Tips on How to Buy a Cell Phone

Buying a cell phone can be a difficult decision for some people, particularly since there are so many options on the market. The challenge is to differentiate between what you need and what you are willing to budget into your household expenses.

Before purchasing a cell phone, analyze your calling, texting and Web-surfing patterns. Many features may be desirable or intriguing, but you have to decide if your regular communication habits justify any added features.

Ask about hidden costs

When buying a cell phone, it's important to understand the costs of the phone and service plan. The salesperson rarely lays out the different fees and taxes you'll have to pay. Therefore, read the fine print, ask about all the typical tax and service fee amounts, and be sure you understand aspects like what "nights and weekends" really means or how Web/data usage is calculated.

Friends and family may be good resources when it comes to buying a cell phone. When getting advice, ask why each person likes or dislikes his phone (and his mobile company). It may be tempting to go with a single, trusted contact, but anyone can make a mistake or be biased about his particular product.

When you want to know how to buy a cell phone, you can read many different reviews in a variety of publications and websites. It can be difficult to get current reviews for some cell phones, but you should at least make an attempt to find data on any unit you're interested in.

Try it out

Depending on the mobile company, you may be able to visit retail establishments so you can see and handle various phones. This can be a valuable part of the process as you examine a product's actual size, whether you like touchscreens, whether you require an actual keyboard, or whether a more simplistic phone is really all you need. Just beware of getting too excited about the bells and whistles or being convinced to buy something by an enthusiastic salesperson.

It's easy to learn how to buy a cell phone. It gets difficult, though, when it's time to make the actual choice between models.

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