Should I buy an MP3 cell phone?
November 13, 2006
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I'm thinking of buying a cell phone with a built-in MP3 player
as a holiday gift. Are the MP3 cell phones that are available today considered to be quality devices? And do they really allow someone to ditch their regular music player altogether?
| | In general, I think the convergence of cell phones and MP3 players
is much more logical and useful than trying to combine a camera and a phone. There are a number of great MP3 phones out there, but which one you should buy depends on what you want to do with the device. If you're looking to play tunes on the go, then by all means get an MP3 phone. But, if you're hoping to replace a video iPod that you use for music, photos, and videos, you'll have to wait a bit, as the cell phone technology isn't quite there yet.
Music cell phones do have a few limitations you should keep in mind. First, the most important is that the amount of integrated memory on even the most feature-rich multimedia handsets tops out at a few hundred megabytes. While the phones usually offer expandable memory card slots as well, the storage space won't be anywhere near that of an 80GB iPod. Second, the interface on music cell phones tends to be a bit rudimentary, and the navigation controls will be different from handset to handset. So, if you're an iPod purist who relishes the click wheel, you'll have to get acclimated to something less sophisticated. And because a carrier is involved, music cell phones typically come with a load of restrictions you won't find on a standalone music player. This is particularly true regarding how you get music on the phone. Also, though carriers such as Sprint and Verizon have their own music stores, they're quite pricey.