How to purchase your first smartphone?

Have you ever wondered how to purchase your first smartphone? If yes, then you are at the right place. We are going to discuss about the different ways you can make use of to obtain or purchase your first or new smartphone.

Yes, some people would say it is easy to obtain a new smartphone. But to be honest, not everyone knows how easy it is to obtain a new smartphone. Thus, we going to answer this question and go into depth of it to ensure everyone knows how to obtain their first smartphone or even a new one.

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Different methods to purchase a smartphone

There three different ways to purchase your first smartphone. There was only two methods, but has changed over time thanks to technology advancements and companies are becoming smarter.


Here are the three different methods to purchase a smartphone:

  • Outright Cash Purchase
  • Monthly Contract Agreement
  • Leasing


I am certain some of these methods, some of you do know and some you do not. We will not go into depth for each method and make certain everyone know how each purchasing method works. We will also outline the advantages and disadvantages for each payment method.


Outright Cash Purchase

Outright cash purchase basically refers to paying something at full cash price on day one. No later payments and no monthly fees. You pay the full amount for the smartphone.

It is a nice method if you hate to pay things off monthly. However, some of the best smartphones are selling at very high retail prices, which many users cannot afford to pay on day one. For example, the Samsung S21 Ultra goes for +- R28000 at full retail price. Not many users cannot afford that. Thus, these expensive smartphones will not be sold a lot in this purchasing method.


Monthly Contract Agreement

Now this purchasing method, is the most popular one to obtain the first smartphone you want. You basically sign an agreement with a retailer where you pay a certain amount over a certain period every month. It can be 12, 24 or even 36 month contracts based on the retailer what they offer to their clients.

During this period, you will receive your desired smartphone on day one to use. With some agreements, you do not just receive the smartphone. You also receive minutes, airtime or data base on the plan you selected with the smartphone on the monthly agreement. This is usually the case if you sign up the monthly contract agreement at a carrier retailer like MTN, Vodacom, Cell C or Telkom.


The nice part by using the monthly contract agreement are the following:

  • Receive the smartphone you desire on day one.
  • Extra stuff are included depending on the agreement you signed for. Like Airtime, minutes or data.
  • Do not pay the full retail price for the smartphone on day one. Instead, you pay off the retail price monthly. It saves you quite a bit of money.


However, with every purchase method, there are disadvantages. Here are the disadvantages by using the monthly contract agreement purchasing method:

  • Extra fees are included with the monthly fee. The retailers do not just calculate how much the smartphone’s retail price will be when broken up monthly. They of course add some interest to monthly amount which will lead the amount to be more than the original retail price for the smartphone alone.
  • Hidden costs may occur which the sales representative might not have discussed with you. For example, you did an early upgrade. Some sales representatives will forget to tell you that you still have to finish off the previous contract agreements outstanding amount plus you have to pay for the new monthly contract agreement you just signed. Very upsetting when this occurs.
  • Not all users can go use this method if they have a bad credit record. Before any monthly contract agreement is finalized, a credit check is first done between the retailer and the bank. So if you have a bad credit record, you will sadly not be able to do this method at all.
  • If you miss a payment, a penalty fee may be charged with your contract and your smartphone might be blocked to continue on the network till payment is made.


Thus, this method is most preferred payment method to obtain a great new or first smartphone for yourself. However, if you have a bad credit record, then you will sadly not have this option available until your credit record changes somehow.



This is a new method how to purchase a smartphone. This method can help a lot of users that do not have a credit record or even have a bad one.

Basically you sign up at certain retailer a lease agreement to purchase a smartphone in a certain time period. It is very similar to the monthly contract agreement method, but without credit checks and need to pay for the smartphone in shorter time periods. Shorter time periods that range from 3, 6 or even 12 months. You can even arrange the payments to be paid off weekly. Yes, your read right!

It is basically the same way you borrow money from a bank. But instead you borrow a smartphone instead. Quite an interesting method.


Here are the benefits of using leasing to purchase your first or new smartphone:

  • Obtain the smartphone on day one.
  • Complete the payment for the smartphone in shorter intervals as compare to contract monthly agreements.
  • No hidden extra costs. The payment is split based on the retail price of the smartphone and little interest fee.
  • If you pay late for your payment, no penalty will be charged to you.
  • No credit record checks are done. All you need is your ID, an active cellphone number and that it. Very simple.


Leasing has some good benefits in order to obtain your first or new smartphone. You basically bypass credit check and have no need to provide other banking details in order to obtain approval for the leasing agreement. Plus no surprise fees or penalties.


However, there are disadvantages by leasing for your first or new smartphone. They are the following:

  • If you miss a payment, your smartphone will lock down and be unusable until you pay up the amount you owe for the retailer. It is a safety net for the retailer to ensure you pay up. But, bad for you cause the smartphone will be unusable and become a paperweight till you pay.
  • This method is only available for certain specific smartphones. Not available for all smartphones. So your favorite or desired smartphone might not be available for this option.
  • Leasing method for smartphones is not available at all retailers or countries worldwide.


Basically you have to do some research to see which retailers do offer leasing methods for smartphones in which countries. Plus do not forget, you must also find out which smartphones are available for the leasing method. This will ensure you do not waste your time and efforts.

The leasing method for smartphones has recently made its appearance in South Africa. If you are curious which retailers will offer this method to you, visit the following link by PayJoy which will guide you all the information you desire.




All three of these methods have their ups and downs when it comes to purchasing your first or new smartphone. In order to determine which method would be best for you, you must know your smartphone preferences to ensure you make the right smartphone selection.

If you need some assistance or guidance to ensure you make the right smartphone selection, please visit the following link. I hope you learned some new ways how to purchase your first smartphone or even a new one.

If you have any questions regarding the topic, please ask in the comment section below.

8 thoughts on “How to purchase your first smartphone?”

  1. I found this an interesting article because I have been thinking about getting a smartphone and upgrading from my generic galaxy phone. I’m sure it would be easier than the one I have. I wasn’t aware of the leasing option and I will have to research and see if any outlets offer it in Australia.

    Thanks for this informative post.

    • Hi Lily

      Glad this post provide some relevation to you of smartphone leasing. Please visit Payjoy website. They will indicate which stores close to you can provide you this purchasing method.

  2. I had a selection of 3 different smartphones. All have their positive sides and also some negative ones. I have settled down with Samsung’s phone. I wish I had read your post first on how to purchase your first smartphone. I would have decided the leasing method instead of the cash outright purchase. I think your site can help many with their choices. Thank you for sharing.  Cheers 

    • Hi Fredrik

      I am sorry that our post didn’t reach you before your smartphone decision. We try our best to assist everyone before they make an selection. 

      At least you are prepared for you next smartphone purchase. If you need any help or guidance regarding smartphones, please do not hesitate to ask.

  3. This post was very timely for me as I am just deciding how I will get a new smartphone.  The past few phones I bought have been purchased outright on Amazon.  I like to purchase the flagship phone made in China, like Xaoimi and the like.  They are usually a great price, much more affordable than buying  from my carrier.  Plus, they have the same, if not more features as the most popular phones sold at US cell phone carrier shops.  (aka the iPhone and Galaxy)

    The reason I am debating whether or not I will do this again to purchase my next phone is because I have an upgrade available on my cell phone carrier account, which marks off a bit off the retail price on a quality smartphone.  

    However, I have been told I have to pay the phone off monthly in order to get the deal. I find it silly I can not just pay it off outright up front, but it is almost double the price to do it that way. It is almost like the company takes a risk because they expect you to either break the phone or turn it back in for an upgrade before you pay it all off.  This way they are always collecting extra money from you monthly.  It seems like a big conspiracy for these companies to make money. 

    One thing I would warn your readers off is that if you buy a phone off amazon and have at&t, at&t may shut your phone off randomly.  This happened to me a few months ago because they said the network could not recognize my device. They wouldn’t turn my phone back on for 48 hours. It was as if they were holding me hostage to try to get me to purchase a phone from them. I can not stand these type of shady practices.

    Anyway, this is a big decision so thanks for the help.

    • Hi Ashley

      I understand what you mean. Some of the smartphones available through Amazon  are way cheaper to buy outright at some retailers in my country. Quite shocking to be honest.

      There nothing wrong to do a monthly agreement with a carrier retailer. Just make sure you get what you need, because some packaging aren’t that great or are short of a item your really require. Like me, I prefer to have a monthly agreement with my carrier base on their service alone. I find it so much cheaper plus I keep using the smartphone I currently have.

      Be careful of early upgrades, that is how certain carrier retailers trap customers to pay for two contracts. It is so annoying. Luckily there are good sales representatives that look out for their customers for such annoying traps.

      When buying from Amazon, make sure it specifies international. If it doesn’t, you may experience these issues carrier issues. With international models, you will not experience this.

      Any more questions, please do not hesitate to ask. 

  4. Awesome review in helping one to acquire a smartphone without being overcharged or paying above the cost, whether you get it through a payment plan or lease it. 

    In the past and present, I usually have a plan, but now my phone is paid cash, no leasing, that was not an option for me and the plan went to one of my son’s plans that has multiple family members included, so I really don’t know what he pay, but it is much less than if I had it on my own.

    I like this option better because I have no worries about my limit in usage within the country it serves. 

    • Hi Affiliate for Amazon

      Thank you for your comment. The plan your son is using, is a special monthly agreement some carrier retailers offer. Quite nice offers as its ranges from having two smartphones same time or even more like five smartphones. The monthly fee will most likely be one high amount per month, but will be less if you take those two or five smartphones separately which is a great deal.

      Plus you get the package you prefer. I know in the US the 5 smartphone deal is a popular one. In South Africa, the two smartphone deal is popular.


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