Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A kid in a candy store (if one piece of candy was $200 and locked youinto a contract).

While this is going to be a guess, I would say there are 2 new cellphones a month.  During the beginning of the year when CES (consumer electronic show), MWC (mobile world congress), or CTIA are going on it jumps to 6 to 8 a month in a slow year.  While it's mainly Android with Blackberry and Windows Phone devices sprinkled in and Apple once a year, there are so many choices that it's just as bad as buying a new car.  At the very least, like leasing one when you sign that two year renewal contract.  So which phone is best for you?  I hear this question so many times not only in my life but all the content that I read.  So which one is the best to get now?

I don't know, you tell me.  Honestly, who am I to tell you what you like and don't like?  Sure I can tell you all the cool new specs on the latest phone, the software, the operating system, if it is the cheapest, if it is the newest, or even if the phone is made of plastic or aluminum.  But to tell you "Oh you have to get <insert phone> because it has this and this!" is almost the same as telling you what to think on a daily basis.  You will use a cell phone on a daily basis so it is something you need to be comfortable with everyday, like your car.

My advice, read, plan, and investigate.  If you are reading this then obviously you have access to the internet.  There are so many written and video reviews out there from different sources that you can way out how you feel about the reviewer.  If you don't feel a connection with the reviewer or don't like their style, find someone else.  I use to read and watch a ton of sites but over the months I started to feel out who I felt I didn't connect with and stop reading and watching their reviews.  A great resource is YouTube.  Not only do you have the regular review sites from major tech journalists but you also have the everyday girl and guy just posting their unboxing of their new gadget and telling you how they feel.

Plan on your budget when considering a phone?  Do you want the latest and greatest, then know it will cost you $200 - $250 on contract.  Are you ok with last years model? Then plan on free to $149.  Do you only want a free phone? Then check the sites of the places you are going to renew your contract.  This will help you considerably narrow down your choice of phone in the investigate stage.

The only way to investigate is to actually go to the store.  Yes that means you will be approached many times by customer associates and asked the same questions over and over.  Just be polite and let them know you are just looking around.  They want your business so unless they are closing, they are not going to kick you out for playing with the phones.  Some companies got smart they set up mini stores in retail chains specifically just to get you to play with them.  So do it!  Mentally you can build of list of pros and cons for each phone (too big, too much stuff on it, volume control is not where it is comfortable for me, etc).

I know some people will think, "This is way to much thought to give for a phone."  When you are technically paying $650 to $700 for this device (that is another topic but trust me, you are still paying that price) and using it everyday, you better make sure this is what you want.  You don't buy a new TV just by walking in the store and say "I'll take that one!" so why should a phone be any different?  I know some people that picked their phone 3 years ago and still haven't upgraded because it still does what they need and want it to do.  That is the ultimate goal when picking your cellphone.  Not "Is this going to be good until I renew?" but having it until it just doesn't do what you need it to do.  Or of course if it breaks.

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