Ever since cell phones became highly-intelligent “smart” devices that are part of our daily lives, it has become increasingly important to perform extreme research before making a purchase. It’ll likely be two years before you can buy another one at a reasonable price, so you best get it right. Side-by-side comparisons, infographics and 360 views can all help you make an educated decision. Here are cell phone purchasing resources that get a RotorBlog thumbs up!
One of my first stops over the past decade, Phonescoop.com offers one of the better phone finders out there. Filter by carrier, user rating, O/S, battery life and more. The “Weighted finder” gives you a sick amount of detail – down to built-in productivity software and headset jack type. With over 775k people across the world visiting each month, the discussion boards are active and the cell phone video tours are useful in seeing how the phones operate.
My only beef is that it is a little difficult to differentiate paid ads from content. But they’ve gotta pay the bills, right?
When shopping for a cell phone, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who is not considering more than one phone. If you’re a stickler for details and total datahead, Mobiledia allows you to compare up to 25 phones at once. You can also search by feature or even the phone’s release date.
One of the Mobiledia’s most useful features is their sub-site CellRisk. Here you can sort phones by low/high radiation. No one knows conclusively if cell phones cause brain cancer, but by the time there’s enough research, do you want to be the wrong side of the stats? Learn all about SAR (specific absorption rate) and which phones to avoid.
The site also offers the latest cell phone news, including this recent story about a self-charging cell phone.
You can also take the Perfect Phone Quiz, a fun approach to finding the gadget that best suits your needs.
If you haven’t been to BillShrink, you obviously like to waste money. Offering money-saving recommendations and unbiased information, BillShrink has a great cell phone section that give you a better understanding of the “lifetime” cost of a cell phone.
On the first step, you are presented with images of each phone. You then filter by budget, color, need for physical keyboard, carrier, etc. Then find the plan that’s right for you by inputting your desired price, minute usage, zip code and more. You can even tell the system if you’re currently under contract and it will help determine which providers the people you call most often are using.
Also see MyRatePlan.com
If you are concerned about cell phone radiation levels, then CNET is a must visit. Their comprehensive list is updated regularly.
CNET also has a nifty buying guide that can help you navigate tricky cell phone jargon. If terms like CDMA and GSM are Greek to you, you can learn more here.
Thanks to a partnership between CNET and Root Wireless, you can also check a carrier’s service coverage in your area. Choose between signal, data and network, and find out the download/upload speeds in a given area. Determine where signal strength is the weakest – the results might surprise you!
Also chock full of resources are sites like WireFly and LetsTalk. These destinations exist to sell phones. That’s important to keep in mind when researching. But they do offer a ton of resources if you’re in the market for a new phone.
Cell phones are always replaceable, but since most of us are beholden to contract terms, it is important to research a phone before buying it. Carriers have varying return policies with one consistent theme: you usually have to jump through hoops.Â Get it right the first time by using the resources above and save yourself a cell phone-induced headache.