How To Choose Your Cell Phone
largely a matter of personal taste and budget; the latter depends on what
promotions are being offered, which tend to fluctuate almost weekly. Size
and battery life are the most important factors.
Your choice of phone depends on your choice of carrier. All carriers
have their own mutually incompatible digital networks. This means that
a Sprint PCS phone, for example, won't be compatible with VoiceStream
Wireless or AT&T Wireless service.
Most cell phones look like smaller versions of your phone at home, with
the addition of a screen and a few extra buttons. Flip phones fold in
half and open to reveal the screen and keypad. Web sites offer phone ratings
and reviews that can help you make your choice. You might also want to
go into a store and see how a phone looks and feels.
Above all, make sure the phone you pick has the features you need, or
think you might soon need. Dual mode phones are essential for anyone who
travels between the city and the country, because they shift to analog
coverage when digital isn't available.
To take advantage of special discounted phones (some are offered free),
a customer may need to sign up for at least one-year's service.
If you desire certain features, ensure the phone is equipped. For example,
hands-free microphone so you can talk and drive, memory dialing to pre-program
numbers; radio mute will automatically turn down the volume when you make
a call; auto answer will pick up the phone for you after two rings; voice
What to Consider
The things you'll probably care most about are size, looks, ergonomics,
robustness, screen size, Web features, and how long the battery lasts
Hands Free Option
Phone Book Storage Capacity
Analog phones tend to be less expensive than digital phones. However,
the rules of cell phone pricing are changing because cell phones are purchased
mostly with an accompanying service plan. Through various licensing and
marketing agreements, cellular service providers can often offer phones
at a discounted price or even gratuitously to their customers when they
order a phone activated with one of their plans. As cellular companies
expand their digital service, digital phone prices will continue to drop,
adding new options for the price-conscious wireless phone shopper.
- Low cost cell phones (< $100) : typically larger and heavier
with minimal features, although they generally perform just as well
as more expensive phones.
- Mid-priced cell phones ($100-$300) : smaller and lighter with
extended-life batteries, alphanumeric text features and more.
- High-end cell phones (>$300): offer the latest features,
the smallest designs and the most attractive styling.
Functions seem to be one of the most important thing to consider when
people choose a cell phone. Besides calling and receiving calls, people
are demanding more out of their mobile phones.To keep themselves amused
while waiting for anything, they expect a phone to come with more computer
games. For those who drive, phones that come with voice dialing and voice
answering seem to be popular as they can keep their hands off the cell
phone while driving but still be in touch.
For more information on cell phone features, click here.
Mobile phones can use three technologies: digital cellular, analog cellular,
Phones are compatible with a specific transmission technology. Therefore,
if you already know the plan you want to use, you must get a phone that
works with the available technology.
- Analog Cellular: This is the oldest technology of the three,
where signals are identical to those sent and received by an ordinary
radio. The sound quality is generally inferior to digital cellular and
PCS, and phone conversations using this technology are easily intercepted
by electronic scanning devices. It does, however, have the greatest
coverage, especially in rural areas.
- Digital Cellular: Software inside phones using digital cellular
technology convert and reconstruct digitized messages for sending and
listening. The sound quality as well as the privacy of your conversations
is superior to analog cellular, and digital phones have extended data
capability features including voice mail and caller ID. They are also
lighter and have a longer battery life then analog phones.
- Digital PCS: Personal Communications Service (PCS) differs
from traditional digital cellular service because it operates on the
1.9Ghz frequency band. This allows greater network capacity and data
capability then a standard digital phone. The different PCS technologies
include CDMA, TDMA, and GSM.
If you live in an urban or semi-urban area, most phones will have adequate
coverage to meet your needs. If you travel a lot or live in a rural area,
consider dual mode service. Dual-mode uses the same frequency for analog
and digital networks. They can automatically switch between digital and
analog. Tri-mode operates on two digital frequency levels as well as analog.
Dual mode service costs a little more, but you may need one of these features
if you're not an urban dweller.
Options: Digital Cellular, Analog Cellular, Digital PCS
There are three standard mobile phone batteries: nickel cadmium (NiCad),
nickel metal hydride (NiMH), and lithium ion (Li-Ion).
- NiCad- This is an older technology and has some technical problems.
Memory effect, also known as ledges, can reduce the capacity of the
battery if it is charged repeatedly without being fully discharged.
Also, the battery must be disposed of properly, because it is an environmental
- NiMH- A newer technology which does not suffer from memory
effects like the NiCad battery. It also holds a charge longer then the
- Li-Ion- A long lasting and light battery that does not suffer
from memory effects. It is, however, more expensive then the other battery
It is a good idea to invest in a second battery, so you can always have
one charging, and a fresh one in the phone at all times.
Options: NiCad, NiMH, Li-Ion
When you choose a phone, you should consider how long it can last on
standby (turned on, but not in use), and how much talk time you have before
recharging. If the battery runs out, it simply turns off the mobile phone
until you recharge it. Talk time is the amount of time a battery can power
a phone when it is being used to make or receive calls. A longer talk
time could save you a lot of time and frustration, but if you do not talk
on your phone a lot, it could be unnecessary.
Range: 60 - 600 minutes
The period of time a battery can power a phone when it is not being used.
Why is it important? A longer standby time could minimize the
number of times you would have to recharge your phone per week, which
could be usful if you travel a lot.
Range: 1.5 - 484 hours
Hands Free Option
Many mobile phones offer you the option of talking into them without
actually having to hold the handset up to your ear. Some phones accomplish
this by allowing you to plug an ear piece/microphone device into them
while others easily install into a car kit that allows you to hear your
party through your car's speakers while you speak into a microphone.
The weight of your mobile phone, measured in ounces.
Things to Consider: The weight of a mobile phone is a very important
feature because most people carry their phones with them. If you do get
a larger phone there are a number of accessories available that will aid
you in carrying your phone.
Range: 2.7 - 13.9 oz
A number of high-end mobile phones are capable of basic Web browsing
and email functions. Although it will pale in comparison to the surfing
you can do on your computer, you can send and receive e-mails and get
selected information from specific web sites.
Options: Email, Web Browsing, None
Phone Book Storage Capacity
The number of names and telephone numbers that can be stored in a mobile
Why is it important? A large phone book can serve as an organizer as well
as a time saver; putting friends, family, and work contacts at the touch
of a button. If you already own a PDA or a similar item, a large phone
book may be unnecessary.
Range: 9 - 400 Names and Numbers
Design and form factor
As the teens become more affluent, carrying a mobile phone is not only
for the adults. Teenagers are carrying mobile phones not only as a form
of contact, but also using it as a form of enhancement for their appearance.
Hence you can see them changing the casing of their phones to suit their
personality and their clothing. From here we can see that when buying
a mobile phone it is important to buy one of great appearance so that
you will look good when you are using it. You will also not want to change
your phone just because you don't like the design.