Posts filed under: ‘Cell phones‘




Wireless phones

Std Features:  

  1. Plan minutes- (mthly air/talk time mts) to calls placed & received. often, calls on wknights & wkends donot count.
  2. Free incoming- sprint gives.
  3. Additional minutes- cost of each minute after u’ve run out of ur mthly mts. called overage charges/overages.
  4. Rollover unused minutes- Introduced by cingular wireless. They can be added to nxt mths allowance. i.e u dont pay for mts u dont use.
  5. Mobile to mobile calls- phones on same carrier’s network. they r free.
  6. Roaming charges- Depending on where u’re at the time u place a cell phone call, ur phone can “get a signal” in 2ways. The 1st & simplest is when ur phone connects to its carrier’s regular network–normally referred to as the carrier’s calling area. The 2nd is where the cell phone is located somewhere not covered by its carrier–but where it has to use the facilities of another provider for connectivity. This 2nd case is called roaming, & roaming charges r the charges u incur when placing this type of call. Reason for roaming charges is that u’re “borrowing” the services of another carrier with whom u’ve no contract. Most cell phones will signal to u when u’re in a roaming area, so that u always know when u’re placing a roaming call.
  7. Contract term- betn u & wireless carrier, mostly 2yrs. If you terminate the contract before the specified term, u’ve to pay early termination fees($175). This, however, does not prevent u from upgrading ur plan, as long as u stay with the same cell phone carrier.
  8. Activation fee- Each time u purchase a new cell phone line, u pay an activation fee. This applies equally whether u’re buying ur 1st cell phone plan or whether u add a phone to ur existing plan.
  9. Detailed billing- The more detailed ur bill, the more u can see how ur usage is & can modify ur plan accordingly.

Special features:

  1. Call forwarding- ability to forward to another no the calls u would normally receive on ur cell phone. Even though u’re not using ur cell phone when u receive a forwarded call, ur plan’s rules still apply as to airtime charges, minutes used, etc.
  2. Call waiting: ability to put 1caller on hold as u receive another call on ur cellphone.
  3. Caller ID- shows the identity of the no calling u.
  4. 3way calling- allows u to carry conversation betn 3diff callers. Regular aitime charges apply to 3way calls.
  5. Voice mail- stored in wireless carriers d.base & u’ll be allowed to access it.
  6. Nationwide long distance- can call all 50 US states without paying/incurring additional charges. They r cheaper than placing same calls on landline phone.
  7. Txt msging/SMS: ability to send or receive short typed msgs through ur cellphone. s’times u’ll have to pay $0.10 for each txt msg u send/receive. U can also subscribe to some SMS services that range from receiving sports rslts to getting ur daily horoscope on ur cell phone. If u use SMS more than occasionally, consider buying bulk txt msg if ur phone carrier offers this option. This is cheaper than paying the std rate for each msg.
  8. Multimedia downloads: For this, u need to upgrade or subscribe to a specific service level with a wireless carrier.
  9. Data plans: To fit needs of clients, features like internet e-mail, html browsing provided.
  10. Walkie-talkie plans: allows users to connect to a walkie-talkie network and to “push to talk” as he or she would do with a walkie-talkie. Naturally, the cell phone must have a push-to-talk feature in order to access this service.
  11. GPS services: Global positioning system is a satellite based technology that pinpoints the location of cell phone, so offers driving directions, location specific weather alerts. Although most cell phones manufactured today have a basic GPS feature that allows police to trace the location of a cellular 911 call.

Advanced features

  1. Built in Digital camera: Allows to take still pictures, view, send to friends & export them to pc. Some have built in flash, also ability to take self portraits by looking at urself on the external screen when the phone is closed. The current std for resolution is 1.3 Megapixel. Streaming multimedia support feature allows u to play video content on ur cell phone by “streaming,” i.e. without previously downloading it. In some cases, this same feature allows u to view real-time broadcasts on ur phone.
  2. MP3 player: Stands for MPEG layer 3. It is most common format for electronic audio content such as music, ringtones, etc. Different cell phones have different MP3 capabilities. More advanced models allow you to download & play music with ur cell phone, as u’d with a dedicated MP3-player. Other models only support MP3 ringtones.
  3. iTunes player. iTunes is a popular media player introduced by Apple Computers. It allow you to download, organize, play digital audio files such as music, spoken word, etc. through your phone–without the need for a dedicated unit (an iPod).
  4. FM radio: Ability to listen to FM radio stations through your handset. In some cases, the phone enables you to pre-program a number of stations as you would on your car radio. Some phones have stereo FM-radio capabilities, while others require that you use a headset so that the headset cord becomes the antenna that picks up the radio signals.
  5. FM transmitter. If you have a music phone with an FM transmitter, you can broadcast your tunes to nearby radios that pick up FM frequencies. For instance, you can broadcast your favorite playlist to your car radio.
  6. Attachment viewing (Word, Excel, PowerPoint). A cell phone with attachment viewing capabilities allows you to open and view the contents of email attachments in formats such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
  7. Bluetooth wireless technology. Bluetooth is a popular short-range wireless technology able to connect devices like cell phones, headsets, printers, laptops, etc., in order to transmit or synchronize data. Allows your cell phone to transmit a signal to a wireless headset (the common “Bluetooth” headset) or to a car-kit, enabling you to keep your cell phone in your pocket while communicating. More advanced Bluetooth capabilities allow you to send wireless signals from your cell phone to a Bluetooth-enabled printer or to communicate data to other cell phones enabled for the same technology. Bluetooth technology is slowly making obsolete other short-range wireless technologies, like infrared.
  8. Bluetooth stereo headset (A2DP). designed to send a wireless signal so a special Bluetooth stereo headset, providing you with a superior (and fully wireless) entertainment experience. The same headset can be used to communicate. Two-handed gaming experience. The majority of today’s cell phones provide a basic ability to play videogames. More advanced models, however, give users a fuller experience by allowing them to employ both hands to play, much like with a dedicated videogame unit such as a Game Boy. In most cases, this is accomplished through buttons or directional keys located on either side of the handset.
  9. Video capture/camcorder. allow user to record, store, play & send video-clips. On some cell phone models, the maximum length of video-clips allowable is pre-set (e.g. 30 seconds, 1 minute); on others, it is only limited by the phone’s internal memory capacity.
  10. QWERTY Keyboard. miniature version of a std typing keyboard on a PC to type (or “thumb”) text a lot more easily than on a standard cell phone keypad.
  11. Infrared port. uses a beam of invisible light to transmit wireless info to such devices as a PC. Cell-phone infrared technology is used for a variety of applications, including using the phone to link your PC to the Internet, or transmitting wireless information to other Infrared-equipped cell phones.
  12. Voice-driven menus. Voice-driven controls on a cell phone enable you to “speak” the commands rather than entering them manually through the keypad or other control buttons, thereby keeping your hands free for other activities such as driving, typing, etc. The most used among voice-driven control is voice-dialing–which enables you to dial your phone by voice command (e.g. “Call home/Call Jennifer/Call 911”). There are two levels of sophistication of voice-dialing. The most basic is requires that you “train” your cell phone to recognize the specific way you pronounce your entries. The more advanced requires no training and enables the phone to recognize the entries even if spoken by anyone.
  13. Weatherproof. Some cell phones are built to withstand a modicum amount of wetness or rain without getting damaged. These are particularly useful to hikers or people who work outdoors.
  14. Data capable / use this phone as a modem.Some cell phones can be used as a modem to connect a computer to the web.
  15. PC synchronization. This feature allows the user to link the cell phone to a PC and synchronize such info as calendar, to-do lists, phonebook entries, etc., especially through such applications as Outlook.

Msging features

  1. Mobile web browsing. Some cell phones contain or accept software that will turn your handset into a mini wireless Internet browser. Depending on the model, the ability to browse the Internet with your cell phone varies. The most basic version of mobile web browsing only allows access to text-only pages specifically designed to be viewed through cell phones, while more advanced models enable the user to surf and see full websites.
  2. Multimedia messaging. Also known as MMS, multimedia messaging is a capability that allows you to send and receive messages that contain not only text, but also other “media” such as pictures, video-clips, graphics, audio-clips, etc.
  3. HTML Web Browsing. HTML is the standard code used to build Internet pages. Some cell phones are enabled to view full web sites that contain HTML codes.
  4. Text messaging (SMS). SMS stands for short messaging service, or the capability for a phone to send and/or receive short text messages. These text messages can be sent either to another cell phone–through the phone number–or to an email address.
  5. Email client. Some cell phones have the ability to send and receive emails, using such servers as POP, IMAP and STMP.
  6. Instant messenger built-in. As the name suggests, instant messaging (IM) provides extremely rapid chat between two or more users. IM differs from other kinds of messaging such as SMS in the sense that it uses the Internet as the communication platform. Some of the popular IM applications are Yahoo! and AOL instant messengers. Traditionally, IM “chat” occurs between personal computers. However, cell phones with built-in IM capabilities are enabled to send and receive instant messages–from and to PCs and other IM-enabled cell phones. Also, IM allows the user to set up a “buddy list,” and to see whether any particular user on this list is online (available) or not before the message is sent.

Personalization & Fun Features

  1. Polyphonic ringtones. Cell phone polyphonic ringtones are ringtones that can produce more than one note at the same time. In music, groups of two or more notes played at the same time are called “chords.” The more chords a polyphonic ringtone produces, the more exciting its texture.
  2. Custom ringtones. Some cell phones give you the capability of changing the built-in ringtones with others of your choice. Some cell phones have a built-in function that allows you to “compose” a custom ringtone, while with others you have to download ringtones composed on a PC or another phone.
  3. Preloaded ringtones. Most of today’s cell phones come with a number of preloaded ringtones from which the user can choose; each produces a different sound or melody, which can be used to set up custom caller IDs.
  4. Ringer profiles. The ringer profiles features allows a cell phone user to set up different ringer settings so that each “profile” can be activated for different situations. For instance, when you are at work you may want your ringer settings to be businesslike and quiet, while when you are on vacation you may allow yourself something more colorful. Ringer profiles are not confined to ringtones, but also include vibrate, flashing lights, etc.
  5. MP3 ringtones. Some cell phones allow the user to download short MP3 music files and use them as ringtones instead of the standard preloaded tones.
  6. Picture caller ID. Picture caller ID is allows you to associate a picture or image to any of the contacts in your phone book. This way, when you receive a call from one of these contacts, you see their picture as well as their phone number.
  7. Multiple languages. Many cell phones give you the capability of displaying prompts in different languages, the most common in the US being English, Spanish or French.
  8. In some cases, multiple-language capabilities extend to predictive text entries. In other words, if you tap “Lun” and your phone is set to English, the predictive text will suggest “lunch”; if your phone is set to French, it will suggest “Lundi” (French for Monday).
  9. Languages supported. This is the list of languages supported by a cell phone with multiple language capabilities.
  10. Games. Many cell phones give the user the ability to play games. Games may come preloaded in the cell phone, available for download and/or available on the wireless Internet to enjoy on a pay-per-use basis.
  11. Customizable faceplates. A faceplate is the cover that fits around the phone’s keypad; faceplates are customizable when they can be replaced with different ones available as accessories.
  12. Customizable graphics. This is a feature that allows the user to customize the image(s) displayed on the phone’s display as screensaver, wallpaper, caller-ID graphics, etc.
  13. Many phones come with a bank of graphics from which a user can select. In other cases, images can be downloaded or even received via multimedia messaging. More sophisticated phones even have built-in image editors.
  14. Customizable themes. A theme is a set of matching visual elements that appear on the phone’s screen, such as background image, menu, icons, etc. Also called “skin,” a theme can be something like the outdoors, sports, high tech, etc. A phone with customizable themes allows the user to select a theme from a bank or to import it to the cell phone via a download.

Core Features

  • Color main display. A cell phone can have one or two displays. Phones with two displays have a main one–generally the one to the inside–and an auxiliary one on the outside. With the greatest majority of phones available today, the main display is in color. A standard color main display shows around 65,000 colors, while displays of more advanced models can show as many of 264,000 colors.
  • External display. Clamshell phones–also called flip-phones–normally have an auxiliary display to the outside. This is usually smaller than the main display, and may be either in color or black and white (monochrome). The purpose of a cell phone’s external display is to show the user information like time, caller ID, battery life, etc. without opening the handset.
  • Color. A growing number of cell phones are becoming available in colors other than gray or black, so as to better fit the taste and the lifestyle of the users.
  • Style. Applied to cell phones, the word “style” refers to whether or not (and how) the unit opens. Today’s cell phone fall into 4 main style categories. Candy-bar phones r more or less rectangular in shape & do not open. Flip(clampshell)phones  open & close like a clamshell, through a hinge located above the keypad. Slider phones open by sliding the cover & exposing the keypad. Swivel phones open by swiveling the cover away from the keypad.
  • Touch screen. Some larger cell phones allow the user to operate the unit by touching the screen–either with a finger or with a special stylus. Touch-screen operations can range from navigating the phone’s various menus to writing as one would do on a palm pilot.
  • Speakerphone. Built-in microphone & loudspeaker that allow the user to carry out a conversation or to listen to messages without bringing the unit up to the ear.
  • Push to talk. This is a communication feature that works like a walkie-talkie.
  • Voice dialing. Voice-dialing enables you to dial your phone by voice command (e.g. Call home/Call Jennifer/Call 911). It requires that u “train” ur cell phone to recognize the specific way you pronounce ur entries. This usually requires you to speak the command a no of times so as to “lock” the entry into the cell phone recognition. The more advanced requires no training and enables the phone to recognize or understand the entries even if spoken by someone other than you.
  • To do list. This is a reminder function that allows the user to enter and manage a list of things to do. Different cell phone models offer different options for this feature; in some cases, the user can sort the items by priority and assign deadlines.
  • Voice memo. Some cell phones have a built-in recorder feature that lets you capture notes to yourself or to record parts of a phone conversation.
  • Standard 2.5mm headset jack. This is a cylinder-shaped jack that fits the small pin-shaped plug of many cell phones. This is a rather standard jack for headsets and car-kits.
  • Alarm. Cell phone alarms can work in diff ways, depending on the model. The most basic version of this feature allows you to preset a single alarm to sound at a given time–but the unit has to be on. The more sophisticated version allows for multiple alarms and to coordinate them with the phone’s calendar or to-do list–and the alarms will sound even when the cell phone is turned off.
  • Calculator. Most cell phone calculators are rather basic, and perform only additions, subtractions, divisions and multiplications. In some models, the calculator also includes a currency converter and a tip calculator.
  • Calendar. Called “datebook” in some cell phone models, the calendar lets you see and manage your schedule for the month, week or day. Depending on the sophistication of the feature, this may be linked to a reminder or an alarm function.
  • Mini USB port. USB is a standard way to connect various electronic devices (including cell phones) to a laptop or a computer hard-drive. A cell phone with a mini USB port can therefore be linked to a computer via this standard connection, thereby enabling downloads, synchronization with calendar entries, etc.
  • Vibrate. Most cell phones give the user the capability of switching off the audible ringer and put the phone on “vibrate.” When on vibrate, the phone alerts you of calls, messages, etc., by vibrating rather than ringing. This function is useful in environments where a cell phone ringing would not be appropriate–such as a library or a business meeting. Vibrate is sometimes called “quiet mode.”
  • Phonebook capacity. A cell phone’s phonebook capacity refers to the maximum number of contacts the user is allowed to enter.
  • Multiple numbers per name. More advanced cell phones give the user the option of entering more than one number per phonebook entry. This way, each contact can include home number, work number, cell number, fax number, etc. This feature allows the phonebook capacity to be maximized–so that each name does not require multiple entries for different numbers.

Battery Life Data about battery life refer to a cell phone’s ability to hold a single charge for any duration of time. The two most commonly used ways to assess a phone’s battery life are talk time and standby time. Many factors can contribute to a phone’s battery life, including battery type, feature(s) being used, etc.

  • Battery type. Most of today’s cell phones use lithium-ion (LiIon) or lithium-polymer (LiPolymer) batteries. These are, of course, all rechargeable and are extremely small-sized compared to the batteries that powered cell phones in the past. Some consider the LiPolymer battery to be superior than the LiIon in terms of efficiency.
  • Talk time. The expression talk time refers to how much talk-time a cell phone is capable of on a single battery charge. Most manufacturers give list a talk time that is based on average conditions, so your actual experience may vary depending on how you use your phone and where you are.
  • Standby time. Standby time is the amount of time a cell phone can remain switched on on a single battery charge–without being used to talk, send or receive messages, play games, surf the web, etc., activities that require more energy from a battery.

Technical Specifications

A cell phone technical specifications are the main technologies that the phone employs to perform such functions as receiving a signal, accessing and downloading data or accepting different software applications. The expression also applies to basic information such as cell phone dimensions, weight, etc.

  • Application platform. An application platform is a feature that allows a cell phone to accept various software applications. The most common application platform used in cell phones are Java and BREW.
  • High speed data. High speed data refers to a cell phone’s capability to access and download Internet data at high speeds (compared to older applications). Speed in downloads is measured in Kilobytes per second (Kbps). The most used high speed data packages today are GPRS and EDGE, which allow cell phones to download data at 115 Kbps, 236 Kbps.
  • Network compatibility. Network compatibility refers to two things: The network technology on which the phone operates. The current two standard network technologies are GSM and CDMA. The bands on which the phone operates. Bands are radio frequencies measured in Mega Hertz (MHz); in the US, the frequency bands on which a cell phone can operate are 800/850 MHz and 1900 MHz, although other bands are used in different parts of the world. A dual-band phone will support two frequency bands. A tri- or quad-band phone can support three or four bands–such as the two in the US (800/850 and 1900 MHz) plus others used in other countries. So, if for instance a phone’s network compatibility is rated as “GSM 850, 900, 1800 1900,” it means that the phone operates on the GSM network technology and on four bands–850 and 1900 MHz (used in the US) plus 900 and 1800 MHz, which are used in Europe, Asia and a host of other countries, making the phone particularly attractive to International travelers.
  • Ringtone types supported. A cell phone can support different ringtone formats. The most used are MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) and MP3.
  • Predictive text entry. Some technologies have been introduced to make typing text on a cell phone easier and quicker. Predictive text technology (such as T9) works this way: you begin typing the first few letters of a word and the cell phone “predicts” what that word may be and ends it for you. For instance, if you begin typing “tod,” the predictive text technology will suggest the whole word “today.” This technology is especially useful on cell phones that do not have a QWERTY keyboard.
  • Built-in memory. Each cell phones comes with a certain amount of internal memory used to store files such as voice memos, photographs, video-clips, music, etc. Memory is measured in Megabytes (MB). Depending on the cell phone model, the amount of built-in memory can vary. Currently, 15 MB of internal memory is considered to be adequate for normal use, while 100 MB of memory is considered very ample. Expandable memory capacity. Some cell phones allow for extra memory capacity–that is, the option to increase the amount of memory beyond what’s built in. This is generally done through the insertion of a memory card.
  • Dimensions. Dimensions of a cell phone refers to its measurement in inches. By today’s standards, a cell phone measuring 3.5 inches in height and x 2 inches in width is considered small, while a cell phone measuring 0.5 inches in thickness is considered thin.
  • Weight. Weight of a cell phone is measured in ounces (oz). By today’s standards, a phone is considered very light if it weighs around 3.5 oz or less.
  • TTY compatible. Short for Tele Typewriter, TTY is a telecommunication device for the hearing- or speech-impaired. It works by allowing the users to type the text rather than communicating it via speech. A TTY device is necessary on both ends of the conversation for communication to take place.
  • M3 hearing aid compatible. When used in conjunction with hearing aids, some cell phones can create static or other types of interference. The telecommunications industry has introduced a rating system that may be used to assess the ability of a cell phone to be used in conjunction with a hearing aid. The M system is one of such rating systems. M3 rating means that the phone meets FCC standards for hearing aid compatibility.

Add a comment December 5, 2007

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