I was pretty set on buying a new iPhone 3GS as soon as I could, but that doesn't mean I'm unfamiliar with the anxieties of choosing a phone. Remember when you had maybe three phone options to choose from? My first phone was a clunky Nokia with a changeable faceplate — my toughest decision was figuring out which color to choose! Obviously, your phone choices could be limited by your wireless carrier and contract obligations.
An article in the New York Times this week gives great cell phone purchasing advice. (Hint: their advice is to do the exact opposite of what my less-than-tech-savvy mom did last week: purchase a phone online sight-unseen because it was pink.)
To read a quick summary of their recommendations,
- Compare phones, plans, and companies online. Go beyond provider websites — try a site like GotReception to check coverage in your area and LetsTalk to enter your phone preferences and narrow your selection. The article also recommends visiting a review site like Cnet to check out reviews of any phone you choose.
- Come up with a list of two or three models you're interested in and go check them out in person. The article suggests checking both big-box stores like Best Buy and individual carrier stores for best results. Take each phone for a trial run in the store. Do you like the keyboard? Is photo quality important?
- After deciding which phone is for you, purchase it online. That way, you'll be able to compare a few different sites' prices and rebates.