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Consumer Reports Buying Guide 2012 - Cell Phones

Consumer Reports Buying Guide 2012 - Cell Phones

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Consumer report buying guide 2012
Consumer report buying guide 2012

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Published by: desijnk on Jun 30, 2012
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C O N S U M E R

R E P O R T S

B U Y I N G

GUIDE 2 0 1 2

Quick Guide

CELL PHONES

Many of the newest models have large displays, keyboards, and Internet capabilities.

Shopping tip
Flat or virtual keypads make dialing without looking more difficult.

What to look for

• Rebates and special offers from the carrier, compared with what independent dealers offer • Useful features such as support for wireless Bluetooth headsets and high-speed data access • A cellular service provider's network, which plays a big part in the capabilities ofthe phone
What to skip

ofa smart phone, if you want more than what a cell phone can typically offer—mainly voice and text-messaging capability
What you'll pay

Scan this or see how. page 11

For more buying advice, go to ConsumerReports. orgketlphones Brands model

Most models are priced from $20 to $150, but they often come free with a two-year contract. You can also buy phones associated with prepaid plans, which are quickly becoming the leading lowprice option in cellular.
Features

• Buying a cell phone instead
Price Overall score Test results

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Guide to the Ratings
Overall score is based mainly on ease of use, voice quaiity, messaging, and battery life. Phones are listed in performance order, within categories. Ease of use maihiy considers step-saving functions for making and receiving calls, as vieil as display and keypad readability and multimedia versatility. Voice quality considers listening (what vie heard) and talking (what was heard at the other end) in noisy and quiet settings using live phone calls; we show the iower of the two scores. Messaqinq assesses keypad ergonomics, text-messaging features, support for Microsoft Outiook, and whether the phone can open e-maii attachments. Battery life is an average of talk time with strong and weak network signals, and considers standby and dispiay times. Broadband data indicates the highestspeed mobiie broadband data network the phone supports in the U.S. Generaiiy, LTE, WiMAX, and HSPA-^ are considered the fastest, and EV-DO and HSPA and HSDPA are much faster than lxRTT and EDGE. For bluetooth, \/=Voice, D=Data, S=Stereo. Price is approximate retail.

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Copyright of Consumer Reports is the property of Consumers Union and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use.

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