cell phoneEveryone is so dependent on their cell phone these days for many things. The main reason was, is, and always will be for communication.  You can make a call, text, send an email, interact on social media, video chat, and look up information on the internet all from a cell phone.

They are actually mini computer devices, so you can do practically anything on a cell phone that you can do on any other computer device. Yes, it does need to be a smart phone but that’s what most everyone is going for when they get a cell phone. They want the accessibility of communication and information at all times.

Many people are disconnecting their home phone for a lot of reasons, especially older adults.  We grew up with home phones but it seems redundant and an unnecessary cost to have a home phone too.  It seems that home phones, or landlines, are mostly target’s for telemarketers. That’s the main reason I got rid of mine.  Even with caller-id, the stress level of being bombarded with calls from telemarketers at all hours of the day and night can be overwhelming. And don’t get me started on the robocalls!

No mechanical or electronic device will last forever. My cell phone started having issues and I knew that I would need to buy a new one sooner than later.  The anticipation of going through the gyrations of due diligence was a little unsettling.

Will all my photos, apps, contacts and calendar entries be transferred seamlessly? How much storage space will I need? Will the new phone work with computer applications I use? Will my charger work with the new one? Do I want to change my carrier? Do I want to try a different type of phone? It was all a bit much to consider.

It was time to do some research.  The first thing I did, was to go to a store where they sell cell phones to see and touch the different types and models. The sales associate was helpful by giving me the low down on the different types, models, features and costs. For me, going to the store was more helpful than doing online research.

These are my questions and answers learned during my research and subsequent purchase:

Do I want to stay with the same type of phone, only a newer version?

I’m using an iPhone 5 and it works just fine for my needs. The newest version costs a lot more than I was used to paying for a phone. When I thought about support ending at some point for an older version, and the fact that I don’t buy a new phone often, I decided to stay with the same type of phone and go with the newest version.

The newer versions also have more storage space which I determined that I needed. FYI…the cost of the phone goes up with the amount of storage purchased. My chargers all work with this new version so I don’t have the additional cost of buying new chargers.

Another thing I considered was the learning curve for a different type of phone.  I wanted to be up and running quickly, so I didn’t want to spend the time needed to learn how to use a different type of phone.

Should I check rates with other carriers to consider switching to save money?

It’s always a good idea to check with other carriers periodically to see if they have better rates.  This is something I did recently, so I knew that I was getting the best rate and decided to stay with my current carrier, since I was also getting decent customer service.

The plan that I have provides a discount on my monthly service, as well as discounted prices on buying a new phone. My plan saved me about 30% on the new phone, yay!

Will everything be transferred seamlessly to the new phone?

The purchase was relatively painless since I bought the cell phone in my carrier’s store.  They set it up and showed me how it works, which was very similar to my older version.

Most people use cloud storage and everything syncs through the cloud, including photos. My situation is different. In order to get all my calendar entries and contacts on the new phone, I had to sync it through my home wi-fi.  The apps have to be manually setup on the new phone, which I also did at home.

I don’t keep a lot of photos on my phone so the sales person added the app ‘google photos’ to my old & new phones, which transferred them to my new phone.

Will the new phone work with the computer applications I use?

The answer to this is, for the most part, yes. When I was working with the sales person to set up the new phone, I was trying to remember everything I needed to ask him; lesson learned – write down all questions so I don’t forget.  I have a business and use a credit card swipe that attaches to my phone. When I noticed the port that connects the device is gone, the sales person provided a connector that I purchased. Crisis averted, or so I thought.

When I got home and tested out the device with the new phone and my personal credit card, it didn’t work. When I called the credit card processing company, I found out that there is a compatibility issue with their device and the new phone’s IOS (operating system). I can still process credit cards through my computer, just not at the time of service on my phone. It’s not the end of the world, but more expensive for me, and inconvenient for my clients.

I have to admit, although it wasn’t a seamless transition, the experience of buying a new phone, was relatively painless and took less effort than past purchases.  The act of planning and researching all the options was important, and I learned some things along the way.