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While at one time it was an amazing advancement to have a phone that you could use anywhere, today’s cell phones have gone well beyond providing a vehicle for people to talk to each other. Today, we can rely on our phones to take pictures, send e-mails and play music, where carrying around a number of gadgets used to be the only way to accomplish these things on the go.

With so many options available, it’s important to make sure you are getting what you need and not paying for what you won’t use when buying a new cell phone. Here is a guide for selecting a phone, depending on what you want out of it.

Check your service options

Cell phone plans often dictate what model of phone can be used with them. If you are already enrolled in a plan, be sure to check what service options are available and make sure your provider offers the services you are looking for. You may also have to look at other options your provider offers as well, as plans for prepaid cell phones may not offer the same options as a more comprehensive data plan.

Smart phones

For those looking for a do-it-all phone, smart phones are a great way to go. Many smart phones behave more like a mobile computer, featuring data storage for things like music and mobile applications, as well as cameras and the capability to connect to the Internet. Check with your cell phone service provider to see what type of plans are offered for smart phone users. Pay close attention to what is contained in data plans, as some plans offer unlimited Internet service, while others restrict the amount of surfing you can do each month.

Feature phones

Feature phones offer more limited features, like GPS or social networking applications, but don’t have the complex integrated operating systems as smart phones or the capacity for third-party applications. If you aren’t reliant on your cell phone for the total multimedia experience, you may find a feature phone that will have what you want while also carrying a reasonable price tag.

Basic phones

If you find yourself among the population that still uses cell phones mainly for talking and texting, you may be inclined to opt for a basic phone. Many providers offer these phones for free for new customers, but be aware that it might require you to sign a contract to remain with that company for a certain period of time, and that may not cover a new phone if yours breaks.

When selecting a new phone, you’ll see that the possibilities are almost endless in terms of what you can do with it. But to get the best value, make sure to compare different phones and their capabilities, as well as how much you will have to spend to unlock all the potential for your phone.

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Author: Andy Quayle

Andy was born in the Isle of Man and currently lives in Pittsburgh.
Known globally as a willing source for tech news and views, Andy takes great pride in consultation and education.

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