One of the most expensive luxuries we enjoy tends to be something we have grown to consider an essential item, whereas a few years ago it would have been seen as an extravagant purchase. The mobile phone has become an integral part of life, home to all our friends and colleagues phone numbers, email addresses and other contact details.
The hand held devices tend to go everywhere we do, even when we sleep they are often sat right next to us, just in case we need to wake to an emergency text or phone call. Their function has, however, expended far beyond receiving calls and text messages, we now live in an age of data, and many of us rely on the web and emails on our smart phones to keep up with the events of the day.
When the time comes for a new mobile phone, it is becoming increasingly common to choose the device based on functionality, or what tasks can be achieves, instead of what looks best as a fashion accessory. Apple’s iPhone has shot to fame based on its simple design, yet it has found fierce competition in the feature rich Blackberry range and once king of mobile, Nokia, is desperately trying to reinvent itself with a strategic partnership with software giant Microsoft. Even search experts Google have jumped into the fray with their Nexus range of smart phones. Of course, for Google, the smart phones are a very appropriate extension to their business; search on the move is likely to open up a huge range of opportunities to provide their core product in new markets.
So, what do you need to consider when selecting a new phone? Firstly, any handset needs to be capable of completing the basic tasks you need in your day to day life. If you need a sat nav, some phones can do that. Some have better email clients than others. Some have thousands of apps ready to install for every task imaginable. Once you make a short-list of devices that meet your needs, that’s the time to consider how well the design of the phone fits your image.
Also, many people forget that they have a phone already. Make sure that if your current phone fits the above criteria (ie it does everything you need), that you include it on your list. There’s a very good reason for this; you can get some amazing deals by ending your current plan and taking out a sim only tariff or switching to pay as you go plans like those available at http://www.free-simcards.co.uk instead of getting a new phone.
Pay as you go (PAYG) is no longer a rip off for kids and people with bad credit, as you can now get huge blocks of allowances every time you top up your phone. Whereas you might have been used to paying 20 each month for a contract, you will likely be able to top up your phone by half that amount, and ultimately find yourself with a similar number of voice minutes and free texts as you had before. There’s even plenty of plans available awarding free internet, so you shouldn’t end up with dwindling credit on your PAYG account from email checks in the background, or your Twitter and Facebook obsession!
The same applies to sim only, which is the name given to plans with monthly fees but set allowances. The difference between sim only and normal contracts is you don’t get a new phone, so the fees you commit to are much cheaper. The minimum terms are also far shorter; while most contracts now require a two year commitment, you will find many sim only plans last either 30 days or one year. Of course, you’ve get a better allowance for the same money on a year long plan, but the shorter terms can be ideal if you’re not confident your phone will last a whole year, or simply don’t wish to commit.
So, those are our options, and we’re not suggesting that getting a new handset is a bad idea. We all deserve a treat every now and then, and we work hard for our money. It’s important, though, that we are aware of the options available to us, as that allows for a balanced and educated decision. If you want the latest iPhone or Blackberry, that’s fine. If you want to spend less every month, that’s fine too – now you know how!