What iPhone should I buy?

As the family’s tech authority, I frequently get this question:

“What iPhone should I buy?”

The answer is easy, but most people don’t listen.  For the family reading this, do yourself a favor and read this twice before making the decision.

1. Buy one with the biggest amount of storage you can afford.

The most important feature you should be shopping for is storage.  Most of the people I come across use their phone as their primary camera.  That means it’s jammed with photos.  I mean *jammed* like 2 to 4 GB of photos.  When you have a 16GB phone and the OS/core apps take 2GB-ish, that means almost 20% of your phone will be photos–more if you take videos.  The speed of the iPhone 5S is meaningless to 90% of the users out there and the fingerprint sensor is “first generation” so skip that for now and wait for the 2 year upgrade to get the much better version of what’s out there now.

2. Buy it outright if you can afford it.

It’s expensive to do it but you should buy the phone outright without the burden of a contract.  That will allow you to move between carriers and/or upgrade more often if that’s your thing.  Don’t buy into the carrier’s “upgrade once a year” plan–it’s a money trap.

3. Buy iCloud storage that matches the amount of your device, maybe more

If you have a 16GB device, buy iCloud storage equal to or greater than the device so that would be 10GB additional for $20/year.  That will ensure all of your photos are stored at Apple in case your device is stolen.  It’s cheap and easy to do right from the device.

4. Buy iTunes Match if you have a music collection.

Adding iTunes Match ($24.95/year) ensures your music is safe, just like iCloud for your photos.  Even better, your Music app will show your iTunes library of music, but without actually storing it on the device.  Want to listen to a song? Tap it and it streams from the cloud.  You can even flag songs to be stored on the device.

2 thoughts on “What iPhone should I buy?

  1. I bought a 64GB phone last year and now I regret it. 32GB would have been completely okay, but that said, if you get 64GB chances are you’ll never have to worry about maxing it out.

    Buying the phone outright is kind of a waste. With Verizon and AT&T you’ll be paying a subsidy on top of your cellphone service whether you buy the phone outright or not. With T-Mobile they finance the phone for you with no interest. Their plans are simply for service and then your handset costs are added on top of that.

    I know the “upgrade once a year” add-ons seem like a lot, but with T-Mobile anyway, that includes handset insurance as well as loss & theft insurance. That service normally costs $8/month, so the “upgrade up to twice a year” add-on for $10/month isn’t such a bad deal. The only bummer is that you have to return your current phone when you change phones after six months. 🙂

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