5 On Your Side

5 On Your Side: How to save money when upgrading your cellphone

Posted September 23, 2020 3:58 p.m. EDT
Updated September 23, 2020 8:09 p.m. EDT

— It’s that time of year again: When tech companies introduce the latest and greatest cellphones with improved features, better cameras and bigger price tags.

With a $1,400 price tag, Samsung’s Galaxy S20 Ultra is one of the most expensive smartphones in Consumer Reports ratings.

The Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max goes for a little less, but it’s still $1,100.

Affordable upgrade options

For those of you searching for a more affordable upgrade right now, 5 On Your Side’s Monica Laliberte has some options.

iPhone XR

Although the iPhone XR is almost two years old, it's more affordable than ever and packed with features – for only $600.

With a sharp screen and quality camera, it’s a Consumer Reports Best Buy.

Samsung Galaxy S10

The Samsung Galaxy S10 costs around $750.

On the market for more than a year, the price is $150 dollars less than when it launched.

Other saving options and considerations

“You can also save by shopping a lesser known brand, like Google or OnePlus," said Bree Fowler, Consumer Reports’ Tech Editor. "Or think about buying a used phone or one that’s refurbished."

CR says before you buy a used phone though, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting.

Will it come with a charger?

Is the screen scratched?

A refurbished model directly from Apple or Samsung will cost a little more, but it’ll be just like new.

It may even have a brand new battery, outer shell and accessories – and both companies provide a one year warranty.

CR says Consumer Cellular, eBay, Apple Store and Amazon all received high scores in satisfaction from buyers who purchased refurbished phones.

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