Which cell phone you should buy will depend on many factors, the most important of which, is your personality. You should understand that cell phone plans and prices are constantly changing and the phone you should buy today could be bettered by another cell phone tomorrow. This guide will help you sort out the major differences so that you make a good decision.
Cost is a major factor in buying a cell phone. Your budget will determine which features you can afford and which plan you want to go with. Low budget phones will only give you basic features, but they often come free when you sign up for a two-year cell phone plan.
Pretty soon, you will even be able to buy a disposable cell phone for about ten dollars and pay for minutes as you use them. These phones will only dial like a standard old land-line phone and that’s all; probably a great back up to keep in your car for emergencies, but not the most user friendly device. Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile prepaid plans are also offered as an alternative to disposable phones, so you can get a good quality phone along with a cheap plan.
The frustration factor is a big deal if you are paying a lot for your cell phone. Anyone who shells out $200 or $300 for a cell phone will want to be able to use it right out of the box and begin enjoying the investment immediately. You want a phone that is not only easy to get used to, but easy to use. The only way to be sure you will have a low frustration factor with the phone you are considering is to test it out. You can do this at the store, but you should also check user forums online to see what people are saying about the phone. Also check the cell phone manufacturer’s troubleshooting forums so you can see what common problems are associated with that phone. No device is perfect and there will always be some downside.
The cellular service provider can be another source of frustration. If the signal is bad where you live or anywhere you spend a lot of time, you’ll be throwing the phone at a wall rather than dialing it. Check with your neighbors and other people where you spend a lot of time and find out what carrier they use and how the reception is in those areas.
Most phone plans cost about the same, with a few variances depending on the plan features you want, so signal is really the most important factor in choosing a cellular provider. If you find more than one carrier provides good reception where you need it, then compare the plans online and choose the one that suits you best. You can then see which phones are offered for those plans.
Even though cell phones have essentially functional purposes in our lives, most of us want one that also fits our sense of style. After all, the phone is often displayed right next to your face or on your belt. It is more than just a phone; it is a kind of bling. You need to consider how you will look. Do you want that Captain Kirk flip-phone image or do you want to proudly display your Apple icon, silver on white?
The problem with flip phones is that the hinge can break, sometimes very easily. The bar-style phones are much more durable, but much less attractive. Then there are the smart-phones, which are about the size of a small digital camera. You could also try the hybrid, a slider phone, which has a keyboard that slides out for texting and internet surfing.
So what will you be doing with your phone? Do you need to be able to blind text to get through a boring meeting? If so, a touch screen is not for you. Do you want to be able to surf the Internet and download free applications? You may be better off with the iPhone. Will you be using your phone as a mini-PC to edit documents and do your work? The Blackberry may be your best bet. If you a grandmother who just wants to be able to call the grandkids, you should be fine with a free phone provided by the cellular phone company.
Conventional Cell Phone versus Smart Phone
When you look at the phones available, you will realize there is a broad range of phones from very basic to very complex. Conventional cell phones will call, text and sometimes send photos and emails. More expensive models let you tap into cellular internet networks. Most people are familiar with the Razor, which was a very successful phone for Verizon because it had all of these features along with a sleek, trendy design.
Smart Phones do a lot more than conventional phones. Expect them to cost a lot more too. They usually have a small QWERTY keyboard and full internet accessibility. They offer email and numerous applications for fun, business or both. The Blackberry has been one of the most successful smart phones of all time. Even the iPhone cannot allure many Blackberry users. Phones that carry Windows Mobile can edit documents and spreadsheets. Phones without this operating system are generally best for entertainment.
Where to Buy
Buying online is nice because you do not have a salesperson urging you to buy features you do not need. Still, talking one-on-one can be more reassuring to some when they make a major purchase. If you do like to talk to a salesperson, make sure you are only buying the features you need. Wait to get accessories until you see how the phone fits into your daily life. In many cases, no accessories are needed.
While call quality will rarely be a problem, you may notice after you get the phone that it drops calls or just does not work well in your environment. You have three days to cancel your plan, so if you notice this, bring the phone back right away and see what can be done to correct the problem. It may be a defective phone or you may need to choose another model.
What’s next? Cell phones & ringtones go together hand in hand. After you’ve made your cell phone purchase, you may wish to accessorize it with apps, screen savers and ringtones.