This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.
How To Video: Select the right phone design
About Video Transcript

How To Video: Select the right phone design

2:03 /

There's more to a great phone than just a pretty screen. Learn about the three basic types of cell phones and their relative advantages and drawbacks.

Hey, I??m Donald Bell, and we??re shopping for a phone. Now, regardless of which carrier you??ve chosen or what type of plan you??re gonna have, there really only a few types of phone to choose from. The first thing I think about is design which breaks down to three general types. You have your basic phones, phones with keyboards and touchscreen phones. Basic phones are dying breed but they??re still a good choice for someone who wants an uncomplicated phone. Typically, these are flip phones with a screen and a physical numeric keyboard, they??re usually pretty cheap and some people still like this classic design but they??re short on features. So if you want a phone that you can use as an e-mail or browse the web or [unk] send text messages, that??s where these phones come in the way. Phones with a physical keyboard are great for people who are just getting used to the idea of typing on their phone, but they??re also great for people who type all the time. The trade off is that these slide out style phones are usually thicker and heavier than touchscreen phones. On a touchscreen phone, all the controls and the keyboard are right there on the screen. This is the dominant format right now. The trade off here is that any damage of the screen is going to affect everything you do on the phone. I see people walking around all the time with a cracked smartphone caused by drop on the sidewalk. So if you go this route, a case is a good idea. Now, another term you??re gonna hear a lot of when describing phones is feature phones versus smartphones. A smartphone is any kind of phone that runs a name brand OS. This is where you??ll find the iPhone, Blackberry, Android and Windows. These are essentially computers that fit in your pocket and can also make calls. Feature phones give you the messaging, e-mail and web browsing capability of a smartphone but they were on customized software. Typically the less expensive in gear towards teenagers but they don??t have the extensive capabilities and app selection of smartphones. So there you, that??s an overview of the types of designs you??re gonna find when you??re out there shopping for a cellphone. More cellphone buying and buy struck of the other videos in this buying guide. For CNET.com, I??m Donald Bell.
  • This is the interactive sidebar!

    Click any icon for more information as they appear--don't worry, we'll pause the video and wait for you to come back.

  • Links Polls Galleries
  • Video Review

New releases

DeLorean DMC 12: Still awesome,...
13:18 October 20, 2014
The DeLorean DMC is one of the most iconic cars of the 20th century. XCAR got behind the wheel and charts...
Play video
Netbooks: What were we thinkin...
4:00 October 20, 2014
These often-ridiculed, low-powered laptops were crushed by the iPad, but had an important part to play in...
Play video
This umbrella shoots air to keep...
5:41 October 17, 2014
This week on Crave, we get a look at the Air Umbrella, which takes a highly unusual approach to keeping you...
Play video
Apple's iPad Air 2 and iMac 5K...
5:02 October 17, 2014
Apple makes solid upgrades across their product line at their iPad and Mac event, but it's pretty clear they...
Play video
Pricey Sylvania LED not the brightest...
1:37 October 17, 2014
Look further than this expensive bulb if you want a high-lumen LED.
Play video
The 404 Show 1,567: Teens deal...
45:07 October 17, 2014
It's a super clean show today! We'll talk about the real life social implications of "FOMO," interesting data...
Play video
Apple SIM could mean big changes...
2:55 October 17, 2014
Apple's new iPads make it easy to switch carriers, Will.i.am debuts his version of a smartwatch, and CBS joins...
Play video
Best selfie phones
2:54 October 17, 2014
For the unabashedly narcissistic, five phone for selfie pros.
Play video