Saving a lot on your next smartphone

Last updated on June 29th, 2018  

You do not need to pay $1000 to $1500 over two years to own a very capable smart phone.  All you need to pay is around $200 total.

The industry throws out a lot of confusing information in order to lead you into thinking you are getting a deal.  But paying $1000+ for a $200 item is not a good deal.

Motorola makes the Moto G5plus which can be had in the 32GB version for $180 or less.  They recently introduced a G6 version which was recently offered by Fry’s for under $180.

(there is also a Moto G5s plus (an extra s in there), at this time it is probably not worth the extra money) (Technically the Moto G5plus is called the Moto G plus 5th generation. Some people use that name and others call it the G5plus.)

The Moto G5plus and G6 will meet the needs of 99% of smart phone users.

The Moto G5plus/G6 phone works on Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-mobile, along with most other providers in the US and around the world and can be moved between the providers by changing the SIM card.

If 32GB is not enough for you, you can plug in a Micro SD card for up to an additional 128GB of internal storage. Plugging in an external Micro SD is far cheaper than buying the phone with a larger amount internal storage.

For example, the 64GB Moto G5plus is usually $40 more than the 32GB version. For that same $40 you can add 128GB to the Moto G5plus 32GB giving you are total of 160GB.

And let us consider some of the other expenses.

Theft & Loss Insurance

If you buy a $800 or $1000 smartphone you will be paying around $10 a month for theft & loss insurance.

With a Moto G5plus/G6 skip the insurance and save that money.

With an expensive phone, over 24 months the insurance will cost you on average $240. That is more than the Moto G5plus/G6 costs outright.  Your theft & loss insurance may also have a deductible or other limitations.

Extended Warranty

You will also likely be paying for an extended warranty against accidental damage.  This is another $130 to $240 over a 24 month period.

Total cost over 2 years:

                        & loss    extended   total cost
                  cost  insurance warranty   over 2 years
Moto G5plus/G     $180       $0     $0        $191
Apple iPhone 10  $1000     $240     $200     $1440
Apple iPhone 8    $800     $240     $130     $1170
Samsung Galaxy S9 $800     $240     $200     $1240
Subsidized Phone  $500     $240     $200      $940

But my provider is subsidizing the phone and it only costs me X

You are paying the cost somewhere. It might be in higher per line charges or higher data rates, but you are paying for the phone.

And even if your provider really did “subsidize” the phone it would be at most half which is still way more than buying the Moto G5plus/G6 outright.

Probably your “subsidized” payment is $25 per month or 24*$25 total which is $500 plus insurance which comes to $740 over two years verses $180 for the Moto G5plus/G6.

Does the Moto G5plus/G6 do what you need? Everyone I have moved from various Apple and Samsung devices has been happy.

But my AppleCare+ is only $129, $149, $199.

AppleCare+ for iPhones is nearly the cost of the Moto G5Plus/G6 (it is actually more than the cost of the Moto G5Plus /G6 for the iPhone X) and it comes with a $99 deductible per incident and a limit of 2 incidents.  The deductible for a broken screen is $29 but everything else is $99.

And AppleCare+ is not insurance against loss or theft.  For that you will probably need to pay another $10 per month or $240 over two years.

So an AppleCare extended warranty plus theft and loss insurance is going to run you in the range of $360 to $440 over a two year period.

Instead of insurance you could buy two more Moto G5plus/G6 phones.

But I cannot afford the $180 up front payment.

Rather than paying $180 for a Moto G5plus/G6 are you really  going to pay $1000+ over 2 years or around $40 per month?

In effect you are financing $1000 over a 24 month period and paying $40 or so per month.

You can finance your Moto G5plus/G6 yourself by putting it on a credit card.  At $40 per month it would take you 5 months to pay it off and you would be free and clear after that.   Even at the kind of outrageous interest rates charged by credit card companies you will still be way ahead in saving money.

For example, if you credit card company charges 21% interest your “financing” (interest payment) will come to $11 over the 5 month period you are paying yourself off.  That is still a tiny amount compared to $40 per month for 24 months.

Going back to the total cost chart from earlier adding your own financing would be a tiny change:

                        & loss    extended self       total cost
                  cost  insurance warranty financing  over 2 years
Moto G5plus/G6    $180       $0     $0     $11         $191
Apple iPhone 10  $1000     $240     $200   $0         $1440
Apple iPhone 8    $800     $240     $130   $0         $1170
Samsung Galaxy S9 $800     $240     $200   $0         $1240
Subsidized Phone  $500     $240     $200   $0          $940

So free yourself from being chained to your provider and paying way too much.

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