The smartphone market is overflowing with devices and these days you don’t have to spend a lot to get a handset packed with great specs and functionality.
Buying a smartphone, particularly if it’s your first, may seem like a daunting task, but whether you opt for a high-end handset like the new Samsung Galaxy S4 or a mid-range device such as the HTC One S. Regardless what you plump for though, there’s a good chance it can be used to help save you money in the long run.
Here we take a look at five ways that investing in a smartphone could help save you money in other areas of your life.
Trade in/ Recycle your old handset
Upgrading to a smartphone doesn’t have to cost the earth and one way of bringing the price down is to trade in your old mobile.
The amount you get for your old device will all depend upon the company or retailer you use, so shop around and make sure you get the best deal.
Whatever money you receive for the phone can be taken off the overall cost of your new handset or will be given as cash, so you can spend it on other things.
There’s also the option to recycle any old handsets you may have stored at home, either through your retailer or using one of the many online services which transfer the money directly into your account.
Ditch the printer
Smartphones are capable of all manner of tasks including the ability to receive E-Tickets which can grant users access to concerts and festivals, and boarding passes for flights abroad can now be sent straight to your phone.
Paperless ticketing is on the rise which means there’s no longer the need to waste money printing off pages of information that you don’t need.
Ticketing site WeGotTickets recently published a report on the impact of paperless ticketing and found it to be 40 times more energy-efficient and cost-effective than print-at-home tickets.
Take advantage of local deals
A large number of mobile apps are now available to help you save money on everything from haircuts and grocery shopping, to travelling abroad and dining out.
Apps such as Groupon and Wowcher use GPS technology to alert users to daily offers in the local area, and once a voucher has been redeemed it will be sent directly to a mobile device. GPS also allows other apps like Quidco to send you in-store cash-back deals for certain stores as soon as you ‘check in’ to your location via Facebook, so you can always be saving money while you’re on the go.
Other apps that help you cut back costs include RedLaser, which lets you compare high street prices on the shop floor by scanning the barcode of a product and searching online for a cheaper alternative.
Cut back on other gadgets
Smartphones are loaded with more features, functionality and innovation than ever before and while the initial cost of the handset might be expensive, in the long term you shouldn’t need to turn to any other gadgets for things such as digital photography or finding your way around, which are equally, if not more expensive.
For instance, smartphones are now GPS enabled and with free apps like Google Maps there’s little need for an additional sat nav. Mobile camera technology makes taking pictures and sharing them instantly far more efficient when compared to the time this process would take if using a digital camera and PC.
Of course, there will be those who don’t want to have to rely on one gadget to do all of these things but it’s reassuring to know that should finances become tight smartphones are now capable of completing a range of tasks usually undertaken by a variety of devices.
Make the most of Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi is an optional setting on smartphones that connects users to wireless networks instead of using a mobile data connection, but many fail to the make the most of it while on the move. Thousands of cafés, pubs, shops and train stations now all have open Wi-Fi networks which enable smartphone users to access the internet for free.
Recent reports also suggest that mobile network EE will soon be launching free 4G WI-Fi service in some black cabs in London and Birmingham, signalling that a stage could be reached whereby users can connect to the internet anytime, anywhere, without having to rinse their mobile data. A greater number of Wi-Fi hotspots will help significantly reduce the likelihood that users will exceed data limits and in providing these services, mobile networks will be the first turned to by consumers when free Wi-Fi is unavailable.
These are just some of the ways investing in a smartphone can financially benefit other aspects of your life. And, as mobile technology continues to evolve it seems very likely that in the future more and more people will turn to a smartphone device to not only save money but carry out a multitude of other everyday tasks that usually require other digital devices.
Written by Sarah Hazelwood of Dialaphone, the home of all the latest mobile phone contracts.