Tips for Picking Out the Right Mobile Phone
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Published by TOP4 Team
It's almost impossible to imagine life today without having your own mobile phone to use as you please. The days of relying on nothing but landlines inside a home, office or commercial establishment to contact someone are long gone; nowadays, everyone has a personal mobile phone number so they can be reached directly. And aside from making calls and sending text messages, today's mobile devices are also used for connecting to the Internet to send emails, browse websites, operate apps, capture photos and videos, and so much more.
So where do you start if your goal is to select a mobile phone that fits your individual needs, requirements and capabilities? Check out the brief guide below.
1. Decide on a workable budget that you can set aside for purchasing a mobile phone. A quality phone will cost a significant amount of money, so you need to determine if your budget can accommodate the purchase after settling all your other financial obligations like rent, food, utilities, petrol and other regular expenses. You also have to factor in your mobile bills, which you must be able to pay on time like any other bill.
2. Choose a mobile service provider. Not all service providers are able to offer good coverage in all areas, so pick the company that provides good coverage in your location for uninterrupted service.
3. Decide if you need or want a prepaid plan or a contract. Choosing a prepaid plan means that you need to buy "credit" first so you can pay for the calls you make and services you use. When this credit is used up, you won't be able to make any more calls until you load more money into the phone.
A prepaid plan can help keep your mobile spending in check, because you can buy credit only when you need to use the phone. However, mobile service providers typically lock the SIM cards of prepaid phones to their network. If you want to switch to a different service provider, you will have to pay a fee to unlock the phone.
Alternately, you can choose to sign up for a mobile phone contract, which typically runs for 12, 24 or 36 months. You have to choose a "cap" or the amount you will pay each month to be able to make calls, send text messages, browse the Internet and use other services. Exceeding the monthly cap will cause you to pay extra, so you should choose a cap that will meet your need to use the services on the phone without going over (consider the number of calls you make per month, the average length of the calls, and the time of day when you make the calls).
4. Make a shortlist of the features you like or need in a mobile phone, and use that list to figure out which phone brands and models provide the best match. The more features a phone has, the more costly it will be.
Some of the common features you should consider are maximum memory capacities, Bluetooth and infrared connectivity, a specific amount of Internet data to download each month, roaming, voicemail, ringtones, etc. While consulting a salesperson regarding a phone's included features ca be helpful, be vigilant about doing your own research and combing through a specific device's information so you can be sure that the unit you are considering has the features you need, and none of the ones that you don't need and shouldn't pay for.
5. Decide if you plan to buy insurance and extended warranty. You have the option to buy insurance or not; most policies can cover accidental damage, loss or theft of your phone, but not if the phone is stolen after being left unattended.
A warranty, on the other hand, is a basic right of the consumer to purchase a product of good quality and condition. Within the warranty period, you can get your phone replaced if it turns out to be faulty, or repaired, depending on your network service connection agreement. However, some stores may urge you to buy extended warranty, which is an additional warranty that covers repairs and maintenance for a given time period. But look over your agreement carefully first to determine if such a purchase can truly give you more rights than you already have with the regular warranty.