Shopping in the Wireless Wonderland
Your Guide to Choosing the Right Smartphone to Give
MISSION, KS -- (Marketwire) -- 11/29/12 -- (Family Features) If
you've noticed more smartphones and tablets on your holiday wish
lists, you're not alone. A recent survey by Kelton Research found
that 69 percent of people would like to receive something wireless as
a holiday gift.
The report also found it's not always easy to shop for these kinds of
gifts. In fact, 43 percent of people surveyed said they find shopping
for technology items more confusing than assembling a child's toy
with multiple parts.
To minimize the confusion around shopping for a wireless device, Ami
Silverman, senior vice president of sales operations, T-Mobile USA,
has a few tips for selecting the right smartphone and getting the
most value for everyone on your holiday shopping list.
Smart Tips for Choosing a Smartphone
There are many options to
choose from, and at first glance they might all seem the same. The
key to picking the right one is to start by matching the phone's
featured functions to what you know about the user. For example, here
are some typical mobile users and the features which would be ideal
for their devices:
Heavy texter/social networker - Consider phones with a physical
QWERTY keyboard to enable quick connections with inner circles.
Gamer - Look for devices that have preloaded or easy access to
premium games as well as large, high-definition screens, powerful
processors (preferably a quad-core processor) and long lasting
Entertainment junkie - Keep an eye out for fast 4G smartphones with
touch screens featuring large high-definition display for watching
videos and enjoying online entertainment.
Worker bee - Seek phones that offer business-ready capabilities and
the ability to accurately and quickly view and edit documents and
share files fast.
Style maven - Choose touch screen phones that are thin, look sleek,
and can be customized with a range of accessories, including stylish
Photographer - Prioritize phones with high-resolution cameras and
high storage capacity.
While these tips can point you in the right direction, it's best to
talk to experts in the store. Explain the type of person you are
buying for and how they'll be using the device. Knowledgeable sales
associates have tools and resources so they can help you find exactly
what you need. T-Mobile has also developed a handy online quiz to
help you figure out which hot device might be the best fit. You can
take the quiz at http://t-mo.co/RFCB2l.
Reviews can also be helpful in finding the right phone. Check out
independent reviews at www.consumerreports.org or www.cnet.com, and
get user reviews at www.consumersearch.com.
Lastly, before making your purchase, make sure you understand the
store's return policies, and check for special offers or promotions.
You can find the latest offers from T-Mobile at
How to Choose a Service Plan
And if you're considering giving a
service plan -- like 63 percent reported in Kelton's survey -- to
pair with that smartphone or tablet gift, there are a variety of
options. Since smartphones require a data plan for access to the
Internet and many applications, the gift of a service plan would
enable your recipient to use the phone right away. If you go this
route, Silverman recommends that you first figure out how much data
the phone recipient will be using every month.
According to a September, 2012 NPD Connected Intelligence study,
consumers are using more data than ever before. Android smartphone
users download an average of 870 MB of data per month on cellular
networks and about 2.5 GB per month on Wi-Fi networks. So what does
that really mean? For context, with approximately one gigabyte (GB)
of data, you could do one of the following tasks: view 1,000 web
pages, send or receive 50,000 emails without attachments, stream 33
hours of music, post 2,800 pictures to Facebook, or watch 8+ hours of
video on YouTube.
Knowing how the phone recipient will use it not only helps you find
the right device, but the right data plan as well. Ask yourself:
-- How often will they check email on the device each day?
-- How often will they surf the web or check their social network?
-- How often will they share photos and documents?
-- How often will they download games, apps and music?
-- How often will they stream music and videos?
Compare service options to get the most for your money. Some plans
offer a limited number of texts or data usage and charge hefty
overage fees. Other plans include unlimited talk, text and data for
multiple phone lines for a reasonable monthly fee. Silverman said, "T
Mobile's Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data plan offers no data caps, speed
limits, or bill shock, and access to fast, dependable nationwide 4G
In addition to contract plans, Silverman said you can also consider a
pre-paid plan. "For example, with T-Mobile's Monthly 4G no annual
contract plans, the gift recipient can enjoy their new phone as soon
as they open the box, without committing to a long-term contract."
Silverman recommends using a data calculator to help figure out the
best plan based on usage. To get started, visit
Giving Kids and Teens a Smartphone
Are you considering giving your
child a smartphone this holiday but wonder about the safety and
responsibility implications? Silverman offers some advice that can
help the whole family use their smartphones in a safe way:
Save important contact numbers into your child's phone; add ICE
(In Case of Emergency) so responders or others can reach you if your
child is in trouble, e.g. ICE Daddy Cell; ICE Home.
Encourage kids to send a quick, discreet text as an
alternative to an "embarrassing" check-in call when they arrive or
Teach your child how to call 911 on a cell phone in case of
emergency, including how to place the call if the phone is locked.
Though numbers may be programmed into a child's phone,
teach them to memorize family/emergency contact phone numbers in case
they get separated from their phone.
Keep current photos of your kids on your cell phone,
updating each family member's photo every six months.
Ensure your child understands cell phones must be turned
on while away from home. Make sure the phone is charged at night and
buy a spare charger for his/her backpack.
Giving your child a cell phone can help increase
safety. If your child walks home alone, babysits, or participates in
afterschool activities, it may be the right time. Holiday break is a
great time for parents and children to practice having this new
Discuss the rules your child must obey to have a
cell phone, and create a family contract for responsible use. Include
must-dos like answering your calls/texts, keeping the phone on when
away from home, not using it during school or while driving, and not
responding to unknown numbers.
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