Comparing Pre-paid and Contract Cell Phone Plans

They sound so seductive – a new iPhone 4 for $199, a Droid Incredible for $149, an HTC Evo for $199, and T-Mobile 4G phones for $199, not to mention lots of “free” phones with basic features. Are the really that cheap?
If you said no, you’re right. Let’s take a look at how you get these nice prices.

To get any regular AT T;, Verizon, Sprint, or T-Mobile phone you must agree to a contract, usually for two years. For smartphones (and in some cases less-powerful feature phones) you must also get a data plan for the same term. Built into these plans is money to gradually pay back the carrier for giving you a phone so cheaply (what’s called a subsidy). And those early termination fees you hear about? They exist so the carrier gets its subsidy money back if you cancel your contract early.

Although all the major carriers have no-contract plans, not to mention other, smaller carriers, to get the newest, most powerful smartphones you have to get a plan with a contract. They lessen the up-front cost by having you spend more over the course of the contract.

So is there a cost difference between contract and no-contract smartphones and plans? In most cases you can’t make an apples-to-apple comparison as the phones or networks don’t match. One legitimate example is the BlackBerry Curve 8530, which as of this writing you can get from Sprint as well as their no-contract service Boost Mobile. This is a fair comparison because both services use the same network. The Sprint phone costs $49.99 after the subsidy, while Boost Mobile charges you $199. Sprint phone and data combo plans start at $69.99 (before taxes), but to match Boost Mobile’s $60 unlimited BlackBerry plan (which now get cheaper over time) you have to pay $99.99/month. After one year of a two-year Sprint contract you’ll pay a total of $889.87 with the $69.99 plan or $1,249.87 with the $99.99 plan, but only $859 with the Boost mobile plan. And if you keep the phone longer the Boost deal gets even better.

This is only one example; in most cases there’s no way to tell what the cost difference might be. For most high-end phones you can’t make a comparison since they are only available with the subsidized price and with a contract.

Buying Advice

The point here isn’t to rip on the carriers. I doubt many people would get high-end smartphones without the subsidized price. I have a Sprint plan with 2 smartphones, and I don’t know if I would have taken that plunge without the subsidy.

The point to take away from this is to know what you’re getting into. Phone and data plans add up to lots of money over time, so take some time to decide what you want and what your options are.

Here are a few other suggestions:

1. As long as the data plan is the same between two phones, take the subsidy into account when you’re comparing two phones. A 16GB iPhone 4 ($199 with contract) isn’t really twice as expensive as an 8GB iPhone 3GS ($99 with contract); with the subsidy removed (that you’re paying for during the contract) it’s closer to 25% more ($500 vs. $400, both guesses on my part). So don’t be shy about getting the higher-end model if that’s what you want.

2. The longer you keep a contract phone, the more you pay in “subsidy”. After the contract’s up the plan’s price doesn’t go down, so you’re still paying them for the phone. If you want the maximum value from your contract, upgrade as soon as you’re able to. Be aware that you’ll probably have to extend your existing contract to do this.

3. When considering a no-contract service be sure to consider the network’s coverage area. Some smaller carriers don’t cover the entire nation.

4. No-contract services are typically sold on an individual basis, but carriers have family contract plans that combine two or more lines at a savings. Family plans can even the playing field somewhat if you’re looking for more than one phone.

So that’s the story behind the cheap cell phones. I hope it helps you make an informed decision the next time you go cell phone shopping. Happy hunting!


Things to keep in mind while playing Hay Day

Hay Day is a very addictive game which is played on the Android phones or tablets. Here you will have to do farming and harvesting and at the same time spend your coins for the up gradation of the game. You will also have to sell all the goods for getting quick money to proceed further in the game so there are two things which you will need to know when it comes to playing the game properly, and these two things are mentioned below.

Things to avoid

You will fall in some situation where you will have to sell your goods to the customers who won’t be paying you properly so if you think that your range is quite realistic then you should always try to wait till you are getting any better offer. To make a proper profit, you shouldn’t be selling stuff desperately for getting money because customers will then force you for selling these things at low prices so always try to sell your goods at the roadsides so that you will get a better price for your goods. The creator of this game always want this game to look like a real one, so they normally focus on the supply and demand balance which you need to maintain in the game because to survive in this game you need to use your strategies properly.

Many users normally don’t focus on the game during the night time or when they are sleeping. But in this game even if you are not online or not playing it does not indicate that you will have to stop the game as whenever you will get some extra gap of time you can use them properly. So it is recommended to use that time for planting new crops particularly the one which will take a very long time for yielding. So these times are the best for planting crops but do not plan any easy crops because it will kill that time and by easy crops, we mean pumpkin, Indigo, corn, etc. So when you are sleeping all your crops will start to yield and grow. When you wake up, you can find that all your crops are harvested, and you can easily play the game. So using this few techniques will help you a lot in this game

You can use the Hay Day tool for escaping the situations because spending lavishly on unnecessary crop farming can make you lose the motivation for playing the game any further.


Survey of Reviews of the BlackBerry Storm 9530

Name of Manufacturer/Product Name/Model: BlackBerry Storm 9530
Average Retail Price: List price is $618 Cdn. However, this can vary depending on the mobile phone service you use.

Overall Consensus: Most have been pleased with the BlackBerry Storm 9530. There were a few minor issues such as the screen’s refresh rate when moving through its menus and changing from portrait to landscape mode, but not enough to completely put people off purchasing it.

Pros:UMTS/HSDPA support, touch screen, 3.2 megapixel camera

Cons: Poor speakerphone quality, various bugs

Product Features: The 3.2 megapixel camera and data storage capabilities seem to be the strongest of the BlackBerry Storm 9530’s features. The touch screen also is a feature that sets the BlackBerry Storm 9530 apart from other smartphones. Wireless capabilities also allow for use in Europe, Asia and North America.

What the experts are saying: Most agree that the BlackBerry Storm 9530 is a great smartphone. CNET editors note that the speakerphone isn’t the best and that working with Word and other documents on the phone should not be attempted beyond minor editing. However, that also is about average for other smartphones. Laptop Magazine calls the BlackBerry Storm “drop-dead gorgeous” and likes its ability to support wireless networks in the North America, Asia and Europe. Engadget also is happy with the look and wireless capabilities. What it wasn’t too impressed with is the way the screen jiggled around when pressed in a certain way. It also didn’t think that the touch screen feature really added anything to the BlackBerry Storm.

What consumers are saying: Those on Amazon were mostly pleased with the BlackBerry Storm 9530. One reviewer mentioned that the speed of the phone was slower than that of his friend’s Apple iPhone. Another consumer wasn’t as impressed with the Storm. He noted that since it now uses a micro USB port instead of the mini USB port used on earlier models, if he switched his employees to the Storm, any of the extra chargers they had would no longer be useful.