Ten years ago owning a mobile might have been a symbol of high status in society but today a mobile is a necessity and almost everybody has at least one. Of course, if you want to spend a fortune on a mobile, there are enough models to take your money but if you are on a budget or simply don’t want to waste money on an expensive device that will get old in less than an year, these tips how to choose the best budget mobile will help you.
Start With Your Budget
Quite obviously, the first thing you need to have clarity about is your budget. If you have absolutely no idea about the current prices of mobile phones, you might want to have a quick look at some comparison sites first.
While you can get a new mobile for $30-50 (£20-£30) or less, usually it is the really low-end devices that are cheap, so you maybe should allow at least $100+ (£60+) on this purchase. Decide how much you can afford (or are willing) to spend on a new budget mobile.
However, as my experience shows, be prepared to go slightly over budget, because sometimes something really nice pops up that is just slightly above your budget. Set 20% more aside just in case you find a really good bargain.
Decide Which Functionality You Can’t Go Without
You might feel bad that your budget limits you in your choice but even the most expensive phones might not have all the functionality you want. Sure, with budget devices there will be more compromises to make.
First think about all the functionality you really need. Some good parameters to think about are:
- Do you want a phone with an operating system or will just an ordinary device do? Nowadays you can find cheap mobiles with an operating system (usually an older version) but if you don’t really need it, you can safely skip it.
- Do you need long battery life? Battery life is one of the invisible features that really matter. If you will be talking a lot, you will certainly appreciate longer battery life.
- How about design? Since you are looking for a budget mobile, you will hardly want a device with pieces of gold on it but still there are some design considerations, such as size or form that matter.
- Do you need a camera and if yes, how many megapixels would you like it to be? Even low-end devices come with a camera but usually it isn’t a powerful one.
- What other features you really must have? In addition to the main features, some nice to have ones are a QWERTY keyboard and various connectivity options, to name a few.
Decide Which Functionality Is Nice to Have
After you have sorted out which functionality you can’t do without, think about the nice to have features. For instance, if you will be texting a lot, then a QWERTY keyboard might even be a necessity but if you won’t be texting/writing emails a lot, then it is just a nice to have feature.
Search for Offers in Your Area that Match Your Criteria
When you already know what you are after, the next step is to find the exact model that meets your criteria (or at least most of them). Since new models are released all the time and the offers differ in various areas, it is not possible to recommend a particular brand and model. The only thing to recommend is to check at least three shops to see what they offer and only after that to pick a model.
Since you are looking for a budget device, you also have the option to check how high-end devices from years ago fare now. Some of the best models that used to cost a lot a year or so ago can be bought real cheap but again, this varies from country to country and from shop to shop.
Pick a SIM Only Plan
After you have narrowed down your choice of devices, there is one more thing to do before you are fully equipped – to choose a plan. For budget-conscious users (and not only for them) a SIM only plan is best because you already have the device and will pay less a month than with the standard monthly contracts that include a device.