< Go back to Mobile phones videos.

This video covers the key features you'll need to know about operating a mobile, including controlling the sound, switching it off and on, and accessing features such as the calendar.

A basic mobile phone is pretty easy to use. It's a lot like a traditional phone, but there are a few little tricks you need to know to get the most out of it. Like some other gadgets, a mobile phone is best left on all the time. If you switch a mobile phone off, it can't make or receive calls.

All but the oldest and most basic mobile phones switch their screens off to save battery power. When this happens, the phone might look blank, but it's actually still on. You can test this by pressing the power button or any of the keys. The screen will light up instantly, and maybe you don't want to disturbed by calls, like when you are in the middle of dinner or at a movie. You can turn off the phone completely, of course, and then retrieve any voice mail or SMS messages that come in when you turn the phone back on. But, it's quicker and easier to simply mute the phone, just like muting the TV with the remote control. The screen will still light up when you get a call or the phone might vibrate, but it will be completely silent. Then, you can decide whether to go outside and take the call or ignore it.

Since the phone is on all the time, it does use up its rechargeable battery. A high end smart phone will need to be charged up almost every day, but most basic phones may last a few days between charges, depending on how many calls you make. Calls use lots of power and so does having the screen on. A good idea is to get into the habit of charging your phone by plugging it into its power adapter before bed. Lots of people use their mobile phone as an alarm clock. They just plug it in next to the bed and use the phone's alarm function to wake them in the morning. Depending on which phone you have, you can even set it so the alarm only goes on weekdays or goes off at different times on different days. Here's a bonus. A mobile phone's clock should always be on time because it get sets by the mobile network. The phone gets a special time signal from the nearest mobile phone tower.

Mobiles have calendars too. Even if you decided to get a really basic phone, you'll find it almost always has an electronic calendar. You get in appointments, birthdays, even reminders to take medications or pay bills. The phone will send you a message or set off an alarm when the appointment is due, which is very handy.

A fully fledged smart phone has all kinds of internet features and can do pretty much anything a computer can. Even a basic mobile phone may connect to the internet and get you information like weather, movie times, and much, much more. Depending on which model you have, you may be able to access the options straight from the main menu.

With a bit of practice, making your mobile phone part of your life is really easy. If there's one key thing to remember, it's that you should have your mobile phone switched on at all times. That way, as long as there is reception and the batteries are charged, you're never out of contact and people can always reach you, especially in an emergency.