Cell Phone Features

Frequency bands

Whether your phone runs off of dual, tri or quad band, there is always a frequency which it will work on. All phones sold in the US must be at least dual-band and so can be used throughout North America. A tri-band phone will work in Central and South America although some areas may need a quad-band device.

Memory

Memory cards allow you to store extra pictures and music
All mobile phones have a memory which allows you to save information. Basic models will usually only have a small internal memory, but this is only sufficient for limited functions such as storing contact details and text messages.

However if you have a more advanced cell phone to take lots of pictures or store music then you’ll need a larger memory. Some internal memories now hold over 16GB of information but removal memory cards are a more common solution.

Keypad

Most phones have similar key layouts. However the buttons themselves can vary in size, with some slim handsets having tiny keys. Ensure you choose a phone that you’re comfortable with.
A new trend is the introduction of touch-screens, such as can be found on the I-Phone. These replace the conventional keypad by allowing you to control the phone using a touch sensitive display. This enables the phone to have much larger screen, handy for viewing photos.

Camera phones

The typical cell phone camera resolution is now over 1 megapixel. This is still short of the standard mid-range digital cameras, but resolutions are rising, and there are a fair few phones around with 2-3 megapixel cameras.
Newer phones have even breached the 8 megapixel threshold. Developments in mobile photography have been staggering and phones boasting even higher resolutions are just around the corner.

Flight mode

This lets you play music when your phone is off – this is a very handy feature when on an aircraft, where phones cannot be left on.

Games

Most phones come with a few games, ranging from basic 2D games like chess to 3D games such as ‘V-Rally II’.

If you like gaming, choose a phone with the Java packet, this is the software used to produce most games. You can then download more from your phone network or from game supplier’s websites.

Smart-phones

These combine the functions of a cell phone with the benefits of a handheld computer, allowing you to send and receive emails and documents as well as make calls all while on the go.
While originally just the preserve of businessmen, smart-phones have moved into the mainstream to become a product that you can pick up at your local store.

GPS

The latest trend, following on from cameras and music players, is to add a navigation system to handsets.
The software and receiver are usually supplied as part of the phone, and you then pay to download the maps you require.