13 Tips to Supercharge Your 'Dumb' Phone

Don't own a smartphone? Here are 13 tips that will boost the IQ of any phone.

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by Ian Paul, PC World - Smartphones are expensive. Ordinary, "dumb" cell phones are cheap. The trade-off is that basic candy-bar phones are inferior and no fun, and they can't perform highfalutin tasks such as play Super Monkey Ball. Well, that's what you thought.

[ See also: SMS services to make your standard cell phone smart and Supercharge Your Phone: 40 Tips and Tricks ]

Your basic feature phone can do more than you think. You won't be able to play games like the ones iPhone users enjoy, but a whole world of services out there can turn any phone into a powerful tool for staying productive and having fun. And if you're limited to using landlines, I have a few handy tips for you, too.

A word of caution: Many of the services described below depend on SMS messaging and consume your cell phone plan's minutes. You might discover that using any one of these services in excess will drive your monthly wireless bill up.

For other tips and tricks to liven up your mobile phone, see "14 Ways to Supercharge Your Smartphone" and "13 Sites and Services to Supercharge Any Phone."

Receive Shopping Advice

You don't need a fancy camera phone or smartphone to do comparison shopping on the fly--Frucall will check prices for you via SMS, or a regular phone call, for free. All you need to do is text FRU11 (3811) or call 888/DOFRUCALL (888/363-7822) with a product's bar-code number or a book's ISBN, or send the product name and model number (SMS only).

Frucall will then return pricing information for that product at a number of online retailers. Punch in your zip code, and Frucall will factor shipping into the price.

Frucall will work only with supported carriers, including Alltel, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless.

Google offers a similar SMS-based service. With Google Mobile set up for your phone, you can SMS "price" followed by the product name, or the UPC or ISBN.

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