Distinctive cystidia have been used to identify mushrooms ever since they were first discovered. Here, the distinctive "crowned bottle" cystidia shown in the previous picture are depicted as a characteristic feature of the Plutaceae, in 1817.
So, you now have two possible ways to detect cheilocystidia without a microscope: they are sometimes differently colored than the face of the gill, and they are sometimes large enough to make the gillmargin look finely fringed (use a hand lens!). There is a third method: the cheilocystidia serve an excretory function, so the margin of gills with abundant cheilocystidia are often beaded with tiny droplets of liquid.
I lied before, when I said that cystidia look different from the basidia. Sometimes the cystidia can be roughly the same shape as the basidia, and then there is usually some controversy over whether to call them cystidia or basidioles or paraphyses, or whatever. However, even if the cystidia are roughly the same shape as the basidia, they are usually much bigger and that settles the matter of their identity.
Mycologists have acquired the habit of calling cystidia "sterile cells" on the hymenium. This is thoughtless, and I can only assume that they do it because they read it in a thoughtlessly written book as an undergraduate and then never thought about it again. Presumably, these books call cystidia "sterile" because they don't produce spores (as opposed to the basidia). If so, then all the other types of cells on the hymenium also need to be called sterile, and so does the entire mycelium of the fungus. Come on, people: not bearing spores is the default condition for hyphae, not a special one; as such, it needs no special mention.