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Which To Choose: A No-Contract Phone -OR - A Contract Locked Phone?


Are you a technology enthusiast who likes to own the current model smartphone? Are you looking for a new phone in Canada that is also a good value for the money? Are you uncertain of which option for a phone to go with: a no-money-down, contract locked phone, or a contract-free unlocked phone (BYOP)? If you are considering between these two options then this article is for you. You will get a comprehensive comparison of the pros and cons as well as a price comparison here to make sure that you make the right choice when you buy your new smartphone.

Features Of A Contract Phone & A BYOP (Bring Your Own Phone) Before making a choice, it is important to understand what these two types of phones entail. Firstly, a Contract Phone is the one that you buy from a carrier that comes with a monthly/annual plan. These phones are locked to one carrier or a phone service provider for one to two years, which means that you cannot change a carrier for that period - without paying a large penalty to break the contract. Secondly, a Bring Your Own Phone or BYOP (no-contract phone) is when you buy a phone separately and then choose a monthly/yearly/pay-as-you-go plan of your choice. It gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of choosing the phone, plan and changing the carrier whenever you would like.

Pros & Cons Of A Contract Phone Versus A No Contract Phone

1. Price One of the biggest advantages of a contract phone is the lower price. If you buy a phone that is locked for two years, you get a seemingly great deal on the phone. For example, you might get an iPhone 8 at a price as low as $250 while the market price of the same phone would be $750 depending on where you buy it. So, you pay less upfront, but you are stuck with the same phone for two years at least. But there is a catch... the price of the contract phone is lower but you will end up paying for the cost of the phone (sometimes more than the cost) over a period of two years while you locked to the terms of the contact, as a phone financing fee in your monthly bill.

Cost & Savings Scenarios... Scenario 1: Someone buys a locked iPhone 7 from a phone carrier in Canada and pays $150 upfront—they will also pay $55 every month for two years. They will spend $1320 in addition to the upfront cost of $150, for a total of $1470 for the phone. Scenario 2: Someone buys an unlocked (contract-free) pre-owned certified iPhone 7 from Cell Clinic Vancouver for $559. They will never have to pay more for the phone. They can then choose a pay-as-you-go plan from Chatr Mobile or other carrier for as low as $10 per month. When you do the math it's clear... you will save money if you choose to purchase a no-contract phone—because you will save on the overall cost of the phone, and you can easily switch phone plans to take advantage of savings promotions.

2. Plans When you buy an unlocked (no-contract) phone, you can choose plans that are lower in price and that offer specifically what you need. While with a locked phone, you only have a limited selection to choose from because you have to pay a certain amount to them every month to pay off the discounted phone. This is their way of recovering the money for the low-priced phone that they offer you upfront. Additionally, with a no-contract phone, you can even pause the service for one month or more, for example if you are traveling out of the country - and not need to pay hefty service fees. When you have a no-contract phone, you can more easily shop around for the best plan for you, because essentially you are a free agent. 3. Flexibility