Video:Buy a Cell Phonewith Brett Larson
Cell phones aren't just for making calls anymore. There are tons of great features available from built-in cameras to Web access. Find out what's available.See Transcript
Transcript:Buy a Cell PhoneChoosing the perfect cell phone is about as easy as doing your taxes. There are literally hundreds of sizes and shapes with dozens of features to choose from. But, there are some ways to simplify your search.
PriceFirst, you have to set your budget--know how much you want to spend and don't pay extra for functions or services you don't need.
Cell Phone Plan TypesNext, pick a plan. Decide if you want to get a prepaid plan, or a monthly service plan. The advantage of prepaid is you'll never experience the agony of overage charges. If you go monthly, you should find a plan with the number of minutes you think you'll need. You can always adjust the numbers later on if necessary.
ResearchYou should also ask friends in your area which service plan they have. Find out if they're happy with the company and the coverage.
Cell Phone Size and ShapeOnce you've picked your plan, then it's time to think about size and shape. If you plan to carry it with you everywhere, you might want to go smaller. The flip cover phone tends to be smaller and protects the keys better than the candy bar phone-but with the bar you can access your functions a little quicker.
BatteryYou should also check out the phone's battery life, especially if you're using it as your primary phone like I do. Look for a battery life of more than three hours of continuous talk time and five days of standby time.
Additional FunctionalityOk, now, it's time to talk features. My favorite part! Today's cell phones can do everything from making calls, to checking email, to taking pictures. When deciding on features you have to decide what exactly you want to use your phone for. For example, if you're planning on tossing it in the car to have in case of an emergency then it wouldn't make much since to get a souped up cell. But, if it's going to be the one device you carry around at all times, it might be worth your while to get some fun extras.
One of those fun extras, a camera. You can take pictures or shoot brief video clips and then send them to your friends.
You can also pick up phones with text messaging, instant messaging, and email that allow for quick chats without making a call. Most new cells also offer Caller ID enabling you to see who's calling before you open the cover. This one's from mom. I'll talk to her later.
Browsing the Mobile WebIf your phone has a Wireless Access Protocol or WAP, a microbrowser will let you surf the web wirelessly. Oh, you may have heard of bluetooth and infrared. No, it's not some dental procedure; both features will let you wirelessly connect with other devices like your PDA or PC.
For me, the tech geek, more is better. My cell lets me take photos, shoot video, surf the web, check my email. It has my contacts, calendar and oh yeah, it lets me make phone calls.
Deciding on a cell phone isn't easy, but since most of us nowadays use our cell phones so frequently, it's a decision you'll want to make carefully. I'm Brett Larson, About Gadgets.
About videos are made available on an "as is" basis, subject to the User Agreement.