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Cell Phone Buying Guide

Cell phones have become a critical part of our everyday life. Not only are they used by almost every member of the family, but business people of all professions now depend on cell phones while communicating with clients, employees and vendors to keep business flowing smoothly.

Choosing a cell phone in today's market can be a little confusing. Not only are there many brands available, but also different types of plans. There are several things to consider before buying a cell phone and choosing your plan. The guide below explains the different options available, which will equip you to find the right cell phone and plan to meet your needs.

Questions to Ask Before Considering a Cell Phone

There are a few questions you should ask yourself before considering a cell phone. Your answers will determine what type of phone you'll need as well as the plan that's right for you.

1. Why do I need a cell phone?

Are you purchasing a cell phone for business purposes, or personal reasons? Maybe you want one to accomplish both. Either way, how you intend to use the cell phone will greatly impact your feature and plan choices.

2. Will you communicate frequently using the cell phone, or only during emergencies?

Obviously, if you only plan to use your cell phone for emergency situations, you won't need a plan with hundreds of minutes. On the other hand, if you plan to use the cell phone throughout the day (each day), you will benefit by purchasing a plan with a large quantity of discounted minutes.

3. Where will I use the cell phone?

Will you be calling someone who's out of the area frequently, or from another town or state? If you or someone you communicate with often does a lot of traveling, you'll need to factor this in when choosing a cell phone plan.

Key Features of Cell Phones

Pick and choose your features carefully. Which features do you really need? Which features can you live without? These are questions you should ask when making a cell phone purchase. Don't pay for features you're not going to use, but do make sure the cell phone has all the features you'll need.

Below are the most common features you'll encounter while shopping for your cell phone:

Cell Phone Design

Although design won't be your only determining factor, you'll want to be sure the cell phone is comfortable for you.

Flip phones are small and convenient to carry, but can sometimes be awkward to use when you're doing certain things, like driving. Try out different types of flip phones by placing them against your ear as if you were talking. You'll want to select a phone that's comfortable and easy to handle. Try using the phone with only one hand while the other hand is occupied. Also, if you'll have both hands occupied while using the phone (such as taking phone messages or searching for files), make sure you can do it comfortably. A small phone can rarely be held by squeezing it between your shoulder and your ear. Headsets can be used to talk while driving, which frees up both of your hands.

Non-flip phones usually have larger keypads and screens, which might be more practical if you'll be using it in a business office setting most of the time.

Other design features to consider include the size and weight of the phone, battery compatibility and the screen lighting.

Transmitting Wireless Data Via Cell Phone

Although cell phone Internet surfing is not very convenient due to the connection speed, your cell phone might be used to send short text messages and/or images, depending on your carrier. This can be useful if you need to relay quick email messages to others for business or personal reasons, and aren't able to get to a computer. There are still quite a few limitations with Internet and email access through cell phones, and the features vary a great deal with different providers and plans.