Hands on with the Langogo translator: the go-anywhere global language device

Hands on with the Langogo translator the go-anywhere global language device zdnet
  • Editors' rating
    9.1 Spectacular

Pros

  • Small form factor
  • Useful interpreter function
  • Extremely accurate translation

Cons

  • Limited languages in offline mode
  • No beep to begin talking
  • No headphone jack

The Langogo Pocket AI translator will translate between 105 different languages using 24 different translator engines to give the most accurate performance. It also performs as a mobile interpreter.

The translator is nice and compact. Its dimensions are 4.78 x 2.41 x 0.52 inches and it weighs 4 ounces. Switch it on using the button on the left hand side of the device and wait for the Android OS to boot.

Choose the two languages you wish to use, push the button, and talk to the device. The Langogo has a 3.1 inch capacitive screen with 800 x 480px resolution – which is more than adequate for the job.

To use the device, connect it to your Wi-Fi – or if you are out and about, insert a SIM. When I was out, I used my phone as a portable data hotspot to connect the translator to because I had mislaid my spare SIM. You can also use the embedded eSIM function which gives you hotspot Wi-Fi, and free translation services for two years.

To speak, press the button on the right hand side of the translator. Your words are displayed as text in your own language as you speak.

When you have finished speaking, the translator beeps and converts the text to the destination language, and the on-board voice  translates to the recipient. You can adjust the sound if the voice is too quiet.

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As you speak, the translator types the words it hears onto the screen, then as it translates, the second language appears on the display. Swipe down to see the history of phrases spoken and translated. Unfortunately, you can not re-click on a previous, often-used phrase to invoke the voice prompt.

The pocket translator also has other features, which are accessible by swiping onto the second screen. Intelligent recording allows you to pre-record a message, it is uploaded to the web – however it does not translate the language.

The interpreter mode is a fantastic addition. You can speak constantly into the device, text appears on screen as the device recognises what you are saying. Then, a stream of text appears on the screen in the destination language.

It recognises both languages spoken and shows a rolling banner of text. This would be fantastic when you are listening to a speech in a different language and do not want the voice prompt to be disruptive.

Euri is a Siri-like assistant for the translator. you can ask it simple questions in English and it will respond in English to the instructions. The other language it currently uses is Mandarin Chinese. I could not find a way to change the language to any other.

The translator has two modes: use it online for 105 languages translation, or in offline mode for translation in Mandarin Chinese, Korean or Japanese. My tests speaking to native bi-lingual Cantonese speakers were over 95% accurate.

Only when either party used slang phrases, did the translator mess up a bit. Speaking clearly and carefully translated the words precisely. It does have noise cancelling but I did not notice a difference – perhaps I was in an optimal area for the device.

The device has a 2,200mAh battery which gave me a long talk time – but I took an external power pack and USB-C cable with me – just in case I needed to translate for most of the day.

I used the translator to have a conversation with my Chinese friend via phone.  The issue was that she did not know when to speak into the device. Pushing the talk button is silent – there is no beep to alert you to start talking.

This meant that I did not know when she started speaking so I could push the button in time. I think if the translator pinged when the talk button was pressed then both sides would hear the ping, start talking, and conversation would flow more quickly.   

I loved the Langogo Pocket translator, and I found it far easier to use than the WT2 – which was impressive enough. I would imagine that the WT2 might be difficult to use if you wore a hearing aid.

The Langogo enabled everyone around me to clearly hear what the other party was saying.  However, in a quiet environment this may be an issue if you wanted to hear the translation and not just read the words on screen.

Perhaps Langogo could consider adding a headphone jack in future releases – as well as the beep to talk notification.

Apart from that, this is a fantastic little translator which is extremely versatile and well worth the sub-$300 price point. It will help you feel far more confident in your conversations – wherever you travel.

Update: Dedicated coupon code to purchase the Langogo on Amazon : zdnetlgtest valid to December 30th 2019

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