From Basic to Bells and Whistles
In the smartphone category, phones will have a slightly more robust feel and seek to be more of a portable office with some fun features included. Many will have a touch screen and full keypad.
If all you want is a phone to keep in touch with loved ones, these may feel somewhat overwhelming. But, for business people or active downloaders, they remain indispensable.
Choose a Wireless Carrier Wisely
Of course, the ultimate deciding factor for you might be your wireless carrier. The whole sticky issue of long-term contracts, coverage areas and hidden fees may well push you in one direction or another.
A few things to remember: You don't have to get a two-year contract. You can pay more for the phone—including full price—and get either a shorter-term or even month-to-month contract. Also, it's worth asking friends and family for their input. Shop around and see what works best for your travel or work needs.
One last bit of advice: If and when you decide to get the latest and greatest cell phone for your chatty-infotainment needs, remember to think of the needs of the planet. Check out whether you can recycle your old phone through your carrier or manufacturer—don't just toss it aside. So-called "e-waste," or electronic waste, is a growing and massive problem in the United States and overseas, and every little chance to go green can make a difference.
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