Buying a cell phone is just like buying anything else: unless you know what you’re looking for, you probably won’t find it. If you simply walk into a store looking to buy, you’ll definitely find a cell phone, but the chances are it’ll be more expensive that it needs to be and that its features will disappoint. Make sure you consider the following factors before buying a cell phone. Decide whether they are important to you and what else you’d like to get out of your phone. You might learn of features that you know you don’t need, such as mobile internet access. Avoiding phones with capabilities, such as this, that you don’t need can save you a great deal of money.
Memory: The latest cell phones come with internal and external memory. Internal memory is usually limited — no more than 128 MB. If you store music, pictures and video on your phone, make sure it has a slot for a mini SD memory card. It’s pointless to buy a cell phone if you can’t store media.
Screen Size: It’s nice to have a large screen to look at, but don’t buy a new cell phone just because, “The screen’s so big!” However, don’t go ultra small either. You’ll be watching videos or viewing photos, so make sure you can see your media without getting a headache.
Digital Camera: Most modern cell phones come with a digital camera as standard, but resolution varies drastically. For you shutterbugs, most cameras have between one and two megapixels, but a few have as high as five. Keep an eye out for extra features, too, like zoom and video capabilities.
Battery Life: Cell phone battery life is measured in two ways: standby time (when your cell phone is idle) and talk time (when you’re using your phone). Focus on talk time. Making and receiving calls, taking pictures and listening to music all drain power. Pick a cell phone with at least a four-hour talk time. This should last you most days.
Talking Functions: Without fail, you’ll be interrupted when talking on your cell phone. It’s inevitable. So pick a phone with features to help you take those interruptions with a grain of salt.
- Call holding puts the person you’re speaking with on hold without disconnecting the line.
- Call waiting lets you take a secondary call while staying connected to the first.
- Conference calling connects multiple people simultaneously, letting you talk with all your friends at once.