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How To Choose a Cell Phone

If you’ve been to a cell phone store recently, you know how confusing it can be to choose the right one – unless you’ve thought ahead.


  • Step 1: Figure out your needs Think about how you use your phone. For quick calls? Constant chatting? Emergencies only? Text messaging? Sending photos? Checking E-mail? Do you need Bluetooth or international roaming? Refer to your old bills, if you have them.
  • TIP: Find out if you can upgrade your phone with your current plan.
  • Step 2: Ask loved ones about their phones Ask family and friends if they--apostrophe--re happy with their phones. Find out what their plans are and who provides their service. If you can, join the same carrier as your family; many companies won--apostrophe--t charge you for in-network calls.
  • TIP: Find out what local carrier has the best service. There--apostrophe--s nothing worse than signing up with a new carrier just to realize the service stinks.
  • Step 3: Make a pros and cons list List what you like and dislike about your current phone. Does it fit in your pocket? Do you wish it had a camera? Does the battery always need charging? Do you just plain not know how to use it? This will help you decide what to look for in a new phone.
  • TIP: Go online and research what other people think about their phones.
  • Step 4: Set a budget Decide how much you want to spend. Do some comparison shopping online. Phones range from free to pricey. If what you want is too expensive, go for fewer features.
  • TIP: You can donate your old cell phone to a charity that will refurbish it.
  • Step 5: Compare models on line Compare cell phones with each other online.
  • Step 6: Check out phones in person One you--apostrophe--ve narrowed the field, check out the different models in person at a store. Hold them to your ear, punch the buttons -- get a feel for the phones in your budget.
  • TIP: When researching, be sure to find out what accessories are included in the price of the phone, such as chargers, headsets, and protective pouches.
  • Step 7: Ask lots of questions Ask the salesperson plenty of questions. He likely receives a lot of feedback on each model, and should be able to give you the pros and cons of each.
  • Step 8: Request a trial period Before leaving with your new phone, ask if there--apostrophe--s a --quote--trial period--quote-- that will allow you to exchange your phone.
  • FACT: The first cell phone call was made in April 1973 by Motorola manager Dr. Martin Cooper, who is credited with inventing the cell phone. He phoned his counterpart at AT&T-- to announce he had beaten him to the punch!

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