Cell phone buying guide part 1

Every few months there’s a new “It” Phone out with some brand new, revolutionary feature that everyone’s buzzing about. It can be hard to look past the hype and figure out what you actually need in a phone. Here are some questions you should be asking yourself when you start to consider purchasing a smart phone.

How technologically savvy am I? (Or how technologically savvy do I want to be?)
Phones can get pretty complicated these days with all the features and customizations that they come with. You have to figure out whether you want a simple phone, or if you’re prepared to take the time to learn about, and make the most of a phone that may be a little more complicated to get the hang of. Also consider how up to date the technology of your network is; as cool as things like the beam feature on some android phones such as the Nexus 4 are, if you don’t have friends who can use it with you, it shouldn’t be much of a selling point.

How much do I want to pay?
This question is two-fold. First, you need to know how much you want to spend on the actual phone. A lot of the newer phones like the Samsung 4 or the iPhone 5 are available for a decent price on a 3 year contract, but if you’re still in the beginning or middle of an existing contract and aren’t eligible for an upgrade, those phones are expensive to buy new. Older versions of popular phones, like the iPhone 4, will obviously be cheaper, so the first step is to nail down your budget.

Also consider how much you planning on spending a month on your phone plan. Are you willing to shell out for a pricey data plan? It’s really easy to go over your data limit, so if you’re on a budget and can’t afford to splurge for a data plan, it may make more sense to go for a simpler phone. However, if you have wireless networks at home, school, or work, you can generally connect your smart phone to these to save on data. There are many great deals on “classic” phones on Kijiji, which are significantly cheaper to start off with, and are perfect if you don’t need or want to have a data plan.

What am I using this phone for?
What exactly do you want out of your phone? Some people just need their phone to make some calls and maybe send a text once in a while, while others want their phones to be an extension of a personal computer-fast, lag-free, large memory space and business-friendly. Then there are those who want their phones flashy. These people want plenty of social media features and a bright, sharp, screen resolution to see all those Instagram pictures and Facebook updates. Whatever your needs are, there is a phone out there perfect for you. Blackberry designs for the business-minded cell phone user, Apple for those who want all the latest trendy apps, the list goes on.

What is my Lifestyle?
One major drawback of modern smart phones is they tend to be delicate. If you don’t want to end up walking around with a smashed screen, these phones require a good quality case as well as care. If you want a phone you can stick in your back pocket and not worry about, a large smart phone may not be a good match.

Why do I want it?
Are you eager to keep up with the Joneses, or do you want this phone because of the features? If you are thirsty for a shiny new piece of technology, and find yourself defaulting to wanting a phone, remember, there are good other options. Tablets have much of the same functionality as a smart phone, and if you primarily want one to surf the net while at home, they may be a better choice for your applications.

As long as you have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, you’ll be able to choose a new phone that fits all your needs, financially and functionally.

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