While there is a sense of analog detachment and peace that comes from having a simple phone that can only call and text, it's worthwhile to consider the use of a smartphone. Many people use them to keep up with their relatives using video chats, they use apps to manage their online banking, and they also plan and manage their calendars through such a device. You don't have to be 'too online' or addicted to your phone to see it as an essential part of your life planning, and for many people, this is the case.
As such, it's important to not only consider what to look for when searching for a new smartphone, but what mistakes to avoid, also. If you're using a contracted arrangement to pick up a new smartphone, you don't want to pay for two or three years for a phone you dislike and would rather be rid of.
In this post, then, we'll discuss 6 mistakes to avoid when purchasing a new smartphone, so that you can remain satisfied and use the item to its end potential.
Purchasing From an Untrusted Retailer
Purchasing second-hand smartphones can be a good idea if you hope to save money, there's nothing wrong with this at all. However, it's important to purchase from those you can trust, like stores selling second-hand goods with retail locations, a good website, and a decent customer warranty on refurbished items.
If purchasing from someone online, make sure you check their seller's profile to ensure they've been positively rated in the past. Otherwise, you could be buying a stolen phone, a phone with the incorrect spec, or a phone that might have hideable faults that you didn't realize when looking at the phone and its operation - for instance, if the charging port is unreliable due to water damage in the past, this can pose a problem.
If buying second-hand, always make sure to check the condition. If it experiences problems such as heat, consider why it's overheating, follow restorative guides, or return it.
Purchasing More Than You Might Need
You get to decide the spec of the phone you bring home, of course you do, but it's important to remember that it's easy to waste money thinking that the next 'step up' is something you absolutely need instead of a nice feature. If you do wish for a given feature, consider if it's worth going for that price point.
For example, many people will be more than fine with the basic iPhone model. The Pro models can have better and faster screens however, which might consider you to upgrade. But then you might opt for the phone with more storage, which on top of that can make you feel that the next step-up model isn't so expensive. But then the storage issue comes up once more, and you see how you can easily start to spend much more than you had wanted from the beginning.
So - take some time to consider what you really need to work on. It will make a genuine difference if you give yourself the room to plan ahead and benefit in this way.
Joining A Predatory Contract
It's important not to join a predatory contract when signing up for a new phone. This can be easy to fall into as you rack up the allowances on your service plan and opt for a better device paid over the years, racking up your device plan.
Remember that phone contracts are a form of credit which could potentially hit your financial standing, so always make sure to get that which you can afford. In some cases, you might even be able to join a contract that remains as flexible as possible, and that can be quite worthwhile to be part of. For instance - pay as you go tariffs or contract-free SIMs may be the best way to update your phone number and purchasing the handset outright could be cheaper as a result.
Be careful about purchasing straight from the manufacturer also, as they might not be able to provide you the best deal. Definitely go for combination deals - for instance taking a mobile contract out with one company might help you save money on your home internet package in line with that.
Not Checking the Marketplace
It's good to avoid sticking to just one brand of phone. Sure, many companies try to lock you into their ecosystem, but having a variety of devices can grant you more wriggle room and get to try the best of everything. For instance, you might have an iPhone, but a desktop computer on Windows, and third-party headphones with better sound tuning than AirPods.
On top of this, not checking the marketplace for better deals, or perhaps the upcoming release of the latest generation of phones, all of this can waste your money or lock you into a particular device you didn't want to receive. That's important, because after all smartphones tend to be with us for at least a year, usually two, and commonly three or more.
Not Checking Compatibilities
While we mentioned that you don't have to keep within the same ecosystem above, it's important to recognize that not checking compatibilities will also be a problem, especially for the tasks you might have planned.
For example, it might be that some apps you rely on are only available through the App Store with Apple, not on the Play Store with Android. If you hope to use the 'log into my Windows PC with my phone' on Windows 11, that will only work with an Android phone.
So, there are pros and cons to every single measure you use, but you'll be more confident in your approach when checking the solid compatibilities beforehand.
Purchasing Every Accessory
Unless you have a specific purpose for the accessories you purchase with your phone, it's good to really consider what you need. A MagSafe charger for the new iPhones can cost nearly 7-8 times more than a conventional charger which works for iPhones, and all it provides is the ability to magnetically connect to the back of your phone, or be used as a wireless (but proximity charging) means of charging your earbuds.
It might be simple, but is it worth the price? That's up to you. We merely say that purchasing items for the sake of it can be a waste of money and time - especially when these funds could be used on further insurance.
With this advice, you're sure to find the right smartphone.