Best Smartphone Data Plan for College Students

Being a Droid user I hate to admit it, but the king of smartphones is undoubtedly the Iphone. A week after its release the Iphone 4s was in the hands of 4 million people. However, with Apple’s newest Iphone comes the addition of yet another cell phone provider, Sprint, leaving us to wonder: Which cell phone provider is best for you, the college student? I’ll answer our question with another, what do we use our smartphone for?

Smartphone Services

Do you use it for…

Texting? Today I send far more texts then I make phone calls. But it’s not just me. I was sitting in my favorite coffee shop yesterday and overheard one friend explaining her breakup story to another. The girls entire breakup happened via text message – I know this because she read and analyzed the entire text exchange, between her and Ex-beau, with her friend. When relationships are ending via text, you know it’s a popular, if not essential, form of communication. Consider this when you’re picking a service plan.

Browsing? I’ve signed up for just as many classes on my smartphone as I have on my computer. After all, with impacted classes you need to be on your game. I may not always have my computer, but I always have my smartphone. In fact, the NY Times last year released an article discussing Americans use of data over calls. Every time you open your browser, change you’re status on Facebook, use Google Maps, check you’re emails, watch a Youtube video, or listen to Pandora, you are using data, and a lot of it. If you get a smartphone, you’ll need a dataplan.

What you don’t use it for…

Phone Calls, if the last two bullet points didn’t tip you off, then I’ll be more clear: talk time is dropping. Think about how many texts you send a day as compared to phone calls you make. Personally I send around 15-40 texts a day as apposed to 2-7 phone calls. The moral of this story is you don’t need that many minutes.

Analysis of Cell Plans

The side-by-side below indicates my top cell phone plan picks from each of the providers, based on your needs as college student. All the hidden fees and additional benefits are listed below. However, if you’re not bound to a particular provider then I recommend Sprint as the biggest bang for your buck. Though AT&T’s ($40 per month) and Verizon’s ($45 per month) baselines fees are below Sprints ($70 per month), those providers don’t include unlimited text and data like Sprint does. If you want unlimited text and data, (which you do), AT&T costs an additional $50 per month while Verizon costs an additional $65 per month. For a college student with limited funds, Sprint is the way to go.

This guest post is by Kyle Espinola, a senior at UCSB and Intern at FindTheBest. The site helps you find the best of anything from ski resorts to credit cards.

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