3 Ways to Wisely Buy Your First or Next Smartphone

If you are planning to purchase a smartphone within the coming months, you are not alone. With all the latest and amazing phones coming out, we just can’t wait to get our hands on one if not all of them. I myself will buy a new phone within three to six months and I intend to enjoy the shopping experience and to save some needed cash.

Choosing the Network

First, I am not going to tell you what network to select. Because the choice is entirely dependent on what you need, what your current conditions are, where you are and what your budget is.

A big consideration is that a significant proportion of the population reside, go to work or school or hang-out in cellphone dead spots. So that should be your first criteria, eliminate networks that don’t work well in places where you will stay most of the time. Second, ask the people you are constantly going to communicate with to see which networks they actually subscribe to. This knowledge alone can help save you monthly usage costs. Check which networks offer free calls or messages for the most common networks within your family and business and personal friends and then put that on top of the list.

It is always a great idea to be part of your parent’s or even a close relatives’ family plan. The only drawback is that you should abide by their ground rules. But your monthly bill could be very cheap if not free. Remember, cellphone companies make most of their “milking” on the recurring and dreaded cellphone monthly bill.

Choosing the Phone

Again, I am not going to advice you on what specific smartphone to purchase as that too is entirely dependent on individual tastes and needs. Although all networks have a shortlist of their best-selling phones and they are selling like pancakes for a reason. If the reasons are because they are affordable, reliable and they have all the features you need in a phone, then that could be the one for you. Simply making the selection solely on the intention of having the latest in-thing would most of the time be not the best choice, especially budget-wise.

And remember, iPhones aren’t the only smartphones available, even if your intention is to continue giving homage to the late great Steve Jobs. Shop around awhile and you might be surprised to see that brands such as HTC, Motorola, Nokia and Samsung have a splendid list of selections that can pretty much deliver the same wants and needs you may have for your next smartphone.

Choosing the Smartphone and Plan

iPhones can now be “safely” used by Sprint, Verizon and of course AT&T subscribers, as it now works in GSM and CDMA networks. But only the AT&T model is GSM and is the easier of the two to “unlock” or use in another GSM network in the U.S. or anywhere in the world.

Regarding the plan, you would have to compare each network side-by-side and this would take some time to do. But it is easy enough to get the needed information online or in store outlets.

Now if you are planning to do away with a plan or if you want to purchase a unit cheaper, a good idea is to visit your local cellphone retail store and casually ask for a cellphone repair shop. Most will recommend a repair shop within your immediate area. And guess what, these smaller shops also sell phones! And they are cheaper and these shops have an inventory of “unlocked” smartphones which you can use with the network you have chosen. And at the very least, these smaller stores have owners and tech guys who would gladly answer all your smartphone questions and who can help you save on your actual purchase and monthly bill.

In closing, do not allow yourself to purchase your next smartphone on a whim. Doing your homework and following these and other simple and practical steps will help save you money for months to come.

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