I lost my phone. I know, I’m officially a stereotypical debt blogger. It’s been just over a week since my precious BlackBerry went missing. Besides the significant inconveniences associated with losing my cellphone, I’ve been a bit overwhelmed by all of the replacement options. When it comes to major purchases, decision-making has never been a strength of mine. While I have no problem spending my money in small chunks throughout the month, I am intimidated by the required commitment to a product that a large-scale purchase entails. (Commitment-phobia is one of my defining personality traits.) I know for many people a new phone isn’t large-scale, but I am paying off my debt right now, and a phone is a relatively huge expense. I want something that will fit my needs but obviously can’t get derailed blowing a huge amount of money.
My choices are immediately limited by my cell plan. I am with Koodo, and I won’t even consider switching providers because I spend $30 per month on the best smartphone plan for my usage. This means I will end up paying more for the phone because I don’t have the “benefit” of choosing a contract that comes with a free phone.
Thanks to my new habit of saving, I could buy even the most expensive phone on offer (iPhone 5, $592) but, again, I need to balance costs with finding a phone that will last me a few years. I’m not looking at iPhone 5 at all. I’m actually a fan of iOS and iTunes, but I obviously can’t justify the cost. Even the iPhone 4s (which Koodo does not carry) is out of my price range. I don’t mind paying a bit more for quality, but the iPhone is comparable to many other devices on the market that have a lower price-tag.
I’m also avoiding Windows phones. Honestly, this is just out of sheer ignorance. I’ve never used a Windows phone, and I’m not comfortable putting my money into a product that doesn’t have a strong industry foothold.
This narrows it down to two options: BlackBerry or Android.
I’ve been a BlackBerry girl for years. I never cared that hipsters made fun of me: my phone was a tool, not a toy. It was durable and lasted (until I lost it). It seems like my BlackBerry has been in my life forever. Because I loved my BlackBerry so much, I am inclined to stick with the brand. The data-compression alone is a huge benefit in BlackBerry’s favour. BlackBerry has always been known for its data encryption, but recent models have also featured best-in-class anti-theft features and encryption. Koodo does make this decision tough, however. The only BlackBerry phones they offer are the lowest end (Curve models) or the highest end: the new Z10. I’m not particularly interested in paying $122 for the Curve 9360. The Z10 is so beautiful that I’m inclined to write a sonnet about it, however its price tag is $472. Is $472 too much to pay for the dream phone? My heart says no. But my head says yes.
The other option for getting my hands on a BlackBerry is Kijiji. The Bold 9900 is listed several times in my area for around $200. (Editor Joe’s Note: GET IT. I love my 9900. Just make sure to test it first, check the inside for damage, etc. before paying!) This is a great price, and prior to the Z10 being announced, the 9900 was the model I always planned on upgrading to. Why Koodo doesn’t offer the 9900, or even the 9790 is beyond me, considering they are now offering the newest BlackBerry and iPhones. Dangit Koodo! There is no perfect solution! The reason that I don’t jump immediately on purchasing the 9900 comes down to a few factors. I don’t like that BlackBerry doesn’t offer upgrades to the new operating system on its older phones. Both iOS and Android do, and this allows users to access cool software features they otherwise would have had to buy a new phone to enjoy. I’m assuming the no-upgrade on the BlackBerry is due to hardware limitations (or RIM’s infamously excessive cautiousness), but it hurts to think I would pay $200 for a phone that isn’t running the latest software, especially considering I plan on having my phone for years and don’t want to underperform because of outdated software. Remember that I’m actively earning extra income! I need to stay on top of those gigs.
The other reason I’m hesitant to buy the Bold is that I’ve gotten a taste of Android — and, so far, I like it. I am currently borrowing an INQ Cloud Touch that runs Gingerbread. The phone itself is not for me; it was clearly designed as a Facebook phone for teenagers. The sensors are slow and the touchscreen response is terrible. I am liking Android, however. I’ve found a bunch of cool apps and games for free, and I love the built-in Google search feature on the homepage. It’s also very cool to be able to customize the layout of the phone and the keyboard. If I do go Android I’m thinking of the Samsung Galaxy SII X (which can be upgraded to run Jellybean) for $222.
My choice comes down to the 9900 or the SII X. As much as I lust after the Z10, I can’t afford it. Of course, I can’t actually afford any of them right now considering the fact that my budget it fairly tight. My plan to get the money without digging into my savings will involve selling some of my stuff on the internet. This isn’t as dramatic as it sounds — I was planning to do this anyway since the move, this is just kicking me into gear. A few of my textbooks should bring in decent money on Amazon and I’ve got some great fun reads that I will probably take to my local used bookstore. Kijiji is another possibility. The rest I can just save up from what was once my cigarette fund, because I have officially kicked the habit (9 days smoke-free!) and am therefore $30 richer (or less poor?) each week.
I’m leaning toward BlackBerry but, since this is a stereotypical debt blogger post, I’m obliged to ask a bolded question at the end:
What’s your pick? BlackBerry or Android?