Welcome to the 411, my Q&A column answering all your questions about cell phones and cell phone accessories. I receive plenty of questions about these subjects via e-mail, so I figured many of you might have the same questions, too. At times, I might solicit answers from readers if I'm stumped. Send your questions and comments to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you prefer to remain anonymous, let me know in the e-mail.
I'm moving to Europe some time in the next month, and would like to get an Android phone in the interim. I'm interested in both the Nexus One and the Droid. Do you know which one I should get? -- Hank, via e-mail
Since you're moving to Europe, a Nexus One would probably be best because it's an unlocked GSM phone that you can use with any SIM chip in the world. I would definitely opt for the no-contract version here of course, since you don't want to be tied down to T-Mobile. The Motorola Droid, on the other hand, is a Verizon/CDMA product that you would not be able to transfer over easily. But if you have your heart set on the Droid, you can try to get the Motorola Milestone, which is its GSM cousin. As far as I can tell, it's virtually identical in almost every other way.
I saw your CNET article concerning cell phone radiation. Do you have any information on cell network extenders like the Verizon Wireless Network Extender that supposedly improves your cell coverage within the home. I assume the unit would emit radiation, but would it be anymore than say from a wireless router? Also since the cell phone receives a stronger signal would it decrease the level of radiation? -- Albert, via e-mail
That's a good question. I would assume that extenders do emit some radiation, but I don't think it is a significant amount. Plus, you're not keeping the extender next to your head the whole day. As for your other concern, a cell phone that has a strong signal could theoretically have less radiation because it's not constantly looking for a cell tower, but I do not have actual scientific basis to back that claim up. If you're still concern about cell phone radiation, I would refer to our radiation chart to look up the SAR (specific absorption rate) of your phone, according to the FCC.
Hello, I am a fan of CNET. I read comments and find them a reliable source for making decisions. I have decided to move from AT&T to Verizon. I am a professor, so I don't need a lot of apps or games. I like practicality and and productivity, but I don't need nor desire a smartphone; however, I do enjoy listening to music on my pone, currently have the LGTrax. Now I am ready to upgrade. With a little research, I am torn between the LG Chocolate Touch and the LG EnV Touch--both have received good reviews. I should also mention that Wi-Fi is not important to me either. I text more because people I know text me, so I am more into it now. My question is, what is your opinion? -- LJ, via e-mail
Both the LG Chocolate Touch and the LG EnV Touch make good multimedia phones. The Chocolate has a bit more of an edge in the music department thanks to its Dolby settings, but the EnV Touch is pretty good, too. Since you like texting, you might want to consider the EnV Touch since that has a good physical QWERTY keyboard. Plus, the EnV Touch is currently $30 cheaper than the Chocolate Touch.