It seems as if smartphones are becoming more and more expensive with every new model that hits the market. In fact, the average selling price of smartphones was $567 in 2017, and this price is expected to rise over the next several years. Because new smartphones are so expensive, many buyers opt to purchase a used or unlocked phone off of Amazon. Which is better? Keep reading to learn what you need to know before making this decision.
The Pros of Purchasing An Unlocked Device
The main advantage of purchasing an unlocked device is the ability to move from carrier to carrier without buying a new phone. This means smartphone owners can easily make the switch to carriers that offer better deals or provide better service without worrying about having to pay for a brand new phone or having concerns surrounding contracts.
If you travel overseas on a regular basis, it is best to choose an unlocked phone. This is because you can simply remove the SIM card from the device and replace it with a pay-as-you-go card once you arrive overseas. Making this switch will ensure your ability to stay connected to family and friends while you are away. If you purchase a used phone, this may not be possible.
The Cons of Purchasing An Unlocked Device
Some cell phone carriers only allow locked devices to access certain features on the smartphone. For example, an unlocked device would not have access to Wi-Fi calling or voice-over-LTE with AT&T. If you’re going to purchase a smartphone, you will want to have access to all of its features. This is one of the major disadvantages of choosing an unlocked phone.
It’s important to choose a smartphone that has been unlocked by the manufacturer rather than the seller. Independent sellers and other third parties typically use software designed to unlock phones. The software is not always reliable, and often contains malware or viruses. If this software is used on your phone, it could severely affect its functionality.
The Pros of Purchasing A Used Device
People who want to live an eco-friendly lifestyle should purchase a used device instead of an unlocked one. Purchasing a used device reduces the demand for the production of new smartphones, so it conserves energy. It also prevents the used device from ending up in a landfill, where it could leak toxic chemicals into the environment.
It is typically far less expensive to purchase a used model than it is to purchase a brand new device. The cost will go even lower if you are willing to purchase a slightly older model. There is not a huge demand for older smartphone models, so the price drops significantly.
The Cons of Purchasing A Used Device
There are downsides to purchasing a used device, too. Used devices do not come with warranties, so you will need to pay to repair any issues that arise with the smartphone.
You will also need to find a seller that is reliable, which may prove to be tricky. Sellers can easily hide problems with the phone that won’t be noticeable until you’ve started to use it. By this time, it might be too late to return it. For this reason, it’s important to spend a lot of time researching reliable sellers.
Buying a used or unlocked phone are two alternative options for people who want a new phone, but do not want to pay full price. Before purchasing a smartphone, weigh the pros and cons of each of these options to decide what is right for you.