One of the things that make Android phones so great is the variety of models you can find on the market. This allows manufacturers to come up with extremely affordable phones that will perform all the basic tasks that you need. Some mid-level models will perform just as well as the latest high-end models that manufacturers like Samsung and Apple have to offer. If you want to drive your costs even lower, there are a few tricks that you can use. Here’s how you can keep your costs lost low when buying an Android phone.
Go for a SIM Deal
The first thing you should consider doing is opting for a SIM-only plan. These offer the ultimate freedom and allow you to not only switch deals whenever you want but pick whichever phone you want as well. If you’re looking for great SIM-only deals, companies like Lebara are known for SIM-only deals that are extremely flexible. They have very competitive plans that accommodate every type of user. They also have very cheap high-volume data plans and use the award-winning Vodafone network, so that should dispel any myths of SIM-only providers having bad coverage.
Look for Great Deals on eBay
If you’ve stopped shopping on eBay, you should definitely go back as it’s one of the best places to find a good phone. If you don’t want to wait for auctions to end, you can also run a search for “buy now” phones and pick one from a reliable supplier. We would suggest that you go with sellers with a storefront with a long track record. Also, check if the phone is unlocked and that it will work on your provider’s network.
One thing you should think twice about doing is buying a used phone from someone on a classifieds site. There is no way to verify their history or in what condition the phone really is. If you’re going to go down that route, first make sure that you meet them in a public space. Never get in their car or let them in your home. You also should always meet in person and never make deals online. If anyone asks you to wire money, even via seemingly safe methods like PayPal, it’s usually a scam.
Do your research on any phone before you meet the person. Buying a phone from someone the first time you meet is also not recommended. This is because you should always check the phone’s electronic serial number and see if it has been reported as lost or stolen.
Look for Refurbished Phones
Some people may think that only things like laptops can be bought refurbished, but phones can be too. There are plenty of online marketplaces such as Handtec that will allow you to buy refurbished phones. Refurbished phones are even better than second-hand phones as they’ve been restored. Some of them will look just as new. Another benefit is that most of these phones will already have been unlocked and will be checked for issues. Most of these suppliers will offer a warranty on their products as well, which you won’t find with your average seller.
Go to Pawn Shops
If you’re already familiar with them, you probably know how much of a goldmine pawnshops can be for electronics, but it is especially true for phones. This is a great place to go if you want to look at a variety of models. Most will also offer some sort of warranty on their phones and they will usually be unlocked, so that’s less trouble for you.
Look at Entry and Mid-Level Phones
There is no need to buy the latest phone with the highest specs when buying an Android. Impressing your friends or the people around you is not worth paying hundreds of pounds more on a phone that basically does the same thing. It’s important to know the minimum specs you need for the things you like doing the most. If you like getting active on social media, then you might want a phone with a better camera. If you want to do work, you might want something with a lot of RAM. Or maybe you want to watch videos or play games. In this case, processing power will be very important. In any case, look at what the minimum is that you can get away with. For instance, you will be able to run pretty much any application with no issues with 2GB of RAM.
However, one area where you shouldn’t compromise is storage size. Cheaper phones may come with a lot of bloatware. These are apps that will be pre-installed on your phone and cannot be removed. If you go with a device that doesn’t have enough storage, you could run out of space quickly and not be able to get new apps or even updates, not to mention not being able to store pictures or even receive text messages in some cases. So, you’ll need to make storage a priority. We also suggest that you check if the phone has an additional slot for SD storage. It also helps if it doubles as a SIM card slot.
As well as this, know that you shouldn’t go crazy on the processor. While you’ll have units with processors going up to 2.2 GHz, anything over the 1 GHz mark should be more than enough for the average user. So, if you don’t intend to do things like running elaborate apps, recording and editing videos, or playing heavy games, then you shouldn’t worry about that much. One thing you should check, however, is how many cores the processor has. You should go for at least a dual-core or quad-core processor for the best performance. Other things you should pay special attention to include the camera and battery life.
These are all things you can do to keep your costs to a minimum when buying an Android. Follow these and research any model before you buy and always be careful with the people you deal with.