) ROM 8 GB RAM 1 GB battery Rechargeable lithium-ion battery (1550 mAh) Continuous translation time 330 minutes Standby time 192 hours Charging time 130 minutes Mobile data 3G (W-CDMA) / 4G (FDD-LTE) / 4G (TD-LTE) SIM card slot nano-SIM Integrated 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″
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 operating system.
With global travel opening in full swing, you’re probably counting down the days until it’s time to hit the road again. If you haven’t spent the past few years brushing up on your foreign language skills in preparation for future travels, don’t worry: Pocketalk S Plus Translator from Sourcenext is here to help. This simple yet capable mobile translator supports 82 languages and includes two years of free data, meaning no extra charges as roaming charges are reintroduced by UK mobile operators.
Reminds me of the Nexus 1 or HTC Desire means it’s small enough to fit in your pocket.
The £299 price includes two years of basic LTE and 3G access in 130 countries and regions, a minor upgrade over the 120 countries covered by the Pocketalk Classic. After those two years, you can easily add service with the eSIM or with a real SIM card. A prepaid local SIM card may save you some money if you only go to one country or within the Schengen area; otherwise, Sourcenext’s global SIM cards are the way to go.
On the front of the translator you will find a 4.7-inch touchscreen with a single illuminated button below. Simply select the desired output language on the screen and hold the button; it will automatically detect the spoken language.
The translator’s SIM slot is on the left, while the volume rocker and power button are on the right. The Pocketalk S Plus has a USB-C charging connector on the bottom and a pair of microphones and a 3W speaker on the top. A print translation camera is on the back, along with Pocketalk and Sourcenext branding.
The Pocketalk S Plus has a small 4.7 inch glass display and a strong plastic chassis and back plate. It is available in three colors: black, gold and white. Despite the lack of an IP rating, I had no trouble using the translator in the rain. If you want further protection, you can get a case from the Pocketalk website.
The Pocketalk S Plus is easy to set up. Turn it on, wait a few minutes for it to discover a cellular network, or connect to Wi-Fi if available, choose your preferred language and read the user agreement. The screen is small, but it’s bright and clear. It’s great for simple spoken translations that are read aloud in most languages,
The user interface is simple. Just tap the selection on the screen and navigate through the language list, then hold the button and speak. While the touch screen is sensitive, its small size requires considerable precision when tapping icons.
Your voice is easily picked up by the dual microphones. The speaker is loud enough to be heard in a busy street or cafe, with a peak volume of 100dB.
There’s no way to download languages and use the Pocketalk S Plus offline, unlike Google Translate and some other portable translators, but with so many connection choices, this will rarely be an issue. It’s also worth noting that offline translation is notoriously inaccurate. Some portable translators only translate a few 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 things: translation quality, connectivity and battery life. I put the Pocketalk to the test with word- and sentence-level translations in Czech, French, German, Hindi, Norwegian, Romanian, Rush Spanish, and Ukrainian to gauge overall accuracy.
While the Pocketalk S Plus can translate speech for up to 30 seconds, it works best if you enter it sentence by sentence; it cannot change paragraph-level grammar and usage rules. All in all, the Pocketalk S Plus performed admirably when it came to translating words and sentences. When translating from Czech and Russian I ran into some minor verb problems, but the meaning was still clear within the context of the sentence.
Text translation and currency conversion are available on the Pocketalk S Plus models, but not on the Classic. I tested the Pocketalk print translation in several languages and found that some sentences worked very well and translations were almost always exact.
Reading printed translations and currency conversions on a small screen can be a problem for some, but I have no problems at all on the Pocketalk S Plus’ larger screen.
According to Sourcenext you get about 4.5 hours of translation time and 2.5 days of standby time, my testing suggests this might be a bit conservative, but it’s nowhere near the Pocketalk Classic’s 10 days standby time. It took about 1 hour and 40 minutes to charge the battery from empty to full.
You may be wondering why you should pay nearly £300 for a translation gadget, when the phone in your pocket already has a translation app? The important factor is the internet connection, which pays for itself over time if you are a frequent traveler. Roaming charging coupled with the difficulty of getting a local SIM card in some countries can quickly become prohibitive. Many smartphones only support regional bands, which means data rates outside the home country may be slower.
Moreover, not all translators are created equal. Pocketalk devices use custom translation software that is among the best we’ve tested, outperforms Google Translate and Microsoft Bing, and is regularly updated. Smaller gadgets like this are generally left to their own devices, but Sourcenext is a big company that invests a lot in keeping their Pocketalks up to date.
If you’re a frequent traveler, the £299 Pocketalk S Plus Translator is money well spent. It improves on the Pocketalk Classic through a smaller design, text translation and currency conversion, while still being cost effective. Better battery life would be nice, but that’s not a problem, unless you’re completely off network, you’ll appreciate being able to take this excellent translator almost anywhere in the world.