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Every year, tech companies come up with the latest and greatest mobile devices that suit their buyers’ needs.
While there is the dilemma of selecting the perfect device, there’s another bigger question people ask: where should I buy my next phone?
Although there are a myriad of options like Amazon, flagship stores, and third party stores, carriers often present a better option.
Below we take a look at some advantages and disadvantages of buying from carriers.
Partially subsidized devices
When it comes to phone prices, buying straight from the official store can be pricey. Carriers offer devices at a partially subsidized price.
Subsidized phone programs typically offer a lower cost of monthly service.
While the official stores also offer similar programs, they usually require the use of credit cards.
With carriers, the phones can be paid over the counter or via online banking – a more accessible feature that provides prospective buyers with convenience and less headache.
Buyers also have the option to pay the phone in full, but that would mean the device is locked on to the carrier.
More inclusion & services
One of the biggest headaches people face with their device is the support of the carrier’s LTE network or the lack of signal in certain areas.
Carriers use various types of technologies to provide services, and the smartphones they offer typically have the necessary hardware and programming to recognize the carrier’s frequencies and technologies.
Certain providers also work in partnership with other carriers to provide extended coverage outside their home network.
Meanwhile phones sold from other sources may lack the same features that carriers offer in their devices.
Carrier phones also offer data plans that include voice, text messaging, and data.
Certain plan offers could provide a certain amount of data for various services like social media, video streaming, unlimited calls and texts to all networks, and certain minutes to other networks and landline numbers.
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The biggest advantage of securing a phone from carriers is the convenience.
With inflation looming over everyone’s head, buying a carrier device means having only one bill to worry about (the phone plan and the device).
Most devices are only available postpaid, and while the prices can sometimes be intimidating, they often provide extra perks that justify the price.
Purchasing a phone from a carrier comes with a lot of perks, but there are a couple of disadvantages with the decision – namely, the phone lock and locking period.
The biggest disadvantage to getting a phone from a carrier is the device getting locked to that carrier.
As with most businesses, the carrier devices are only locked to their respective networks.
People looking to give their phones to family members who use a different carrier will find the phone rejecting their sims.
The contracts have a locked-in period of 24 to 30 months, depending on the carrier.
Any attempts to unlock the devices will only lead to a termination from the contract and may lead to a blacklisting.
After completing the contract, users are free to unlock their phones to either sell or give away.
Opinions expressed by NY Weekly contributors are their own.