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Mobile Phones Buying Guide - Saving You the Ring Around!

Apr 12, 2008
Mobile phones have become a fashion statement. They come in different brands and catchy models for all kinds of users. The mobile phone sector has made a significant impact on the field of communication with new technologies and better connectivity.

What kind of mobile phone are you looking for?

There are many fancy models flooding the market, but you should choose a model depending on your mobile phone requirements. A mobile phone should offer exemplary service for the money you pay. These days mobile phones use sophisticated operating systems which perform most of the applications of a laptop. A businessmen or an itinerant person can go for smartphones with a good web browser, e-mail facility and other in-built applications. If you are looking for entertainment options, then choose a phone with an MP3 player, FM radio or camera. There are also some basic models for buyers who do not want to pay for sophisticated mobiles.

How are mobile phones classified?

Mobile phones are classified based on their design and service provider.

Design:

There are many designs and models available. Candybar models are the most common design. They are narrow and easily fit into a protective case. Flip phones are compact phones that open up to reveal a keypad and screen. The design prevents accidental dialing. Slider phones have a keypad that lies underneath the screen, giving it a small and chic look. There are some models with swivel keypads or screens that allow for two-handed operation when used horizontally. There are also tons of mobile phone accessories to jazz up your phones appearance.

Network:

There are two mobile phone networks, Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA). Each of these technologies follows different ways of transmitting voice and data.
GSM is the most widely used worldwide mobile phone network. There are many GSM phones on the market from manufacturers of quality brands. Phones with tri-band or quad-band GSM can operate on multiple frequencies and can be used abroad.

A CDMA network enabled phone is just meant for a particular network provider. There is a small range of handset models which cannot be used with other providers. This network provides a greater coverage area but has some pitfalls, such as limited call plans.
In Australia, there are three GSM phone companies with their own networks, Optus, Telstra and Vodafone. Telstra also has a CDMA network.

What features does a good mobile phone have?

Mobile phones have an expansive array of features. Some meet your basic needs while others are much more advanced and give you wider options.

Ergonomics:

Every phone comes with its unique design and look. Most mobile handsets, with the exception of 3G models, are compact. Manufacturers are trying to add more features to mobiles while retaining their small size with the help of flip phones, rotating screens and sliding keyboards. If you are a beginner, you would be better off with an easy to use intuitive interface. You can opt for more rugged phones if you will be using your mobile extensively.

Multimedia and Gaming Options:

Traveling can be fun with features such as an FM radio and MP3 player on your mobile. Consider mobile phones with memory card slots, as storage capacity becomes especially important for multimedia phones. Models that have an FM tuner will play music without the need to fill the phone with files or worry about storage capacity. Other mobile phones support streaming video and video conferencing. A Java-enabled phone can be used for downloading games as well as web browsing.

Cameras and Video Recorders:

Mobile phones can be used as a digital camera or a video recorder. You can take a picture anytime or shoot a video with most recent models. Some handsets have a very low resolution, but many newer phones have scaled up to 2 megapixels for improved picture quality.

Web Browsers:

Phones with a web browser allow you to send and receive mail through Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail. You can also receive ISP mail through POP3 programs like BigPond and OptusNet, to name a few. Some phones feature Wireless Access Protocol (WAP) browsers for wireless Internet access. Few higher-end consumer models are capable of providing full HTML browsers.

Connectivity:

Bluetooth technology allows you to exchange or sync files with other mobiles or devices, such as PDAs.
Infrared enabled phones can also be used for synchronizing with a computer or transferring files to a device. However, the device you are sending or receiving files with must be in your line of sight.

Speakerphone and Conference Calling:

A speakerphone is a great choice for multitask. This hands-free option lets you talk while you drive. It is also useful for making a call while in a group. A large number of mobile phones support conference calling for business users or caller groups.

Memory:

While the standard internal memory of a mobile range between 10 MB and 96 MB, a gaming or MP3 phone may have up to 500 MB of internal memory and come with a separate memory card slot. To get the best use out of your new mobile phone, go for expandable memory slots. They let you store a large number of files on the multimedia phone.

Battery:

Generally, the charge carrying capacity of a battery depends upon the features and usage of the phone. Standby times vary between 10 days and 14 days while talk times range between two hours to eight hours, approximately. The most commonly used battery type is lithium ion, as it has a low self-discharge rate and a high storage capacity.

Other Applications:

Every mobile phone has a phone book that lets you store your contacts. Some models include a voice dialing feature that lets you make calls without using the keypad. Almost all standard handsets offer organizer applications such as a calendar, alarm clock, stopwatch and calculator.

What accessories are available for mobile phones?

There are many mobile phone accessories available for your mobile. You can personalize your phone with changeable faceplates and mobile phone cases. The two most sought after accessories for a mobile are Bluetooth headsets and car chargers.

Headsets:

If you are the kind of person who needs to use a mobile phone all day long, a bluetooth headset would be a sensible option. You can conveniently have a hands free conversation using Bluetooth technology.

Car Kits:

Plug your mobile phones into car kits to utilize the cars battery power, speakers and aerial. You can enjoy music from your phone in the car with these kits. The aerial and speakers provide enhanced sound quality.
About the Author
Bob Shanty has been researching and writing articles that help shoppers shop online and make more
educated buying decisions on mobile phones for online mega store BIGshop for years. For more articles by Bob please visit http://www.bigshop.com.au.
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