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NewsTribune photo/Chris Yucus There are a lot of options to think about when buying a new cell phone and consumers should be aware of what they want before they spend any money. Want to see all your fabulous selfies on a big screen? Check out a phablet — a phone-tablet hybrid — like the HTC One Max with its 5.9 inch screen said Mark Lester, Verizon Account Manager at The Digital Store in Peru.
Or it falls off your lap, down a flight of stairs or into a muddy river — and you never see it again.
Cell phones are hard to live with, and sometimes just hard to keep alive.
When your cell phone takes a plunge of death and you find yourself in the nearest cell-phone provider store, scratching your head over which cell phone is the right choice, be sure to follow these tips to pick the right phone for you.
Understand your wants and needs Each person’s actual needs are different. Cell phones may be a staple in your career, in your social life or at school.
“I look for stability,” said Michael Kulis, sales representative at The Digital Store in Peru. “There are cheap smart phones and expensive smart phones.”
Smart phones come with the ability to download apps.
Apps allow consumers to specify their cell phones to fit their personal needs.
Weight loss, pregnancy, sports scores, and coupons can be tracked and recorded using Apps.
Don’t forget about those selfies, either.
New phones are coming out with features like a bigger screen making devices both usable as a cell phone and a tablet.
The HTC One Max phablet (phone and tablet) has a 5.9 inch screen, said Mark Lester, Verizon account manager at The Digital Store in Peru.
Data plans are important when figuring out what you really need from your phone.
If you are often around Wi-Fi accessibility, a large data plan isn’t necessary because you can connect to the Internet without tapping into your data use. For those consumers who are always on the go, a bigger data package, or an unlimited data package may be the ticket, especially if email, streaming videos and music or surfing the web is a big part of your daily routine.
Getting coverage Most cell phones have become increasingly more fragile. Glass screens taunt your every move, basically screaming at you, “Drop me, I dare you.”
Insurance plans Most cell phone providers offer insurance for cell phone coverage. The Digital Store offers two options for insurance and upfront cost of $200 for a two-year plan or a monthly $10 fee, said Kulis.
Other cellular stores, such as Illinois Valley Cellular in Marseilles offer different insurance plans. Jackie Julian-Boz, a sales representative, said that new insurance coverage will be offered for $4.99 month with a $50 deductible.
Replacement phones can range from $100 to $175. That’s why IV Cellular offers insurance plans, said Julian-Boz.
Newer cell phones also come with multiple protective case options. Brands such as the OtterBox offer a wide array of colors and designs but also secure protection of your beloved cell phone.
According to OtterBox’s website, “Our cases are dedicated to all the klutzy, spontaneous, chaotic, graceless individuals who have broken a device or valuable due to their active lifestyle and like our customers, we’ve been there too.”
New screen protectors are coming to the market and making a name for themselves in cell phone protection.
Gadget Guard offers a new kind of screen protector made out of tempered glass. Black Ice is a sleek, glass sheet, and is applied directly over the screen of your smart phone. It is made to resist smudges and scratches.
Black Ice retails for $39.99 for sheets that fit smart phones and are also made available for tablets.
Instead of the screen of your phone shattering, just the protector shatters, said Kulis.
Flip-phone phone disappearing Smart phones still are a new animal for consumers. Older generations may not need all the features a smart phone offers, but the age of the flip-phone is quickly dying out.
“I want to sell them [customers] something they can rely on,” said Kulis. Whether consumers are opting for a two-year activation plan or a monthly plan, it’s important that consumers are getting use out of their phones.
Kulis recommends new Samsung phones and iPhones for consumers looking for simplicity.
New models from Samsung, such as the Galaxy model, offers cell phone users a chance to enlarge main screen icons that they want to utilize, such as contacts, messaging, and the dial pad.
Magnifying glass app Some Samsung models even offer an app for a magnifying glass for consumers who may have misplaced their glasses.
Although it is rare, some retailers like IV Cellular still have a couple of choices of flip-phones available for those who don’t need an app for everything.
Whether your phone dies from old age or takes a tragic tumble into a Porta-potty, be sure to know the in’s and out’s of cell phones before you buy.