When it comes to buying a cell phone, the variety of brands and features on the market make it difficult to figure out what is best for you. For most people, the cell phone is a piece of technology that has become a part of everyday life.
Cell phones (mobile phones) do more than just receive and make calls. Increasingly, they are also becoming a primary source of web content, music, videos, data and news, among other things. As you search for a new cell phone, here are some points to help find the right one for you.
Buying a Cell Phone Considerations
These seven factors are important to think about and compare, as you get come closer to buying a cell phone. Most websites will share the specs on their phones, explaining the numbers you want to know about.
1. Phone Call Quality
How useful is a phone that does not make clear calls? Ironically, many so-called smartphones have poor call quality while some simpler phones have outstanding voice clarity. As the saying goes, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” This is true with cell phones.
A very simple way to test phone call quality is to place a call in an extremely quiet environment, preferably an enclosed room space. Place another call in a relatively noisy area. Try this several times interchangeably.
In the quiet room, pay attention to static noise or any unusual background feedback. In the noisy area, ask the person on the other end how clearly your voice is coming across, also pay attention to how clear the other caller sounds to you.
For a phone with good call quality, you can make audible phone calls even in areas that are relatively noisy. You should also try this test with your speaker phone feature.
2. Phone Design
Since you might use your cell phone throughout the day for months, if not years, it is very important that you like its design. But just as important as how it looks is how it feels. Phones come in all shapes, colors and sizes these days and a key design feature that impacts usability is the keyboard because this is where you would do most functions on the phone.
Are you more comfortable with typing on a touchscreen or on a slider QWERTY-style keyboard? Is the phone itself comfortable to hold with just one hand? How about if you ever need to use it hands-free — are you able to place phone calls comfortably while holding the phone between your ear, shoulder and neck? Also, does it fit well into your pocket, bag or purse?
Check for design durability. A phone that has a sturdy and compact design can survive every day wear and tear as well as the occasional times your phone falls to the ground. Regardless of how sturdy your phone is, it would be wise to buy a phone case or protector, as this should help reduce physical damage.
3. Operating System
Most newer model phones come with one of four operating systems. According to PCMag, Android is now the most widely used operating system, followed by iOS for iPhones, Blackberry OS for Blackberry phones, and then Microsoft Windows for Windows Phones.
Familiarize yourself with the different operating systems to see which one has the features and applications important to you. Also, some applications and tools might be exclusive to a certain operating system, so if most of the people you connect with are on a particular operating system, using the same operating system might make it easier to enjoy certain apps or features together.
4. Screen Display
If you regularly stream videos and browse the web on your phone, then the size and visual quality is important to you. Phones with screens that measure 3 inches or less diagonally could make picture quality look squeezed together.
Think about the screen resolution, as well as where and how you would be using your phone. Generally, a higher resolution would give better quality.
AMOLED screen displays are quite clear under sunlight, but otherwise could make colors appear over saturated. qHD screen displays tend to do best for video playback, as well as games, while a 1080p screen should give full HD visual.
A good phone should have screen settings that allow you to change brightness and contrast configuration so that you can clearly view display images under bright light as well as dim light or darkness.
For those who regularly capture pictures and video on their phone, picture quality is important to those buying a cell phone. Even though some high-end phones come with 8 or 12 megapixels, the standard for many phones is 5 megapixels, which is enough.
Your phone should also have flash. Xenon and dual LED flashes do better than most. For high-definition video 1080p is the standard. Also, many new phones on Google’s Android, Apple’s iOS and Windows operating systems come with both back and front cameras, which help you make video calls through apps like Skype and Qik.
The processor plays a role in determining how fast your phone operates. For most people performing basic tasks on their phone, a 1GHz processor should suffice. If you do graphic intensive functions like using large applications and files or 3D games, you might prefer a higher processor like a 1.2GHz or 1.5GHz.
The operating system also plays a role in how fast and stable your phone operates. For example, Android 2.3 is faster than Android 2.2, so it is good to run the latest version of any operating system you chose.
Most phones show how long the battery should last with usage. However, this is not always right. If you spend extended periods of time on the go, while using your phone, this is particularly important.
A general rule is that the less advanced a phone is, the higher its battery life. For instance, 3G mobile phones have a longer battery life than 4G phones and basic non-smartphones have longer battery life than their smartphone counterparts. This is because smartphones come with more features and applications that drain battery power.
Hopefully, these tips were helpful to you and we hope you make the right call when buying a cell phone!