Buy the cheapest unlocked brick cell phone
you can find and buy the chips for each island as you head
south. Go onto Amazon and buy a Kindle Fire HD and save a ton of money
and headaches. You'll end up with phone
that drowns just like a smartphone at a fraction of the replacement cost and a decent sized screen
on the Kindle to use as a backup for your chartplotter
. I have lost
count of the number of cracked screens, bad chargers/cables and drowned smartphones I've seen down here in the Eastern Caribbean
. Amazingly, people will pay almost four times what I pay for a brick phone
for a waterproof housing for a smartphone. Heck, the baggie I carry my brick phone in is a recycled luncheon meat package.
DO NOT buy the cheapest one you can find. The damn things don't work. We already tried it. Get a moderately priced one and a waterproof case.