Getting a new mobile phone often is quite a big purchase. It's going to be something that you'll use every day, and it's likely going to be yours for at least two years. So, it's crucial that you get a good one.
Having said that, given how much choice there is involved in buying a handset, the whole process can look pretty challenging. Don't fret though, because we're here to help. Keep reading to get walked through every step that you need to take along the way.
1) Do Your Homework:
First off, you'll have to do some research in order to figure out just what type of phone you'd like to buy. Consider what you liked about your last phone. Also, consider what you didn't like about it. Look at what your current friends have. Read about some of the models on the market now to learn what's available.
Consider factors such as:
Price - Are you hurting for money but want a model that is cheerful yet cheap? Or are you ready to open your wallet and splash out money for the best model? Use our guide for the best cheap phones when you're on a tight budget, or learn about the top phones out this year when you're looking to spend.
Design, shape, and size - You'll use your phone quite a bit, so be sure it's something that you're comfortable holding. Sleek metal, colorful plastic, and chunky compact phones all feel and look a lot different. If you want to surf online, watch videos, or play many games, then a large screen is ideal. However, a smaller screen is going to be cheaper.
Operating system - You've got two choices here, which are Android and iPhone. They both have distinct advantages to them, and issues too. iOS offers great connectivity, and you can seamlessly sync it to your Mac, iPad, and iPod. Alternatively, Androids are highly customizable, yet they look a bit different on each phone. Read our guide about our favorite Androids if you're going this route.
Specs - This is about processors, RAM, and the like. Many flagship phones come with the latest technology, and that's ideal if you're hoping to use a lot of apps, play many games, watch videos, or just generally multitask. Then again, why shell out money for top-end specs if you're not going to use them.
Storage - Internal storage is what holds your messages, photos, files, and apps. You can typically expand it using an SD card. Don't skimp here; a big app might eat up a gigabyte or more.
Display - Some phones have displays with tremendous quad-HD caliber, but they also typically cost more. Still, it might be worth it if you're going to use your phone for reading tiny text, watching videos, or game playing.
Camera - The majority of smartphones have cameras equipped, but they might vary a lot. Some are like using DSLRs, others have great front-facing cameras you can use for selfies or video calls, and others just have basic point-and-shoots on the back without anything special. If you want a great snapper, look over our top camera phones.
Features - Do you need 4G capability? What about a removable battery? Heart rate monitor? A number of premium phones have such features and other things that you might think essential.
2) Choose Your Phone:
Once you get a great look at what the market has available and figure out what you want, then the time has come to make your shortlist and chose your favorite phone. If, on the other hand, you aren't able to narrow it down, then pick a few that you'd likely be happy with, and compare the available deals for each of them.
Also, if you plan on switching from Android to iPhone or vice-versa, you should look up how you can make this move smoothly.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 is one of the top smar tphones in the market at the moment - offering a quality finish and plenty of great cutting edge tech. It’s got a great camera, screen and processor and is available at smartphonechecker.co.uk
3) Pick Your Price Plan:
There are three primary ways to pay for your next mobile phone. The first is monthly. The second is SIM-only, which means you have to buy the phone. The third is pay-as-you-go, where you still have to buy your handset. Let's look at each of these closer.
Paying monthly: This is when you get your phone and your SIM on just one contract. These typically last for two years. A contract will make a new model or flagship phone a lot more affordable, because you aren't paying hundreds upfront. Then again, it typically gets more expensive over time. Also, you're bound by the contract for two whole years. If you choose a phone that you like, that really isn't so bad.
SIM-Only: You buy the phone outright before you sign up to a plan that is SIM-only. Given how SIM-only plans don't typically last as long, more flexibility is involved, particularly if you pick a 30-day plan. It can be cheaper overall, but you'll have to come up with the money for a new phone immediately.
Pay-As-You-Go: Buy your new phone outright before getting a pay-as-you-go SIM. Rather than being given a bundled set of texts, minutes and data you can use every month, pay-as-you-go means you only pay for the texts, calls, and data downloads that you actually make or use. It's got the most flexibility of anything on this list, but it's rarely the best value, particularly if you're a moderate or heavy mobile user.
The ideal way to choose your plan is to look at how many minutes you call, how texts you send or get, and the data you currently use, so you can work out your needs for a new plan. Decide what your personal monthly mobile budget should be too, as well as how much you are willing to shell out upfront for a new phone, so that you can find a deal that aligns with all of this.
Keep in mind that getting a modern, new, cool phone will likely mean that you use it even more, so you'll likely be using more data. Aim for a plan with a bit more data allowance if you decide to upgrade. You might even want one that has unlimited data.
Did you know that you can even get a handset all by itself on contract? Check out our guide regarding this for more information.
4) Compare The Networks:
A number of mobile networks have been designed around offering low prices to light users. On the other hand, others are better for those that use their phones a lot and are looking for good deals with unlimited data. Some networks have tremendous 4G coverage, whereas others don't have any at all. Some networks even throw in cool perks such as priority tickets or donations to chosen charities on a monthly basis.
Coverage and price are two things that are always key though. Look over our coverage guide in order to see the networks that specifically cover areas where you work, live, or just spend a lot of time. Then, you can use our comparison tools in order to view the available plans for each one.
If you find more than one network that has what you want, our guide can help you figure out which one is best for you.
5) Do It:
If you find a plan you like that's on a network which gives you what you want, then choose it on the list and keep clicking through so you can sign up. If you pick a SIM-only plan, be sure that you order your handset by itself separately. Before you know it, you'll be using your brand-new phone!