The cell phone you buy must have the following key features.

  1. Organizer Functions: Even the basic model cell phones have organizer features like calendar, alarm clock, stop watch, calculator etc. Advanced models will have many more options and some offbeat models offer apps like thermometer and compass.
  2. Calling features: consider the number of contacts you can store in your phone and also other options like voice dialing that allows you to make calls with voice commands and without using the keypad. Speaker independent voice dialing is the best as it will respond to your voice without training. Most of the smart phones offer dual mimics that dampen the background nice.
  3. Web Browser:  This allows you to surf the wireless web and get info on sports, weather reports, stock news etc. You can also download videos and games with web browser. WAP browsers are optimized to the view sites configured to small screen phones. High end phones have full HTML browsers, which when combined with large display rival the desktop experience.
  4. Messaging and Email:  Some handsets support instant messaging from services like AOL and Yahoo. Make sure your phone has this feature if you want to receive personal or work e-mail. Most phones that support e-mail use web interface for accessing your inbox and this might be clunky, but smartphones that use iOS or android or windows can sync e-mail automatically with your server.
  5. Camera and Video Recorder: you can use your phone to take pictures or shoot video clips. A few phones have camera with VGA resolution but most of them have resolution of 3MP or more. Most of the Smartphone these days have high resolution cameras that offers video recording of 720p or 1080p HD resolution. Other features include Geo tagging, smile and face detection etc.
  6. Memory: Storage space must be plenty in your phone to experience the joys of your multimedia phone. Your phone must also have an external memory card slot.
  7.  Push-to-talk: This is mostly useful for business users who need to contact their colleagues instantly. This is a walkie-talkie kind of a service that helps the users connect with people in their call groups instantly. But all carriers and phones do not have this feature.
  8. Bluetooth: This is an important feature as it helps you connect wireless through low radio frequency waves with external devices, such as headsets for making calls. It is also used to exchange or sync data with other Bluetooth devices.
  9. Multimedia Options: Some features that you need to look for in your phone are FM radio and digital music player. Also now-a-days with 4G wireless broadband networks, you can watch live TV. Video streaming and wireless music download. Contact your carrier for a complete list of services offered.
  10. Applications and Games: All the cell phones support games but not every phone comes with integrated titles. Then you can buy them for money. Choices depend on your carrier and software of your phone. Extra applications are available depending on your phone model and carrier also. For example  iPhone supports wide range of third part apps via app store and for Android and Windows phone it is through Google play and Xbox Live stores.

These are the key features a phone needs to have. Look for all these when you buy a new handset.