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How To Buy A Mobile Phone In Australia

Updated on October 30, 2012

Are You Ready To Buy A Mobile Phone?

Buying a mobile phone means making a few decisions. You're not just buying a phone anymore. There are dozens on the market, each with its own special features.

There are also several service providers and each of them has different rates for different features and they all have a wide variety of packages.

Mobile phones can range in price from less that $100 all the way up to $1000 or more. And service packages can start at $40 or $50 a month and jump sky high, too.

All of these decisions also have to include the fact that you're buying a mobile phone in Australia. Cell phone service providers, and the packages and coverage they offer, differ from country to country.

Before you sign on the dotted line and hand over your wallet, read on to see how to buy a mobile phone in Australia.

Image Credit: phonesandplans.com.au

Compare Mobile Phone Features

When deciding on which special features you'd like to have on your phone, make two lists: the features you need and the features you want. Most service providers will require at least a 2-year service contract. During that 2 years they'll be very happy to add more services, but they may not allow you to reduce you plan.

  1. Will you be using your phone outside of Australia?

    If you'll be using your phone outside of Australia you'll want to choose a phone with global communication capabilities. If you live in rural areas of Australia that may have sporadic or limited service, you may also need GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications).

    When comparing service providers you should also look at a CDMA network. It's a little less expensive and may be all you need to get coverage in outlying areas.

  2. Do you want Internet access?

    Many mobile phone service providers offer Internet and email access, text messaging, video streaming, social sharing and much more. If you'll be using any of these services then you'll need to make sure the phone you choose has the capability.

  3. What special features do you want?

    Cameras, HD color screens, MP3 players, games, voice activated calling, calendars, file sharing - the list of special features available on mobile phones grows longer every day. But not all phones have the same features. The best way to shop is to start with a list of the features you really want in your phone. As you're comparison shopping you may see even more features you'd like to have. Just remember - in most cases those features will effect the price of the mobile phone.

Mobile Phone Styles

Choosing the style for your phone is another important decision. The standard phone, that doesn't flip or slide or jump through hoops, is typically the least expensive. However it also has the least number of special features.

A slide phone has a keyboard with a panel that slides over it for protection. The keyboard is nice for texting, chatting, and email.

A flip-phone has a cover that flips open and closed. The cover protects the number pad and the screen. Typically, these have a little bit larger viewing area.

PDAs and Smartphones are larger, have keyboards and larger viewing screens and have more memory to handle special functions like Microsoft Word or Excel.

Remember: When making your decision based on the style of the phone, make sure it's able to perform all the functions you need. A slim phone might seem like a good idea because it fits easily in your pocket. But if it doesn't do everything you want then it's not a good solution.

On the other hand, that Smartphone looks really cool. It's also pretty expensive. If you're not going to be using it to its full potential then you're wasting your money on the phone, and on the service plan that goes along with it.

Compare Mobile Phone Plans in Australia

There are a lot of outlying areas in Australia where you'll have problems with coverage. And if you've signed on with an Australian service provider you may not have service outside the country.

This is probably the most important issue you'll have to deal with when buying a mobile phone in Australia. When you're asking about phone features it's important to verity coverage in your specific areas of interest.

Once you've narrowed down your choices for phones, then it's time to start comparing prices - and coverage - from service providers.

Click here for more information on How to Buy a Mobile Phone in Australia.

Tip of the Day

Planning to switch mobile carriers? Don't rely on coverage maps as all networks can suffer from 'radio blackspots' where signal strength is low to non-existent. Get a prepaid or $2 sim and check signal strength for yourself before signing any contracts.

Click here for more information on How to Buy a Mobile Phone in Australia.

Popular Mobile Phones Unlocking Websites

Here is the list of websites that will help you unlock your existing mobile phone to work with any other GSM network WorldWide.

Are you having problems with coverage in Australia?

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