The Truth about owning a Smart Phone
Smart Phones and their wireless carrier plans are expensive, most people just accept that it costs $250/month for your family to keep
phones. In addition, smart phones have become so essential to our way of life now that it becomes easier and easier to justify large
monthly payments and contracts. Wireless carriers are not much different than any other competitive market out there, they will be quick to highlight
their best features and ignore their weaknesses. However, they cannot knowingly lie about a particular product or service in an advertisement.
They just use careful wording and claims in ads. The actual differences between all the 4 major carriers, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint
are granular and frankly, not really worth mentioning. The actual important factors are price of service and coverage where YOU live.
Smart phones such as the latest iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S series phone actually cost $750 to $950, however the wireless industry hides that sticker shock by masking the true cost of the phone with shady leasing plans or spreading the cost over the course of 18 to 24 months. The problem with this model is that there are hidden fees in the form of the insurance plans, upgrade fees, and extra taxes. After everything is said and done, you have paid thousands of dollars to your wireless carriers even though you never really needed or wanted the particular service and/or plan.
Best advice in every situation is to buy a cell phone slightly used on Swappa.com or Craigslist then drop a SIM card into it from your preferred wireless carrier. This way it gives you the opportunity to shop around and get the best price and best service for your particular area without being tied down to specific carrier's contracts and rules. If you have an issue with service or plan, you can easily switch without all these strings attached, potentially saving you a lot of money and heartache. Consumer Reports, a leading un-biased consumer advocate, has also confirmed that off-contract phones bought outside of the store will save hundreds of thousands of dollars.
If you are in the market for a phone, just follow these steps.
- Decide what your requirements for your phone need to be. (Budget, Large screen, good camera, etc)
- Check out the Tech Reccs for Phones/Tablet recommendations in a certain price point. Be careful not to discount other phones that are not on this list, that amazing phone from last year is still just as good as it was then, just not marketed the same. Smartphones have only been in the mainstream market since 2010 or so, since then, there used to be a larger gap between the various brands like Apple, Samsung, HTC, and LG. But today, everyone copies everyone and the consumer wins. The difference between one smart phone and another is trivial and is all preference based now. There will always be pros and cons for any phone you buy.
- Check out Swappa.com to look for some other phones that meet your requirements. You can also check on Craigslist, Amazon, or Ebay. Remember, you can save hundreds of dollars each year by buying phones in this way. Plus, in 6 months, you can post your phone back on Swappa to sell it, then buy a different one. This is an 'Upgrade' worth taking.
- Decide how much data YOU need, you can use many online tools, however the information that really matters is how much video & music streaming is done when you are NOT on a home/work WIFI network, these are the largest data consumption categories, everything else is negligible. This matters because if you are on a WIFI network, you are not consuming your wireless data.
- Once you have your phone in hand and how much data you need to purchase, your options will be limitless.
- If you still have questions, feel free to get in touch with us via the homepage.