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Cell Phones

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It's hard to imagine life before cell phones. Today, everyone relies on these slim, portable devices for far more than phone calls. They can do everything from making payments to playing music. There are so many options that finding just the right one requires a little bit of research to understand the changing universe of features and capabilities.

How to Choose a New Cell Phone
When you're getting ready to invest in a new phone, consider the wide range of unlocked, no-contract phones that offer plenty of flexibility, before you tie yourself into a contract. Unlocked phones work with most wireless carriers, allowing users to focus first on features and technology rather than a mobile plan. If taking pictures and sharing them on social media is the most important factor, most smartphones have megapixel counts that are as good or better than many digital cameras.

Many operating systems also have voice control features that allow users to perform functions hands-free while driving or working. Large, high-resolution screens make it much more fun to play video games or watch viral videos anywhere. Selecting the operating system gives users instant access to their favorite apps. Android phones, for example, work with the Google Play store while iOS phones sync with Apple's store.

Finding Features to Fit Your Lifestyle
People who spend a lot of time enjoying the great outdoors should look for a shatterproof screen so their mobile phone can take a tumble. Also, dust-resistant phones are ideal for all types of weather conditions, so a little rain or dirt won't interfere with a phone's basic functions. Waterproof phones can also withstand a momentary plop in a puddle or stream, saving its owner from panic when it gets temporarily waterlogged.

How Do You Choose the Right Screen Size?
The term "phablet" refers to a large-screen phone with ultra-high resolution and other features like HD or 4K onboard video cameras. The larger screen size gives them a more tablet (hence the name) experience with the added convenience of wireless connectivity anywhere. Some operating systems allow users to run multiple apps simultaneously for better multitasking. If you want a more compact phone that sits easier in a pocket or purse, phones with a smaller screen don't have quite as much of a wow factor, but still provide many of the features you want, like multi-pixel cameras and HD video recording.

Why Buy a Basic Cell Phone?
Basic phones are still an excellent option for those who don't want or need flashy features like high-resolution graphics. They are also a great choice for parents who want to keep in touch with their kids but prefer to restrict their young ones' access to the web. Simple flip phones and feature phones include important capabilities, like texting, limited web access and voicemail. Many also have tactile keyboards that make it easier for tiny, or older, fingers to use.

Why Consider the Battery Life?
If you travel a lot, look for a phone with longer battery life to save you the hassle of looking for an open charging station at the airport. If processing speed and memory are important, then batteries that will run a few hours on a single charge may suffice. Many phones include car chargers with the purchase, or users can opt to buy a rechargeable power pack or a solar charger so they can stay powered up anywhere they go.