This came in at the right time. A good friend, Rishi Raj, wanted to write a guest post here and the article is rightly written at a time when everything we buy now depends on budget and affordability.


Before I start plugging in Rishi Raj's write-up, let me introduce you to Hunch, which takes away the burden of Decision-making and tries to help you decide what to do, which one to buy, et al. So, if you're buying a new phone, try out Hunch and the clever folks might be of help. If you haven't got an invite yet, try commenting with your email below and I'll see how many I can invite to Hunch.

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We, at oCricket, started an easy and downright simple contest - CricketHEIST. We've started with a simple but modest line-up of prizes which includes a Nokia XpressMusic, besides 3 of the new iPod Shuffles, a year worth of Hosting Gift Card from Media Temple and more.

So, if buying a new phone or wanted to replace your old one, here is one chance to do so. Check it out, you might be lucky. If you wish to be part of the contest and sponsor prizes, feel free to contact me.

New Mobile Phone releases are in abundance and happens almost every week. This usually causes confusions in the minds of the common users and the not-so-techy lot. The questions people ask includes the likes of -- 'Which one to buy?,' 'Will it suit me?,' 'This seems cool but my friend has it!'

Buying a new phone sounds simple but is one of those tough decision to make, specially when budget is a concern. Let's look at some options, tips, tricks and suggestions when buying a new Mobile phone or replacing your old faithful one.

The Brand

Ask yourself, "Am I a brand-stuck guy?" It is observed that most people go for the phone from the same brand which they had earlier because they were happy with that brand. Else they buy the other one if they have a bad experience.

For instance, specially in India, Nokia has captured a good market not only because of their quality but people tend to associate Nokia with Mobile phones as much as any common Internet user thinks of Internet Explorer Browser as the symbol of Internet.

So, if you're venturing out to buy a new phone, do your home-work -- Do a quick market research, Go to shops, ask them about which phones are selling good, ask friends. Try visiting Yahoo Answers and other phone related forums.

Do you know What you Want?

Again ask yourself the above question, do you really know what you want? If you are not technically sound, nor a technocrat, then do you really know the meaning of the stuff or features you want in your phone?

Get outside and you will hear a common word among youths and teens talking about their cellphones -- Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 16GB, etc. But what are they? Ask people and you will hear answers like its a thingy that transfer songs and pictures from one phone to another. Wi-fi is a hot topic in cellphone industry these days but do people really know what it is, leave alone needing it?

The very idea of "I want this ... and this ... and this in it" is not a very good idea at all. Decide what features you are looking for in the phone and then stick to it. You want a designer phone but as soon you enter the store, you saw a phone with some cheesy feature and you might just slip.

Do you really user all the features in your Phone?

My friend, once told me, he's got a Nokia N96 and its has got 16Gb of internal memory in which he can have loads of songs. Well, have you listen to all the GBs of songs?

You want a GPS, video conferencing, and the latest tech-buzz -- 3G in your phone? Well, GPS on cellphones are hardly meant for most Indian streets and video conferencing feature is not yet adopted by every service provider. The 3G is available now in many countries including India but with a rent which everyone with a 3G phone can't afford. Stick to features for which you have real utility. Most people don't utilize many features of their phone.

Here are the Recommendations

* Give a chance to all brands, check the catalogue.
* List down features for which you have utility and you want.
* If your feature list is small, go for simple phones; simpler the phone, the better it works.
* Research, and then finalize on some chosen models. Ask people on internet about it and even from your friends who are using it. Know their views and put weight on the user reviews than reviews from advertising sites and endorsing reviews.
* Give every phone you have finalized for a live demonstration in your nearest mobile store. See how friendly the user interface is, and how well you have set with the keypad and other stuffs of the phone.
* Make your mind, and buy the one which you find the best that suits you and not the people around you.

Enjoy your new Mobile Phone.