How to buy a cell phone

As flagship models creep past $1,000, it's still possible to get a good price on your next cell phone. Follow our top nine tips for finding the best deal possible.

How to buy a cell phone

Phones have become major investments. Sure, there are some solid cost-friendly options out there, but factor in taxes and accessories, and you’re looking at spending at least a few hundred dollars. And that doesn’t even include a service plan!

The good news is, it’s still possible to get a good deal on a new phone. Follow our tips to get the best price possible on your next mobile device.

Timing Is Key

A manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) is just that—a suggestion. Phone prices fluctuate greatly depending on the time of year, product life cycle, and planned promotions. Give yourself time to shop around and monitor prices, and you might be able to score a flagship at a midrange price.

Once you find the right phone at the right price, you’ll want to act fast, especially if the offer is through a carrier. Flash promotions and sales can end quickly, and if you miss one, you’ll probably be waiting at least a few weeks before you find a similar deal. Also keep in mind that most carrier promotions tend to launch early in the week.

This brings us to our next tip.

Do Some Holiday Shopping for Yourself

Shopping for a phone around the holidays can score big wins for your wallet. This doesn’t mean you have to wait until Black Friday, though. Most manufacturers and carriers offer some sort of promotion for every US holiday (as well non-holidays like Amazon Prime Day and Apple’s Back to School Promotion).

(Cautiously) Consider Carrier Promotions

Buying from a carrier can have its benefits. For instance, some carriers offer promotions where new subscribers get a prepaid gift card after you’ve had service for a certain number of months. Others offer rebates that are credited to your account over 18 to 24 months. It’s important to read the terms and conditions of any promotion to make sure it’s a commitment you want to make.

Buy Unlocked

Although buying an unlocked phone may not save you money at checkout, it can be a better value in the long run. Unlocked phones give you the freedom to shop around and move between carriers for the best deal. And they tend to have less bloatware (preinstalled software) than carrier phones, so you’re less likely to need to add more storage.

Shop Online

Although most carrier and big-box shops have the same pricing as you’ll find online, that doesn’t mean you’re getting the best deal. Carrier websites frequently have promotions for discounted activation fees and promotional gift cards you won’t find in stores.

Get Last Year’s Flagship

Sure, you can spend a few hundred dollars on a brand-new midrange phone, but you also might be able to score the same price on one of last year’s flagship models that likely offers better specs and performance. When new phones are released, older models are usually discounted, and carriers frequently offer the same, or similar, promotions on these phones as they do on the new versions.

Refurbished Phones Can Save You Big Bucks

There’s a big difference between used and refurbished (or reconditioned) phones. Used phones are typically sold as is. Refurbished phones, on the other hand, usually look brand new, have a fresh battery, and come with some form of warranty. If you decide to purchase a refurbished phone, check the model number to make sure it’s a US model with LTE band support for your carrier. Also be sure to shop from trustworthy sources (such as Apple, Best Buy, Gazelle, etc.) so you can be certain the phone is actually reconditioned and is not blacklisted.

Trade In Your Old Phone

Look for guaranteed trade-in promotions from carriers or manufacturers and compare it with places like Best Buy and Gazelle. Dedicated trade-in sites aren’t quite as seamless as swapping your old phone out to the same store where you’re picking up your new one, but they often pay more money. Just be sure to give an accurate assessment of the quality of your phone for the best estimate.

The Best Cheap Phone Plans

Even the most expensive phone is basically just a fancy brick if it doesn’t have service. There are a lot of options out there beyond AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, and they can save you a lot of money. Once you find the right phone, head over to our story on the best cheap phone plans to find the right cost-effective service for you.

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If you want a phone from your favorite brands at an affordable price, you’re at the right site. If you want a used phone for cheap, we can help.

Gazelle is a leading provider of quality used cell phones. We carry phones from all your favorite brands, including Apple, Samsung and LG. Shop online today and discover how we can help you find your next purchase.

The Perks of Refurbished or Used Phones

Though it may feel like new is always better, with cell phones, that isn’t the case. Used phones have much more to offer besides their affordable prices. Most of the time, they have a lot of life left in them when people upgrade to a new model.

Opting for a used phone instead of a new one comes with many advantages. When you purchase a used phone, you:

  • Test out the phone’s features before committing to a new model.
  • Can resell it down the road without losing all of its value.
  • Avoid a monthly contract with your carrier.
  • Stress less about accidents, since you paid less for the phone.
  • Help prevent e-waste by extending a phone’s life cycle and keeping it from going to waste.

Used phones from Gazelle give you all of these benefits and more. Experience them firsthand when you buy a used phone online with us.

Our Inclusive Inventory

At Gazelle, we pride ourselves on our variety of available phones. We have a wide selection so you’re likely to find the exact phone you want.

Our phones vary by:

  • Brand: We carry popular brands that are hot on today’s market.
  • Model: Whether you want an older model or a newer one, we have a range for each brand.
  • Storage: We have phones with different storage options at different prices.
  • Carrier: Our phones come unlocked or paired with networks like T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T.

Many of our phones are like-new, so you are saving money on a phone that’s comparable to a new model.

Shop Online With Gazelle

Gazelle is a leading provider of used cell phones. We buy and sell used phones to give you a safe way to help your wallet and the environment. With our services, you can skip the online hunt for a local seller and get your phone sent straight to your door.

When you choose to shop with Gazelle, you get:

  • Quality: Every phone goes through a 30-point inspection before we list it on our website. Our thorough exam ensures that we only sell the best used phones on the market.
  • Convenience: We offer fast and easy checkout and shipping. You can order your new phone from wherever you are, whenever you want.
  • Honesty: We are transparent about our prices and phone conditions. If you change your mind, you can send your phone back within 30 days of purchase.

Ready to get started? Browse our extensive list of makes, models and styles and find the perfect used phone for your lifestyle!

How to buy a cell phone

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

A shiny new iPhone is hard to resist until you look at the price. But you can save money on an iPhone , or Android phone for that matter, by buying a used one.

A used iPhone 11 with 64GB storage, for example, sells for less than the retail price of a new iPhone 11 (excluding a trade-in) on Gazelle, a major online seller of used phones, tablets and other consumer electronics.

The first step to buying a used iPhone is finding a trusted site, which can be tricky. Facebook Marketplace is riddled with scams, and it can be hard to tell whether newer online retailers are legit. Then, once you settle on a site and start shopping for phones, it’s important to ask the right questions before clicking the “Buy” button. We'll cover that in a minute.

The best places to buy a used iPhone

Look for a retailer that stands behind the phones it sells and has a return policy. Seller ratings and detailed descriptions are also helpful when purchasing a phone online, as is the ability to ask the seller questions.

Here are a few trusted places to shop for a used cell phone:

1. EBay : Vast marketplace teeming with cell phone sellers

If you spend much time online, you know eBay: the place to buy anything, especially cell phones. Sellers can upload photos and give detailed descriptions of the phone’s condition. Buyers can reference seller ratings and contact them with questions before making a purchase. And with eBay’s money-back guarantee , you can return the phone for a full refund if it isn’t exactly as the seller described.

2. Amazon : Lots of pre-owned phones with Prime shipping

You can purchase popular used and refurbished phone models that are sold and shipped from Amazon or a third-party seller. Like with eBay, buyers can read through seller ratings and product reviews to inform their purchase decision. And for added peace of mind, “Amazon Renewed” phones come with a 90-day warranty. Warranties on other phones vary by seller.

3. Swappa : Solid marketplace for anyone looking to buy or sell

You buy directly from sellers through Swappa’s straightforward process. The site reviews listings to ensure the device serial number is clean (read: not stolen) and requires sellers to upload photos of the phone, powered on, next to a custom listing code to ensure they have the device. Swappa uses PayPal for all payments to leverage its proven buyer protections.

4. Gazelle : One of the original reputable cell phone resellers

You buy the phone directly from Gazelle. Shoppers benefit from a wide selection of phones from a single seller. Gazelle inspects all certified pre-owned devices for full functionality and backs up sales with a 30-day return period.

5. Your wireless provider: Most carriers sell pre-owned phones

Pre-owned pricing tends to vary based on current offers from your provider. But buying from a carrier means that you know the phone will connect and be compatible with the network. You also know it’s not stolen and typically has a limited warranty. This purchase could lead to less stress than buying that used iPhone from a site where users can sell their stuff with little oversight, like Facebook or Craigslist.

What to ask before buying a used iPhone

Buying from a trusted site takes some of the risk out of buying a used phone, but you still need to ensure you can activate and use the phone when it arrives.

What is the serial number? Also known as the ESN or IMEI, this is a crucial piece of information to get because you’ll need it to verify whether the phone has been registered as lost or stolen. If it has, you won’t be able to activate the phone. The serial number will also tell you whether the phone will work with your carrier. Most carriers let you check this online, but you can also go to a store or call customer service.

Is the phone under contract or lease agreement? Phones under a contract or lease can’t be easily reactivated, even with a new carrier, until the agreement is fulfilled. So if the seller has a year left on the contract, it’s likely to be at least that long before you can activate the phone. A good way to avoid contract issues is to opt for a phone advertised as “unlocked” from any carrier.

Does the phone have significant water damage? Moisture erodes a phone's components over time. So while the device may look fine and work well now, it won’t last long if it’s been exposed to water. Unfortunately, you typically can’t look at a phone and see if it has water damage, so you’re trusting the seller to be honest.

Is it safe to buy a used iPhone?

To be safe when buying a used iPhone, don’t pay with cash or directly from your checking account. Instead, pick a payment method that has built-in protections, like PayPal.

About the authors: Kelsey Sheehy is a personal finance writer at NerdWallet. Her work has been featured by The New York Times, USA Today, CBS News and The Associated Press. Read more

India is the second largest smartphone market in the world, and it is still growing at almost 30% annually. Today, you can get smartphones at price points ranging from Rs.5,000 all the way up to Rs. 90,000. The sheer number of choices can often leave you confused. Hence, making a decision then becomes an exercise involving spending hours on the internet, researching various features and offers.

To help you with your decision-making, here are a few handy tips on factors you should consider:

Battery

Are you the kind of user who is likely to have multiple apps open simultaneously? Do you see yourself being a heavy consumer of video-streaming apps or playing games? Heavy online usage tends to drain batteries faster. If you belong to this category of users, then it is better to go for a phone with a long-lasting battery.

Memory

Phones have two kinds of memory – Random Access Memory (RAM) and Read Only Memory (ROM). RAM, along with the processor of your phone (see below), determines the speed of the phone and its ease of operation. ROM is what most people refer to as storage. This is the memory that is used to store the OS, apps and all the videos, photos and songs that you want to store on the phone.

Therefore, it stands to reason that phones with higher RAM will be faster and those with higher ROM will have more storage. An average user should be happy with a 2 GB RAM and 16 GB ROM. But if you are a heavy user, go for a phone with at least 3-4 GB RAM and 64GB ROM. To extend your ROM you can also use a micro SD memory card, but remember, apps that are stored and run from memory cards tend to be slower.

Camera

There is a lot of hype surrounding in-built cameras on phones with brands trying to outdo each other by offering more megapixels. Don’t let this fool you. By itself, a camera with more megapixels doesn’t result in better images. Apart from megapixels, good quality photos are a function of factors like ISO levels, aperture as well as the speed of autofocus. If you are likely to take a lot of pictures, then go for a phone with a 12 or 16 MP camera that has an aperture of f/2.0 or lower, for good results even in low light. If your use of the camera is not likely to be heavy, a phone with an 8-12 MP camera and aperture of f/2.2 should be fine for you.

Processor

Much like smartphone cameras, there is a lot of hype about processors with jargons like quadcore, octa core, Snapdragon, MediaTek and so on. Here is a simple thumb rule. Look at the processing speed that is expressed in terms of GigaHertz (GHz). The higher the speed, the faster the processor. If you are going to do a lot of photo/video editing or play online games and stream videos, opt for a faster processor.

Display

A phone with a 5.5 – 6-inch HD or QHD display is usually an ideal option. This will allow you to enjoy a rich media experience while being easy to carry in your pocket or purse.

Operating System

There are only two Operating Systems (OS) to choose from – Android or iOS. If you opt for iOS, then you are by default opting for an Apple iPhone. All other smartphone makers function on the Android OS. But this also comes in a confusing array of names and versions. Often the Android OS is tweaked by manufacturers to add features which could also result in bloatware, thereby slowing down the phone. So, try the phone out before making the decision.

Cost

As mentioned earlier, smartphones come at price points that vary greatly. Obviously, prices tend to go up as you go higher up the value chain in terms of processor speeds, memory, camera and display.

But don’t let your budget stop you from buying the smartphone you really want. Just talk to HDFC Bank, India’s No. 1* Bank, and convert your purchase into EMIs with HDFC Bank’s Debit Cards, Credit Cards or Consumer Durable Loans.

Here’s what you get with HDFC Bank:

  • EMI on HDFC Bank Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Consumer Loans with instant eligibility check and on-the-spot approvals.
  • No extra cost EMI on over 25 leading brands, without any processing fee, down payments or documentation

And what's more, HDFC Bank brings you special EasyEMI offers on selected handsets.

So, make the right choice and use these handy tips and HDFC Bank’s offer to buy your dream smartphone now! Click here for HDFC Bank EasyEMI now!

* Terms & conditions apply. Consumer Loan disbursal at sole discretion of HDFC Bank Ltd. The information provided in this article is generic in nature and for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for specific advice in your own circumstances.

There’s a lot to consider when buying a smartphone like the camera, storage capacity, operating system, cross-device functionality and accessory customization.

How to buy a cell phone

In the market for a new smartphone? There are so many smartphone features, gadgets, and catchphrases that manufacturers throw at you. How do you arrive at a purchasing decision?

The Android versus iPhone debate is a hot one. People want to know how to switch from one smartphone after using another for years. I’m going to help you decide how to choose a phone. We’ll have a little conversation about iPhone versus Android, which actually has nothing to do with iOS or Android OS.

Smartphone buyers aren’t monolithic. Some folks care about bells and whistles while others want a phone that simply makes phone calls. Here are some ways to help you better understand your smartphone.

Which camera should I choose?

Smartphone cameras are important to people. It used to be that you really needed to consider the quality of the camera. But today’s smartphones have higher pixel front-facing cameras, meaning that you can actually take some Instagrammable pictures.

Look for the smartphone camera with the lowest F-number. You’re going to see some phones with an F2.1, or F2.0, or even F1.8 camera lens. The lower the number, the better your front-facing camera will handle different lighting conditions. So, you’re covered when you’re outdoors or indoors. If you see an icon in your front-facing camera’s viewfinder, that means your phone will take wide-angle pictures, which are perfect for selfies or group photos.

Then there’s night mode and the wide-angle setting for the rear camera. Night mode has been a popular feature with the iPhone, Samsung’s Galaxy S and Galaxy Note lines, and Google’s Pixel because they allow for super low light shot supremacy. You can still take solid night shots with older phone models, like the Google Pixel 3a or Samsung Galaxy S10e. Wide-angle lenses are great because they allow you to capture group photos without having to stand 30 feet back from your group.

How big should my storage be?

Let’s talk about storage. If you’re going with an iPhone, skip the 64-gigabyte models and start with 128 gigabytes—unless you are the type of person who takes little to no photos or videos, and doesn’t use more than five apps. What many users don’t realize is that apps themselves can take up many gigabytes of storage space.

For example, just the system files on my iPhone 11 Pro Max take up almost eight gigabytes of storage space. My iMessages take up around two gigabytes of space and I have around 30 gigabytes worth of apps on my phone. That’s roughly 40 gigabytes used before I even take a video or a picture or download a picture.

On an Android phone, the choice is a little easier because you’ll have the option of removable storage, so you can start off with 64 gigabytes then buy a microSD card which has a 128-gigabyte capacity. And make sure your phone stores all of your photos by default on removable storage.

iPhone or Android?

Which is easier: iPhone or Android smartphone? My answer: the one you’re most familiar with. Phone companies are trying to make the user experiences as easy as possible. Though every operating system has its quirks, it’s really about what you want.

There are things to love about iOS and Android OS. To me, one of the downfalls with iOS is sharing to social. Android OS gives me multiple options for each platform, right from the sharing menu. With Instagram, I can share directly to my feed, stories, or to direct messages. With iOS, I’m able only to share with my feed directly from the share menu.

With iOS, however, there’s no comparison to its cross-device interoperability. For example, if you have a MacBook Air, iPhone, and Apple Watch, text messaging works seamlessly across all devices. You can read and respond to text messages easily from your laptop or from your watch, never having to touch your phone as long as you’re signed into iCloud.

With Android phones, many people use Google’s entire ecosystem of apps and services. Though it’s improved over the years on iOS, it’s still a smoother experience on Android OS. For example, on an Android phone, if you want to share a photo in an email or on social, you’ll have more options when it comes to accessing your Google Photos and Google Drive content that you won’t have on iOS. If you’re a heavy Google product user, the experience on Android is definitely more robust.

What about wearable technology?

Let’s talk about wearable technology. Are you a smartwatch consumer? My favorite smartphone was the Samsung Galaxy Note, but I switched to iPhone because of the Apple Watch. After reviewing other smartwatches and observing how Google handled Wear OS, I still hadn’t yet tried the Apple Watch. I fell in love with Apple Watch Series 3; its integration was enough to make me switch smartwatches.

Another personal favorite is Samsung’s Galaxy Gear. To get the most out of that watch, you’ll want a Samsung phone. You can absolutely use it with other Android devices and iOS by downloading Samsung’s Gear Manager software, but for full access to the watch and accompanying software, much like Apple, you’re going to need to stick with Samsung products.

How do I choose accessories?

How often do you think about accessories before you buy a phone? I recently reviewed a phone with no aftermarket accessories. It came with a clear case in the box. The reality is there may or may not be a market for accessories for a particular phone. A phone could be the most amazing phone, but if very few people have heard of it, chances are it won’t have many accessories to customize it.

If the smartphone you’re looking to buy isn’t on the market yet, you generally won’t see that many accessories. But you can go on history to see if it’s a newer model. If you’re looking at the LG Velvet, for example, look at previous LG phones, and see what the aftermarket accessory availability is like. Are there options for LG G8X ThinQ?

Shelly Lott

Companies like Apple, Google and Samsung are constantly working to improve and innovate cell phones. They often hold annual events to introduce the latest and greatest models. New features like cameras, screen sizes and processors are all usually exciting improvements, and they seem to make our current phones obsolete.

But do you really need to rush out and order the newest phone on the market?

Read This Before You Buy a New Cell Phone

Here are some things to consider when you are thinking about purchasing a new phone.

Cost

New cell phones can cost thousands of dollars. Here’s a look at the prices of some of the latest models from popular brands:

    : $999 : $899 : $774.99

If you don’t need the latest and greatest model, there are still a lot of options. For example, Apple’s iPhone SE (2nd generation) starts at $399. When you compare models, the features of the older phone aren’t as robust.

But there’s a big difference between paying $399 and $999, so you should compare the features of the two phones before you make the leap. Do you really need all the new whistles and bells?

Contract

If you are under a contract with a carrier, you’ll find that the company will push you to buy a new phone when the contract is up, typically every year or two.

I recommend always buying an unlocked phone: one not tied to any specific carrier. This allows you to move to a different carrier at any time. I am always looking for a better cell phone plan and like to be able to move around without having to buy a new phone each time.

Safety

You probably want to consider buying a new phone when your current phone is no longer safe. Is the operating system on your phone still able to receive the most current software updates?

Many of the software updates address security vulnerabilities and performance issues. If you can no longer update it, your phone is vulnerable. Most phones get security updates for 3-4 years, but you want to check with the manufacturer to find out.

Technology

After a few years, you may notice that your phone has slowed down. The touch screen is not as responsive as it used to be, and certain hardware is no longer working. Also, some apps just won’t run on older phones. When these things start to happen, it may be time to purchase a new phone.

You may think that new features make a new phone worthwhile, but are they worth the cost? Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you buy your next phone.

How Do You Primarily Use Your Phone?

Do you use your phone mostly for talking and texting? If so almost any current smartphone would be adequate for you. If on the other hand, you use it to take a lot of pictures, you will want to look for something with a good camera. If you watch a lot of video content or play games on your phone, you will want a phone that has a processor, memory and graphics card that work well for those types of activities. Screen size, brightness and clarity will also be important.

If you use your home for both personal and business purposes, you may need dual SIM support. If your employer’s IT department offers support for your phone, does it support only certain phones or models? Physical features such as voice quality, speaker quality, camera quality may all be important depending on the type of work you do.

How Long Do You Need Your Battery To Last?

Battery life will be important to almost all users. Our phones go with us everywhere, and we need enough battery life to get us through the day without worrying about our phone dying.

The average phone lasts for about 10 hours, but some models are designed to last longer on a single charge.

How Fast Do You Need It To Run?

Processor speed is important even when not playing games or watching videos. It can be frustrating when even simple tasks seem to take forever. You don’t need to go with the best processor on the market, but don’t waste your money on the lowest-end processor either. Look for something in the mid-range (or above) and read reviews before making a final decision.

Along with the processor, Random-Access Memory (RAM) determines the speed of your phone.

How Much Storage Do You Need?

Decide how much storage space you need. While some users can get by on very little space, others require a lot.

Some phones come with an expandable storage option which allows you to add additional storage using a card slot. Much of our data is stored on the cloud, so that feature is less common now but not all cloud storage is free. Decide how much space you need before purchasing a new phone.

Display, Camera, Audio: What Kind of Quality Do You Need?

Screen display is also important to some users. Look for something with a higher resolution. Even some less expensive phones have very good resolution.

Most modern phones have decent cameras. That should be a consideration if you like to take photos and videos or use your camera to scan, video chat or conference.

Audio and speaker quality is important for users who listen to music and podcasts, watch videos or participate in video chats and conferences. Phones vary widely here so read some reviews before deciding.

Do You Need a Headphone Jack?

Headphone jack options are something else to consider.

Some users want the option to add a set of headphones using a jack. Many new phone models, including the Apple iPhone 13, no longer offer a headphone jack. Instead, you’d need to purchase a Bluetooth headphone set. Remember to build that into your cost if the phone you want doesn’t have a jack.

How to buy a cell phone

The cellular provider that your company uses can determine if you must use cellphones proprietary to that provider, or if you can switch to a cellphone from another provider, while under your current provider’s coverage. Unlike land-line phones that work with any local telephone provider, there are numerous cellphone networks in the U.S., some of which are compatible with phones from other networks while other cellphones are proprietary to their network. The usability of a phone on one network versus another relies on the knowledge of the different types of cellular networks and how to identify which network your phone belongs to.

Major Cellular Networks

Though there are several types of cellular networks worldwide; the two most common cellular networks in the U.S. are the Code Division Multiple Access and Global System for Mobile Communication networks. Both CDMA and GSM networks support domestic and international calling, GPS services and 3G mobile Internet, although CDMA is often criticized for incorporating second-generation architecture with the third-generation cellphones and providers. Not as common, but heavily utilized by businesses with large work crews, are integrated digital enhanced Networks (iDEN) that utilize cellular and push-to-talk features.

The 4G Decision

The term "4G" refers to the fourth generation of mobile phone standards. As with any emerging technology, several technologies are competing against one another to become the new industry standard. Phones supporting 4G services operate on a different frequency than current 3G phones, with the aim of providing faster data than current providers and features such as using data while talking simultaneously. LTE, WiMAX and HSPA+ are three of the contenders for 4G dominance. Because there is no clear standard between 4G services, compatibility between 4G networks is a consideration to make when switching phones between networks. A 4G GSM phone supporting LTE may not work on another GSM network utilizing HSPA+ or WiMAX.

Distinguishing Features of Phones

The most distinguishing feature between CDMA and GSM phones is the presence of a Subscriber Identity Module card in GSM phones. SIM cards are used to store personal information, such as a customer's phone number, address book and text messages. CDMA phones store this information internally within the phone. The SIM card feature enables GSM cellular subscribers to switch phone models within their own network by inserting their current SIM card into a new phone. While similar to the SIM card feature in GSM phones, some CDMA phones in the Asian, European and North American markets are starting to support Removable User Identity Modules (R-UIM), that are shaped like and function in a similar manner as GSM SIM cards.

Locked and Unlocked Phones

While GSM phones enable you to remove the SIM card from one phone and insert it into another phone on the same carrier's network, you cannot always switch SIM cards between carriers, such as AT&T and T-Mobile, due to carrier locking. Locked cellphones are programmed to operate on a frequency specific to certain carriers of a cellular network. Though unlocking a cellphone typically requires tampering with the software or hardware of a phone, some manufacturers offer unlocked phones to customers who pay full retail value for the phone, as opposed to the discounted pricing options available with a service contract. Once unlocked, GSM and CDMA phones may be able to be used on other carriers within their network. While not illegal, the act of unlocking a phone may void your phone's warranty and may violate the terms of service of your cellular carrier. The introduction of the R-UIM card has blurred this line somewhat, as R-UIM cards are compatible with GSM phones, enabling the use of GSM phones on R-UIM-supported networks — provided that the phone is unlocked and able to operate on the frequency of that network. Further complicating the matter, the proposed merger between MetroPCS, a CDMA provider, and T-Mobile, a GSM provider, opens the potential for T-Mobile to support both CDMA and GSM devices.

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How to buy a cell phone

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Limited time. Avail. in select areas & locations. Requires one new line. Buy a Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+, S8 Active, S9, S9+, or Note9 (priced up to $1250) on 0% APR AT&T Next (30 mos. at up to $41.67/mo.) or AT&T Next Every Year (24 mos. at up to $52.09/mo.) installment agreement and get up to $790 in credits toward the purchase of another of those Galaxy smartphones. Discounted device will be the lowest priced device. Tax on full retail price of both due at sale. Retail price is divided into monthly installments. After all credits, get Galaxy S8, S8+, or S9 for free. Credits may be applied towards Galaxy S8 Active, S9+ or Note9, which are discounted but not free. Req’d Wireless: Requires one new line. Postpaid wireless voice & data on both devices (min. $80/mo. combined if new with autopay and paperless bill discount. Pay $100/mo. until discount starts w/in 2 bills. Existing customers can add to current plans). If you cancel wireless on one, will owe that device balance of up to $1250. Activation/Upgrade Fee: $30 each. Return: w/in 14 days. Restocking fee up to $45 each may apply. Add’l BOGO terms for customers w/consumer acct & Subscriber Paid User acct: Buy one device must be on Subscriber Paid User acct & free/discounted device must be on the consumer acct. Billing addresses for Subscriber Paid User & consumer accts must match. Req’s elig. postpaid wireless voice & data svc on both devices. Combined min. elig wireless svc is $73.50/mo. ($28.50/mo. on Subscriber Paid User acct + $45/mo. on consumer acct after autopay & paperless bill discount. Pay $83.50/mo. until consumer acct discount starts w/in 2 bills.). Bill Credits: Credits start w/in 3 bills. Applied in equal amounts to device over entire agmt term and will not exceed the lower of the device cost or max credit of $790. Both wireless lines must be on same acct, be on an installment agreement, active & in good standing for 30 days to qualify. Installment agmts start when device is shipped. To get all credits, free/discounted device must remain on agmt for entire term and you must keep eligible service on both devices for entire installment term of free/discounted device. If you cancel service on either line, credits will stop. If you upgrade or pay up/off agmt on free/discounted device early your credits may cease. Limits: See your sales rep before any purchases to determine if eligible. May not be combined w/certain other offers, discounts or credits. Purchase, financing & other limits & restr’s apply. This offer may make your wireless account ineligible for select other offers (including select bill credit offers) for a 12-month period.

How to buy a cell phone

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How to buy a cell phone

How to buy a cell phone

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Safe tech for your galaxy.

How to buy a cell phone

Safe tech for your galaxy.

How to buy a cell phone

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$50 off Your Kid’s Cell Phone or Smart Watch

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How to Purchase a Kid’s Phone

A parent’s guide to buying a kid’s phone for the first time.

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I love the communication!

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I can stay in touch with family.

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I love the camera!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Gabb Phone have apps?

Yes. Gabb Phones have 14 essential apps, which include music, phone, messaging, contacts, camera, video, gallery, calendar, calculator, clock, voice recorder, FM radio, and file manager.

How do I load music on the Z2 Gabb Phone?

The Music app allows kids to load their favorite songs on the Z2 Gabb Phone by plugging in to a laptop or desktop PC. The Z2 also accepts microSD cards (If you have a MAC laptop or desktop this is the option you’ll use). Learn more at https://gabbwireless.com/tips-and-tutorials/music-app/

Does the Gabb Phone have a camera?

Yes! The Gabb Phone has a front and rear camera, perfect for taking photos, recording videos, and capturing the moment with family and friends.

Will I have to sign a contract for monthly service?

No, there’s no contract. Gabb Wireless provides world-class coverage on a month-to-month basis. Additionally, Gabb offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so parents and kids can enjoy their new device, pressure-free.

Why do kids like the Gabb Phone?

Kids and teens with a Gabb Phone live life outside the screen, free from the pressures and distractions of cyberbullying, screen addiction, and more. They love how the phone helps them to do real stuff. Cool stuff.

Is Gabb Wireless anti social media?

Gabb Wireless believes in intentional living, where people are present in the moment and empowered to be their best. Technology, including social media, should be used intentionally and not for mindless hours of screen time. Social media is a tool for building personal brands, sharing skills, and inspiring others.

*Device value is based on kiosk evaluation, some may have $0 value. Terms and Conditions apply.

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*Device value is based on kiosk evaluation, some may have $0 value. Terms and Conditions apply.

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With 5,000 kiosks across the U.S., it’s easier than ever to sell to an ecoATM kiosk. Look for us inside your local Walmart, Kroger grocery, mall and more.

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We’re in your Neighborhood

With 5,000 kiosks across the U.S., it’s easier than ever to sell to an ecoATM kiosk. Look for us inside your local Walmart, Kroger grocery, mall and more.

See why millions of people have sold or recycled their used smartphones with ecoATM.

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With over 5,000 kiosks across the U.S., it’s easier than ever to sell to an ecoATM.

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Why choose ecoATM?

We help thousands of people like you everyday to sell their phones and reduce electronic waste.

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Since 2009, we’ve helped keep over 28 million phones out of landfills.

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ecoATM has over 5,000 kiosk locations across the United States.

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Our kiosks are located in safe retail locations and are regularly cleaned.

HOW IT WORKS

How It Works

How to buy a cell phone

1. See what your phone is worth

You can get a price estimate on the website or lock in your price offer * on the app before selling at your nearest ecoATM kiosk.

How to buy a cell phone

2. Prepare your phone for sale

Remove any personal accounts and info. We also recommend factory resetting your phone unless you’re using the app.

How to buy a cell phone

3. Find a kiosk and get paid!

ecoATM has over 5,000 kiosks nationwide at your local grocery store, shopping malls and other locations.

How to buy a cell phone

1. See what your phone is worth

You can get a price estimate on the website or lock in your price offer * on the app before selling at your nearest ecoATM kiosk.

How to buy a cell phone

2. Prepare your phone for sale

Remove any personal accounts and info. We also recommend factory resetting your phone unless you’re using the app.

How to buy a cell phone

3. Find a kiosk and get paid!

ecoATM has over 5,000 kiosks nationwide at your local grocery store, shopping malls and other locations.

GET THE MOBILE APP TODAY

Download it now to get an instant price offer * and save
time at the kiosk!

REGULARLY CLEANED KIOSKS

We work with our retail partners to ensure our kiosks are sanitized…

How to buy a cell phone

Get The Mobile App Today

The app makes it easier than ever to prepare your phone for sale. Download it now to get an instant price offer * and save time at the kiosk!

Regularly Cleaned Kiosks

We work with our retail partners to ensure our kiosks are sanitized regularly and we provide a selling experience with no human contact. Each kiosk is also equipped with extensive security features to ensure a safe selling process.

How to buy a cell phoneHow to buy a cell phone

How to buy a cell phone

28 Million Devices Given a Chance at Second Life

Thanks to your help, ecoATM has collected over 28 million devices over the past two decades that have been given new life or properly recycled.

For Earth Month – and every month – our mission is to limit the amount of toxic electronic waste that enters our natural environment. Together, we can all work towards a healthier planet for future generations to come.

Sam’s Club® offers a wide range of cell phones and accessories from popular brand names. You can go through our extensive selection and choose the service that best fits your needs. After getting your phone connected with your chosen phone service provider, add the right mobile accessories to protect your investment, and enhance the convenience of using your new device..

Service Providers

Whether you want to stick with your existing cell phone service or you’d like to explore your options, Sam’s Club can help. Sam’s Club partners with providers such as AT&T. With AT&T, you can choose the phone you want and set up monthly payments instead of paying for the phone in one lump sum. If you have an eligible trade-in, you can also trade up to a new phone when you’re ready.

Popular Cell Phones

Sam’s Club carries a variety of popular cell phones including Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, LG Stylo and more. Whether you opt for iOS or Android, you’ll find phones with fantastic cameras. plenty of storage space and long-lasting batteries. You might also opt for an unlocked phone. Unlocked phones are not tied down to any one service provider. You simply purchase the phone on its own, then take it to your preferred provider for activation.

The Right Accessories

There’s so much you can do with accessories. Sam’s Club has a variety of accessories including cell phone cases, cell phone screen protectors, portable chargers and charging cords. Accessories can protect your phone from damage, increase your productivity and make managing your phone more convenient. Wireless chargers takes the hassle out of plugging in your phone. You can also find car mounts, which make it safe to use maps and driving directions safely while you’re in the car.

The world of cell phones is always changing, and Sam’s Club is here to help you keep up with the latest in service options and technology.

To receive the outrageously low advertised price for a new cell phone, you need to agree to purchase service from the carrier for one or two years. These contracts lock you in to one service for the duration, unless you pay a “termination fee” which can range from $150 to $250. You can often establish service with a company, on a month to month basis, if you purchase the phone separately.

Decide what type of phone you will need. There are two types of cell phone technologies, GSM and CDMA. Some phone models support both. Find out which technology the network you plan to use supports and look for phones for that technology. See Tips for the technologies used by popular carriers.

Search second hand options. Check websites like eBay and Craig’s List for used phones. Many users will sell their old phones after they upgrade. Other phones are available from companies that broker refurbished cell phones. Both of these options usually results in a lower price than you would pay in the store.

Shop retailers. You can purchase cell phones directly from the carrier, even if you aren’t establishing service, for the retail price. Visit the stores that carry the technology you need and ask how much the phone costs “unactivated”.

Make sure it can be unlocked. If the phone you are going to purchase isn’t branded for the service you will be using, you need to “unlock” it, or make it compatible with all carriers. Most GSM phones can be easily unlocked through the company they were branded for or the manufacturer. CDMA phones are often more difficult to unlock, as they may require additional programming. Be aware that the unlocking service may not exist, and, if it does, can be costly.

Purchase and unlock the phone. Only take these final steps once you have established that the phone can be unlocked and reprogrammed and is compatible with your current provider in that state. Once you have unlocked a phone, you will not be able to return or exchange it.

How to buy a cell phone How to buy a cell phone

Official Announcement about the LG Mobile Business

Thank you for your loyal support.

How to buy a cell phone

How to Clean Your Smartphone

Cleaning your smartphone – while always recommended – is now more important than ever. It’s estimated that we touch our phone every 12 minutes, so our hygiene needs to extend to the device we use most.

• Use 70% Isopropyl Wipes, cleaning all surfaces of the phone.
• Apply Alcohol onto a clean lint-free cloth, wipe down all surfaces of the phone.
• Ethanol wipes are an effective alternative to Isopropyl wipes.
• Be sure to test a small area of the phone before fully cleaning its entire surface.

Do Not:
• Submerge your smartphone in water.
• Use alcohol concentrations greater than 70%.
• Use bleach, ammonia, compressed air & hydrogen peroxide.
• Leave residue that could lead to electrical short or damage device.

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1 Free shipping not available for parts and accessories. Free shipping to qualifying US destinations in the contiguous United States; not available for P.O. Boxes, addresses outside the contiguous 48 states, international addresses, Army Post Office (APO), Diplomatic Post Office (DPO) and Fleet Post Office (FPO).

*5G coverage available in limited markets. Product features and performance may vary and are subject to network availability and connectivity.

*LG G8X ThinQ™ and LG Dual Screen™ sold separately from select carriers.

Prices, promotions and availability may vary by model, store, and online. Prices subject to change without notice. Quantities are limited. Check with your local retailers for their final price and availability.

Whether you’re searching for state-of-the-art smartphones, basic cell phones, or something in-between, with LG it’s all at your fingertips. Designed for the way you live, new LG smartphones give you access to the latest technology and features, plus essentials like talk and text messaging. Learn more about LG phones, products, and offers that best match your needs.

• LG Dual Screen™: Designed to keep pace with all you do, pairing compatible LG phones with the LG Dual Screen™ gives you more space to multitask – text a friend while watching a video, share & compare while shopping, or update your fantasy football team while researching a player’s stats. Do it all at the same time, quickly and easily, without toggling back and forth between apps.

• 5G Phones: Tap into some of the fastest cell phone networks in the US with our 5G smartphones. With our latest tech right in the palm of your hand, you can watch videos seamlessly, take photos in brilliant color & clarity, surf the web, send emails, deliver text messages, work on documents or just kick back with social media – all at blazing 5G speeds.

• G Series Phones: Sleek, slim and designed for the way you live, LG G Series phones make it easy to connect virtually anywhere. And with their ultra-fast processors, crystal-clear screens, booming sound and cutting-edge camera phone technology, our G Series smartphones have the power to make your on-the-go life even better.

• V Series Phones: Innovative to their core, our state-of-the-art V Series smartphones make 24/7 connections effortless – all while delivering superb multimedia audio and video experiences. This way you can work and play, watch videos, listen to music, and capture life’s best moments in pure clarity.

• LG Stylo™ Series Phones: For the ultimate in creative expression and productivity, check out our Stylo Series. Featuring our innovative & easy-to-use stylus pen, fast processors, brilliant displays with vibrant colors, plus all the technology you expect from a cutting-edge smartphone, our Stylo Series makes life more creative by giving you the power to write, draw or doodle whenever, wherever you’re inspired.

• Budget Phones: Our budget cellphones let you call, text, browse the internet and access all your favorite apps – everything you need from a smartphone – at unbelievable prices. And with the devices that pair with no-contract, prepaid or standard carrier data plans, LG budget phones truly give you the value and variety you deserve.

• Unlocked Phones: Check out the latest collection of LG unlocked phones with sophisticated designs and top-notch features. And with the flexibility to choose or change your carrier, our unlocked smartphones give you the freedom to connect your way.

To stay in the know on all our cell phones, sign up to receive LG promotions and find out about great cell phone deals.

How to buy a cell phone

Seriously? Tourist on her phone in the hot spring pool Rio Perdido.

If you purchase an international plan in advance most U.S. and Canadian providers offer reasonable service and rates for you to use your own cell phone and number in Costa Rica. Almost any phone since 2016 will work but without a prepaid international plan the roaming fees (no, the “unlimited talk and text” you think you have is not really unlimited) may be huge.

Otherwise if you really cannot live without it you’ll have to buy a phone or a local SIM card to convert your phone to a Costa Rican phone number.

A new phone with a Costa Rican SIM card and phone number capable of texting and limited internet capabilities with a 30 day talk and data plan is just under $30 from the Kolbi kiosk in the Cariari mall east of SJO airport.

Prepaid SIM Cards

We highly recommend that you have the SIM card installed by the tech where you purchase it and make sure it is working (place a call) before leaving. Tech support is enough of an ordeal in your native language and without having to borrow a phone to call customer service (because obviously yours isn’t working…). It’s much simpler to just make sure the SIM is properly installed and functioning while you’re still at the kiosk/phone store.

If you have an unlocked Quad-band phone you can buy a local Costa Rican phone number on a prepaid SIM card, insert it in your phone, enter the PIN (on the card holder or receipt) and dial away.

If you don’t have an unlocked phone or don’t want to risk your expensive phone while waterfall rappelling in the rain forest you can buy a cheap phone, stick the prepaid SIM card in and off you go.

Local calls are about $0.10 a minute but with either of these options you’ll still pay upwards of $2.25 a minute for international calls. After eight minutes your $20 prepaid card will be exhausted and the call will end (instead of running the bill up to a thousand bucks like it would if you were roaming).

Purchasing a SIM/Prepaid Phone

How to buy a cell phone

ICE/Kolbi SIM card kiosk in SJO airport opposite baggage carousel two (after immigration before customs)

The easiest place to get a prepaid phone or SIM for your unlocked phone is in the airport. At the time of writing you had to pay in colones and cash only so you may need the airport ATM.

You also need your passport to register the phone number of your new SIM card.

Odds are pretty good they’ll speak English but it would be polite to try

“Quiero comprar un teléfono y un SIM prepago por favor” or “Quiero comprar un SIM prepago por favor”

Basic phones cost around $20-30. The SIM cards come in denominations from $5 to $20 and if you’re only making local calls for a couple of weeks $5 will probably be plenty. International calls can burn up $20 in a few minutes.

If you want a data SIM be sure to add “datos” or “internet” to your request. Some SIMs are for talk and text only.

Don’t lose your original SIM (the one you remove to install the Costa Rican SIM). If you do you will no longer have a working phone when you get home and it will be a pain to get it replaced.

Which Service Provider/Company to Use

A few years ago the government monopoly on cell phone service was opened up to competition and there are now several options. The biggest newcomers are Movistar and Claro.

While there’s a lot of discussion on internet forums, Twitter and Facebook about which company is the best it mostly centers around pricing, packages, traffic, local anomalies in coverage, and customer service for people who live in Costa Rica and want the best coverage at home.

What to look for. KOLBI-ICE logos

For tourists the choice is quite easy. Go with Kolbi/ICE – the government backed company. There can be slightly cheaper plans and some say service is better from Claro but ICE held a monopoly for years and still much higher numbers of towers, stores, and market penetration. If you’ll only be there for a few weeks use the big company unless you get advance information from your hotel or resort that one of the little guys works better in their area.

SJO International Airport San José

In SJO international airport across from the baggage claim carousels is a blue counter with a sign that says Kolbi/ICE.

LIR International Airport Liberia

There’s a Kolbi counter just after you pass through customs. Recently a traveler informed us that he paid $2 for a SIM and $18 for 2 Gigs of data and local calling and texting.

Elsewhere

There are Kolbi, Movistar, Claro and ICE stores everywhere, even in the smallest towns you’re likely to find at least one of them. At dedicated phone stores they will install the chip, make sure it’s connecting to their service, and make sure you know how to work it.

Refilling Prepaid SIM Cards

Once you have the SIM card you can refill it using a credit card on the phone (calling to send money is free so even if you’re out of credit the number should work), over the internet or by buying a scratch card with a code for more minutes at most convenience stores (pulperia, supermarket etc.).

It’s important to note that you cannot register a new number or get a new SIM anywhere except an official ICE (or other phone provider) office. If you don’t want to hassle with it in the airport, most small towns have an office but you may encounter lines, paperwork and maybe even a trip to the bank to pay and get a receipt so you can return and wait in line again…

Text Your Friends Back Home & Have Them Call You

Incoming calls (local or international) are often free on a Costa Rican SIM while outgoing international calls run about $2.25 a minute (again it may depend on your carrier and plan). Instead of dialing your friends at home, text them and tell them to call you.

When You Leave Costa Rica

You may want to hang onto the phone for future international travels but you might as well give the SIM card to someone who can use it. The SIM won’t work outside Costa Rica and unless you’re returning within a couple of months (some are only 30 days) the credit and the phone number will expire and you’ll have to start over again.

How to buy a cell phone

A new mobile phone is a big purchase. It’s something you’ll use every day, and it’ll probably be yours for the next two years. So it’s important to get the right one.

Of course, with so much choice buying a handset can look like a pretty daunting process. But never fear – broadbandchoices is here. Read on and we’ll take you through it each step of the way.

1. Do your research

First of all, you’ll need to do a bit of research to figure out what kind of phone you want to buy. Think about what you do and don’t like about your last phone; see what your friends have; and have a read about some models to find out what’s out there.

Consider things like:

  • Price – Are you willing to splash out for the best phone you can find, or are you strapped for cash and want something cheap and cheerful? Check out our guide to the best cheap phones if you’re on a budget, or find out about our top phones this year if you’re not.
  • Size, shape, and design – You’re going to be using your new phone a lot, so make sure it’s one you like holding. Huge phablets, chunky compact phones, sleek metal, and colourful plastic all look and feel very different. Large screens are ideal if you browse the web, watch videos, or play games a lot, but smaller screens tend to be cheaper.
  • Operating system – iPhone or Android? Each comes with unique benefits… and problems. iOS has excellent connectivity and can sync with your iPod, iPad, or Mac seamlessly. Androids, on the other hand, are super customisable, but look a little different on every phone. Going for an Android? Find out what our favourite ones are in our guide.
  • Specifications – Think processors, RAM, and so on. Most flagship phones have the latest tech, which is ideal if you want to use lots of apps, play games, watch video, or multitask. On the other hand, there’s no use shelling out for top-shelf specs if you’ll never use them.
  • Storage – Internal storage is used for holding your apps, messages, photos, and files, and can often be expanded with an SD card. A big-ish app can take up more than 1GB quite easily, so don’t be too conservative here.
  • Display – Some phones offer displays with amazing quad-HD quality – though that usually means they cost more. Still, it can be worth the expense if you’ll be using your phone to read small text, watch videos, or play games.
  • Camera – Most smartphones come with cameras, but they can vary quite a bit. Some are akin to using a DSLR, some have fab front-facing cameras for selfies and video calls, and some just have a simple point-and-shoot one on the back that doesn’t do anything special. If it’s an excellent snapper you want, take a look at our top five camera phones.
  • Features – Do you want 4G capability? NFC? A heart rate monitor? Removable battery? Some high-end phones have some high-end features that you may consider essential. 4G means much faster internet, for instance, and NFC allows for things like Apple Pay.

2. Pick a phone

Once you’ve had a good look at what’s around and worked out what you like, it’s time to make a shortlist and pick out your favourite phone. Or, if you can’t narrow it down, choose two or three that you’d be happy to own, and compare the deals you can get on each of them.

And if you’re switching from iPhone to Android or vice versa, look up how to make the move smoothly.

How to buy a cell phone

3. Choose a price plan

There are three main ways to pay for a mobile phone: pay monthly, SIM-only (which requires you to purchase the phone), and pay-as-you-go (which also requires you to purchase the handset). Let’s take a look at those options in more detail.

  • Pay monthly: Get a phone and a SIM on a single contract. These usually last two years. A contract makes a flagship phone or a new model much more affordable, since you’re not paying hundreds of pounds upfront, but often works out more expensive overall. Plus, you’re tied into a contract for two years – though if you pick a phone you like and a tariff that works, that’s not so bad. Here are our favourite contract deals this month.
  • SIM-only: Buy the phone outright, and sign up to a SIM-only plan. Since SIM-only plans don’t generally last as long, they’re more flexible – even more so if you choose a 30-day plan. Overall it can work out cheaper, though bear in mind you’ll need to cough up the dough for the new phone straight away. Check out our best SIM-only deals here.
  • Pay-as-you-go: Buy the phone outright, and get a pay-as-you-go SIM. Instead of getting a set bundle of minutes, texts, and data to use in a month, with pay-as-you-go you only pay for the calls, texts, and data downloads you make. It’s the most flexible choice of the lot, but is rarely as good value – especially if you’re a moderate to heavy mobile user.

The best way to pick a plan is to take a look at the amount of calling minutes, texts, and data you use right now, and work out how much you’ll need from a new plan. Figure out what your monthly mobile budget is, too – and how much you’d be willing to spend on a phone upfront – and look for a deal that suits both.

Bear in mind that getting a cool modern phone often means you’ll use it more… which can mean using more data. Go for a plan with a slightly higher data allowance if you’re upgrading – perhaps even one with unlimited data.

Did you know you can also take out a handset on contract, all on its own? See our guide to handset-only deals for more info.

4. Compare networks

Some mobile networks are designed around low prices for light users. Others are for people who use their phone a lot and want a good deal on unlimited data. Some have amazing 4G coverage, while others have none at all. And some networks offer cool extras like priority tickets or an entertainment subscription.

Two key things are important, though: coverage and price. Take a look at our coverage guide to check which networks cover the areas where you live, work, and spend most of your time. Then use our comparison tools to see the plans you can get on each one.

If it turns out there’s a few networks that have what you’re looking for, find out which one is best for you with our guide.

Already taking out a broadband package from BT, EE, Plusnet, Sky, or Virgin Media? You may be able to get an even better deal on a contract as an existing customer.

5. Go for it!

Found a plan you like, on a network that gives you the stuff you want? Select it from the list, and click through to the provider to sign up. And if you choose a SIM-only plan, remember to order your handset itself separately. And presto! You’ll be chatting away on your new phone in no time.

Finding the best Android phone to meet your needs is hard. It's easy to get swayed by a pretty handset or a convincing price. Carriers might tempt you with a discount or a 24-month payment plan. But before you make a rash impulse buy, read up. From the bottomless pit of phone choices, we bring you our favorites—including our top pick, the Google Pixel 5A. All the phones we've selected here have their own advantages, and we've laid them out as honestly as we can based on our own extensive testing.

Updated February 2022: We've added the Samsung Galaxy S22 range and removed the Asus ROG Phone 5 due to its limited availability.

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How to buy a cell phone

First, Some Advice

We recommend unlocked phones in this guide. When a phone is sold as “unlocked,” that means it can be used on multiple wireless carriers and networks. When you buy a phone directly from your wireless carrier, usually on a payment plan, it often comes locked to that network. Carriers are legally required to unlock a phone upon request so you can switch networks, but it's a big hassle. Try to pay full price for your phone, or make sure it specifically says it's unlocked. If you feel it's too expensive to buy outright, that's a good sign you should find a cheaper model. Buy it from the manufacturer directly, or investigate your carrier's policies for unlocking phones if they're bought on a payment plan that requires you to use its network.

Verizon tips: Buying an unlocked phone is smart, but even if you do the smart thing, networks like Verizon will put up hoops for you to jump through. If you insert your SIM card but still have trouble receiving text messages or something else, contact customer service and have them enable "CDMA-Less roaming." This Motorola guide may help. The steps should be similar for other phones.

Why we don't care about 5G: You'll see lots of ads encouraging you to upgrade to a 5G plan and buy a 5G phone. Yes, you do need a new phone that supports 5G to make use of a 5G network (we have a guide that explains it all), but at the moment 5G coverage is rather lackluster. If it is available in your area, chances are it's not dramatically faster than 4G LTE (yet). Most new phones, even cheap ones, support some form of 5G, as do most cell plans, but it's not a reason to upgrade if your current plan and device are treating you well.

For over 100 years, Cat ® has made some of the most reliable rugged machines and engines ever seen. The Cat ® badge symbolises extreme quality, remarkable performance and above all else, technological innovation. Our comprehensive range of market-leading rugged smartphones are no different.

Unlike traditional phones, Cat phones are engineered to work under extraordinary conditions; from dust and mud filled construction sites to bustling and heavily automated warehouses and distribution hubs.

How to buy a cell phone

Comprehensive business support

We mirror Cat’s ethos of quality and confidence with every phone we make. To support our customers out in the field we provide a two-year warranty as standard and local support and service centres, so no matter what happens out there, we’re here to help.

Each of our smartphones are not only performance-rated to IP68 and MIL-SPEC, as a bare minimum, but also forged with the highest quality materials from strong aluminium frames to the toughest Corning ® Gorilla ® Glass for our screens.

How to buy a cell phone

‘Standing on the shoulders of giants’

We wear the Cat ® badge with honour. We engineer every phone to provide ultimate reliability and guarantee no down time on the toughest of jobs; because when it is Cat, it just works.

By Latest Smartphones from Apple, Samsung, Huawei & More at Best Prices in Vietnam

We cannot imagine our lives without our mobile phones. It has become a necessity for our daily lives. It connects us to the world and brings everything to our fingertips. Hence owning a good mobile is crucial for a successful and comfortable life. Our personal and professional lives are dependent on our mobile devices. Ubuy offers a wonderful opportunity to buy mobile phones online at lowest prices. We have a wide variety of phones to choose from iPhones, Android Smartphones, Gaming Smartphones, Basic Mobile Phones to suit your every need. Some of the major brands we deal with are Apple, Samsung, Asus, Huawei, LG Mobile, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, etc. You can choose to buy the latest smartphones online on Ubuy and find your perfect choice.

One Stop for Brand New Locked & Unlocked Mobile Phones

Ubuy offers a one stop destination for brand new career locked & unlocked mobile phones at reasonable prices. Carrier locked as well as unlocked international smartphones for sale are available right here on Ubuy. You can now shoot high quality videos or click great pictures with your high resolution camera phones. Also watch videos, make video calls, prepare your schedules, use various apps, etc to increase your productivity and save time.

Some smartphones offer bigger storage for all your files. If you are short of storage you can upgrade the internal memory of your phones by adding an SD card to save big files, documents and folders easily. Buy smartphones at lowest price and play your favorite games and stay in touch with friends and family. Also watch your favourite youtube videos in HD clarity and sound to entertain and educate yourself. Use your mobile to navigate anywhere you plan to visit, So you don't get lost. Now a days your mobile phone is an all in one device which has the function of a TV, Radio, Calculator, Calendar, a Watch, Video Games, Camera, A Compass, Diary, Media Player etc. So select the best and stay updated with a comfortable lifestyle!

Frequently Asked Customer Queries About Mobiles

Where to Buy Mobiles Online in Vietnam at Best Prices?

Are you searching for mobiles in Vietnam? Find mobiles online on Ubuy at the lowest prices. Stay updated with our special offers, festive deals & discounts.

What is the Best Shopping Store to Purchase Mobiles Online?

The answer is Ubuy Vietnam, where you can get mobiles easily from the international market at very affordable prices.

Is Ubuy a Trustworthy Site to Shop Mobiles?

Ubuy is secured with SSL certification and runs with HTTPS. Our payment process is secured with advanced encryption systems to ensure complete safety and security to our valuable customer data & money.

Smartphones are expensive. When it’s time to buy cell phones for your family, you can pay full-price for each phone from your cellular provider. This can cost you hundreds of dollars or more per phone. You can buy used mobile devices from private sellers, but you never really know what kind of quality you’ll get or if there’s a hidden problem with the phone. Maybe the phone will work, maybe it won’t. Instead, you could buy a certified pre-owned mobile device from Triangle Cellular Repair that has been thoroughly tested and comes with a 90 day guarantee.

The Benefits of Buying a Certified Pre-Owned Cell Phone or Tablet

If you’re in the market to buy cell phones or tablets, purchasing a certified pre-owned device is a smart decision. If you buy mobile devices from TCR, you’ll:

  • Save hundreds of dollars compared to the cost of a new cell phone
  • Be able to see the device in person, test it, play with it, and compare to other devices in stock in case you are trying to choose between a few different options
  • Be able to sell your old mobile device to TCR and use the money toward a new phone (trade-in)
  • Have a warranty, much like you’d have if you bought a new cell phone
  • Be confident in the condition and quality of your new smartphone
  • Not have to worry about shipping fees or missing a delivery while you are away
  • Support a local business
  • Help the environment by keeping older phones out of landfills

At TCR, we sell only high quality mobile devices that are fully functional. Our technicians certify all pre-owned devices before we sell them using a strict 20-point inspection protocol that ensures the condition of the phone is excellent. This way, you’ll know that you’re getting the best device for the money.

How to Buy Cell Phones and Tablets from TCR

It’s easy to buy cell phones and tablets from any TCR location. All you need to do is to stop by to see what mobile devices are currently available – or you are welcome to call ahead! The phones we sell are certified pre-owned devices that come with a 90-day guarantee. Plus, our competitive pricing keeps customers coming back.

Although our selection of pre-owned cell phones may vary, we often have the following phone models in stock:

  • Apple iPhone 5, 5C, 5S/SE
  • Apple iPhone 6, 6+, 6S, 6S+
  • Samsung Galaxy devices
  • Samsung Notes

Don’t have what you’re looking for? We are intricately connected to the wholesale device market and can source anything you need at competitive prices. We can even source large volumes of stock if you are looking to buy in bulk, for example for your company.

Our stock varies because we frequently buy mobile devices. Make sure to stop by and see what smartphones we currently have. All of our TCR locations sell mobile devices for you to buy.