‘Tips’ Archive

Ten ways you can tell if your phone’s been Hacked

As the old saying goes, once the genie is out of the bottle, there’s no way to put him back. That’s how creator of the internet, Sir Tim Berners Lee, has recently stated he feels about the worldwide web which he gifted to the world.

He has warned that the potential for mobile phones and other devices to be tampered with in far reaching and damaging ways is high if proper protection is overlooked. “When people are thinking about the security of their systems, they worry about people discovering what they are doing,” Tim Berners-Lee said. “What they don’t think about is the possibility of things being changed.

Citing an example, he said: “If you disrupted traffic data to tell everybody that all the roads south of the river are closed, so everybody would go north of the river, that would cause gridlock and disable the city,

With iPhones and Androids rapidly becoming more advanced, there’s a growing trend in the number of smart phones being hacked, leaving users extremely vulnerable to compromised personal information. But what are the tell-tale signs your mobile phone has been compromised? If you notice any of the following occurrences over the course of a few days, the chances are your device has been hacked or compromised.

You have recently noticed your smartphone is slow and clunky

If your mobile feels like your phone is working reluctantly, almost against your will, and is slow, unresponsive, and typing is difficult, it may have become infected with malware. There are a number of free apps out there that can slow down your phone’s performance, and quickly fill the memory on your phone. Review your apps carefully, and if there are any you don’t need, or are not sure about, delete them.

You’re sending or receiving unusual text messages

If friends start telling you they are receiving unusual and unwanted text messages from you, or if you are receiving such messages, you could have had a security breach. It’s time to run a reliable anti-malware app to check if there is a problem.

New apps have been added to your phone and you didn’t install them

There are several vulnerabilities in operating systems that may let Android or iOS malware escalate privileges and gain the ability to circumvent security features. This can result in apps being installed without your permission. These apps can potentially steal your data, record your calls and text messages. They can even hijack your social-media and online banking sessions. Immediately delete any apps you did not install.

The battery is draining much quicker than it used to

Malware chews up battery time as it works on code in the background. If you find your battery draining faster than it used to check your apps to see how much memory they are consuming. If necessary delete them and install again, or just do without them. A clean fast phone is one that is not overloaded with apps.

Certain apps have stopped working properly

When apps that were working perfectly well start to misbehave, delete them, run a virus and malware check and install again from a trusted third party.

Data or text messaging (SMS) is greatly increased but your usage remains the same

You know your monthly data usage, but lately it has been considerably higher than you expected. Beware of text messages that can arrive in your inbox inviting you to click on them. Some of these seemingly innocent texts can charge you for every text you receive, and you can receive several a day, which will massively affect your charges as these are premium rate texts. Delete any texts you do not recognize.

Charges you do not recognize are displaying on your phone

Criminals love nothing more than to exploit an infected device. They make expensive overseas phone calls via remote party proxying through your device. They can also send SMS messages to international numbers, or ring up charges in other ways.

Your phone has been accessing dodgy sites you never tried to view

Many business mobiles operate on private networks that ban dubious sites of a certain nature such as porn sites or pirated content sites. If you notice that your phone has been trying to access such sites and has been blocked, when you yourself have not attempted to visit them, it is more than likely your phone has been infected, and you should report it to the company’s IT Department before the finger of suspicion falls on you.

An acquaintance seems strangely well informed about your schedule/activities

If you feel someone knows more about you than they should, such as what time you will be at a certain venue, or certain comments you have made to other friends, you may be being cyber stalked. This means a piece of malware has been introduced to your phone for the purposes of discovering everything about your personal, and quite possibly your financial life, too. Again, this you need to protect yourself by running anti-virus and malware software from a trusted source. It may also be necessary to go the whole way and restore the phone to factory settings, but make sure you back up valuable information, music and pictures to the cloud before doing so.

Your phone number is all a hacker needs

While it is important to take precautions by regularly checking your phone for malware and viruses, it is also worth bearing in mind that all a determined hacker needs to access your phone is your phone number. We are all guilty of giving away our mobile number too freely. How many business cards do you give to little known acquaintances during the course of the day?

Did you know an experienced hacker can use a network interchange service called Signalling System No. 7 (SS7), also known as C7 in the UK or CCSS7 in the USA.

CCSS7 acts as a broker between mobile phone networks. As calls or text messages are made across networks, CCSS7 handles details such as number translation, SMS transfer, billing and other back-end duties that connect one network or caller to another. By gaining access to the CCSS7 system, hackers can track a target’s location based on mobile phone mast triangulation, read their sent and received text messages, and log, record and listen into their phone calls, simply by using their phone number as an identifier. For this reason, it’s important to be extremely careful to whom you give your number.

How do you protect your mobile device when it has also become your mobile bank, your wallet, social network and more?

The truth is, you can never be fully protected, but an awareness of what hackers might try to do, and what happens when they have successfully hacked your phone will give you the awareness to do something about it quickly.

How can you change your service provider if you’re not happy with the service you’re getting?

That’s much easier to answer. Just contact Unlockbase. We have the largest database of mobile phones and service providers internationally. We can quickly, easily and securely unlock your phone and set you free to choose the best provider for your needs.

How to buy a used Smartphone

If you’re in the market for a new smartphone but don’t want to pay the, let’s be frank, not so advantageous monthly price of a service provider contract phone, you could decide to look for a “behind the curve” model. That is a secondhand smartphone that’s perhaps a year or two old, but still functions perfectly adequately.

There are several good sources for ‘behind the curve’ phones including Mobile-Base and Amazon. These sites often have deals on newish phones at close to used prices. But if you do decide on a second-hand smartphone, it’s vital to bear in mind some of the potential phone buying pitfalls.

The first thing to consider is what type of second hand phone option you want.

  • Save money on a popular brand second hand phone from a previous owner.
  • Or pay more for a refurbished phone. A refurbished phone is one that has been tested, fixed and made serviceable by a retailer. If you opt for this route, make sure you get a guarantee, even if it’s for a warranty of only six months.

Buying second-hand

Check the IMEI

If you decide to go the second-hand route, it’s vital to check that the smartphone works correctly, and above all, that it isn’t stolen. If it is and you buy it, your mistake will be discovered as soon as you try to fit a new sim card into it. The phone will die on you, not only that, you could be held responsible for handling stolen goods. 1 in 4 mobile devices checked has a significant used history.

To check if the phone is clean and not stolen you need to run a check on the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number. To find the IMEI on the phone check under Setttings/About Device on Android, or punch in *#06#. The IMEI will instantly appear on the screen.

You can then check the phone’s status at sites such as IMEIPro or CheckMend, said to be the world’s largest data resource on smartphones. While there is a small charge to check on this site, it’s well worth the price. Equipped with the IMEI number you can quickly find out the phone’s full specifications and its history, whether or not the Seller wants you to know about it. It’s like a VIN check for vehicles.

As soon as dodgy sellers realize you know about the requirement of checking for the IMEI, they may well quickly back off and try their luck with a less savvy buyer.

Meet face to face when possible

Whenever possible it’s always best to meet the seller face to face. Buying sight-unseen from eBay or sites that are not rigorously monitored can quickly lead to buyer’s remorse. Sites such as Mobile-Base are monitored, and in the event there is a provable problem they will intercede on your behalf, because all Sellers are vetted.

Consider sim size

Another important point to check is whether you have the right size sim right size sim for the phone you want to buy, but you can always pick up a cheap one.

Check for damage

An important advantage in viewing a phone face to face rather than online is that you can check for scratches, dents, screen cracks and full functionality. Don’t forget to check the camera lens for scratches or misting. If the back opens, open it: the smartphone should be clean inside, and the battery still serviceable.

A fair price

Getting the best bargain for your purchase of course involves several factors including the age of the phone, the condition, the model, whether it’s brand new in box, all the usual variables, however, before you start discussing price, have a good idea in your mind as to what the same model is selling for elsewhere. It makes it much easier to spot a bargain price, but then is a bargain price truly a bargain. Only homework can help you decide.

Buying refurbished

Across the States there are dozens of sites that cater to refurbished phones including Mobile-Base, BestBuy and Overstock. Then of course there is eBay and Amazon. With the exception of eBay, you can spread the cost of your purchase with a credit card and even opt for added protection to guard against any technical or hardware problems.

Buying in-store

If you decide to buy from a bricks and mortar store, remember to bring along a laptop, a charging cable, earbuds or headphones, and even a microSD or SD card. Check the smartphone charges by plugging it into your laptop to make sure it charges. Check the headphone jack and card slot. Place your own sim in the phone and make a phone call.

Locked or unlocked

If the smartphone is locked to a certain network provider which you don’t want, you can quickly, easily and cost effectively unlock it with UnlockBase, the leading online remote unlock service. You can also bargain down the seller as it should be cheaper than an unlocked phone. An unlocked phone gives you complete freedom to choose your own network at a price you want to pay.

Secret codes and apps

Smartphones usually have hidden codes that provide access to extra information and self-test routines. As an example of this, Android phones, *#*#4636#*#* will provide usage statistics and battery information, while *#*#0*#*#* will run an LCD display test. A useful site for checking out codes is Redmond Pie. You can also research the phone you’re after on a YouTube. You can alternatively run an app test such as Phone Tester for Android or Phone Doctor Plus for Android and Apple’s iOS. These apps will give you a quick gauge of the smartphone hardware and the state of the battery. There’s no excuse for not doing your homework, it takes just a few minutes to save yourself a lot of hassle down the line.

Armed with this information and plenty of due diligence, you should be able to find a good quality second-hand or refurbished phone at a good price.

6 Great Ways To Improve Cellphone Reception

Think about it. Would you rather go back to the good old days when you couldn’t carry a phone around with you? It had certain advantages. People accepted the fact that there would be whole hours of the day when you simply could not be contacted. Nowadays we get jumpy if we can’t get hold of someone inside of an hour, often half an hour.

Being unable to get hold of people in an emergency was a frustration, but it’s a frustration that has now been largely overcome. But now there’s a new source of frustration and exasperation. It’s called poor cell phone reception. It affects everything that governs modern life; phone calls, instant messaging, text messaging, email, internet, apps, social media, and plenty of other real-time services.

We’ve become so accustomed to an always on, always working world, that our levels of patience have greatly decreased. When there is no cellphone reception it’s almost enough to throw your phone out of the window.

Our service providers ensure we pay handsomely for the privilege of such convenience, so it’s only fair we should expect reliable 3G & 4G LTE signals, but do we always get them? No. However, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to help boost your cell phone strength.

1) Let nothing come between you and your cell tower

Your cellphone works best when there’s an uninterrupted signal between you and the cell tower. Your phone should also work well when it’s right in front of the router, but if you’re in another room there are objects and obstructions in between. The trick is to reduce interference between the cell phone and the cell tower. To do this you can go outside or stand by an open window, away from thick walls and insulated interiors.

If a good signal really matters to you, look out for tall trees, hills, mountains, metal structures, and high buildings before you settle on a place to live, all these will contribute towards a poor signal. You can also check with your service provider what the signal is like in any particular area. And the higher your apartment, the better as high rise apartments get the best signal.

Then there’s the weather. Unfortunately, we can’t control it, but it may also affect service. Rain, snow and thunderstorms can all reduce reception, but sometimes, just shifting your position a few feet can reduce the problem.

2) Know where your nearest cell tower is located

Finding out where your nearest cell phone tower is located can really help in your battle for better cellphone signal. If you want to know where your nearest cell tower is, go online, enter your zip code or city and state and you can quickly find out. You can discover cell tower locations by all the major carriers including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, & T-Mobile. The reviews from other users will give you an honest appraisal as to cell signal strength.

- Check websites:

OpenSignal ranks the top carriers and their signal with a cell phone coverage map and then further compares your area cell phone signal nationwide and even worldwide. You can also refine the type of cell phone signal by 2G, 3G, and 4G.

- Download an App:

OpenSignal: For iPhone | For Android
Akvelon’s Signal Finder: For iPhone | For Android
RootMetrics’ Cell Phone Coverage Map: For iPhone | For Android

- Use your phone:

Your smartphone is a great way to find signal strength. Cell phone signals are measured in dB (decibels). Similar to radio waves, such as AM/FM. All cellular devices operate within this standard:-50 dB to -120 dB signal level.

-50 dB is considered full strength (full bars). -120 dB is considered signal Death Valley.

So, while the bars on your phone are supposed to indicate signal strength, you can’t truly rely on it. Why? Because there’s no industry standard and practice to label dB values in relation to the number of bars. For example, 1 bar on Verizon is 2 bars on AT&T and 3 bars on Sprint, even though it could be the exact same signal and performing at the same speeds.

You can check the Db readings like this:

For iPhone Users:

  • Go into Phone Mode
  • Dial and Call *3001#12345#*
  • You know enter in “Field Test Mode”
  • Drag down your notifications bar and you will see your dB reading in the left-hand corner.

Field Test Mode on iPhone

For Android Users:

  • Go to Settings > General > About Phone
  • Then “Network” (or  “Status“)
  • You should see your dB Value

Now try walking around the house to find out where you receive the best signal. The number closest to -50 dB is where you get your best signal.

3) A full battery means a better signal

Connecting to a cell tower takes a constant supply of power, so if you’re low on battery, your phone might not be able to identify the best signal. Options like Bluetooth and NFC should be switched off when not in use. Close unnecessary or unused apps working in the background. Turn off push notifications, and always update to the latest firmware.

4) Use your Wi-Fi Network

If you keep your WiFi signal on your phone switched on when you are outside, remember to switch it off when you get home and use Wi-Fi Calling, using your broadband landline WiFi to make

calls and connect to the internet. T-Mobile and Sprint offer full WiFi calling support, while AT&T and Verizon only support WiFi calling on select phones. If you already have landline internet, connecting your cell phone should help boost reception service.

5) Cell phone signal boosters

These are powerful FCC-certified devices that harvest your 3G & 4G signals and amplify them by up to 32 times and then rebroadcast it to your home or car.

Cell phone boosters are one-time purchases with no monthly fees. They come with 2-year manufacturer’s warranty and lifetime technical support. They are fully legal and approved by all US and Canadian carriers, and they work for any cellular device on any US or Canadian network.

6) Unlock your phone and find another carrier

If you’ve done everything you can and you’re still not happy, you can complain to your service provider. It’s their duty to ensure as much as possible that you get good reception. Competition for your business is keen. Sprint offer a 50% cut on bills if customers switched carriers, while T-Mobile will pay for any early termination and old payment plan fees. Good carrier deals are out there waiting to be discovered.

But if you decide you want to change your service provider, UnlockBase is here to help. We unlock the widest range of phones from the longest list of service providers, and we can free your phone, quickly, conveniently and economically.

5 Ways To Avoid Digital Eye Strain

We are all guilty these days of spending far too much time in front of one digital screen or another. The smartphone in particular has become a constant habit for millions. One staggering statistic is this: Fully 90% of 18 to 29 year-olds sleep with their phone on their bed and consult it sporadically throughout the night. Staring at the bright light of the phone in the pitch dark is a perfect recipe for developing eye strain and a number of longer term eye problems.

You know if you are not happy with a mobile phone service provider you can easily contact UnlockBase to unlock your phone and free yourself up to find a better deal within minutes. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy for your vision. We are all given just one set of eyes, and like it or not, it’s a lifetime contract.

In the digital era, not only young adults, but also children and even retirees are experiencing symptoms such as eye strain, headaches, dry eyes, blurred vision, neck, back and shoulder pain.

With so many of us using mobile phones by day and night and then computers throughout the day at work, digital eye strain has become a major job-related problem Studies show that eye strain and other visual symptoms now occur in 50 to 90% of computer workers.

Digital eye strain, which can produce blood shot, tired and dry eyes, does not only affect vision. Physical fatigue, decreased productivity and an increased numbers of work errors are also common.

These 5 easy steps are designed to help you reduce your risk of mobile phone and computer eye strain and give your eyes the rest they so badly need.

1. Take an annual eye exam

Routine eye exams are important to prevent or treat digital vision problems. These should be taken yearly. Tell your eye doctor how often you use a phone and or computer at work and at home. You should also measure how far your eyes are from your screen when you sit looking at your screen. Bring this measurement to your exam so your eye doctor can test your eyes at that specific working distance.

2. Get the lighting right

Eye strain often is caused by excessively bright light either from outdoor sunlight coming in through a window or from harsh interior lighting. It can strain your eyes more to look at you phone outside than it is with lighting that is half as bright as that of your device. You should close drapes, shades or blinds and use fewer light bulbs and fluorescent tubes.

3. Reduce glare

If you wear glasses, opt for lenses with anti-reflective (AR) coating. AR coating reduces glare by minimizing the amount of light reflecting off the front and back surfaces of your eyeglass lenses.

You can also go to Settings on your mobile phone to adjust the brightness of the display. As a test, look at the white background of this Web page. If it looks like a light source, it’s too bright. If it seems dull and gray, it may be too dark.

4. Give your eyes a workout

Eyes need exercise just like every other part of the body. Look away from your screen every 20 minutes and gaze at a distant object (at least 20 feet away) for at least 20 seconds. It’s called the 20-20-20 rule. It also helps to take regular walks outdoors and looking at greenery and hills in the distance to provide a different field of vision for your eyes. Looking into the distance relaxes the focusing muscle inside the eye to reduce fatigue.

Look far away at an object for 10-15 seconds, then gaze at something up close for 10-15 seconds. Then look back at the distant object. Repeat 10 times. Take frequent breaks during your computer work day.

Many workers take only two 15-minute breaks from their computer throughout their work day. Studies show discomfort and eye strain were significantly reduced when computer workers took four additional five-minute “mini-breaks” throughout the working day.

5. Take frequent breaks

Finally, do not be glued to your seat all day gazing at a screen. Get up and walk around regularly to give your eyes and your mind something else to focus on.

7 Ways To Boost The Performance Of Your Android Phone

It’s well known that over time Desktop PCs and laptops start to slow down due to all the bloatware and performance tasks the computer undertakes each day. And unless great care is taken each uninstalled program leaves junk behind to slow things down even further. It’s no different with smart phones. Over time the performance of your Android OS will start to diminish. In order to get the best out of your phone you have to be careful what you download onto it, and be ruthless about offloading any unwanted or clunky apps that slow down performance. It is extremely tempting to trial swathes of new apps on Google Play store, but here are 7 top tips to keep your phone in tip top shape.

1. Less Is More

A smart phone’s RAM and OS can be quickly consumed by resource-hungry apps which sap performance and make everything seem slower and more labored. If you notice typing messages is becoming slower, apps are taking longer to open, and your phone seems to be working too hard to do simple tasks, it’s a sure sign you have an overloaded phone, and it’s time to uninstall as many apps as you can spare. Keep your phone lean and mean. Apps eat away at your storage space and can slow down background processes. The more storage space occupied or the more background processes running on your phone, the slower your phone’s performance. If you don’t want an app, long press on the icon and click Uninstall.

2. Update your Android

Always ensure your phone is updated to the latest version of firmware. There are important performance tweaks with each new release of the Android operating system. They help to improve stability, produce higher performance speed and greater connectivity. You can check if your phone has the latest upgrade by going to Settings and clicking on About Phone, then Check for Updates.

Check for Software Update Android

3. Disable Little Used Apps

Some apps you might want to keep even though you don’t use them every day. You can disable these apps by using Performance Assistant. Disabled apps are not shown on the home screen or app tray but you can re-enable them for use whenever you need them.

4. Regularly Update Your Apps

Apps change over time. They are regularly improved and updated, and it will improve the performance of your phone if you regularly update your phone’s installed apps from Google Play. Developers frequently fix bugs and add useful new features in newly released versions of apps. As a result of this, regularly updated apps perform better and faster, and will be less likely to crash or slow down your phone.

5. Use A High-Speed Memory Card

The memory card in your phone is the storage capacity available to you. The more space you have, the more you can store. If your phone has low internal memory, why not boost it with a high-capacity memory card. A good storage card not only adds storage space but also helps to speed up your phone. Storage cards are available in a range of sizes from 2GB right up to 128GB. Always go for memory cards of Class 6 or Class 10 for your Android phone to improve on performance.

6. Learn to Live Without Live Wallpapers

While live wallpapers on your phone can be a lot of fun and attract plenty of attention, many of those provided by the various phone manufacturers are poorly made, chew up a lot of megabytes and will require more CPU cycles to run. This is a sure-fire way to drain your battery fast. Unless you have a high capacity, high performance RAM phone, try to avoid using a live wallpaper.

7. That Syncing Feeling

While Sync is a useful feature as it synchronizes your data with Google servers, keeping sync on permanently means you can reduce your phone’s performance. Sync notifies you whenever new mail comes in or when you get new notifications or updates for apps. In order to sync your phone it performs a refresh at preset intervals. To reduce the amount of processing your phone performs, you can opt to keep Sync off for unrequired services or have it on only when you need to transfer or upload materials to Google servers.

What You Can and Cannot Expect From A Smart Phone Repair Center

As technology changes so do the skills of the people who repair the hardware and increasingly the software too. While you can still find TV repair services, you are much more likely to find smart phone repair service stores in your local mall or high street. And all for a product that people could not see the need for just two decades ago.

What you can expect from a Smart Phone Repair Center

Essential repairs

Because we carry our phones with us everywhere we go, it presents many opportunities for them to become damaged, either internally or externally. For example, dropping your smartphone on the sidewalk is almost guaranteed to break your screen. While accidentally dropping your smart phone into water is going to cause all kinds of challenges to dry it out and get it working again.

Iphone_Repair

These are but two of the many challenges facing smart phone repair companies each day. But even if there is no external damage to the phone, sometimes the smart phone can just decide to freeze up and not co-operate at all.

Software freezes

In the world of smart phone repairs, such problems are every day occurrences, and you can expect a good service center to be familiar with them. In the event of a repair being necessary, it’s important for you to know the brand, model number and IMEI of your phone as soon as you purchase it. Should you have to take your phone to a repair center, these details will be the first things they will ask of you. If you are not familiar with your IMEI number, you can access it by punching in *#06#.

Spares and replacement parts

If you damage your phone or you need a part for a smart phone when yours breaks down, you’ll want to get it fixed in a flash. The quickest, safest and easiest way to do this is by finding a smart phone repair center close to you.

Because they will be familiar with most phone models, whether on the iPhone or Android platform, you can expect them to quickly access spares or replacement parts. Trying to fix the phone yourself can lead to the phone shutting down altogether, and at the same time possibly voiding the warranty. Most repairs should be fixable inside of a couple of days. Repair centers know you depend on your phone, so turnaround is deliberately streamlined not only to help you, but to maximize their profits.

Cellphone unlocking

Increasingly, smart phone repair service centers are also offering cellphone unlock services such as those offered by UnlockBase. In fact, UnlockBase is a market leader in turnkey cellphone operations for many leading smart phone service centers, so if you wish to get your phone unlocked locally, check if they are using UnlockBase as their unlock service provider.

What you cannot expect from a Smart Phone Repair center

Privacy

Remember, when you leave your phone at a repair service center, you are also leaving a large chunk of your life in the hands of a complete stranger. If the repair center needs to make repairs that require accessing your phone’s content, they can quickly discover all your photographs, messages and downloaded videos, so if you have anything embarrassing, or worse, incriminating on your phone be sure to remove such items before you hand it over. You cannot expect a service repair center to repair your phone and not see its private content.

Data loss

Of course, phones that break down are also at heightened risk of losing all your vital data and information. Do you know the phone numbers of every contact on your phone? No you don’t, and in many cases you can’t expect a repair service center to retrieve the irretrievable. So it’s a good idea to store your information on the cloud, and there are several online options such as Google Drive available that can store all your information securely.

7 Top Tips for Buying a Mobile Phone

1. Choosing the right phone for you

Remember the good old days when a handset just sat in your bedroom or living room and if you needed to make a call in town you made it from a phone box? Those days are long gone. While some phone-boxes do still exist, the global population has switched to a portable handset, and with each new year advances in technology make the choice ever more bewildering. The number of pay phones in the States have declined 50% since 2007, and the younger generation wouldn’t even know how to use one.

So if you are thinking of buying a phone, be it your first or your 31st, it pays to know what type of phone you want before putting down your money.

At the top of today’s handset food chain is the smartphone. These are the devices which have the most power, the fastest processors and Wi-Fi; high image resolution and ample memory capacity as well as the most pixel-rich screens. Their operating systems are designed by the big players; market leaders such as Apple Ios, Google Android, and a relatively late entrant to hand held devices, Microsoft Windows 10 Mobile, not forgetting BlackBerry 10. They support a host of downloadable applications through virtual storefronts, designed to work with their associated software platforms.

Messaging or feature phones

Feature phones offer many of the same capabilities as smartphones but instead of popular mobile operating systems, they run proprietary software crafted by their manufacturers, such as Samsung, LG or Kyocera. These phones are usually good for text messaging and email, but there is no data plan required. Many feature phones have full QWERTY physical keyboards. With a raft of cheap, available Android and Windows phones such handsets are becoming rarer.

Basic phones

For those who just want a phone to make phone calls and send text messages, there are still plenty of basic handsets, easy to use, easy to understand with simple keypads. Like many phones of the early noughties, these still come in clamshell designs that flip open, or open plan with a small screen and the keypad directly underneath. Today these can be comfortably put in a top pocket as they are significantly smaller than feature phones and smartphones.

2. Invest as much as you can afford

Whether you choose to sign up for a Contract or go Sim Free, you should seriously consider buying the best device you can afford. This will give your investment a certain amount of future-proofing. Choose the best possible camera quality and processor you can find so that you can take great pictures and not get frustrated each day with a processor which is too slow for your needs. Also, consider a phone with a high capacity battery so that it does not hold less and less charge as time goes by. High-end handsets such as the iPhone 6S, LG V10, or Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ also hold their resale value over time, so if you do decide to sell it or upgrade, the phone should be an easy sell. Whichever phone you opt for, if you’re happy with the way it works, but not the cellphone provider operating, UnlockBase can help. We unlock more cellphones from more cellphone providers from around the world than any other remote unlock service on the web. We can unlock your phone usually within minutes, quickly, safely and cost effectively.

3. Decide on the features you need

Pay for features you do need and not for what you don’t want. Obviously high end smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+, include just about everything, but if you are not looking for something so app and feature rich, look for a more mid-priced model such as the Microsoft Lumia 640 LTE.

Microsoft Lumia 640

Microsoft Lumia 640

4. Find the right design for you

Once you buy a smartphone you’re going to be handling it a lot – a heck of a lot. research shows we hold our smartphones every 6 seconds in the evenings, so you need a phone you like the look of and like the feel of. Since you’re likely to gaze at it at least 110 times a day, you need to make sure that your phone reflects your style, whether it’s a sleek metal handset, a flip phone or a rubber-coated handset. Of course you can also hide your phone with a huge variety of specially designed smartphones cases.

5. Pick your screen size

There are trends in screen sizes, and right now, the big 5.5 inch screens are the most popular because they afford easy viewing for gaming and a raft of new digital streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Video but you can still find a wide variety of display sizes.

Small Screen (Less Than 4.5 Inches)

Not always do you need a small screen. If you need a phone for carrying in your pocket and sending regular messages, you should choose a compact design.

Medium Screen (4.5 to 5.4 Inches)

This screen size is still extremely popular and such phones as the iPhone 6 (4.7 inches), HTC One M8 (5 inches) and Galaxy S6 (5.1 inches) fall into this screen size category. They are ideal for playing games and can also be used for streaming videos.

Large Screen/Phablet (5.5 Inches or More)

The Phablet has evolved and has taken the smartphone world by storm. Larger displays screens which can be 5.5 inches or more, include the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus and LG G4, and the 5.7-inch Samsung Galaxy Note 4, The phablet is so called because they are tablet sized but completely portable. Often used as two-handed devices, many surfers prefer larger displays for watching videos, reading eBooks and even running two apps side by side, as with the Galaxy line.

LG G4

LG G4

6. Size and Weight

Smartphone manufacturers are constantly striving to make cellphones lighter while also making them larger, because they know that users do not want to walk around with a lead weight in their pocket. The weight of a smartphone is dictated by its screen size. The 4.6-ounce iPhone 6, for example, has a 4.7-inch display and is one of the thinnest and lightest handsets on the market. Then again, the big-screen phablets such as the Nexus 6, has a 6-inch display and weighs 6.5 ounces, which of course is nearly half a pound! Once you get above 6 ounces, you’ll really notice the weight of a phone in your pocket. If you don’t want your phone weiginh you down, opt for a handset under 5 ounces.

Nexus 6

Nexus 6

7. Display Quality

Before you sign on the dotted line or hand over your credit card, look at the quality of the phone’s resolution. Quality of resolution is often the difference between cheap Chinese imports and the high-end brands. Ask about HD quality and, like buying a new TV, look out for a smartphone’s resolution, brightness, color quality and viewing angles. You’ll be gazing at it far more than you’ll be gazing into your partner’s eyes, so make sure it is as good as spec as you can get.

Introducing Mobile-Base Marketplace (Buy & Sell Cell Phone)

Mobile-Base is a dynamic new site that offers customers around the world a safe, secure and properly vetted buying experience for mobile phones of all kinds and for all budgets. With over two billion mobile phones currently in use around the world, there’s always a great bargain to be had, but when you buy remotely it’s often difficult to know what you are getting.

Buy Cell Phone from Sellers you can trust

Instead of working with Sellers you don’t know or trust, Mobile-Base takes the time and effort to work with cell phone stores and dealers around the world who are keen to work with us. They want to extend the good service and reputation they have built up in traditional bricks and mortar stores and start to offer their products and services online. And because every dealer is checked, buyers can feel confident that they will receive exactly what they pay for.

The site is designed to be easy to navigate, and refreshingly fast to find exactly what type of phone or device you are looking for, or where is the best section for you to sell your own wares. Whether you’re looking to buy, or you want to sell a phone, you can be up and running on Mobile-Base fast.

Tell us what you want, we’ll tell you when it’s available

Whichever model you are looking for from a wide choice of brands, if you don’t find what you want straightaway you can subscribe to the site and we’ll let you know as soon as a seller offers the phone you are searching for.

With each Seller we feature you can quickly check what inventory they have on the site, as well as their pricing history. If you find better value, just move on, Mobile-Base is like a multi storey shopping mall that only sells phones and devices, so there’s a lot of choice.

We make sure everything runs smoothly. Mobile-Base has a a team of ten dedicated mobile phone experts working 24/7 to review and monitor every single deal posted on our site so as to offer maximum protection to our customers, and to ensure prompt and efficient payment for our trusted dealers.

So whether you’re a webmaster or a cell phone store owner, you should get in touch to find out more about our affiliate program and details on how you can make some serious money by trading your phones with us.

Trade older phones and devices on Re-Boot Hill

In addition to selling new or newish phones and devices, you can even buy or sell older products, many of which are rare and no longer in production, in our special section called Re-Boot Hill. There is still a thriving market for older phones, tablets, iPads and other devices, as well as all those easy to lose accessories such as chargers and cables that go with them. And even though these are older products you’re still protected to make sure you get exactly what you pay for. All item descriptions must be accurate and truthful.

Learn handy hints on buying and selling online

In the coming months we’ll be adding informative articles on best practice for buying and selling mobile phones and other devices remotely. There are already articles on how not to get scammed, how to find that all important IMEI, and how you can make money from older devices. You can learn a lot without having to lift a finger.

Tell us what you want!

Rather like a smartphone, Mobile-Base is a two-way communications tool. We tell you what’s out there, you tell us what you want and how you want the site to improve. We’re here to listen to what you need to make ours the best mobile phone market on the web. Check us out!

A brief history of the Cell Phone

We think of cellphones as being very much a 21st century invention. And there is no doubt they have become indispensable to our everyday lives, all around the world. Modern cellphones or smartphones as they have become known, are used as a means of instant communication, whether by phone, text, email, instant message, or Skype. For video gaming, for music, for photography, even for finding our way to the nearest take out at 2am in the morning.

As more apps are developed, they become more crucial to our everyday lives. But did you know that wireless technology has actually been around since the early 1900s? No? Then you need to arm yourself with our brief history of the cellphone.

Wireless Technology in the Early 1900’s

It all started with one Nathan B. Stubblefield in the year 1908. He was a self-described “practical farmer, fruit grower and electrician” and also an inventor who was granted a patent by the US government to develop a wireless telephone technology system. Fast forward to 1921, and the first use of a radio telephony service became available on first-class passenger trains on the Berlin-Hamburg route in Germany.

Stubblefield (1908) with his later, induction, wireless telephone

Stubblefield (1908) with his later, induction, wireless telephone

Meanwhile, not to be outdone, in the United States, the first radio receiver was created by the Galvin Manufacturing Company, and soon became known as the Walkie Talkie. The model was referred to as the Motorola SC-300. The Walkie Talkie was quickly adopted by police departments as it delivered a means of constant communication, even while the police were out patrolling the beat.

Mobile Phone Technology after World War 2

The first official “cellphones” although not as we know them today, were first used by the Swedish Police in 1946. They worked by means of connecting a hand-held phone to the central telephone network. These early cellphones were separate to two-way radio phones that were commonly used in cars and taxis as a means of portable communication. There was just one problem with these phones, they could only make 6 calls before the car’s battery was drained!

Modern cell phone technology closer to what we recognize today, started when the appropriately named D.H. Ring from Bell Labs created hexagonal cells for mobile phones in 1947. Later, another engineer from Bell Labs came up with the idea of cell towers that would transmit and receive signals in three directions instead of two. However, rather like aviation design, electronics and other technologies take decades to mature. For instance, the electronics that were used in the first real cell phones were first developed in the 1960’s. In 1950, radio phones were used by the US military for communication and civil services.

1947 Paper That First Described a Cell-Phone Network

1947 Paper That First Described a Cell-Phone Network

Cellphone Development in The ’60s

The electronic parts and components that are used in today’s generation of cellphones were developed during the 1960’s. Yes, cellphone technology was already available in the 60s, however its use was only restricted because the cell areas were only base stations which covered a limited land area. During these times, calls could be made, but if the cellphone user traveled beyond the boundaries of the cell area, the signal got blocked or went dead. Of course that can still happen today but cellphones can cover a far wider area.

Cellphones in the 70’s and 80’s

In 1970, Amos Edward Joel, who also was another engineer at Bell Labs, developed the call handoff system. This technology facilitated phone calls from one area to another that would not be dropped. By 1971, AT&T, requested a public cellular phone service from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), but that request was only processed a decade later. The advent of analog cellphone service began in 1982, and this continued until 1990.

In 1983, Motorola unveiled the first truly portable cellular phone to the world. It was called the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X, also known as the Brick. This was they type of phone Michael Douglas used in the movie Wall Street. The FCC approved it in the United States. Motorola developed the technology for cellular phones for decades and this particular phone took 15 years to come on the market at a cost of over 100 million dollars.

Michael Douglas (as Gordon Gekko in the movie "Wall Street") holding a Motorola DynaTAC

Michael Douglas (as Gordon Gekko in the movie “Wall Street”) holding a Motorola DynaTAC

Cellphones become smartphones – 2007 to present

Just prior to the new millennium in 1999, the first-ever fully-fledged Internet phone service was introduced by Japanese company NTT Docomo. The following year, mobile phone advertising first appeared in Finland, when a free SMS text service was launched, and was sponsored by advertisers. Cellular phones from the early 1990s are considered second generation (2G) and they were able to work on mobile phone systems such as GSM, IS-136 (TDMA), and IS-95 (CDMA). Digital mobile phone networks were in use in the United States in 1990 and in Europe by 1991.

Cell Phone Evolution

In 2001, the pre-commercial 3G trial network was also launched by NTT Docomo, and soon after, Sony and Ericsson agreed to create a joint company, which was called Sony-Ericsson, for the development and manufacture of high-end cellphones.

Just as 3G became accepted worldwide, and phones were designed around the capabilities of the speed and services it could provide, along came 4G in 2011.

When we look back on the introduction of the Apple iPhone, one of the earliest smartphones in 2007, everyone hailed it as a complete revolution, enabling music, photography and instant messaging, yet all this was managed on 3G, and in comparison to today’s high speed 4G broadband access, today the first Apple iPhone would seem incredibly clunky, underpowered and slow.

With the introduction of 4G mobile broadband (short for 4th generation) in Korea as early as 2008, smartphones of today act as efficiently and effectively as laptop computers, while still remaining wireless. This allows mobile phone users to access the full internet just as they would on a computer without any decrease in speed or the dropping of any data. If you think back to early websites adapted for mobile, they were slow, prone to stalling and generally frustrating to deal with. In the last couple of years, apps have been developed for popular websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Amazon that actually work better and look better than their desktop based counterparts. For now, the 5G network is the fastest mobile broadband network available.

Wireless Speed Evolution

The technology behind the 4G network is either WiMax or Long Term Evolution (LTE). WiMax uses a broadband network over a wireless connection. LTE, on the other hand, transfers data using IP connections. Essentially 4G creates an IP address for every mobile device.

And what about the future of broadband transmission and advances in smartphone technology? There are great plans underway but we will leave that for another posting…

6 great reasons your cellphone needs a screen protector

At UnlockBase we deal with more types of cellphones than people even know exist. We handle all the big name brands as well as several lesser known brands. We offer the largest database of cellphones and service providers on the web, and we advise hundreds of customers each and every day about all kinds of topics, from how to unlock their phone to how take care of their phone.

Here then is our expert advice on the best post-purchase care of your device when it comes to the all-important screen. You’ve just bought or signed up for the gleaming new cellphone, but after just five minutes of use the screen can easily become a smeary, sticky mess of bacteria and fingerprints. With an unprotected screen, after just a few weeks, hairline scratches can start to appear from those times the phone scraped your keys in your pocket or you placed your phone front side down. Then there’s the dust, or the damage from UV rays, or maybe the eye searing glare from the screen when your insomniac boss calls you at gone 2am to check on stuff he could have asked you during the day.

Since the glass screen is one of the most vulnerable parts of a costly cellphone it makes sense to protect it with a good quality screen protector. But before purchasing just any screen protector, consider what type of protection you need. If you use your phone mainly for business you might want to consider a screen that protects your privacy, or if you use it at home during your leisure time, you may simply need a screen protector to protect against scratches, dirt, and sticky fingerprints.

As with many modern developments that have since become household products, the United States military first used a similar transparent coating to protect helicopter blades and electronic displays from abrasive airborne particles in harsh environments. Screen protectors are made from a an extremely thin clear plastic material that covers the screen of your phone so perfectly that users often do not even realize they have a screen protector on their phone. In the early days, screen protectors could be rather fiddly as they had to be trimmed to size, but today’s versions come pre-trimmed and punched to fit a wide range of cellular devices. Here are 6 top reasons you should put a screen protector on your phone.

  • Screen Protector For Better Privacy

With a privacy screen protector prying eyes are unable to read your private data when out in public. That’s because the information on your phone is visible only to you as you are directly in front of the screen looking straight at it. When the phone is tilted at an angle, however, the contents of the screen become masked, keeping electronic data confidential and blocking the view from nosey neighbors in the subway or on the coach.

Privacy Screen Cell Phone

  • Screen Protector As A Handy Mirror

Need to check your appearance or freshen up before an important meeting? When the phone’s screen is turned off, the screen protector creates a mirror-like finish if you choose a reflective style screen protector. But once in use, all you see is the screen of the phone.

Mirror Screen Cellphone

  • Screen Protector To Reduce Glare

Anti – glare screen protectors use a matte finishing coat and diffusion thereby breaking up the reflected light that is given off the screen’s surface. An anti-glare protector reduces eye strain and avoids you having to squint due to the harsh glare. They also improve visibility outdoors or in brightly lit conditions.

  • Screen Protector To Resist Fingerprints

With a fingerprint resistant screen protector, screens stay clean looking without having to constantly clean them, at the same time eliminating the use of harsh cleaning agents that can damage the screen’s surface and bright glossy finish.

Anti Glare & Anti Fingerprint Cell Phone Screen Cover

  • Screen Protector To Guard Against Bacteria

Constantly touching the screen surface with your fingers is going to create mold, while climactic conditions can create mildew that causes stains, odors, and other problems. A specially formulated coating on an anti-bacterial screen protector kills over 99 percent of common bacteria by preventing its growth and transmission. The perfect choice for those working in hospitals, schools, and other public places where bacteria can breed and where cleanliness is of prime importance.

  • Screen Protector To Prevent UV Damage

Anti-reflective (AR) screen protectors offer UV and glare protection by filtering out UVB rays while eliminating glare from sunlight thereby optimizing the screen’s readability with minimal eyestrain.

 UV Protection Cell Phone Screen Cover

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