Mobile Phones

Three Questions to Consider Before Buying a Mobile Phone

Do you want a set monthly fee or pay as you go?

Monthly fee (carriers with postpaid plans):
When you buy a mobile phone tied to a postpaid mobile plan, you'll sign a contract with a carrier to use their service until the end of a specified term of use (usually two years). You'll agree to remain with the same carrier with penalties for early withdrawal. This route is ideal if you want the latest in cutting-edge technology features like 4G and want to pay for a subsidized-priced phone at the time of purchase. Popular postpaid carriers include Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and Sprint. Shop all mobile phones with plans.

Pay as you go (no-contract carriers):
When you choose a phone associated with pay-as-you-go services you'll pay for the service in advance and don't have to sign any type of contract. Since you're prepaying for your minutes, texting and data, you'll be able to easily keep track of your phone budget. And because you aren't locked into a long-term contract, you have the freedom to switch phones and shop other no-contract carriers without penalty. Popular pay-as-you-go carriers include AT&T GoPhone, Boost Mobile, Verizon Wireless Prepaid and Virgin Mobile. Shop all no-contract phones.

Which monthly data plan fits you best?

Mobile phone carriers differ in signal coverage, plan pricing and phone selection. Check out the links below to find the right carrier for your needs.

Which smartphone operating system is right for you?

Apple iOS

  • Access to one of the widest app selections in the mobile industry
  • Integrates iTunes app and Safari mobile Web browser
  • Based on the same technology that powers Apple Mac computers and runs on a number of Apple devices, including iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices


  • Open source platform that allows third-party developers to create apps and tools
  • Designed as a consumer and social network-centric platform
  • Available on phones for all four major mobile carriers
  • Handset manufacturers aren't required to feature the most recent Android OS, so sometimes less-expensive phones feature older OS versions


  • Created for business users with easy access to e-mail and text messaging
  • Updated BlackBerry 10 operating system creates a more interactive, user-friendly experience
  • Ideal for international use

Windows Phone

  • Personalized, user-friendly experience that communicates seamlessly with Microsoft computers and other devices
  • Innovative touch-screen interface with easy customization
  • SkyDrive app allows easy management of documents, photos and videos