Buying a cell phone should be easy, right? All you need to do is go to a store and buy a handset that you like. Well, it is not quite that simple. You not only have to select a handset, but also have to select a provider or carrier. And with so many choices available today, it is not that simple to buy a phone.
CDMA Or GSM
It is often recommended that you should first select a provider and then mobile phone. This is important because in the United States, wireless carriers operate on two different networks. One is known as Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) and the other is known as Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM). Since both these networks use different technology for the transmission of voice and data, one cannot buy a GSM cell phone and operate it on CDMA network and vice versa.
So the first thing you have to do is choose between CDMA and GSM. CDMA phones provide good coverage, especially in the rural areas. However, if you are somebody who often remains on the move, then you should opt for GSM carrier. GSM phones are used in Europe and other countries. Moreover, if you opt for GSM, you will have a wider choice of handsets.
Once you have selected a cell phone provider, you have to choose your plan. You can opt for prepaid phones. This means that you have to pay for the service beforehand. Once you have used up your service, you can recharge the same.
Whether you buy prepaid or post paid plan, make sure that you read the fine prints carefully before you sign on the dotted lines. Make sure that you know the cell phone rates that you will be charged. Also, find out if you have to pay extra in the event you terminate your contract before its expiry date. Also, make sure that you are aware of the extra fees that you will be charged for making international calls and for activation.
Selecting The Phone
Once you have selected your service provider and plan, you are ready to select your cell phone. Depending on your budget and needs, you can opt for a cheap cell phone or an expensive one.
Today, most of the mobile handsets are loaded with features. Make sure that you select the features you need. Why should you spend extra on features you are never going to use?
In other words, if you need a handset for only making calls, then select the one with basic features. However, if you require a handset for e-mailing, browsing, and organizing, then you need to buy a high-end handset. Obviously, this will cost you more.
Handsets with features, such as camera, music player, streaming live TV, video streaming, 3G, and Bluetooth, are usually expensive.
Besides the features, you should consider the style of the cell phone. Do you prefer a flip phone or a candy bar phone? Are you more comfortable with slider phones? Whichever type of handset you select, make sure that you are comfortable using it.
See how it holds against your ear. Is the text clearly visible? Is it easy to use the keyboard? Basically you need to test the phone before you buy it.
Finally, do not forget to judge the performance of the phone. In other words, the handset that you select should have a good call quality, battery life, and photo and music quality.
A careful consideration of all the aforementioned factors will help you buy a cell phone that you will be satisfied with in the long run.