Camping gear review: Pocketalk S voice/text translator
The new Pocketalk S is a handy gadget that can translate 75 languages at the touch of a button, including voice conversations, menus and signs.
It fits in your pocket and can be whipped out whenever you need to interact with someone in a language you can’t speak.
But how well does it work and is it a good option for campers touring abroad? Our review team put the Pocketalk S to the test.
HOW TO USE THE VOICE TRANSLATOR
It’s really easy to work the Pocketalk S – simply set the language and press the record button and the device will do the rest.
For example, imagine you are in a French supermarché and want to buy something at the fresh fish counter. Record yourself telling the assistant what you want to buy and the device will instantly convert it into French and relate it to the shop worker. Their response can then be converted into English.
It’s that simple. It’s worth noting that it can only handle up to 30 seconds of speaking per translation and only the most common languages have audio – the others use text.
It can even pick up localised dialects and slang – and most impressive of all, had no difficulty understanding our reviewer’s Scottish accent!
HOW TO USE THE TEXT TRANSLATOR
The text-to-translate camera is just as simple. It instantly recognises and translates the written word, ideal if you need help choosing what’s for lunch, finding your way around a new town or exploring the campsite.
Simply capture the text you want to translate with the built-in camera, choose a language and the device will get to work. The translations are impressively accurate – we tried converting a piece of text from English to French and back to English again with almost 100% accuracy.
WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO KNOW?
The Pocketalk works online and comes with a free two-year mobile data plan that provides coverage in over 130 countries/regions, so you don’t always need to rely on WiFi. You can buy a data extension when there’s less than a year left.
You can link the device to your smartphone or PC to let you view translations.
The device will also let you convert currency, length, width and temperature.
The Pocketalk S is charged up using the supplied USB cable. To prolong the battery charge, switch off WiFi when it’s not needed and turn down the screen brightness.
If your foreign language skills are as embarrassingly limited as ours then this nifty little gadget could make camping abroad a whole lot easier.
Slip it into your pocket and you can forget about having to carry umpteen phrase books across the continent as you awkwardly try to make yourself understood at Croatian petrol stations and Latvian bakers.
It’s compact – much smaller than a smartphone – lightweigh and slimline, boasting a sleek design with large touchscreen to display translations. But most important of all, the translation accuracy is really impressive. You can be confident that your conversations will never be lost in translation.
Costing around £259, this is certainly not a cheap option but it’s a great choice for regular travellers.
In summary, we think it’s amazing… or úžasný, as we now know they say in Slovakia.
Charging Time: USB-C 105 minutes
Dimensions: 9.15cm x 5.34cm x 1.14cm
Colour: Black, white, red or gold