Our mobile phones are essentially an extension of ourselves these days. Most people could not imagine being without their phones: we rely on it for almost every aspects of our lives. As such an important service, it is not surprising that there are many different companies offering mobile phone plans, and these options seem to be increasing all the time.
With so many options at your disposal, how do you know which is right for you? Here are 7 things to consider when choosing a mobile phone plan to help you to make the right choice.
Before choosing a mobile phone plan, it is important to be clear on your priorities. This will allow you to weigh up the options and choose the one that most closely meets your needs. There are plenty of options to buy mobiles online, so is the phone the plan comes with important, or will you supply your own on a BYO plan? How important is data to you compared to calls and texts?
Also consider how you will use your phone, and in what context, specifically whether you will use it for personal use or business-related work. If using your phone for business or work, a high level of communication is important, so your preference should be for a phone with multiple communication options. Finally, you will also need to consider your budget.
Network coverage is another important consideration when choosing a plan. If you live in a major city and rarely travel to rural or remote areas, pretty much any service provider will be suitable. However, if you live in a more remote part of the country you may very well find that the coverage is lacking with certain providers and therefore, you’ll need to choose a plan that offers comprehensive network coverage in your area. Likewise, if you need to travel frequently for work or personal reasons network coverage could be an important concern. Before signing up to a plan, check the network coverage of that company where you live and in places you visit regularly.
The next important consideration when choosing a mobile phone plan is price. As necessary as a phone is to modern life, everyone still needs to make sure it fits in their budget. Plans can vary considerably depending on their inclusions, in terms of data, minutes, and the phone they may come with. It is therefore important to determine you budget in accordance with what you can afford before you decide on a mobile phone plan. Once you have a realistic budget, you can make sure you choose a plan that fits within this limit.
All phone plans involve a contract, and in some cases, this may mean a commitment of years or more. The risk is that if you want to break the plan before the contract has run its course, you will most likely face fees or penalties. Therefore, you should consider the length of contract that you can realistically commit to, and avoid a longer contract if you are not sure what your requirements will be (or what your life will look like) 12 months from now.
To choose the most appropriate mobile phone plan, it is critical to consider the data that is included. Data is measured in GB (Gigabytes), and tends to vary between different mobile plans. Therefore it is essential to have a clear picture of your data needs before choosing your plan. Some plans have a top-up feature that increases data after your monthly subscription runs out, which can be expensive. Other plans have the option of a data saver to avoid data exceeding and charges, so be mindful of this. If you are likely to use a lot of data, for example for work, an unlimited plan may be the way to go.
If you regularly travel overseas, roaming will be another important consideration. Overseas calls, texts and data can get expensive, so be sure to check roaming rates and charges. If you travel for business, roaming data will be particularly important. Also makes sure that roaming is available for all countries, or at least the ones that you’re likely to visit!
Most plans include a phone, so naturally the features of that phone will also be an important consideration. Here are some key things to look for:
- Camera: Whether you need to take pictures for work or are simply addicted to selfies, the camera on your phone is important, and phone camera quality largely comes down to megapixels. The latest phones feature cameras with 48MP, so if this is a priority you should aim for that quality.
- Screen: The optimal screen size will depend on your needs. Some people like to use a phone with one hand, while others want to play games and watch videos so will need a large screen. The optimal screen size for people who use a phone with one hand is 4.5 inches, whereas, if you are fond of watching videos and playing games, you’ll appreciate a 5.5 inch-screen.
- Display: In addition to screen size, another feature you should look before buying a mobile phone is the display, which is linked to screen resolution. Quality screen resolution is around 2560×1140, which is accompanied by a high price tag. But if you don’t have a budget for this, aim for around 1920×1080.
- Battery: Another essential feature that you should consider before buying a phone its battery capacity. Look for a phone with a battery life of at least 12 hours if you don’t want to be constantly searching for a charger! Ideally, you’ll want a phone with battery capacity of around 4500mAh.