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Smart phones are typically sold through telephone service companies, but can also be purchased through electronics retail outlets. Not all telephone companies, such as AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint carry the same phones, although each carries a wide variety of phones having similar features of those sold by the other carriers. Smart phones can cost anywhere from $50 to $400 depending on what telephone and data service plan you select with the phone.

Smart phones, by their nature, can be complex devices that have many features and functions. In addition to the user’s guide booklet that typically comes with the phone when you purchase, there are sometimes quick guides that show you how to get started using the basic features of the phone right away. There is also a considerable amount of information on the phone manufacturer’s website about how to use the phone and its many features. And for more popular phones, there are often online forums and blogs devoted to users of a particular phone, phone series, or phones running a particular operating system, like iOS, Android, BlackBerry OS, etc.

When looking for a phone, you should start by thinking about how you want to use it, and what you want it to do for you. Answering some basic questions will help you figure out what you need to look for in a smart phone.

Beyond making phone calls and texting,

  • do you want to have access to email?
  • do you want to access the web?
  • would you want it to synch up with your online calendar?
  • do you want to keep your music on it?
  • do you want to play games on it?

Also think about how you would be using it.

  • Would you place more calls to others, or would it be the other way around?
  • Would you typically just use it away from home, or would it be your only phone?
  • Would you need to use it outside a lot?

Answers to these and other questions may help you decide what features and options you’ll want your phone to offer.