The Smart Ones

The new generation of smart phones can do nearly everything a computer can--from editing spreadsheets to surfing the Web--and still fit into your pocket

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

Cell phones are basically little radios; how well they work depends on how many antennas your carrier has set up wherever you happen to be. Since most carriers do not share radio towers, reception varies widely from city to city and even neighborhood to neighborhood. You can't always predict what kind of coverage you're going to get where you need it, but here are a few tips for minimizing that cell-phone blackout:

--Before you sign on, check your carrier's "footprint," the local and national coverage maps listed on its website. If your hometown or the places...

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