Six Smartphone Buying Tips for Newbies
|July 28, 2010||Filled under Long Distance, Telecoms|
Are you new to smartphones? Getting ready to upgrade to a sophisticated handset? Millions of cell phone users are choosing their very first smartphone as contracts come up for renewal. Here are a few “smart” tips when buying your first smartphone. You’ve probably read about the latest features on smartphones: high resolution cameras, mobile apps and GPS. Getting started, however, without becoming overwhelmed, is challenging since they’re many powerful smartphones on the market.
Smartphone buying tips:
- Read a few online reviews about the latest mobiles. Phonescoop, a very helpful site, lets you search for phones by carrier, features, phone brands and more. While visiting Phonescoop, also check out the user reviews to help you choose a few phones you like. Phonedog is another great site. Noah, the publisher, has many in-depth videos.
- Decide if you’re going to stay with your current carrier or switch. If you’ve been happy with your current carrier, consider staying. While it’s easy to switch phone numbers to another wireless carrier, customer service, price and other factors are also important considerations before leaving your present carrier. On the other hand, if you’re very dissatisfied with your current provider, shop for a new one.
- Don’t switch to a new carrier because it offers a phone you like. While it’s true that the iPhone at present is only available in the U.S. through AT&T, Apple will probably offer the iPhone through Verizon Wireless by the end of the year. Other handset manufacturers are now releasing the same phone under a different name to multiple carriers. For example, Samsung recently released its Galaxy line to T-Mobile and AT&T with Sprint to follow shortly. Bottom line. Choose your carrier first, then decide on the phone.
- Visit your carrier’s store and talk with a sales rep. If you’re considering switching to another carrier, stop by your current carrier’s store and tell the rep why you’re unhappy. The rep may resolve your issues PLUS make you a great deal on a new smartphone. Go to another carrier’s store if you’re not satisfied.
- Decide which smartphone features are important to you. It’s easier to become overwhelmed by smartphone features. Talk with the sales rep about phones that fit your needs (fast Web surfing, using social media sites, camera quality and MP3 players). Most mobile owners only use 20% of smartphone features.
- Select a smartphone plan that meets your budget and needs. Most U.S. carriers now bundle voice minutes and data plans. But “extras,” such as streaming video services and insurance will increase your monthly charge. Sprint is currently offering the best “all you can eat” plans ($70 per month for individual and $130 for two lines on a shared one). The other carriers also have bundled calling, text and data plans worth considering.
Keep in mind it’s a buyers market in the wireless market. So before selecting a smartphone, choosing a carrier and deciding on a cell phone plan, consider the six steps above.