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Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Picking the Perfect Cell Phone and Plan
Does the Perfect Cell Phone and Plan Exist?
Due to the rapid pace of advancements in cell phone technology, number of devices proliferating the market and carrier options to choose from, it has become increasingly difficult to keep up with everything hitting the market. If you would like a few ideas for getting more from your current device mixed with tips on what to look for in a cell phone or plan right now, then you're in luck! You will get a few great tips and ideas below that should have you headed in the right direction toward a sound decision.
Here we go...
Did you know that the battery in your cell phone has some reserved power? If you find that your cell phone battery is dead, and you have no way to charge it, enter the USSD "*3370#". You could actually discover that you have up to a 50% increase in power. If it works for your device, this new-found reserve power will even charge the next time you charge your phone. When you are purchasing a cell phone at the store, make sure that you get your money's worth by discussing all of the add-ons, features and extra options that are available with the phone. This does not work all of the time, but often you will find room for an added bonus that the seller can work with. This can lead to discounts that you can use on your phone or for those additional features, new applications, peripheral devices or add-ons that apply to your phone or plan that may have otherwise gone unused. If you currently own a smartphone, then you likely make regular use of it in a normal day. Make sure you turn it off here and there. In a way, they are like computers. Restarting them can free up the memory and keep them running better or with fewer background applications. You will most likely notice an improvement in operation if you start powering off periodically to "refresh" the system and cache vs. leaving it completely on even while charging for days on end. At a minimum, give your phone a reboot every one or two days. As you are constantly using features on your phone such as apps, email and browsers, your phone is storing cached information. Much of this data is unnecessary and sitting on your device... like that video or photo you just looked at, but will never see again - it can be easily purged with a simple reboot of the phone. This will generally free up system resources and clear potential glitches or limitations in space. Consider doing a little negotiation on the cell phone price. Yes, you can always try to negotiate at cell phone stores, and it sometimes asking is all that's necessary! It may not be for cost savings either. You should try to negotiate a free case, discount on the one you were planning to buy with it, or some other option you would like to receive with the purchase of the new cell phone. Hey, you never know until you try - right? When buying a used cell phone, make sure you know who you are buying from. Consider only buying from a reputable company like Phone Medic that is going to be around for a long time to back up the purchase with some sort of guarantee or warranty. This will help protect you if the phone is defective or needs attention to ensure that it works properly. If you decide to buy from an individual and know what to look for, be sure to try the phone out before handing over a dime to the seller. Regardless of the price, make sure it has a clean ESN that was never reported as missing or stolen or you're going to be out a lot of money. If everything checks out, but you don't know the seller or are unsure about how to check out the history of the device, then insist that they wait with you while you activate it with your carrier. Use your current phone to call your provider and they will be able to help you check the background and get it activated. After it is activated on your account, the risk of having thrown your money away on a stolen phone with ESN issues declines greatly. Before buying that case at the carrier store, check prices online to be sure they are competitive. Retailers like Amazon can make price-checking a quick process with such vast virtual inventories, they usually have a listing for most devices along with a ballpark price to tell you if you are getting a decent deal at the store. While you are away from the car, learn how to use the voice to text and voice assistant features on your phone. This will save time getting around, and keep you safe on the road. Android's Google Voice Assistant is in beta right now, which is a step beyond their previous Google Now or "ok google" offer. There are plenty of other intelligent assistants like Siri and Google Voice Search and third party apps that can help you keep your eyes on the road. Many will allow you to convert the words that you speak into a text message instantaneously. The important step is to first learn a few specific commands for waking up your phone, opening up the apps you want to use and how to interact with them only using your voice. As they say, the dog trainer is usually training the owner and how to give specific commands. So do your homework on the couch or at the desk before you ask your iPhone to do new tricks as you're driving down the road. If you do not have this feature on your smartphone, you can search the app stores for third party options as well. Look for cell phone plans that give you a significant amount of data per month, won't gouge your wallet if you go over that limit, and won't turn your phone into a snail crawling across the web after you hit the data limit. These days, cell phone users require far more data than talk time or minutes, and many messaging applications are used instead of text, but still require some amount of data. Looking around, you'll see that a lot of carriers give away a ton of talk minutes, but still charge a premium for the data used, or anything over a capped amount can come at a hefty penalty. Look for the best service coverage where you are located, because you'll want to be able to access their faster tier of networks in areas that they have a decent presence of towers and reasonably consistent coverage. Then ask about caps, overage surcharges and throttling speeds that kick in after the plan's limit in your data plan. If you're concerned about cell phone radiation, use a headset instead of holding your cell phone to your ear. Typically, every cell phone comes prepackaged with ear buds or some type of headphone mic. Start using it right out of the box if it comes with one, or get a second one for the car so you always have one "handy" when and where you need to stay hands free. If you only use your cell phone with wi-fi in your home, then you may want to consider dropping that expensive data plan attached to your smart phone. This isn't for everyone, and you need to make sure the penalties aren't horrible. But if you only use the phone for talk, or rarely take it out the door with you, then why pay the additional (and expensive) data costs? There are also several apps to help track usage and use your wifi for phone calls, messaging and video conferencing... including Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, What's App and more. Clear out the music and videos that you don't need on your phone, it will save a lot of memory to store it in the cloud just as a backup or when / if you ever need it again. If you use iTunes, (after making a backup) you can delete the files faster by going to your computer and deleting them from your music library. When you connect your phone, it will Sync up and delete the unneeded songs. If you are constantly looking for the best cell phone deal, it usually pays to be very flexible about when, where and how you are switching up carriers every so often. Carriers will usually give the best deals to new customers who are switching from a competitor. They may even pay your fees for ending your current contract! Shop around and talk to a few vendors to see what deals are out there. Another stellar option to look into is picking up a certified pre-owned device from Phone Medic. We constantly pay cash for used cell phones and have an inventory of great devices in every store throughout the city with excellent prices that still allow you to change carriers, or pick any carrier with one of our unlocked phones. Then you'll have the freedom to choose any plan you like without being locked into multi-year contracts, while taking advantage of any incentives to change carriers. If you're looking to make a change or trade up with us, chances are, we'll even buy it back if you want to keep trading it out to try another device. Technology in the cell phone market is constantly changing and moving at a pace unlike any other. Now that you have read this little article, hopefully you have some fresh ideas on how to manage your way and have learned a few new tricks that will make it easier to keep up and make the most of your mobile lifestyle. If you're still stuck in a contract for a few more months, bookmark us and check back when you go searching for that new cell phone. Till then, Stay Connected and Live Happy!