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Buyer's guide: smartphones

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  • Get a iscount on your phone by choosing a network and call plan. Do your research to find the best deal.
  • Keep an eye on the wireless data standards supported by each phone. 3G connectivity is a must for comfortable web access, and is usually in the form of HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access). Alternatives include GPRS and EDGE, but these are much slower.
  • A smartphone can play MP3s and videos, but not every file type is supported and some displays are better than others. With the exception of the iPhone, you will probably also need to invest in an additional memory card to store a music or video collection.
  • Bear in mind that web browsing will tax a smartphone with a small screen.
  • If you write a lot of emails, a full QWERTY keyboard is a good option. Touch-sensitive screens or numerical keys pale in comparison.
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