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Buying a mobile phone? Things to consider

Last updated on: November 3, 2009 09:57 IST

Buying a mobile phone? Things to consider

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Rediff Business Desk

In the last decade or so, the mobile phone industry has grown at a scorching pace. From luxury to necessity to addiction -- that describes the mobile revolution in India, and life without a cellphone is almost unthinkable in today's times.

While almost all of us have a handset of our choice, we do look to upgrade or buy a new one whenever the need arises. But with hundreds of phones to choose from, how do you arrive at the one that is just right for you?

What are the features that the phone offers? Is it worth the price you are paying for it? Does it have a camera? Or an MP3 player? Bluetooth? Email? These are just some of the common questions that come to our mind before buying a cell phone.

Picking the right phone can certainly be a daunting task. So here are some elementary things to consider before you buy a mobile phone. Read on. . .



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If you are a busy person, need to manage a lot of appointments and need information at your fingertips all the time, choose a smart phone. This type lets you have all your office data on the phone. Nokia has some brilliant smart phones. You can consider Blackberry models too. Then, of course, there is the Apple iPhone too.

If you like music, then go for a mobile phone with a dedicated built in MP3 player and one that has a good memory capacity. Sony Ericsson offers really good sound quality.

If you are buying a phone to satisfy your photography skills go for a phone that has a great flash and lens and comes with a good memory card to store your photographs on.



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Buying a mobile phone? Things to consider

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Some technical stuff you need to concentrate on before buying a handset:

The mobile type: The bar-type mobile phones normally have the screen and keypad all on one face. This type is the most commonly used and is most user-friendly.

A flip phone consists of two or more sections that are connected by hinges, allowing the phone to fold in order to become more compact. When flipped open, the phone's speaker and microphone are placed closer to the operator's ear and mouth, improving usability. Motorola was once owner of a trademark for the term 'flip phone'.

A slider phone is composed of usually two segments that slide past each other on rails, Most slider phones have a display segment which houses the speaker and the screen, while another segment contains the keypad. The goal of using a sliding form factor is to allow the operator to take advantage of full physical keypads, without sacrificing portability, by retracting them into the phone when these are not in use.

A slate phone is a subset of the bar-type form that has no buttons, instead relying upon a touchscreen.

Choose the type that suits you the best.



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Some technical stuff you need to concentrate on before buying a handset:

Battery life: You surely do not wish to end up with exhausted battery in middle of something important. So get a decent battery feature and make sure your phone has a good stand-by time too. Features that affect the battery life are colour screens, networks jams, music, video and camera coverage.

Memory: A good memory card will give you the comfort of clicking more pictures, grabbing more videos and storing important data.

Also remember you need to store your files till the time you get them transferred on to your personal computer. Many times mobiles do not have good in-built memory. But there is always an option buy a memory card varying from 128 MB to 8GB based on your requirements.

Connectivity: There some great connectivity features available today, and they give you easy access to web. Options such as GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) allows you to get connected with internet. Infra Red and Bluetooth allow you to wirelessly connect with other external devices. There is also EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution). This is an enhanced version of GPRS that offers better connectivity and speeder date transfer.



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Display: You need to protect your eyes, therefore look for a mobile with thin film transistor or active matrix screen that offers a wider viewing angle. UFB (ultra fine and bright) and OLED (organic light emitting diode) are the newest in the technology. Also check with resolution and number of colours available before concluding.

Camera phones: Quite often, 2 mega pixels work better than 3, because of the mechanism and colour-processing chips involved. So don't make the mistake of relying only on mega pixels. Do a careful review of the camera phone you are buying.

Sound quality: Always opt for high sound quality and the one that can play any media files. If you are music buff then check for some of the best music mobile phones that come with volume control and digital signal processing options enabled. Make sure you check your earphone too, you should be comfortable with them.



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Multimedia features: If you love music or spend extra time in travelling, get a phone with an MP3 and FM radio. These phones also have some great ring tones. Then there are 3G handsets that support streaming video and videoconferencing. Go for higher resolution phones if you are buying a phone with multimedia features.

Accessories: There are thousands of accessories available and but you may just need a few. Some such accessories are headset, car kits, and hands free kit. Plan carefully and buy only what you require.

Some more tips: Be very sure about your needs, be a smart shopper and be very practical. Money is important, so don't end up buying a phone that has features which are of no use to you.

There are several sites offering reviews and comparisons of various mobile handsets. So take the advantage of the Internet!

We will periodically bring you tips to buy more such gadgets.

Meanwhile, if you can think of any more points to consider when buying a cell phone, feel free to share your thoughts with others readers in the discussion board below.



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