Candy Bar Phones

The cell phone design that adds extra goodies

Motorola Rokr

Candy bar style handsets are the most conventional style of cell phone. These are the rectangular cell phones that don't fold up. They're usually the thickest cell phone [http://www.gizmocafe.com/handhelds/] and despite getting smaller all the time, they still take up more space than most flip phones.

The basic design is familiar because they resemble the cordless you have at home that's hidden between the cushions in your couch. If there's one common complaint about them is that they're a bit on the bulky side like Nokia's 6682 pictured above. But the advantage to all that handset real estate is the 2 inch 176x208 pixel 262,000 color LCD screen on the front. Bluetooth wireless compatibility and a 4.5 mm lens for its 1.3 megapixel camera is no slouch either.

That's typical with the candy bar style; the latest most powerful features, biggest screen sizes and most powerful lenses of any cell phone.

Trendy phones like the Rokr E2 from Motorola are sure hits with a trendy ad campaign and powerful media capabilities. MP3 player cell phones like the Rokr and Sony Ericsson Walkman brand cell phones can pack in music through expandable SD memory slots. They feature powerful media decoders which are DACs (digital-analog converter) for providing hi-fi sound through a headphone jack. These phones rival MP3 players for sound quality and beat them hands down for features.

Phones with video support through 2 inch screens, information services updated in real time through your wireless network far exceed the functionality of any MP3 player. The one area the average MP3 tops music cell phones thus far is capacity, only because most cell phones only use a memory card for storage. Certain phones that use a micro hard drive like Nokia's N91 may have more capacity than most MP3 players.

Three main cell phone styles

Some candy bar style phones are converging on Smartphone proportions. Far less popular than their flip phone cousins, some designers are figuring out ways to provide users with slide out keypads giving them a space saving edge.

Another key feature that tends to rule in favor of the candy bar style phone is battery power. Cell phones that provide more talk time per charge are highly valued. None match the talk time of today's candy bar style phones. Having space for more battery has its advantages.

The disadvantage of candy bar style phones is the mouthpiece. A straight phone doesn't contour to fit over the ear and mouth at the same time. There is usually extra space between the mouthpiece and earpiece when using a solid phone that doesn't bend as the flip phone does. Wind and external noise can be more of a communications problem than typically experienced by flip phone users. But all it takes is a Bluetooth compatible headset and you're completely independent of the handset's form factor.

If you are looking for a classic looking phone that includes the latest features, the candy bar style is for you. It's not as slick as the flip phone but chances are you have so much more than just a cell phone.

Now that we've seen the major styles out there let's examine how to choose your handset.