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These days, smart phones have become more than just a necessity. They’re a status symbol. And with some of the most popular brands in tech coming out with new models every so often, many buyers have been convinced that buying that latest release isn’t optional, but necessary.
Sure, it might fit your budget, but do you really need to buy that new hot piece of tech, or are you just being bugged by the consumerist in you? Try to consider these 5 important points before you pull out that credit card.
1) Should Brands Really Matter?
The great debate between Apple and Samsung is at its peak, and some people have decided which side of the great divide they feel most comfortable. Where do you fall?
Before you go and pick out their pros and cons, you might want to consider some of the less popular however equally formidable opponents in the market. Brands like Asus, HTC, and even the forgotten Blackberry all have their own unique smart phone designs that might just be offering more functionality for less the cost.
2) Does it Need to Be an iPhone?
iPhone users are the modern elite, but even within their small community of smart phone owners, there is a caste system in place. Of course, those with the latest models are considered the premier users, while those with old, tired iPhone 5’s or lower (if they even exist), might as well join the Samsung fans. For buyers, this unspoken ranking makes it hard to resist the longing to join the community’s elite. But do you really need an iPhone?
If you were hoping to upgrade, it’s worth pointing out that new iPhone models rarely have new features to offer. Newer releases often boast marginal changes at best. But there are lots of options from other brands that offer insane functions that Apple could only dream of offering. Like the Energizer (yes, they sell smart phones) PK18 smartphone that packs a massive 18,000mAh battery that allegedly lasts a week between charges. Now that’s revolutionary.
3) Do You Really Need One Now?
New smart phone releases are introduced into the market left and right, so the temptation to purchase might be high during most of the year. But do you really need a new phone right at this minute? Unless your current phone is huffing and puffing and struggling to stay on, then you might not actually need to purchase soon.
On top of that, you need to consider the fact that new phone models will reduce their prices the minute a brand-new hotshot shows up on the market. So, if you can wait just a few months, that model you’re eyeing might be far cheaper by the time you make your purchase.
4) Do You Need to Get Locked into a Contract?
A new phone contract means a new opportunity for carriers to squeeze your funds. Sure, a few hundred dollars might not seem like such a big burden on your monthly expenses, but once those bills start pouring in and you miss your deadlines, that new expense can be a major nuisance. Plus, carriers love compounding the costs with inflated fees that can eat away at your wallet.
Always aim to purchase a phone upfront and unlocked. This way, you can switch carriers whenever it’s necessary and pay lower monthly phone bills. Don’t worry about taking your time to save up the whole cost of the model you’re eyeing - your current phone should work just fine until then.
5) Do You Really Need All Those Features?
Two-hundred and fifty-six gigs of expandable memory that you can max out to 400GB with a memory card? Sounds sweet on paper, but do you really need it? Most phone specs will draw you in and make you drool because of the sheer power they promise, but consider your unique needs.
Your smart phone user behavior and habits should tell you just the kind of upgrade you need, allowing you to pick out the features that are just unnecessary excess. Going with a phone that offers just what you need should help you find the sweet spot between satisfaction and cost.
Careful - your inner consumerist is showing. Before you make that big purchase and give in to those hypnotizing smart phone marketing strategies, take a breather and assess your situation. Is this need or want? These 5 considerations should help you differentiate between the two, and may help you save some big bucks down the line.