The Running Commentary

Which cellphone (mobile) is for me?

mobileI get asked a number of times a day, “Hey Mike which phone should I get?” Generally I answers these with “What do you want it for?” and then we talk and more times than not we end up not agreeing on my answer, basically because the person has a predetermined position at the start of the conversation.I have therefore come up with a simple questionnaire below which will help you decide what phone is for you:

1. Is the combination of your made and received calls per day more than 10
a. Yes – then you qualify for a mobile phone (move to question 3)
b. No – you do not qualify for a mobile phone – this is no longer a status symbol so move on and enjoy the fact that people cannot get hold of you at will. You will probably forget to turn it on anyway!

2. I “need” to use it for texting only (sms’s)
a. You do not need a cellphone to do this, get a piece of paper and pen and write a letter. The grammar will be better the recipient will think “how thoughtful”, the post office will love you and generally you will feel better.

3. If you answered “yes” to question one, then decide how much you want to spend and go and buy the best looking phone you can for that money – that’s the one that you want anyway!

Right now I have the cynical stuff out of the way. In short your decision on which phone is suitable for you must be based on the following key points (I have not ranked them as I consider them equally important)

• Talk time & Standby time – no good having something that dies after and hour or two of talking
• Screen resolution and type – important to be able to see those video’s and pictures you can shoot from the at least 3 megapixel camera that should come as a standard with your phone
• Sound – you need to decide which is more important here a) listening to your caller or b) listening to the MP3’s you have downloaded
• Connectivity – Anything that does not have HSDP (3.5g) is no good at all, you need to be able to connect at lightening speeds to get your content.
• Operating system – This is a consideration for the techno guys out there – (Symbian 60 or Microsoft Mobile are just two of them) if you do not know what I am talking about here then don’t worry it’s just a phone anyway.
• Applications (proprietary or developed for) – are these free or add-on’s for sale, Some phones claim that you can do it, but without buying the add-on you can’t. While these are very often not that expensive they are third party and come with no guarantees. Third-party apps are only as good as the last version and can be very unstable as they are built for one model then adapted for others. I must add though that some third party apps are better than those that come pre-loaded, so there is a lost of merit in supporting this developers.
• Size – Some are large some are small, others wide and yet others thick (now some of you are really interested). Dimensions are not indication of capability (you that famous line size does not matter) well in this case it does not. However you may need to consider things like your daily routine (on your belt, in your pocket).
• Keyboard / Keypad – If you are using your phone for emails (through active synch or Microsoft exchange server or the like) then typing might be problematic if you have a small phone and alpha numeric (if your 2 key has “abc” next to it then you have an alphanumeric keypad) keypads are not great for this either. Some phones come with a stylus, I must confess to hating these inputs as most people stick it in their mouth anyway and work with their fingers. Really expensive toothpick if you ask me!
• Coolness Factor – I have put this in because it is real. Coolness is defined by user ability to extract functionality and not looks only. The apple iPhone is cool now because it has 3G (my view anyway) and not because of the looks. You determine this factor completely.

There are a number of other things to consider but I think that the above points will cover just about all of it. Whatever your decision make sure you can extract the most value out of your purchase.

cellphonechoiceHSDPiphonemicrosoftmobilemotorolanokiasonysymbian 60value

Mike • August 13, 2008

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