Contracts on Mobiles Explained
If we’ve been on pay as you go for a long time, it may be confusing when we begin looking at contract phones. This article will look at the full process, from choosing a place to get your phone through understanding your user profile in order to get the right blended contract.
Choosing telephone models
One of the first things you need to do of course is to choose the telephone models that you are interested in. There are so many different types of phone out there on the market, and they range in price from just £15 all the way up to £600 and more. Indeed, it is important to get something that you really like, but also fits your budget. It tends to be the case that you can get contracts from as low as £7.50 per month on cheaper phones. However, if you’re looking to get a Samsung Galaxy S4, an iPhone 5, a Sony Xperia Z or an HTC One, then you’re going to have to fork out upwards of £30 per month. Some people consider getting telephone models that are last year’s flagship phone. For example, the iPhone 4S has been superseded by the iPhone 5 but is still a very good phone.
When you’re choosing your phone, ensure that you get the right operating system for you too.
The main operating systems that you can choose from are Windows, Android, BlackBerry and iOS.
Essentially iOS is Apple’s operating system and so you would have to be getting an iPhone in order to benefit from it.
Similarly, the Blackberry operating system is just for BlackBerrys.
However, with Android and Windows you have a variety of phones from different manufacturers, providing you with the opportunity to use their interface.
Indeed, Android is even re-skinned by many manufacturers and the Sense system is very popular on phones. Windows is a recent entry to the market but there are some very good phones at various levels in the market, including the Nokia Lumia series. Android is probably the leader in terms of operating systems for its 700,000 apps and a really good interface. However, many consumers prefer Windows or iOS because they are somewhat simpler.
Have a play in a phone shop to find out which is best for you.
Sources for contracts
When you’ve chosen the telephone models you’re interested in, it’s time to find a place to go. You could pop to a shop like Phones 4u or Carphone Warehouse, although you will be more limited in your choice if you do so than if you go online.
Online, most of the websites will have just about every model you could wish for and you can also source and compare providers. This can be a great way to filter down into the right package and the right phone for you.
Network operator websites
There may be a situation where you want to go direct to the operator rather than go through another company that works like an intermediary.
For example, you may be interested in getting 4G connectivity at the moment and so Everything Everywhere may be the way for you. If this is the case, then jump onto everythingeverywhere.com and you can start the process by selecting 4G phones and then choosing your data, talk and text allowances.
Your user profile
It’s crucial that you do understand what kind of usage you’re going to consume over the course of a month. If you get this aspect of your contract wrong, then you’ll end up with hefty bills and a millstone around your neck.
Choosing your talk allowance
It’s probably easiest to choose your talk allowance if you’ve been on pay as you go. You probably know how much you’ve been spending every month on your pay as you go phone and you can work out, based on the cost per minute, how many minutes you have been consuming. This can be a great way to have a good benchmark level from which to start.
Of course, if you have a contract phone you may well be less conscious about your usage and therefore, you may increase your calls significantly so don’t just base it on the number of calls you make based on pay as you go, but perhaps triple or quadruple the minutes you need.
Indeed, allowances are very generous these days and it is possible to get unlimited minutes for very reasonable amounts with a premium phone.
With text messages, again, you need to ensure that you get enough messages. If you’re going to be spending time on instant messaging systems, you may well decrease the number of text messages you send every month.
Many packages have unlimited text messages or allowances of 5,000 or more and these can be purchased fairly cheaply.
Internet data allowance
The telephone models that we get on 4G these days are absolutely incredible. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S4 has a 450+ pixel per inch HD display. It is simply incredible. The temptation to jump on YouTube and watch videos or even to download HD movies and stream them also really can be compelling. Therefore, it is important that you get enough internet data. Contracts these days come with 500MB, 1GB, 2GB, 6GB and anywhere up to 20GB of data.
On Everything Everywhere, you’ll be paying somewhere around £70 a month for unlimited data and this seems a bit excessive. However, if you do spend your life on your phone, it may well be worthwhile.
Do bear in mind that even unlimited data packages advertised by phone companies have fair usage caps and therefore you will not, in reality, have unlimited capacity to use your phone in any way. Make sure you read the terms and conditions to understand how many minutes you do actually get, how many text messages you do actually get and, most importantly perhaps, how much internet data you can consume.
Taking the seat of your phone
Normally your phone will be delivered next day and often delivery is free. You should ensure that you are home and have ID so that you can take receipt. A driving licence or passport should suffice.