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Tryphone Lets You "Try" New Phones For Free launched today with an ambitious site that promises to make shopping for a mobile phone easier for consumers by letting them virtually test features and functions. Most of us have some experience shopping for a mobile phone, but that doesn't make us all experts in handsets, service, or which billing plan to choose. Having at least a sense of a how a phone works (which buttons to push to retrieve voice mail, which icon to tap for web access and how to store and look up contact information) before heading out to the retail store can go a long way to helping make a decision. Confusing billing plans and spotty coverage areas remain to confound us, but thinks it has a good solution to making us smart on feature sets.

The site lets you "test" a mobile phone online, with a graphical representation of a phone's screen and buttons. Yes, many mobile phone manufacturers and service providers have similar demos on their sites (like the gift guide recommended Nokia N95 demo), but each phone's site is different, making different devices difficult to compare. By presenting each phone in a common setting, the site's users get a little closer to an "apples to apples" comparison.

Still, the demos seem a bit clunky and it may be a bit of a stretch to say you can get a real feel for how a phone will work. Despite our doubts, we had fun running several of the preprogrammed demos for each phone listed. That alone may be enough to help a consumer with a purchase decision. did launch with that little word "beta" below its name on the home page, which means there's still some work to be done. Tryphone says it will be adding new models to its current small selection of admittedly hot items such as the Apple iPhone, LG Muziq, Samsung Juke and Blackberry Pearl. Eventually, Tryphone plans to feature virtual demos of upcoming phones before they hit retails shelves, which will give consumers an advance opportunity to covet a new device.

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Tags: Shopping, TryPhone, TryPhone shopping, TryphoneShopping



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