With the prospect of foreign travel much more likely for next year for me, having a device like the Pocketalk S voice translator could save a great deal of stress whilst abroad.
|POCKETALK “S” Voice & Camera Translator Black –...||£249.00||Buy on Amazon|
- Converse in 82 different languages
- Sleek design with large touchscreen that provides a text translation for additional clarity
- One-button translation for simpler translations in fewer steps
- High quality noise-cancelling microphones and two powerful speakers
- Text-to-translate camera instantly recognizes and translates text, the written word, and signs.
- Conversion: computes exchanges for currency, length, width and temperature
- Complimentary 2-year cellular data plan that provides coverage in over 130 countries/regions
- Size：9.15 cm × 5.34 cm × 1.14 cm
- Weight：approx. 75 Grams
- Display Screen：Touch panel / 480 x 640 pixels
- Continuous Translation Time：4.5 hours
- Battery Life (Standby state)：5.5 days
- Charging Time：105 minutes
- Embedded SIM
- Bluetooth 4.2
Hardware & Features
Similar to other translation devices, this is essentially and small low powered Android device. It uses a Custom OS which is based on Android OS 8.1, and the device runs an ARM Cortex 53 Quad-Core 1.3GHz processor.
It includes a built-in SIM with free data worldwide for two years, and this is one of the main reasons why you might want to use this translator compared to Google Translate on your phone.
The Pocketalk S can translate 82 different languages, similar to other translators, this number is padded out with regional dialects. There are four variations of Spanish and six of English. English options include UK, US and Australia. The Langogo Genesis claims 105 languages, but they padded out the numbers with 20 different versions of Spanish.
Ironically, there are some peculiar menu items within the settings, as if they have been poorly translated. The phone comes with 2-years of free translation, you can extend this under “Communication Plan” and there is an option to “Extend from Body” to extend the plan on the device. It costs $50 per year to extend the plan. Alternatively, you can use your own SIM.
Pocketalk S Voice Translator vs Google Translate Performance
Many people will likely question the need for a pocket translator when Google Translate exists. For casual English speaking tourists like myself, this is a valid question. I don’t go abroad that often (certainly not recently), and when I do, it tends to be cities where many residents speak English as the second language.
For people that travel a lot and go off the beaten path, or if English isn’t your native language, then a translator starts to look a lot more appealing.
If you regularly have to translate, then the Pocketalk S is immediately more appealing than your phone. You take it out, press and hold the translate button and get immediate translations.
I did find that the Pocketalk S wasn’t perfect at picking up my northern drawl. With my first couple of attempts of asking for a large beer, the translator thought I was asking for a bear and then pear. However, multiple attempts after this all worked. I think with the translator sat down on my kitchen table, and the poor kitchen acoustics confused it a little. Holding it up seems to offer better performance, but if you are anything like me, you probably need to put some effort into pronouncing things properly.
The translator will do the live translation, both into text and spoken word. Then from the menu option, you can also add that translation to your favourites. You also have a practice pronunciation option which will help you try and pronounce the phrase yourself. With me struggling to pronounce my own language correctly, attempting other languages was predictably disastrous.
When using Google Translate to compare, I found that it was a bit more accurate picking up my accent, but I am using the new Pixel 6, which is supposed to have advanced AI features and therefore, it is likely better performance than other phones. The translation wasn’t auto read out, and the spoken translation didn’t seem to sound as natural. Switching Google to conversation mode does make my phone read out translations immediately. I also found that the image translation of Google Translate to be more difficult to use and less accurate than the Pocketalk S.
Since Brexit, many mobile operators have reintroduced roaming fees, so the Pocketalk S has a significant advantage over your phone when it comes to ongoing costs.
Other Features – Text Translation & Hands-Free
Like other translation devices, further into the settings, you have a bunch of additional features. Most of these are relatively useless such as the medals and roll play, but you also have convert currency units, and there is a hands-free live translate option.
For the hands-free option, you need to be connected to WiFi, I assume this is due to the increased data required.
Then there is an 8MP camera. At first, I assumed this was a pointless addition for low-quality images. However, I was wrong, the camera is used for translation of text. This works surprisingly well too. Going to the Amazon.es page for the Pocketalk S and taking and taking a photo of the product details, it was able to identify the text and translate it accurately. It took a few seconds for the translation to complete, but it is quite impressive. It overlays the translated text onto the image, which can make it a little difficult to read, especially on such a small screen, but it’s a useful way to display it if you are looking at things like menus.
Price and Alternative Options
The Pocketalk S is currently £259 and is available from Amazon. It is also the best-reviewed translator on Amazon.
Pocketalk also have the smaller classic model for just £99
The Langogo Genesis is currently £229.99, or the newer Langogo Summit is £299.99. I did like the Langogo Genesis when I reviewed it but I no longer have it and can’t objectively say how good the performance was in comparison to the Pocketalk.
Timekettle have a different take on translators, they are earbuds that offer live translation. They are cheaper, with the Timekettle WT2 costing just £159.99. Amazon reviews are less positive, and I prefer the handheld format of the Pocketalk and Langogo.
The Pocketalk S works well with accurate translation of both voice and text. Its tiny size with easy to access translation features and 2 years of free translation data make it an appealing choice over using Google Translate.
Pocketalk S Voice Translator Review Rating
Pocketalk S works well with accurate translation of both voice and text. Its tiny size with easy to access translation features and 2 years of free translation data make it an appealing choice over using Google Translate.
Overall - 80%
I am James, a UK-based tech enthusiast and the creative mind behind Mighty Gadget, which I’ve proudly run since 2007. Passionate about all things technology, my expertise spans from computers and networking, to mobile, wearables, and smart home devices.
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Last update on 2023-09-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API