Cellular Phone Buying Guide

To stay up to date with your friends and loved ones in today's world, you need a cellular phone. While you can still pick up basic cell phones that let you make calls and do little else, many people prefer the power and speed of a smartphone. Smartphones let you surf the web, send and receive text messages and download useful apps you can use every day.

Types of Cellular Phones

The basic type of cellular phone is one that does little beyond let you make and accept phone calls. While some of these phones also let you send and receive text messages, some will not connect to the Internet. Commonly found from pay as you go companies and companies that make phones for older users, these are great phones for kids, the elderly and those who just want to replace their home phones.

A smartphone is a step up from a traditional or basic cell phone. With a smartphone, you can use your phone as a miniature computer, download apps that let you read books or keep track of the steps you take every day even log into your favorite social networking sites. Most of these phones come with either an IOS operating system from Apple or an Android operating system, but Nokia makes smartphones that use a Windows operating system that lets you connect all your Windows devices.

One of the newer types of cellular phones now available is something called a features phone. These phones come packed with unique features and apps. The problem with these phones is that the manufacturer will often put proprietary software into the phone that you cannot alter or change. This means that you can't download new apps or remove some of the apps on the phone.

As tablets become more popular, manufacturers keep looking for ways to combine cellular phones with tablets. This led to the introduction of a new phone called a a phablet. The larger size of the screen makes it easier for you to create or edit documents and do all the same things you would with a tablet. These phones are often much larger than standard cellular phones though and may not fit easily in your pocket.

Pay Attention to


All cellular phone network providers use their own networks that determine what phones will work on that system. Sprint and Verizon are two of the largest companies that use a CDMA network. If you purchase a phone to use on that network, it must be locked to that network. AT&T and T-Mobile use a GSM network that requires a SIM card. When you buy a phone from one of those providers, the shop will put a SIM card in your phone.

Operating system

You'll need to make the decision between the IOS Apple, Android or Windows operating systems. Each system will let you connect and share data between devices that use the same operating system. Apple phones come with Siri, which is a useful app that answers questions, helps you record notes for the future and even get driving directions, but most companies now have similar apps that come installed on phones. Nokia Windows phones now come equipped with a similar Cortana app.

Extra features

Look for phones that come with extra features like a biometric scanner that keeps your phone locked until it recognizes your fingerprint or a voice controlled system that responds to the sound of your voice. Many of the newer cellular phones on the market come with GPS navigation and other apps too.


New cell phones now come with cameras that can completely replace the old digital camera that you once used. Some phones feature photo editing software that lets you use filters and make changes to your images. Other phones let you adjust the amount of light, zoom in and make other professional changes to those pictures.

Battery life

You can charge your cell phone with a micro USB cord plugged into a wall outlet charger or your own computer, but you always want to check the battery life before buying a phone. Some phones have such a short battery life that you'll need to charge it every day or a few times a day. A good phone will have a battery that lasts for 12 to 24 hours or more between charges.


While you'll want to look at the amount of internal storage on a phone, you'll also want to look at the amount of memory available when you take that phone out of the box. Many companies now send phones out with a number of apps already installed that you cannot delete, which will reduce the amount of space you have for music, videos, photos and your own apps.

Top Brands and Product Lines


Windows: Nokia is one of the only cell phone manufacturers that does not make an Android or an IOS phone.


iPhone: Apple took the world by storm with its line of iPhones, which let you talk, text, chat and surf while sharing information and content between Apple devices.


Galaxy: Since releasing the first Galaxy phone, Samsung kept increasing the size of the screen while adding new features too.


LG makes a number of phones that compete head to head with those from companies like Samsung and Apple.


Despite seeing its profits drop in the modern age, Blackberry phones are still popular with those who use their phones for business purposes.


Huawei makes middle of the line smartphones that come with some of the same features as the more expensive phones do but at a smaller price.