Buying Consumer Connected Cellular Devices
A cell phone used to be for one thing – making calls.
Today, however, making calls is just another app for what has become an incredible pocket-sized technological Swiss Army knife.
For many people, a smartphone has replaced their camera, their GPS navigation system, their game console, their CD rack, and for some, it has replaced their need for a separate computer entirely.
Tablets have nearly become usable as mini-laptops, and when embedded with a cellular modem, can become self-contained online appliances.
For many, smartphones and tablets can be a primary conduit to the internet – both directly and as a hotspot serving other devices.
And some laptops now come with integrated modems to reduce the need for extra gear.
Choosing a smartphone, tablet, or laptop is a personal decision, and there is no universal best pick.
Take some time to figure out what feels right. Get some hands-on time with both the hardware and the operating system. Don’t be swayed by splashy commercials, try not to focus on price, and absolutely do not lend any credence to the recommendations of store clerks.
While we don't have a focus on general consumer electronics here at the Mobile Internet Resource Center - our gear center only covers internet-specific gear like hotspots and routers - we can share some tips for consideration in selecting your personal devices for mobile internet optimization.
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Selecting Smartphones & Tablets
We go into specific considerations for Android and iOS phones & tablets - including understanding the fundamental differences between their hardware and software.
Selecting Laptops and Other Devices
Most laptops come with the ability to utilize Wi-Fi or Ethernet to connect to a network to get online, but some come with embedded cellular capability.
From carrier compatibility, modem specifications, and ports - additional considerations in selecting a connected device for mobile internet use.
From Wi-Fi calling, locked vs unlocked, and other features phones offer - this section gives you additional tips on selecting your ideal phone.
SIM Cards & Migrating Between Devices
Swapping SIM cards makes this possible and allows users to upgrade to a new device easily, or swap service between multiple devices depending on the need. And newer phones now offer dual SIM and eSIM capacity.
Summary: Take Your Time to Find the One You Love
With all the consumer electronic choices on the market, deciding what to get can be complicated and confusing.
Unless you are in a rush - take your time, do your homework, ask questions, and even have the patience to wait for special deals.
With just a little effort, you should be able to find a new phone, tablet or laptop that you will love for years to come.
Or at least until something even more totally awesome and new comes out next
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