Buying a Cell Phone
Cell Phones 101: How to buy the right cell phone
Types of Cell Phones
Blackberry Cell Phones
HTC Cell Phones
Samsung Cell Phones
Cell Phone Buying Tips:
- Ensure your phone is compatible with your current wireless carrier or pre-paid option
- Ensure your phone is compatible with the latest/fastest wireless networks in your area
- Consider battery life if it’s important to stay connected for long periods without recharging
- Screen size and keyboard type are important considerations for texting and email
Cell Phone Features
Network Compatibility +
LTE is the new gold standard for 4G networks. LTE networks are faster than the older 3G systems, which means you can send and receive more data more quickly. They’re also more reliable, so even if data isn’t a consideration you’ll get fewer dropped calls on the LTE network. Canada’s major wireless carriers now have LTE network coverage in most urban centres, and it’s expanding every month. If you're shopping for a smartphone in the near future then you should check for LTE compatibility.
Most cell phones today come equipped with a camera. Some have both front-facing and back-facing cameras for self-portraits. It’s a handy feature for capturing special moments and sharing them with friends — without the extra cost and burden of a separate camera. Some phones have flashes, and resolutions average from two to eight megapixels. More advanced smartphones offer even better features, including focus, zoom and image correction.
Most cell phones and smartphones with a video player can also record video, whether short video capture or longer movies. Some smartphones can record in HD. Check to see if the video can also be transferred from your phone to computer — some require a cable connection, others can transfer wirelessly.
Music Player +
Most cell phones have a built-in music player so you can take your favourite music with you in the car, during your morning jog or your commute to work. Check to see if an earpiece or headphones are included with the phone, or if you have to purchase them separately. If you love music, make sure the phone has sufficient storage to hold all your favourite songs. Smartphones offer more music functions and storage space than basic cell phones or feature phones.
The amount of storage smartphones require is not necessarily increasing despite all the features and functions. The prevalence of cloud storage services such as Google Drive, Microsoft Sky Drive and Drop Box mean an average user can likely get by with 16 gigabytes of storage. That said, many cell phones do have a memory card slot that enables you to save more photos, music or other files.
Bluetooth is a technology that allows for the wireless transfer of data between devices, two cell phones, or a cell phone and computer. It makes it easy for you to transfer your music, photos or other files to your computer or to friends. It also enables wireless headsets for hands-free use of your phone in the car.
Voice Dialling +
Voice-enabled dialing is an important feature if you use your cell phone with a headset while driving, or if you’re working with your hands, carrying groceries or cradling baby. Once you’ve programmed in your contacts, the phone recognizes the person or place you want to call and does the dialing while you keep your hands on the wheel.
Wi-Fi-enabled cell phones can connect wirelessly to the internet through your home network or through the ever-increasing availability of Wi-Fi hotspots in public spaces such as restaurants or your favourite coffee shop. If you are unsure of your mobile carrier’s roaming policy, turn roaming off and just use the internet when Wi-Fi is available.
Some cell phones allow you to download game apps, which is a desirable feature for long commutes, spending time in waiting rooms and for keeping younger family members occupied during trips. Whether you’re looking for brain games to help you stay sharp or games simply for fun, there is a wide variety of free and paid games available for download.
Cell phones come with a rechargeable battery and charger. The life of your battery depends on how many hours you are using your phone and what you are using it for. Apps that demand a lot of screen activity will drain your battery faster than ones that function in the background.
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Cell Phone Maintenance Tips
- Protect your cell phone with a case
- Protect it from dirt and sand
- Keep your cell phone dry and away from liquids
- Keep your phone out of direct sunlight and protect it from extreme heat and cold
- Clean your cell phone by dabbing a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and using it to lightly wipe the keypad
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