How To Video: Key phone features to consider
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How To Video: Key phone features to consider

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Today's cell phones are packed with features, but which ones matter most to you? Donald Bell covers everything from cell phone camera quality to app selection.

You??re shopping for a phone, you??re nailed on the choice between a smartphone or featured phone and now you have three or four feature series they??re considering. Let??s take a look at some key features that will help you make a decision. You??re shopping for a smartphone, one of the big concerns is compatibility. Is it gonna work with the software and services you rely on? Calendars, e-mail, and documents. If you??re already committed to Apple services like iTunes and iCloud, your choice is already narrowed down for you. But Google fans don??t have to commit to an Android device to take advantage of services like Gmail or Google Docs. Another big one for the smartphones is network speed. Does it run on the latest 4G data network technology? Which phone will retrieve your e-mail and connect into the web the fastest? Don??t forget that faster speeds might mean more data usage. Make sure to watch your plan limits. Camera quality is a big concern now that people are retiring their point-and-shoot cameras for their cellphones. Higher megapixels aren??t always better, so give it a test drive. Also notice that it has a flash from taking photos in low light, and while you??re at it, think about storage capacity. This thing is your new camera. You wanna know how many photos and videos it can hold and how to transfer those over to your computer. Assuming that you??re actually gonna use your phone for making calls, what??s the call quality like? How loud is the speaker phone? Is the address book easy to use? Also, take a moment to evaluate the screen quality. Now that these phones are 50% screen, this is a big deal. Is one phone easier to read than the other? If the keyboard is on the screen, test it down and see if you can type on it accurately. Give the other physical controls to spend to. This thing is ringing in your pocket; how long it??s gonna take you to find the answer button? Think about battery life, can you buy a spare battery for the phone? Is the charging cable easy to replace if you lose it? And finally, apps. Most phones have some kind of built-in store, we can purchase software and games. Which one has a better selection of the stuff you want? Maybe you??ve already purchased apps for a phone or tablet and you want something that??s compatible. All of these are criteria that you can use to help cut down your options until you get to the perfect phone. And we have even more for you over at CNET cellphone buying guide. I??m Donald Bell, happy shopping.
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