What's Wrong with the iPadMake your choice about buying a smartphone based on how you will use it, not on how it looks or what the most popular model is. This is a great statement, but really difficult to follow. It is like saying don’t be emotional about the car you really want to buy, even though it is too expensive for you. If you are in the market for a new phone, and are planning to move to a smartphone, you really have to decide how you are going to use it. Also were you are going to use it and what applications you will use to make sure you will get the value you are looking for. Smart Phone Buying is as complex as purchasing a computer that does many different functions. In fact the smart phone is a computer.

Once you get past the price of the phone and many are free or almost free, it is the monthly costs that will really surprise you. Data plans can add up in a hurray, especially if you download a lot of material from Youtube and use GPS location services. If you roam , the cost can skyrocket, so it pays to think through this carefully before you buy a smartphone.

The up-front prices of smartphones have dropped, and you can score even some of the newest models for free with a two or three-year contract. High end models can still cost a lot as well. But add-ons bump up the cost of ownership fast. Determine your price range for both the device, added memory, chargers, car chargers, transfer fee’s etc  and the service before you walk into a store.

Mobile Phone CostsGenerally you’ll need a voice plan, a data plan and a text-messaging plan. To figure out what to buy, look at your old cellphone bills: How many minutes have you actually used each month, were they incoming or outgoing, what time of day did you make the most calls, and how many texts did you send? Do you send a lot of data, or is it just emails that you receive. Going over your plan limit is like an overdraft fee on a checking account — it’s an expensive mistake and a waste of cash. Also your plan may include added fees for call display, voice mail and other services that you routinely use. Make sure you have included all of these services when you are comparing a new plan and a new smartphone service to ensure that you receive good value for your phone purchase.

Save Money – Smart Phone Buying

One way to save money is to check out family plans, even if only one family member wants a smartphone. Some plans will let you share voice minutes without adding text messaging and data units to all the phones on the plan. That way, only one member of the family has to pay the additional fees — and the overall cost may be more reasonable. While this is a reasonable approach, it only works if you are able to and willing to speak to the customer retention group. Let them know that you are thinking about moving elsewhere and they may offer you a better deal.

What is WiFiTiming your purchase can also pay off. Take advantage of the beginning of the school year, Christmas, the end of your contract and other special sales that the phone companies offer from time to time. If the competition is making a big play to gain customers, you may be able to leverage this into a better deal for you, while staying with the same company.

Other factors are also important when you choose a smart phone. Screen size can make the difference between enjoying movies and playing games a success. The bigger the better. Touch screen phones are really intuitive and easy to use. This is an important feature that you probably want to consider.

Applications are becoming as essential as the smartphone itself. Apple is the market leader with over 300,000  applications, but other competitors like Android are in full throttle and are catching up.

Talk to friends and family, even strangers who are using the phone you are considering and find out if it is really the smart phone for you. It is combination of features, price for the phone, and price for the services. You may get a great deal on the phone, but then pay a lot for the services so do your homework before you take the plunge. For more information on smart phone buying, click here.

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