With so many different options available to choose from, it’s easy to feel a little confused if you are looking for a new smartphone. Do you need a new handset, or do you just want to pay less for your phone each month? Do you need a smartphone that’s a certain size, has a certain amount of storage space or takes great photos and videos? Choosing a smartphone and a contract to go with it isn’t always easy thanks to the huge amount of choice that we have. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your phone, change your allowances, or pay less each month, here are some key factors to consider when looking for your next smartphone contract.
Figuring out your budget should always be the first step since once you’ve got an idea of how much you are willing to spend, it’s easier to narrow down your options to handsets within your price range. Consider how much you are willing to pay each month for a smartphone contract and whether or not you would like to pay any money upfront. Some smartphone contracts require you to make an upfront payment regardless, while others will give you the option to pay more upfront to reduce your monthly cost.
Do You Need a Handset?
Do you actually need a new smartphone handset or do you just want to save money on the monthly cost? If it’s the latter, then it’s worth looking into the best SIM-only deals. If you already have a handset that works well and you are happy with, you can certainly save a lot of money by switching to SIM-only deals. One of the best SIM-only deals out there is from Lebara. They offer a range of monthly package plans that allows you to change your allowances – and the price you pay – monthly, offering much more flexibility.
How Many Allowances Do You Need?
It’s important to be realistic when thinking about the number of minutes, texts and MB of data that you’re going to need from your new smartphone contract or SIM-only contract. Consider how much you currently use and determine whether or not you are on the right plan, need some more, or could probably manage with less. You can usually log into your network app to see how many allowances you have used by the end of the month to figure out if you’re ending every month with a lot left over. For example, if you currently have unlimited data that you only use around 4-8MB of each month, you can make a lot of savings by switching to a plan with 8MB – or even 12MB to give yourself a buffer in case you go over.
What Kind of Smartphone Do You Want?
The type of smartphone that you want will also dictate the cost, especially if you are going to get it on a standard 24-month contract. Bear in mind that even though it might feel like you’re getting a ‘free’ phone when you sign up for a contract, the monthly cost covers the price of the handset itself – so the more expensive and modern the phone you go for, the more you’re going to be paying monthly. Ask yourself whether you really need the latest iPhone or would you be just as happy with the one that was released just a year or two ago?
It’s a good idea to be open-minded when choosing your smartphone. Make a list of the features that you need and do your research into all the handsets that meet those requirements. For example, if you need a smartphone with a great camera, there are tons of Android handsets like Samsung phones or Google phones that have excellent camera capabilities and are much cheaper than the iPhone 11 Pro Max.
If you’re on the fence about being tied into a lengthy smartphone contract and would rather go for a more flexible SIM-only deal but want a new phone, a refurbished handset could be the ideal option for you. Refurbished handsets have been used before, but they have also been reconditioned to a very high standard and you can even get some that feel, look and perform just like a brand new phone, but at a fraction of the price you’d pay for one that has never been used before.
Many people worry that refurbished handsets won’t work as well but, generally speaking, this is a complete myth. As long as you opt to purchase your handset from the manufacturer or a reputable, trustworthy company with high quality standards, you should expect no problems. And, most refurbished handsets come with a warranty to provide you with extra peace of mind.
Another option that you might want to consider if you want to save money with a SIM-only deal but want a new smartphone is to buy it second-hand. As more people opt to upgrade their handsets every two years when their contract ends and have an unwanted phone with plenty of life left in it, you should have no problem finding preloved smartphones for sale at excellent prices on sites like eBay, Gumtree, Preloved, Shpock and Facebook Marketplace.
There are a few precautions to take if you’re buying second-hand – if possible, ask to go and check the phone in person so that you can be sure that it’s in good working order and there is no damage. If you’re buying from a site where that isn’t always possible, such as eBay, make sure that you pay using PayPal so that you are covered in the event of being mis-sold and will be able to get your money back.
Some Other Things to Consider
Finally, do some research into as many ways as possible that you can get a good deal on your new smartphone. For example, some networks offer bundle deals where you can get a smartphone along with a free gift – and this could be something really great like a TV, laptop or Apple AirPods, so consider if there’s anything else that you need and see if you can get a bundle deal for it. It may also be worth looking into family plans with certain networks. If your partner or kids are also in need of a new smartphone, you might be able to get a better deal with certain networks by opting for a family contract where you can get several handsets on the same plan, share data with one another and more perks to make it easier and cheaper to manage. If you want a smartphone contract but don’t like the idea of being tied in for two years, some networks offer shorter contract options or ‘flex’ deals that allow you to change your handset more frequently, which may also be worth considering.
With so many smartphones and contract options to choose from, be sure to ask these questions to help you figure out the right one for you.