Most smartphone purchases coincide with a two year commitment to a specific service provider. Many people are afraid of commitment altogether, not to mention a commitment that requires frequent payments. There are several things to consider when looking for a smartphone and service provider. For instance, did you know you can choose a smartphone first and then select a service provider to support it? A phone-driven approach is a wise way to proceed because it’s based on how you intend to use your phone, not on the phones that happen to be available from a particular service provider.
Here are some tips to help you pick the ideal smartphone for your needs and a service provider that supports it.
Determine How You Will Be Using Your Phone
Before you begin your search for a phone to purchase, take a moment to think about how you will be using it. With the advancing technologies for smartphone capabilities the chances are, there is a perfect match for what you need/want in a phone. The best way to decide what smartphone you need is to make a list of all the things you want to do with it. Do you just want to talk, text, and listen to music from time to time? Or do you want to take advantage of the latest smartphone technology to download data quickly and surf the Internet? This list will ensure that you select a smartphone with all the functions you need.
Select Several Phones with Features That Match Your List of Usage Needs
When deciding what phone to choose, it is important to provide yourself with a couple different options. Service providers don’t support every smartphone on the market, so you’ll want several on your list that meet your needs, just in case the service provider you choose doesn’t support one of them. Three phones should be enough to guarantee that the service provider you ultimately choose will support the phone you want. In order to find these multiple options you will have to do research on various phones, which insures that you will be knowledgeable on which ones fit your desires. Having these options will equip you with the knowledge to minimize any buyer remorse.
Research and Compare Service Providers
Once you’ve narrowed down your choice to three phones, you’re now ready to select a service provider that supports one of them. The four big service providers—Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile—have the widest coverage areas and offer the largest selection of supported phones.
The smaller service providers—U.S. Cellular, Cricket and MetroPCS—serve about a third of the country and cover the rest with roaming. At the bottom of the list are small, regional carriers that cover a very limited area. But they work well for people such as the elderly who don’t leave their home area that often.
Some factors to consider when choosing a service provider include:
- Coverage area. You’ll want a service provider that covers all the places you intend to use your phone. While coverage maps are helpful, it’s best to talk to people who have the service provider and read reviews to determine if there are any “dead” areas where calls are lost that could affect your phone usage.
- Data speed. This is a critical factor to consider, especially if you want to take advantage of the fastest data speeds available for smartphones like the BlackBerry Curve 9310. The four major service providers offer some level of 4G data speed. But again, it’s important to talk to people and check reviews to determine if and when speeds drop to 3G or lower.
- Types of plans offered. Post-paid plans make you commit to a two-year contract and charge hefty early cancellation fees. Prepaid and pay-as-you go plans are typically no-contract plans that offer more payment flexibility for those who need it.
Once you’ve selected a service provider, check to see if it offers one of the phones on your list. If not, choose a phone that comes closest to meeting your most critical usage needs.
Picking a Smartphone and service provider is a big decision in many peoples life. It can be a two year commitment that if made with the wrong phone or service can be a very scaring experience. You do not want to be stuck in a horrible commitment, especially one that you are paying to be in. These tips are excellent ways to improve the chance that you will pick a smartphone and service provider that will best fit your needs. If you remember to focus on a phone-driven approach when selecting your next smartphone and service provider then you should have no problem.