Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Blogging || 5 Tips For The Perfect Phone Upgrade

Long gone are the days when the latest version of 'snake' was an appealing selling point of a mobile phone. I remember learning in college all about these crazy futuristic phones that were in design, that you could not only take pictures with but also play music, watch videos and maybe even go online - imagine that.

At that time, the technology needed for a basic smart phone was in a case the size of a washing machine, which we were told they were working on reducing in order to make it 'user friendly' - ha. It really doesn't seem that long ago and yet now, phones literally do everything from controlling the lighting in houses, linking families face to face across the world and ordering anything you want with one tap of a screen. The world is quite literally at our fingertips.

As a blogger, my phone is pretty important and although I don't need it to be the best in the world, there are some features for me that need to be pretty up there in terms of priority, such as a pixel perfect camera and the option for infinite amounts of storage!  If it could style my hair and cook my dinner too that would be ace, but we're probably a few years away from that being a thing just yet.

I rarely actually use my handset for calls and even texts, as I mainly chat through Whatsapp or messenger. So how on earth do we choose which phone to upgrade to?

I'm yet to decide what to go for this time, I want to know if I should finally switch to an iPhone, what has the best camera for the money, that isn't going to be defunct after the first update, that's actually going to support my work life, do what I want it to do AND maybe even last two years until it's upgrade time again.

In collaboration with Contact Number’s #PhoneUpgradeTips campaign, here's 5 tips to help you decide on the best upgrade option, which I'll be working through myself this week.

Decide what you want from a phone

For me, the main thing I'll be looking for is a decent camera. For you it may be a simple calls only handset, gamers phone or one with the best built in speakers. Whatever your main focus, knowing the key features that are most important is the best place to start. Never call or visit phone stores before these first two steps, even the savvyest of shoppers can get hooked by sales patter.

Do your research

If like me you're a little behind with what phones are out there right now, always start by doing your research. Armed with your list of requirements, hit the Web and find out the best phones for your needs. Read customer reviews and other non sponsored articles on the phone in relation to your key features such as photography. Are you wanting to move to iOS from Android? You can then narrow down your search and have a list of suitable phones.

Set a realistic budget

Phone contracts can cost crazy money nowadays if you're wanting a brand new top of the line mobile, but it doesn't have to. There are plenty of budget phones out there that do a good job too. Is the new iPhone really worth breaking the bank for? It's easy to be persuaded into a higher priced contract with the lure of a shiny new toy or freebie, but always make sure you stick to your budget.

Visit a phone shop

Visit a decent sized phone shop to get a hands on look at the mobiles you have in mind. Often a huge screen sounds great, but in reality may be uncomfortable to hold, you may not like the weight or look of the phone in person, so this gives you the chance to get to grips with your upgrade idea and narrow it down even further. By all means ask questions or ask for a demo in store, but never sign up until you've spoken to your provider and made your mind up 100%.

Call your provider

Customer retention is a huge deal nowadays so even if your upgrade deals don't appeal too much, it's always worth calling them to tell them what you want and for how much, to see if they can do anything. If you need help finding the right number, Contact Numbers UK can help with their database packed full of numbers, which can save lots of time and save being passed from pillar to post. The site contains numbers for most companies and includes details for phone brands such as Vodafone, EE and Three. Give them a call, stick to your guns and try for the best deal. You have plenty of time so don't feel pressured or rushed.

Finally, once you've decided on the phone you want and are happy it suits your needs, find the best deal including the handset, calls, text limit and any other data requirements you may have. Never be afraid to ask if anything can be done with the price, tariff or if any freebies can be included. Sales people often have a little leeway they can give so it's always worth asking. 

Once you've got your new mobile, put it through its paces over the first week or so, where you still have chance to change your mind if need be. This is known as the cooling off period after a contract is agreed. Also, when you have your shiny new phone, make sure to get a sturdy case of some kind as well as a screen protector to give your phone the best chance of survival, especially if you have kids!

I hope these tips help with your next upgrade. It's a total minefield out there, but doing that vital research, knowing what you want and sticking to your budget all help when you get in the position to upgrade.

What would you go for on your next upgrade?

*Written in collaboration with contact numbers UK. All words and thoughts are my own.