Cell Phones

Today’s devices are more useful, but more complex

 
If you thought you had a tough time choosing the last cell phone you bought, just wait and see what’s in store for you this time around!

Today’s phones are more complex than ever, with GPS receivers, MP3 players and digital cameras.

This guide will help you to make the right choice.

Types of Phone

Nowadays, there are two choices: conventional cell phones and smartphones. A conventional cell phone will do everything that you want a phone to do – make calls, send text messages, record messages, and then depending on how much you spend you may be able to have internet access, download ringtones, listen to music, and so on.

However, the real bad boys these days are smartphones. Not only can they do all of the above, they can do just about anything else you want as well! They are capable of handling multiple email accounts, organizing documents, etc. Many of them have high quality touchscreen displays, they can connect to Wi-Fi and high speed mobile networks, they can stream multimedia, so you can watch videos on YouTube, they have faster, smoother web browsing capabilities and you can download thousands upon thousands of applications, from games to news apps, social media apps, weather forecasts, shopping tools and more.

Features

Just what do you want from your phone? There are numerous features besides the basic tasks that “telephones” are supposed to do. Here are some of the most important:

• Bluetooth – for connecting to other devices and computers and transferring data files with ease.

• Camera – if you want to be able to take snaps throughout the day, get yourself a camera phone. Most smartphones these days come with a camera, starting at 2 megapixels and up.

• Document editing – if you’re a businessman or a student, then this could be handy. Both Android and iOS phones can handle documents of all the main file types, and now even come conventional phones can also do basic editing tasks.

• GPS – Useful, but not essential, GPS navigation is still a very cool feature to have!

• QWERTY keyboard – a number of phones (notably Blackberry) now feature a QWERTY style keyboard, which makes typing a lot easier for some people. Touchscreen phones also have QWERY keyboards, but many people prefer to type using real buttons.

• Speakerphone – If you want to use your phone hands free, this is essential

• Wi-Fi – if you want access to the fastest internet speeds via your phone, wireless internet connectivity is the only way to do so.

Best Brands

For smartphones, there are four or five brands that stand out. Apple, with their iPhones, are considered to be the best of the bunch by many. The iPhone 4S starts at $409, although it can be had for cheaper if bought with a contract.

However, a growing number of people consider Samsung’s Galaxy SII model ($600+) to be superior to the iPhone right now. Motorola, HTC, Sony Ericsson and Blackberry also make some great quality smartphones – Blackberry is especially popular for its chat function.

For conventional phones, Samsung are again a good choice, as in fact they cover just about every price range there is with cell phones. LG are another popular choice. Conventional phones can be had from around $25 for the cheapest models, up to around $150 for the most expensive.

Where to buy

Buy.com is a great place to buy unlocked phones and accessories at some of the cheapest prices, as is Shopper.com.