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* We're all familiar with Caller ID. Well, some wireless phones include something called Picture ID, which allows you to associate your caller's picture with his or her number.
Once you have submitted your selections, PhoneScoop's search engine will give you back a list of phones that meet your criteria, and which carriers are likely to offer them. Now your real fun begins -- trying to actually *find* these models and get best price.
Do go to your preferred carrier's store to see and hold models you are interested in. A salesperson may even be helpful and knowledgeable about phone's features (but don't count on it!)
But before you sign, be sure you also visit your carrier's website - many offer deals for those who order their service online, which could result in some significant savings.
Note that cool models suggested by Phonescoop may cost you a pretty penny at dealer. Here is a sample of what you're likely to find for $50 and under at this writing:
** Nokia 3395: Has alarm, calculator, currency converter, can accept custom faceplates, includes 35 ringtones and capacity to download 20 more plus a ringtone composer, five games, text messaging, voice dialing and wireless Internet. Battery life nearly four hours, seven days standby. (Free from Cingular Wireless)
** Motorola T193: Alarm, calculator, calendar, custom faceplates, 11 ringtones, one game, a headset jack, wireless internet using high speed data technology, and text messaging. Battery Life is four hours, four days standby. (Free from T-Mobile)
** Kyocera KWC 2235: Has alarm, calculator, 25 ringtones plus you can customize them using Kyocera desktop software, high speed wireless internet capability, four games, headset jack, text messaging, voice dialing and voice memo. Battery life is just under four hours, six days standby. ($49.99 from Verizon)
** Samsung SPH-N240: Has alarms, calculator, calendar, to-do list, two games, GPS, headset jack, 20 builtin polyphonic ringtones, voice dialing. Battery Life is just two hours, eight days standby. ($49.99 if purchased online with new service by Sprint)
So that's what you can get for nearly free. How much more can you have if you're willing to shell out $100-$400?
Let's look at one of most popular phones on market right now: Motorola v60.
The v60 is a clamshell-type phone with a second display feature on front cover, which allows you to see who's calling without first opening phone. (Convenient if you're screening your calls.) You can customize its look with replaceable front and back covers -- one of several accessories which make this model love of wireless phone junkies everywhere. These include an FM stereo headset and MP3 player as well as a nifty handsfree car kit.
Other built-in phone features include an alarm, calculator, calendar, games, text messaging, voice dialing, voice memo, and wireless internet capability. Battery life is four hours talk and up to 10 days standby.
Almost every carrier in my area offers a version of v60 with prices varying from $199 to $299 -- for NEW customers. Depending on carrier, existing customers may have to pay close to retail price of $379 (listed on Motorola's website for purchases without new activation of a plan).
For some inexplicable reason, once your contract ends and you decide to upgrade to a newer phone, many of carriers will charge you retail - even if you re-up with a new two-year contract. In my opinion, this is a great way to encourage your long-time customers to switch service providers.
But bottom line is: are extra features in "premium" models enough to warrant paying extra money? The description of Motorola v60 above doesn't differ all that much from that of another Motorola model, T193, which one carrier is *giving away* to new customers. In fact, it's got just about every feature most home-based entrepreneurs would need.
With mobile phones, you may not be able to have it all... but by doing your homework and careful comparisons, you can come close -- and save money to boot. Which is better music to my ears than any old ringtone!
Donna Schwartz Mills writes about the specific needs of work at home parents at her website, The ParentPreneur Club, "For Parents Who Want Choices, Not Office Politics." Tools, tips and advice you need to help grow your home based business while raising a family. < http://www.parentpreneurclub.com >