Cell Phone Deals

Oh how the cell phone landscape has changed in the last 3 years. The iPhone launched and all of a sudden the Smartphone was a phone suited for everyone. Before that it was relegated to the IT folks of the world or the business power users, you know the ones that had to always be connected to the Net no matter where they went.

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First things is first, decide what the phone will be used for. Are you looking to JUST make calls and receive text messages? Then you don’t need a smartphone, or a phone with a touchscreen. In fact you need what is called a dumb phone, one that doesn’t sport a full web browswer, touchscreen or anything too fancy. Nokia makes some of the best of these, but there are a variety of options out there.

But if you plan on surfing the web, checking email and running a myriad of apps then you’ll want a smartphone. Smartphones of today generally have touchscreen and a powerful processor for running many apps at the same time. We’re giant fans of the iPhone but also support the Android phones. Unlike the iPhone, the Android phones are made by a variety of manufactures, including Motorola, HTC, Samsung and few others. For a long time HTC has made smartphones, so there always a trusted brand. But that isn’t to say the other brands don’t make a great phone.

In terms of touchscreen accuracy the iPhone is the best. But on the other hand there is only one model in terms of look and feel, so if you’re looking to separate yourself from the pact and want a physical keyboard you’ll want to look to an Android device. Also, the Android devices, as of March 2011, still boasted a more advanced version of Google Maps that provides a 3D view and vector rendering – it’s faster and better than what is on the iPhone. And some Android phones allow you to tether your phone to your computer and use it as a modem so you can surf the web any where you go. Great if you work remotely.

When it comes to price you should be able to get most smartphones for under $200 when you sign a 2-year contract. However, we suggest that you look at places like Amazon, Wifrefly and a few other vendor, who often sell the handsets at a steep discount on the launch day or at least a few days after launch. Keep in mind that you can purchase handsets that are “Unlocked”, meaning they’ll work with a compatible carrier. Just make sure the phone’s frequency is compatible with whatever carrier you plan on getting a plan with. If you choose to go the route of “unlocked”, you shouldn’t have to sign a contract with the provider. Unfortunately, Apple refuses to unlock the iPhone so it can only be used on AT&T or Verizon, though with some technical tinkering you can get around this.

At the end of the day there are new handsets coming out all the time. The Android and iPhone’s are a great option because the makers issue operating system updates which enhance the feature set of the phone and provide new functionality. Though on occasion some handsets, like the second iPhone, the iPhone 3G, are no longer supported with new operating system updates. Apple is notorious for making small tweaks between devices so we recommend waiting to buy a new one at least every two years. The same applies to the Android market, though those phones are released more often since they’re made by a variety of manufacturers.