You tell us: Which phone features are most important to you?

You tell us: Which phone features are most important to you?
It can be a daunting task when it's time to buy a new phone, as there's now a ton of features that you'll have to think about - Do you want a smartphone with a touchscreen? Or perhaps a basic phone with a QWERTY keyboard? This week in our "You tell us" series, we want to know which phone features are most important to you. Here's a list of some common features that most people will look at when buying a new phone:

Type of phone. There are basically three phone 'types' out there: smartphone, feature phone, and basic phone. A smartphone is along the lines of the Apple iPhone 4 or the Motorola DROID X, as they are running an advanced operating system (almost like a hand-held PC) and can preform a wide variety of tasks, such as email, full web browsing, and can download and run a myriad of apps. A feature phone, such as the LG enV Touch or Samsung Restore, appeals to a wide variety of people, as it's not a full-blown as a smartphone, but still has some nice features, such as a (limited) web browser and email. A basic phone, like the LG Clout and Samsung Haven, is for those individuals who's primary concern is placing and receiving phone calls and who want a device that is simple to use.

Call quality & Signal reception. Some people who use their phone very little for calls, but more for messaging, web access, and playing their MP3s may not put a high concern on their call quality or signal reception. While others who make a lot phone calls, or rely on it for their business, will place a higher priority. It is important here to see which carrier has good coverage in your home area and any areas that you travel to frequently. Even though most providers say they have 'Nationwide Coverage' you'll often see a difference in their maps when looking at low populated areas, as often times you'll be roaming on another network. Also keep in mind that GSM and CDMA calls will sound a bit different, so you may want to try a few out first. If you happen to travel overseas, it's may also be a good idea to invest in a Global Roaming phone that can work on the overseas GSM networks.

Display. If you're looking at a smartphone, chances are it will have a display of 3.5" or larger, and will also be touchscreen. Currently, the highest resolution display is found on the iPhone 4 coming in at 640x960 pixels, while most other smartphone offer a WVGA display of 480x800 pixels. The rule of thumb is the more pixels the better, as text and images look sharper. But there's also the debate as to which display technology is better, as there's LCD TFT and AMOLED. For basic phones, you'll be looking at a display around 2" that will be TFT and have a QVGA resolution of 240x320.

Keyboard and Messaging. If you're a heavy TXTer, chances are you want a device a with physical QWERTY keyboard, like on the Motorola DROID 2 or LG Cosmos, as you'll have that tactile feel of using a real keyboard. Other full touchscreen phones instead use a virtual keyboard on-screen, but it can at times be more prone to typing mistakes, so it's best to try it out first. It's also important to see what messaging apps are available on the device, such as email support, instant messaging, and connecting to social network sites. Remember, Texting isn't just for kids anymore.

Camera and Multimedia: When going with a smartphone, you're also getting a multimedia devices, not just capable of taking high-megapixel pictures or recording 720p HD video, but also playing your ripped videos. Most smartphones will play WMV and H.264/263 MP4 videos, while others like the Samsung Galaxy S line will also play DivX and XviD videos. But why stop there, as you can use the devices to play your music collection as well. There's a wide variety of media players on smartphones, so it's always a good idea to try them out first, just bring your microSD memory card with you to the store. Even if you go with a feature phone or a basic phone model, most will also include a camera, usually 1.3-2 megapixels, and will have a basic music player.

Build Quality. Since most people take their phone with them wherever they go, it's important to find a device that is comfortable and fits right in your hand, but is also made well and doesn't feel like it will break easily. Phones that are made out of metal or high-quality plastics are your best bet. If you put some pressure on it, you shouldn't feel it bend of flex. While lower quality plastics are usually found on inexpensive phones, as they will flex quite easily when applying any pressure...and will probably break when dropped.

Now it's your turn to let us know which phone features are most important to you and why that is. There maybe other features that are a must for you, such as having Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or a 3.5mm headset jack. Let us know in the Comment section below.



1. chrisb unregistered

One quality I think is pretty important is battery life. So what my phone can do all of these things? If I have a poor battery life I don't even get to enjoy the features.

29. KParks23

Posts: 729; Member since: Oct 13, 2010

i would like to know what kind of phone u guys are using to want 2 days of battery power my htc touch pro 2 is dead after 5 hours and thats after a full charge and my samsung fascinate bites the dust in about 5.5 hours then i put her on life support and sit next to the wall waiting for it to get better lol!!! seriously tho are u guy just not using ur phone that much or what?????????

40. Kurt unregistered

I use my phone a lot. And I still usually get more than two days out of it. Here are some hints: 1. Use a background that is mainly dark or black and NOT animated. 2. Minimize the number of widgets. 3. Turn the gps and wifi off when not using them. 4. Short blackout timings. 5. Don't waste your battery (and life for that matter) at games and fakebook. I would never, never ever accept a telephone that did not provide me with batterylife of at least two full days.

52. jenn05

Posts: 15; Member since: Jun 24, 2010

What fun is a phone where you have to minimize usage to keep it running??? I want to use my phone, not try not to use it just to save battery. These companies just need start coming out with a better battery to keep up with these power-hungry smartphones.

2. . unregistered

screen, processor, and mostly os. great hardware is nothing without great software to go with it.

3. MaxJake unregistered

1) Call quality / signal, battery 2) physical keyboard blackberry style not landscape, slide out is ok 3) durability 4) OS 5) camera quality

30. corps1089

Posts: 492; Member since: Jan 20, 2010

I need a landscape qwerty and it must have a dedicated number row so I can type numbers without the added press of a function key.

4. Phullofphil

Posts: 1823; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

battery life, battery life and batery life in that order. Also call quality then amount of functionality along with eas of use.

5. trin

Posts: 88; Member since: May 11, 2010

It seems like cellphone tech has outpaced battery tech. I don't understand with these phones being as large as they are, don't have a solar strip somewhere on the face to charge some or all of the phone when its sitting or being used face up.

6. AAABall unregistered

A loud ringer! Most smart phones are not designed for people who work outside or in noisy places. I also use my phone as my alarm clock.

7. Joshing4fun

Posts: 1246; Member since: Aug 13, 2010

Great hardware. I cannot stand a cheap feeling phone no matter how great it is (like the droid incredible)

8. Bankai unregistered

Processor speed and memory. Can't stand a phone that is slow processor!

16. Ziemba unregistered

Totally agree on the speed comment. I need a fast processor -- I can't stand when I'm typing on a virtual keyboard and my phone can't keep up with me. And I don't type very fast. Good display and Adobe Flash are also important to me these days. I want a good web experience. If the organizer of this forum wants to sort by user, I'm definitely a smartphone user.

9. Honey54 unregistered

Well I'm the kind of girl that ONLY cares about reception and coverage period.! Me being an att customer I have found out that att doesn't meet my standards I live in La which is a big city is not like I'm in the middle of no where I have come to terms and realise att doesn't provide good call quality and coverage in the La area I have had about every feauture phone att has to offer Sony Ericsson xperia x10,iPhone 4 , samsung captivate, bbold9700 , bb torch and so far they all had crappy n I mean shitty call quality and reception so Its not the phones its att service I miss my t-mobile g1 It had awesome loud crisp call quality and I also had better reception and also t-mobiles 3G was waaay faster than atts 3G so should I go back to t-mobile or give Verizon a try?? Any answers would be appreciated thanks xoxoxo

22. ecml

Posts: 129; Member since: Mar 23, 2010

T-mobile, although I don't have their coverage. Verizon isn't all that good, which is what I have but switching carriers soon, because their 3g isn't all that fast and these droid phones are kinda getting ridiculous with the monthly updates that screws up your phone lol

23. Honey54 unregistered

Thanks I guess lll go back to t-mobile :) and dump shitty att I can't stand there crappy service anymore

25. jherz6

Posts: 217; Member since: May 23, 2008

Honey, I have been a loyal Verizon customer since they were airtouch. In the past three years I have only dropped three calls that I remember. As far as coverage, I was in the navy and got into cell phones so when I was at sea I could still call home and talk to my wife and kids. I was told by several carriers the as long as I could see land I could get a signal, I went with Airtouch (Verizon) because my brother had a phone he wasnt using and gave it to me. I was at times fifty + miles from shore and NOT able to see land and I could boot up my phone and talk to my family like I was nextdoorand its only gotten better. One more thing I think mey be important to you that you havnt mentioned is customer service and support. Verizon has always, always taken care of me when theres been an issue. As far as tmobile is concerned, my daughter had them for a while and she had to exchange a phone by mail. She received the new phone she sent back the new phone, and tmobile claimed they never received it, and even though we provided them the tracking number which proved we'd sent it back after they followed up on it online they still were trying to charge her full price for a phone not returned. Needless to say we didnt pay it and they sure left a sour tase in my mouth. Verizon has the most stringent testing policies in the industry so when they relase a device you can be sure its ready to be released, not like the iphone 4g debockle. So in my opinion between Verizon or tmobile? Verizon no question.

48. FaizanA95 unregistered

Try Verizon... Att is shit... But if u love t mobile very much then u should go back to t-mobile! :)...

10. Sunkari Naveen unregistered

SmartPhone requirements : 1) touch screen (without sliding keyboard) 2) Call quality/signal, low battery consumption 3) OS with loads of free third party apps 4) Excellent sound loud speaker as well as headphone 5) Free office software & GPS 6) Latest connectivity features like Bluetooth 3, WiFi etc. 7) No proprietary features

21. Yea buddy unregistered

I take it your a Samsung Galaxy S user. Captivate FTW

11. Ferame

Posts: 3; Member since: Jun 26, 2010

1)Processor speed 2) Screen bigger than 3.5 3)Android 2.2 or iOS 4+ 4)Price 5)Flash player

12. The_WB unregistered

Coverage/Reception and Call Quality are the main reasons what you buy a cell phone. The others are optional equipment add-on's that enhance the quality of the cell phone. If you cannot make a call, why bother!

31. corps1089

Posts: 492; Member since: Jan 20, 2010

I could not care less about receiving calls on my phone. It is my mobile PC and must perform as a PC [both hardware & software].

13. JRN1704 unregistered

1) Signal and Call Quality 2) Display 3) Size; I may be the only person who dislike these phones coming out bigger and BIGGER. 4) Android OS; this OS needs to be released in sync with other companies and phones. Just dislike the fact that the upgrades are all over the place and some phones don't even qualify for upgrades.

14. FormerRuling unregistered

Must be "Smartphone". Which will include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and of this standard stuff. I also don't make mention of call quality or reception really - unless a phone has a noted problem with reception/quality I think they are mostly all the same. We just don't see phones where you say "wow, this phone specifically NEVER drops a call". Dealbreakers if don't have: - Battery Life. I want 2 days of good use out of the thing. Atleast. If I'm not multitasking it better last I long time. - Build Quality. I'm rough on things, I don't care how awesome it is if I break it in 2 months. - Physical QWERTY. Must give good feedback when pressed and have a sensible layout, common symbols having their own key is good. - Little to no lag. I don't care what processer or how much memory is long as it equals a smooth experience for me when using. Features to sweeten deal: - Great web browsing experience and social media intergration/apps. Saves from having to broadcast signal and using Ipod touch for this. - Clear loud speaker. I do on occasion like to talk on speakerphone. - OS with popular features. IE: Threaded (conversation) texting, customizable buttons/icons/layout/etc. Couldn't care less: - Display resolution. As long as I can see the screen, and it's decently big if touchscreen, I don't much care beyond that. - Camera and multimedia. I have a great little camera and an Ipod Touch..Just things I don't use my phone for.

32. corps1089

Posts: 492; Member since: Jan 20, 2010

I could not agree more with you on Dealbreakers and Features, but your Couldn't care less section are where we disagree. I want convergence on one device adn it must be capable in display and camera and media too. I will not carry mutiple devices for different tasks.

15. Gen unregistered

1. Must have physical QWERTY (virtual keyboard takes five times longer to type a sms/text). Must have sar-value under .60 (or it gives me a headache after just a few minutes of talking). Must have good battery power/low consumption (I absolutely refuse to recharge more often than every five days). Must look good (nice design). 2. Nice if it has a good camera. Nice if it has good processor. Nice if it has good text editing (office) software. Nice if it has good memory (both internal and expandable). 3. Should not have proprietary charger or connections. Should not lag while I'm typing. Should not have any "touch" buttons (or other surfaces that may get activated by my ear while I'm talking). 4.

17. Yalaststop unregistered

1. Type of phone 2. Call quality & signal reception 3. Camera and multimedia 4. Display 5. Build quality 6. Keyboard and messaging

18. ayephoner

Posts: 858; Member since: Jun 09, 2009

1. carrier, verizon is the only service that is worth its salt in my area. all others are awful 2.OS!!!! a smooth, intuitive OS with a fast, easy to use browser is by far the most important thing 3. battery life, having your phone die is just freaking miserable. 4. app store, this is an overrated feature, but still very important 5. hardware, cameras are cool. physical keyboards are waaaaayyyyy overrated, but can be nice to have.

19. mike p unregistered

Front facing camera 4G 3.7 inch screen or more but no More than 4.0 inches android with HTC sense UI no QWERTY Physical Keyboard

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