3 Things to Consider Before Buying a New Phone for Christmas

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The holidays have arrived, and that means it’s gift-giving season. Whether you’re giving back to a relative or buying yourself a new shiny device, a new phone might be at the top of your list. However, building a shopping list of what to consider before buying a phone feels overwhelming.

There are many factors to contemplate. What will the phone be used for? Can it move between carriers? What are the repair and return policies? Will the phone match the user’s personality? Here are three of the most essential things know before buying a phone for Christmas.

1.   Use and Type

Consider the use and type when it comes to what to know before buying a phone for a loved one. What kind of phone do you or your loved one prefer? Do they think a touchscreen smartphone is essential, or do they prefer the feel of a physical qwerty keyboard?

While flip phones may be yesteryear to you, they’re easier to navigate and preferable for some older people — smartphones are even made with features for seniors in mind, such as a visual ringtone that flashes when a call or text comes in.

What will be the phone be used for? Is this person a picture hoarder or a gamer? Are they an entrepreneur who needs to transfer large files or video conference on the go? Does the device support these needs and capabilities?


 

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What platform is preferred? Apple or Android? Is the device attached to a particular carrier? What are the hidden fees?

If this is a gift, think back to conversations you’ve had when they’ve complained about their phone and what they wished they could do with it. Don’t get someone a device that they won’t use or will hate. Consider the use and type of phone. Make sure the activation process is a snap, too.

2.   Repair and Return

Does the phone come with a warranty or insurance in case it breaks? What about personal damage? If something goes wrong, can the phone be returned, and within what time frame?

Take a step back from the shiny features and beautiful appearance to survey the build of the phone. If you drop it, even if it’s in a case, will the screen shatter, or will the corners of the phone scratch? Can it hold up against slight water exposure? If you pop the back of the phone off, will it crack? Will the device become outdated soon?

Many manufacturers allow consumers to come in for phone repairs after a few weeks of purchase, but that’s subject to restriction. In some cases, a third-party repair won’t void warranties, and if you have to DIY-fix the phone, investigate the common problems with the device and accessibility to parts and repair tutorials.

These questions are essential to ask in advance, and it comes down to one big question: How durable is this device?

buying a new phone

3.   Color and Personality

While appearance shouldn’t be the only factor you consider, it does matter. Think of your personality or the personality of the one you’re purchasing the new phone for. Does the phone come in multiple colors? Can the exterior be personalized to look industrial or have a natural-like wood grain? Should you buy a bedazzled case or a solid color case?

Most people carry their cell phones everywhere. A new phone should show off the user’s unique personality, reflecting their techie or outgoing personality. When asking what phone you should get, consider the color of the phone and the user’s character.

When shopping for a new phone for Christmas, don’t get distracted by the multitude of shiny devices. Do your research with the recipient’s needs and preferences in mind. Research the phone’s features, capabilities and repair/return policies. Most of all, make sure the device is one the recipient will both use and love.

 

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Kayla Matthews is the editor of Productivity Bytes and a regular contributor to VentureBeat, Motherboard, MakeUseOf and Inc.com. Follow her on Twitter to read her latest posts.