This is a sponsored post for AT&T. AKontheGo and Erin Kirkland received products for reviewing purposes.
After a summer spent cruising the roadways of Alaska’s highways and byways with AK Kid, I have a new appreciation for modes of communication that provide not just an element of amusement and connection, but safety as well. 4,000 miles in May, 1,500 miles last week, and hundreds of smaller trips in between means we’re out and about, and we need a solid way to connect where connections can be made (remembering, of course, Alaska will not always deliver on that and visitors must always be ready to independently solve problems while on the road).
AT&T has rolled out a series of products this year to assist busy Alaska families like us. Each is different and each provides a different service for different aspects of our 49th state life.
Need a new phone?
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Active is a fast-charging, hard-sided wonder that resists dust, water, and the occasional fall from a pocket to the rocky shoreline of a river (ahem). With a sleek feel, the Active is not clunky, though, and has a large screen through which to take excellent images with the dual-pixel smartphone camera. I’ve had it for two weeks and already love it. With an AT&T plan the phone is around $26/month.
Traveling around the state?
I received the AT&T Spare One Emergency Phone last winter and have to say it makes me feel a whole lot better about finding help should my car break down on a trip, or if my sons are out and about (especially my older son who lives in a group home for people with autism and isn’t ready to have a smartphone). Allowing independence but staying connected to us is important, and I’m happy to pay the $25 annual fee for the location alert service. The device retails for $49.99, and features a AA-powered unit, alert/assist buttons, the location service (optional), and a flashlight. It’s a nice compromise for us. A drawback? The unit may or may not work in all areas of Alaska; I tried it along the Seward and Parks Highways, where it worked except in the usual dead zone near Turnagain Pass, and portions of the Glenn Highway, where it activated every time. The unit also only works in the United States, which wouldn’t have helped us much during our AlCan adventure in May. Nonetheless, it is a tool to be considered.
Going for new fitness goals?
I’ve not been one for tracking my steps, miles, or calories consumed in the form of cookies and wine, but when AT&T sent me a FitBit Blaze, I, well, bit. Fun, this, and I find myself clocking my walks and jogs more enthusiastically than before. I also like the PurePulse Heartrate Monitor, a simple little feature that lets me know when I’m achieving a true workout, or when I’m just stressed (<—that never happens). I also like the weekly report that gives me feedback on how many miles I accomplished, where those calories went (<—to my hips, I’m sure), and, get this, my sleep patterns (<–which I’ll use to mitigate AK Dad’s snoring). So far, the battery sustains a charge for up to five days, a vast improvement over earlier FitBit models. The device retails for $199 via AT&T.