Welcome to The 411, my column answering all your questions about cell phones and cell phone accessories. I receive plenty of questions about these subjects via e-mail, so I figured many of you might have similar queries, too. Occasionally I solicit answers from readers if I'm stumped. Send your questions and comments to me at email@example.com. If you prefer to remain anonymous, let me know in the e-mail.
In lieu of the usual Q&A format this week, we're offering a few quick tips on cell phone gifting. I realize it's probably too late for some of you to go out there and buy holiday gifts, but for the last-minute shopper who plans to give a mobile-related gift, here are a few quick tips.
Don't forget the carrier -- It's easy to get enticed by shiny phones and forget that not all phones are supported by all carriers. If coverage is important to you, make sure the carrier of your choice has good signal in the recipient's home or office. Also realize that if you're getting a new phone, there are often two-year contracts that need to be signed, and if you're getting a smartphone, data plans are often required as well.
Of course, you can get past these issues if you're willing to fork out extra for a non-contract device. Sometimes this means getting an unlocked phone if you're on a GSM carrier, or you can also choose to get a prepaid plan if you want something a little cheaper. Definitely check out our cell phone buying tips for more detailed information on how to choose a carrier.… Read more