Cell phones review

Apps and video games, ebook readers and movie players; today's smart phones are all-purpose personal entertainment and business appliances with options that make them useful for business and personal use. Business people can run their office from one and busy parents use them to help with homework or keep bored kids entertained in the car. With every new innovation, cell phones go further away from their original purpose: a device for making phone calls. They're increasingly useful in a variety of ways, but sometimes all you need (or can afford) is a simple phone. Whether you need a back-up phone for emergency calls or a plain model for tech-leery grandparents, these basic phones will fit the bill.

T-Mobile 665

This basic phone has a sleek look with easy-to-use features. It offers large keys which are easy to use for seniors and smaller children. The speakerphone and Bluetooth technology give this phone basic, hands-free options for when you're on the move, and the basic 2 megapixel camera allows you to take snapshots and include them with text messages. This phone can be used with T-Mobile prepaid plans, making it an ideal budget phone or introductory phone for younger family members.

Pantech Breeze III

AT&T has stuck with a winning design, simply updating their older Pantech Breeze II with this model. The buttons are large enough to use easily and the interface is simple and intuitive. This entry-level phone has some details you'd expect in a more expensive model, such as a 1,000-number phone book memory, a still camera, a video camera with instant playback, text and video messaging and Bluetooth connectivity. AT&T offers the Pantech Breeze III as the featured phone on its phone deals, often making the cost free or very inexpensive for this version.

Samsung t139 from T-Mobile

If you're looking for the most basic of basic cell phones, this model will fit your choice admirably. The Samsung t139 has a comfortable, smooth feel in the hand and large, easy-to-use keys. The digital camera has a zoom feature and can be used with the included text messaging. Talking on the move is easy with the built-in speakerphone option as well as Bluetooth connectivity. The Samsung t139 can be made part of T-Mobile prepaid plans, giving you the option of paying as you go or paying by the month without a contract.

Samsung Gusto 2

Verizon's latest offering into the basic phone grouping is a simple and solid flip phone that gets the job done. The screen is large and bright, the call quality is excellent and the phone simply feels good in your hand. This basic model offers a 1.3 megapixel camera, Bluetooth enabling, text messaging and an external screen. This phone is designed for audio use, and the video options are not as prominent, but for those who only want to use a phone for conversations, this can be a great choice.

Samsung Factor

Boost Mobile is one of the new kids on the block in the world of wireless, but it's got a winner in this basic model. The Samsung Factor is a solid-feeling clamshell phone with easy-to-use buttons and a simple menu. The hands-free speakerphone and Bluetooth enabling make it a good choice for mobile chatting, while the digital camera, instant messaging and the ability to enable GPS give it the feel of a much more expensive model. All Boost Mobile phones are available for their various phone deals, giving you the option of tying in a basic phone with an elaborate plan, or vice versa.