First, I went to my cell phone provider and found out that I’m not due for an upgrade for 11 months so getting a free phone is not an option. And even if I was eligible, I would have to change my plan to include data in order to get the smartphone for free. Damn. I do not want to pay for data.
Then I remembered, I recently learned about “unlocked” phones when I was in a store that sold cell phones but no plans. An “unlocked” phone is a phone not connected to a specific provider. I can just buy the phone I want, put the SIM card from my existing phone into it and, Voila! I have a new phone on my existing plan. I don’t even have to tell my provider, they don’t care! (fyi, everything I just said has been confirmed by my provider). Okay, my options just opened up significantly and things are looking better.
First off, the iPhone is out. I am a MAC – EE (I don’t even know how to turn on a PC) so you would think that I would be all over the iPhone and I do hear that it’s great. It is just, quite simply, more money than I am willing to spend on a cell phone.
So on to the wall of Android phones. I found a nice phone (it’s actually the same one that I got for my kids and they seem happy with theirs) and it’s only $199. The store guy said, however, that it only had 16 GB of memory and, even though I don’t download movies, even a few songs will eat that up. He pointed me to the $249 phone.
“But it only has 8GB of memory” I said.
“Yes” he said, “but you can add memory to this one. You can’t add memory to the $199 phone”
me: “How much is memory?”
him: “you can get another 64GB for $30”
me: “Okay. $249 + $30”
him: “You will need a screen protector and a case”
me: “How much is the screen protector and case?”
him: “The screen protector is about ”$20. A case is about $15”
me: “Okay. $249 + $30 + $20 + 15”
him: “will you want the accident protection plan? It replaces the phone if you break it, drop it in the toilet, run over it with the car . . .”
me: “How much is the protection plan?”
him: “For that phone, it’s only $80 for 3 years”
me: “Okay. $249 + $30 + $20 +15 + $80 = . . . is there anything else I need?”
him: “The SIM card in your Blackberry won’t fit this phone so you will need to get that cut for about $20. Then that should do you for about 3 years”
me: “Okay. $249 + $30 + $20 + $15 + $80 +$20 + 13% Ontario HSTax = $468”
Hmmm. That’s a bit more than I was planning on spending.
I’m going to have to think about it.
I went home and asked for advice from an expert – my son. He said “mom, it’s more than likely that you will use your phone for . . . well . . . a phone! You may do some texting and maybe a game or two. You don’t need all of the memory he is trying to sell you.”
In fact, my son said his phone only has 16GB of memory and he can work with that by just being tidy and deleting anything he downloaded but doesn’t use anymore. Also, he doesn’t take a lot of pictures. My daughter has the same phone and takes a ton of pictures but has very few games (picture taking is her game) and she seems to work fine with 16GB of memory too.
I decided that my son was right, why was I stressing so much over what kind of phone I should get when, really, all I need is the same one he has. So back to the store.
I am all set to buy the $199 phone but by the time I get back to the store two days later, you guessed it, they are sold out. We checked and they are sold out at all stores because (you guessed it again) they have discontinued the phone.
Uggh! I cannot catch a break here!
So the salesperson again directs me to the $249 phone when I happen to notice a phone to the left on sale for $149.
It turns out that this phone is the one below my kids’ phone and is being discontinued too. It is almost exactly the same but the processor is maybe not quite as fast and it has less memory but the ability to add some.
“Do you have any left?” I ask
“Yes,” he says “we have two”.
So this is where I netted out:
Phone (on sale): $149
Screen Protector: $20
Protection Plan: $30
(lower than on the other phone because the price point of the phone is lower)
Memory (on sale): $20
Case (on sale): $15
Cutting the SIM card: $20
Total ($254) plus taxes = $287
Now, that’s more like it!! I am happy now.
I have a smartphone and it meets all of my needs:
• The unlocked phone allows me to have a smartphone without paying for Data that I don’t want or need.
• Wi-Fi will allow me to access email and social networking most of the time.
• I was able to add memory so I have enough for music, photos and apps.
• I found out that, because I use gmail (google email), I am able to synch my phone to this google cloud thing and send the pictures from my phone directly to my email (or upload to Facebook or Twitter). This is something I did not know and is SUPER cool.
Yay! I have a Smartphone!
Now I just have to figure out how the heck to use it.
Image courtesy of emptyglass at FreeDigitalPhotos.net