Whether you’re shopping for an upgrade or a first time user of smartphones, the mobile phone market is now teeming with many choices that are not only loaded with amazing features but also represent added value for your money.
Here’s a quick guide on common terms and features.
Know what features you need or MIGHT need – Mobile phones are now more than just for calls and SMS. If you’re looking for a basic phone, Nokia, Samsung, LG and other manufacturers still sell basic phones but are mostly for prepaid accounts. However if you can shell out couple of extra bucks, you’ll be surprised that you’ll find models that have several features that may come in handy (task organizers, alarms, built-in radio, WiFi).
Phablets – These are smartphones combined with tablet features. Usually with larger screens and handy stylus, these can be very useful for those who travel, with business on-the-go, or those who need the powers of a mini-computer combined with phone functions.
Camera Phones – Equipped with high resolution cameras, these are ideal for travelers and everyday photographers. New smartphone models from Apple, Sony, LG, HTC and Samsung have integrated back cameras with at least 8MP, and front cameras with 2MP resolution.
Faster Browsing Speed – Internet download and upload speed is generally dependent on your data plan and service provider. However, if you need faster rates, verify with your preferred service provider what type of data signal(3G/4G or LTE) is available in your area, and then choose a phone with updated hardware that works with it.
Convenient Design – Blackberry phones offer models with QWERTY keys whereas Apple relies solely on the touchscreen and single button design. Samsung, LG, and other brands also have similar phone designs and keyboards can be access within the phone software.
Software Choices – These are the top mobile phone operating systems; Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, Blackberry. Most phone manufacturers offer Android models, whereas iOS is exclusive for iPhones. Both systems have millions of apps that you can download for free or paid.
Locked Phones – These are simply pre-configured phones from service providers and are typically cheaper and bundled with monthly plans. This means that you can’t use them with another provider until you unlock the firmware. Weigh in the pros and cons of unlocking phones because this will void the warranty.
Pre-paid or Post-Paid Plans – Pre-paid means the phone is not tied to any monthly service plans. The mobile number has to be loaded with credits in order for you to make outbound calls or messages. These can either be locked or unlocked. Additionally, post-paid phones are locked and have preloaded credits that you can consume. Your usage is dependent on the monthly plan that you are subscribed with.