Looking to buy an affordable smartphone?
As parents, it seems we are constantly juggling activities and managing to-do lists – if not our own, than those of our family members. Keeping track of grocery lists, appointments and after-school activities is no easy feat. I believe that any device that makes life truly easier is worth considering. That is why, last fall, I succumbed to purchasing a smartphone. As we slowly gear-up for back-to-school (i.e back-to-routine), perhaps you want to consider a smartphone to help manage your schedule.
Pre-smartphone, I was using a four-year-old cellular phone (ancient in technology years). It was exceptionally reliable and provided me with the essential services but could not offer the glitz and glam of modern-day mobile phones. Fed up with having to scroll through the entire number pad to write a quick text, I decided it was time to finally invest in a smartphone.
Why a smartphone?
There are many reasons to choose a smartphone (whether Blackberry, Android or iPhone). These phones are part of leading technology and offer a simpler life by providing access to email, phone, music, camera, video, pictures and games all at the touch of a screen. While I did want something versatile with a touchscreen that could also entertain my kids in a pinch, I did not want to commit to a long-term plan. Therefore, I decided to buy an unlocked Galaxy Gio.
Why a Galaxy Gio?
Now that I knew I wanted an unlocked smartphone, it was time to buy that phone. I could easily get a phone and contract for $50 per month but was not ready to invest that amount of money, given my infrequent usage. I looked into phones from different wireless providers but found them to be too costly. I turned to eBay and started searching for a used Galaxy S, Galaxy SII or iPhone, fully expecting to pay approximately $150, as well as an additional cost to get it unlocked. Imagine my excitement when I found a brand new unlocked Galaxy Gio for less! The Gio is a junior version of the Galaxy S and SII. The price was right for a device that fully supported my communication needs.
For years I relied on a prepaid service plan; however I was not fully satisfied with the rate I was paying. Now, with an unlocked phone, I had the opportunity to shop around. I settled on a pay-as-you-go plan with PetroCanada. The rates of 25 cents per minute for local calls, and 10 cents per minute for outgoing texts were very competitive and suit my current phone habits.
The PetroCanada plan features:
- Free voicemail
- Free Caller ID
- Free incoming text messages
- Free three-way calling
- Free call waiting
- No sign up fees
- No activation fees
- No zone restrictions
- No contracts
Life with a smartphone
The convenience of mobile phones have made us reliant on them. From sending a quick grocery list to Father Miser, to sharing a recent picture of the kids with Grandma, or making the most of my time by reading up on world news during my bus ride home, it is difficult to imagine life without my smartphone. And, despite all this functionality, I still do not use the phone so much that I need a monthly plan. I purchased a $100 pre-paid card last November and have only spent half of that amount in nine months – no plan surpasses that!