What gadgets do I carry for my trips?

My tech gadgets and me are inseparable. I love smartphones, cameras, computers, video games, tablets and all that geeky stuff. I read news and reviews everyday just to keep me up to date with the latest devices. When I buy something I make sure is the best I can get with that certain amount of money. What really matters to me is the value of the product I buy. My phone doesn’t have be the latest iPhone at all costs. It can be a cheaper one as long as is the best in class and fits my purpose.

Let’s see what my current gear is !

Smartphone: Apple iPhone 5S


Not the latest but still a good device. I bought it back in 2014 and it’s as fast as when I first unboxed it.

Why do I like it? Because it’s compact and easily usable with one hand. It might not be an issue for many people but I have the absolute necessity to be able to perform all the actions with one hand. When I get a bus or the subway my left hand is protecting my bag from pickpockets or holding the straps so I want to be able to text with one hand. And only Jesus knows how many hours a day I spend on the public transportation! For this reason I don’t find bigger iPhones very convenient for me.

Will I upgrade in the near future? I feel like the camera is not as good as it used to be. It’s simply not holding up well against the competition. I’m looking at the iPhone SE as a possible substitute.

Tablet: Apple iPad Air

The iPad is still the best tablet on the market. I bought my iPad Air back in 2013, I updated it every single time and it runs iOS 10 very smoothly.

Why do I like it? The CPU is really a beast and it’s well optimized to run the system’s apps. Light, easy to carry and to hold, well balanced, great battery life even after 3 years! It’s awesome for web surfing, great for pdf reading and good for typing long email or blog posts. Moreover, the iPad + keyboard combo is unbeatable. The only downsides are the ridiculous camera (as for most tablets) and the lack of an USB port which sometimes can be a big limitation. A part of that is a 10 out of 10 !

Will I upgrade in the near future? As long as the battery holds up and I don’t notice stutterings I won’t change it. Quite snappy so far.

E-Book Reader: Amazon Kindle


I fell in love with it in London in 2011 and it has become absolutely essential companion around the world.

Why do I like it? Light, easy to use, convenient, not very expensive. I have dozens of books in it, from Japanese novels to history books and the entire Game of Thrones collection. For someone who travels a lot is simply fantastic to be able to carry all my favourite books with me. I moved to a different flat 4 times in London and 3 times here in China and you can’t imagine what a relief it is not having to  worry about carrying dozens of books to the other side of the town. Last but not the least, it’s very easy on eyes.

Will I upgrade in the near future? No, I won’t.

Phablet (!!!): Xiaomi Mi Max

italianvagabond.com xiaomi max

I bought the Prime version in Hong Kong in October 2016 for 150€ with Google Services pre installed.

Why do I like it? It’s very cheap, it’s got a HUGE screen and it’s a great value for money. It’s a very fast device and I carry it around when I don’t want to take my iPad with me. The display is good even under the sunlight and the MIUI is quite fast. It’s not a premium smartphone but it does everything well except for the photography side. The camera is quite awful, I knew it before purchasing it and in the end is a 1300 Yuan device, what do you expect?! The build quality is excellent and the battery life just impressive.

Will I upgrade in the near future? I hope this device will last for a long time since it’s not my primary driver. Most of the times I leave it at home with my secondary SIM card plugged in. I use it to watch videos from time to time and to download some Android-only apps. No need to upgrade it now.

Cameras: Sony α5100, Sony RX100 mark III, occasionally Nikon D5100

italianvagabond.com sony rx100
my dear old rx100 mark I

I took marvellous photos with my tiny RX100, some of my favourites ever. Being able to fit in my pocket and sporting a relatively large sensor, the RX100 is the ideal camera for a traveller. It isn’t flawless for sure, but for such a compact body it packs a hell of a lot of features. The 1.0 inch sensor is about 4x larger than most compact cameras. Moreover the F1.8 ZEISS lens is very fast and the focal length is quite flexible for both portraits and landscapes.

Will I upgrade in the near future? I’d like to buy a full frame one day, the Sony A7 is on my list.

Smartwatch: TomTom Runner

tomtom runner

I love Apple products and they’re really awesome top class gadgets. Anyway I don’t blindly buy all that has a bitten apple logo on it. This is the case of the Apple Watch: I tried it over and over at the Apple Store but I simply don’t like it. In addition to being very overpriced, I find the user interface a bit cumbersome, not fluid and not particularly well designed (sorry Jony Ive). It’s too thick, not waterproof (!?!) and requires your iPhone to basically be in your pocket all the time or you won’t get calls and notifications. Which means: if your iPhone is off or you don’t have it with you then the Apple Watch is as useless as a fifth wheel. That’s why this simple TomTom Runner is more than enough for me.

Why do I like it? First of all it’s a gift. So thank you, very much appreciated! 🙂 Second, I can use it at the swimming pool. The display is also large and clear. Another important feature is the fantastic battery life: I charge it every two weeks. Of course is not as advanced as an Apple Watch but it can be synchronized with a smartphone very easily. The Runner is obviously focused on the running functions. The main options include a run, treadmill and stopwatch function. There’s a GPS sensor which is fast and quite reliable and a calendar with my recent records. A bluish backlight can be simply touch-activated and it’s quite effective in the dark.

Will I upgrade in the near future? I’m satisfied with it but lacks of messaging and call functions. For what my necessities are it’s more than enough.

These are the gadgets I currently own, if you need any suggestion or advice please  feel free to ask!



Italian Vagabond

Born in Italy, lived in UK, wandered across Southeast Asia, Europe, USA, Africa and Australia. Amatheur photographer, passionate traveller, enthusiastic reader, addicted football fan.

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