Your cell phone and cell plan is a huge purchase and the center of all of your communication, and primary social tool. No longer are they for making calls in an emergency, they are now our most used possession. When we become so dependent on these devices, the cost tend to creep up and rise out of control.
To help you save on this important cost, we are going to break down the cost and some tips when looking for new cell service. Whether you want to upgrade to a new phone or lower your monthly cost, we will take a look at all the dos and don’ts. Here are the five things to consider when looking for a new cell plan and the no contract cell phone plans as well.
First Things First
First off you need to decide on the phone you want to use. There are a lot of options and they update constantly. There are 3 options to consider here, iPhone, Android, non-smartphone or feature phone as they are called today. I don’t recommend buying a feature phone to anyone. You may think it is easier, it is not. A feature phone will lacking functionality also has a more cumbersome operation process. The smartphone is easier to operate and easier to customize to only use the features and functions you want.
Do You Need a Flagship Device?
As far a smartphones go you have the iPhone or an Android. The iPhone’s are more powerful, easier to use, more reliable and last longer. The Androids have more advanced feature sets and more customizable. Apple and Samsung make the 2 main device but there are a slew of other brands when looking in to Android. LG, HTC, OnePlus, Motorola all make new top of the line phones every year. You can get a great android device for half the cost of the premium Samsung Flagships.
This is always my recommendation. Due to their reliability, durability and ease of use and cost of ownership being much lower. The average iPhone will last 3.5 years, stay current and cutting edge. Isn’t the cost very high? Not really, The highest end new iPhone is the most expensive device on the market, but last year’s models or cheaper models like the XR are available. There is always an iPhone for any budget and they are always the best option in their class. Even today you can purchase an iPhone 7 for less than $450.
No Contract No Cry
Wait! $450? Aren’t phones supposed to be free! I never paid for a phone before… No they have never been free, and yes you paid a lot more for your free phone then you think. This brings me to my next point. Contracts. Don’t do them. Years ago the iPhone 7 that is selling for $450 with no contract would have been free with a 2 year contract. The cost of the subsidy was built in to your cellular plan at an average of $40 per month. Did you do that math? Your free phone cost you $960. Your best option is to find the phone you want and purchases at full price.
The New Cell Plan
This lead me to my last tip, by bringing your own phone you can get the best price on your plan. No longer do you have to worried about prepaid or postpaid. You can pick the plan you want and the carrier you want. Verizon and AT&T are the premium providers, with better, faster and more extensive coverage. They mock each other plans so cost are just about the same. Sprint and T-Mobile are your bargain carriers, cheaper and service will have holes and speed issues. You may not notice but odds are you will. Their new cell plan will run you a few dollars less.
The Next option is to go with non-carrier 3rd parties. MetroPCS, StraighTalk, Cricket, Boost. These are providers that don’t have a network of their own and instead piggy back on the Carriers network. While these can be the cheapest option, they do not receive the same level of coverage. Even though they are using the same network, they are at a much lower priority and do not share in with the roaming agreements the major carriers have in play. So while you may get to use T-Mobile’s network, you will be out of service when it is not available. With a direct T-Mobile service you would jump on to one of the other networks. This is something you want to evaluate when buying a new cell plan.