Do You Know How to Choose a Cell Phone?

Oh the Drama! Do you want to know how to choose a cell phone, whether it's your first or your fifth?

My general rule of thumb for how to choose a cell phone is to first do a little research on which cell phone services work best in the area you will be primarily using the phone. WHERE is the MOST important quality and feature of choosing a cell phone. Because what good would it do to find the coolest phone with all the bells and whistles only to find out it doesn't work in the area where you primarily need to use it.

Secondly, another important thing to consider when determining how to choose a cell phone is utilizing one the many wireless review sites that walks you through tons of reviews from professionals in the industries as well as the key things (pros and cons) to look for.

Short and Sweet

How to Choose a Cell Phone, indeed it's so simple that it's complex. In this section you will learn:
* How to Choose a Cell Phone
* Buying a Phone/Phone Discounts
* Credible and Respected Wireless Review Research Sites
* How to Recycle or Sell Back Your Old Phone
* How to Move Your Address Book from Your Old Phone to Your New Phone
* What kind of phone you should get if you need to travel internationally
* How to get a discount on your phone and your monthly plan

Nice and Slow

The Basics for How to Choose a Cell Phone
Before you start researching model phones, rate plans and all the rest of it, first off you have to decide WHERE will you be primarily using it? That is the million dollar question. Because regardless of what the cell phone does and how cool it looks and how many f.r.e.e minutes you get, none of that will matter if you can’t get any service or coverage in the primary area you will be using your phone. So if you will be using the cell phone in your residential community (dependent on geographic location) ask around and see what everybody else is using. Does the service generally work there? Never mind if they personally like their cellular company or not, everyone often says the negative things about them anyway.

In a cellular and wireless environment you should NEVER expect to get all the terms, features and things you want, all of the time. There are too many variables from which cell phone manufactures which model phones for certain cell phone providers, to where their coverage towers are located to what cell phone plans they offer. So it simply does not work in such a way that you will find everything that is important to you in one phone and one plan in one provider. *Sorry*

Is the reception satisfactory in the area you will primarily be using it and do you have the understanding that the mobile phone is something made for people on the move. So don’t plan on using it the same as you use a landline phone from your home all the time with hopes of saving a few bucks on long distance. This is especially important to know if you live in a quasi wooded neighborhood with a fake lake, lol, as these communities are generally built in outlying suburban areas with lots of ‘natural’ manmade boundaries. And if you paid to have your ‘space’ there is even a greater percentage that the cellular and wireless coverage will be intermittent at best because you are not in a densely populated area close by a heavily trafficked highway or such. If this is the case, you should significantly lower your expectations of your cell phone coverage at your home and consider another alternative such as VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol phone service i.e. services such as Vonage and Lingo used for your home phone can save you a tremendous amount of service for long distance.

Here Are Just a Few of the Things to Consider When Choosing a Cell Phone:

* Coverage: Where does it work? You can obtain coverage maps from cell phone company direct websites (enter your zip code to see if coverage is available in your geographic area) or by visiting a local store and looking at an in store coverage map.


Î Built in Camera: This will allow you to have the ability to take pictures (if you work at a government agency, financial agency, law firm or consulting firm realize that some places do not allow cameras so confirm this first if you need to use your phone in your workplace). Some people have found that the camera comes in handy for insurance claims, if they want to have picture caller id or to use spur of the moment when they don't have their regular digital camera.

Î Built in Video: To record very short clips of...hmmm, anything, you like. Behave :)

Î MP3 or music player: This comes in handy if you would like to listen to your favorite jams while on the train, the bus or waiting in line for something

Î Email capability: You don't necessarily have to have a 'smart phone or BlackBerry' to have this capability. There are f.ree mobile email services which can be used from a regular cell phone but require you have a data plan activated to work. The monthly rates will in some cases be cheaper than a smartphone but you will have to use the keyboard to type using what they call T9 or predictive text. This means there are only so many words that can be used from any combination of letters on the keys that you are typing. The sales representative can usually give you a little demo of how it works. If you want a product such as the BlackBerry verify the Blackberry service pricing with the cell phone companies. The pricing on the monthly BlackBerry service can range from $19.99 to $44.99 in addition to the cost of your voice plan dependent on your cell phone provider.

Î Ring Tones: Does your phone have the ability to download any types of ring tones: Can your phone be customized with distinctive ring tones or are you limited to the ones in your phone and/or on the cell phone provider's website?

Î Expandable Memory Slot: If you think you will download a lot of pictures, games, music and/or have a gargantuan address book an expandable memory slot will come in handy. It will allow you to store all your data on an extra little card in your phone (not to be confused with your SIM Card).

Î How to Move Your Phone Book: Does your cell phone have syncing capability with Outlook Contacts or MAC Entourage? How are you going to move all your contacts out of your other phone or from your desktop? Are you going to be able to sync them with the contact list on your laptop or desktop if this is your first phone? Or will you be able to zap them through infrared like you can on a Palm or Nokia phone? Or do you have to use some hard to find special cable and some hard to find special program that is not sold in stores? Can the retail store move them over for you with a 'special' program in-house? Or do you have to move them all manually one by.

Î Web Browsing Capability and Functionality: Cell phones have a special programming technology built in and the problem is not all websites recognize when you are logging on to the website from a mobile cell phone, so the page does not load properly. Instead you see parts of the pages or you get lots of error messages. Have the sales representative log onto some of your websites to see if that sites are suitable to you before you activate the feature on your phone or choose that particular model phone.

Î Style of Phone: Clamshell or Candy Bar. Would you prefer a flipstyle phone or a phone that is a candy bar style that doesn't fold in half?

CNET which is one of my favorite overall technology resource websites provides a great 'checklist' on how to choose a cell phone. It covers everything soup to nuts from services to features.

You Just Had to Ask

* How to Choose a Cell Phone Plan
* Buying a Phone/Phone Discounts
* Credible and Respected Wireless Review Research Sites
* How to Recycle or Sell Back Your Old Cell Phone
* How to Move Your Address Book from Your Old Cell Phone to Your New Phone
* What kind of phone you should get if you need to travel internationally
* How to get a discount on your cell phone and your monthly plan

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