10 Things to Consider Before Purchasing Your Next Phone

A new phone is not an insignificant purchase. Now that the high end models can cost $1,500, there’s a lot to consider before purchasing your next phone. From display size to camera to security, we outline everything you need to know to make an informed smartphone decision.

1. Which phone features are most important to you?

Some high end phones are expensive because of features that you may never use. For example, super slo-mo video sounds cool, but you’ll use it once or twice and then forget about it. Many flagship phones have high price tags because of these features, so make sure to look closely before you buy. Purchasing a lower end version may save you a couple hundred dollars by leaving out a feature that you won’t even use.

Android or iOS?

Have you always had an Android phone? Or maybe you’ve always had an iPhone? Now could be the perfect time to branch out and switch it up. It might surprise you how much you enjoy the functionality of a different operating system. Overall, one phone is not that different from another. They all have very similar features, have similar cameras, etc.

2. Display Quality and Size

Different phone models come in different sizes. In fact, the Galaxy S20 phones come in three different sizes: 6.2”, 6.7” and 6.9”. The size difference may seem insignificant, but it can really affect the phone’s usability. If you can, test the sizes out before purchasing them. If you’re a one-handed texter, try that, or if you prefer two-handed, try that. Also, do the ever-important pocket test if you’re considering investing in a larger phone; there’s nothing worse than your phone not fitting in your pants pockets.

Phone Screen Repair Costs

A phone screen repair can cost up to $599 depending on the severity of the break. That’s a ton of money! When you have Upsie smartphone insurance, you will only have to pay the small deductible price and you can get your screen repaired promptly and correctly.

3. Three main mobile carriers and plans

Now that Sprint and T-Mobile merged, there are three main phone carriers in the USA. The other two are Verizon and AT&T. Each carrier offers multiple insurance plan options, but they will always try to sell you the most expensive one. No matter the carrier, the plans are more expensive than Upsie’s subscription plans. Upsie is a fantastic option for anyone who wants to save money without compromising coverage. Their customer service is also fantastic. Check out their smartphone warranty plans.

Are prepaid plans any good?

Prepaid plans can be a great option for people who are not avid internet surfers and social media users. See, prepaid plans are paid for upfront. Alternately, you can opt for a pay-as-you-go plan, which is exactly what it sounds like. The cost of these plans is cheaper in general, but not if you use a lot of data. So, if you open Facebook multiple times a day, or check your email every hour, a prepaid plan probably is not for you.

How does a phone warranty affect these costs

A phone warranty can dramatically affect the repair or replacement cost of a broken phone. If your phone malfunctions, you need to only pay a small fee to get it repaired. However, not all phone insurance plans are created equal. Phone carriers like Sprint and Verizon, as well as retailers over-inflate their warranty prices in order to boost their profit margins. So, while the plans will still save you money on costly repairs, it’s much more cost efficient to go with a third-party option like Upsie. Upsie’s warranty plans cost less for the same great extended manufacturer and accidental damage protection. Their customer service is also superb. Check out their plans for smartphones, laptops, tablets and more on their website.

Are warranties from cell phone carriers worth it?

In general, a warranty is a smart investment. But warranties from cell phone carriers, like Verizon and AT&T, are almost always overpriced. They offer great deals on phones and trade-in offers in order to make great profits on warranties or insurance. Be wary of your carrier insurance and check out alternative options like Upsie smartphone warranties.

4. Processor, RAM, and storage

Most people don’t know much about the processor and RAM in their smartphones. The truth is, if you don’t know about it, it probably won’t make much of a difference in your phone experience. Storage, however, is important. If you take a lot of pictures, videos or download a lot of apps, you’ve likely gotten the “storage almost full” message. It’s why Apple’s iCloud and services such as Dropbox are so popular; they free up space on your phone.

5. Phone Camera Quality and Features

Phone camera quality is a huge purchase decision factor for many people. Most phones come with multiple cameras; the higher-end models have the most. Many have wide-angle lenses to capture more in one picture and zoom lenses so that deer in the woods looks like more than a blob of pixels. Furthermore, some newer smartphone models shoot 8k video, which is likely better than your TV picture.

What is the best camera phone?

The best camera phone is dependent upon your personal preferences. Some phones make the image more saturated, while others make the image appear lighter and smooth. According to TechRadar, the best camera phone sold in the USA is the iPhone 11 Pro, followed by the Google Pixel 4 and then the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. While other guides may have slightly different orders, these are typically in the top three.

Do you need a fancy phone camera?

How do you plan to use your phone camera? Technology has improved so greatly over the past ten years that if you’re capturing memories for personal use, any newer phone will do. The caveat is if your phone camera is being used for work, or if you like to get physical prints from the pictures you take. In this case, investing in a phone with larger sensors and more pixels will help produce a crisper image.

6. Battery Life

Battery life is so important for those who are always on the go or forget to charge their device regularly. According to Tom’s Guide, the US phone with the best battery life of 16 hours and ten minutes is the budget phone, Moto G Power. The Samsung phone with the best battery life is the Samsung Galaxy A20, followed by the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus. Next, the Google Pixel 3a ranks just ahead of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, followed by the iPhone 11 Pro Max with 11 hours and fifty four minutes of battery life.

7. Security features

How do you unlock your phone? How do you want to? Some people are happy typing in a code or swiping a pattern, while others would never dream of ditching their facial recognition or fingerprint scan. Additionally, Apple phones are well known for their strong security. Part of this is because they control all apps available in their app store, while Android prides themselves on being more open-source. Now, this doesn’t mean that Android devices are dangerous, it just means that you should be careful to check app permissions and (on iOS, too) be careful what you download.

8. Audio/Speakers

Audio always gets its own section at smartphone launch events. Why? Because, in the era of surround sound and bluetooth speakers, people care about their audio experience. Both Apple and Samsung sell bluetooth earbuds compatible with their newer phones. If you want to keep the cord connected for now, make sure to buy a phone with a headphone jack. Lastly, if you connect to bluetooth in your car, make sure that your new phone is compatible. Some phones work better with specific car makes than others. You can look up Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to check for compatibility.

9. Headphone jack or USB port

What kind of headphones do you have? Are they corded? And do you want a USB port to connect your smartphone to your laptop? Many newer models of smartphones do not have these features, so prepare to upgrade your accessories if you decide to purchase them. If you do want a phone with a headphone jack, check out the Google Pixel’s budget phone, the 3a. Furthermore, the Samsung Galaxy S10 launched in March of 2019. At just over one year old, this model is still very updated and includes a headphone jack like many people love.

10. Where will you get your phone insurance?

Phone insurance is a grossly underrated addition after purchasing your next phone. Unfortunately, it often has a bad reputation due to high prices and poor service. As a result, Upsie was created to make phone insurance accessible and affordable for all. The coverage they offer is comparable to leading carriers and retailers, but for lower plan and deductible prices. Also, their customer service is great. You can make a claim 24/7/365 where you will talk to a real person, not a machine. Lastly, they work hard to get your device repaired quickly, same day in most cases!

What is covered under a smartphone extended warranty plan?

Upsie smartphone warranties extend the manufacturer warranty that comes with all phones. They also protect against accidents such as drops, spills and water submersion. If you have any questions about smartphone coverage, contact Upsie on their website or via their Facebook or Twitter pages.

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* This article is over 6 months old and may or may not be updated.