IT'S A CELL OUT

People change cell phones every two years on average. Who doesn’t want the newest model? But what about the numbers left behind? Indeed, in just a fewBack-Up Pal months one can accumulate an impressively large list of frequently called numbers, and you would hate to have to retype them into a new phone.

Most cell phone service providers let you store numbers and restore them to a new phone, but you have to stay with the service. If you want to change, there are several devices available for transferring numbers.

We tried out one of the new ones: Backup Pal. This is a circular gadget about the size of a yo-yo and weighing a couple of ounces. It costs $50 from Backup-Pal.com and comes with two adapters for fitting most Motorola, Nokia and Samsung phones. You can look up your model on the Web site to find out if it works with your phone.

Operation is pretty simple: You don’t need a computer; just plug the yo-yo into the phone and push an orange button labeled “backup.” Connect the yo-yo to another phone and push the restore button to move the numbers over.

Software for transferring cell phone information first to your computer and then to a different phone can be found at DataPilot.com.  It has lots of devices to fit the many types of cell phones. Its software works with PCs or Macs. Prices for adapter kits with software range from $40 for a single phone type, up to $80 for a universal kit.

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