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How to choose your mobile phone 
By Sageetha Sridhar


Among the sophisticated consumer-electronics devices that we surround ourselves with, one that gets obsolete too soon is perhaps the ubiquitous mobile phone. From being a luxury item, this is now an essential personal communication device keeping us connect almost from anywhere at any time. There is just no good phone or bad phone but just the ones that work out for us or those that donít.
The race among phone vendors and re-sellers is on cost, feature and service factors, making the common manís shopping result a dilemma and an eventual compromise in any of the above mentioned factors. So this week let us highlight a few aspects that we must consider before making our next mobile phone shopping.
But every time we come across the range of mobile devices in the market or we hear yet another new phone entering the market, there comes an instant curiosity notwithstanding the phone that is already ours. The only test of true suitability is that phone becomes a natural extension of ourselves to do what we do normally.
A mobile phone, just like a recipe has to be a personalised item that which has certain basics and leaves the rest of the toppings and flavours to oneís personal choice. Often that which suits one friend of ours may not serve our purposes.
No one can observe your lifestyle as much as you can and so there begins your ground work. List most common tasks accomplished with the help of your mobile phone. This may range from basic phone call handling to sophisticated integrated email or online entertainment features.
The next focus must be on your current phone, its age in terms of your use and of course your budget range. It is also wise to time the shopping right for certain seasons tend to give bundled services and newer models flooding the market Ė for example the forthcoming last quarter as a holiday season.
Although phones like the iPhone, Blackberry, Nokia Communicator and few other brands are very effective in their marketing, a few fundamental factors are to be considered before adopting one of these brand model. Your phone-lifestyle and your personal usability and tech-savvy levels must be placed well before the perceived brand-statement.
Among us there are many blackberry users who just make and receive calls and other who are never comfortable using a touch-screen keyboard on their iPhone. An iPhone with only the basic set of application also is a waste of resource for its power and the ranges of apps it can run are never being tasted.
For someone less dexterous, the touch screen key boards are quite a discomfort and more a nuisance of they are intensely into typing text on phone. For those who use text message features, email clients and social media applications on their mobile phone must consider choosing a key board that they can use with both hands and type quickly.
Sophisticated phone cameras are again nice to have and so the need to capture moments of time instantly, be it for professional or personal reasons can lead to your choice of phone with a good camera. It is recommended that such users also install photo-manipulations applications on their phone to make marginal enhancements in their photographs.
Multimedia content handling features such as music and video players are quite intensive in terms of phone battery life, memory capability (both built-in & card-based). Anyone using their mobile phone as their personal media player system must seriously consider phones that are rated high on this feature.
So finally it sums up to identifying your own personality as a mobile user, well before considering that of a phone you wish to posses. Itís like buy shoes that fits your feet, rather than chisel your feet to fit your shoe that someone else recommended for you. Having said that, you could have more options on hand, if you have multiple personalities or avatars as long as it fits your budget.

The author is a technology evangelist working as consultant at the Information Technology Authority of Oman and can be contacted at or or or

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