Upgrading a family of four with new flagship phones can cost $1,200 plus taxes and fees! Add in a tablet or two and the bill can be out of reach for many families. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to give our loved ones the hardware power they need without emptying our wallet. Here’s six ways that might help you save big on mobile devices.
Consider Who Will be Using The Device and Their Needs First
A young child will not require the same hardware power that a 15 year old game lover will. A senior citizen might benefit most from a very sharp, crisp larger screen. Travel frequently for work? You may need a tablet with 4G LTE capability, expandable storage for music, movies & books.
Plan a family hardware upgrade strategy
Some parents decide a tablet will be a family gift and chose devices that allow for multiple users to log on. Others decide to upgrade from oldest to youngest, with the a parent or older child getting the new device and the younger getting the old one, cleaned up, placed in a nice new case and loaded with age appropriate apps.
Operating Systems matter – apps can get expensive, for some families sharing an Apple or Windows app store account makes sense in terms of cost. Remember you will be front line tech support particularly if your kids are young. Pick an operating system you are comfortable with.
Choose devices with Expandable Storage – if a phone or tablet has a micro SD slot you can save considerable money buying tablets and phones with less on-board storage.
Do all tablets in the house require cellular access? If you travel a lot as a family, consider purchasing WiFi only tablets, they cost less & purchasing a mobile hotspot/ JetPack will allow you to share cellular data with tablets & computers when needed.
Don’t Rule Out Buying Last Years Model
The tablet/ smartphone market is maturing, many companies are pushing out one or more new devices every year and there are plenty of devices originally released in late 2012/ 2013 that still have considerable muscle that can be be had at bargain prices! Last year’s flagship device might be a smarter buy than many of this year’s lower tier “free” phones.
Be on the Lookout for Special deals – The cell phone carriers are all competing hotly for your business and special sales are rampant!
Consider a Different Manufacturer – Companies like LG & Samsung make some mighty fine alternatives to the ipad that will go easier on your wallet!
Refurbished Devices Save You Money
Amazon, Apple Store online, Best Buy & other merchants offer a healthy inventory of refurbished phones/tablets that will arrive at your door looking brand new, you’ll also enjoy the same customer service and warranty that purchasers of new devices receive. The major Cell Phone providers also regularly offer decent deals on refurbished items. Buying from these official sources also spares you the worry of picking up a stolen or blacklisted used device.
My Top Budget Friendly Picks at Verizon Wireless
I get to review devices and receive other benefits as a Verizon Wireless ambassador but I am under no obligation to subscribe to Verizon service. I choose Verizon as my carrier because they are reliable and offer terrific customer service I’ve used the devices listed below & am comfortable recommending them as my family budget friendly picks!
LG G Pad – This 8.3 inch android tablet offers a crisp, bright easy to read screen in a size that you can comfortably use with just one hand, gives you the ability to view 3 screens at once and is very affordable. Verizon currently has the 4G LTE, G Pad on sale for just $199 with a 2 yr contract, $299 without, making it an excellent value for those who desire cellular access. It only costs $10 per month to add a tablet to your plan & for a limited time Verizon will give you extra 1GB of data when you activate a new tablet on the More Everything Plan!
HTC One M8 – This just released flagship android phone sports a beautiful 5 inch screen, a premium build quality & offers the option of user expandable storage. Best of all for a limited time the M8 is on sale at Verizon, buy one for $199 & get one free (with 2 yr contract on both lines)
Droid Ultra by Motorola – This android phone is the slimmest device on the market. It’s got a clear, vivid screen and is packed with software features that will astonish you. Droid Ultra, Droid Mini & the Moto X are all currently FREE at Verizon with a 2 yr contract.
Windows Phones – This platform just keeps getting better and better. Nokia makes beautifully crafted, durable phones The newly released Nokia Lumia Icon takes jaw droppingly nice pictures & is $199 with contract, the Nokia Lumia 928 is Free with contract. Both of these phones offer easy setup & the support team at Nokia is outstanding.
Other Ways to Save Big at Verizon
Verizon will offer you a gift card when you trade in your old devices & you can calculate your value easily online at their website.
Consider a certified Pre-Owned Device – these devices have been carefully inspected and will come to you in beautiful condition. Check the website frequently as offerings change regularly!
*Images provided courtesy of Verizon
Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencers, I receive devices for review and other benefits.