As more of us look for a mobile phone that minimises the things we have to carry around in our pockets whilst maximising the options we have at our fingertips, MP3 mobiles are becoming hugely popular. So much so that some mobile manufacturers are designing phones built with music lovers in mind.
MP3 mobile phones have not only landed, but are taking the mobile phone market using world by storm and revolutionising what we expect from our beloved portable companions.
So what is an MP3 mobile phone?
An MP3 mobile phone or a music mobile is a mobile phone designed to do the job of an MP3 player as well as a mobile phone. These music mobiles often come with space for a memory card, which means that you can boost the capacity of your MP3 mobile to allow you to carry around tonnes of music on your handset.
The idea of mobile phones with built-in music features is not a new one as many phones from several years ago came with an FM/AM radio feature or the capacity to store a few songs that you have transferred from your PC. The difference with the new breed of music phones or MP3 player mobiles is that they are designed specifically for people who don't want to carry around an MP3 player and mobile phone.
Things to consider when choosing a music phone
Music phone file types
You may want to check that the music phone you want is compatible with the music you already have stored on your computer. Playing your own music on your mobile phone is dependent on the file format it’s stored in on your computer. Most music phones will play MP3 files, but you can check if the music files on your PC are in MP3 format by right clicking and checking the track properties.
Music phone memory
The memory capacity of a music mobile phone is also important. Most music mobiles have a good amount of on-board memory and if a phone has an expandable memory slot, you can choose to upgrade the memory by adding a microSD card and store more songs on your phone.
Music phone headphones
You may want to check that you can use your own headphones with your new music phone. Not all music MP3 phones have a standard 3.5mm headphone jack.
Most of the top music phone manufacturers today realise that we want to choose our own headphones. However, there are still some that have a non-standard headphone socket which means you have to use the mobile phone brand headphones supplied with your handset to listen to music on your phone, which often provide a lackluster listening experience.
It is however possible to get an adaptor for many of these phones so you don’t have to use the headphones that come with your phone. Some phone packages include an adaptor as standard.
Music phone battery
It’s also worth remembering that listening to music on your mobile phone drains the battery much quicker than other phone functions. This means that it’s always worth checking out a handset's battery life before taking the plunge.
Which phones are mobiles with music?
Most mobile phones on the market at the moment have some capacity for playing music. However, many phones will only have limited space to store just a few music files and may require you to purchase an external memory card to carry more songs.
Many mobile phone handsets have an built-in FM radio function and some even feature RDS (Radio Data System), which means they will display the station that you’re listening to on your mobile screen.
There are of course, some phones designed specifically for music lovers. For these phones, music features are an integral part of their design:
For many the Apple iPhone is the ultimate in multimedia prowess. And when it comes to music phones, it really is hard to beat. Based on the internationally popular iPod, the iPhone offers amazing sound quality and the ability to download thousands of tracks using iTunes. The iPhone is a brilliant music mobile phone with a long-lasting battery life, promising up to 40 hours of audio playback on a full charge.
Sony Ericsson Walkman phones
Sony Ericsson has been a pioneer in music-focussed mobile phones, launching a range of Walkman phones as early as 2005. The introduction of the Sony Ericsson Walkman music phone was a major boost for the Sony Walkman brand and are still very popular to this day.
Sony Ericsson Walkman music phones feature dedicated music player keys. The latest handset offer music fans the chance to stream songs directly from Sony's Music Unlimited service, providing access to a massive library of tracks anywhere on the go.
Nokia XpressMusic phones
XpressMusic phones are Nokia’s most popular range of music phones. These handsets all offer dedicated music keys allowing instant access to your music, standard 3.5mm headphone sockets (so you can connect your own headphones to these phones) and storage capacity for hundreds of songs.
Nokia phones that are bundled with the 'Comes With Music' download service give you the freedom to download as many songs as you want from the Nokia Comes With Music music store for a set period. Nokia promise that at the end of your mobile phone contract, you will be able to keep all the music you have downloaded.
HTC Beats by Dre phones
HTC's has joined the market for music phones with its range of smartphones powered by musician-cum-entrepreneur Dr Dre's Beats by Dre audio technology. These offer unparalleled studio sound quality that is just as intended by the artists. Many of them even come with a free pair of Beats by Dre headphones.
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