In this day and age, a good phone plan is almost a prerequisite for survival. Our phones are an integral part of life both at home and at work, and it is important that the service we get from them is consistent and reliable. Unfortunately, there is no singular phone plan that beats out all the competition. Instead, there are dozens of plans that are all viable depending on what you are trying to accomplish.
While phone plans used to revolve around talk and text, the emergence of smartphones as our primary form of communication has opened up a ton of different necessities including internet access, data capability, app compatibility, and storage space. Everyone will have different needs when it comes to their phone plan, so here are some tips on how to choose the right option for you.
Common Questions About Smartphones
If you want to understand how to choose a phone plan, you need to have a good idea of how smartphones work. While a normal phone might have basic internet capabilities, its primary function is to connect to a carrier network so that you can call and text people. What differentiates a smartphone is that it runs off of a complex mobile operating system and functions as a miniature computer.
In addition to being phones, smartphones let you take photos and videos, navigate with GPS, listen to music, and browse the internet.
As a result, the plans surrounding these complicated devices have evolved considerably in the last ten years. Everything ranging from prices to how we upgrade phones has adapted to make smartphones the world’s primary form of mobile devices.
When Should I Upgrade My Phone?
Smartphones aren’t meant to last forever, and with the speed of innovation, it is best practice to change phones every few years. The question is, how often should you be upgrading your phone?
Some programs exist that allow you to use your payments on your current phone to work towards upgrading credit. Many carriers and companies offer upgrade programs that let you engage in monthly payments that come with regular upgrades.
For example, Apple has an iPhone upgrade program where you pay $35.33 per month with yearly iPhone upgrades. Carriers like Verizon and T-Mobile offer very similar programs, and the program you choose will determine how often you get upgrades.
A good way to tell if your smartphone is obsolete is by seeing whether or not the features on your phone are being phased out. For example, 3G is currently being phased out, meaning that phones that are not 5G compatible will only have access to 4G.
A good indicator that your smartphone needs an upgrade is if your phone stops getting upgrades. If your phone cannot handle any new updates, the device is becoming obsolete and will soon be incompatible with modern software.
Should I Buy From a Carrier or Directly From the Manufacturer (Unlocked)?
Different carriers sell overlapping phone models, but they will be locked to that company when you buy a phone from a particular carrier. When you purchase a phone directly from the manufacturer, you are buying an unlocked phone.
Purchasing your phone through a carrier has many benefits, namely that they tend to have several discounts that you can take advantage of. Carriers tend to offer deals that let you pay in increments that are much more generous than you would get from a manufacturer.
Another benefit is that you can easily go to that carrier’s store for mobile support. It can be easier to find a carrier store than to find a store for a manufacturer, and the option for accessible support is a big help.
Which Phone Should I Buy?
There are a ton of phones out there that you can buy, and they all have their pros and cons. Choosing a phone is just as hard as choosing a plan, so it is just as important to fully understand your preferences when it comes to choosing your mobile device. You can’t choose a cell phone plan without ensuring you are content with a compatible phone.
Different phones have different deals depending on the carrier you choose, so it is good to check what your carriers are offering. Some people prioritize high-speed data, while others want great extra features and battery life.
Your plan and phone work together to give you the best possible experience. For example, a great 5G network carrier will only reach its full potential with a 5G compatible phone.
Best Cell Phone Deals 2022
The best cell phone deals change, and it can be tough to keep up with all of the different promotions and markdowns. Here are some of the best cell phone deals of 2022.
Best iPhone Deals
Some of the best iPhone deals right now are coming through Verizon. Currently, the company has deals for the iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 12, and iPhone SE. Most of Verizon’s deals are through their unlimited plans and trade-in program.
If you sign up for an unlimited data plan with a new service line with Verizon, you can get the iPhone 13 mini for just $5 a month. You can also get an iPhone SE by purchasing a new select unlimited plan via a monthly device payment plan. The iPhone SE will only be $11 per month with this deal. Finally, you can sign up for an unlimited plan and trade in your old phone for up to $1000 off an iPhone 12.
If you buy through AT&T, you can also get the iPhone 13 Pro for $800 off using the trade-in program. The iPhone 13 Pro is one of the best devices Apple has for sale at this time, making this an especially good deal for people interested in this phone.
Best Samsung Deals
Samsung has a large catalog of phones that you can get a discount on in 2022. If you buy from Samsung directly, you can purchase a Samsung Galaxy S21 for only $174.99 with trade-in. You can tie this to a carrier or keep the phone unlocked, but the price will not differ. The S21 is no longer the newest phone in the series with the release of the Galaxy S22, but it is still one of the best phones that Samsung has to offer.
Another great deal that you can get through AT&T is $800 off the Galaxy Z Fold 3 through their trade-in program. This ties your phone to AT&T’s network, but the discount on your phone is significant.
T-Mobile has a deal where you can get 50% off your Samsung Galaxy S22 via 24 monthly bill credits after a trade-in of an eligible device. You can get $800 off the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra through the same stipulations. The S22 Ultra is arguably Samsung’s most powerful phone, making this a deal worth paying attention to.
Best Pixel Deals
Google’s line of Pixel phones is becoming more and more prominent in the eye of society. While the Google Pixel 6 is the most up-to-date version, the older versions of the Google Pixel have some great deals out there. If you buy a Google Pixel 4a on Amazon, you can get it for only $279 through their renewal program.
If you want to get the newest and best Google Pixel phone, Verizon has the best deal. You can get a Google Pixel 6 for free at $699 if you pick up a new line on an eligible unlimited plan. This is one of the best deals you can get from Verizon without utilizing their trade-in program. Given that the Google Pixel 6 is a great mix of affordability and innovation, this is one of Verizon’s best deals, hands down.
Best Phone Plan Deals
The most important thing to look for in a phone plan is compatibility with your phone. The biggest telecommunications companies are compatible with all the best phones, but it is still important to make sure you are thorough in your check.
Verizon’s 5G Get More plan is pricey, but it is jam-packed with perks and features. This plan specifically leans into its perks more than any other phone plan. With the Get More plan, you can access Disney Plus, ESPN Plus, Hulu, TravelPass, Apple Music, 600GB of Verizon Cloud storage, and either Apple Arcade or Google Play.
No other plan offers this many additions to a huge 5G network with unlimited talk, text, and data. This comes out to $55 per line for four lines, or $220 total. The plan basically pays for all of the extras included here. It isn’t for anyone, especially given that most people won’t even be interested in all of these perks, but it is a fantastic value for your money.
The T-Mobile Magenta plan knocks it out of the park, especially for family units. The family plan for the Magenta plan is relatively cheap compared to its contemporaries, but the addition of Netflix basic makes it a much more worthwhile investment.
The Magenta plan doesn’t have all the perks of something like the Get More plan, but that’s because no plan does. The Magenta Max upgrade is significantly more expensive, but the improvements don’t allow it to stand up to the competition. T-Mobile’s best plan is the Magenta plan because it is accessible to many consumers while still having great extra features.
The AT&T Unlimited Extra plan costs $40 per month with four lines, and it offers the basic features you would expect out of an unlimited plan plus a subscription to Google Stadia. This is a little less popular than the perks you would find with T-Mobile and Verizon, but AT&T is a tried and true company with the largest network.
While the other Unlimited plans from AT&T lag behind a little, the Unlimited Extra plan offers very solid premium data for the price. This is a good all-around option for people who want the basics from a top-tier provider. It may not come with many extra features, but it is hard to compete with AT&T’s basic service options.
Buying a phone and buying a phone plan are two things that need to be set up in tandem. Phone plans build on the technological advancements of our phones and choosing phones and plans that complement each other will vastly improve the effectiveness of both.
Modern smartphones are built to be replaced and upgraded, and all of the biggest cell phone carriers sell phones that match up with their networks. Buying from a carrier often involves great deals and customer service, while buying unlocked gives you autonomy in what you do with your phone.
There is no right answer here, but pay attention to your preferences when picking a phone and plan. There are so many deals out there that there is no way you won’t find one that fits you.
Visit Navi for more information on the best phone deals.