Cell phones vs. smart phones: How to choose
Cell phones are basically a mobile device that allows you to make calls through a wireless communications network. Most new cell phones provide text messaging (SMS), MMS (Multimedia Message Service), web browsing, instant messaging (IM) and e-mail.
Smart phones on the other hand are more like mini-computers with an operating system. Smart phones provide the same services as cell phones, but have more capabilities that stem from their ability to run third-party applications (called apps), which function like software.
With smart phones, you can run organizer apps that allow you to plan your business schedule months in advance with automatic reminders, as well as organize your contacts, emails, files, etc. – all synced to your computer.
Smart phones allow you to browse the web, whether you’re researching a specific tool, a store address or just checking the weather forecast. That web access allows smart phones to be used as GPS for road navigation.
Many cell phones and most smart phones offer a camera/video recorder that can be very handy when you want to take a photo or video on the jobsite to record a problem, substantiate a change order, create a progress report, etc.
When comparing phones, keep in mind that they’re tied to the company that sells them, and you’ll probably be buying a phone plan from that company. From the 10 or so cell phone companies available, the top four – ATT, Verizon, Sprint and TMobile – share most of the U.S. market because of their coverage, service and prices. Since it’s likely you’ll have to sign a contract for one or two years, trying them all out before chosing may not be possible. So get recommendations from friends and associates.
Cell phones vs. smart phones
As a general rule, the more your phone does, the more your plan will cost. Just keep in mind, the three major attributes to consider when selecting a provider are:
Range – even the best cell phone is worthless if you can’t make or receive calls.
Cost – overestimate your usage when selecting a plan. If you use more minutes than your plan provides, it can be very costly.
Service – you want a prompt, friendly response when questioning charges or asking for technical advice. The following chart gives you a ballpark estimate of some of the most popular plans and costs.
–By Gabriel Ascencio