by Staff Writer
With the bevy of options and features now available in cell phones, it's easy to find one perfect for you. Before you begin searching for your next cell phone, take the time to think about what you need your phone to do. Below, you'll learn the best cell phone features.
Camera: Cell phone cameras can be quite handy when you happen upon a special moment without a regular digital camera on hand. Most camera phones don't take very high-resolution (usually 1.3 megapixel) pictures, but there are some that top out over 3 megapixels. Some cell phone cameras even have small flashes. If you want a camera phone, find out if it comes with the cable and software to connect to your computer, so you don't have to spend extra for a separate program.
Video: Usually, camera phones that play video will also record video. Some non-camera cell phones also play video. Look to see if you can transfer movies from your phone to your computer.
Web browsing: Many cell phones let you connect to the Internet. Most use Wireless Access Protocol (WAP), which allows the phone to connect to pages specifically designed for cell phones. There are many phones with full browsers, however, that allow you to view regular Web pages.
Bluetooth: Bluetooth is a technology that allows you to transfer data wirelessly between devices. Wireless cell phone headsets use this technology, and it can also be used to transfer pictures, ringtones and other data between two cell phones or between cell phones and computers.
Games: There are cell phones out there that have been designed with the gamer in mind, allowing you to download games that would compare to those found on a personal gaming system.
Office software: Most cell phones feature some sort of a calendar and alarm. You can set a wake-up alarm or you can make it alert you for your next appointment. Other phones allow you to make notes for each appointment. Some let you create documents that can be transferred to your computer's word processor or spreadsheet.
MP3 player: More and more cell phones are also MP3 players. Check to see if you need special headphones for listening (and if they're included), and pay attention to the phone's memory capacity.
Memory expansion: Some phones, usually video or MP3 player phones, feature memory card slots, so you can save pictures, music or other files on removable flash memory.
Voice dialing: If you absolutely have to use your cell phone while driving, you'll want one with voice dialing. The phone recognizes the contact you speak and places the call, allowing you to keep your eyes where they belong: on the road.