Thursday, 17 January 2008

Top 5 tips for buying a mobile phone

With so many makes and models of mobile phones available today, the task of purchasing a new phone can be quite daunting. Where do you start? I decided to put together a top 5 list of tips for purchasing a new mobile phone.

1. Set yourself a price range
Even if you have no idea of what type of phone you are after, the most important thing to do before anything else is to decide how much you are willing to spend. I have heard of many people who have walked into a mobile phone store without any idea of what type of phone they are after, only to end up walking out having spent twice as much as they needed to, for a phone full of features that they will never use.

2. Choose a suitable network provider
Choosing a suitable network provider for your region is a very important step. There is no point putting all of your hard earned savings into a new phone if the network you sign up with has poor coverage. This is why I recommend that you choose a network before a phone. It pays to do some research and find out the local knowledge about coverage in your area.

Another important decision to make when choosing a network provider is if you would like to use GSM or CDMA technology. CDMA technology is usually referred to as 3G. A previous article I wrote called GSM or CDMA? explains these two technologies, but to put it very simply, a GSM phone will support SIM cards and a CDMA (3G) phone will support high bandwidth and faster connections.

If possible, try to choose at least two network providers that will suit your needs. This will give you more flexibility when it comes to choosing your phone.

3. Decide on your payment plan
Most network providers will offer you a choice of pre-pay or contract options for paying for your phones usage. This comes down to a personal preference and your decision will probably be based on how much you use your phone. If you intend to be using your phone regularly or for business purposes, a contract option will probably work out cheaper. If you will only be using your phone occasionally, the flexibility of a pre-pay option will probably suit you best.

4. Write down the features that you need
Before you even start looking to see what feature are available in the latest mobile phones, I would recommend writing down a list of all the features that you need your phone to have. This way you are not tricked into believing that you need all of the "latest and greatest" features.

And be tough, ask yourself if your new phone 'really' needs to have a camera or an MP3 player, etc. Also remember that the more features a phone has, the bigger and bulkier it will be and the faster it will run down its batteries. Features do come at a cost.

You should also decide if your phone needs any accessories when writing down your feature list. The three most popular mobile accessories are cases, headsets and memory. If you are likely to be using your phone when driving, a hands-free car kit may come in handy. Or if you have decided that you need a phone with a camera or MP3 player, you may want to consider purchasing a memory card if your phone supports them.

5. Choose your phone carefully
Now that you have decided on a network provider, payment option and the features that you need, it's time to choose your phone. I would recommend doing an online search before walking into a mobile phone store.

Start out by choosing at least three phones that support all of the features that you need and that you like the look of. I would then recommend reading as many reviews as possible about these phones. There are many websites available where users can submit reviews about their phones and provide useful feedback.

The final decision you need to make is you are going to purchase your phone. The best deals are usually available online but I would always recommend going into a mobile phone store first to check out the phone that you like. Ergonomics are also important, so make sure that the phone fits well in your hand and is about the right size for you.

1 comment:

Lance Vartanian said...

It can also be smart to buy a rack that would go with your mobile. This way, your gadget would not lie around in the room while being in danger of getting trampled down or being sat on. A rack would come in handy too, when you’re designating a place where your mobile should be kept.

Lance Vartanian