If you’re not locked into a plan with a particular carrier that always involves upgrading to the next phone model, the process of choosing your next phone can actually be quite a difficult one. There are so many different options on the market now that you can feel overwhelmed, especially if you aren’t super tech savvy and you just want a device to do certain things with ease. The tips below can help you make the right choice.
Have a Budget
It’s important to know how much you can spend since this will be a big factor in your choice, and you really can drop anywhere from $100 to $1000 on this type of purchase. There are many variables in figuring out what you want to spend. On the one hand, phones simply aren’t designed to be useful for very long, so shelling out an enormous amount of money to get the very newest model isn’t really very smart from a personal finance point of view.
On the other hand, for the very same reason, choosing a phone near the end of its life might seem like a cheap solution, but it isn’t a great idea either since it will quickly age out of the ability to download or upgrade apps. The battery is likely to fail as well. You’ll only have to have it repaired or replaced sooner and save little to no money in the end. If you’re trying to figure out how to find more money to buy a better phone, you could consider taking out a personal loan. The application process is usually a quick one, giving you a fast answer about what you are eligible to borrow.
Know Your Priorities
Of course, phones these days are so much more than phones, so what is it that is most important to you? Is it a great camera? Maybe it’s battery life, or maybe it’s the ability to stream video. If you want to earn cash on your smartphone, that is something to consider as well. You may want to make sure that you’ve got a large screen or that your device isn’t too big to fit into your pocket.
Maybe you really do just want something that’s mainly a phone with the ability to do just a few other things, like use maps and check your email. Whatever your priorities are, make a list of them so that you know exactly what you’re looking for.
With your list of priorities in mind, start doing research. While consumer reviews can be somewhat useful, take them with a grain of salt as well. Remember that companies may pay to put up fake reviews or that someone who is angry about their phone’s performance may simply not be using it correctly.
This doesn’t mean that you should discount consumer reviews entirely, just that you should evaluate them within a larger context. Choose articles on well-known sites to get more information on specs and performance. Even if you’re planning to buy online, you may want to visit a brick-and-mortar store to see what the phone looks like. You might decide that it’s too heavy, too small or doesn’t suit you in some other way.