Buying a new phone or a new phone service plan can be a major hassel, therefore we have putted together a little word of advice tht will clear your mind a little and give you a more clear and percise view of the whole process.
Cell phones now allow easier texting, Web surfing, GPS navigation, and social networking while keeping up with their day job–voice calling. Smart phones such as the iPhone and Android-based models are leading the charge. Thanks to their advanced operating systems, they can run all types of applications, from Twitter to games, restaurant guides, shopping assistants, and more. Their cameras are getting better, too. The newest smart phones typically come with 5-, 8-, or higher-megapixel cameras with advanced controls and the ability to take HD videos. And unlike most stand-alone cameras, they provide a multitude of ways to share their content via Facebook, YouTube, e-mail and a new host of Internet-based “cloud” services. The data networks they run on are getting faster, too, enabling them to download and upload large files in less time, provide a better Web-browsing experience, and perform new tricks such as stream high-definition videos, and support video chats via front-facing cameras. Conventional cell phones aren’t gathering dust, though. Many of the newest models have large displays, keyboards, and Internet capabilities. Their e-mail and applications aren’t as robust as a smart phone’s, but they’re less complicated to use. And there still are phones with fewer bells and whistles for users with more straightforward needs.
Before you buy a phone, consider the service provider. (See our Ratings of service providers, available to subscribers.) Service providers determine which phone models work on their networks. So when you’re replacing your phone, use this cell phone guide to help you decide whether you’ll stay with your current cellular service carrier or switch to a new one. Major carriers rely heavily on two incompatible digital networks. Sprint and Verizon networks use mainly Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technology, while AT&T and T-Mobile use Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) technology. All of those carriers also support high-speed data networks. The network plays a big part in the capabilities your phone will have and, to some extent, its performance. Learn more about the service providers in our Ratings(available to subscribers).
When you’re ready to buy a phone, you’ll first have to decide which of the two types, conventional cell or smart, meets your needs and budget. Choose a conventional model if you mainly need voice and text-messaging capability, and perhaps a music player and camera. Smart phones, with their advanced operating systems, larger displays, QWERTY keyboards, and other computer-like features, are a better choice for people who need frequent access to multiple e-mail accounts, a sophisticated organizer for appointments and contacts, the ability to open Office documents, and Internet-based services. One compelling advantage of most smart phones is their ability to access a host of applications consisting of productivity tools, shopping, multimedia, games, travel, news, weather, social, finance, references, etc.
Useful features such as support for wireless Bluetooth headsets, GPS navigation, and high-speed data access can greatly enhance user satisfaction.
Before you choose your new phone, be sure to check out our exclusive Ratings of service providers (available to subscribers).
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