Mobile Phone Buying Guide
The mobile phone has become a world wide revolution. Everyone is always available by phone. The newer phones have been designed to be fashion accessories as well as utilitarian devices.
Competition among the manufacturers is fierce which is good for the consumer because that means more features at lower prices. Today’s phones have an amazing array of features such as text messaging, digital cameras, MP3 players, video games and some are even complete PDAs.
The major down side is that not all models of mobile will work with all service providers. Changing carriers usually means having to buy a new mobile phone.
Low end mobile phones – these are the basic had sets that let you make voice calls, send text messages and access voicemail. Most also include features like a calculator, calendar, address book, and alarm clock.
Mid range mobile phones – these will include digital cameras so you can take a picture and then email it to yourself and your friends. The quality of these cameras is poor compared to a real digital camera but it is possible to get some of those get shots you never would have gotten because the camera wasn’t ready. Most people wear their phones so they are always handy to get that great shot.
These phones will have larger full color screens that are clear enough to surf the web. Most come with upgradeable memory cards. Many have built in MP3 players along with all of the standard features.
High end mobile phones – these are also called smart phones and are full fledged PDAs in most cases with email clients, browsers, other custom applications and Bluetooth wireless technology. The number of features available on these phones means that the connections between it and your PDA, laptop or desktop computer are extremely important so you can coordinate your daily activities.
Ergonomics – this includes whether it is a one piece or a flip mobile phone, how much it weighs, whether it has a slide out screen or keyboard, etc.
Battery life – you can expect to get anywhere from 25 to 100 hours between charges depending on how much you use it.
Predictive text – this is a nice feature if you do a lot of text messaging and can prevent thumb strain.
Camera – pretty much standard except for the most basic models. Typically they have less than 1 mega pixel resolution.
Screen – most mobile phone screens are color and many are large enough that playing games and browsing the internet is possible.
Games - If you are going to be using your phone for gaming then a Java-enabled phone will give you the widest choice from games developers.
GPRS – the General Packet Radio System is how the phone can connect to the Internet. A GPRS enabled phone can collect e-mail and view WAP pages.
GSM - The Global System for Mobile Communications uses three frequencies for phones, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 1900 MHz. A dual-band phone will work on two out of three frequencies (900 MHz and 1900 MHz). These are the frequencies used in Europe, Asia and most other places in the world except the United States (which uses 1800 MHz). A tri-band phone will operate on all three frequencies should work anywhere in the world.
Bluetooth – this is a wireless protocol that allows you to use a wireless headset with your mobile phone and connect to your PC through a wireless connection.
MMS – the Multimedia messaging protocol is used by camera phones to send pictures, sound and text all in one message. The recipient needs to have an MMS phone to receive the data otherwise they receive a text message with a website URL that will display your message.
Ringtones – these are the great music that can be used for the phones ringing.
Radio/MP3 – many of the phone have a built in MP3 player and an FM radio.
Roaming - Roaming allows you to use your phone abroad on other networks. You will need to be authorized to use roaming by your provider.
If you purchase a mobile phone as part of your contract with your service provider phone prices range fro $40 to $500. If you just buy the phone yourself, the prices range from $250 to $800.
The most popular selling mobile phones ar manufacturd by Audiovox, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Palm One, Samsung, Sanyo, Sony Ericsson