Mobile Phones

Mobile phones are small, convenient alternatives to home phones that require a base receiver unit and an additional adapter. Before purchasing a mobile phone, one must consider a few aspects that will be important during its use: touch screen size, the price to replace the battery and the cost of the carrier service if it is a blackberry-style phone.

Mobile Phone Batteries
New phones will normally have a strong battery life of about eight hours, or four hours talk time. Sometimes it is less, sometimes more; it depends on the model and the brightness controls of the phone.

If you are purchasing an old phone, be prepared to spend up to $40 on a new battery; the old lithium ion battery may die in as little as three hours of use, including minimal talk time. To avoid this major inconvenience, purchase a new phone that includes the price of the battery and provides some warranty or guarantee of replacement, in case it fails in the first few months.

Tip: Turn down the brightness if possible, and you can extend the battery life for a day or two, in some cases.

Touch Screen or Keypads?
When you’re deciding on a phone, check to be sure that the touch screen doesn’t get messy after just a few clicks through a simple menu. If it becomes messy quickly, then in all likelihood it will be a hassle to carry around; an eyesore, requiring regular wiping tissues. Often, a greasy screen–due to its sheer size on the phone–will cause you to drop it, suffering damages to the product.

Note: This is one of the least desirable situations with mobile phones: a broken earpiece due to mishandling. Most phone companies will simply charge you to replace the phone, and won’t bother to repair it.

But which is best, touch screen or keypad? It truly depends on the user. A user with big fingers will not be able to type using a keypad, at least not very well. Meanwhile, a touch screen will enable that same user with big fingers to type effortlessly, without ever having to fiddle with tiny buttons.

Company Phones vs. Brand Phones
Some companies like Verizon, LG and others provide phones that are excellent and effective for office and home use. If you don’t mind the cheap plastic, this may be the phone that works best for you.

Brand phones, produced by the same manufacturers who make company phones, are often much higher quality mobile phones. They have sleeker displays, more features, better software, and can outperform the most generic phones.

More importantly, brand phones often have better cameras built in. While company phones tend to have one megapixel cameras, the brand phones tend to be more high-end, with up to three megapixel cameras.

Mobile Phone Pricing
If you are choosing a mobile phone from a brand company…then you can expect the price to be anywhere from $70 to $400. The BlackBerry and iPhone styled phones, with data service plan requirements, are generally over $100 in price. The basic phones with a camera and calendar features tend to be priced around $100 or less.

While the more pricey models will accommodate any use — office, home or personal — without a hitch, the less expensive, basic phones will not function as well for the office. They will have chunkier controls, less access to the web due to poor arrangement of keys –or, you will note, the complete absence of a keypad.

Data Service Costs
Because of their Internet-specific design, many smartphones will often require a $30 a month data plan for Internet access. This may or may not be worth the price, but a carrier will usually not activate a smartphone unless a plan has been chosen. Shop carefully for the better priced data plan, as the company who provides the cell service will try to lock you into a 2-year contract.

Whether you are purchasing a new mobile phone or a used one, the purpose of the phone will play a large part in the buying decision. Choose a basic phone if you are looking to text friends and make calls around town, but if you are a business user, purchase an iPhone or BlackBerry with a well-priced data plan. Every mobile phone has a keypad or touchscreen today, making that choice will require you to know what will be most comfortable for you, and consequently the longevity of the mobile phone.