picardphone

Ah hah!  we fooled you.   Actually, we fooled you twice!   There is no “best” Android phone because a smart phone is only as good as the needs it fulfills.   Now, if you need the latest and greatest smart phone because, well, your ego or early-adoptitis requires it,  then we can offer you that.  We fooled you again.   Actually, we refer you to Bob Rankin’s web site where you can read his review of the newest Android phones.  We trust him and he’s done all of the homework.  Moreover,   Google’s Nexus 5 phone is a very compelling Android bargain.  Priced at under $399, unlocked and a universally highly rated phone, this model was released in late 2013 and the new Nexus 6, albeit more expensive, offers the same advantage.    There’s talk that Google may be releasing an entire new line of smartphones code-named “Android Silver“which could be lower cost and more accessible to consumers who want quality but affordable phones running on Android.  So you should keep an eagle’s eye out for developments on the Nexus front.

As to the “best” phone, we urge you to consider your needs. Do you need the fastest, sharpest, lightest, most functional phone ever created?  We don’t, but that’s just us.  If you don’t either, then the best way to find the best phone is to list all of the ways in which you use the phone.   And then………..DON’T go to your local wireless store.   By the way, used phones work just fine, so long as they still have battery life (or replaceable batteries).

First, go on line and check out the various plans that best fit your needs.   We’ve cataloged many of the most attractive value cell plans here.     Be sure that you check out some of the hybrid cell services that combine WiFi and cellular networks.

Second, consider selling your current smart phone before you buy a new one.  At least find out the value of it so that you can apply that cash value to your next smart phone purchase.   We encourage consumers to evaluate whether a full purchase of an unlocked phone makes sense for you.   We don’t buy locked phones anymore — it diminishes their value and makes them somewhat useless for international travel.

Third,  don’t fall for the 2-year contract trade-off for a discounted phone deals offered by most carriers.  They use this to lock you in and it rarely pays off.  Instead, look for deeply discounted offers from Amazon, Best Buy and other on-line retailers. You could save bundles of cash, when compared to the same phone and plan purchased at directly from the carriers.

Finally,  check to see how much “bloatware” is loaded onto the phone that you plan to buy.   Some of these manufacturer-loaded apps are memory hogs and they are siphoning off your information in exchange for nothing…..unless you are using them.    They are getting easier to remove thanks to Google’s more recent OS releases, but they are still annoying.    One benefit of buying a Google phone  (currently, Nexus 6) is that it comes free from bloatware.