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How to Compare One Cell Phone to Another

Before you start comparing cell phones, you need to decide exactly what is important to you. Is this phone simply for communication? Is it replacing your land line? Does it have to have internet access, GPS, a camera, music, etc.? Is text messaging a priority?

The next step is to choose the type of plan you will want in place. Each wireless service provider has its own series of phones to choose from. There are many types and prices of cell phone available through each provider. It is wise to learn something about them before you shop for your phone. The internet is a good place to start.

Key Features

What are some of the key features of these phones? Design is important, though I recommend that you go hands on before you actually sign a contract. For example, if you chose Sprint as your carrier because they had a plan that is well suited to your needs, you might go to their online sight to see all the phones they offer, which one will be free, and what your cost will be for the higher end cell phones (depending, of course, on the length of the contract you are willing to sign).

Reading the details…knowing whether it is a flip phone or not, how long the battery life is, whether it has a decent sized screen for text messaging…is fine for deciding what you want. But you need to go in to the store and hold that phone before you commit to it. Is it comfortable in your hand? Does it fit nicely to your ear? Are the buttons easy enough to push for dialling and text messaging? Is it too complicated for you to use easily? Yes, there a pictures of every model at every carrier’s site. But these questions can best be answered in person.

While you are in the store, ask some pertinent questions. You want to know how long the battery lasts. If it handles four hours of active use, how long can it go idle before it needs to be recharged? Two days? Four? Does it come with a headset or earphones? Usually the accessories are extra. How much extra?

Does the carrier provide enhanced 911 services? This is very important if you are replacing your land line with this cell phone.

It doesn’t matter whether this is your first cell phone or your tenth. You still need to do the research and make comparisons. You might think that you really like a certain manufacturer, but there are new phones entering the market all the time, and one of them might be perfect for you. Don’t forget that comparisons will not tell you if the phone is easy to use. You need to check the online reviews, ratings, talk to people who have used that model, and, if possible, try it yourself.

There are so many features available on cell phones that the average person would never dream of using. Ask yourself if you really need a colour screen or a megapixel camera in your phone. Narrow down the features and you will narrow down the price.

The largest carriers are AT&T Mobility (formerly Cingular Wireless), Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. They are not all the same. Even when a carrier claims to have coverage in an area; the quality of the reception can vary. Ask the people who work and live in your area what carriers they use.

You are now ready to go online and make some comparisons. There are hundreds of sites…search them under “compare cell phones.” Type in the model numbers of the phones you are interested, and within seconds it will tell you what the differences and similarities are. On some of these sites you can choose up to eight models to compare. Sites like phone.dog.com list most of the available phones, tell you about all the extras available, and also include user reviews.

It might be wise to go to third party sites as well as the carrier sites for your comparisons. When trying to decide what kind of features you want, they might be a bit more objective. But remember that you cannot get all phones at the carrier of your choice.

If you have chosen Sprint, got to a Spring comparison site to help you pick the phone that best services your needs. They will compare the phones, feature to feature that THEY provide. Once you think you know which one you want, it is time to head for the nearest Sprint store. You may change your mind once you actually are holding that cute tiny little phone in your big hand!

Time for a quick review:

  • Decide what you want and need in a cell phone
  • Check out available plans…especially the ones that offer free phones or one for $100 (it is usually a higher end phone given to you at a bargain if you sign a longer contract.)
  • Pick the carrier and plan you are going to go with.
  • Go online and do your comparison shopping.
  • Also read ratings and reviews.
  • Once you have picked your phone visit the carrier’s store and try it on for size and ease of use.
  • Try negotiating. Ask for a car charger and a leather carrying case for your free phone. If you are going high end, ask for $20 to $50 off. Perhaps they will throw in a headset to get a longer contract.