Friday, September 19, 2008

Choosing a mobile phone

Nowadays mobile phone has evolved into an integrated electronic gadget with lot of features and capabilities making it more than just a phone. It is of course good to have everything in your phone, with the richest feature, the latest technology, the finest capability, the longest battery life, ... with everything "in" and perfect.

Unfortunately, such phone doesn't exist. Mobile phone are designed to be strong in certain area, but secondary or weak in some other domain. There exist phones that are close to perfect, but always come with a skyrocking price tag that might be even higher than a brand new PC computer.

From the personal finance perspective, it is advisable to get a mobile phone with all the features that we really need, and forget about those features that are good to have but seldom or never use. Then, among the features that are required, we identify them according to importance to our need. This will help us to choose the most suitable model for us, and without wasting money in features that we will never use.

Here is my way in choosing a new mobile phone.

Firstly, I'll look into the features that I need:

  • 3G - Am I ready to pay extra in monthly bill for 3G usage? Am I always need to use the phone to check emails or surf Internet? Do I have a need to make video calls?
  • EDGE - Am I a Digi subscriber?
  • Wifi - Do I prefer this way to connect to Internet rather than using 3G? Is my home and office equipped with Wifi access point?
  • Bluetooth - Am I buying a PDA phone or Smart Phone which will frequently interact with my computer? Does my computer support bluetooth? Am I necessary to use a bluetooth headset?
  • Camera - Do I just need a basic camera or a high resolution one in the phone? Do I prefer to take pictures with my digital camera or with my phone? Is flash important? Do I need the phone to be my "torchlight"? Is autofocus, night mode, zoom, etc. important?
  • Screen - Do I need a high colour and big display for watching movies, see pictures, surf the net, use GPS, ... etc. or I just need a normal screen?
  • Video capture - Do I really need this feature?
  • Speaker - Will I use my phone as MP3/MP4 player?
  • FM radio - Will I use the phone to listen to radio?
  • TV receiver - Will I use the phone for TV, such as getting the news?
  • Keyboard design/layout - Am I often sending SMS? Can the keyboard facilitate for faster and easier typing?
  • Java - Do I plan to install additional applications or play games other than those come with the phone?
  • Touch screen - Do I really need this feature?
  • Stylus - Is this my preferred way which is faster for me to write, draw and manipulate the phone?
  • GPS - Do I really need this feature?
  • PDA functions - Do I need a sophisticated calendar or just a basic one? Will I use the phone as convenience device to take notes (or I still prefer paper and pen)? Is there occasion that need me to open and work on MS Office files with the phone?
By getting the answers for the above, I should have a clearer picture of what kind of phone do I plan to buy. This should help me in shorlisting some brands and models that suit my needs. Then I'll look into my preference for:
  • Design - what design I like? Big screen, flip, twist, bar, block, ...
  • Size - what size I like? slim, compact, normal, PDA style (bulky), ...
  • Memory - how much internal memory? Do I need the phone to support for external memory card?
  • Weight - everyone love a light weight phone.
  • Battery - how long can the battery last for standby, talking, online, playing video, using apps, ...?
  • Price - how much am I willing to pay?
Until this point, I will be able to choose the mobile phone I'm going to buy. If you are also planning to buy a new mobile phone, hope that this can give you some useful guides.


Anonymous said... Reply To This Comment

Thank u for sharing.
What others choice we have if we donot pick Ericson model?

Many thks

Voyager8 said... Reply To This Comment


Beside Sony Ericsson, other which are in the top 5 brands are: Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, LG.

Anonymous said... Reply To This Comment

Samsung Omnia is absolutely superb, waiting for the price come down, haha~

Voyager8 said... Reply To This Comment


This is what I mentioned that if it has most of the fancy features, it might cost you more than a brand new PC computer.

The memory of Omnia is even higher than most standard PC.

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