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This traveler's phone gives you free, local data (pictures)

A Handy phone in your hotel room spells total travel freedom.

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Jessica Dolcourt
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1 of 7 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Available in Hong Kong, Singapore and some European countries, the Handy phone comes standard-issue in participating hotel rooms, giving travelers free, unlimited local data wherever they go.

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I took mine all over Hong Kong, from the crowded markets of Mong Kok to the elegant Peninsula Hotel pictured here.

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A standard-issue orange case covers up an otherwise blah Alcatel phone.

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But for travelers like me, the phone's guts don't matter one bit -- it's the free, unlimited local data connection that counts most.

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Handy's software skins the Android base to add helpful information on local sites and also sell you tickets to visit them.

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Most valuable for me were Android apps like Google Maps, which helped me navigate a foreign country.

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In Hong Kong especially, with so many businesses inside labyrinthine malls, real-time map navigation was the difference between finding my destination or wandering, teeth-gnashingly frustrated, for hours.

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