Going Mobile (Part 3): Finding the 'Perfect' Wireless Phone

Written by Donna Schwartz Mills

Continued from page 1

* 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 getrepparttar best price.

Do go to your preferred carrier's store to see and holdrepparttar 117489 models you are interested in. A salesperson may even be helpful and knowledgeable aboutrepparttar 117490 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 thatrepparttar 117491 cool models suggested by Phonescoop may cost you a pretty penny atrepparttar 117492 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 repparttar 117493 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 ofrepparttar 117494 most popular phones onrepparttar 117495 market right now:repparttar 117496 Motorola v60.

The v60 is a clamshell-type phone with a second display feature onrepparttar 117497 front cover, which allows you to see who's calling without first openingrepparttar 117498 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 modelrepparttar 117499 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 ofrepparttar 117500 v60 with prices varying from $199 to $299 -- for NEW customers. Depending onrepparttar 117501 carrier, existing customers may have to pay close torepparttar 117502 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 ofrepparttar 117503 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.

Butrepparttar 117504 bottom line is: arerepparttar 117505 extra features inrepparttar 117506 "premium" models enough to warrant payingrepparttar 117507 extra money? The description ofrepparttar 117508 Motorola v60 above doesn't differ all that much from that of another Motorola model,repparttar 117509 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 >

Going Mobile, Part 1: Wireless Phone Service for Your Home Business

Written by Donna Schwartz Mills

Continued from page 1

Enter your zip code to access a list of each wireless company currently operating in your area.

At this point, you could spend hours visitingrepparttar websites of these companies and comparing rate plans (trust me, I did that while researching this article). What I discovered is that -- at least in large metropolitan areas -- competition is working. Here in Los Angeles, there are six different companies to choose from, with plans that meet my needs ranging in cost from $510 to $614 per year, with most ofrepparttar 117488 difference due torepparttar 117489 price ofrepparttar 117490 telephone handset. Once you factor outrepparttar 117491 cost ofrepparttar 117492 phone,repparttar 117493 price differential was much less - only about $20 per year between all six companies.


So your choice of wireless carrier should be based upon something tougher to quantify and of way more importance than rates: service and coverage areas.

Unfortunately, no wireless carrier is able to give you perfect coverage 100% ofrepparttar 117494 time. They all have some dead zones where they are prone to dropping calls. But if you choose a company with excellent coverage inrepparttar 117495 areas you are in MOST ofrepparttar 117496 time, you may never experience these problems.

So DO visitrepparttar 117497 carriers' websites and DO selectrepparttar 117498 plan that best suits your service needs - but not before you studyrepparttar 117499 map each company posts showing their coverage areas. If you will be using your phone at home most ofrepparttar 117500 time and your neighborhood is in an area with poor coverage, you can cross that carrier off your list.

Narrow your search farther by returning to WirelessAdvisor.com and checking out their message board focusing on providers in your area. There are two kinds of posts here --repparttar 117501 first from people who are asking whatrepparttar 117502 others think of X-company or Y... and what their customers think of their service. Most ofrepparttar 117503 posts are complaints and many are quite specific aboutrepparttar 117504 parts of town where they have experienced problems. These are extremely busy boards - if you do not see your target neighborhoods already discussed here, post your own question -- you will soon get plenty of opinions from those who have been there!

Then, if any of your friends or family usesrepparttar 117505 provider you are considering, invite them over and ask if you can try out their phones inrepparttar 117506 areas you are likely to use them. Nothing beats first-hand experience when making a decision you may have to live with for one or two years.

Finally, most providers offer a no-penalty 14-day trial period allowing you to returnrepparttar 117507 phone and cancel service without payingrepparttar 117508 exorbitant termination fees (which range from $150 to $200). Make sure you ask about this and make a note of it on your contract in case you and your new provider don't work out.

A wireless phone could berepparttar 117509 answer to your business communication needs, and may even save you money. But before you go that route, it is imperative that you carefully figure out what those needs are and match them to what's available in your area. New products and rate innovations are coming online allrepparttar 117510 time. We'll look at some of those in Part 2 of this series.

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 >

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