Someone is scrolling through photos on an Apple iPhone, placed on a table next to a cup of coffee

The rapid evolution of technology has meant that mobile phones aren’t just used to make calls anymore. The addition of features like cameras, digital wallets and high-resolution screen displays means that we can use our devices for so much more than just calling and texting.

It’s always exciting when we get to see what new features are being incorporated into the latest mobile devices. However, you don’t necessarily need to buy a new mobile phone every time a new product is released.

If you’re someone that only uses a mobile to call and text, then you might not need a phone with a top-quality camera. Alternatively, if you consider yourself to be tech-savvy, and can see how these features would help you in your day-to-day life, then it could be worth considering an upgrade.

The bottom line is, there are several things you should consider before going out and purchasing a new mobile phone.

Differences between mobile phones

Based on the range of mobile phones that are available to consumers nowadays, there are a few key differences between devices that you should be aware of.

Firstly, have a think about what things you want from your mobile device, and what other devices you already have. Apple products all have similar designs and similar features, so if you already own Apple devices, it might be easiest to go with an iPhone. Alternatively, if you aren’t as comfortable using Apple devices, Google/Android phones are a better option.

If you know you want high-quality images and a top-of-the line camera on your phone, start researching what the best phones are in terms of screen and photo resolution. Similarly, if you want a phone that supports more tech-savvy activities like fast moving mobile games (e.g., Fortnite or racing games), you might like to investigate a higher-powered phone.

Generally, Apple iPhones work well for people who aren’t as tech-savvy as their software design is more intuitive. Google and Android devices include settings that allow you to personalise your device a bit more, but these phones can be a bit more complicated.

Options for purchasing a mobile phone

If you do decide that you want to buy a new mobile phone, there are a few ways you can go about doing this.

  • Buying outright: buying the phone outright essentially means you pay the full cost of the phone to the seller up-front. The phone is usually brand-new. Generally, buying outright is a good option for most as it means you aren’t locked into any contracts with providers, and you avoid having to make more than one payment.
    You can also sign up for either a post-paid or pre-paid plan when you buy a mobile outright. For more information about plans, visit our Talking Telco resources.
  • Buying through a plan means you pay the cost of the phone off over several months. This plan is made with a carrier. For example, if you were purchasing a new iPhone through a plan with Telstra, you’d make payments to Telstra rather than to Apple. This is a good option for anyone who budgets well but may not have the full upfront amount to buy a new phone outright. However, it does mean you are locked into a contract, and you can’t change carriers until the contract is finished.
  • Buying a phone second hand is another option for anyone looking to buy a good quality phone without paying the full cost. It is best to buy second-hand phones from reputable sources, like Apple Certified Refurbished or Boost Mobile. When looking to purchase a second-hand device, you should check things like broken buttons, cracks on the screen, cracks on the edge of the casing from being dropped, cracks on the camera, how much storage the phone has, that the phone charges correctly and that you can access a charger that’s compatible with your phone.

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