Most people today have a cellphone that rarely leaves their side. In fact, cellphone usage is at an all-time high, with 91 percent of adults owning one, reports the Pew Research Center. While the technology has drastically improved many aspects of daily life, the cost of devices and service plans – as well as the complex contracts – leaves many people feeling like they’re being hustled.
We believe you have a right to know about the commonly believed misconceptions about the cellphone industry that are causing people to spend more than necessary. Get the facts by learning the truth about the most common cellphone myths below!
Myth: One late payment won’t affect your credit score
Reality: It doesn’t take much for your credit score to take a hit. One late payment can stay on your record for up to seven years. Because most of the top wireless carriers use your credit score to judge whether they should give you the best deals, that means one bad decision can haunt you years later. First, always make it a priority to pay your bills on time. Second, look for a carrier that considers more than a credit check to obtain the best deals.
Myth: The advertised deals from carriers are for anyone
Reality: Wireless carriers spend $4 billion advertising their “best” deals on smartphones, yet in reality, more than half of Americans cannot get the deals because they are reserved only for those with the “best” credit. According to the Consumer Federation of America, credit score plays a “vital” role in many purchases.
Myth: Almost all American adults have a smartphone
Reality: At a time when mobile connectivity is sweeping the globe, the United States ranks 13th in the world in terms of smartphone penetration ? behind a dozen countries including Australia, Israel and Saudi Arabia. There are more than 100 million American adults who don’t have a smartphone according to Pew Research and the U.S. Census Bureau. A smartphone paired with the right plan for your needs can keep you connected and benefit your budget. Furthermore, many people choose to eliminate land lines and sometimes even Internet service at home to save and then solely rely on their smartphones to stay connected.
Myth: You pay more for smartphones with no-contract plans
Reality: Consumer Reports states it’s cheaper to buy a phone through a no-contract plan. Why? Because you finance the phone separately from your wireless service and therefore once it is paid off, your monthly bill can decrease. You will not continue to pay a higher amount after that time – unlike an annual service contract plan. Research popular no-contract prepaid and postpaid plans, like Simple Choice from T-Mobile, Verizon or WalMart Family Mobile. Loyal customers can immediately qualify based on their relationship with each carrier making the best wireless deals more accessible.
I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #collectivebias #shop #phones4school
It’s hard to believe that the summer is winding down and everyone is preparing to head back to school or off to college. While I hate to admit it, seeing school supply sales gives me a somber feeling that summer fun is almost over! Many of my friends and family with kids can attest to how expensive back to school shopping can be! With tuition bills, books and school supplies waiting to eat up budgets everywhere, it’s good to know that when it comes to saving money, Walmart best plans has you covered!
Staying connected this school year is easy and more affordable than ever before thanks to Walmart Family Mobile. Known for rollbacks all around, I’ve been a fan of Walmart Family Mobile and knew they had cheap wireless plans with unlimited talk text and data/web - it’s the perfect way to gift the students in your life with a great mobile device without spending a pretty penny.
The Alcatel One Touch Evolve was on rollback for only $29.88! It is 3G capable, has a 5MP Camera add with web/data and service for 2 months this $34.88 unlimited plan is the cheapest way roar any student to stay connected this school year. Set up and activation was quick, easy and took less than five minutes. By simply logging onto MyFamilyMobile.com, I was able to select an easy to memorize telephone number and set up the new Alcatel One Touch Evolve device so that it’s ready to use, right out of the box.
Powered by the reliable T-Mobile 4G network, students will never have to worry about dropped calls or lagging data on their upcoming journey back to school. Sounds like a winner to me! Do you know how many selfies and smiles this $35 dollar investment will mean to your student’s new school year? (LOL!) For more information about Walmart best plans for you and your family Walmart Family Mobile click HERE.
Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. Participation has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® and Wal-Mart. #FamilyMobile #CollectiveBias #SocialFabric. To find the perfect gift for the grad in your life at Wal-Mart, check out their store locator online and connect with @FamilyMobile on Twitter and Facebook today.
Give Grads A Gift They’ll Love And Save Money With Unlimited Talk, Text And Data From Walmart Family Mobile #FamilyMobileMay 12th, 2014 by Christen
I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.
It’s an exciting time of the year! Kids, teens and young adults are getting ready for that next big chapter in life, that’s right – graduation time is here! How are you planning to reward the graduate in your life? What if I told you that you can give the gift of mobile independence (including Unlimited Talk Text and Data/Web) without breaking the bank? Check out how easy it is to find the perfect smartphone, give grads a gift they’ll love and save money with Walmart Family Mobile below.
My niece has admired every smartphone I’ve owned since 2012. Her recent favorite device has been my Samsung Galaxy S4. During a recent trip to a Long Island area Walmart, I wandered into the Walmart Family Mobile department to find a wide array Samsung & Nokia smartphones for sale. For less than $100, I was able to buy the Samsung Galaxy Exhibit as a great transition phone for my niece graduating and heading into middle school. A smartphone is a great gift to keep students and family connected, and this Samsung Galaxy Exhibit with service will keep her connected while her low, monthly service bill with unlimited talk and text for less than $30 will keep my wallet feeling nice and full.
The Samsung Galaxy Exhibit comes equipped with a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera that allows for crisp, clear digital photos, as well as a VGA front-facing camera for convenient self portrait shots. This Samsung Android smartphone features a microUSB port and 4GB of internal storage, which allows tons of storage for games, music and photos. It also includes WiFi calling capabilities, Bluetooth technology and web browsing capabilities to make communicating via voice or text easier and more efficient.
Set up and activation was quick, easy and took less than five minutes. By simply logging onto MyFamilyMobile.com, I was able to select an easy to memorize telephone number and set up my niece’s new Samsung device so that it’s ready to use, right out of the box. Powered by the reliable T-Mobile 4G network, my niece will never have to worry about dropped calls or lagging data on her new graduation gift.
I can’t wait to gift my niece with her new graduation surprise! Since she loves my Samsung S4 device so much, I’m sure that she’ll adore this petite and tween-friendly version from Walmart Family Mobile. Plus, I’ll be happy knowing that she can stay connected with her favorite auntie, family and friends without breaking my wallet. Maybe for her high school graduation, I’ll upgrade her device to the next level of Samsung Galaxy phones available from Walmart Family mobile. With unbeatable Walmart prices for electronics and mobile devices, anything is possible! For the complete list of available devices, startup packs and talk, text and data plans visit Walmart.com.
Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. Participation has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® and Wal-Mart. #FamilyMobile #CollectiveBias #SocialFabric. To find the perfect gift for the grad in your life at Wal-Mart, check out their store locator online and connect with @WalMart on Twitter and Facebook today.
With warmer weather finally here and Mother’s Day fast approaching, it’s easy to get into a floral and feminine state of mind when thinking of smartphone accessories. But moms everywhere know about the work and family life balance, but did you know that OtterBox offers the balance of protecting your smartphone, while offering a variety of stylish designs that you’ll love too? One of the latest designs to come from the OtterBox Symmetry collection of cases is the OtterBox Symmetry in Dreamy Pink.
Style: The OtterBox Symmetry case in Dreamy Pink, is a mixture of tonal colors that is a welcome design into an ever-growing world of smartphone accessories. I’ve seen everything from plane jane cases to ostentatious glittery masses, and the mix of prints, colors and 3D-like optical illusion stands out among what’s considered fashionable smartphone accessories. The subtle hues of plush pinks, lavenders and purple in geometric shapes displays total feminity, while the rubber grip and hard shell protects your device from nicks and scrapes, making it a great balancing act of style and protection.
Protection: The OtterBox Symmetry case in Dreamy Pink. It includes an inner rubber case, surrounding the power button, volume buttons and charging ports while a hard shell exterior protects the rear of the phone. The raised beveled edge protects your smartphone screen, making a two-layered combination of intuitive protection. That’s multiple layers of protection in one all-inclusive design! Unlike the Commuter series, it does not offer multiple layers of cases that you have to assemble – and I think that’s what keeps this OtterBox Symmetry line, light, wearable and accessible to change into a variety of symmetry styles with ease.
As one of the more stylish OtterBox cases that I’ve used, this case definitely gets an “A” for style. What more could you want from a smartphone accessory that showcases your personal style while protecting your beloved device!
Discover more stylish options from OtterBox by visiting Otterbox.com
How would you like to win a stylish OtterBox Symmetry smartphone case of your own? OtterBox is giving one lucky reader a stylish case from the Symmetry collection for your iPhone 5/5s, 5c or Samsung Galaxy S4. All you have to do is enter below! [But hurry, giveaway ends Friday, May 16th!]
UPDATED: CONGRATULATIONS LISA! YOU’VE WON!
Want more freebies?
With security breaches and frequent phone hacking scandals occurring in this digital age, it’s essential to know how to protect yourself from these types of fraudulent schemes. FreedomPop’s CEO Stephen Stokols provides five fool-proof tips to keep your smartphone safe below.
1. Use VPN (virtual private network) app to encrypt data.
Utilizing this defends all communication including text messages and voice calls from third- parties such as hackers, spies and eavesdroppers.
2. Use an online security app (e.g. Norton) to protect against hackers, spyware and viruses.
Just like computers, phones are vulnerable to viruses and malware. It’s critical to use these types of apps to help ward of harmful security hazards.
3. Use a dedicated privacy phone for confidential calls.
Consider an encrypted phone for confidential calls, such as FreedomPop’s Privacy Phone ($189) that runs on a specially engineered Samsung Galaxy SII, featuring 128-bit encryption used by banks and government agencies. Nicknamed the “Snowden phone,” this smartphone blocks phone contacts, call history and voice and text communication from hackers and has a feature to block unsolicited incoming calls and text messages.
4. If you want to ensure location is not tracked, make sure GPS and location settings are off. By enabling this feature, people can reduce the trace of their digital footprint and use the Internet anonymously wherever they are.
5. Be careful what permission you agree to when accepting Terms & Conditions for an app. Many sites want access to contacts, location and other sensitive info that can lead to potentially damaging setbacks. Malicious and fake websites aim to steal confidential information including passwords and other significant data that can do more harm than good.
Now that you’ve got these fool-proof tips to keep your smartphone safe, you’ll never worry about hackers or stolen data from your smartphone again.
Is your smartphone low on space? Having a hard time downloading a software update due to not having enough storage? One too many photos of your super cute pooch eating up your memory (on your phone, that is)?
When the Spring finally (sorta, kinda) upon us – now is the perfect time for Spring Cleaning your smartphone and your favorite devices. Here are some solutions to declutter your phone and combat those hoarder tendencies that may come with living a digital lifestyle.
Make a move
Moving video, music, photos and personal data between your mobile phone and your computer or other USB host device can be fast and convenient with a high-capacity microSD memory card reader. SanDisk’s versatile, flash microSD memory cards allow you to directly plug in a memory card for fast movement of your favorite mobile media. Direct plug-in means no card adapter is needed, and little time is spent transferring data. Plus, you get a smartphone with freed-up space without sacrificing the media that matters.
Get a memory boost
In today’s age of accessibility, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that limitations still exist. Once a smartphone has gotten its fill of music, photos, videos, apps and other data, it’s going to cry out for some attention. That attention could come in the form of additional memory.
A memory card on your phone essentially acts like the hard drive on your PC, boosting the storage capacity for files and data. So if you must have your favorite tunes, pictures of the pooch and the latest games at your fingertips, then it’s worth checking into phones that are compatible with memory cards, like the Samsung Galaxy Note® 3, which supports microSD™ cards with up to 64 GB of extra storage.
Use it or lose it
If apps abound on your phone, it may be time to clean your mobile house. Much like the clothes you haven’t worn in a year, unused or underused apps can be a real drain on space and battery. If app overload is an ongoing issue, you might try observing a “one in, one out” rule. Every time you add a new app to your device, remove one that isn’t as necessary. Your phone will return the love by providing space for what’s really important.
Say Hello to the new (redesigned and refreshed) HTC One M8! Today, HTC launched the 2014 model of its flagship phone, called the HTC One M8 in NYC and around the world.
The new One has a similar design to last year’s model, but it also features a number of upgrades. The screen size increases to 5 inches from 4.7, and the new model has a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor running Android 4.4 “KitKat” along with 2GB of RAM. Storage can be 16 or 32GB. The One still sports a metal exterior, but HTC refined the design so the edges are metal as well. As a result, the sides of the phone have softer curves.
“We didn’t want to do something incremental, We actually wanted to take a big leap forward. We wanted to make it super-awesome to hold in your hand.” - Scott Croyle, HTC’s senior vice president of design
A big upgrade is the new Duo Camera. On the back of the HTC One M8 are two cameras, one of which can capture depth information. That allows the user to perform some software tricks after taking a photo, including a refocus effect that can blur parts of the image in a manner similar to the Lytro camera.
The Duo Camera relies on HTC’s “UltraPIxel” concept, which eschews a high megapixel count for larger pixels on the sensor that can capture more light. The result is a 4.1-megapixel camera that takes excellent photos. The front-facing camera has been upgraded as well, to 5 megapixels.
The display resolution remains full HD (1,920 x 1,080), and the screen responds to gestures even when dormant. Sliding a finger up the screen will unlock the phone, and sliding to right will launch the phone into one of its trademark features: BlinkFeed.
BlinkFeed, which debuted on last year’s HTC One, combines several sources — from social networks to news sites to upcoming calendar events — into a single ever-scrolling feed on the home screen. With the M8, BlinkFeed is getting both more content, including feeds from Foursquare and Fitbit, but also an SDK so developers can design apps that can send data into the feed.
The new HTC One is on sale NOW in over 100+ countries and 230+ carriers, and it’s available in silver, gun metal and gold finishes. HTC is also selling a gray case for $49.99 with a perforated front that interacts with the screen, displaying basic information like the time and alerts even while closed. While not all carriers has the HTC One M8 available today, Verizon Wireless does! You can get your hands on the new HTC One M8 via your local Verizon Wireless store or VerizonWireless.com.
Stylish smartphone protection isn’t always easy to find. Sometimes the style outweighs the protection elements, and let’s face it, most of the time the really protective smartphone cases aren’t very stylish at all. Recently, I got the opportunity to try out the OtterBox Commuter series cases which offer just enough style and protection that any on the go woman (or man) could use.
The Commuter series cases are one of the best cases I’ve put my hands on. Not only are the cases protective, but once you entrust your smartphone within its grasp it’s feels downright indestructible!
3D Commuter Series Western Flower
Protection: The Commuter series cases come with 2 layers of protection (actually it’s three). It includes an inner rubber case, a hard shell exterior AND an easy to install clear screen protector. Smartphone ports need protection from crumbs, dust and everything else too and OtterBox keeps the debris out with easy to maneuver port covers. After placing my iPhone 5s in this case, I literally felt like I could toss the phone across the room and it wouldn’t suffer a scratch, dent or one but of damage from impact. This case keeps your device so secure that it took longer to remove the protective case than it did to install it. (It was so secure that I was a little timid in maneuvering the removal for fear of damaging my device.) That’s real protection.
Style: The 3D Commuter series western flower case in sea foam, is a feminine break away from the typical glitter, rhinestone and pretty in pink cases. The two tone of aqua teal hues, coupled with the 3D floral design was a welcome standout to what’s considered as fashionable smartphone accessories.
Overall: As one of the most protective OtterBox Commuter cases that I’ve used, this case definitely gets an “A” for protection and “A” for style. What more could you want from a smartphone accessory that showcases your personal style while protecting your beloved device!
Commuter Series Wallet
Protection: The Commuter series cases come with 2 layers of protection (actually it’s three). It includes an inner rubber case, a hard shell exterior AND an easy to install clear screen protector. Smartphone ports need protection from crumbs, dust and everything else too and OtterBox keeps the debris out with easy to maneuver port covers.
Style: This case isn’t the most stylish, but it is protective and quite practical. The OtterBox Wallet secret card tray houses 3-4 cards. (I used mine to keep my ID, bank card and Metro Card in my hands at all times, since you can rarely catch me without my smartphone in hand.) It’s not as stylish as one would expect, which is why I added some flare with a mirrored protective screen cover. This practical smartphone case is now a wallet and a mirror. SCORE!
Overall: As one of the most protective OtterBox Commuter cases, this case wallet case is handy when going out without a bag or purse. It easily slides in and out of your pocket with ease. Now that I’ve added a mirrored protective case it’s a welcomed update from a one dimensional practical accessory into three and that makes me a pretty happy gal!
What do you look for in stylish and or practical smartphone accessories? Which one of these OtterBox Cases do you like best? Share your opinion below.
If you’re one of the “lucky ones” underneath the New York Fashion Week tents at Lincoln Center, chances are that you’re using your smartphone to death. More than likely, your smartphone is your precious baby that you use to connect with others on and offline. You use your smartphone to share your fashionable experiences, chronicle style moments and more – but did you know that you may not be using your smartphone correctly? Check out five ways to optimize your iPhone use during NYFW below…
1. Stop Keeping Your iPhone Plugged in Overnight…
Letting your iPhone charge while you sleep at night might be convenient, but it’s not the best way to keep your iPhone damage free during this busy week. Leaving your iPhone plugged in after it’s already fully charged can damage your battery over time and it could start dying more quickly. Try charging it throughout the days you can unplug it once it’s fully charged.
2. Give Your iPhone a Time Out…
You really should be turning your phone off periodically, or your battery will die faster than it should. Leaving it on and idle stresses the battery, experts say. If you, like me – use your phone as an alarm clock, consider picking up a cheap desktop alarm and shut your phone off at night (you’ll save radiation exposure AND give your smartphone the break that it deserves.)
3. Stop Leaving the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Enabled All the Time…
When your iPhone has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled and isn’t using one or both, it’s just wasting energy. As you wander around, navigating throughout the city for your next show, you’re not likely going to need or want Wi-Fi or Bluetooth all the time. You’re better off leaving both off and just turning them on when you need them.
4. Filming shows in portrait mode…
Hey you! Did you know that you’re actually supposed to film videos horizontally – not vertically? You’ve seen those videos filmed in vertically mode – not cute. Film your awesome fashion week moments the correct way, so that your friends and family can enjoy them without the “black frame of death”.
5. Protect Your iPhone With A Passcode…
According to Apple, half of iPhone users do not lock their phones. If you don’t have a passcode on your iPhone and it’s stolen, your identity and personal information is completely open and available for the thief to grab. And while you’re at it – quit walking around with your iPhone in your hand. Around 40 percent of the robberies in major cities (including NYC) now involve mobile devices, so it’s actually pretty dangerous to walk around carelessly with your iPhone out.
If you keep these tips in mind while navigating through the fashion week chaos, your iPhone will thank you and last as long as you do! Did we miss anything? What are your favorite smartphone tips and tricks you use during New York Fashion Week? Share your ideas and tips below.
With a bounty of great smartphones released this year, it’s easy to get overwhelmed to find the best smartphone for that person on your gift list. That’s why we have narrowed down the best holiday smartphone gift picks for anyone on your gift list below.
The Apple iPhone 5S
The iPhone 5S comes with a 64 bit chip and fingerprint scanner. For those with the Apple OS eco system, they might enjoy the new champagne gold color option. BUY IT : Apple iPhone 5S
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
If you do a lot of work on your phone, you will be satisfied with the Note 3. The main accessory to the Note 3; the S Pen has more features than ever. Multi Window, a large display, wireless charging and long lasting battery life make this phone essential for productivity. The Galaxy Note 3 is available for all major US carriers starting at $299. BUY IT: Samsung Galaxy Note 3
If the Galaxy Note 3 is too large for you, an alternative is the Samsung Galaxy S 4. It has many of the great features the Galaxy Note 3 has to offer in a smaller size without the S Pen.
Motorola Moto X
Give the gift of customization with the Moto X. The first smartphone to be released by Motorola since it was bought by Google (besides the DROID series), the Moto X boasts simple yet innovative features that make your smartphone useful and efficient. It’s great for those who enjoy stock android with just a slight addition of Motorola features (Moto Assist, Active Display). It’s also a plus that the giftee can go on MotoMaker and design the Moto X and color coordinate its accessories. BUY IT: Motorola Moto X (Moto Maker)
Google Nexus 5
If you want the latest Android phone out, the Nexus 5 is the one. It comes with Android KitKat 4.4 (in case you didnt’ know that’s the latest version of Android). The smooth interface and affordable price (as low as $350 without contract) makes the Nexus 5 a win. You have two color options of all black and black and white. The Nexus 5 can be found on the Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T carriers. BUY IT: Google Nexus 5 smartphone (Android OS)