Half Your Loan Gone On a Phone?

This is an article that I wrote for the university newspaper ‘NU News’

WITH so many smartphones on the market right now, how do you know which is the right one for you?

When it comes to choosing a new phone many students feel that their choice is limited to the mainstream options of an iPhone or a Blackberry. Despite being the main contenders, they are quite obviously not the only options to choose from. It is advisable to shop around for the best deals before coming to a final decision about which one to buy. After all, you want your phone to suit you.

As a student the main factors you are likely to be conscious of are price, aesthetics, and value for money. Naturally you are going to want to find the best deal which also includes keeping up with style and technology. So, what is the must-have phone on the market?

Following the release of the iPhone 5, many technology fans swamped stores to get their hands on this new must-have gadget. But with a price tag of £528 for the 16GB iPhone, excluding accessories, buying the iPhone 5 with the limits of your student loan isn’t feasible. With this in mind, there seems to be a clear divide in opinions towards the gadget.

Many students feel that the iPhone 5 is overpriced and overrated, but Popular Music student Billy Gilmour stated that he was happy with his iPhone and looks forward to getting his hands on the newest Apple model: “As soon as my contract is up, I’m going to upgrade straight away.”

Hitting the market at £500, the Samsung Galaxy S3 is the marginally cheaper alternative. With a 4.8” HD screen, 64GB and available in six colours, you certainly get more for your money. There are just as many Apps available on this phone in the ‘Google Play Store’, meaning you can find the same apps and widgets, such as free communication tool ‘WhatsApp’, and the incredibly addictive ‘Angry Birds’, without having to fork out for an iPhone.

Cheaper still is the new and upcoming Nokia Lumia 920 which offers the new 4G network, as well as Microsoft’s updated Windows 8 operating system. The phone also seems to be crossing new boundaries with the capability of charging wirelessly. Although not out yet, it is still possible to pre-order it in time for release for around £470.

With so much to choose from it can be difficult to make a firm decision, but remember to not only take into account what you want from a phone, in terms of applications and suitability, but also the financial pinch you will find yourself in if you make a rash decision!