Pokemon Communications and Region-Exclusive Technology
Communication over long (or short) distances works much the same way it does in the human world, with towers transmitting waves across large areas to connect all sorts of devices and the people who use them! Telephone wires are spaced about the same as they are in the human world, and extra care is taken to ensure they do not become entangled with any Pokemon’s habitat that was previously established. Though, some people still prefer sending messages through delivery Pokemon like Wingull or Pidgey. While wires and cellular data does make communications faster, reception can get a little hazy in some areas (given all the isolated caves and mountains in Pokemon), and sometimes it’s just nice to have a physical letter in your hands. In addition, not all devices are compatible - the oldest Pokegears are only capable of calling each other and will short out when faced with Xtranceiver or Holo Caster calls, which typically include both audio and video. If you forget to shut off the video option when calling an old Pokegear, better send money to your friend so they aren’t upset about repairs.
Used by people with less money, the Pokegear is the “working class” communication device. Built-in phone option, with purchasable cards to add features. The most popular of these are map and radio functions, with these commonly being distributed for free rather than for money. (Perhaps this contributes to their popularity.) Though some don’t know how to survive without these functions, they’re not entirely necessary, which is why they’re optional cards and not included in the product itself. Parts can be bought in most major cities. Newer models of the Pokegear (such as the ones in HGSS) are compatible with more advanced forms of technology (Holo Casters or Xtranceivers), but older ones can only call or receive calls from other Pokegears. This makes them valued by people trying to be sneaky. However, it’s also harder to call for help, as the only people you can reach are video phones (which are compatible with basically everything) and other people with old Pokegears. Most are easy to fix, but materials for older models can be tricky to find and even harder to find someone who can actually fix it, so it’s worth learning how to do some basic troubleshooting. Prices range from 5000 to 25000 Poke, with older models typically starting at 12500. Defunct or otherwise beat up models are usually around 2500 Poke. Though cards other than the map and radio cards do exist and are sold in some department stores, not all of them are officially endorsed by Silph Co., and your warranty may be rendered invalid should you install one. (Don’t buy the contact checking one, it doesn’t work and will break your call function.)
Often regarded as more of a gimmick than anything else, PokeNavs are sort of like highly hackable GPSes. They contain rudimentary call features but can still contact nearly whey form of communication device on this list, but for years were best known for their installed map and trainer database that helped young children navigate Hoenn. PokeNavs are driven by basic coding, leading them to be favored by people eager to turn their maps into something that’s not a map. There have been attacks by people turning their PokeNavs into bombs, but many others who choose to convert them into Pokemon status checkers, news outlets, and video cameras. Some of these additions have been officially integrated into some models of the PokeNav, such as the DexNav, AreaNav (a map, believe it or not), PlayNav, and BuzzNav. These upgrades are collectively referred to as the PokeNav Plus. Prices range between 10000 and 50000 Poke. Though sturdy and meant for child use, they’re still relatively hard to repair, especially if they’ve been reconfigured.
Not seen commonly outside of Sinnoh, these watches aren’t meant to communicate - rather, they’re meant to download apps to make life easier. Think smartphone, but minus the phone bit, camera, and most of the games. Despite their obvious versatility and variety of app content (from breeding calculations to friendship checking), they haven’t quite caught on outside of Sinnoh… Or even outside of Jublife City. This could be in part due to the difficulty involved in acquiring apps, since the Poketch can only download new apps if coding is directly programmed into it, the device doesn’t appeal to those living far from the HQ in Jublife City. New apps are being made constantly, and having to visit the store every few months and sit for hours waiting for programming to finish just isn’t fun. Some people code their own apps and distribute the code freely to whoever passes by or to people who find it in online forums, so the combination of apps on an individual Poketch is unique to every person. Poketchs with certain apps can be resold for quite a lot of money. Prices peak at 2500 Poke for a basic Poketch with a digital watch function. Repairs can usually be made only by the people who coded the app, or the Poketch Company employees.
Prized as an upper middle class communication device used commonly by business associates trying to hold conference calls, the Xtranceiver supports both audio and video calls with up to four participants. (Except if you’re calling a device that doesn’t support video, the Xtranceiver will not automatically convert the chat to an audio format and can potentially crash the other device. The manufacturer receives a lot of flak for this on a daily basis, but the fact of the matter is that there are simply too many Xtranceivers already distributed for a factory recall to be of any effect. It’s simply advised not to use the video function when you don’t know what kind of device you’re calling.) The Xtranceiver has pretty good reception, making calls all the way to other regions with very few problems in comparison to Pokegears and PokeNavs, which lag frequently when making long-distance calls. They also include several mini games, which is rude when you’re talking to someone and popping balloons, but is perfect for pacifying young children. The downside is, they’re relatively easy to hack into, and sensitive information can be acquired from your contacts. Despite that, they’re regarded as one of the superior modes of communication. Prices are about 25000 to 500000 Poke, with repairs being easily made due to familiarity.
C-Gears don’t make calls, but they do encourage social connectivity. They alert the user and others in the vicinity of those seeking to make a trade or battle, and is much faster at connecting to the web than other devices. They’re rather niche, considering the same effects can be gained by simply shouting “WHO WANTS TO TRADE?” and as such are not used often due to so many other devices just doing the same thing better. The social services offered by the C-Gear was the basis for the Player Search System, and newer models generally have the PSS downloaded onto them for double redundancy! Typically, C-Gears are really expensive (750000 Poke or more), often regarded as experimental technology due to only Fennel and Professor Juniper in Unova distributing them. They’re VERY hard to repair.
These are mad expensive to obtain, mostly because of the obscene amount of money involved in developing 3D cameras and holograms, but the prices are starting to lower now that Lysandre’s been exposed as a bad guy. If you tried hard enough, it could probably be made into a cool-looking hovering holographic Pokedex. The only significant advantage these have over the Xtranceiver and Pokegear is that Holo Casters can actually record video and audio messages, which is something the other two should always have been able to do but whatever. Otherwise, they’re pretty much just full of fancy holograms, and also Internet. This can connect to the Internet, or the Pokemon version of it. It’s gotta exist, probably. The cheapest version of the Holo Caster is about 700000 Poke. They’re simple to repair, unless it’s the camera thing. Then you’re on your own.
The only places that use these are Pokemon Centers due to their size and obvious unwieldiness. They’re typically built into PCs so that professors can get a firsthand look into the Pokemon a Trainer has caught. They’re capable of calling anywhere in the world with audio or video chat and, unlike Xtranceivers, actually turns it to audio chat automatically should the system discover the other person you’re talking to has a device that doesn’t support video. Costs about 1,250,000 Poke to install in a preexisting PC.
No one really uses these. They exist, sure, but that’s like basic landlines. Why do you need a smartphone when you have a Pokegear that’s also a map and a radio?